India v Sri Lanka, World T20, final April 6, 2014

No one will be as disappointed as Yuvraj himself - Dhoni

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'Nobody wants to really play bad cricket' - Dhoni

It was to be expected that MS Dhoni would be asked mostly about Yuvraj Singh after India's defeat in the World T20 final. Yuvraj made 11 off 21 as India never built any momentum in the middle overs to manage a below-par 130 for 4, which Sri Lanka chased down with 2.1 overs and six wickets to spare.

Did Dhoni send out any instruction to Yuvraj seeing him scratch around in the middle? "The thing is he was trying. That is the most you can do," Dhoni replied. Did Yuvraj's knock rob India of the impetus they so desperately needed at that stage? "It's a team thing, let's not talk about individuals."

When asked how disappointing it was for fans that a player of the calibre and experience of Yuvraj was not able to click, Dhoni said no one would be more gutted than the man himself tonight. "I can tell you one thing, you talk about the anger of the fans and all, you know it's always the individual who is more disappointed than the fans," Dhoni said. "As a player you go through more because you have your expectations and everything else. So I think that's not the statement you should talk about. Yes, fans get angry but you should also think about the individual.

"Nobody wants to really play bad cricket. In front of 40,000 people you don't really want to drop a catch or misfield. It's part and parcel of the game. And we have seen it happen to some of the international athletes, not just cricketers. Let's get rid of it. Yuvi tried his best, it was an off day for him, at the same time it is not easy for a batsman to go out there and start slogging."

Dhoni said that because Yuvraj, like most India batsman, was one who took some time to get going. They had batted him at No. 4 ahead of Suresh Raina and Dhoni himself. "We only have one - somebody like Suresh Raina who can go in and really start hitting from the very first ball. Most of the other batsmen like to spend a bit of time and then play the big shots. That's the reason why we want Yuvi at 4 and then Suresh Raina at 5. And also this game what happened is, two right-handers were batting at that point of time [Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli]. So you wanted a left-right combination to make it difficult for the bowlers to execute their plans. And that was the reason why we had Yuvi at 4. After that we wanted to keep a left-right combination. But the last two overs, I said let me go [ahead of Raina] and try something."

Yuvraj has lost his place in the India Test and ODI sides. In the World T20, he made 100 runs in five innings at a strike-rate of 98.03. Sixty of those 100 came in a largely inconsequential group game against Australia, when India had already qualified for the semi-finals following three successive wins. When questioned how long India would be able to retain Yuvraj in the shortest format, Dhoni said now was the not the time to speak about selection-related matters.

"Today is a big day, so let's not talk about selection because, effectively our season ends today. Now we go into the domestic cricket with the IPL. So let's not talk about selection as of now, we'll see when it comes."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Johnny_129 on April 11, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Yuvraj is a great striker. In this instance he was selected to play when he obviously was not mentally ready after his traumatic health issues - Any of us would play for the country if selected. We would not turn down that opportunity even if the selection is unfair on other players or the player selected. However, in this match, Kohli aside, no other batted at an exceptable rate - Rohit, Rehane and Yuvraj were all slow!! I have always maintained that Rehane and Pujara are two pure batsmen who should be saved for Test matches only.

  • Nampally on April 9, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    @rajrajan99: I fully agree that good batsmen find a way to handle any bowling & succeed. India showed this against all the 5 teams they played earlier in this T20. I always stated right from the first match that Yuvraj is NOT a #4 Batsman. Dhoni experimented with him in ODI's & failed. He is not the great hitter he was before 2011. In T20 he should not go any higher than #6. Both Raina & Dhoni should bat ahead of him. In the middle overs India needs Finishers who can "belt" the ball. India nearly did not win against WI when Yuvraj hogged the strike. Raina came in & finished the match with the first ball he faced. In SA match again, Yuvi's timely out allowed Raina to come & get those crucial 17 runs in the first over he faced. Raina was Crucial guy + Kohli the Main guy, who brought India to Final. Dhoni needed to put these 2 guys as trump cards to win the WC T20. Unfortunately Dhoni preferred Yuvi to Raina in "desperate hope of seeing Yuvraj of Old".MSD's "experiment" Failed in T20 too!

  • dummy4fb on April 9, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    clearly the worst innings which no one has ever dreamed in worst of their dream & very sure will never will witnessed again in history of cricket,given the context of the game.it was perfectly setup for India-conditions,opponents,performance for WC final,only some "unhoni" can defeat the Ind which unfortunately comes in form of UV.surely 1st ball duck wud hve been preferred 1000 times better by millions as compared to this knock.how the bowling was good when they cud'nt out the worst batsmen b4 21 balls.in just 21 balls,he completely thrashed both teams,both teams & millions looking shocked after the knock.. tht too comes from a player considered to be Ind's best in the format,player over 375 I'nationals over a period of 14 yrs..!!! it was more unbelievable as hitting 6 sixes in 6 balls..preferring individual over team/country cost Ind this WC.if the past records matter that much,we shud shw videos of our gr8 performncs 2 opponents based on toss,no need to play at all..!!!!

  • hnlns on April 9, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    It was Dhoni's failure in not sending Raina ahead of Yuvraj, Raina hits big shots too and is certainly far better in running between the wickets than Yuvraj. Dhoni's justification of Yuvraj having an off day in a WC final is just not acceptable. Throughout the tournament, everybody knows that Yuvraj had struggled except against Australia where he played well just to save his place in the team. He is going rapidly downhill in all aspects of cricket - batting, fielding, and bowling, which he never has done anyway in recent times. The selectors should to think ahead and must drop Yuvraj for the WC in 2015 as there are enough talented youngsters who are good at batting and bowling and fielding younger in age. They should be provided opportunities at international level over the next 8-10 months to prepare them for the big battle in Australia and NZ.

  • AravindVatsal82 on April 9, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    Dhoni's magic-Gamble just did'nt work & cost WC this is should be eye opener to use the cricketing brain what australia does most off the time & be succesfull for almost 2decades.

  • android_user on April 9, 2014, 4:07 GMT

    It is really sad to know that Yuvraj home is been stoned ! he has won so many matches for India ! these people are not true cricket lover ! winnig and loosing is a part of a game ! I can understand how Yuvraj may be feeling now ! God will give him more strength and courage to fight , how he has defeated the cancer same way he will defeat the bad time and bad people.God bless Yuvraj and give him strength.

  • dummy4fb on April 9, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    Cricket is just a game, some times when opposition plays too good, one has to admit and appreciate..So well played SL.. Only fanatics do blame Yuvi for T20 final loss...Yuvi has been such a champion batsman throughout...We are with you Uvraj...

  • espncricinfomobile on April 8, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    There were four levels of error. First by selectors who included Yuvi in 15. Second by the coach by including Yuvi in the playing 11. Third by MSD by sending Yuvi at number 4 in the 11th over. Fourth by Yuvi taking his time to settle.

  • GrindAR on April 8, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    I am seeing the repeat of 1992 for 2015. Most of the matches will be decided by D/L method and remaining will be for fair ending. Finals will be played by two undeserving candidates (as per the group stage progression) and a sub-continent team will lift the trophy.

  • GrindAR on April 8, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    Fans in India should behave with responsibility. Shame on whoever involved in stoning.... They did for MSD before and they are doing again this time on Yuvi... If they have to throw stones, they should do it to themselves... do destroy the thoughts of stoning others... If a fan cannot accept defeat against a better show... they should hurt themselves instead of showing their anger on others...

    Seriously... they are not fit to be fans of any sport

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