West Indies v India, Group F, Bridgetown May 9, 2010

IPL comparison unfair - Dhoni


India won't be sad to wave goodbye to Barbados after an uncomfortable time against pace bowling. MS Dhoni was running out of reasons to explain his team's problems as their World Twenty20 hopes were left hanging by a thread, but Chris Gayle suggested it was a mental issue for the batsmen.

India now need a victory against Sri Lanka to retain any hope and even that might not be enough. As ever the scrutiny on the Indian team is huge and the problems of the top order are being dissected, especially as only a few weeks ago many of these batsmen were plundering runs at the IPL.

Suresh Raina brought his form to this tournament and began with 101 off 60 balls against South Africa, but that was on a much slower surface in St Lucia. Unlike at the IPL there has been no let-up in the quality of bowling in Barbados, and India haven't been able to cope against Australia or West Indies.

"The IPL is a very different from international cricket. You have four foreigners and don't have always the best bowling attack, you have to keep your side balanced," Dhoni said. "Most of the sides have maybe one bowler who bowls really good, really quick, but apart from that you try to target the weak links.

"But in international cricket most of the sides have got at least three bowlers, you can maybe target one or at the most two [bowlers]. I think the IPL is very different, it would be unfair to compare the IPL to international cricket. We are on the losing side and that's the fact right now."

India's frustrations threatened to boil over when Rohit Sharma questioned the caught decision against him and signalled for the umpire to check the TV replay. Billy Bowden stuck with his on-field call - the third official can only be used to determine a clean catch - and Sharma could be in hot water. Raina had earlier given a petulant display when he had an lbw appeal turned down which replays showed was easily missing leg stump.

Gayle was always confident his team would be able to exploit the Bridgetown surface in their favour, even though it wasn't the quickest pitch of the tournament. "They [India] are always going to be vulnerable against the short ball, every team has done it against them and it's something they have to look at and try to prepare better," he said.

"They know that every team would bowl short at them so they just need to work on their mental game and back themselves. They are capable of handling it but maybe it is just a mental thing so if they can overcome that I'm sure they'll be even more dangerous."

Gautam Gambhir, who was recently the No. 1 batsman in the world, was bounced out for the second game in succession when he received a brute from Kemar Roach and all West Indies' seamers - even the medium-pacers Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo - banged the ball in the short. India knew they would face such a barrage, but, despite the forewarning, were still troubled.

"It's not something that has appeared all of a sudden. You are equipped to deal with it in this format as they bowl consistently short stuff at you but you have to keep scoring," Dhoni said. "It's not easy but as the players get more experience at international level they will groom themselves and be ready for the task. Quite a few players, I don't think, have played this kind of bowling on this kind of track, we were slightly on the back foot but it's only good for Indian cricket."

That last comment from Dhoni suggests that conditions back home in India are not preparing batsmen for the challenges of playing overseas. It was a hurdle that seemed to have been crossed during the last decade as performances away from home improved markedly, but a batting line-up without the experienced figures of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid is struggling to adapt.

"We have prepared well," Dhoni insisted. "We knew they would use short-pitched deliveries, we practiced against short-pitched deliveries in the net sessions but until you don't face it in a game you are not match-aware of what is needed in that situation. You can do hundreds of things but when it comes to adaptation you have to be out in the middle and work it out, get a single, keep alternating the strike. If you keep backing off and keep playing the pull shot and people get out, it gets very difficult."

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Raja on May 15, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    Stop lobbying for waste fellows like Robin uthappa. Check his average both in domestic and International level at cricinfo.com.He is not even successful once in 7 matches. Check the way he got dismissed by the International bowlers. He is an absolute waste and could not utilized his opportunities. How many of the karnatka guys cry for uthappa if he is not from Karnataka. Go by class , Technic, potential and learning attributes. Take it as granted Robin Uthappa is not gonna shine at any international level for India. What we need is technically strong cricketers who can also play big shots and score faster like Tendulkar and Shewagh .I believe M.Vijay is a bright prospect on this. Only thing is he needs international exposure by playing county games or going for a special camp to NCA as suggested by Gavaskar. Dont discourage young talents they can do wonders if coached well.Can you deny that M.Vijay lacks technique and class. Why are u blaming selectors?

  • VASANTHI on May 15, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    Dhoni is now searching over the internet for "best excuses" for his horrible performance in the world cup. You need to go buddy. that is going to give you a taste of pain and frustration we cricket lovers of this country are going through at the moment. Dhoni is the leader and he needs to inspire his players. Leaders attittude is infectional. If the leader is laid back, all are laid back. Dhoni did not inspire his players. Dhoni did not want it. I also equally blame the selectors for choosing a bunch of fat out of form players to play an important tournament like world cup. Listen to his interview after the second match. He and his team did not deserve success. when india won the matches in the past, all the credit went to dhoni, and now he got to take the blame too for the failures. dhoni will try hard to win if you pay him money like chennai do. Look at the way he played for chennai. He should be totally removed from the team and let him play for money only.

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    Why India Faired Miserably in World T-20,2010..

    When India won the 2007 world cup, teh team had a fire in their bellies, wanting to prove a world a thing or two, they had the desire and passion, The same team after 1 year got overconfident and lacked discipline.

    here are the major factors contributing to India Poor Performance.

    1) how many 20-20 matches did india play after the 2009 world cup, so that we could understand our T-20 team combination.I Guess not more than 2-3 matches, whereas Pakistan, Australia & England played more. 2) Srikannth selected the team wrongly, he expected barbados to have slow turning pitches, ( wonder if the richest board sent some expert there to chk the pitches) when they knew very well that India would be playing their 2/3 super six matches in Barbados which will alone decide the fate of the indian team.for us to perorm there we neded to have 3-4 fast bowlers of calibre.( Umesh Yadav @ 145 kmph should have been there,or may be RP SINGH)

  • Raghav on May 13, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Its understandable that Rohit was punished for showing dissent at the umpire's decision but it is suprising that no one mentioned that the umpire called it wrong. The ball came off Rohit's left forearm. Most batsmen would not want to walk away if they know they are not out. That was a crucial call.as he was the only in-form batsman based on the previous match. To me that umpire call was the turning point of the match.But all this can happen in cricket. The only thing that can be done for the future is for the umpire to have the right to call the third umpire to confirm any doubts he has.we have several times in the past how one decision can change the course of the match.

  • Raja on May 13, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Well,interesting to see so much of comments for a game which not globally accepted or even by Olympics.We call ourself as the world champion by beating 12 opponents through a round robin league.When we fail we are taking the avatar of critic,selector and also as couch.Pl understand selectors consider people for the Indian team based on the performance of domestic games in the flat,slow pitches.IPl has given little more opportunity for domestic players to face at least 4 foreign players.Nothing wrong in considering IPL performance for selection as people are playing for money and to satisfy the franchisee owner they are really playing with maximum efforts. By seeing all the domestic performance including IPL+potential+Technic+form and they can take people and coach them for the next level at the International settings.They will get fast pitches only if they given a overseas trip.u cant expect miracles & give them time they wil shine.Dravid,Ganguly,Gambir even Tendulkar too time 2 settle

  • md on May 11, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    well really it has been a horrible performance by the indian team . especially the top order was pathetic .hope now india beats sl by 20 odd runs and aussies beat the home team.that is only possible if dhoni wins the toss and ELECTS TO BAT and doesnt repeat the mistake done in the last 2 matches . hope INDIA QUALIFY FOR SEMIS

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    I guess this is where India misses Sehwag (both in last T20 WC and this). With him bowlers have to think a lot before playing silly mind games and even if they think a lot he can screw everything if he is in the marauding mood. India lacks such a brutal batter.

  • Krishna on May 11, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    If my assumptions are right, NOW, India WILL get to the semis, disproving the current odds! In all the IPLs also so far the results have been unpredictable ( at that stage of tournament /match)

  • Arun on May 11, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    It will be very difficult under pressure to beat SL by that margin. It would take some serious character and a tinge of luck as well. Last year, we could not win a game in the Super 8s stage. We'll have to just wait and see with no serious expectations from a team that is clearly under pressure. We've heard the story of the Phoenix. And, it would be truly inspiring if our guys emualte that character. India today needs more of such inspirational stories. I remember the 2002 Natwest Trophy victory. It was a fairy tale run we had once tottering at 146/5 chasing 326 with young Yuvraj and Kaif at the crease. We eventually went on to win the game. That night will remain etched forever in our memories. We need a repeat of it here. No expectations whatsoever, I don't want to put myself under pressure. Good luck Team India.

  • ahmed on May 10, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    To all you Indian fans just face it Indian players are no good against any sort of pace bowlers, i mean they couldnt even handle Sammy lol. Away from home India are hopeless as they can only play spin yawn India are going home bye bye.

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