England v India, ICC World Twenty20, Lord's June 14, 2009

Pace barrage leaves India ducking out

India's weakness against the short ball on a lively pitch was exposed by West Indies a couple of days ago at Lord's and England exploited it to the hilt to send the defending champions crashing out of the ICC World Twenty20
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India's weakness against the short ball on a lively pitch was exposed by West Indies a couple of days ago at Lord's and England exploited it to the hilt to send the defending champions crashing out of the ICC World Twenty20. England's fast bowlers sent down a volley of bouncers and back-of-a-length deliveries, aimed at head, neck and chest, rendering India's top-order batsmen helpless during their Powerplay, a period in which the game was won and lost.

A succession of bowlers, from Ryan Sidebottom to Luke Wright, concentrated on not giving the batsmen anything in their half of the pitch and got the ball to rear off the surface. And no one, from Gautam Gambhir to Ravindra Jadeja, could counter the barrage effectively. It was startling to watch batsmen with formidable Twenty20 reputations hop, jump and fend, make futile attempts to pull and hook, and eventually perish to the short ball. They could do little else, for balls full enough to drive, wide enough to cut, and straight enough to glance were a rarity.

Rohit Sharma fell while pulling for the second time in a row: against West Indies he skied a short ball from Fidel Edwards while today he played Sidebottom on to his stumps. Gambhir hit boundaries - a drive and a flick off James Anderson - when the ball was pitched up but his attempts to pull barely cleared the infield. Suresh Raina kept transferring his weight on to the front foot, only to struggle for time and space as the short ball hurried on to him. He looked a pale shadow of the hard-hitting batsman on show during the IPL in South Africa and eventually top-edged a bouncer from Sidebottom.

Jadeja, who India gambled on by sending him at No. 4, was painfully out of his depth, the quality of fast bowling far superior to any of the IPL attacks he succeeded against. India hobbled to 36 for 2 after the Powerplay and the struggle against the short ball did not ease up even after the field restrictions were lifted.

India were one of the favourites going into the tournament, a billing based largely on the strength of their batsmen, rich in Twenty20 experience and renowned for smashing the ball into the stands. The majority of those reputations, though, were acquired on the flat pitches of the subcontinent, the stamp-sized grounds in New Zealand, and on South African surfaces that were slower during the winter.

Those who observed Raina batting in New Zealand, for instance, would have watched several mis-timed pulls and hooks clear the small boundaries. And Yusuf Pathan, who carried Rajasthan to victory during the initial stages of the 2009 IPL, was seen to struggle against the short ball later in the tournament. Even Yuvraj Singh, who has success against most medium-pacers, irrespective of the length they bowl, struggles when the really quick ones bounce him.

"It's not the first the first time it is happening to us," Dhoni said. "Even if you see in the last World Twenty20 in South Africa, the wickets were lively. The bouncer was used [then as well] but we adapted pretty well last time. Whenever you go out of the subcontinent, you play fast bowlers who bowl bouncers against you.

"They [England] bowled the bouncer really well. They used the short balls and mixed them with slower bouncers. There are quite a few lessons to be learnt from this, hopefully during the time we have off from here, we can really look to work on this area."

India were deprived of the one batsman who had worked on his weakness against the short ball. Virender Sehwag used to succumb when bowlers targeted his body with the short-pitched delivery - England have used that ploy against him - but in recent series he's added the hook and the flick off his hips to his repertoire of shots. And few other Indian batsmen have Sehwag's hand-eye coordination and gumption to send a slightly wider short ball sailing over the backward point and third man boundaries with a rapier like slash.

The Indian team that was beaten today barely resembled the six-hitting, world-beating, brimming-with-confidence team they were talked up to be. England came at them with one plan and it succeeded: the Indian challenge was bounced out. South Africa will have been watching and India, with nothing more than pride to play for, can expect more of the same from Dale Steyn and Wayne Parnell at Trent Bridge.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • KapilVijan on June 15, 2009, 15:38 GMT

    Its not that by loosing out in this tournament, the world ends here. India will have to learn to adopt to the conditions. The same strategy won't work all the time. Dhoni always had luck with newcomers be it Praveen Kumar, Yusuf Pathan etc. This is probably the 1st time he sent Jadeja to do what he expects his newcomers to do, and he couldn't deliver. Spare a pity for the poor fellow... I hope they learn and show a better performance against South Africa

  • mardrol on June 15, 2009, 13:59 GMT

    it was so very disappointing to see india lose.i really feel for yusuf and yuvraj who showed a lot of character yesterday.spare a thought for the most hyped cricket team in the world.hope they'll come good in west indies next year.

  • dipuprits on June 15, 2009, 13:37 GMT

    Contd from previous post...It was their worst day and yet the result show it was a close game. Even on their worst day, they were a match to England's best show, that says it all. On their best day, any team can win a match but very few of them can give a fight even on their worst day. That says something about the character of this team. This defeat is only going to help the team get stronger. Watch out for their future matches!!!

  • dipuprits on June 15, 2009, 13:33 GMT

    Whenever India wins, people keep praising them and the moment they loose, that's it, all hell breaks out. Every team have good series and bad series. India did not have a good one. They looked out of sorts, but there is no doubt about the talent. Everybody is just blasting Jadeja. Clearly he was under pressure and could not make it up this time. It is character building for all these youngsters. He is only 20 and has a long way to go. This is not the end of anything for the Indian team. We have one of the best captains in Dhoni and the team has the capacity to turn things around for themselves. England were good only in their bouncers but their batting was also not all that great. If not for Harbajan's 10 extra runs by 4 wides twice, their total would have looked below par. And even with this struggling touch, India fell short of only 3 runs. Contd... in the next post

  • aneesh.r on June 15, 2009, 13:27 GMT

    @msusmani, that's a very harsh thing to say about indian fans. We have supported our team India through thick and thin hence reaching this far. Frankly, England don't deserve too much credit for their performance - I don't see too much talent in their side apart from KP. Just look back to England's performance in India - not a hint of a fight or anything of the sorts.. A 5-0 drubbing (if not more!) followed by a comfortable test victory for us. If a singular T20 victory gives you great satisfaction, then live in your small world. When India play England again in the future, they wouldn't know what hit them..

  • Royy on June 15, 2009, 12:46 GMT

    @ msusmani Stop taking cheap shots at anything related to Indian cricket, be it the BCCI, the IPL, the Indian team and its supporters, to make up for your travails caused by the inadequacies of your country. Give one factual evidence where a losing side did not focus on where it went astray to give any credence to your accusations. Criticizing one's national team for perceived lack of application or abilities does not come at the expense of being disrespectful towards the opponent. I didn't see a single poster discrediting England below, but all told, 153 is not a mammoth score and India reached 150 despite being shoddy against short-pitched bowling. There wasn't anything spectacular in England's display either. A lot remains inexplicable to the Indian fan in terms of planning and application in yesterday's match and he has every right to give expression to that. Your logic in calling it irrational and so forth is outright juvenile and if I may add, reeks of jealous opportunism.

  • Nagapattinam-Kunjumani on June 15, 2009, 12:39 GMT

    England played better cricket and they won the match. Period! Not all games can be won by the favorites. In fact the once illustrious Aussies were bade adieu even before the super eights. But for people talking about India's hype, I'd like to remind them that the most hyped up cricketing team in the world is England despite the fact that they almost played an 'away' match at home yesterday. We need to remember the fact that even after deploying their heavy 'short ball' studded plan, they managed to win the game only by 3 runs, thanks to some great ball consuming techniques by the Indian batsmen. On the planning front, agreed, RP Singh should've finished his full quota of 4 overs but promoting Jadeja to no 4 was a test plan that failed. All those blaming Dhoni now would be sitting in the other side of the court if it had clicked. Anyways, many congrats to the English team for winning the match but they could just be hours away before Windies show them the exit door.

  • Avid.Cricket.Watcher on June 15, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    The way India have lost in the last 2 games could prove to be a blessing in disguise for the long-term benefit of Indian cricket (batting in particular). I'm sure all young Indian batsmen (including Rohit and Raina, who still remain 2 super-talented cricketers) will now work doubly hard on their backfoot techniques. In defence and in attack. These were T20 matches, and yet they showed that good technique against quick short bowling is always going to be paramount. And bowlers around the world are going to keep reminding young Indian batsmen about this even more from now on!

  • satyasainvs on June 15, 2009, 11:18 GMT

    India should change back to their traditional colour of dress MEN IN BLUE rather than faded grey.. which is faded their changes to claim world cup again..

  • msusmani on June 15, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    It's fun to see so many big mouthed Indian supporters like that....they loose their sense of rationality and respect for others when they win.....but man....aren't their team and supporters are so bad losers....they could have given the credit to England so easily but they just kept on their old stance...India is the world...so it has to win...now that India is out....should we call the tournament ....."Out of this World Cup T-20"?

    Well played England.....excellent show of T20 cricket.

  • KapilVijan on June 15, 2009, 15:38 GMT

    Its not that by loosing out in this tournament, the world ends here. India will have to learn to adopt to the conditions. The same strategy won't work all the time. Dhoni always had luck with newcomers be it Praveen Kumar, Yusuf Pathan etc. This is probably the 1st time he sent Jadeja to do what he expects his newcomers to do, and he couldn't deliver. Spare a pity for the poor fellow... I hope they learn and show a better performance against South Africa

  • mardrol on June 15, 2009, 13:59 GMT

    it was so very disappointing to see india lose.i really feel for yusuf and yuvraj who showed a lot of character yesterday.spare a thought for the most hyped cricket team in the world.hope they'll come good in west indies next year.

  • dipuprits on June 15, 2009, 13:37 GMT

    Contd from previous post...It was their worst day and yet the result show it was a close game. Even on their worst day, they were a match to England's best show, that says it all. On their best day, any team can win a match but very few of them can give a fight even on their worst day. That says something about the character of this team. This defeat is only going to help the team get stronger. Watch out for their future matches!!!

  • dipuprits on June 15, 2009, 13:33 GMT

    Whenever India wins, people keep praising them and the moment they loose, that's it, all hell breaks out. Every team have good series and bad series. India did not have a good one. They looked out of sorts, but there is no doubt about the talent. Everybody is just blasting Jadeja. Clearly he was under pressure and could not make it up this time. It is character building for all these youngsters. He is only 20 and has a long way to go. This is not the end of anything for the Indian team. We have one of the best captains in Dhoni and the team has the capacity to turn things around for themselves. England were good only in their bouncers but their batting was also not all that great. If not for Harbajan's 10 extra runs by 4 wides twice, their total would have looked below par. And even with this struggling touch, India fell short of only 3 runs. Contd... in the next post

  • aneesh.r on June 15, 2009, 13:27 GMT

    @msusmani, that's a very harsh thing to say about indian fans. We have supported our team India through thick and thin hence reaching this far. Frankly, England don't deserve too much credit for their performance - I don't see too much talent in their side apart from KP. Just look back to England's performance in India - not a hint of a fight or anything of the sorts.. A 5-0 drubbing (if not more!) followed by a comfortable test victory for us. If a singular T20 victory gives you great satisfaction, then live in your small world. When India play England again in the future, they wouldn't know what hit them..

  • Royy on June 15, 2009, 12:46 GMT

    @ msusmani Stop taking cheap shots at anything related to Indian cricket, be it the BCCI, the IPL, the Indian team and its supporters, to make up for your travails caused by the inadequacies of your country. Give one factual evidence where a losing side did not focus on where it went astray to give any credence to your accusations. Criticizing one's national team for perceived lack of application or abilities does not come at the expense of being disrespectful towards the opponent. I didn't see a single poster discrediting England below, but all told, 153 is not a mammoth score and India reached 150 despite being shoddy against short-pitched bowling. There wasn't anything spectacular in England's display either. A lot remains inexplicable to the Indian fan in terms of planning and application in yesterday's match and he has every right to give expression to that. Your logic in calling it irrational and so forth is outright juvenile and if I may add, reeks of jealous opportunism.

  • Nagapattinam-Kunjumani on June 15, 2009, 12:39 GMT

    England played better cricket and they won the match. Period! Not all games can be won by the favorites. In fact the once illustrious Aussies were bade adieu even before the super eights. But for people talking about India's hype, I'd like to remind them that the most hyped up cricketing team in the world is England despite the fact that they almost played an 'away' match at home yesterday. We need to remember the fact that even after deploying their heavy 'short ball' studded plan, they managed to win the game only by 3 runs, thanks to some great ball consuming techniques by the Indian batsmen. On the planning front, agreed, RP Singh should've finished his full quota of 4 overs but promoting Jadeja to no 4 was a test plan that failed. All those blaming Dhoni now would be sitting in the other side of the court if it had clicked. Anyways, many congrats to the English team for winning the match but they could just be hours away before Windies show them the exit door.

  • Avid.Cricket.Watcher on June 15, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    The way India have lost in the last 2 games could prove to be a blessing in disguise for the long-term benefit of Indian cricket (batting in particular). I'm sure all young Indian batsmen (including Rohit and Raina, who still remain 2 super-talented cricketers) will now work doubly hard on their backfoot techniques. In defence and in attack. These were T20 matches, and yet they showed that good technique against quick short bowling is always going to be paramount. And bowlers around the world are going to keep reminding young Indian batsmen about this even more from now on!

  • satyasainvs on June 15, 2009, 11:18 GMT

    India should change back to their traditional colour of dress MEN IN BLUE rather than faded grey.. which is faded their changes to claim world cup again..

  • msusmani on June 15, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    It's fun to see so many big mouthed Indian supporters like that....they loose their sense of rationality and respect for others when they win.....but man....aren't their team and supporters are so bad losers....they could have given the credit to England so easily but they just kept on their old stance...India is the world...so it has to win...now that India is out....should we call the tournament ....."Out of this World Cup T-20"?

    Well played England.....excellent show of T20 cricket.

  • atomant1122 on June 15, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    Oh....I'd like to see england try this with Sri Lanka. Sanath, Kumar, Mahela & Dilshan will love this type of bowling. Sri Lanka is easily the most balanced team to win this time's tournament. But on the day...who knows?

  • CricketPissek on June 15, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    it was a fascinating match to watch as a neutral. indian fans may now realise that T20 cricket is such a fickle game, and it should be enjoyed as such. one bad tournament doesnt make a bad team. however, as nasser hussain pointed out, most indian batsmen's techniques are lacking badly against short sharp bowling. kudos to england (and the Windies) for exploiting this superbly. india being out of this could be good for the T20 game. they need to go home and regroup. they're a professional outfit, and i'm sure their pride was hurt badly. they'll be back all-guns-ablazing i'm sure.

  • BiggerAl66 on June 15, 2009, 10:21 GMT

    I thought England would get blown away by India yesterday, but India's fielding and bowling let them down badly and allowed England to make 10-15 more runs than they should have. Why didn't R P Singh bowl his full allocation and why didn't Yousuf Pathan get a bowl? It was clearly a "160" wicket and not a "180" wicket as some experts were claiming. If Engand manage to beat the West Indies in what is effectively a quarter final, then England definitely deserve to be in the semi finals, but I think West Indies are a very good side and will take some beating.

  • zain2970 on June 15, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    Why is it so dfificult for people to admit that Indian batsmen have a problem against short pitched bowling. Not the half track cannon fodder they usually recive in their first class encounters.......(or recently what 20/20 cricket has thrown up), but genuine quick short pitched bowling. What is actually hard for most people to swallow is the meek capitulation of the new age "Gods " of Indian batting.........the Raina's and the Rohit's of the world. 20/20 cricket might have given them the freedom to express their front-font play more extravagantly, but lack of being tested on the back-foot has covered ther glaring short-commings (especially on the internation stage), which were in evidence yesterday.

  • onco on June 15, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    India's strength over the years has been their batting. Most of those great batsmen including Tendulkar, ganguly, Dravid and Laxman are no more in the team. All of them were technically sound, whereas most of present day batsmen are over-attacking but technically weak. On subcontinent pitches or against weaker bowling they are lethal, but against quality team on fast bouncy pitches their life is not easy. With Sahwag out, much depends on Yuvraj but he is mentally not as strong as Tendulkar.

  • SehwagShow on June 15, 2009, 10:11 GMT

    -when 9 were needed to win off last two balls, yusuf didnt hit four/six so they just ran 1 thinking game was over and gave up running for 2, but if they did get 2 then yusuf would have faced last ball and could have hit 6 to tie! dhoni lost his coolness... -teams now know that dhoni can only really hit big down the ground, they bowl yorkers at him and all he can do is pick up 1s and 2s, dhoni needs to change his game.. -rp singh was brought in as main bowler, had good figures but was only given 3 overs, ishant was given 4 overs even though he was getting smashed..rp should have been straight swap for ishant and ohja should have played instead of jadeja.. -I don't blame jadeja, they should have sent message out to him earlier to say there is no point wasting balls, hit out or get out.. -india showed they can not face short pitched bowling, it was obvious england would do this but they could not cope..

  • Royy on June 15, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    (contd. from previous post) 5. Fielding as if there were 11 Gangulys on the turf. It seems that despite the much-animated hue and cry about a young team being directly proportional to a manifold raise in fielding standards, India have managed to only nudge past Pakistan when it comes to fielding, which, I believe, is a feat that won't make even the most jingoistic Indian very ecstatic.

    Second innings:

    1. Jadeja's baffling poking and proding for over 30 balls. The instruction should have been clearly communicated to him that if he manages to weather the initial storm (8-10 deliveries), his sole objective would be to throw his bat at anything, failing which he must get out.

    2. Nobody except Yuvraj and to some extent Pathan, showed any intention to attack the English spinners. It appears all the more inexplicable because nobody looked anywhere near comfortable against the pacers.

    3. Dhoni's inept batting at the death and extremely lacklustre running between the wickets.

  • Royy on June 15, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    (contd. from previous post) 4. Harbhajan Singh, though is a fine bowler, showed a clear lack of homework by trying to fire the ball down Mascarenhas' leg-stump, thereby resulting in 10 extra runs and 2 extra deliveries. Mascarenhas is another product of the British Press who are the most adept of making a mountain out of a molehill. In like manner, over the years they hailed Dominic Cork as next Allan Donald, Andrew Flintoff as next Ian Botham, Devon Malcolm as the British Malcolm Marshall, Graeme Hick as another Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Harmison as a better Glenn McGrath and the list continues endlessly. The recently concluded IPL should have been enough to stress the mediocrity of Mascarenhas as a batsman and his glaring lack of shots except some laughable hoiks and jabs towards the leg-side. A simple off-spin or doosra on the off stump would have been enough to leave him confounded. (contd.)

  • shabir on June 15, 2009, 10:02 GMT

    Even though I am a Pak fan, the loss of India to the tournament is regrettable. A lot of flair and excitement goes out with the departure of India. T20 is all about flash and panache. It is a game meant to be played with emotion and enthusiasm, as opposed to the dour drawn out longer versions of the game. I do feel that this flash and panache by the Indian team was taken too far out of their game practically, and into their heads mentally. They were just too confident, and as a result arrogant. Only yesterday in a prematch interview, when Gough mentioned that England could post a total of 140 at least, Farooq Engineer boasted that if that happened, 'India would cruise it'. And when someone mentioned India had a long tail, Mr Engineer said with the players India have, their tail will not need to bat. I feel that sort of arrogance was prevailed in the Indian camp, and prevented them from practicing appropriately and studying the opposition's weaknesses. They will handle anything encounte

  • Royy on June 15, 2009, 10:02 GMT

    (contd. from previous post) 2. To give Ishant Sharma an over at the late stage. Ishant Sharma is one cricketer who continuously transports us to Shakespeare's "Much Ado about Nothing". India has one of the weakest bowling line-ups for ODIs and T20s of which he is again the weakest link. He neither has a good yorker nor a decent bouncer and his slower balls while a rarity, are almost always innocuous half-trackers that any batsman can hit through either side in 6 different manners. It was a blunder to field him in the eleven in the first place as he brings nothing to the table. At least Irfan Pathan can bat a bit and though bowls like a fast spinner, appears to have more variety than Sharma and therefore a better ability to curb batsmen from scoring fast runs.

    3. Not finishing RP Singh's quota of overs, despite his RPO of below 5. (contd.)

  • Royy on June 15, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    (contd from previous post) Tactical blunders, inexplicable decisions and tepid performance in the England game:

    First innings - 1. To give Yuvraj an over at that stage. It appears that Dhoni was the one most affected by all the public-hullabaloo about the 'pie-chucker' issue. The pitch didn't assist any spin unlike in India where Yuvraj managed to dismiss KP a few times. Moreover, two of the best English batsmen against spin were in the crease at that time and it was Bopara who faced the first ball of Yuvraj's first over. For all Dhoni knew at that stage, KP may not have faced a single ball in the over, which is how it nearly panned out except for the last ball that he had to face, while Bopara took full toll of the hapless Yuvraj. If giving Yuvraj the ball then was obtuse, continuing with him for another over was a howler. One has to note that Yuvraj mostly bowls slow loopy balls that shouldn't ideally bother any half-decent batsman and luck won't be by your side every day. (contd.)

  • Royy on June 15, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    (contd from previous post) Planning: Perhaps it was the false sense of security that IPL injected into Dhoni and his merry men that they started taking things for granted insofaras continuing with a bizarre batting order all through the practice games and those against the minnows at the start of the tournament. In doing so, Raina, billed as a "perfect no.3", never got any exposure to the English conditions, which, for all we know, may have shaken him out of his complacency, thereby helping him to at least come up with some contingency plan against short-pitched bowling to avoid looking like a fish out of water as he did in the past week. Nor was Yousuf Pathan given a bat to acclimatize with the conditions sooner.

  • Royy on June 15, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    I concur with some of the sentiments expressed below by sandeep1978. Indeed, as he pointed out ironically, age can never be a substitute for quality nor the sole criterion for selection. However, I think it would be a fallacy to revert to fatalism in excusing India's loss. Notwithstanding the very fact that India never was or looked like to be among the top 4 T20 sides (to get the perspective one must remember that since the T20 WC win, India practically lost every T20 international they played, one of which by a record margin against Australia in Melbourne) it is instructive to observe how poor planning and insipid captaincy led to the further downfall of a much-gimmicked team. I would try to delineate below the symptoms in the context of overall lead-up to the tournament and the England game. (contd.)

  • SamRoy on June 15, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    The three reasons India lost are 1. Ishant Sharma's bowling (why in hell does he get to play T-20's for India in crucial games when he cant bowl yorkers or mix up his length or pace) 2. Ravindra Jadeja's batting (it was an abomination to say the least -- 25 off 35 wasting 10 balls making things much harder for remaining batsman) 3. Harbhajan Singh's 10 wides (those 2 balls down the leg side that went for boundaries. Indiscipline from India's most experianced bowler.).

    In T20 it's these little things that make the difference between winning and losing.

  • bonaku on June 15, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    I don't think England where too great, they just did enough (as India lost with just 3 runs not 30 runs). It is just that dhoni is not positive enough. He should stop worrying about stabilizing (mid) innings and think about getting runs on the board. He came to the middle against Bangladesh and one more team and slowed the run rate and today he send the ravi. In additions, they didn't realize that they are too vulnerable to shot pitch balls on bouncy tracks. I think they just need to practice it for a while. Tendulkar did well against shot pitch stuff in CB series (when they won it last year), he hit them (shot pitch) over WK. India should have taken a clue from that. But i think next time they will be strong and will be in a position to steam roll England for one more 5-0 drub.

  • irfanulhaq on June 15, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    Mr. Kaiser, who cares that Indian team is better than others, as this team is already out of the tournament. Considerting indian team better than other teams is your mistake & it is called as OVER CONFIDENCE which cost india road block to semi final. Now the players of indian team must have realized that there is huge difference of playing in IPL against some midcore local bowlers than playing against a quality bowling attack. In IPL if we exempt some International bowler like Dyle Styne, Fidel Edawrds, no one from indian bolwers is able to bowl quick, most of the bolwers which i saw are gentle medium pacers with along run up, the fastest bowler of india is Ishant shama who barely bowl more than 135kps. But when you face International bowlers they will beat you with 90mps short pitch deliveries. There is huge difference between 77 - 84 mps to 90- 95 mps of speeds.

  • rtom on June 15, 2009, 9:28 GMT

    its good that India lost and out of the tournament !

  • navathej on June 15, 2009, 9:22 GMT

    Even though i'm an indian . i really enjoyed yesterdays match i'm a hardcore cricket fanatic it was a treat to watch real skillful bowling exploiting the flaws of much hyped indian batting. with all due credit to england's pace-man indian batsmen have been found wanting they have been found out technically. its as simple as that Never compare local competitions like IPL to a world stage game u wont get 3 to 4 bowlers continously bombarding u from all ends with such skilled art of fast bowling in IPLs or local tournaments. being a champions once isnt implied that u r the best in the game INDIA dint just lose the game but they lost the pride in being known as champions..the thing which australia maintained for over a decade [:o]

  • BellCurve on June 15, 2009, 9:13 GMT

    India's team has always been dominated by flat track bullies and spin whizzards. That is why they seldom perform on lively pitches. Look at India's test record. They have won only four times on lively tracks in their entire history: Oval 1971, Kingston 2006, J'burg 2006 and Perth 2008. All foreign groundsmen should take note.

  • scritty on June 15, 2009, 8:55 GMT

    Lol. 10 days ago I was defending England (primarily against Indian cricket fans) Comments too rude for me to even re-print were posted on the summary of Englands loss. But "England are a disgrace, this is a world cup, they dishonour it" summed up many. 2 Things. This is NOT a World Cup. The Indian cricket board championed in 2007 that this tournament did NOT GET World cup status. Secondly we just knocked India out. How do you like THEM apples ? England are a poor T20 side, and do not deserve to be semi finalists.I hope the WI beat them today, it would make for a far better semi. But India lost last night because they were outplayed. To say it was overconfidence is to discredit the England team with beating them fair and square. If anything MS Dhoni lacked confidence. Yuvraj was protected and the openers looked to nudge it around. End of the day India failed against good pace bowling on a game pitch. It's disengenuous to deceive yourself that it was anything different.

  • SettingSun on June 15, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    What a surprise, a long list of Indian supporters lamenting the failure of their own overrated players and an almost complete failure to recognise an outstanding bowling and fielding display from England. Shame.

  • SneakStranger on June 15, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    I think its a big shame on the Indian public rather than Team India's failure. Indian Citizens praise the team when they win a single match and they literrally curse the players when they lose a match. This sort of attitude really discourages the team to perform well. We as Indians, should always support our team irrespective of winning or loosing the game. I really came across so many people yesterday who really cursed MS Dhoni, but they actually tend to forget that He is the one who got us the world cup 2 years back. I strongly believe this attitude from the public should change. Winning and Loosing is a part of sports. You cant expect a team to perform well in all the matches they play. So just cheer up and keep your support throughtout!

  • Anee.. on June 15, 2009, 8:16 GMT

    I think team India should learn something from this defeat.First of all they were overconfident that they can win this tournament and become the champions again.They didnt looked like a champion team at all! Sehwag became a big diference.Itz the time to show Ishant Sharma the way out.The decision to include Jadeja was a stupidity.His not capable of hard hitting.He was playing as if it was an ODI. Players are now concentrating on advertisement not in the game.They dont have time to receive Arjuna awards but they have time for advertisement.These players should be kept out of the team. In total,the team desrved this defeat and now they are out of the world cup.......

  • ihaq1 on June 15, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    well india did not want to win..the way yuvraj and dhoni played and why yusuf pathan backed out from hitting the ball was a surefire depiction of orders wrongly given...when u have 15 balls left the only thing u should think about is hit a six..people like dhoni, yuvraj and yusuf pathan can a hit any ball for six...why did they back down...yuvraj seemed tobe waiting for dhonis orders that never came...dhoni and yusuf refused to go after teh ball...many think the indians might have.. sold the match...when the ball is short u hit over teh keepers head...u dont pull it...u can hit one fast bouncer over mid on or mid wicket..the easiest however is to go over sqare leg...long on or third man...probably teh coach did not realize that teh balls would be coming thic and fast...they could not even hit teh spinner for six...and having watched dhoni and yuvraj and yusuf despatch almost impossible deliveries for six before it seemed a contrived defeat...

  • raja_sangli on June 15, 2009, 7:57 GMT

    We have lost because of overconfidence, over arrogance & may be by complancency. Dhoni's luck also let him down. First by Sehwag's injury & also his batting form. He was never the same hitter after he took over the captaincy. Old warriors like Zaheer & few others were liabilities while fielding. Rohit was successful against weaker teams, but he failed in crunch situations. Yusuf was not given a over against England evenafter he was successful against Westindies. Why ? Ishant was given four overs who gave away 9 runs per over, while RP was given 3 overs when he gave away just 4 runs per over. Is this good captaincy ? Also some players were missing who had done great or well in this IPL like A. Nayar, Badrinath, Dinesh Kartik, Manish Pandey, Amit Singh who were better than those who were selected in this team. Hope that selection will be better & also strateging, planning will be pin point. Dhoni need to rediscover his flamboyant touch with bat. Good luck, India

  • vickyitbiz on June 15, 2009, 7:54 GMT

    India boasted its strengths and England exploited India's weaknesses. Short balls are a night mare for Indian batsmen. seems like they r afraid to practice them in nets too. Indians were seen struggling like hell and never in the tournament really got going except yuvraj. losing sehwag was a big blow. rohit was never a replacement. keeping raina down the order for the initial matches never allowed him to come to form. Indian bowlers were happy with their status quo. When all other team bowlers can adapt to the new tactics, why can't India?? One can blame Dhoni for his experiments at the cost of the team. had sehwag been there, it would added to the team morale. hats off to yuvraj and yusuf for their lively contribution.

  • girikula on June 15, 2009, 7:50 GMT

    India lost because they played poor cricket. I don't understand why ppl compare with IPL all the time. Leave IPL and ICL aside. India were labelled best team based on their current strength (International victories) and being defending champions. Not because all players were heros in IPL. If people call IPL stars as zeros, then are all other intenational stars who clicked in IPL zeros? (incl - warne, gilichrist, grame smith, bravo, gibbs, hayden, kallis????) India were overconfident and failed - its as simple as that. Sewag would have defnitely made the difference. Just look back how many good openings India got recently without Sewag? Dhoni missed on value-add from Sewag and RP Singh - which cost the tourney, thats it. Dhoni's ego also cost the trophy for India,.

  • Kingfreak on June 15, 2009, 7:50 GMT

    Nasser Hussain in the last over commented "Say whatever you want, the pressure of being favourates, or whatever, you can't deny that this Indian team is found technically wanting" That sums it up; One thng that keeps striking to me is that, when situations don't favour us, more so when it surprises us, this team panics. What this team needs to do is bring finished & completed sportsmen to compete at the highest levels; half a dozen half bakes dont consitently win you matches. No surprise, we are out!

  • mardrol on June 15, 2009, 7:49 GMT

    well too many options for dhoni and no idea which one to choose.dhoni just missed the trick this time around completely right from the funny press conference to the last two overs where he refused to take two and just was content with singles.when only a single was available he went for two and almost ran out pathan.this exposes his captaincy wide open.had misbah not played that shot in the first place back there in 2007,anyone would have scuffed dhoni for choosing joginder sharma to bowl the last over.even the matches against ireland bangladesh were pretty ordinary while south africa and nz were killing the minnows.so it was actually pretty evident right from the warm-ups that india were not going to reach the semis. so no feelings as there are much tougher and deserving teams that are going to lift the trophy this time around.i would love to see either West Indies or South Africa lift the trophy.

  • irfanulhaq on June 15, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    Mr. Kaiser, who cares that Indian team is better than others, as this team is already out of the tournament. Considerting indian team better than other teams is your mistake & it is called as OVER CONFIDENCE which cost india road block to semi final. Now the players of indian team must have realized that there is huge difference of playing in IPL against some midcore local bowlers than playing against a quality bowling attack. In IPL if we exempt some International bowler like Dyle Styne, Fidel Edawrds, no one from indian bolwers is able to bowl quick, most of the bolwers which i saw are gentle medium pacers with along run up, the fastest bowler of india is Ishant shama who barely bowl more than 135kps. But when you face International bowlers they will beat you with 90mps short pitch deliveries.

  • Roamer on June 15, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    I think Indian team deserved to lose because of their approach to the game, after the game against WI, when their weakness against bouncers was exploited the team and their captain rudely rejected the practice session next day .... as if to say they dont have any problems against bouncers and they dont need to work on their technique. Less we say about over confident captaincy of Dhoni the better, one of the major reasons why they lost yesterday was his captaincy .... why give Ishant the full quota when he has time and again proven he is not the ideal Twenty20 bowler and guess what RP was bowling much better then him, he didnt get the full quota. Then sending Jadeja was a major blunder and evident to everyone. Dhoni's batting and keeping is a real worry .... he thinks he is flying too high and I think he should be axed for a few matches so that he understands he is not bigger then the game.

  • indoreboy on June 15, 2009, 7:15 GMT

    truly said- a complete team failure. if only we would have bowled better.... fielded better....batted better: they know what they have lost. India is no doubt a good team.but just go a game back, v/s indies once dhoni couldn't score well, even his captaincy was effected. probably, its the first time the blame has come over his individual performance, has a lot more to think about. somewhere it feels like ipl is doing some harm to the team. may be its the ego clashes or more doubts over the captain's decisions...blah blah. just imagine if instead of ipl india could have played some series altogether. hmm...in the end of the day u may say they are professional but u don't forget those glazes while u played against the same. and seriously yuvraj was no best as well, just batting good is not enough for misfields u do or the singles u deny to take.

    hopefully india returns as a better united team. and be a proper cricket fan

  • KannanAnanya on June 15, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    it is easy to criticize the team when it lost. but dhoni's plight also into consideration. sehwag virtually cheated him by hiding his injury, ishant & rohit promised much in practice matches and slipped when it came to the real test, raina could not get enough practice in the practice matches, RP bowled badly in practice matches, etc. he trusted jadeja who snubbed him. that is his only mistake. he should have walked in at no.3. pl learn to be cool even under defeats.

  • kris6225 on June 15, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    Seeing our rising stars perishing to the short balls was painful. Fidel Edwards closed the doors on our teams hopes on making it to the next round, exposing our weakness. I don't think our players are not capable of dealing with short balls, they are not used to dealing with 6 short balls in a over on a pacy pitch and they weren't ready for it. This failure is no different from our failure against Mendis in Srilanka. Yusuf and Dhoni made a terrible logic mistake in the middle today, they ran just one run of the penultimate ball, they should have gone for two. If two wides down the leg side to the boundary by Bajji was bad, actually mis-fielding one of those by Yuvi to the boundary was worse. Even with out top order failure against the short ball, if it wasn't for those mistakes by our players we might have won the match.

  • kaiser1 on June 15, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    What i believe is that Indian team still is a force to reckon with. They are a much better team than present Pakistani team and most of the other in this tournament but what is mind boggling is to see the inclusion of Ravinder Jadeja at the eleventh hour to a team which needed someone to lift the spirits. Even RJ is a good player but his batting position was not a good strategy as he wasted a lot of balls and what else can one say. i don't think so as someone said that the match was fixed. Dhoni gets a lot of money from other sources i.e. advertising and IPL so why should he fix the match at such an important tournament but the motivating factor was missing from this team in yesterday's match. I'm Pakistan fan but i feel for Indian fans. This team has done wonders b4 so be hopeful of revival. Win in NZ after 40 years and thrashing of Aussies is not a distant memory. But 2 losses in 2 matches looks ugly.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on June 15, 2009, 6:57 GMT

    I would say its unfair to bunch Yousuf Pathan with the mistakes made by Sharma, Raina and Gambhir. In both games Pathan played the same bowling as those 3 and the difference is even though he looked awkward against the short stuff he did not get out to it. In addition he tonked the ball when it was in the zone and bided his time when it was not. Thats good cricketing acumen, the sort the top three failed to display.

  • whiteball on June 15, 2009, 6:50 GMT

    When I saw the number of TV commercials involving the Indian captain, I knew the trophy would not be going back to India. The plight of Indian cricket continues

  • RCPK on June 15, 2009, 6:50 GMT

    Absence of a player like Dravid who can play well against Short Balls has made the way for Indian Debacle in the middle.You Need to get the placement right and need to push for twos and threes. England has taken too many of that in their innings and even Westindies did the same.The way India played is more like a full 50 Over match. Absence of Shewag really mattered a lot here.Picking up RP was correct but not at the cost of Ohja, It could have been Ishant Sharma who could have been replaced. RP would have been given a chance in 1st round before bringing in for the crucial tie. Westindies and England attacked India with Short Deliveries and most of them where above 140Ks But Ishant and Zaheer lacked the Pace and Pitching in Short is really askig for punishment. After Picking RP as a strike bowler and not completing his full quota of overs even at going 4 RPO is absolutly poor captancy.. Dhoni is not cool now.. he brain is now dead and freezed..!!

  • ITSRIYAZ on June 15, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    M S Dhoni's dream run came to an end during this 20 - 20 world cup 2009.Not only his team was knocked out of tournament, it learnt a few harsh lessons also. Being one of the biggest fans of Indian team I observed the following things. 1. Openers: Virendra Sehwag's absence was big set back for India. Even though Rohit played well against few teams as an opener but he failed against good teams when it mattered the most. You can't find players like Veeru every day who restates the existence of god in bowlers every time he is batting. On the other hand Gambir was on a roll till IPL never looked the same. In other words Indian openers failed in crucial matches and you don't often see India doing well when both openers fail. 2. Middle order: Indian middle order was never got the opportunity to play before the super eight rounds, thanks to our captain. Suresh Raina was in excellent for coming at no 3 in IPL but for strange reasons Dhoni came ahead of him till the last crucial matches. To a

  • amit14may on June 15, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    i agree with Manoj237..

    Ravindra Jadeja played immensely well last night. He should have been given the Man of the Match as he played brilliantly to award the match to England.

    Dhoni has a penchant for selecting players that play slowly like him, that's why Ravindra jadeja was preferred over Abhishek Nayar and Dinesh Karthik by Dhoni during the squad selection..

    Dhoni's brilliance is personfied. We need 78 of 6 overs and he comes out to bat before Yusuf Pathan and then starts defending and taking singles. Then he doesnt take 2 runs off the penultimate ball and believes he can hit 8 runs off the last ball, rather than letting Yusuf face the last ball and try to tie it with a 6 !!

  • kris_mg on June 15, 2009, 6:29 GMT

    Whatever happened the truth is better team wins, and atlesyt in India's case it was what had happened.. Bith West Indies and England played better cricket and won. And I don't know about fellow Indians like Manoj screaming match-fixing. Just swallow this my friend, we lost because we were beaten by teams better at executing plans than us, Simple as that. After the match against WI itself it was evident that something was missing in the batting, and the main thing is, we still dont appreciate what Sehwag brings to the table. After seeing the pyrotechnics of the new crop of batsmen like R.Sharma, Raina and Jadeja, we just thought loosing Sehwag is not going to make much difference since we are soo "strong", and its this callousness which took India out of the WCup. Anyway, good news is that both Rohit Sharma and Raina has proved to be god learners and they will truly adjust their techniques and Sehwag will be back. Lets hope for a better future.. For now we deserve 2 be where we are..

  • sandeep1978 on June 15, 2009, 6:25 GMT

    I am sure now a million people will have a theory as to why we lost but the fact is T20 is mainly abt luck and less about talent. Win some, lose some.We won the last world cup helped witha great deal of luck and also lost it here due to the same. No point blaming anybody. Hopefully the public has matured enough this time not to indulge in stone pelting... It is also time to accept that our team is not the finished article by any means. Rohit and Raina r very raw and by no means superstars in their own right. I also do not think sehwag would have done any difference as his record in T20 n ODI's is pretty bad.Sachin maybe, Sehwag no. Will we hear calls for a YOUNGER team now,like after the 2007 world cup? In that case a round of the maternity wards in hospitals is needed, as it doesn't come younger than them!

  • IndusKnight on June 15, 2009, 6:12 GMT

    I think team india has become team bollywood, they would rather be acting superstars. After all, acting is easier than playing cricket. Maybe they act that they are playing, but actually they are just acting. Dhoni is acting that he is shah rukh khan, yuvraj thinks he is shilpa shetty and raina thinks he is preity zinta.

  • Saleem07 on June 15, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    Well, you cant buy everything with money. You have IPL/ICL big names they pose if there is no match to them at international level, which proved so wrong. Sachin a legend got so many runs in all sorts of cricket is not as arogant and proud as these IPL players are. IPL players got what they deserve.

  • PottedLambShanks on June 15, 2009, 5:45 GMT

    Poor old Dilleep and Andy Miller must be fuming this morning, no doubt they had already drafted some particularly witty and eloquent obituaries for English cricket and now they have to wait because even if we lose to the Windies, beating India has shown that England CAN set targets and CAN play cricket.

    As for the Indian fans who are hurting today, I hope you now realise that confidence without hard work rarely leads to any success. You are victims of the hype you created about your team of "superstars". The reality is that being famous and rich doesn't excuse you from fielding well or batting for more than a couple of overs.

  • BoonBoom on June 15, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    I do hope Indians will realize playing international cricket is a different ball game than playing IPL. Just think about Jadej, Raina, Rohit a or Yousuf Pathan - rousing success in IPL but lacking far behind in international cricket.

    This problem is further compounded by the attitude of these new players who got into the team mainly due to IPL exposure only. For example, take Rohit Sharma, his attitude is so arrogant as if he has scored 10000 runs at top level. Even the great Sachin after so much achievement spanning over two decades does not behave in such an arrogant style as Rohit.

    Dhoni captaincy is always on the defensive side. He does not know how to motivate his players and inject innovation. I dont understand the logic keeping your best batsman (Yuvraj) until the match is half lost !!

    Anyway, all the heros of IPL are zeros at international level !!!!!!

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  • BoonBoom on June 15, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    I do hope Indians will realize playing international cricket is a different ball game than playing IPL. Just think about Jadej, Raina, Rohit a or Yousuf Pathan - rousing success in IPL but lacking far behind in international cricket.

    This problem is further compounded by the attitude of these new players who got into the team mainly due to IPL exposure only. For example, take Rohit Sharma, his attitude is so arrogant as if he has scored 10000 runs at top level. Even the great Sachin after so much achievement spanning over two decades does not behave in such an arrogant style as Rohit.

    Dhoni captaincy is always on the defensive side. He does not know how to motivate his players and inject innovation. I dont understand the logic keeping your best batsman (Yuvraj) until the match is half lost !!

    Anyway, all the heros of IPL are zeros at international level !!!!!!

  • PottedLambShanks on June 15, 2009, 5:45 GMT

    Poor old Dilleep and Andy Miller must be fuming this morning, no doubt they had already drafted some particularly witty and eloquent obituaries for English cricket and now they have to wait because even if we lose to the Windies, beating India has shown that England CAN set targets and CAN play cricket.

    As for the Indian fans who are hurting today, I hope you now realise that confidence without hard work rarely leads to any success. You are victims of the hype you created about your team of "superstars". The reality is that being famous and rich doesn't excuse you from fielding well or batting for more than a couple of overs.

  • Saleem07 on June 15, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    Well, you cant buy everything with money. You have IPL/ICL big names they pose if there is no match to them at international level, which proved so wrong. Sachin a legend got so many runs in all sorts of cricket is not as arogant and proud as these IPL players are. IPL players got what they deserve.

  • IndusKnight on June 15, 2009, 6:12 GMT

    I think team india has become team bollywood, they would rather be acting superstars. After all, acting is easier than playing cricket. Maybe they act that they are playing, but actually they are just acting. Dhoni is acting that he is shah rukh khan, yuvraj thinks he is shilpa shetty and raina thinks he is preity zinta.

  • sandeep1978 on June 15, 2009, 6:25 GMT

    I am sure now a million people will have a theory as to why we lost but the fact is T20 is mainly abt luck and less about talent. Win some, lose some.We won the last world cup helped witha great deal of luck and also lost it here due to the same. No point blaming anybody. Hopefully the public has matured enough this time not to indulge in stone pelting... It is also time to accept that our team is not the finished article by any means. Rohit and Raina r very raw and by no means superstars in their own right. I also do not think sehwag would have done any difference as his record in T20 n ODI's is pretty bad.Sachin maybe, Sehwag no. Will we hear calls for a YOUNGER team now,like after the 2007 world cup? In that case a round of the maternity wards in hospitals is needed, as it doesn't come younger than them!

  • kris_mg on June 15, 2009, 6:29 GMT

    Whatever happened the truth is better team wins, and atlesyt in India's case it was what had happened.. Bith West Indies and England played better cricket and won. And I don't know about fellow Indians like Manoj screaming match-fixing. Just swallow this my friend, we lost because we were beaten by teams better at executing plans than us, Simple as that. After the match against WI itself it was evident that something was missing in the batting, and the main thing is, we still dont appreciate what Sehwag brings to the table. After seeing the pyrotechnics of the new crop of batsmen like R.Sharma, Raina and Jadeja, we just thought loosing Sehwag is not going to make much difference since we are soo "strong", and its this callousness which took India out of the WCup. Anyway, good news is that both Rohit Sharma and Raina has proved to be god learners and they will truly adjust their techniques and Sehwag will be back. Lets hope for a better future.. For now we deserve 2 be where we are..

  • amit14may on June 15, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    i agree with Manoj237..

    Ravindra Jadeja played immensely well last night. He should have been given the Man of the Match as he played brilliantly to award the match to England.

    Dhoni has a penchant for selecting players that play slowly like him, that's why Ravindra jadeja was preferred over Abhishek Nayar and Dinesh Karthik by Dhoni during the squad selection..

    Dhoni's brilliance is personfied. We need 78 of 6 overs and he comes out to bat before Yusuf Pathan and then starts defending and taking singles. Then he doesnt take 2 runs off the penultimate ball and believes he can hit 8 runs off the last ball, rather than letting Yusuf face the last ball and try to tie it with a 6 !!

  • ITSRIYAZ on June 15, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    M S Dhoni's dream run came to an end during this 20 - 20 world cup 2009.Not only his team was knocked out of tournament, it learnt a few harsh lessons also. Being one of the biggest fans of Indian team I observed the following things. 1. Openers: Virendra Sehwag's absence was big set back for India. Even though Rohit played well against few teams as an opener but he failed against good teams when it mattered the most. You can't find players like Veeru every day who restates the existence of god in bowlers every time he is batting. On the other hand Gambir was on a roll till IPL never looked the same. In other words Indian openers failed in crucial matches and you don't often see India doing well when both openers fail. 2. Middle order: Indian middle order was never got the opportunity to play before the super eight rounds, thanks to our captain. Suresh Raina was in excellent for coming at no 3 in IPL but for strange reasons Dhoni came ahead of him till the last crucial matches. To a

  • RCPK on June 15, 2009, 6:50 GMT

    Absence of a player like Dravid who can play well against Short Balls has made the way for Indian Debacle in the middle.You Need to get the placement right and need to push for twos and threes. England has taken too many of that in their innings and even Westindies did the same.The way India played is more like a full 50 Over match. Absence of Shewag really mattered a lot here.Picking up RP was correct but not at the cost of Ohja, It could have been Ishant Sharma who could have been replaced. RP would have been given a chance in 1st round before bringing in for the crucial tie. Westindies and England attacked India with Short Deliveries and most of them where above 140Ks But Ishant and Zaheer lacked the Pace and Pitching in Short is really askig for punishment. After Picking RP as a strike bowler and not completing his full quota of overs even at going 4 RPO is absolutly poor captancy.. Dhoni is not cool now.. he brain is now dead and freezed..!!

  • whiteball on June 15, 2009, 6:50 GMT

    When I saw the number of TV commercials involving the Indian captain, I knew the trophy would not be going back to India. The plight of Indian cricket continues