India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has expressed his disappointment at the team's poor performance in the World Twenty20, saying "any World Cup loss is huge and it stings." He disagreed with the notion that the IPL had affected the players' form.
"Just because we don't show our emotions does not mean we are not affected by the loss. It is misleading to think IPL played any part," Gambhir told ESPN Star. "We got about 10 days after the finals, which is good enough to recharge." He went on to say the IPL parties were not the problem either and that the IPL is one of the best things to happen to Indian cricket.
He also defended MS Dhoni's captaincy, arguing that the man who plotted Kieron Pollard's dismissal in the IPL final could not have turned into a bad captain over the course of a few weeks. "The fact that Dhoni could think in that pressure situation was commendable and at that time he was called 'Captain Cool' and what not," Gambhir said. "How can he become redundant within a fortnight?"
On the subject of the criticism the team received after failing to win a single game in the Super 8 stage, Gambhir said one bad tournament should not overshadow the fact that India is the top team in Tests and the No. 2 in ODIs. He reminded fans that India won the first World Twenty20, an ODI tournament in Australia for the first time (CB Series in 2007) since the 1985 Benson & Hedges World Championship, won a Test series in New Zealand after almost 40 years, beat England at home 5-0, and came back from behind to win a Test series against South Africa."
He was also dismissive of the suggestion that the batsmen could not handle pace and bounce, saying, "If that was the case, how do you think we won in Durban (2007 T20 World Cup), at Melbourne or in New Zealand?" However, he did admit that "in this format you have to attack at all times. When you are chasing 190-odd like we did against Australia you can't be ducking or swaying to bouncers."