World T20: 'Dhoni to be blamed for India's exit not rain'
PTI | Oct 04, 2012, 12:10PM IST
Mumbai: Lady luck did not favour the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian squad that resulted in its exit at the Super Eights stage of the ongoing ICC World Twenty20, said former captain Dilip Vengsarkar.
"Luck did not favour us. The T20 format is such that luck plays a more important role than skill," the former chief selector said on Wednesday.
India, who had clinched the inaugural World T20 in South Africa in 2007, were knocked out of the contest in Sri Lanka on inferior net-run rate after finishing with the same number of wins as group toppers Australia and Pakistan.
Dhoni and his men failed in their endeavour to better the net run-rate of the team as compared to Pakistan's, despite eking out a narrow one-run win in their concluding Super Eights game against South Africa on Tuesday.
Asked whether the absence of an additional front-line spinner to bowl in tandem with R Ashwin had handicapped the Indians, Vengsarkar said there was no point in debating whether this or that could have happened.
Another former skipper and ex-coach Ajit Wadekar was of the opinion that India could have fielded an additional spinner in Harbhajan Singh in the tie against the Proteas.
"Probably we could have played an additional spinner with Harbhajan Singh's return (to the team). But there are so many ifs and buts in cricket. I felt the team deserved to be at least in the semi-finals," said Wadekar.
Wadekar bemoaned the lack of good starts provided by Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
"The opening combination did not click well," he said. With his wry humour, Wadekar also took a dig at hosts Sri Lanka for swapping captains mid-way to avoid regular skipper Mahela Jayawardene in copping a second punishment for the team's tardy over-rate.
"It's a good example of captaincy by rotation," he said, referring to Kumar Sangakkara leading the side in their last Super Eights game instead of Jayawardene.
Former pacer Chetan Sharma on Wednesday held captain Mahender Singh Dhoni's selection policy responsible for the team's early ouster from the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
"I think the entire team should not be blamed for the exit. Only Dhoni is to be blamed. He should
accept his responsibility and stop blaming rain (for India's ouster)," Sharma said about Dhoni's excuse following the heavy defeat against Australia in their first Super Eights game.
Sharma was aghast with Dhoni's decision to leave experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh out of the crucial Super Eights match against South Africa on Tuesday.
"Seeing Harbhajan not playing such an important match was shocking and depressing as well. A bowler who has over 400 Test wickets shouldn't have been left out of the team," he said.
"If his horses for courses policy is to be implemented then Harbhajan should have made it into the team," Sharma said during the launch of Coca Cola's Under-16 cricket tournament in Delhi.
India beat South Africa by a solitary run in Colombo on Tuesday but still they failed to qualify for the semi-finals due to Pakistan's superior run-rate, courtesy their crushing nine-wicket loss against Australia.
And after India's elimination from the World Twenty20 on Tuesday night, Dhoni had once again blamed the short rain intervention against Australia as one of the reasons for their early departure from the event.
Asked who he was backing to lift the championship with the elimination of India, Wadekar said "West Indies".
"When that man (Chris) Gayle gets going there is none to stop him," he remarked.