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Indian press call for Dhoni ouster


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“Tough questions and tough decisions can't wait forever,” wrote Sambit Bal. -Photo by Reuters

NEW DELHI: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni faced calls to quit Wednesday after his team's exit from the World Twenty20, with pundits lining up to condemn his tactics as well as the misfiring top order.

“Every captain's term has a shelf life and after five years at the helm, Dhoni's seems to have come to an end,” said the Mail Today in a blistering review of his “mind-boggling decision-making” during Tuesday's game with South Africa.

“The entire match was littered with his mistakes,” it added.

Although India scraped a one-run victory over the Proteas in Colombo, they fell well short of the run rate required to reach the semi-finals.

Much of the criticism levelled at the captain revolved around the dropping of spinner Harbhajan Singh, who had been the team's most economical bowler.

The Times of India accused him of committing “a major captaincy gaffe” by dropping a player who finished with figures of 4-12 when India crushed England in the opening round.

“Dhoni will have much answering to do about why he didn't play veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on a wicket on which Pakistan played four spinners against Australia with much success,” said the paper.

“The Proteas are as bad players of spin as anybody in the world.”

Dhoni has been one of the most successful captains in Indian history, leading the team to victory in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 and at last year's 50-over World Cup. He also steered them to the top of the Test rankings.

However, the team has slipped to number five in the Test rankings and India have failed to reach the final stages of the past three Twenty20 tournaments.

“Ultimately, Dhoni can't escape scrutiny. He has been a remarkable leader on many accounts. But some of his selections and tactics on the field have been perplexing,” wrote Sambit Bal on the Cricinfo website.

“Tough questions and tough decisions can't wait forever.”

Dhoni, whose top score in the tournament was just 23, was one of host of big-name Indian batsmen who failed to spark in Sri Lanka.

Apart from Virat Kohli, the entire Indian team only managed one half century in the whole tournament. Openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag once again flopped against South Africa as the team slumped to 36-3.

“India's batting not for the first time in the tournament struggled to make an impact,” said the Indian Express.

In his post-match press conference, Dhoni acknowledged his team's batting failures.

“It was tragic to see India crash out despite the batting line-up that they possess,” said The Times of India, adding that they only “had themselves to blame”.

Comments (16) Closed

Musharraf Oct 03, 2012 07:31pm
This is pure politics.. A captain on losing side always faces questions. you can't always win each and every game. Against australia Dhoni was criticized for not including sehwag, against SA there were questions why they included yuvraj , he ended up winning man of the match. The same crowd would have cheered for him if Pakistan would have lost to Australia.
Indian Oct 03, 2012 06:46pm
I am Indian n I have proud of my team n Dhoni n new talented players..T20 is matter of luck....well done India...
Cricketer Oct 03, 2012 09:41pm
Both India and Pakistan knew about the importance of NRR. Pakistan capitalized whereas India failed.
Syed Oct 04, 2012 11:43am
Well it is up to Dhoni, he wants to do a Tendulkar, or go gracefully like Gavasker and ....
Siddharth Oct 04, 2012 05:59am
Typical reaction of subcontinent fans and wonders...
Vishnu Dutta Oct 03, 2012 05:53pm
Our media is as silly as any other. No body blames him, he only lost one game , thats it. No team has won all the games in the WC. Our ranking jumped to 2nd. We are current ODI champions in regular and U19 format. what else you want. May be media should bash BCCI for failing to provide him better bowling options. With half a team he has achived so much, imagine what he can do if the has a potent and dependable bowling attack.
Mustafa Oct 03, 2012 05:12pm
Before highlighting Dhoni's batting performance, people should keep in mind that he is good a keeper too. Look at us, we are struggling to have a good keeper who can bat as well. People do mistakes, and Indian top order also did mistakes.
sraz45 Oct 03, 2012 05:02pm
Unfair, he is a very good captain and a good player. All captains in every sport are great, till they lose. That is inevitable.
Ch.subba Rao Oct 03, 2012 04:20pm
As a player and captain Dhoni is total failure and selection committee should drop him from the team.He has no cordial relations with seniors and to reach top form dhoni should be dropped
Mohammed Baluch Oct 03, 2012 03:44pm
Yuvraj is a natural born leader - it is time India went to him. Gambir, Sehwag, Harbajan were all strangely subdued this time around. It is not easy for India to fill the void left by Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman. India has to rebuild, and even a powerhouse like Australia is having a difficult time with that.
Abdul Wahab-Pakistan Oct 03, 2012 03:37pm
I love Dhoni as a captain who is always calm and cool. He is a real asset for the team. Well even in this Cup, he led to win two Super-8 matches. And if his team is out, it could have been anyone's team. He should be given due credit for all his achievements so far. We would love to see him as a captain.
Vamsee Oct 03, 2012 12:52pm
In the Australian match,the run rate damage was devastating, it was known at the end of that match itself and this is not being stated in hindsight, a common fan knew that, Dhoni as captain of the Indian National Team should have known better on how it could come to bite us back and on how to mitigate that known risk. Risk : Poor NRR creating a very tough qualify scenario in the future Risk Mitigation : Try to Decrease the NRR difference, especially if an Opportunity presents itself where the risk of loss in match is low. Execution : NONE,Opportunity presented itself in the Pakistan match and the mitigation plan(if there) was not executed.Was it because there was no risk mitigation ? or worse, risk not identified? or was it because of Kohli was not following the plan ? After Virat Kohli went berserk in the Pakistan match, Win against Pakistan was a forgone conclusion shortly after middle of the innings! Immediately next,the hope was that Kohli would accelerate even more and try to minimize the damage done by the Australian match but instead he slowed down, this was shocking. It was strange that when the win was not near, Kohli was playing aggressively, and once win was near, he drastically slowed down.Seemed like he decided to take it easy once it was assured that we would win. In T20, every over and every ball counts .Even if Kohli was oblivious,Dhoni should have known better and him being the captain is ultimately responsible for this lack of awareness and carelessness. Even in the last match SA match, should have planned for 180 first but instead it seemed like team was aiming for 200, instead ended up with 150. The batting didn't look impressive. Seemed like the wickets went not because of great balls but because of poor decisions/focus by batsmen. It will be unprofessional and irresponsible if the same mistakes are made again in the future.
Jawwad Oct 03, 2012 03:33pm
I think India played real well. It's just a harsh format where margin of error was almost zero. Hafeez simply outfoxed Australians and Dhoni did his best. Lay off him guys.
Daleep Oct 03, 2012 12:28pm
i am a pakistani but admire Dhoni due to his approach as a captain.....he is a nice captain with lot of strategies going on his mind while play. very intelligent captain.... India cant get captain like him in near future, Kohli may get his place as a captain but it does not seem to be happen in near future.... Kohli is a great man with his calmness.... one t220, one 50/50 title, 2 ipls titles, 2 champion leagues titles.... whatelse india need from Him...... he should be retained as a captain until his retirement.... has has lot of cricket left in him, i am sure.....
saythetruth10 Oct 03, 2012 09:31am
Indian should show some respect to Dhoni he is a good player and a very good captain. No nation can win forever no matter how much money you pour into sport end of the day it part your effort and some luck. This time India ran out of luck they will be back but this subcontinent cry baby attitude is really silly. Look at our Afridi he is not performing well but we are still giving him chance after chance Dhoni is in much better situation he will be back but if it is up-to Indian fans and Indian media they will try to Satti him fast
Iftikhar Oct 03, 2012 02:47pm
time for Dhoni to retired.