The Telegraph
Wednesday , October 3 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Let’s get real… We performed well’

Colombo: Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday termed India’s performance at the World T20 as “quite satisfactory”, despite being knocked out.

At a press conference, he didn’t wish to admit that he had erred by playing a lone specialist spinner.

The following are excerpts

The team’s showing

It was a quite satisfactory performance. If we talk about the tournament, the match that we lost (versus Australia) cost us badly. The margin of defeat was a big one. We should also remember that the spinners found it tough to bowl with a wet ball in that match. I also didn’t expect another match (Pakistan versus Australia) to have such an impact... Today, after the first match, the equation was such that we wanted to field first and then chase down whatever target within 15-16 overs. It becomes very difficult to make a strategy when you bat first. In any case defending 121 was a tough ask…

If a lone specialist spinner was enough

If one looks at the 2007 edition, we were playing in Durban and it helped our seamers. Whatever total we put on, the bowlers were able to defend that. But when there is nothing in the wicket, they find it very difficult. That is the reason why I prefer a turning or seaming track rather than flat tracks. It’s difficult to say if a few changes in strategies would have helped us restrict them within 121.

If an overhaul is needed in the team

This question is always asked when we don’t do well. When we lost in Australia and England, the similar question was asked. Let’s get real... We performed well in the tournament and we lost just one match.

If too many changes in the batting order is affecting performance

No, I don’t think so...

If a change was needed in the batting order

Apart from Virender Sehwag, there are only two players who can hit right from the start. They are myself and Suresh Raina… Agreed that if we come up the order we can make an impact, but if we get out by the 13th over, will the other batsmen, who need a few deliveries to settle, be able to hit in the same manner? Also, for the sake of this team, Virat Kohli needs to bat at No 3. The kind of form that he is in, we can’t let him face a few balls in the end. Our logic is simple. If we lose too many wickets in the Powerplay overs, then Rohit goes in, otherwise Yuvraj goes in and tries to play as many overs as possible.

Rohit Sharma’s role

Rohit is a player who always plays for the team and doesn’t look at his average. There are times when he has to play five balls and he has played a big shot rightaway and got out. He could have played along the ground and kept his average intact but he has always played for the team.

If captains have a shelf life

I don’t like to look too far ahead... I am someone who loves living in the present and doesn’t think about the future... I would rather try to look at what solutions I can provide to the problems. We have problems regarding death bowling. We need a few 140-plus bowlers. We have a few but then we need to groom them properly as they have a tendency to get hit on flat tracks.