Not as bad as it seems
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India won the crucial game against South Africa, but lost a spot in the semifinals. But the amount of criticism that has been directed the way of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men makes it sound as if the skipper lost the plot quite completely.
If anything, where it all went wrong for the team was with a win, the one against England, its biggest in twenty over internaionals. Mahendra Singh Dhoni seldom tampers with his combination, and coming into the World Cup, it was this consistency that was seen as the team's major strength. Dhoni was captaining the outfit for the fourth straight T20 World Cup, while those who opened the batting and bowling were constants across formats. The T20 line up has been more or less the same in the past, but all that was due to change in the game against England.
Going in a batsman short and with three spinners, the gamble paid off and suddenly there was pressure to carry on with five bowlers.
Perhaps it was the stature of Harbhajan or the size of the win againt England that persuaded Dhoni to continue with the experiment, but all it did was wreck the balance and unsettle the team. Tampering with the team and the combination ensured they went into each game almost as a new and different unit, which took large chunks of the match to come to terms with its strengths and weaknesses. While that may be true, in the wake of the team's exit, almost all of the captain's decisions and statements have come under criticism.
Dhoni's excuse of rain ruining his plan against Australia isn't as lame as it is made out to be. India had gone in with three spinners on a dry R Premadasa pitch but just when the Indian innings was coming to a close, there was a sprinkle of rain and the umpires decided to play on. At the break, the Australians opted for a light roller and suddenly they had a perfect batting wicket — watered, thanks to rain, and rolled as well.
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