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Dhoni: 'We were not up to scratch'
India captain believes team never played consistently in Twenty20 World Cup.
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2009 01:54 GMT

Dhoni, right, walks off with Yusuf Pathan following their loss to England [AFP]
Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes that defending champions India were simply "not up to international standards" after India were knocked out of the Twenty20 World Cup.

India lost by 12 runs to South Africa in their final match earlier this week after chasing just 131 to win, their third defeat in three Super Eight games.

The honest assessment may take some heat off Dhoni after he received fierce criticism back home but how the team responds to their below-par showing is what matters most.

Great expectations

"This was not really expected of us and everyone thought we would do well," Dhoni said.

"It's not about what you can achieve, it's about what you do achieve.

"We were not really up to the mark or at 100 per cent.

"Our performance was not up to the international standard."

Dhoni said his players never played consistently.

"There never was a time when the majority of the guys performed in one match, it was usually two bowlers in one game or three in another, with an off-day for a couple of them, or one man scored and the rest didn't so we never performed as a unit," he said.

India, whose players were involved in a tiring six-week Indian Premier League schedule before the World Cup, get a three-day break in England before flying out to the Caribbean for a four-match one-day series against West Indies.

India then have a long rest before the ICC Champions Trophy in September.

Much-needed rest

"We will be fitter guys because we have a long time in between," Dhoni said.

"Even the two or three days off this week at the hotel will be good just to kick away the kit bag.

"Those 10 days in the Caribbean may also be hard to stay in the present and not think about what you will be doing afterwards.

"But after the West Indies tour we will be getting a long break so hopefully after that we will be better prepared for South Africa."

Dhoni also defended the decision to bring injured batsman Virender Sehwag to England even though he was nursing a shoulder injury and eventually had to be replaced without playing a game.

"When the first MRI was done, he didn't have anything back in India," Dhoni said.

"When the next one was done he had the (muscle) tear.

"At times, you can't say everything because you want the opposition team to still think about Virender Sehwag.

"Whether he is playing or not you want them to waste that half-an-hour in their team
meeting."

Source:
Agencies
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