[QODLink]
Sport
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
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list