South African batsman Jean-Paul Duminy, plays a shot as Mahendra Singh Dhoni watches during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup Super Eight match between India and South Africa in Colombo, Sri Lanka. AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said that the heavy defeat against Australia in their first Super Eights game had a telling impact in his team's ouster from the ICC World T20 even though he termed the side's performance as "satisfactory".
"It was a satisfactory performance. If we talk about the tournament, the match that we lost (versus Australia) impacted us badly. The margin of defeat was a big one. 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," Dhoni told the reporters at the post-match media conference.
"It becomes very difficult to make a strategy when you bat first. In any case defending 120 was a tough ask," he said after India defeated South Africa by one-run in their last Super Eights game last night but still failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
Dhoni was curt in his reply when asked whether too many changes in the batting order had an effect on the team's performance.
"No, I don't think so," he replied.
The skipper admitted that on flat tracks, his bowlers have found it difficult to deliver and that's been the reason for the team's repeated poor show in the last three editions of World T20.
"If one looks at the 2007 edition, we were playing in Durban which helped our seamers. Whatever total we put on, they 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 track or seaming track rather than flat tracks," Dhoni said.
When the inevitable question of overhaul in the team and dropping a few seniors -- Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag --was raised, Dhoni said: "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.