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Cricket biggies furious with India’s dismal T20 act

The Indian team’s abysmal performance in the Super Eights of the World Twenty20 hasn’t gone down well with the cricket fraternity at large.

cricket Updated: May 13, 2010 00:39 IST

The Indian team’s abysmal performance in the Super Eights of the World Twenty20 hasn’t gone down well with the cricket fraternity at large.

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India termed it as a ‘poor’ performance, the selectors remained tight-lipped. “The team’s performance has been very poor. The Board is concerned. We will wait for the reports from the captain, coach and the manager,” BCCI’s chief administrative officer, Ratnakar Shetty, said.

Did playing non-stop for 45 days in the IPL leave them jaded?

“I don’t think that’s an excuse. The fact is we played bad cricket,” said Shetty.

The five national selectors avoided speaking on the issue. “This is not the right time to talk,” said one of them.

A source close to another selector said the upcoming ‘A’ tour to England and India’s tri-series in Zimbabwe, where youngsters have been given the chance to showcase their talent, will be on the selectors’ minds in terms of preparing for next year’s World Cup.

“These two tours will help in finalising the core group for the World Cup, the biggest thing on the selectors’ mind right now,” the source said.

Shetty agreed. “We are focussed on the World Cup. The coming few series are very important. By the time the Australia series begins in October, we will have a pool of 20-odd players for the World Cup,” he said.

Meanwhile, former skipper Dilip Vengsarkar blamed the fatigue caused by the IPL for India’s unceremonious exit. “I guess the players looked jaded and tired as the high pressure, high intensity IPL has taken its toll on them mentally and physically. It was very difficult for them to play with the same intensity in a tournament of such a magnitude,” he said.

Former India captain Mohd Azharuddin said, “Obviously, if you stay up the whole night (for IPL parties), it would affect you. For a player, cricket should come first and everything else is secondary.”

Former chief selector Syed Kirmani said, “There was complete lack of application and concentration. If players were tired, they should have told the board that they need rest. I don’t want to criticise them just because they failed in a tournament. There are always ups and downs in cricket and I think they are going through a bad luck cycle.”

Another former player, Sanjay Manjrekar, said blaming the IPL is the most obvious reaction but the players also have to sort out their susceptibility to the rising delivery. “The two critical games that India lost against Australia and West Indies were purely because the top-order couldn’t cope with the short deliveries,” he said.