India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said poor form of the key batsmen, including himself, resulted in the team's morale-shattering defeat against South Africa in the Twenty20 World Cup in Nottingham.
The defending champions cut a sorry figure on Tuesday night when their much-vaunted batting order failed to chase a modest victory target of 131 runs and sunk to their third straight defeat in the tournament.
Dhoni held the mis-firing batsmen responsible for tonight's defeat.
"I don't think condition was the issue in Nottingham. Form of some of the players, including me, was the major factor (behind the defeat," a dejected Dhoni said after the match.
"We played with six frontline batsmen and the seventh is an all-rounder. When three of them don't click in a match like this, it becomes really very hard. Throughout the tournament I think we bowled well, wherever we played but we lacked a few things when it comes with the batting," he added.
"Batting wise we were really not up to the mark and unfortunately, throughout the tournament it happened. When we come back in nine months time, hopefully we will be a better prepared side," Dhoni said, referring to the next Twenty20 World Cup.
In a clear sign that his popularity has taken a beating after India's disastrous show in the tournament, Dhoni was booed after the match.