Fighting fit? Dhoni, coach disagree over T20 exit
Posted on: 11:39 AM IST Jun 17, 2009
Nottingham: The discord in the Indian camp over the reasons for the shocking exit from Twenty20 World Cup continued with Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insisting that fatigue was not a factor for the debacle.
While coach Gary Kirsten had blamed an overdose of cricket and Indian Premier League (IPL) as the cause for the World Cup fiasco, Dhoni continued to differ with his coach on IPL issue though he admitted some of his players were not 100 per cent fit.Kirsten had on Tuesday asserted that too much of cricket by his team and the timing of IPL were the main reasons behind India's failure to defend their title."We were not as energetic as we were in New Zealand. We were relatively tired when we arrived here. We have been on the road since end of January. A lot of our cricketers alsocarried niggles in this tournament. We picked up niggles in the IPL and lost contact with them," Kirsten had said.But, Dhoni had a totally different view, saying his team's early exit had nothing to do with fatigue factor. "Sure very few were 100 per cent fit. Some had ankle, some shoulder injury. That's why they were not in their best in the field. But I am not sure if fatigue is the reason for it. These days you have rehab and can quickly come back to 100 per cent fitness," he said after his side's 12-run defeat at the hands of South Africa on Tuesday night. "I never felt I was very tired. You have to play 20 overs and you can't manage that! It wasn't like Sri Lanka where I thought I needed a break and opted out. That's what when I was tired. Here I wasn't even close to it," Dhoni said.He said his side failed to click as a unit in all three departments of the game, though he picked batting failure as the most disappointing aspect."We never performed as a team. We are used to team performing collectively to 80 per cent level. Here it wasn't even up to 60 per cent," he said."Key players, including me, were out of form. Our batting struggled and that hurt as we are always known for batting. If three bowlers were on target then others were not; if some batters clicked; the others failed. Few individuals did well but as a unit we didn't," said Dhoni.Commenting on Kirsten's idea of suggesting players to pull out of IPL if a serious preparation is to be done before important tournaments or series, Dhoni said, "You can opt out. Each individual has the right to do it."Dhoni foresaw a situation where cricketers could take a break for a month and then return to the game they love."You have to frame yourself. Cricketers will take out time for fitness if they are forced out of team, it could take up to three to sixth months' time. Take a month's break instead of three months' time, and you would be up to the game, he said.