Monday, June 15, 2009

India Ruled out off

The India captains, Mahendra Singh Dhoni worn out the force of fan and media rage back home after the defending champions were rudely neglected out of the World Twenty20 on Sunday.

Security was increased around Dhoni's home in the eastern city of Ranchi on Monday after scores of fans burnt his model, shouted slogans and accused the captain of underestimating England in a must-win situation.

India, winners two years ago, were installed as one of the favourites this time but a three-run loss to England consigned them to a second straight Super Eights defeat, leaving them with no possibility of reaching the semi-finals.

"Dhoni took the match carelessly, he adopted a casual attitude," Arun Kumar, a young protester in Ranchi, said. "He is captivated by the glamour world more than cricket."

The Indian media also singled out Dhoni who captained the team to victory in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. Dhoni was liable for shuffling the order and failing to shake off his own subdued batting form when a captain's innings was badly needed.

His promotion of young all-rounder Ravinder Jadeja to No 4 in the batting line-up in the place of the explosive Yuvraj Singh was also seen as a strategic disaster after the 20-year-old failed to force the pace and left his team-mates with too much to do in the final overs.

"Why did Dhoni throw Jadeja to the lions," asked one TV channel, while another said: "Dhoni could not hit the ball, got it all wrong with his strategy. Nasty captaining by Dhoni cost us dear."

Dhoni has enjoyed a smooth ride as Test captain since the 2007 triumph but has come under scrutiny at this tournament after parading the entire team in an attempt to quash media reports of disharmony between him and Virender Sehwag.

His relationship with the media worsened after Sehwag was ruled out due to a shoulder injury and Dhoni and his team management were attacked for being less than forthcoming over the nature of the explosive batsman's problem.

Cricket-mad Indian fans are well known for displaying extreme emotions. Angry fans threw stones the homes of some players after the team suffered a shock first round exit in the one-day World Cup two years ago.

However, thousands lined up on both sides of the road from Mumbai airport to the stadium when the victorious Twenty20 team took out a victory parade months later.

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