Upset with his team’s elimination from the World T20, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed the two no-balls bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah, and the dew factor as the main reasons for hosts’ shocking loss to the West Indies in the semifinals.
Chasing 193 for victory, Simmons scored an unbeaten 82 to steer West Indies to the World T20 final. He survived two chances — Ravichandran Ashwin’s no-ball gave man-of-the-match Simmons a lifeline at 18 when Jasprit Bumrah had taken the catch and then Pandya overstepped when the right-hander was on 50.
“You have to realise it was half an hour early start. A bad toss to lose. So, when they started batting the first few overs were fine, but after that there was a considerable amount of dew which meant the spinners couldn’t bowl how they would have liked to,” said Dhoni at the post-match press conference at the Wankhede Stadium.
“It was coming on nicely and the ball was getting wet, so that was the difference between the first innings and second innings. The surface had some assistance for the spinners, it was gripping (when India batted), but in the second innings there wasn’t much in it for them. It was quite difficult to score 190 (batting first).
“The only thing I’m disappointed about are the two no-balls. Other than that we tried our best and even if the conditions were not in favour of the spinners, whatever resources we had we tried our best in the game,” he added.
Dhoni felt that no balls are something that are easily avoidable.
“If you bowl a no-ball and get a wicket off that no-ball then there is no one else to blame because also one of the catches was brilliant that was taken off the no-ball. What it does is that it gives you a free-hit and the batsmen get a chance to get into some kind of a momentum. So I feel that the point at which the no-balls were bowled were quite crucial.
“If we had got those wickets, we would have got the opportunity to bowl one or two overs of the spinners and get away with them without giving too many runs. Nobody wants to bowl a no-ball, so I don’t want to be too tough on them but when there is pressure you have to be at your best.
“No-ball is something that can be avoided, especially the front foot no-ball, if you practice more and more. The only thing is that if you don’t want to bowl a no-ball you should never bowl a no-ball,” insisted Dhoni.
Feature image source: PTI