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Team India's Caribbean flop show

Last updated on: May 12, 2010 21:15 IST

Another flop show by Team India

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Another international tournament, yet another early exit. India formally bowed out of the World T20 on Tuesday after losing to Sri Lanka by five wickets in the concluding Super Eights match.

And, it is time again to do an autopsy.

Team India's performance in recent ICC events resembles a Bollywood blockbuster, predictable to the core -- high on hope, low on scope.

Just like the world's biggest film industry flatters to deceive -- with an assembly line of mediocre film, shoddy scripts and blatant copies, the performance of our much-adored cricketers in the tournaments that matter leaves much to be desired.

And just as the audience falls for the hype generated regarding these movies on more occasions than one, the cricket-crazy public is more than happy with the Indian team's performance on the flat wickets at home, and remains hooked to the entertainment dished out in the form of the Indian Premier League (IPL) -- never mind even if South Africa hosts it (India main sab chalta hai).

In the latter case, the generous public is even willing to forgive and forget the team's repeated failures in the long run and is back rooting for the team in quick time -- the BCCI doing its bit by ensuring there is cricket throughout the year (no respite whatsoever). We Indians love excesses, folks!

There's resentment (read criticism) though in the days following a shock defeat and, on every such occasion, the critics succeed in finding a scapegoat who is then solely blamed for the debacle.

But we will keep who we believe will be made scapegoats for the very last.

For the record, India won just two matches in the tournament, beating debutants Afghanistan and South Africa in the group stage, and lost to Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka in the Super Eights.

With India's early exit in the West Indies, Bikash Mohapatra looks at the few players whose performance, rather the lack of it, cost India dear.

MS Dhoni

As leader of the pack, he has to be the first person to be held responsible for this debacle.

His decisions were questionable -- putting the opposition in on two occasions after winning the toss and subsequently losing both the matches, and his batting lacked confidence.

At least MS Dhoni can be complimented for being honest with regard to admitting his team's frailties.

Having said that, nothing can justify Team India's woeful performance in the tournament.

The Number Game

Matches: 5
Runs: 85
Average: 42.50
S/R: 149.12


Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: Reuters
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Frailties as a batsman on sporting wickets exposed

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Gautam Gambhir

Forgive us for being overtly critical here.

But the manner in which Gautam Gambhir played the short ball, he doesn't deserve to open the innings -- at least on sporting wickets.

He is undoubtedly the king of the flat tracks in the subcontinent, but his frailties as a batsman were exposed yet again in the Caribbean.

However, his only redeeming feature, if at all, can be the fact he was equally woeful in the preceding IPL.

The Number Game

Matches: 4
Runs: 69
Average: 17.25
S/R: 111.29


Image: Gautam Gambhir

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Out-of-form Yuvraj a liability

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Yuvraj Singh

His form was questionable for the first few months.

And he made no effort whatsoever to answer those questions.

When in form, Yuvraj Singh can wreck havoc, no doubt about it. Consequently, when he is out of form he can be a liability that the team can easily do away with.

The Number Game

Matches: 5
Runs: 74
Average: 18.50
S/R: 105.71


Image: Yuvraj Singh

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Slump in the Caribbean

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Yusuf Pathan

Yusuf Pathan was in supreme form in the first three months of the year.

There was a dip during the IPL and a complete slump in the Caribbean.

The only thing that can never be questioned though is his commitment to the game.

The Number Game

Matches: 5
Runs: 42
Average: 10.50
S/R: 135.48


Image: Yusuf Pathan

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'Turbanator failed as a strike bowler

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Harbhajan Singh

There are two aspects to Harbhajan Singh's bowling in the Caribbean.

On the positive side, he was at his parsimonious best -- none of the teams managing to score heavily off his bowling.

He opened the bowling and did a commendable job in checking the flow of runs.

However, as a strike bowler your prime job is to take wickets.

And this is precisely where the 'Turbanator' failed miserably - failing to take a single wicket in the five matches that he played.

The Number Game

Matches: 4
Runs: 69
Average: 17.25
S/R: 111.29
Wickets: 0
Economy: 6.15


Image: Harbhajan Singh

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A failure on conducive wickets

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Zaheer Khan

He was supposed to be India's spearhead, going into the tournament with a bolstered reputation following a good showing in the IPL.

The wickets in the West Indies were conducive, but it couldn't ensure him what he needed most -- wickets.

From Team India's point of view, Zaheer's performance in the tournament was abject failure.

Matches: 3
Wickets: 2
Economy: 9.54


Image: Zaheer Khan

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Forgettable tournament, to say the least

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Ravindra Jadeja

Finally, to the probable scapegoat.

Ravindra Jadeja, banned from playing the third edition of the IPL, had a forgettable tournament, to say the least.

While against Australia he conceded six sixes off six balls, Chris Gayle and Co ensured the next match against the hosts added insult to injury.

Further, woeful efforts with the blade and patchy work in the field ensured there was no succour available for the youngster.

Matches: 4
Runs: 9
Average: 9.00
S/R: 81.81
Wickets: 2
Economy: 9.75


Image: Ravindra Jadeja

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