Dhoni apologises for Team India's exit

Exhaustion has nothing to do with defeat in T20 championship, says skipper

Dhoni apologises for Team India's exit

The Indian skipper, however, rejected suggestions that exhaustion from playing too many games could have contributed to to the failure of his top batsmen. “We are more disappointed than the fans,” he said. “We respect their emotions, India is a very emotional country. We are really sorry. We can say we really gave our best, yet we lost. We have nothing to hide and we will accept it with an open heart.” The Jharkhand player promised millions of fans of a better showing in the forthcoming four-match one-day series in the West Indies, but not before donning the philosopher’s hat.

“Cricket does not test your character when you are doing well. It tests you when you are not doing well as an individual and as a team. These are testing times for us, but it’s not the end of the road,” Dhoni added.

“We are going to the West Indies and we can prove a point over there. In the last 10 or 12 days, we were really not up to the mark,” he said.

Defeat in the 50-over 2007 World Cup had been more painful. “This loss is certainly disappointing, but it won’t come anywhere near the loss in the 50-over version in 2007. The next few days will be tough because we will be forced to see what’s happening here without being a part of it. We have another game coming up on Tuesday, we have to do well there to prove a point. Hopefully, we will recover well and come out of it.”

While claiming that “we had experienced guys who can handle the pressure”, Dhoni, whose individual form had much to be desired, denied repeated suggestions that the Indian cricketers were exhausted from playing too many matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL). “You can’t blame it on tiredness. It’s not an excuse,” he said, adding that playing more matches was better for players.

But Dhoni obliquely hinted that the travel involved during the IPL might have affected the individual performance. “IPL is a demanding format because you play at different venues. There are quite a few technical meetings, press conferences, those sort of things. It is demanding not only for captains but also for each individual. Hopefully, something will be done about it.”

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