>M. S. Dhoni attributed his team’s difficulties in the semifinal against West Indies to the difference in the nature of the pitch between the two innings, and the dew in the night, which made the ball slippery for bowlers. West Indies
defeated India by seven wickets to move into the final of the ICC World Twenty20.
India’s cause was not helped by the agony of seeing
>Lendl Simmons twice dismissed only to be reprieved both times when slow motion replays showed that Ravichandran Ashwin and then Hardik Pandya had overstepped. Simmons, playing in his first match of the tournament as a late call-up for the injured Andre Charles, went on to smash a match-winning 82 off 51 balls.
If Simmons and the West Indies rode their luck, Dhoni was left to curse his bad fortune which began when he lost a crucial toss and was made to bat first. “The difference between the first innings and the second innings when it comes to the surface was too much,” said Dhoni as he spoke about his bowlers’ struggles.
“In the first innings you will have seen there was a bit of assistance for the spinners, it was gripping a bit, but there was nothing much in the second innings.”
10 runs short
Although India’s star batsman
>Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 89, Dhoni acknowledged that his team was about 10 runs short in its innings, but refused to criticise his players. “The only thing I am disappointed about is the two no-balls, other than that we tried our best,” he said.
“Luck is a factor definitely but at the end of the day you have to play good cricket. There’s none of the tournaments we have won was because of good luck. There’s nothing called good luck, you have to execute your plans well.”
Before the match, West Indies’ skipper
>Darren Sammy had said the semifinal was a “David and Goliath” encounter, with more than a billion Indians willing their team to win.
Victory in the tournament would have been the icing on the cake for Dhoni, who also skippered India to victory on home soil in the 2011 World Cup and in the inaugural World T20 in South Africa in 2007.
Kohli has already replaced him as Test captain but Dhoni, who is India’s most successful captain, remains a popular figure in the dressing-room.