Indian Premier League governing council vice-chairman Niranjan Shah is disappointed, and angry, by the flop show put up by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and men at the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.
The former Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary expressed his disappointment in no uncertain terms in Rajkot on Wednesday evening.
"Our cricketers have done very badly in the Twenty20 World Cup. It's really disappointing that they didn't win a single match in the Super Eight round. They must not try to offer excuses for their pathetic performance. The players have to blame themselves. They must introspect where they went wrong or what went wrong. I think, except one or two players, most of them failed to do their jobs," he stated.
It goes without saying that the travel-play-travel grind, as well as long post-match night parties, of the marathon IPL, just before the prestigious event in the West Indies had drained many Indian players.
"I don't think players can complain now that they were tired because of IPL and hence they weren't in a position to give their best in the West Indies. Most of them are quite educated and know their responsibilities well. If they felt the IPL after-parties weren't good for them, they shouldn't have gone there. Now when the Indian team has been bundled out of the tournament, I think it's ridiculous to blame the IPL and give petty excuses," he said, in an annoying tone.
"Instead of blaming it, the IPL should be considered a good platform for practice for the players just before an important event like the T20 World Championship. But if the players feel that they're tired because of the IPL, they shouldn't play in it. There is no shortage of talented cricketers in India. There are so many of them to choose from. We shouldn't depend upon on only ten or eleven players."
Shah also felt that many members of the Indian team were given enough opportunities in spite of being unable to capitalise on them. He added, "I think the time has come for the national selection committee to look deeper into many things. There are many players who haven't done even reasonably well despite getting a lot of chances to prove their talents. It's about time some changes were made in the Indian team. You should start giving chances to new players."
The selectors have picked a very young and inexperienced team for the tour of Zimbabwe while resting many of the seniors. But that could well be because of the current standard of the Zimbabwe side, though Sri Lanka is one of the three teams competing in the one-day tri-series.
Surprisingly, Shah didn't make a mention of this while suggesting changes to the Indian team which performed so shoddily in the Caribbean.Asked whether Team India missed the expertise and experience of Sachin Tendulkar, and whether he should have gone to the Caribbean given his good form in the IPL, Shah replied: "He has long made his decision not to play in the ICC World Twenty20 championship. And we shouldn't depend on only one great player. The players selected in the Indian side should know their responsibilities, they should try their best to get the team in the final and win the championship."