Dhoni defends Yuvraj in wake of defeat

India

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni came out in defence of put-upon batsman Yuvraj Singh in the wake of their six-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 final, after Yuvraj's knock was blamed for the loss.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni came out in defence of put-upon batsman Yuvraj Singh in the wake of their six-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 final, after Yuvraj's knock was blamed for the loss.

India only managed to post a well-below-par 130 for four, with Virat Kohli making 77 of those. But it was Yuvraj's agonising 11 off 21 balls in the middle overs that stalled the innings, and fans were furious, going so far as to stone his house.

Dhoni defended his veteran team-mate: "I can tell you one thing, you talk about the anger of the fans and all, you know it's always the individual who is more disappointed than the fans.

"As a player you go through more because you have your expectations and everything else. So I think that's not the statement you should talk about. Yes, fans get angry but you should also think about the individual.

"Nobody wants to really play bad cricket. In front of 40,000 people you don't really want to drop a catch or misfield. It's part and parcel of the game. And we have seen it happen to some of the international athletes, not just cricketers.

"Let's get rid of it. Yuvi tried his best, it was an off day for him, at the same time it is not easy for a batsman to go out there and start slogging."

Dhoni went on to explain that Yuvraj was sent in early because he liked to take his time, whereas Suresh Raina could get slogging from the outset. They felt there was enough time for Yuvraj to get his eye in, but conditions made it tough.

The skipper said: "We only have one – somebody like Suresh Raina who can go in and really start hitting from the very first ball. Most of the other batsmen like to spend a bit of time and then play the big shots.

"That's the reason why we want Yuvi at 4 and then Suresh Raina at 5. And also this game what happened is, two right-handers were batting at that point of time [Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli].

"So you wanted a left-right combination to make it difficult for the bowlers to execute their plans. And that was the reason why we had Yuvi at 4. After that we wanted to keep a left-right combination. But the last two overs, I said let me go [ahead of Raina] and try something."

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