New Delhi, June 15 (ANI): Cricket fans across the nation have blamed team captain Mahandra Singh Dhoni for India's unceremonious exit from the Twenty20 World Cup.
England knocked out the defending champions on Sunday when they won the crucial match by 3 runs. India managed 150-5 from 20 overs in response to England's 153-7 at Lords in London.
Surprise winners two years ago, India were installed as one of the favourites to capture the title this time, but a three-run loss to England consigned the side to a second straight Super Eights defeat and with no chance of reaching the semi-finals.
Indian fans singled out Dhoni, hailed as a natural leader since captaining the team to victory in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa, as the villain.
Dhoni was blamed for shuffling the order and failing to shake off his own subdued batting form when a captain's innings was badly needed.
"This failure is because of Dhoni. He made two mistakes in the team yesterday, first he played Ravinder Jadeja instead of Pathan at 2 down, and he made no runs. In the last over 19 runs were required and Dhoni just managed to take either single or two runs," said Amit Kumar from New Delhi.
Cricket fans in Mumbai are echoing the similar sentiments.
"Yuvraj Singh should have come at the place of Ravinder Jadeja, then perhaps there could be some chance of winning the match," Ajit, a cricket fan.
England bowlers pegged the top order batsmen with incisive short-pitched bowling, successfully borrowing the tactic from West Indies in their earlier Super Eights upset of India.
Dhoni has enjoyed a smooth ride as test captain since the 2007 triumph but has come under scrutiny at this tournament after parading the entire team in an attempt to quash media reports of disharmony between him and deputy Virender Sehwag. (ANI)