New Delhi: Former Indian captains have blamed Indian captain Dhoni's tactics after the team's narrow loss to England which led to India's shock exit from the Twenty20 World Cup.
Dhoni's decision to bowl first to sending inexperienced Jadeja up the order at number four ahead of Yuvraj Sing, former players blamed Dhoni for taking risk in what was a do-or-die match on Sunday night.
Former Indian spinner EAS Prasanna said compared to Jadeja, even Harbhajan Singh would have been a better choice for the number four position.
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"In a crucial tie like this, Dhoni shouldn't have put England in after winning the toss, it was a mistake. I don't think our batting order was right. Sending Jadeja ahead of Yuvraj and Dhoni himself was a mistake. Even Harbhajan Singh could have given us the required thrust.
"We had the potential but the failure to handle pressure was the reason for our loss," he pointed out.
Former wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani opined that India failed to find suitable replacement for explosive opener Virender Sehwag, who was ruled out due to a shoulder injury.
"You have the talent and you are rated as favourites but this is what happens when you don't click. Sehwag's absence dented our prospects", he said.
"In this format, the opening pair is required to give a good foundation for others to carry on but we didn't get that. Apart from that, yesterday, our run rate slumped when Jadeja and Gautam Gambhir were batting," Kirmani explained.
Former Test cricketer Arun Lal was equally critical of Dhoni's leadership in such an important match.
"Sending Jadeja up the order smacked of overconfidence and defensiveness," he fumed.
Another former player V B Chandrashekhar said Jadeja should not even have been in the side in the first place.
"Dhoni's strategy to make England bat first was wrong and picking Ravindra Jadeja in place of Pragyan Ojha was yet another mistake. I also feel Harbhajan Singh did not give his best in the match," Chandrashekar said.