Pacers let India down in Champions Trophy: Pataudi

MS Dhoni's captaincy left much to be desired but it was the lacklustre performance of the pacers that let India down in the CT, according to MAK Pataudi.

updated: October 03, 2009 07:31 IST
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New Delhi:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy left much to be desired but it was the lacklustre performance of the pacers that let India down in the Champions Trophy, according to former skipper Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.

According to him, Dhoni got his moves wrong at times but it was the lack of fire in the pace attack that saw India crash out before the semifinal stage.

"India's bowling was poor in South Africa. You cannot expect to win 50-over matches in these conditions if your bowlers bowl like this," Pataudi said.

"We got away with it in Sri Lanka as wickets there suited us. Here the pitches were more helpful to seamers and we have not just got the right seam bowlers. Spinners cannot do the job in South Africa," Pataudi told a news channel.

Pataudi said the pacers had no role in India's tri-series triumph in Sri Lanka, which was possible because of strong performance by the spinners.

One of the most elegant players of his era, Pataudi was disturbed by the tendency of the Indian pacers to gradually slow down. He in fact went on to say that India doesn't have any fast bowler at all.

"I don't think they are fast to begin with. I consider 90 mph fast but these guys are bowling 80mph. They are not fast, at best they could be called medium fast," he said.

Pataudi did not sound impressed by Dhoni's captaincy in South Africa but the former skipper was not ready to call for his head either.

Recalling how Dhoni let Pakistan off the hook by withdrawing in-form Ashish Nehra and operating with part-timers while holding back frontline spinner Harbhajan Singh, Pataudi agreed criticism of Dhoni was not entirely without reason.

"I have no choice but to agree. I think that must be one of the reason we failed to perform in South Africa," Pataudi said.

"But there are deeper reasons for it. The captain takes the decision, it may go right or wrong. It's easy for us to criticise, but that is not the only reason why we did badly in South Africa.

"They (Pakistan) would have been under pressure as Harbhajan was bowling well, but again it's the decision we must leave it to the captain," he said.

Dismissing claims that Dhoni should be sacked, he said, "Media tend to over-praise far too quickly and then of course they have to bring it down. Dhoni is a good captain and he will become a better captain."