Dhoni disappointed with costly no-balls in semifinal

Had it not been for the two no-balls – by Ravichandran Ashwin in the seventh over when Lendl Simmons was on 18 and Hardik Pandya in the 15th when Simmons was on 50 – that resulted in Simmons’ dismissal being reversed, India could well have been on a flight to Kolkata for Sunday’s final.

Richard Ketleborough signals no-ball after Ravichandran Ashwin has Lendl Simmons caught at short third man when on 18.   -  Getty Images

For the second time in twelve months, India crashed out in the semifinal of a World event. But Thursday night’s >loss to West Indies in the World Twenty20 was far more heartbreaking than the defeat against Australia in the World Cup last year.

Had it not been for the two no-balls – by >Ravichandran Ashwin in the seventh over when >Lendl Simmons was on 18 and >Hardik Pandya in the 15th when Simmons was on 50 – that resulted in Simmons’ dismissal being reversed, India could well have been on a flight to Kolkata for Sunday’s final. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was naturally “disappointed” with the overstepping incidents.

>Pitch, dew factors that increased India's difficulties in semifinal, says Dhoni.

“The only thing I’m disappointed about are the two no-balls. Other than that, we tried our best and even if the conditions were not in favour of the spinners, whatever resources we had, we tried our best in the game,” Dhoni said after India failed to defend a target of 193.

“Frankly, you have to take into account that nobody wants to bowl a no-ball but it is just that on tracks like these, when it is so difficult – if you bowl a no-ball and get a wicket off that no-ball, then there is no one else to blame,” Dhoni said, referring to the no-balls.

Brilliant catch wasted

“Also, one of the catches was a brilliant catch (by a diving >Jasprit Bumrah at backward point off Ashwin). What it does is it gives you a free-hit and the batsmen get a chance to get into some kind of a momentum. I feel that the point at which the no-balls were bowled were quite crucial. If we had got those wickets, we would have got the opportunity to bowl one or two overs of the spinners and get away with them without giving too many runs. Nobody wants to bowl a no-ball, so I don’t want to be too tough on them but when there is pressure, you have to be at your best. The no-ball is something that can be avoided, especially the front foot no-ball, you practise more and you practise more.”

The no-balls resulted in India being compelled to stick to pace bowlers in anticipation of a breakthrough, especially with the dew making it virtually impossible for slow bowlers to grip the ball.

“As the dew comes in, it becomes difficult for them to turn the ball. The seam gets wet and the surface becomes a bit greasy, so it comes onto the bat nicely. We have seen that our spinners do struggle in conditions like these,” Dhoni said.

“If you remember, in one of the T20 World Cups (in Sri Lanka in 2012), we were knocked out because of one bad game (against Australia) and in that game, maybe it was rain that got the ball wet. That’s where our spinners find it difficult, it was quite evident. [Ashwin] only bowled two overs, We were forced to bowl the last over of [Ravindra Jadeja's] quota, otherwise he would have only bowled three overs.”