For the second time in 12 months, India crashed out in the semifinals of an ICC World Cup event. But Thursday night's loss to the West Indies in the World Twenty20 was more heartbreaking than the defeat against Australia in the World Cup last year.
Had it not been for the two no-balls — R. 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's dismissal being reversed, India could well have been on a plane to Kolkata for Sunday’s final.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was naturally "disappointed" with the overstepping incidents.
"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," said Dhoni.
"Also, one of the catches was brilliant (by a diving Jasprit Bumrah at backward point off Ashwin). What it does is it brings a free-hit and the batsmen get a chance to get into some kind of 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 had the opportunity to bowl one or two overs from the spinners and get away 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 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.
Source The Hindu