India's tour Down Under was just too long, says Anurag Thakur

Staying away from family for more than four months is tough on the team, says BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur; assures Board will look closely at the scheduling of tours

Melbourne: The Indian cricket board is pretty satisfied with Mahendra Singh Dhoni & Co’s show in this World Cup. Defending champions India first won all its league matches (six) and then beat Bangladesh in the quarter-finals before going down to Australia in the semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground recently. 

Indian players form a huddle after the fall of Glenn Maxwell’s wicket in the semi-final against Australia in Sydney last Thursday. PIC/Getty Images

There were mixed reactions back home with some feeling that the defending champions didn’t try hard enough against the Australians, where they lost by a whopping 95-run margin.

‘Boys played well’
However, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur said the sport’s ruling body in the country was quite proud of what this team had achieved Down Under. “Look we didn’t have a good Test series and tri-series but the team did very well to regroup and perform the way they did in the World Cup. There is no need to be disheartened, the boys have played well. To be unbeaten in the league phase is quite an achievement. Not many teams could do it here. And then they played well in the quarters against Bangladesh too. Against Australia probably things didn’t go as per plan and that can happen,” Thakur (40), who arrived here for the semi-finals and was present for yesterday’s final told mid-day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday. Pic/Ashwin Ferro 

Thakur, who was elected to the secretary’s post earlier this month at the BCCI AGM, felt the team’s four-month tour Down Under was too long. “This Australia tour was a very long one. We will closely look at the scheduling of tours in future. Four-and-a-half-months away from home is too long and tough on the team. Next time maybe they could come in a little later as compared to this time where they came much early before the Test series,” added Thakur.

Finally, on the latest debate on whether or not skipper Dhoni will call it quits in the ODI format sooner rather than later, Thakur said that the BCCI are only too happy to let him continue. “Dhoni is a fine captain and player, and has been doing very well leading the ODI team. There is no reason why he should quit ODIs any time soon,” said Thakur.

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