India in Australia 2011-12 December 12, 2011

Lead-up to first Test is the key - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff
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MS Dhoni, the India captain, has said how his team utilise their time in Australia in the lead-up to the first Test will determine the outcome of the series. "It depends on how we prepare ourselves during the 12 days before the Test match and how we adapt to the conditions," Dhoni said. "Most of the batsmen have played there before. We are hoping we will do well there."

India have been poor starters overseas of late and have lost the first Test of the series on their previous trips to Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England. But Duncan Fletcher, the India coach, said an early arrival in Australia for some of his players coupled with two warm-up games should be sufficient for the team to acclimatise to conditions. "You hope that they do adapt during that period of time. Probably it is enough," Fletcher said in Chennai ahead of the team's departure to Australia.

Australia have struggled recently, but Dhoni said this was not necessarily India's best chance to win a Test series in Australia, and that he would rather work on his side's strengths and weaknesses than concentrate on the opposition's form. "Even last time [in 2007-08] we had a very good chance and we did really perform well. It is not that if the opposition is not doing well it will be a best chance for us. We have to play to the level of the kind of talent that we have got and not worry about such things. We are more concerned about what we need to work on and are not too worried about what kind of opposition we are playing.

"Some people think that the last Australian team was much better than the current Australian side. Some of the present players were not part of the 2008 side. To judge them is quite a difficult task. Anil Kumble was part of our side [then]. The spinners coming into the team now are not as experienced as Anil. It applies to the Australian team also. They had big players like Adam Gilchrist and others.

"[Because they are] missing big names in the present setup, some people think that this is our best chance. But we did well that time also and quite a few things happened in the series. Most of you watched that. We will try to keep such things away. We are a good side and we need to do well on the field."

Fletcher agreed with Dhoni about the need for India to focus on their own game but added that Australia had some good players who were currently out of form and India would do well to keep things that way.

Zaheer Khan, who is returning after a long injury lay-off, will be crucial if India are to put pressure on the Australia line-up and Fletcher said that he did not want to rush his premier fast bowler back. "From the reports that I get, Zaheer had come to Mumbai and bowled in the nets there and he looked impressive. I think it is very important to be careful; he looked to be in very good condition even when he came to England.

"He has got through two games [in the Ranji Trophy, for Mumbai]. It will be ideal preparation for him. We do not want to rush him back too quickly. The one three-day game there will be important for him before the first Test."

Fletcher was also upbeat about Ishant Sharma, who was among the players who departed early for Australia. "He has had a nice rest. He was totally free from injury when he finished the Test match in Mumbai [against West Indies]. He has gone out there fresh. It is important that they have little breaks between series. Everything that we have heard so far is that they are ready to go."

Though seamers Praveen Kumar and Varun Aaron will be missing the tour due to injury, Dhoni was optimistic about the chances of his bowling attack. "If you see the injury list, it is quite blank as of now. More often than not, [of the] the 15 or 16 who are selected [in the squad] everybody will be ready for selection [in the XI]. That takes a bit of pressure off and you need not worry about the playing XI that much as most of the players get their berths on merit.

"Apart from that, the batting line-up is quite the same. Bowling-wise, Zaheer is back. We have got Umesh Yadav who can bowl over 140kph. I think it looks like a good pack."

Dhoni said he was not worried about the fact that only two of his bowlers had played more than 15 Tests as it was more important to have in-form bowlers than experienced ones.

"R Ashwin has just made his debut in the series against West Indies while Harbhajan Singh has played in 98 Test matches and is one of the leading wicket-takers for India," Dhoni said. "Nobody knew what Ashwin can do. But he ended up winning the Man-of-the-Series in the Tests. This is something that Duncan said that we have to be careful about. Just because the big names are not there, it does not mean the bowling attack is weak. Even when Shane Warne or Glenn McGrath made their debut they started from zero wickets. You may be having a [potentially] great bowler, who may be just starting his career and playing the first few games."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on December 15, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas; the problem wombats have with dustbowl is that it doesn't promote all forms of genius; genius of batsman who can handle pace and bounce early in the Test match, genius of bowler with ability to exploit such condition. Dustbowl only gives spin bowler a chance and only develops the batsman to resist spinner. This is not the full set of cricket skills. We think it is disrespectful of india captain who calls for spinning track from Day 1. This will not promote india cricket as world force - only an insular grouping which can deal only with its own condition. Maybe this is the way BCCI want to go? Maybe they say; "well, we make lots of money this way - why do we need Test Match/rest of the world"? If we "mock" dustbowl it is because dustbowl is a tragedy - a limitation which prevents growth of young skillful india fast bowler and young batsman learning about seam & bounce. To be world force india need players for ALL world conditions. You too could respect "cowpasture"!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 15, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    @5wombats, I sure agree that fast tracks are completely missing in our country. That's a genuine issue that needs to be addressed. If you just try to back off for a while and take a note of my vision, you will understand that I'm talking of how the future NEEDS to be in India. Bilateral series in India should be played on spinning tracks while for practice on a day to day basis we need to have all kinds of tracks. Dravid used to face wet, hard cricket tennis balls thrown at him on concrete from several galleries higher in the stadium to address the issue of facing pace and bounce. India is such a vast country that the climate varies a lot from one part to the other. There should be no excuse for our administrators to not to look seriously into developing England like tracks in Dharamshala, Mohali and such Northern cities and towns. BUT if passionate fans like you don't know how to respect spinning tracks and mock at them as dustbowls, then the point of contention remains the same.

  • 5wombats on December 15, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - we've had coversations before - so I know you to be a level headed india fan. Look - all this stuff about "cowpastures" is clearly nonsense. If England only produce "doctored grassbowls" - then how can you explain the fact that England has also produced the currently best spin bowler in the world in all formats? Surely, according to india logic, this is impossible. And - we don't believe for one minute that india domestic set up gives players "green" pitches to play on. If this is true then why did india batsmen (except your hero...) fail so dismally last summer, and where are all these india bowlers that practice bowling on these green pitches? Answer - they aren't there, because the pitches you describe are not produced. And we never once said that seam bowlers were a "higher form of life" - so stop attributing me with things we never would say. We happen to think that Warne was a great genius with the ball & have said so many times here. Please publish.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 15, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    @5wombats, I would never say you know nothing. But you sure are assuming. The debate is purely contextual, the CONTEXT of a bilateral series between two countries. So, DON'T ASSUME other things about our DOMESTIC SETUP. India should continue to provide sporting tracks (as per Dhoni) also known as spinning tracks for bilateral series in India. That's the whole point. So, don't assume that that's what our players are going to practice on domestically. Our players will get to practice on underprepared homegrown grassbowls also in order to compete on grassbowls in other parts of the world. If you really think that fast bowlers and batsmen are the only higher forms of cricket life, then you sure are insular and exclusive, instead of being inclusive, in your definitions. Not good for cricket. Log off and think. My point of contention: IF spinning tracks are unsporting and will be mocked at as dustbowls, THEN fast tracks are unsporting and will be mocked at as grassbowls for cows. Simple!

  • heathrf1974 on December 15, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    The fitness of both sides will be crucial in this series. If Zaheer Khan can find his form quickly then India should win. If not the it could be tight. The batting of Aus will need to improve dramatically.

  • Meety on December 15, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Early days - but India are labouring hard in the first warm up game AND Ishant has broken down! A bit of a slaughter really. @ganymede - you wish buddy!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 15, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    @5wombats, I wouldn't say you know nothing. But you sure are assuming. The debate is purely contextual, the CONTEXT of a bilateral series between two countries. So, DON'T ASSUME other things about our DOMESTIC SETUP. India should continue to provide sporting tracks (as per Dhoni) also known as spinning tracks (as per Dhoni) for bilateral series. That's the whole point. So, don't assume that that's what our players are going to practice on domestically. Our players will get to practice on underprepared homegrown grassbowls also in order to compete on grassbowls in other parts of the world. If you really think that fast bowlers and batsmen are the only higher forms of cricket life, then you sure are insular and exclusive, instead of being inclusive, in your definitions. Not good for cricket. Log off and think. My point of contention: IF spinning tracks are unsporting and will be mocked at as dustbowls, THEN fast tracks are unsporting and will be mocked at as grassbowls for cows. Simple!

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on December 14, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    India missing the world's best young fast bowler in Aaron and world's best swing master in praveen, also they are missing the very very talented spinner in rahul,and future greats in pujara,raina and mukund. So basically we are without our 6 star players and no-1 allrounder in world at present-Ravindra jadeja(who just hit a 314 in first class cricket) and almost all the westindies and english batsmen have struggled against his crafty bowling. But even without these 7 great players, we have enough firepower to demolish Australia. I don't believe in series prediction, but can predict few personal milestones==sehwag will hit a double and a triple ton, 3fifers for umesh yadav and 3 centuries each for dravid and sachin. GO...Can't wait for it to start.

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    @Naresh28, Exactly my Point to the people here crying for Irfan, who is not going to change the destiny of this Indian team like Zak can do. We will wait and watch how they are going to bowl if at all they get a chance, however they will get a chance to bowl in tomorrow's practice match anyway. I m least bothered about Wasim comments about Indian team. WI were 2-46 (Samuels, 8.1 ov), 2-25 (Samuels, 7.1 ov), 2-42 (Hyatt, 13.1 ov), 2-63 (Simmons, 9.3 ov) from 1st ODI to 4th ODI respectively and not to forgot India were 2-1 (Patel, 0.3 ov) in the same match as both openers were removed by Roach in just 3 balls. Meanwhile the batsman dismissed by him Avg 34.37 and 10.40 with Bat, is never a big threat when they were chasing. I know the Chennai pitch quite well, since the WC, IPL and even in CL it was tough to bat on early. Batsman has to spend a little time. You don't believe me? Pity me!!! Check with any1 from CI. We can talk about replacement when he break down not now, please...

  • psswain on December 14, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    Aus's so called best batsman after don is going through a rough patch of 2 yrs with avg around mere 26 without a three fig score...i'm unable to find any sign of gr8ness in it. Couple of weeks ago ian chappel wrote a long rubbish article in defence of it,but he adviced sachin to retire for the same reason while sachin avgd above 30 during tht period. IAN,LOOK AT THE MIRROR !!

  • 5wombats on December 15, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas; the problem wombats have with dustbowl is that it doesn't promote all forms of genius; genius of batsman who can handle pace and bounce early in the Test match, genius of bowler with ability to exploit such condition. Dustbowl only gives spin bowler a chance and only develops the batsman to resist spinner. This is not the full set of cricket skills. We think it is disrespectful of india captain who calls for spinning track from Day 1. This will not promote india cricket as world force - only an insular grouping which can deal only with its own condition. Maybe this is the way BCCI want to go? Maybe they say; "well, we make lots of money this way - why do we need Test Match/rest of the world"? If we "mock" dustbowl it is because dustbowl is a tragedy - a limitation which prevents growth of young skillful india fast bowler and young batsman learning about seam & bounce. To be world force india need players for ALL world conditions. You too could respect "cowpasture"!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 15, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    @5wombats, I sure agree that fast tracks are completely missing in our country. That's a genuine issue that needs to be addressed. If you just try to back off for a while and take a note of my vision, you will understand that I'm talking of how the future NEEDS to be in India. Bilateral series in India should be played on spinning tracks while for practice on a day to day basis we need to have all kinds of tracks. Dravid used to face wet, hard cricket tennis balls thrown at him on concrete from several galleries higher in the stadium to address the issue of facing pace and bounce. India is such a vast country that the climate varies a lot from one part to the other. There should be no excuse for our administrators to not to look seriously into developing England like tracks in Dharamshala, Mohali and such Northern cities and towns. BUT if passionate fans like you don't know how to respect spinning tracks and mock at them as dustbowls, then the point of contention remains the same.

  • 5wombats on December 15, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - we've had coversations before - so I know you to be a level headed india fan. Look - all this stuff about "cowpastures" is clearly nonsense. If England only produce "doctored grassbowls" - then how can you explain the fact that England has also produced the currently best spin bowler in the world in all formats? Surely, according to india logic, this is impossible. And - we don't believe for one minute that india domestic set up gives players "green" pitches to play on. If this is true then why did india batsmen (except your hero...) fail so dismally last summer, and where are all these india bowlers that practice bowling on these green pitches? Answer - they aren't there, because the pitches you describe are not produced. And we never once said that seam bowlers were a "higher form of life" - so stop attributing me with things we never would say. We happen to think that Warne was a great genius with the ball & have said so many times here. Please publish.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 15, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    @5wombats, I would never say you know nothing. But you sure are assuming. The debate is purely contextual, the CONTEXT of a bilateral series between two countries. So, DON'T ASSUME other things about our DOMESTIC SETUP. India should continue to provide sporting tracks (as per Dhoni) also known as spinning tracks for bilateral series in India. That's the whole point. So, don't assume that that's what our players are going to practice on domestically. Our players will get to practice on underprepared homegrown grassbowls also in order to compete on grassbowls in other parts of the world. If you really think that fast bowlers and batsmen are the only higher forms of cricket life, then you sure are insular and exclusive, instead of being inclusive, in your definitions. Not good for cricket. Log off and think. My point of contention: IF spinning tracks are unsporting and will be mocked at as dustbowls, THEN fast tracks are unsporting and will be mocked at as grassbowls for cows. Simple!

  • heathrf1974 on December 15, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    The fitness of both sides will be crucial in this series. If Zaheer Khan can find his form quickly then India should win. If not the it could be tight. The batting of Aus will need to improve dramatically.

  • Meety on December 15, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Early days - but India are labouring hard in the first warm up game AND Ishant has broken down! A bit of a slaughter really. @ganymede - you wish buddy!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 15, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    @5wombats, I wouldn't say you know nothing. But you sure are assuming. The debate is purely contextual, the CONTEXT of a bilateral series between two countries. So, DON'T ASSUME other things about our DOMESTIC SETUP. India should continue to provide sporting tracks (as per Dhoni) also known as spinning tracks (as per Dhoni) for bilateral series. That's the whole point. So, don't assume that that's what our players are going to practice on domestically. Our players will get to practice on underprepared homegrown grassbowls also in order to compete on grassbowls in other parts of the world. If you really think that fast bowlers and batsmen are the only higher forms of cricket life, then you sure are insular and exclusive, instead of being inclusive, in your definitions. Not good for cricket. Log off and think. My point of contention: IF spinning tracks are unsporting and will be mocked at as dustbowls, THEN fast tracks are unsporting and will be mocked at as grassbowls for cows. Simple!

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on December 14, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    India missing the world's best young fast bowler in Aaron and world's best swing master in praveen, also they are missing the very very talented spinner in rahul,and future greats in pujara,raina and mukund. So basically we are without our 6 star players and no-1 allrounder in world at present-Ravindra jadeja(who just hit a 314 in first class cricket) and almost all the westindies and english batsmen have struggled against his crafty bowling. But even without these 7 great players, we have enough firepower to demolish Australia. I don't believe in series prediction, but can predict few personal milestones==sehwag will hit a double and a triple ton, 3fifers for umesh yadav and 3 centuries each for dravid and sachin. GO...Can't wait for it to start.

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    @Naresh28, Exactly my Point to the people here crying for Irfan, who is not going to change the destiny of this Indian team like Zak can do. We will wait and watch how they are going to bowl if at all they get a chance, however they will get a chance to bowl in tomorrow's practice match anyway. I m least bothered about Wasim comments about Indian team. WI were 2-46 (Samuels, 8.1 ov), 2-25 (Samuels, 7.1 ov), 2-42 (Hyatt, 13.1 ov), 2-63 (Simmons, 9.3 ov) from 1st ODI to 4th ODI respectively and not to forgot India were 2-1 (Patel, 0.3 ov) in the same match as both openers were removed by Roach in just 3 balls. Meanwhile the batsman dismissed by him Avg 34.37 and 10.40 with Bat, is never a big threat when they were chasing. I know the Chennai pitch quite well, since the WC, IPL and even in CL it was tough to bat on early. Batsman has to spend a little time. You don't believe me? Pity me!!! Check with any1 from CI. We can talk about replacement when he break down not now, please...

  • psswain on December 14, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    Aus's so called best batsman after don is going through a rough patch of 2 yrs with avg around mere 26 without a three fig score...i'm unable to find any sign of gr8ness in it. Couple of weeks ago ian chappel wrote a long rubbish article in defence of it,but he adviced sachin to retire for the same reason while sachin avgd above 30 during tht period. IAN,LOOK AT THE MIRROR !!

  • Naresh28 on December 14, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    @ssenthil - Not to bother about IRFAN as he is not in the team anyway - so dont get worked up. Only time will tell on Indias other bench strength bowlers when given a run. By the way Irfan was again mentioned by WASIM AKRAM just last week.My only reason for saying the last ODI was setup by IRFAN is that at 23-2 (irfan taking both wickets) - chasing 268 and two top order batsman removed - the windies slide had started. About LISTA and FIRST CLASS wickets includes ODI and test wickets I DONT KNOW. Maybe someone from cricinfo can clarify. Still he has loads of experience. INDIA could be worried on getting a good left armer ready to replace ZAKS. The closest is Nehra.

  • sudeepmuralee on December 14, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    The Ind - Aus series will decided purely based on the PITCH being prepared by the ACB , if they prepare a fast , green pitch , ind chances are very less... Also Being a slow starter to the series , MCB looks quite difficult for an Indian Victory.... But SCG and Adelaide Oval ,, India have bright chances.....

  • bleedblue_sach on December 14, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Leave all the trash about India in previous tours to OZ or Ind failure in Eng blah..blah.. Australia is also no good team now, atleast this year - In 2011, India played 4 Test series - With SA in SA [Drawn], WI in WI [India won], Eng in Eng [Eng won], WI in Ind [Ind won] OZ played 4 Test series - With Eng in Aus [OZ lost], Aus in SL [OZ Won], Aus in SA [Drawn], NZ in Aus [Drawn] The stats will tell themselves, no explanations required as such.

  • ganymede on December 14, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    (Contd)..Success against this Indian side will not come easily,and if it does it is to be savoured.If Micheal Clarke's team preserve their unbeaten home record against India or pull off a victory, they will not only have unearthed a couple of new batsmen as well as a couple of bowlers for the future,they will also have taken their first steps towards redemption.

  • ganymede on December 14, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    The legendary Indian batsmen will be keen to leave their mark on their last tour down under.Although the Indian batting failed collectively in England,it is unlikely to do so twice in succession.The bowlers too have raised their games on earlier tours.Zaheer Khan is a wily veteran amongst the best in business.He could be a handful if fully fit.Ishant Sharma burst onto the scene on the last tour to Australia,seems to be fully fit and raring to go and could make an impact again this year.In Umesh Yadav,India seem to have unearthed a promising young fast bowler.Inspite of the absence of Anil Kumble&Harbhajan Singh,spin bowling,India's traditional strength remains in capable hands.Pragyan Ojha impessed during Australia's last tour to India &seems to have improved further.Although he has played only3 Tests,Ravichandran Ashwin looks as if he can be a capable successor to the likes of Kumble&Harbhajan.In MS Dhoni,India has a talismanic captain whose cool exterior masks a never say die spirit.

  • Naresh28 on December 14, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    @FANS LETS JUST FORGET ALL THIS. THE TWO TEAMS COULD NOT CARE TWO HOOTS ABOUT THIS (PITCHES, PREDICTIONS, PLAYERS). LET THE BEST TEAM WIN. REMEMBER YOU WIN SOME AND YOU LOSE SOME. INSTEAD OF PRE-MATCH BLOG CRICINFO SHOULD JUST HAVE POST-SERIES COMMENTS.

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    @Naresh, I seen that page. They even mentions Bracewell as Right-arm medium, not even Medium Fast, who bowls at 135k's. CI is correct? Well, Sorry to tell, don't count all his wickets at that page, since his Test wickets are included in FC and his ODI wickets in List A. So he has taken abt 639 Wickets overall if u insist to add his T-20 wickets 93. In Tests and FC together 322 wickets. His fielding is good??? Just avg, he drops too many catches. But do u believe any bowler will settle for a Maiden in the 49th over?? Pathetic batting. Exactly, he coming after INJURY. So he shld prove more about him at Domestic first. Well If Zak break downs then thats tough but if happen send Irfan but I don't think we can win after Zak break down. Cook was in his form of life. But it's a Joke India came up due to Irfan 2 Wickets in the last ODI, even Vinay was doing that early break in all matches. Read all my Micro stats about Irfan to know better rather then just looking at Profile page only.

  • ganymede on December 14, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    First they lost the services of their once in a generation players,then they lost their aura of invincibility,then their no.1 ranking.Now they seem to be losing their way.Much like Allan Border's side before him,Micheal Clarke's Australian side is a side in transition.Like a wealthy aristrocrat now fallen on hard times,they must realize that success will no longer come easily.The series against India poses a grave threat as well as a golden oppurtunity.They will do well not to take India lightly.The only side to consistently challenge them when they were at their best,the touring Indians in 2003/04&2007/08 punched above their weight forcing the champions to go on the defensive.If this side punches above its wieght it may well knock out Australia.For all their supposed failings on spicy wickets abroad,this Indian batting at least on paper remains the best batting line up in the world.All their top batsmen have tasted success in Australia against stronger sides &(contd..)

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    @5wombats, Cricket is played in Pitches. No matter what kind of Pitches. Grass or Turning track. If you call only Grass pitches as sportive you are proving your double standard. Sachin still Avg's over 55 in England and even in the last tour he Avg over 35 despite no Century. He was not pathetic like Ponting who since Feb 2010 Avg just below 25. Which shows his form across the world.

  • 5wombats on December 14, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    @loveipl - love ipl do you? No lectures from you then about "knowing nothing" about cricket! india will go on producing only spin bowlers and only people who can bat on rolled mud, and, no doubt, they will go on complaining about pitches in other parts of the world that are not identical to their own. And no doubt they will complain too when fast bowlers rip through them on surfaces with "grass" on them and say that these are "unfair cow patures". No, they are fair pitches - surfaces on which the great game was invented to be played. But they will probably complain about rain too and say that this is "helps other team to win". In fact, they'll probably complain about anything and say it's "unfair" everytime their team lose. PS I never called Tendulkar "substandard" on any of my posts ever. But now you come to mention it - neither he nor VVS (not the toughest tour) Laxman or Yuvraj, or Dhoni, or Gambhir, did that well in England recently did they? Or were they injured? Probably.

  • Naresh28 on December 14, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    @5wombats - DO YOU EVER PRODUCE DUST- BOWLS FOR US? when we tour. The whole issue about dust bowls is over exaggeration. A game played on a dust bowl will finish in three days and not five. As for saying our batsman cant bat in Australia - look at this link:- http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2003-04/IND_IN_AUS/STATS/IND_IN_AUS_NOV2003-FEB2004_TEST_AVS.html

  • Ragha_91 on December 14, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    wow i dono how it takes to be in aus dressing room.but nobody want to be . but from my heart for sure this gonna be one hell of the test and one day series by aussies.i think they gonna play skin out against opposition if i iam not wong ponting gonna be one person to watch out for he may get best against all indian bowler replica of 2003-04 series series draw 1-1 with ponting coming out with atleast 2-3 hundred and middle order contributes about 500 hundred ru i the series and warner could have a hundred and couple fiftys with 2-3 fifties from watto,pup hussy with pattinson and siddle with pace and swing and lyon may take 10 wickets in atleast 5 out of 10 innings india whole tour test n one day sehwag - 4 fifties gambhir -1 hundred and couple of fifties dravid -1 hunded with couple of fifties sachin -hundred in one of the packed stadium and race to hundred atleat 3 times kohli- 2 hundred with a fifty vvs- 2 fifties dhoni couple of ffities ishant- 8 wick zaheer 9 wic umesh- 11 wic

  • SamuelThorpe7 on December 14, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    India now has the right bowling to be successful in OZ. They allways had a great batting line up which is best in the world now. It was funny watching Border, Fleming, Warne and co on inside cricket already fearful of the Indian batting. They were already feeling sorry for Nathan Lyon coz noone has any doubtsthat he will be punished badly. I can already see him going into the MCGs members block. India has noone to fear here. Ausssie Loss against NZ will obviously work in their favor. Pattinson will find out about test cricket when he bowls to the real batsmen. His honemoon is almost over and I wont be surprised if Siddle is the only one making any difference. He is a fighter. Ponting will go if he fails in Melbourne. I admire him but dont want him to get back to form. Whole India awaits for our first series win down under. :)

  • Empty-Sequence on December 14, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    Its interesting that some people consider top 3 teams to be Eng,SA and Aus. Even more interesting is that these teams have only done well,when they're playing amongst each other(on green tops) however they have failed bigtime in subcontinent. But nobody whats to talk about it cause they believe that the pitches in subcontinent r flat , dust bowl and unhealthy to play on. And for them cricket is only played outside subcontinent. Probably they might be right coz they always believed whyte is rite.

  • Prasant_NSW on December 14, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    and @ZAIDI9 "SACHIN, SEHWAG can perform better only in india..", LOL sachin remains top scorer in Australia with 493 runs and Sehwag 286 in two matches.. better watch next time buddy.. Aus shifted their consistency to lose matches.. dont afraid to agree to this fact..

  • Prasant_NSW on December 14, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    @ZAIDI9 Last series with Australia was Border Gavaskar trophy, when India visited Aus in 2007 we registered atleast a win.. Poor poor poor aussies were outplayed by India that they cudnt even win a single match in India against India in 2008 and again in 2010(this time clean sweep).. This means ASSies are the worst team overseas!!! If Aus choose not to play cheating game(like the one in 2007, unprofessional Ponting was HERO with false catches, false appeals..), India would definitely come back home with cup.. GO INDIA..

    -Prasant UNSW

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Aussies were afraid not to give a proper practice to Indian team as they are giving practice match to India in a different condition and that too just 1 2 day match and 1 3 day match. They can't make a 2 4 days match for practice. But at present form and the lesson learnt in England, Indian batsman will adopt quickly and Australia is not an Alien condition for Indian Batsman. They will prove what is their worth, wait and watch

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    @LillianThomson, for your ignorance, here is the Link for Team Rankings as per ICC. http://www.espncricinfo.com/rankings/content/current/page/211271.html I hope this link can open your eye. If India don't win MUCH in Abroad England NEVER won in Sub-continent. None of the current teams can claim a CHAMPION team while Raking Aussies at 3rd who just folded for 47 and Lost to a No.8 team at their Home deserve to be ranked below Bangladesh.

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    @SamRoy, I m not enemy of Irfan but at this point of time, I don't support him. I would like to see him playing few more First Class matches as he has missed FC cricket for 2 consecutive years and no one get a Automatic selection after a such a long break, even Zak has to prove his fitness after 3 month lay-off playing 2 back to back domestic matches, hence at the moment let Irfan play another 2 FC matches and then if we need a replacement for a Fast bowler in Tests, we can send him but before that, I would say a Big NO. I feel Vinay deserve a chance at Tests, he was taking so many wickets at Domestic and not to forget he is the leading wicket taker for India in India's emerging players tournament in Australia where he out bowled U Yadav, J Unadkat and Varun Aron who played along side with him. But for me Irfan and Mithun is far at present until some1 prove they are ahead of other.

  • jkamarnarayan on December 14, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    This is the best ever chance for indian team to register series win in australia...aussies in transition period..

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 14, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    @LillianThomson, India couldn't face Anderson in England and hope you do remember that Poms destroyed you guys in your own backyard apart from destroying you guys in England. And yeah, you are as cocky as Lillee and Thompson. And your ranking is hilarious. Where did you pick that up from? LillianThomsoncockiness.au.com? Thoroughly enjoyed your sense of humour. I wish I had your sense of humour. hahaha....Just wait and watch mate!

  • SASANK360 on December 14, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    Some of you fell that India has a weak bowling attack.But it is only in the absence of Zaheer Khan.If we look back at the India's South-african tour, with an exception of the first match Indian bowling has been impressive.In the 1st Test Zak was not in the PlayingXI. So inexperience was exposed and SA piled up 620 runs.But when Zak returned in 2nd test they were bowled out for 131 and 210 in both the innings.This means if India field their full-seaming attack they can be dangerous in helpfull conditions.Coming to batting,it takes only one innings of a test match for Indians to acclimatise.In 1st test against SA India-136 allout.Then in the 2nd innings-464. So Indian batting does'nt repeat same mistake.I feel that they can perform better in Aus.

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    @ Nampally… Stats don't reveal the truth fully and unless it's analyzed properly. His Batting avg against Australia in Australia is just 19.40 from 4 Matches shows he doesn't deserve a chance based on he is an All Rounder. I don't count Ashwin as an All-Rounder though he will be par with Irfan in Batting, Though he has a Test Century already he need to prove a long way. Just few cheap runs in a Flat pitch and boost up their stats don't give them an All-rounder tag. But I had a good laugh at your Quote "Unfortunately the #1 indian spinner Rahul is not in the squad" ROFL, A Bowler with a FC bowling Avg of 44.66 became #1 Indian Spinner. He is good in List-A and so is shown on his ODI performance, but you haven't seen his bowling in the Irani where he was toiled by Rajastan batsman while P Ojha picked up 9 Wickets bowling along with him, I wonder where you were at that time?

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    @ Nampally...His record against Australia is also not great as well, 6 matches 14 wickets at 47.35 and in Australia also 4 matches 12 wickets at 41.25 Avg. OMG Only you can say Irfan bowling is better then Zak in this earth. Irfan just a minnow thrasher while Zak repeatedly shown he is best Indian seam bowler so far despite getting breakdown every next match. His Bowling stats after 2007 is NEXT only to the Great Dale Steyn while Irfan would be reverse in that case. A Bowler has to improve with years not decrease every year he plays like Mendis. Irfan doesn't deserve a place on Merit so far with his wickets, Let him take Wickets against better opponents in Ranji knock-out and let him prove he can play that long without breakdown and he should come in to the side based on his merit as a Bowler alone, He forgot his batting talent since 2008 perhaps since the exist of G Chappel.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 14, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    @jango_moh, precisely. Looks like fast bowlers, batsmen and groundsmen (of Zimbabwe included) are the higher forms of cricket life. That's hilarious, to say the least. Where do the 'lowlives' read spinners (Warne, Laker, Kumble, Murali, Vettori, Subhash Gupte, Chandra, Prasanna, Swann, Bedi, Venkataraghavan) and Wicket Keepers (Kirmani, Wasim Bari, Rodney, Gilly, Sanga, Andy Flower, Dhoni) come in the whole picture? To startwith, Mr. Jim Laker must be turning in his grave after learning some amusing interpretations about this great game. Dhoni is here to change those amusing archaic definitions that are being unapologetically circulated for ages. Dear Peoples :), if you can't play spin, admit it instead of coining ridiculous terms for our challenging and sporting subcontinent tracks [Refer to what probably the greatest modern day captain Dhoni said in the last couple of weeks :)]. The first step in addressing a problem is to admit that there is a problem. It's never late you see :)!

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    @ Nampally... After 2 year CONTINUOUS BREAKDOWN he must prove his Fitness for the whole season rather then just 3 match. Vinay and Mithun were highest wicket takers for the LAST 2 Season, not just after 3 matches against lowly teams deserve ahead of last 2 year consistent domestic performance. Well, I think you haven't seen Dhoni punched like a Boxer after thrashing Irfan for 2 consecutive sixes to win the game in IPL 2010, so far that is the ONLY time Dhoni has shown such an Emotion on field on his whole cricket career. Go and find the reason for it. Talking about past performance is no USE, Else H Singh should be in the team rather then R Ashwin and P Ojha by your logic. He has some good Numbers but he always a Minnow thrasher as he took his Wickets against Bangla and Zim Heavily. Out of his 100 wickets 39 Wickets came against them in JUST 4 matches at an Astonishing Avg of 11.56 :O but Excluding those his wickets against Better TEST opponents reads as 45.49 (Mediocre at it best).

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    @ Nampally "He's not been a part of the Test side since the home series against South Africa in April 2008." And this "Since the start of 2008, he's managed 25 wickets in 22 games with an average of 40.60, and just 17.76 with the bat". The Link for the Article: http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/story/420018.html Well I do follow all the games and I never misquoted anything and I stated only his BATTING stats just to show How Pathetic he is with BAT since 2008 in anywhere to get a claim to be an All-Rounder. I also know he took 21 Wickets and 3 Five for and I seen all the matches and none of the opponent team had a Batsman Having Avg above 50 while Mithun and Vinay faced teams like Rajasthan (Ranji Champion) and Mumbai, while Irfan bowled to the teams like MP & Hariyana (Just got promotion from Plate) and Delhi and none of this teams had any Batsman Averaging over 50. Will be continued in the next Reply

  • ssenthil on December 14, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    @ Nampally, Past performance like H Singh eh? When Irfan came in to the scene he is just a bowler ONLY. He was just promoted by Chappel as an All-Rounder and ended his career as a bowler and ended his career with team India as well. Even Agarkar once tipped as next Kapil Dev. It's not all Media and their hard core Fans hype? He WAS DROPPED from the team rather then he was Injured. CI Quote after he dropped from the Team "Pathan last represented India in a losing cause against West Indies in the ICC World Twenty20. His last one-day appearances for India were in the series in Sri Lanka, where he took four wickets but leaked 7.06 runs an over in two matches. What has also hurt his chances of making the national side is that his batting has fallen away in ODIs - he has not scored a half-century in nearly three years." And "He's not been a part of the Test side since the home series against South Africa in April 2008." Will be Continued in the next Reply

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 14, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    @loveipl, well said. What a blast! Cheers. And yes 5wombats, take it easy man. You sure can make better sense than those rants. Don't you want to see all the different fine arts in cricket instead of just slugging it out on doctored grassbowls for cows?

  • redneck on December 14, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas the match in hobart could have been won by either team batting first or second. the match in galle could only ever have been won by the team batting first. hence why the icc rightfully sent a please explain to sri lanka while hobart got applauded!!! test pitches can favor spinners its just that the outcome of matches shouldnt be decided by the toss of a coin. a fact lost on some people who would rather play poor victum because their doctored rank turning dust bowls arent up to scratch!

  • ZAIDI9 on December 14, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    this will just be a dream for INDIANS That they can beat AUSSIES in AUSTRALIA ....because of thier poor and weak bowling attack. SACHIN, SEHWAG can perform better only in india...Remenber that INDIA badly fails in ENGLAND where even thier BATTING were also exposed

  • Prasant_NSW on December 14, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    All the best Team India..

  • Rohan_K on December 14, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    Oz batsmen will struggle more on green tops like Hobart'. Indian batsmen can surely handle any Oz pitch but if the Indian seamers get even little bit of help then guys like Hughes, Warner, Ponting (In current form), Haddin with poor technique will have a hard time.On the other side Indian batsmen have done well in all countries barring last eng tour. A green top/fast bouncy wicket will back fire Australia.

  • SamRoy on December 14, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    @Nampally @ssenthil I support Irfan strongly and dislike his brother who for me has zero talent apart from slogging. Irfan though is sublime.

  • men_in_blue22 on December 14, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    lol this battle will be awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! pattinson hope u stay with ur performance

  • Nampally on December 14, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    @Lillian Thomson:Let us wait till the teams play their test match before tearing the "other" team.We know the stengths of each team on paper.How they produce the results remains to be seen.You called Indian" geriartic batting" unable to face Anderson & Co in England. But you have forgotten that the same Anderson & Co. destroyed the Aussies in Australia & in England in back to back series."People living in glass houses should not throw stones at others"!. May I recall that Ponting at 37 & Hussey at 36 are almost in the same age group as the Indian Fab 3 & are the most dependable bats.India already played pace bowlers like Finn , Edwards - both 145 to 150 KPH, on the Indian soil in the last 2 series.Pattinson & Starc at 21 may have pace but not control/accuracy - hence may flounder against aggressive bats.So Don't be too cocky!As for Dravid_Gravitas, he is merely pointing the fact that too much grass is left on the pitches.Even England pitches are less green with grass cut down - Right?

  • on December 14, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    I have to necessarily Agee into to what Dravid_Gravitas said on the posings of another Gentleman.postings at23:05PM GMT refers. I am at loss to understand who gave the wrong info that India is at a very low level in Rankings. It looks to me that England is 1st Rank& India 2nd. Aussies are much below us. Just winning a few matches with good Bowlingagainst BDesh does not prove anything in favor of Pak.SA with their historical loss Australia recently too can not claim much ones unless they impose a Whitewash on SL soon. But this too the Probability seems to be below Zero.ie minus.SL is a good Team .They could do wonders on a good day.Even SA might be defeated in a couple of Matches,if things favor SL.so advancement of SA,AUS& Pak Along with SL is ruled out.if India beat Aus twice She could recapture #1 rankings.!!!Do you agree mr.Dravid Gravitas? SreedharanMundanat

  • LillianThomson on December 13, 2011, 23:24 GMT

    loveipl wrote "Go and read the definition of cricket pitch in ICC rule book, there is no such mention about whether the pitch should have grass or not. There are other technical restrictions but nothing which states that a strip which will have grass will be called a pitch and anything less than that a "Dust Bowl". Diff countries prepare pitches depending on the nature of the soil and also depending on their strength". BUT THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN INDIA'S PROBLEM. Except for a brief window between 2009-11 when previously superior teams were in transition, India has NEVER been able to win enough Tests overseas to be considered a top team. Now we are back in a situation where they were destroyed in England and haven't been able to win their last home or away series v South Africa. Based on current form, not prior results in the days of Murali et al, the current Test rankings would be: 1) ENG 2) SA 3) AUS 4) PAK 5)IND 6) NZ 7) SL 8) WI 9) ZIM 10) BAN

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 13, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    @LillianThomson, I agree that our practice match isn't being held on a track that would give us the needed practice on this tour. The rest of your post is, well, nonsensical I guess. Don't count the chickens before they are hatched. Just wait and watch.

  • jango_moh on December 13, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    @5wombats, so according to you, cricket should only be between batsmen and fast bowlers??? and that all cricket should be played on GRASSY pitches?? c'mon man, grow up.....

  • on December 13, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    This posting Has some bearing to Mr Nampally postings dt 13th Dec2011 at 01:38PMGMT.what you told about the then veterans Gilchrist,Hayden,Mgrath,&Shane Warne are absent & Australia is not so powerful now theybwere with them is correct.why all the 4 Gilchrist&Warne are sufficient for Aussies to dominate.But they are still playing in T20@&if Australian selectors& people wish so, they can even make a comeback to TestCricket in an emergency. But that is not thareason for Australia becoming weak. The form of a few players were obviously not visible when they played in WC. And this continue even today.Everyone had ups& downs. So are the Teams.It should be taken in the light vein & spirit. And the time is not very far for Aussies to make a revival.They won't fade out easily like WI.when Clive lLyoid,Richards,Kalicharran,Greenidge,hyaenas,Marshall&Griffith &Larawere available they were dominating.but what about now?They are a faded lot.present crisis due to ignoring Gayles. Do deserve! MS

  • on December 13, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    This is with reference tobthe postings fromMrNampilly dt 13 th Dec201120:10PMGMTwherein he has clarified with sufficient Stastistics to prove that IrfanPathan is more than an All Rounder. I am writing this specifically because I was not aware of these details. Aan attempt to find out also did not bear any fruitful results immediately. Then I left it alone since it wasn't a must for me then. That was when he was selected for INDORE ODI against WI. But since he was not included in the playing eleven,I didn't insist myself to find it. But now as a Blessing in disguise I found the details have been convincingly furnished by mr Nampilly. So I must thank him for this since the statistics was required by one of my friends who too takes a lot of interest in cricket.Now I could furnish him with the details. But sorry I have forgotten to tell him the source from which I got it.in case he asks again about it I can gladly tell it to him.the Statistcs given by Nampilly is enough to guard Pathan MS

  • loveipl on December 13, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    @5wombats: u also don't talk much sense. Go and read the definition of cricket pitch in ICC rule book, there is no such mention about whether the pitch should have grass or not. There are other technical restrictions but nothing which states that a strip which will have grass will be called a pitch and anything less than that a "Dust Bowl". Diff countries prepare pitches depending on the nature of the soil and also depending on their strength, which I don't think is bad because that adds flavor to the game. The whole excitement of home and away matches would have been meaningless if every country would have produced same kind of pitches with same pace n bounce. If a dust bowl is so easy to bat on then why can't your world famous technically perfect batsmen score runs here ? If dust bowls are so suited for spin bowling then why did the great Shane Warne get whacked here every time by a very sub standard player(as you would like to call him) like SACHIN. Forget cricket dude u know nothin

  • Pritt32 on December 13, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    I do admire Dhoni's level -headed attitude. Although the Aussies team is in a spot of bother, the team is sensible not writing them off as the series could be filled with surprises. Preparation is the key for India. It is better there is not too much hype building up as it can act as a distraction and India will suffer as a result. The team need to learn from their mistakes following the disastrous England tour and put things right Down Under. Whether the little master get his 100th century should be put aside, as winning the series is important, but would be a great milestone. It is better see what happens on Boxing Day. Can India win the Aussies? We have to wait and see, as anything can happen

  • LillianThomson on December 13, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    Dravid_Gravitas' genuine frustration that cricket can be played on grassy pitches highlights the enormous challenge facing India. In India it has always been batsmen who are revered, yet in Tests bowlers win matches. India's geriatric batsmen couldn't handle the gentle pace of Anderson et al on English wickets which had little bounce, but Siddle and Pattinson bowl 15 km/h faster and on bouncy tracks. The ICC Test rankings have around a 2 year lag, and most observers believe that South Africa, Australia and Pakistan have now replaced India and Sri Lanka in the top 4 due to their superior bowling attacks. I hope that it's a good series but I've seen many far better subcontinental teams wiped out in Australia - Pakistan'99 for example. And India's choice to only have one First Class preparation match on the flattest track in Australia really doesn't help.

  • Nampally on December 13, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    @ssenthil: Irfan has played 29 tests for India & 108 ODI- making his debut in 2003 at the age of 19!.His batting average in test matches is 31.5 with highest score of 102 & in ODI his batting av. is 22.5 with highest score of 83. In bowling Irfan got 100 Test wkts. at an average of 32 & 154 ODI wkts. at an average of 29. Do these look like All rounder numbers? These bowling figures are better than most present day Seam bowlers playing for India even surpassing Zaheer Khan.His record in bowling is better than yuvraj's and is slightly behind Yuvraj in Test batting.Irfan showed lot of promise at the start but was overused to cause his injuries. Now he has shown his old form again with no signs of injuries - bowling around 130 KPH in 5th ODI against WI.The present Indian squad has no All Rounders, unless Ashwin is classified as such.FYI I am not a muslim but support Irfan strongly.

  • 5wombats on December 13, 2011, 20:05 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - you do talk some rot. You see, there is this green stuff with chlorophyll in it that grows on the ground. We like to call it "Grass". You may have heard of it. On normal cricket pitches in parts of the world where they play cricket "Grass" is this grown in order to keep the soil together. People called "Groundmen" grow the grass, and indeed take some pride in the stuff in places like Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa. If grass is not grown then the thing produced is merely a dust bowl, not a pitch. The game of cricket was invented to be played on surfaces that have "grass" on them. Indeed - a true cricket pitch supports bowlers with athletic skill to run in and deliver the ball to the batsman at speed. We call these "fast bowlers". Maybe you have heard of them? Athletic skill - now, there's novel concept. "Grass" it's so shocking that countries produce cricket pitches with grass on isn't it? Some people would have it banned. Please publish!

  • Nampally on December 13, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    @ssenthil:Sir,I have reluctantly decided to reply you. I have been a frequent commenter to Cricinfo articles for at east 6 years.FYI, Irfan Pathan was always an all rounder & at one stage tipped to be second Kapil Dev till he got injured & lost his form 2 years ago.Now he has returned with changeds to bowling action.YES, I follow Ranji games in India every day + all the international fixtures such as OZ vs. NZ, Oz Vs. SA, SL Vs. Pakistan, BD Vs. Pak.If you had followed Ranji games you would not have misquoted the numbers: Irfan took 21 Wickets in 4 Ranji games this year while Mithun took 12 & Vinay just 8 (in 3 Ranji). So Irfan(@ 27 yrs) is miles ahead of Vinay & Mithun.Irfan has proved his fitness by bowling 25 overs in a single day in hot Indian conditions.So forget the standard fitness excuse!.For batting look at his past record playing for India.You seem to read Dhoni'smind better than me! At this stage India needs Irfan's talents irrespective of Selector's thoughts.

  • cricket-is-passion on December 13, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    Team India looks good apart missing out of form Bajji and swng bowler Praveen. I think it is better to hv Irfan since he got his swng back & ability to bat. But let's see what (India) bowling department can do, I think we hv good mix including Zaheer, Ishant and especially Yadav who can bowl over 140KPH & Aswin who proved he can bat well when needed. I think Gambhir and Veeru have to make sure to put up 100 run stand to take off some pressure on middle order but agian we cannot expect the same from them for all matches afterall they are also humans can make mistakes :). I want Tendulkar to complete his 100th century so he will be relieved from pressure to play his natural game in rest of the matches. And I think Dravid and VVS are key players apart from others in Australia as they have been performing well consistenty but not sure if they can capitalize their prev experience in Assies pitches. Lets see who gets 7th pos, I think Kohli due to his medium pace. GOOD LUCK INDIA. -- Suresh K

  • Naresh28 on December 13, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    @ssenthil - Look at the player page on Irfan. If you see that he has taken 900+ wickets in all formats. His fielding is good. His batting has not really been tested of late. The last ODI he came in when there were a few balls left. He is coming back after injury rehab. This player was gievn some good comments by both Greg Chappell and Wasim Akram. His bannana swing ball is as deadly as Nehra and Zaks. All left handers. Should ZAKS break down then IRFAN is the ideal replacement - experienced gutsy player. We lacked a good left armer when we toured England - and paid the price with Cook's batting. In the last ODI India came into the game thru Irfan's early wickets.

  • Kaze on December 13, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    *yawn* Thoroughly stupid comments posted. India is on the way down and Aus on the way up. Aus will thump India, Harris, Pattinson and Siddle and a nice fast track and you will see how mediocre India are.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 13, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    @THINK_BEYOND, thanks for your words of appreciation. But I'm sorry. I disagree with Dravid coming as opener. The man even sent his sweat for analysis so that he can replace the lost salts accordingly. It'll be beyond our imagination to think what goes into his preparation for the No.3 position. Why would one want to disturb that preparation and mindset? Just because he is prepared to do anything for India doesn't mean that he is a pushover that we push him to wherever we want so that we can accomodate others. If any player is failing, find a suitable replacement for that position rather than asking Dravid to 'fill in' for that position. Part of the blame lies with Dravid that he didn't make it clear that he will not move from his position, just like Sachin, come what may.

  • Naresh28 on December 13, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    @dravid_gravitas is right when he says fans should not predict ridiculous series results like 4-0. This is not bottom of the table clash and dont write off any team especially since Oz are playing at home.

  • on December 13, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    Mr.Nampilly's comments I had commented about looks so good that he himself is emphasizing & insisting on them as could be seen from his comments on13th December2011posted at 14:13 PM GMT.he has pointed out so correctly about the Bowling&Batting potential of Team India.As both Departments appear to be well Balanced Australians will have to think twice before putting up a healthy challenge for The Indians.Of late,this combination with the Great hitter Sehwag& his Partner G.Gambhir at the opening spot there appears to have a good aggressive Batting by India with Sachin,Dravid,VVS &Rihit Sharma.Spin in the hands of AswinOjha is also well guarded.And above all Dhoni with the Gloves & as an all rounder literally,India should come out with flying Colors in the Boxing Day Test.at the same time Warner ,Watson,Ponting,Hussey&Clark shd be given pproper respect apart from Australian prominent Bowlers.And if injured Cummins come back it would contribute substantially to Aussies.India misses Kohli

  • ganymede on December 13, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    Oops..typo there make it 44 years instead of 34(0-4 loss to Australia in Australia in 1967-68)

  • on December 13, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    India Always Rocks.... :-)

  • on December 13, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    Hello friends,I have to agree with the comments of Nampilly posted on 12 th December at 19-21 PM GMTespecially about the PROGIDIOUS SWING in Australian Pitches which suits Zzaheer Khan. The other Pacers in the Team are capable of giving able support to Zaheer Khan& Aswin&Ojha a Class apart in the Spin Branch.So, it looks Team India has well taken care of Bowling Department.As regards Battings our Veterans Sachin is there prominently to look after batting with all probability rating high to get his 100 th 100 on Boxing Day itself.It is Australian tradition&convention to start Test Matches on Boxing Days.it should suit to Dravid&Laxman& VVS Laxman aso apart from Sachin as both have a fine reputation for putting up healthy Partnerships in Australian pitches!.And as Nampilly said Dhoni's remarks are ideal & suitiing for a CAPTAIN!!!. SreedharanMundanat

  • ssenthil on December 13, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    @Nampally, How and when on this earth Irfan became an All rounder? I wonder do u really follow the Domestic cricket, he hasn't played any Domestic cricket for 2 years and then JUST after 3 matches and with his cheap wickets, he should be selected for Team India? So far in this Domestic season Irfan scored 81 runs @ 16.20 Avg with a HS of 27 from 5 Innings spread over 4 Match. If he need to be selected he first should complete the entire season without breakdown then he can be selected for India in Tests but anyway he won't play as long as Dhoni is Captain.

  • espncricinfofan on December 13, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas comedy piece::: Thank God you are not the captain...Poor selection... Dull-Dravid must be chucked out!!!

  • kranthinvk on December 13, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    i too agree ...................................................................................

  • Nikhilbuchhally on December 13, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    India Will Lose the Test Series, They May Actually do well in the One Day Tri Nation Tournment....

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 13, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    BTW, I'm astonished that the underprepared outfield like doctored grassbowl at Hobart wasn't pulled up by ICC as a substandard pitch. ICC has lot of explanation to do as to why a grassbowl isn't substandard while a challenging spinning track in the subcontinent is substandard, be it in India or Srilanka. Just because some gentlemen from some certain teams can't bat on our challenging tracks?? Unacceptable double standards and definitions. These definitions and dinosaur era mindset need to change. So, it's ok if the match is finished in 3 or 4 days as long as it's an underprepared grassbowl for cows but it's not ok if the match finishes in 3 or 4 days by favouring spinners! How lame of ICC! ICC, as a governing body, needs to emphasise that all these tracks are challenging needing different skills or all these tracks are substandard. This mindset of dinosaur era is hopeless and Dhoni is here to make it loud and clear to all the 'gentlemen' about the definition of a sporting track.

  • THINK_BEYOND on December 13, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    Why Sehwag & Sachin both are not used frequently now a days? Is it like if you get seniority, you can opt out from bowling or Dhoni has less confidence on their bowling ablities? Sehwag's off spin and sachin's bowling variations can actually help india to try 4 seamers in bouncy tracks. Sanath Jaysuria, Paul Collingwood contributed with bowling till their last match, all the time even when they were going thru rough patches in their batting form.

    Now in absence of an allrounder like Irfan, both Kohli and Rohit should be played in 11 (removing Gambhir), and that would provide some more options to Dhoni.

  • THINK_BEYOND on December 13, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    @ Nampally + Dravid_Gravitas: Guyz I personally like reading your comments as you both are good followers of cricket. I agree my friends that India will never go with 5 bowlers, particularly w/o having good allrounders in the squad. I know that Gambhir will open along with Sehwag followed by Dravid, Sachin & VVS with Kohli/Rohit @ no.6 and then Dhoni. Typical stereotype thinking. Honestly I would have preferred 1. Sehwag 2. dravid 3. rohit 4. sachin 5. VVS 6. kohli 7. dhoni 8. ashwin 9. Ishant 10. Zak 11. Umesh. Dravid opening the batting is nothing new. The gr8 servant of indian cricket had done it in various occassions, but that would have allowed rohit and kohli both in final 11, who are good fielders as well, can bowl few overs when our 4 key bowlers are tired. Ideally Irfan should have been in the squad to provide some depth in batting and variations in bowling. The Aus pitches are good for fast / swing bowlers. NZ went with 4 fast bowlers in the last match which they won.

  • ganymede on December 13, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    (Contd..)While this is far from a bottom of the table clash,(India are currently ranked 2& Australia 4) few supportes of either side will genuinely believe that their team will win easily.Australia had long lost its all conquering aura,it now seems to have lost its confidence as well.India on the other hand have been at the receiving end of their worst ever series defeat in 34 years on their last overseas tour.Either way it promises to be an engrossing series with niether side firm favourites.Looking back at the 1985-86 series might give uas an indication as to how this series might turn out...

  • Naresh28 on December 13, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    @nampally is right - both IRFAN & RAHUL SHARMA showed class in the last ODI game. Both should have been on that plane to Oz. These are genuine wicket taking bowlers. Now India has to rely on some early decision in bowlers choices. the two backup bowlers - Mithun and Vinay are mediocre.

  • ganymede on December 13, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    For the first time since 1985, an Indian team will leave for a Test tour of Australia not as firm underdogs but genuine contenders.Back then it had been a bottom of the table clash with niether side firm favourites.Australian cricket had reached its nadir.They were mauled home&away by a rampaging West Indies, lost the Ashes comprehensively to an ordinary English side before going on to lose a first ever home series against New Zealand(Thanks mainly to Richard Hadlee's 33 wkts in 3 Tests).India matched this exemplary record with a few exploits of their own.They went as many as 31 Tests without victory before beating England in Bombay.They then promptly went on to lose the series 2-1.As an encore,they lost to then minnows Sri Lanka(SL's first ever Test&series win)Thus when Allan Border'sAussies met Kapil Dev's Indians neither side had too many expectations riding on them.The same scenario applies when Micheal Clarke's side takes on MSDhoni's team...(contd)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 13, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    @dms1972, Predictions of Aus winning 3-0 or 4-0 are ludicrous (many Aussie fans are doing that along with a handful of India fans). Sure India's bowling hasn't been the best in recent times but it won't need to be against the current Aussie batsmen. Sehwag, Gambhir and Dravid at the top of the order, will ensure India get off to good starts, allowing for Sachin and VVS to finish off. Whoever wins, and it is 50/50 as to who will win, they will win 2-1, that's my prediction too just like yours. And I really hope Ponting is allowed to continue on and he finds some form against India. The disrespect he is getting from many Aussie and Indian fans on this site is disgraceful. He's a legend of the game and should not be judged on his current poor form.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 13, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    One of the reasons we are slow starters is because of our bowling. Batting will always take a while to get adjusted to on those horribly underprepared grassbowls just like how non-subcontinental batsmen find themselves as sitting ducks on our sporting tracks in India. But if our pacers can succeed on those grazing fields right away, then we won't be slow starters anymore. India has lot of finger spinners in their ranks and we all know that finger spinners will be ineffective on underprepared outfield like grassbowls. Warne was successful on those grassbowls because he was a wrist spinner. All in all, whether we will be slow starters or not depends on how well our pacers exploit those dodgy and underprepared grassbowls in Aus.

  • here2rock on December 13, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    Irfan Pathan should have been in the side, let's hope Mithun gets injured and he is the replacement. He can allow India to play 5 bowlers, a key to winning matches in Australia. You are not going to win the series with 4 bowlers.

  • Nampally on December 13, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    @Lillian Thomson; Your query regarding Indian bowling ability to take 20 wickets is perfectly valid. I will ask you the same question regarding the Aussie ability to take 20 wickets with 4 youngsters. If Sehwag & Gambhir survive the hostile new ball attack, Sehwag can destroy the best fast bowlers in the world with his improvised hitting. If Sehwag gets going he will be the bowlers nightmare!The middle order of Senior batsmen has> 35000 test match runs between them. So they are not dummies either.Dhoni & Rohit sharma in the lower order can also score centuries.On the other hand except for Warner the other batsmen have not shown much form for Australia. So even "Yadev's gift bowling" (as you said) has a chance to get them out.Clarke was clean bowled shoulder arming a ball from Kiwi bowler!.Ishant & ZAK have got Ponting many times.Ashwi has bounce + carrom ball.Unfortunately the #1 indian spinner Rahul is not in the squad -otherwise 20 wkt. capturing was easy. A keenly contested series?

  • on December 13, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    Think this is India's best chance to win a series in Australia.Hope our batsmen click and Zaheer stays fit for all 4 tests.

  • Nampally on December 13, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitos:Congratulations on being the captain!. I do not think your 5 specialist batsman + 5 specialist bowler + Dhoni, selected team is viable proposition. India does not have a single genuine all rounder. Irfan was one in-form all rounder but the Selectors blew it!. Secondly India should never go with 4 seamers if they go with 5 bowlers. If Rahul Sharma, who I consider is the #1 Indian spinner on Australian pitches, was in the squad I would have risked him as the second spinner in a 3 Seamers + 2 spinners combo. Indian seamers are not world class as NZ seamers are.ZAK at his best could qualify as one. Ishant & Yadev are not there yet in terms of experience & ability - although have pace of >135 KPH.So 4 pacers will jeopardise India. Indian batting on bouncy Aussie condition has to prove itself first before the 6th batsman is dispensed with. However with the absence of star Indian Spinner Rahul + no all rounder makes your suggestion too risky with unpredictable Indian batting.

  • rhtdm302 on December 13, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    first test is key, if India makes a draw of the first test or at least plays 4 days of the 5 days, then India is going to win the series, if Aus can win the first test in 3 days then they are going to dominate rest of the series. But I dare say Aus Pitches are definitely better for batting compared to England.(if you exclude Hobart)

  • psswain on December 13, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    As ponting and hussey the mighty(!) aus team offers us two loose target to crack within the top 6 (haddin belongs to dat group also).whats say zak and ish? I couldnt control my smile watching ponting bat in last 5 test matches?any comment IAN?

  • agamgoyal on December 13, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    I guess the biggest question this time would be ....Can Indian bowlers bundle out Aussies twice and that too consistently? They will surely prepare green tops as they know its the best chance for them to win. But this could go in India's favour as they Aussie batting is looking vulnerable than ever. Surely going to be bowlers series this one!!

  • Jube on December 13, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    I know not many are going to agree with this but I think the time is nigh for Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman to call it a day.... If one watched the Australia New Zealand games or Australia South Africa games it would be as plain as the day what a difference fielding makes. You had fielders diving around cutting off singles and taking some brilliant catches. Somehow cannot see these three doing that and they're also not the fastest runners between the wickets. Lets start blooding the Kohlis, Sharmas, Rahanes, Tiwaris and Pujaras all of whom have age on their side and look more fit and ready....

  • LuvThyGame on December 13, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    WeeBee .. you need to get your facts right.. India beat Australia at Adelaide in 03; Perth in 08..... its this arrogance of past glory that is leading to aussies downfall.. they cant believe they are not in the top 5 teams of the world.. they were beaten by 8th ranked opponents at home.. the tide is changing.. indian batting will murder some careers on this tour.. all the priase about pattinson, lyon, cummins will come to dust as all it needs is one innings from sehwag to instill that self-doubt in bowlers.. also have a feeling ashwin will rip through the bowling even on limited spin-friednly tracks.. beware aussies.. i can see 3-0 or even 4-0 drubbing on the way...

  • ramli on December 13, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    lillian thomson ... day dreaming you are ... putting cart before the horse ... you will come to terms after the test series ... U. Yadv will make a name and so would Ashwin .. bye

  • on December 13, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    WeeBee has commented that india has not won a test match against australia in australia since 1977. pls refer to stats before stating such nonsense information.. india has won test matches in 2007-08 series and also in 2003-04 series though the series win has indeed not happened. i m sure this time we will have that also. watch out australia , indian express is going to hit you really hard.....

  • V.Jammy on December 13, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    Zaheer is the most important person in the team as far as bowling is concerned. When he is in the team, all other bowlers also bowl exceptionally well. Zaheer not only works as a Lead Bowler, he also works as a Bowling coach to the fellow bowlers.

  • on December 13, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    My concern is related to Pathan, I don't know why Pathan not picked for Aus tour even Mithun and Vinay type of bowler selected, neither they have swing nor they have batting skills, Pathan test batting avg is 31.57 with 1 century and 6 half century, as well as 100 test wicket with avg of 32, I really admire his swing back in Chennai one match, that was a snap to critics of Pathan….I really laghing on them who compare Mithun to pathan as allrounder.

  • RAJATH_1294 on December 13, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    @WeeBee Looks like you've forgotten the Perth test in 2007... + we would have won in sydney as well if not for the disastrous umpiring.

  • Valavan on December 13, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    GREAT TO SEE THE FIGHT BETWEEN INDIA AND AUSTRALIA STARTED. DURING ENGLAND SERIES MANY AUSSIES AND INDIANS JOINTLY ACCUSED ENGLAND, OFFCOURSE LOADS OF INDIANS SPOKE ABOUT THRASHING ENGLAND WITHOUT KNOWING CONDITIONS. AFTER LOSING EACH TEST CAME WITH SCHOOLBOY EXCUSES BOTH FROM INDIAN CAPTAIN AND INDIAN FANS. NOW LETS SIT AND SPECTATE IF CLARKE's MEN CAN MAKE DHONI TO GIVE MORE EXCUSES OR THE INDIAN BATTERS PROVE THEIR CREDENTIALS IN TESTS BETTER THAN IT USED TO BE (ESP OUT OF INDIA). GOOD LUCK :). CRICINFO PLEASE PUBLISH

  • cool2cool on December 13, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    @WeeBee: India beat Australia @Perth in Jan 2008 and also @Adelaide in Dec 2003. I was unaware that Perth and Adelaide are not in Australia.

  • PSr1 on December 13, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    WeeBee - get your facts right. We did win 2 matches out of 5 in 1977, but we won in Melbourne in 1981 (Kapildev 5/28) and then we won in 2003 when Agarkar took 6 wickets...and we won in 2008 as well...

  • shackattacka on December 13, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    WeeBee should get his stats right (my sympathies are with him).....India last won a test match on Australian soil in the 3rd test of the 2007-08 series in Perth by 92 runs. They also won the 2nd test in 2003-04 series in (Amazing) Adelaide - a huge comeback from Dravid/Laxman after Ponting scored 242. From an Indian perspective, its their bowling that worries me - although having Zaheer back is the one saving grace. R Ashwin looked really good agains the Windies on home soil....who knows how he will perform in Australian conditions. Batting wise, they've come to Australia (in contrast to the previous series) with good openers along with "that middle order" - perfect combo!!! Australia on the other hand are having massive problems with their batting - right from their openers down to Haddin. Their lack of consistency will cost them. Bowling wise they've got a new attack, but one that I think looks quite promising based on the recent series against NZ. Should be a good series =)

  • sankar8000 on December 13, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    @ Wee Bee

    Don't give misleading stats! India had won test against australia in australia in yrs 2003 and 2008 !

    This time they are going to win series

  • on December 13, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    some ppl stating here.. india hasnt won test match in aus.. since 1977.... get ur facts right... forgot the adelaide and perth wins? indians wud hav also won in sydney in 07 if not for the huge umpiring errors who not only gave symonds not out abt 5 times, but also gave indians out when they were clearly not out...remember dravid's and ganguly's dismissals? And by the way Aus always had these 11 match winners.. but when was the last time they won a test series in india? I just hope this series is exciting to watch and may the best team win...

  • 6x_CS_King on December 13, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    @WeeBee they won @perth(2008) http://www.espncricinfo.com/ausvind/engine/match/291353.html and the 2003-04 series was drawn and india retained the border-gavaskar trophy http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/60755.html

  • on December 13, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    I believe Sachin will complete 100 century in Boxing day test. I also believe Sachin will play oneday series in Australia. Still Sachin is one of the best batsman in oneday. He is better batsman any young player in the team. Selectors must give him chance in oneday team as well rather than giving him rest. However, Sachin should leave from 20/20 cricket which will give him rest and also helpful to prolong international career. Grham Gooch retired when he was 42. I believe Sachin can continue another 3/4 years.

  • WeeBee on December 13, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    For the sake of Indian fans who want india to win! ... India never won any test series in Australia ... And wining a test match , last time they won test match against australia in australia was hmmmmmm 30th Dec 1977 ..OMG 35 years. My sympathies are with you, i am afraid you will hear bad news

  • CricketMaan on December 13, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    The key is put 450+ in first innings and give something for Ishant, Ashwin and possibly Ohja or Yadav to bowl at. Zak can then be utlized prudently. Anything less than 450+ could test our bowling unit. The BIG Challenge is to adjust to Kokabora balls!!! they are not SG with a seam that lasts long, which means Ashwin and Ohja needs to adapt and so does Yadav.

  • Munkeymomo on December 13, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    @Lord Tendulkar: Steve Bucknor was never biased, I truly believe that. He was just blind.

  • ssenthil on December 13, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    @SamRoy, as far as I m concerned both Mithun and Pathan will be same in Aus Pitches. There won't be much swing and Irfan not a big swing bowler like PK to swing all the time, once ball got 15 overs old, Pathan will be a liability to the team. As far as Batting concerned both will be same, no different, infact off late Mithun batting better then Pathan. I would pick Pathan for Eng, NZ and even to SA tours were swing is naturally offer but for Aus both Pathan and Mithun will be same. I don't consider Delhi is a good team particularity when they are without Gambhir, Sehwag and Kohli and none of their current Batsman have FC Avg over 50 also while in the same match Nehra picked 9 wickets and Delhi won as well. I never seen S Trivedi picking loads of wickets in Domestic and Dhawl as well after his first season brightness same goes for J Unadcut. As far as ODI concerned Abu is nowhere reqd as we have so many fast bowlers in ODI, only Test we lacks.

  • on December 13, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    @Venu You must be out of your mind... Players like Sachin, Laxman and Dravid are an asset to Team India than a weak link. They are performing every time and also the young generation will gain valuable experience just by sharing dressing room with these giants. The only people who would be praying for your proposed change are Australians.

  • Lord_Tendulkar on December 13, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    One of the biggest advantages India will have due to absence of a star player in the Aussie squad...no its not Cummins as he will get the same treatment that Tait got at WACA...it is not Lyon....he will be hammered all around the park...it is not Watson...who is confused between being a bowler or a batsman...its the very old unofficial (or rather official) man of the series of the last two India trips down under - Mr. Steve Bucknor!!Glad he will not be playing or should I say umpiring for Australia this time...and for folks like Arnab Hossain/ Lillian Thomson - Please look at how bleak and broken the Aussie line up is w/o Bucknor before making any comments / predictions on team India !

  • ssenthil on December 13, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    @LillianThomson, One issue which is being overlooked is Australia is JUST bundled out for 47. :D Even NZ Bundled the Aussies at their home for 130. Now let see what is their last 12 months score in Tests. 268 & 309 in Perth, 98 & 258, 280 & 281, 273 & 210, 411/7d in Galle (match Draw), 316 & 488 in SSC (match Draw again), 284 & 47 :D, 296 & 310/8, 427 & 19/1 and 136 & 233. So only 3 match out of 10 they managed not to bundled out in both Innings and only 3 out of 19 Innings they could managed not to be bundled out. So this is not a ROCKET SCIENCE to lose sleep over bundling out Aussies twice. I hope you got something to THINK!!!! Don't be over excited about Australian Cricket. Come to reality. U Yadav will show how to take wickets with his skidding speed with his excellent out-swingers. Ashwin may not be so success but If he managed to do what Swanny did in Ashes is good enough for India, but I will never ever write off Ashwin anytime, he may enjoy the bounce in offer in Aussie pitches

  • bleedblue_sach on December 13, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    @Lilian Thompson: With the kind of batting lineup OZ is having that too in this current form, it is very easy for Indian bowlers to clean australian side not twice but atleast thrice. You might feel that Indian's bowling attack is far weak than previous tours, but the Zak is our spear head now and if fit, will be a night mare to OZ batsman especially left handers. Ofcourse, Ish is there to clean up Ponting as early as he walks into crease and all other kids (so called batsmen of OZ) will no more pose a challange.

  • sankar8000 on December 13, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    @ Arnab hossain @ Wee bee

    You people are day dreaming! Be ready for Sehwag's Summer and he is going to Whack aussie bowling...... Zaheer will rattle aussie batsmen....

  • on December 13, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Lets face it--Indian bowling is a farce and arguably the weakest among test playing nations (may be better than Bang and Sl but below NZ in Aus conditions).In India our bowling is strong enough to win test matches due to the nature of wickets.So WINNING in Aus is ruled out.If you cant take 20 wickets in Eng(which is a bowlers' heaven) how in the world are you going to do that in Aus where pitches have bounce but no real movement .It needs a great bowler to move the ball on these pitches.Zaheer is very good but he wont play more than a test match..(that too if he doesnt walk off mid way thank God).the tragedy is our real greats ie batsmen will be blamed for all the defeats.Its always difficult to adjust from low bounce to bounce and by the time they do it we would be 0-2 down.Hopefully we will draw in sydney and Adelaide but again that seems unlikely considering the sheer weight of runs Aus will pile up.Aus fans cheer up you can soon see Punter,Hussey and Haddin hitting tons

  • on December 13, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    No benefit from going early to Australia. India is going to suffer another Whitewash in 2011-2012 season. How enjoyable that's going to be. Yahoo!

  • on December 13, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    i think tendulkar, laxman and dravid these 3 are rather weakness now in the team than the strength due to their age. we can't expect them to save the match always. so it would be safe to replace them with badrinath, poojara, rohit, virat, mukund etc

  • SamRoy on December 13, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    @sssenthil One more thing I forgot to add. If we didn't want to pick Pathan there were other players who could have been picked like Dhawal Kulkarni or Siddharth Trivedi. Both of them pick a bucket load of wickets in Ranji trophy and actually swing the ball. Must pick Abu Nechim for ODIs.

  • SamRoy on December 13, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    @ssenthil I agree on most accounts except Abhimanyu Mithun is a terrible bowler much much worse than Irfan Pathan. And Pathan bowling at 80 mph (129 kph) and swinging the ball is 1000 times better than Mithun bowling at 82 mph (132 kph) bowling gun barrel straight. We already have seen what happened to the much hyped VRV Singh in South Africa in 2006-07. He was bowling 86-87 mph (138-141 kph) gun barrel straight. In 2 matches he got 1 wicket conceding more than 200 runs. So, Pathan was a much better bet than Mithun especially since Praveen is not playing. And Delhi has a good batting line-up and Pathan took 7-114 against them.

  • WeeBee on December 13, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    Result: India will lose it by 4-0. India which has the most so called great batsman in cricketing world, who have badly failed in England, Struggled to win against WI at their home, they will be a sweet pie for Oz. Few things will happen for sure !! 1. Tendulkar will look for his 100th ton on the next tour after Oz ! 2. Dravid will play good but he will be the only left at wicket after whole team return to pavilion. 3. Sehwag will be fit until he gets out on duck, after that he will be unfit, Pain in the A***. 4. Laxman, haha, It will be his last knock for india for sure. 5. Hurt Oz (after Nz Beat them) they will make such picthes that dont support spiners at all, so OJHA WOJHA will never get on top of them. 6. Oz batsman would thrash your pre-post injured Zaheer and baby ishant. Still I hope you do good in Australia! finger crossed ...... AN INDIAN CRICKET FAN

  • LillianThomson on December 13, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    One issue which is being overlooked is how India hopes to dismiss Australia twice in Test matches. I have watched touring teams come to Australia for decades, and short skiddy quick bowlers like Yadav are a waste of space because they cannot extract bounce. Wasim Akram had far more success than Waqar Younis in Australia for exactly that reason. So Yadav will be a huge opportunity for the Aussies: 140K with no bounce is just a gift here. Visiting offspinners too never achieve anything in Australia, so Ashwin is a further liability. Ditto Ojha, as left-arm finger spinners struggle here too. So that leaves a half-fit and slow Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, who has dismally failed to realise his potential. We are about to see Sri Lanka's attack similarly exposed in South Africa, and I expect events on both sides of the Indian Ocean to follow the same course.

  • OkyaBokya on December 13, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    All the best Team India. I hope this time it is India 2-1.

  • on December 13, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    All of my Best Wishes are with the Aussies, i hope they will White wash the Indians

  • on December 13, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    India will suely do well if somehow vinay and mithun r injured and dont go there and the selectors r forced to send Irfan and someone who atleast can bowl decently

  • on December 13, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    with umesh yadav bowling above 140 n zak fully fit plus ishant bowling 140 with his height n such powerfull batting line up with good record in aus if india cant win 2-0 atleast then it willl be shame.. yes i m hoping there wont be anymore injury...

  • ssenthil on December 13, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    @LillianThomson, robbed by the neutral umpires :O I wonder what kind of NEUTRAL umpire they were. What has happened is known to the World. Since the Sydney Test Aussies LOST 16 Tests. :-) :D Only West Indies and Bangladesh have lost more Tests during this period, though Australia's win-loss ratio is fourth during this period. These 16 losses have spanned 46 Tests, with Australia winning 20 of those. Australia's previous 16 defeats had spanned 118 matches, and they'd won 83 of those. KARMA, what you have done in Sydney will haunt Australian Cricket forever. Your downfall STARTED since Sydney Test as it was proved that Aussies LOST in their own Fortress PERTH(One of the fastest Pitches in the world par with Barbados and Durban) in the next match itself against India. We have moved on from Sydney Test but Australian cricket will never take off for the near future at least. Wait for this series, ready to lose any sort of bride Australia have. Perhaps we have now robbed your World Champion.

  • vj78 on December 13, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    i think they should take IP as their allroounder . they will include ZAKS for first test...if he goes down IP can cover as AUSSIE pitches like seamers not spinners.

  • ramli on December 13, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    ahweak ... some players get selected ahead of better players for the sake of "balance" ... for example ... if an opener is injured .. the reserve opener is selected but not necessarily the next best reserve batsmen in the team ... similarly ... one prefers an off spinner when the opposition has too many left handers even if your left arm spinner is better ... etc ... good luck India ... go

  • Naresh28 on December 13, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    @redneck Yes India dont go for the kill/throat like you say, but the one big problem India face is their bowlers are average compared to the other top teams in the world. India relies on winning matches through batting might than bowling might. An area that BCCi needs improvement on. On the rare occassion we have some bowler who produces a majic spell e.g Ishant in last tour to Australia. So when the bowling is not making inroads then India are stuffed as the game gets away. This leads to added pressure when to the Indias batting as we playing catch up. The one player who is very similar to the gutsy Praveen Kumar is IRFAN PATHAN.

  • bipulkumar on December 13, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    Vinay, Mithun, Yadav, Ishant as the frontline attack ... how worse Indian bowling can get. Indian bowlers will be hammered by Australians. All Australian batsmen will find their form against absolutely mediocre Indian bowlers. Those who have been a yes/no in Australian side will cement their place including Hughes. Best chance for Australia to get a clean sweep.

  • RandyOZ on December 13, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    Australia will only be fielding their B team against India, not that it will matter because they will stil smash em 4 zip!

  • El_Toro_Loco on December 13, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    @khiladisher: AND I PREDICT IT'LL BE A WHITE CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA i.e. INDIA WILL BE WHITE-WASHED ONCE AGAIN WITHIN SIX MONTHS.....Ciao

  • on December 13, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    i think dis is the best bowling line up india could have.....given there is no injury....if pk and aaron would have been there,it would have been the best.zaheer will give u swing,ishant bounce and umesh pace

  • on December 13, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    @ all - I know this will be one hell of a test for both sides who have new players in their squad like Indians and Aussies with their bowlers. We will have to wait and watch what happens on boxing day. @Yayavid - those were really stupid assumptions but we shall see what happens. Thats what happened years ago. Now all those players are vastly experienced. More than from what they were before. Aussies def not the greatest team anymore. They are not in their form, and they are a weaker side, well so is India, but we won't know what will happen. Everything happens on the day off the test not before. OH BTW SACHIN WILL DEF HIT A TON BE PREPARED WHY? BECAUSE ITS ABOUT TIME. WAIT AND WATCH Anyways all Indians and Aussies fans this series will definitely be one hell of a series. I can't wait :P

  • on December 13, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    I think it's reasonable to expect the hundred from Tendulkar. Having said that, for India to win a test, they need about 3-4 players performing consistently, but one should not dismiss the PONTING FACTOR. A hundred from his bat will put things in Australia's favour. If the Indians can't win the 1st test, I can probably bet on them winning the 2nd at Sydney, since that ground may favour spin bowling more.

  • ssenthil on December 13, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    People say India will miss I Pathan is a joke, as he is not done any great in Australia and his speed still below 130 though he got back his in-swingers I feel he won't be great effective in Australian pitches as he don't extract Bounce as well like PK does. People telling he would be an All rounder make me laugh as if he is scoring runs in Domestic, he never a Great Batsman, he is a Tail Ender who batted occasionally well not consistently. But his Batting form lost when he get back his swing. One more thing, his Wickets were cheap wickets in bowling friendly tracks against Lower ranked batting teams of this season, MP, Hariyana and Delhi. He didn't bowled against TN (Current table toppers), let see how he bowls if they play against Bengal in a Batting friendly wicket. If Baroda goes to knock-out there we can see his REAL bowling form and Let him continue to play in Domestic after all he hasn't played that for 2 years and just 3 match after 2 yr don't warrant a selection for Tests.

  • ssenthil on December 13, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    My playing 11 for Boxing day test would be,....... 1. G Gambhir, 2. V Sehwag, 3. R Dravid, 4. S Tendulkar, 5. R Sharma, 6. VVS Laxman, 7. MS Dhoni, 8. R Ashwin, 9. Z Khan, 10. I Sharma, 11. U Yadav. I feel Indian bowling unit lacks bench strength without PK (I would love to see him in Australian Pitches). Aussies will miss H Singh as he is their run donator in Australia and India can't say will miss Johnson since he may come to form any time at least in 1 out of 4 test. Dhoni will pick Virat ahead of Rohit the same mistake he did in England picking S Raina constantly but hope that mistake won't cost India too much. Pity on Kohli, he has to go through another toughest series. My bet he won't be good but I would be mighty pleased if he Averages over 35 in this series. All the best India

  • ssenthil on December 13, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    I believe this is India's best chance to win a TEST series in Australia for the first time ever. We never get a Sachin, Dravid, Laxman and Zak next time and I don't see C Pujara (He was so pathetic in SA in the 2 test he played there), A Rahane (Never tested in Tests yet), V Kohli (he was even pathetic in WI itself), Rohit Sharma (He has improved in ODI, did he in Test level? not yet tested) won't last to score 200 run together in Australian tracks. This is a Situation If not now then NEVER. Aussies may have young fast bowlers but I believe Indian batsman should play them well. Bowling Aussies ahead of India and same in Fielding as well but Batting India is miles ahead. Sehwag will score where there is no swing and nor bounce. Like Adelaide. But it's Opening is going to matter a lot. I don't know Ashwin can succeed here but let see. I believe if Zak is fit for all 4 matches India should fancy a 3-0 or 3-1 series win but all depends on the start at Melbourne Boxing day Test.

  • Precioustar84 on December 13, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    @dms1972 - Disrespect to Ponting from Indian fans? Maybe you should how much disrespect given to Sachin and other Indian cricketers so I'm pretty sure its just tit for tat comments and nothing else. Indian fans love cricketers like Ponting and others more than even the Australian fans. Favorites list does not end with the Indian cricketers as assumed by most of you; just they are given priority over others thats all. Many non-Indians just like to stir up the Indians because its easy to do so and come here with the intention to fight always. Its pretty sad.

  • LillianThomson on December 13, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Part of the reason why Indian expectations are so inflated may be that large numbers of Indians still seem to believe that they were somehow "robbed" by the neutral umpires in the 2008 Sydney Test. A Test, you will recall, in which they failed to bowl Australia out twice (they scored 463 and 401-7d) and then fell apart to lose three wickets in the final two overs, in spite of feeble and unsporting attempts to waste time (their number eleven batsman came out with two right gloves) and plunge to defeat. India had arrived full of confidence, having drawn against an Australia deprived of McGrath and Warne four years earlier. Now, having shown their mental frailty in snatching defeat from the jaws of a draw, the Indians realised that they were 2-0 down in a 4 Test series, and both sides exhibited a singular lack of grace and class in the aftermath. Many of the posts in this thread seem to suggest that a misplaced sense of injustice remains.

  • soumyas on December 13, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    @Fast_Track_Bully, i loved it when u said..."BUCKNOR is retired..."

  • SamRoy on December 13, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    The main question is, can India win a test series in Australia which they have never done in their history. They have a good chance but they have never accomplished it. It will definately play on their minds when they go out to play. And cricket aside from being a game of skill and patience is also a mental game.

  • satish619chandar on December 13, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    @LillianThomson : Yes India failed against Aussies with same batting lineup.. But in the meantime, they were the only one team to challenge the Aussies to the fag end in 2003 and 2007.. Actually, they won in two tests drawing one series and going down 2-1 in one series.. The display by India was the best by far among all teams during the dominance period of Aussies.. Bowling attaack ain Australia always consisted of all new bowlers.. I wouldnt agree with the absence of Glenn/Shane as a reason for Aussie losses as India too was without any pace bowler with reputation during those tours.. However, given India's slump against England and Aussies losses in recent times, i expect the series to be a lot closer.. I would rather put this way.. The team which plays bad cricket will lose..both the Both the teams will be eager to prove something to the fans..

  • Gizza on December 13, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    @LillianThomson, actually India drew with Australia 8 years ago (and retained the Border-Gavaskar, don't you remember Ganguly holding the trophy for the photoshoot and NOT Steve Waugh?) So they lost to Australia 12 years ago and 4 years ago. 12 years ago was when Australia were in their prime. The loss 4 years ago was a narrow one. Also you say India's bowling attack is weaker now than then. Well I think Zaheer, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav is stronger than Srinath, Agarkar and Prasad in terms of pace. Yes Ashwin is not as good as Kumble (at least not now) but he's better than Harbhajan so India's main option is also stronger. Let's not even talk about the absentees and aging stars in the Aussie camp apart from saying none of Haddin, Wade or Paine are in the class of Gilchrist while none of Lyon, Beer, O'Keefe etc. are in the class of Warne, MacGill or Hogg (the 3 main spinners used in those previous series you mentioned).

  • on December 13, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    yups indeed important 2 hav a gud start in d boxing day test...

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 13, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    @LillianThomson. In that case, Australian team with MCgrath, Warne, Waughs, Ponting failed to win Test series in India when Waugh was captain. Now, most of them retired, Poting is going to lost his place in the team after pathetic performances. No good bowlers like warne orMcgrath, A few so called all rounders will not be enough to compete against India. Indian bowling is far better than Australian if ZAK is fit. And nothing to compare the batting powerhouse in the world! And also, BUCKNOR is retired now! now what????

  • rahulcricket007 on December 13, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    @YAVAVID . YOU MENTION ABOUT EVERY PLAYER IN YOUR COMMENT BUT YO FORGET SEHWAG . PLEASE WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT HIM TOO . I LOVE THESE TYPES OF COMMENTS.

  • rahulcricket007 on December 13, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    TO ALL THOSE AUS FANS WHO ARE SAYING THAT INDIA LOSE HERE ON PREVIOUS TOURS . OK 1999 TOU WAS DISASTER BECAUE TENDULKAR WAS CAPTAIN ON THAT TIME . BUT WE DRAW HERE IN 2004 AND GIVE THEM A TOUGH FIGHT IN 2008 IF SYDNEY TEST 'S SECOND INNINGS DECISION OF DRAVID & GANGULY WOULD HAVE BEEN CORRECTLY GIVEN THEN WE WOULD HAVE DRAW THAT TEST MATCH TOO AND SEREIS BY 1-1.

  • Y2SJ on December 13, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    The BCCi should have arranged for 2 or 3 warm up games with Australian domestic teams. That would have give the bowlers a good chance to adapt.

  • Alexk400 on December 13, 2011, 2:51 GMT

    India will win if SEHWAG clicks...if not it will be same old SOB story that india is playing against 13 players and umpires are partial blah blah. I say stop complaining ...blame BCCI. I don't want to hear any of that if ausies crush india. Aussie should field ... Watson , Warner , Ponting , Clarke , Hussey , Hadding , Pattinson , ben hilfenhaus, Peter siddle, Mitchell starc/Doug bolinger. India plays well against spinners ...Aussie should keep green pitch every time.

  • satish619chandar on December 13, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    As the same with every test match, India should look to score big runs(Atleast 450) every match in first innings.. One advantage they have is, if they consistently off stump line, the Aussies will get out themselves on their current form.. India should look to post good runs on the board and then get their basics right while bowling.. I predict atleast 3 collapses from Australia in the series.. Not sure about India though.. Even if Australian batting is struggling, almost every bowler they throw is performing well to earn place in the team.. My guess is 2-1 to any team!!

  • Alexk400 on December 13, 2011, 2:40 GMT

    @yavaid ...oi oi .. YOU NAILED IT !!!! EXCELLANT...new ian chappell.... :D ..That is exactly going to happen except if sehwag clicks...he might...he may not...i will tell you on christmas day.. i have to look at my astrology...on that day... :)

  • on December 13, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    Dohni is being delusional. His bowling side is weaker then the last time they versed Australia. They dropped the Harbhajan singh...Are they mad? Oh well, Aussies are going to win comfortably...

  • preeyam on December 13, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    Ashok This Australian line up is the worst in current form and the likes of Clarke ,Ponting,Hughes, who would not find a place if in a team like India. The bowling attack may not be the best fior India but will suffice what with the current Aussie team came a cropper against NZ. All the good records will be shattered steadily

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 13, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    Let me be the Captain for the boxing day test. My team: Sehwag, Gambhir, The Wall :), Sachin :(, VVS :), Dhoni, Ashwin, Zaheer, Ishant, Vinay, Umesh. 4 pacers and 1 spinner. Sehwag, Sachin are the added spin options. Please don't go in with 4 regular bowlers. Irfan would have been a better choice instead of Vinay. But alas! If only our selectors thought of the 5 specialist batsmen/bowlers situation, they would have never ignored Irfan and Rahul Sharma both of whom can bat well and add depth to our batting while adding strength to our bowling in a 5 specialist bowlers situation. With what we have, it would be a toss up between Vinay and Ojha based on the pitch.

  • here2rock on December 13, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    The key to India winning in Australia is taking 20 wickets. In the past the bowlers have ran out of gas too many timesr. They need to play 5 bowlers, either 3 pace+ 2 spinners or 4 pacers+1 spinnel depending on the type of wickets they are playing on. The selectors have made a huge mistake by not selecting Irfan Pathan in the side cause he could give the side much needd balance. He is not the best in the world but the best India has aa a bowling all rounder, why not pick him?

    My side will be, Shewag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Irfan Pathan, Dhoni, Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav/or Pragyan Ojha.

  • on December 13, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    @yavaid - This time you will see SACHIN and his best .. just wait and watch .. my boy

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 13, 2011, 1:39 GMT

    While I agree completely with Dhoni that focussing on what you have to do is more important than what the situation with the opposition is, my main interest in the ongoing Aus-NZ series is to see that Australia comeback with many question marks rather than positives. With just 13 days to go for the series, I'm very happy that they have too many things to sort out - from squad selection to making somebody the scapegoat in press conferences. Just love that chaos in their ranks and dressing room. Having said that I'm very worried that the team that played against Kiwis will be mighty different from the one that will take on us - at least two players (Watson and Marsh) are going to make a huge difference. So, yes, it is better to focus on the things that we have to do than feel happy about the opposition because the morale of the opposition will always change once the composition changes. Good going Dhoni. You are on the right track. Hope we don't have anymore injury scares. Good luck.

  • Nampally on December 13, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    @Lillian Thomson: Australians were the World Champions in previous 3 tours.Now they are losing toeven 8th placed New Zealand,though Aussies are ranked #4.Gilchrist, Haydon, McGrath & Warne are no more. So what can you expect of the present Aussies team compared to the past one? Aussie record speaks for itself- lost back to back Ashes series against England, drew the series with SA & NZ(at home). Aussie lost to India (away) in the last test series.So the Australian record is anything but good!.A slip cordon of 6 is no good against Sehwag who can upper cut for sixers over third man. You should try this cordon around the third man area.Joking aside, India is ahead of the Australians in World Test ranking by 20 odd points and will remain so after the 4 Test series. if Watson & Marsh are not available, the Aussies have no batting with Ponting, Clarke & Hussey out of form.Bouncy track helped NZ massacre Aussies in last test. Why can't Indian seamers @ same135 KPH repeat it? Good Luck to both

  • amarnath79 on December 13, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    Bhajji will be missed. There is no substitute for experience when you play on the road. Anybody can do well at home.

  • redneck on December 13, 2011, 0:49 GMT

    dhoni the best captain???? great leader of men prehaps in the way he unities those big egos and gets them to all put the team first, but his fielding tactics are overly defensive! once they win a test he only plays for draws for the remainder of the series! eg dominica & barbados the series in new zealand a couple of years ago. wouldnt call him the best captain going around. these type of series should be whitewashes if you call yourself number 1! i think strauss (who also started his captaincy too defensivly, but has changed) has taken a leaf out of steve waughs book. once the foots on the oppositions throat you dont ever take it off! this metality is what will bring success, playing for draws from half way through a test match will only ever let the opposition come back to the fray. and while we lost to new zealand by 7 runs, remember india were only a run away from falling to the windies at home in their last test. dhonis not reading into australias form as india's is no better!

  • on December 13, 2011, 0:47 GMT

    Well said @ kr nataraj. Application is, in my opinion, the only way India will win this series. Aus and SA appear to be the most difficult places to register away victories. Despite their recent form, the Australian team still have a top class attack (albeit without Cummings) which trumps every bowler in the Indian line up, leave aside Zaheer and Ashwin. And despite their form, they still have a batting line up that consists of Ponting, Clarke and Hussey, who like Dravid could find form they are so desperately craving. In home conditions, Australia are tough, but I disagree with MS Dhoni and think this is one of the best chances for India to win a series in Australia. If the batting lives up to its hype, and the bowlers apply themselves in a disciplined manner, it should be a very even contest.

  • dms1972 on December 13, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    Predictions of India winning 3-0 or 4-0 are ludicrous. Sure Australia's batting hasn't been the best in recent times but it won't need to be against the current Indian bowling attack. New Zealand's bowling will be Australia's greatest challenge for the summer. Warner, Watson and Marsh, at the top of the order, will ensure Australia get off to good starts, allowing for Clarke and Ponting to finish off. India's batting is a different story, Australia will have to bowl well against Tendulkar, Sehwag, Laxman, Gambhir and Dravid, but hopefully, Harris is fit and Pattinson and Lyon continue the good starts to their Test careers. Whoever wins, and it is 50/50 as to who will win, they will win 2-1, that's my prediction. And I really hope Ponting is allowed to continue on and he finds some form against India. The disrespect he is getting from many Indian fans on this site is disgraceful. He's a legend of the game and should not be judged on his current poor form.

  • on December 13, 2011, 0:42 GMT

    Look India have a good attack in both feilding and batting so I belive that India will do well in AUSTRAILIA

  • LillianThomson on December 13, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    This Indian batting line-up lost in Australia 12, 8 and 4 years ago when Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman were in their prime. Meanwhile the bowling "attack" is far, far weaker than it ever was then. And 13 days out from the First Test, none of the batsmen have played a match against a slip cordon on a bouncy track. India is going to be massacred!

  • couchpundit on December 13, 2011, 0:21 GMT

    Following comedy is going to happen 1. Sachin will struggle against Pattinson and will make him world class bowler. 2. Dhoni will struggle to score. 3. Dravid and Laxman will be the saving grace 4. Mithun and Vinay might get chances but will be mauled pretty badly. 5. Ashwin and Ohja might succeed. 6. As usual Indian Lower Order will struggle with Laxman to put some score on the board. 7. Sachin's fans will crave for his 100th ton, no matter india wins a game or not.Oh if he doesnt score a century in first 2 tests there will be a claim that he is injured. 8.Dhoni will say "as i said at the start of Series, this was not our best chance to win a series down under". 9. Gambhir's fitness will bein question, anyways he has not fully recovered yet. 10.Zaheer will find his form somehow. 9.

  • ahweak on December 12, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    "....need not worry about the playing XI that much as most of the players get their berths on merit." .....so, does it mean that some get their berth on something other than merit?

  • krnataraj on December 12, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    aussies are never pushovers in australia. if indian batsmen fail surely the series would be lost. if they bat well to give some chance to the inexperienced bowling attack then the series could be more interesting. good fielding, good fitness and solid application to adhere to basic techniques of bowling and batting is the only way india can survive and fare well down under.

  • on December 12, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    Oh boy its getting interesting.can't wait for that series to start .we have got a wedding in our house on boxing day and my family members asking me which one of the two am I waiting for?its quite obvious I m waiting for ind vs aus...

  • on December 12, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    and now I come 2 know why SYMONDS is there in BIGG BOSS 5 :D He is promoting Border-Gavaskar Series :D anyways acc. 2 me India will win it 4-0 :D <3

  • Rahulbose on December 12, 2011, 20:42 GMT

    Well finally they get decent preparation time before a big tour. It will be interesting to see if they do well. Last hurrah for the great middle order, I hope they win and then retire.

  • on December 12, 2011, 20:13 GMT

    Mr Clarke...if you are listening or rather seeing these comments..learn from your indian counterpart!! This is the exact way a captain should respond about his players..Give them that confidence booster to do well.Just playing on the field doesn't necessarily makes you a good leader!

  • on December 12, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Good luck to India. Wish australia had those big names like hayden, Gilchrist. Would be fun to see the contest. Australia is a depleted side. India should win this series.

  • on December 12, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    hope tht india shows a fight in australia , not like in england,

  • khiladisher on December 12, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    I PREDICT INDIA TO BEAT AUSTRALIA AT LEAST BY A 2-0 MARGIN-SACHIN-DRAVID-LAXMAN-SEHWAG-GAMBHIR-KOHLI-ROHIT AND DHONI WILL RELISH FACING THE INEXPERIENCED AUSSIE BOWLING.THE AUSTRALIAN BATTING HAS BEEN POOR SINCE 2008-SO IF INDIA PLAY WELL WE CAN WIN THE SERIES 3-0.

  • cricket_fan_NH_USA on December 12, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    Its sure going to be good contest between indian batting and australian bowling. and always bowlers win the matches and its always hard to imagine how Indian bowlers will perform. We truly lag the whole setup to breed good bowlers courtesy BCCI and fellow inidian state boards. Glad that Dhoni a grat cricketer leading the way and still some old blood left in the team. I hope juniors will catch up and take it along. All the Best and May the Best side Win.

  • hhillbumper on December 12, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    poor batting team re poor bowling.better bowling re an ageing batting line up that does now go well overseas. Hope its a draw so we can listen to both sets of fans going on about how good they are?

  • Nampally on December 12, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Instead of projecting confidence, Dhoni is on the defensive straight away. A captain brimming with confidence is essential to start a series.I would say India has Sehwag & Gambhir to lead the batting and a very experienced middle order in Fab.3. They are possibly followed by attacking batsmen like Dhoni & Rohit.So there is enough batting of In-form batsmen. They need to look out for the swing and avoid fishing at the away swingers or play the T-20 shots. This is crucial in test matches.Stay at the crease & runs will come.In bowling India has Ishant & Yadev both >135 KPH range + ZAK swinging around 130 KPH.It is crucial for these3 to bowl length and make batsmen play to get catches, especially with new ball which has prodigious swing in Australia.Ashwin & Ojha provide the back up spin coming with 42 out of 60 Wkts. against WI.7 Guys went in the advanced party & hopefully practiced hard to get used to the pitches.This is the most critical factor in winning the series. Good Luck India.

  • on December 12, 2011, 19:02 GMT

    First test is very crucial. Lets not lose it please. Then we will win series easily.

  • Kaze on December 12, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    Australia will win 4-0 barring rain.

  • on December 12, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    Good Wishes to MSD & his team bfor dprtre to OZ fr a big booming tour that hs enough stuff in it to make us spectators interesting nt only in cricket bt also in other parts & parcels of this incredible sport, as soon as we heard INDIA v AUSTRALIA ur mind gets recall plenty of actions like "Tendulkar v Warne", "Dravid v McGrath", "Laxman v OZ Team", "Harbhajan v Ponting", "Zaheer v Hayden" & dramas like "Sdyney Test' 2008", "Monkey-Chant story" etc. With these old stories once again Inform TEAM INDIA is heading towards old rivalries OZ so we once agian r expecting sumthing similar to that bt hopefully this time there shldn't be anything like previous tour & we can witness a fair play by both teams. Truly speaking this is INDIA's finnest ever chance of winning their Ist ever Test series in OZ as Kangaroos are in the rebuilding phase & likes of Watson & Jhonson their first choice players are out due to injuries, they looks weaker than normal, So we can expect 2-0 or 3-0 in favour f INDIA.

  • SnowSnake on December 12, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    I think that India will be beginning this series well with practice match and all. It will be a good test series. Good luck for both teams. Just don't fight over petty issues as it happened in previous series! For Aussie fans, play fair and don't shine green lights on Indian batsmen & fielders eyes!

  • zico123 on December 12, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    if Zaheer and Ishant and Sehwag, Gambhir have a good series, India will win the series 2-0 against Australia, Indian batsman have to play tight with patience

  • bleedblue_sach on December 12, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    Zak and Ish should be available and fit for the entire series for a fair chance. Sachin, Laxman and the Wall are there ofcourse for batting.

  • Chupaa_Rustam on December 12, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    India have the best captain, best young fast bowler (Umesh Yadav),best spin combo,the best Opening Pair,the best No.3 and ofcourse the greatest batsman at No.4.

    I think english series was just a bad accident and india will surely do very well in australia...

  • m_kamb on December 12, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    dont compare our indian bowlers with OZ greats

  • on December 12, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    go n win 4-nil...! Good luck!!!

  • screamingeagle on December 12, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    Future greats starting out now...nice thought. I hope it is true for both sides; maybe we are going to see the setting up of a few good (great if we are so lucky) careers in this series. Possibly on both sides.Wish both teams the very best. :) Maybe a bit more for India.

  • Tigg on December 12, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    It's a little sad but this series depends mainly on whetehr Zaheer is fit. If he is I'd back India to win as good swing and seam (particularly from a left arm angle) will, on current form, rip through the Aussies. If he breaks down then India will struggle.

  • S.Jagernath on December 12, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    If the Indian players bat carefully & bowl accurately,they have more than enough to win the test series.The experienced batsmen will be there for a while before the first test.Practising in Australia will help them acclimatise and be ready for the first test,the bowlers will have to learn their lengths and keep them,having Zaheer Khan back will help the other bowlers create good strategies to set batsmen up over long periods.

  • on December 12, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    I some time get a doubt if Dhoni speaks from his heart. His words are sagely. Or, does he speak them just because they are ideal?

  • on December 12, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    At last Duncan Fletcher will get a team which can compete with Australia in Australia.

  • ankit_66 on December 12, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    try ur level best...b ambassadors of cricket and nation..

  • Longmemory on December 12, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    Forget about 140+ speeds - all it does is lead to injury. The NZ bowlers kept it consistently at the top-of-off-stump on a perfect length and they cut through the Aussie line-up to win the test. They were all bowling in the mid-130s. I think the overemphasis on speed leads to a loss of control over line and length, besides causing the Indian bowlers to break down. Varun Aaron has just joined a long list of bowlers who went straight from an impressive debut to the disabled list. If you can't bowl at 140+ without over-exerting yourself, its not going to work in the longer run.

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  • Longmemory on December 12, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    Forget about 140+ speeds - all it does is lead to injury. The NZ bowlers kept it consistently at the top-of-off-stump on a perfect length and they cut through the Aussie line-up to win the test. They were all bowling in the mid-130s. I think the overemphasis on speed leads to a loss of control over line and length, besides causing the Indian bowlers to break down. Varun Aaron has just joined a long list of bowlers who went straight from an impressive debut to the disabled list. If you can't bowl at 140+ without over-exerting yourself, its not going to work in the longer run.

  • ankit_66 on December 12, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    try ur level best...b ambassadors of cricket and nation..

  • on December 12, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    At last Duncan Fletcher will get a team which can compete with Australia in Australia.

  • on December 12, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    I some time get a doubt if Dhoni speaks from his heart. His words are sagely. Or, does he speak them just because they are ideal?

  • S.Jagernath on December 12, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    If the Indian players bat carefully & bowl accurately,they have more than enough to win the test series.The experienced batsmen will be there for a while before the first test.Practising in Australia will help them acclimatise and be ready for the first test,the bowlers will have to learn their lengths and keep them,having Zaheer Khan back will help the other bowlers create good strategies to set batsmen up over long periods.

  • Tigg on December 12, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    It's a little sad but this series depends mainly on whetehr Zaheer is fit. If he is I'd back India to win as good swing and seam (particularly from a left arm angle) will, on current form, rip through the Aussies. If he breaks down then India will struggle.

  • screamingeagle on December 12, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    Future greats starting out now...nice thought. I hope it is true for both sides; maybe we are going to see the setting up of a few good (great if we are so lucky) careers in this series. Possibly on both sides.Wish both teams the very best. :) Maybe a bit more for India.

  • on December 12, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    go n win 4-nil...! Good luck!!!

  • m_kamb on December 12, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    dont compare our indian bowlers with OZ greats

  • Chupaa_Rustam on December 12, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    India have the best captain, best young fast bowler (Umesh Yadav),best spin combo,the best Opening Pair,the best No.3 and ofcourse the greatest batsman at No.4.

    I think english series was just a bad accident and india will surely do very well in australia...