India in Australia 2011-12 December 31, 2011

India need to rethink strategy against tail

Australia's last four wickets outscored India's by 79 runs over both innings at the MCG. In a series that could be decided by lower-order contributions, MS Dhoni may need to change his defensive tactics
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India began and ended the year similarly. At Newlands, it was Mark Boucher and an injured Jacques Kallis who were allowed to get away when India were on top. At the MCG, it was the Australian lower order. At Newlands the India batsmen were in better form, and came out with a draw when they could have won. At the MCG the batsmen struggled, and India lost when they could have won.

At the heart of both those disappointments was how India spread the field as soon as they saw the lower order. Not a gradual phasing out of attack, no. Not reacting to a boundary or two. MS Dhoni has been going on the defensive as soon as the lower-order players come out to bat. At Newlands, Kallis, batting at No. 5 and battling the pain of a side strain, walked out to a long-on in place, and there was a deep point the moment he reverse-swept a four. On the first day in Melbourne, Brad Haddin came out to face a hat-trick ball at 5 for 205. That soon become 6 for 214, when Ed Cowan was dismissed, but in the next over Dhoni had long-on, deep midwicket and fine leg for Haddin.

Dhoni's defence for the welcome given to Haddin says all you need to know. "You have to see who was bowling," he said [it was R Ashwin who was bowling]. "Haddin is a good player of spin. We were bowling first, which meant there were no rough patches to play with. It could have been easy pickings. What we wanted to do was see if he is good enough and takes a single every delivery. [In that case] we look to put pressure on the other batsmen or from the other end from which the fast bowlers were bowling. It's a strategy that goes your way or doesn't go your way. You have to back yourself."

But Ashwin had been looking to get wickets when it was 3 for 205, and Michael Clarke and Cowan were at the crease. Why suddenly stop trying to get one of the batsmen out? Ashwin was not easy pickings for Clarke, how did he suddenly become easy pickings for Haddin? The result is no surprise. Australia's last four wickets added a total of 211 runs over the two innings. India's managed 132, 88 of those coming in the second innings when the match was already lost and the tail could swing the bat without any pressure.

This is - at least it seemed to be for the first three days - a series between evenly matched sides. Runs scored by lower orders could decide the outcome. The last two series that India have won against Australia both featured contributions from the lower order. In 2008-09, it was Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh's 80-run partnership that helped India draw the first Test, which proved to be a massive turning point in the series. In 2010-11, Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha hung around with VVS Laxman to win India the Mohali Test. It is no coincidence that when the Australian lower order beats India's by 79 runs, India wind up losing the Test by 122.

At the end of the game, Dhoni said his side needed to come up with a "formula" to get tailenders out. To lose the existing formula might be a start. The current formula might have worked for Dhoni on slower tracks, on smaller fields where singles are easy to defend, but such passivity against the tail is bound to hurt you at some time.

Ian Chappell said the captain, more than the bowlers, had to be blamed for this. There is merit to what Chappell says. The same bowlers who have been trying to get a wicket every ball are now expected to change their game-plan to restricting boundaries for one batsman and then desperately trying to take a wicket with the last one or two deliveries of the over. Dhoni is a captain who usually knows what moments to seize; in Melbourne he looked two of them in the eye and let them pass.

On the other hand, Clarke, fresher to the job, was a little more intuitive when it came to the Indian tail. After the match he defended Dhoni's tactics, and said that he would have done the same; but actually he did not. He did not fight his own team's momentum, and ran through the Indian Nos. 7, 8 and 9. Dhoni, unlike Haddin, was attacked in the first innings. It was only when Ashwin got into a partnership with the No. 11 that the fields went back, and that too after the partnership had begun developing.

Clarke's empathising with Dhoni says a lot about modern cricket: fearless tails, heavy bats and thick edges put the fear of a counterattack in the fielding captain's mind. "I did the same for Ashwin in the first innings," Clarke said. "I did the same for Dhoni on the fourth day [after Dhoni had hit a six and a couple] because the runs from the tail are important for any team, especially when the pitch is a bit bowler-friendly. As a team, every single run you get is crucial. I can see why Dhoni did it. Probably for the same reasons I did it; because you want to protect every single run."

Be that as it may, Dhoni realises the runs scored by the Australian lower order hurt India. He knows if he had knocked over the tail quickly India could have been chasing something around 230, and not 292. But he fears that had he tried to run through the tail, one or more of the batsmen could have taken advantage of close fields and scored more than they eventually did. Having put it down as one of the reasons for the defeat, Dhoni will at least revisit the strategy against lower orders. We all know it can do with a rethink.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • g.narsimha on January 3, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    5WOMBATS i cant understand what do you mean by ;real cricketing world but ,when more than billion supports that automatically becomes special ,as majoritarian opinion matters but that doesnt mean wiith this huge following w ought to convince all that we are best in the business , not at all , at present our team is worse in over seas & indians on this site criticising our team ,we are niether gloathing our past no-1 tag nor living on few out side victries now we came to the terms & what ever happening that may be blessing in disguise ,but one thing for sure your teamwill denitly strugle in sub continent as we have seen enough ofyour greats like straus, petersons, andersons, broads , bresnans in this part of world ,lets wait & see the curtainraiser at uae on 17th.

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    @g.narsimha on (January 02 2012, 16:22 PM GMT). Nobody in the real world of cricket cares much about what you think of as being the "special" features of india cricket. "Marketing of cricket"... "cricketing hub"... "no team barring Steve Waugh"... blah, blah, blah. Whatever. india are not special. They are just another cricketing country just like every one else. No cricket follower from any other country in the world would ever have the nerve to say; "you are not number one until you beat us at home". That is a position reserved strictly for india fans. Please publish.

  • g.narsimha on January 2, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    cont.......our no 1 tag was history , you asked what is special in india , yes india is very special in the contest of huge cricket crazy fan following , marketing of cricket ,present days cricketing hub & most importantly no team baring stive waughs all waether team won any thing in india in recent past particularly your team was proved to be worse than our team which is presently struggling in overseas,with out victiries in either form of game in decades .

  • ramli on January 2, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    Dinesh kartik was the best keeper in india 5 years ago .. not anymore .. he is unfit to keep for TN leave alone India ... he failed to sieze the chance in SL when Dhoni opted to rest ... both he and parthiv have been tried enough and abandoned ... name anyone else capable of replacing Dhoni .. and then we can drop him from tests ... by the way .. is dhoni's record that poor to warrant an axe ... however .. if the bad patch of dhoni extends a longer period .. it might be worth trying a new hand .. but not now ... thank you

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    @Miles Davis on (January 02 2012, 01:36 AM GMT) you state; "Keep in mind last summer, England were bungled out for 100 odd in the first innings of the first test". Which First Test are you referring to? In the First Test in 2011 against Sri Lanka England in their First Test first Innings scored 496/5dec and in the First Test in 2011 against india England in their first Innings scored 474/8dec. This is factual information which is easy to look up on cricinfo. BTW your analysis of Englands performance in Australia 2010/11 is wholly mistaken as well; Australia batted first on THREE occasions. Australia were not facing 500+ scores as they walked out to bat on the morning of the first day. The England bowlers were all over Australia in the last Ashes, just as they were all over india in Summer 2011. Please publish.

  • Amol_Gh on January 2, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Jackjak: ...And what's so one-sided about mentioning stats about Sachin **as they are** ?

  • Amol_Gh on January 2, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    JackJak: If u check again, I was defending only Sachin, NOT the whole IND team. I'm NEVER said IND is the greatest team ever (though it has the potential to be ...IF AND ONLY IF they apply themselves mentally in the field). In fact I never mentioned anything related to QUALITIES OF IND TEAM as a whole. This test they lost was not because of insufficient physical skills but due to lack of mental strength. Anyway, the last time IND toured ENG before 2011, IND won the series (2007). doesn't it count or do we have to go back to 1986 ? When was the last time ENG beat IND **in** IND ? If bowlers become meaningless on IND pitches why does Ponting average only in pathetic 20s on them? And if it's so hard to win on IND pitches for other teams, does not it say something good about IND bowlers in spite of the adverse conditions to get to bowl. Also does not it DE-value the wickets that ENG, AUS, SA bowlers (not counting Steyn) get regularly on their ball-friendly pitches ? And...

  • shantiratnamaj on January 2, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Dhoni may be a great captain but with the great captain India has lost 5 tests in a row. I think Dhoni does not deserve a place in the teat if anyone is bothered by the teams poor performance. If you think the most popular players must play in the team then all Indian suppoters must accept the match results. If you want to win then you must pick players on merit. Dinesh Karthik is India's best wiket keeper batsman on current form! Dhoni silently puts his favourite players in the team too, if Dhoni is a great cricketer like all think then why was Viral Kholi in the team ahead of Rohit Sharma? Do you need a sceintist to say Rohit is a better batsman down the order and we all know Virat is good at No 03! Good luck. I know India will win the next test 200% sure but they will lose the next 2 for sure too. I support India against Aussie although I support Sri Lanka always

  • RandyOZ on January 2, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    @5wombats, you are begining to have as many excuses as the Indian fans you despise so much. Pot kettle mate!

  • RandyOZ on January 2, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    Pattinson is a better batsman than Sachin. Hilf better than Dravid and Lyon better than Laxman, on Australian pitches that is. Not that its hard to score on the featherbeds of India.

  • g.narsimha on January 3, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    5WOMBATS i cant understand what do you mean by ;real cricketing world but ,when more than billion supports that automatically becomes special ,as majoritarian opinion matters but that doesnt mean wiith this huge following w ought to convince all that we are best in the business , not at all , at present our team is worse in over seas & indians on this site criticising our team ,we are niether gloathing our past no-1 tag nor living on few out side victries now we came to the terms & what ever happening that may be blessing in disguise ,but one thing for sure your teamwill denitly strugle in sub continent as we have seen enough ofyour greats like straus, petersons, andersons, broads , bresnans in this part of world ,lets wait & see the curtainraiser at uae on 17th.

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    @g.narsimha on (January 02 2012, 16:22 PM GMT). Nobody in the real world of cricket cares much about what you think of as being the "special" features of india cricket. "Marketing of cricket"... "cricketing hub"... "no team barring Steve Waugh"... blah, blah, blah. Whatever. india are not special. They are just another cricketing country just like every one else. No cricket follower from any other country in the world would ever have the nerve to say; "you are not number one until you beat us at home". That is a position reserved strictly for india fans. Please publish.

  • g.narsimha on January 2, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    cont.......our no 1 tag was history , you asked what is special in india , yes india is very special in the contest of huge cricket crazy fan following , marketing of cricket ,present days cricketing hub & most importantly no team baring stive waughs all waether team won any thing in india in recent past particularly your team was proved to be worse than our team which is presently struggling in overseas,with out victiries in either form of game in decades .

  • ramli on January 2, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    Dinesh kartik was the best keeper in india 5 years ago .. not anymore .. he is unfit to keep for TN leave alone India ... he failed to sieze the chance in SL when Dhoni opted to rest ... both he and parthiv have been tried enough and abandoned ... name anyone else capable of replacing Dhoni .. and then we can drop him from tests ... by the way .. is dhoni's record that poor to warrant an axe ... however .. if the bad patch of dhoni extends a longer period .. it might be worth trying a new hand .. but not now ... thank you

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    @Miles Davis on (January 02 2012, 01:36 AM GMT) you state; "Keep in mind last summer, England were bungled out for 100 odd in the first innings of the first test". Which First Test are you referring to? In the First Test in 2011 against Sri Lanka England in their First Test first Innings scored 496/5dec and in the First Test in 2011 against india England in their first Innings scored 474/8dec. This is factual information which is easy to look up on cricinfo. BTW your analysis of Englands performance in Australia 2010/11 is wholly mistaken as well; Australia batted first on THREE occasions. Australia were not facing 500+ scores as they walked out to bat on the morning of the first day. The England bowlers were all over Australia in the last Ashes, just as they were all over india in Summer 2011. Please publish.

  • Amol_Gh on January 2, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Jackjak: ...And what's so one-sided about mentioning stats about Sachin **as they are** ?

  • Amol_Gh on January 2, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    JackJak: If u check again, I was defending only Sachin, NOT the whole IND team. I'm NEVER said IND is the greatest team ever (though it has the potential to be ...IF AND ONLY IF they apply themselves mentally in the field). In fact I never mentioned anything related to QUALITIES OF IND TEAM as a whole. This test they lost was not because of insufficient physical skills but due to lack of mental strength. Anyway, the last time IND toured ENG before 2011, IND won the series (2007). doesn't it count or do we have to go back to 1986 ? When was the last time ENG beat IND **in** IND ? If bowlers become meaningless on IND pitches why does Ponting average only in pathetic 20s on them? And if it's so hard to win on IND pitches for other teams, does not it say something good about IND bowlers in spite of the adverse conditions to get to bowl. Also does not it DE-value the wickets that ENG, AUS, SA bowlers (not counting Steyn) get regularly on their ball-friendly pitches ? And...

  • shantiratnamaj on January 2, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Dhoni may be a great captain but with the great captain India has lost 5 tests in a row. I think Dhoni does not deserve a place in the teat if anyone is bothered by the teams poor performance. If you think the most popular players must play in the team then all Indian suppoters must accept the match results. If you want to win then you must pick players on merit. Dinesh Karthik is India's best wiket keeper batsman on current form! Dhoni silently puts his favourite players in the team too, if Dhoni is a great cricketer like all think then why was Viral Kholi in the team ahead of Rohit Sharma? Do you need a sceintist to say Rohit is a better batsman down the order and we all know Virat is good at No 03! Good luck. I know India will win the next test 200% sure but they will lose the next 2 for sure too. I support India against Aussie although I support Sri Lanka always

  • RandyOZ on January 2, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    @5wombats, you are begining to have as many excuses as the Indian fans you despise so much. Pot kettle mate!

  • RandyOZ on January 2, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    Pattinson is a better batsman than Sachin. Hilf better than Dravid and Lyon better than Laxman, on Australian pitches that is. Not that its hard to score on the featherbeds of India.

  • on January 2, 2012, 1:36 GMT

    @mark souza...Australia has one only ONCE in about 40 years of touring india. England i dont believe have one for a long time either. Its not about playing in the SC or not...its about playing in conditions you are familiar with and have grown up playing in. Keep in mind last summer, England were bungled out for 100 odd in the first innings of the first test. And conditions in Eng are much closer to Australia than India is.

    That being said, India have to acclimatize better. Eng won in Aust last year not because of their bowling (as everyone seems to think), england won becuase in every innings, one of their batsmen scored a BIG 100 or 200. thats 5 500+ scores. that knocked the wind out of Australia.

    India needs to do the same. And at 2 for 214 on the 2nd day, i genuinely thought they would. Unfortunately was not the case.

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 0:41 GMT

    @g.narsimha on (January 01 2012, 12:18 PM GMT). No, read my post again. What I said was that the England Test Team IS NOT the England ODI team! The india ODI team is not the same as india Test team either. A lot of india fans are busy imagining that because they beat England in some ODI series in india that they will go on in a few months time to beat the England Test side. Trouble is - india ODI side did NOT play the England Test side - which is a completely different squad. And as for this claim; "untill & unless your team wins in india it cant be accepted as best". That's garbage. The whole world accepts it - what makes india so special that it does not? Amazing conceit. With india's continuing woeful away record you surely aren't still trying to cling on to the idea that india have any right to be number one, do you? Plz publish.

  • insightfulcricketer on January 2, 2012, 0:14 GMT

    My take is that India needs 5 bowlers to go into a game overseas. They should have included Irfran Pathan in the squad for so many reasons - he has travelled twice to Oz, is an in-form swing bowler and he is left handed reliable batsman.With him in the side Dhoni could have kept the bowlers fresher so that by the time tail-enders came around the bowlers were not in exhausted state as Melbourne ground does take a heavy toll of bowler's stamina. Plus Dhoni needs to step up to the plate as a batsman. All of the above would have ensured that he would not have gone defensive when tail-enders came around.This problem came in Capetown last winter when all was needed was to winkle out the last partnership of Boucher/Kallis but the bowlers looked palpably exhausted for the coup-de-grace and an opportunity for historic win slipped away. Go with 5 batsmen make them each shoulder extra responsibility and not hide in numbers.

  • zenboomerang on January 1, 2012, 22:51 GMT

    @Nampally... Sorry, I was just defending Pattinson (21y.o.) as he is just starting his career & comparing him to established older bowlers seemed unfair :) ... Agree about Dhoni's bowling tactics which seemed overly defensive (negative) which must make it harder for the bowlers to feel comfortable about their bowling stratagies to the tail-enders...

  • on January 1, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    Anantharao: Wow With your expertise on how to play short pitched bowling the BCCI should be flying you out to OZ to show this bunch of losers just how to bat.

  • theRule19 on January 1, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    Not only getting tailenders out quickly but also, field properly in order to not give away easy singles when pressure is built by fall of wickets and bat substantially to score big can win India matches.

  • on January 1, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    what kind of rubbish disscusion is that, whenever he wins for india he is lucky whenever he loses he is bad capatain, this is height of stupidity

  • on January 1, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    @Sandeep kumar: cricket cant b played on this papers. on one hand u r saying that attack ricky , warner and hussey and other hand u r saying dont let free runs to flow from their blades, how both these things are possible? be mature dhoni has a good head on his shoulders but whenever he is not able to pay attention to these things on ground at that time so seniors should help them but i think this is not happening, they have to think seriously about ghambhir he is out of form since last 24 months so y should give him one more chance, just bring one from ajinkhya or rohit sharma laxman should be given last chance coz he have good records against aussies unlike england tour losing combination should not be maintained

  • JackJak on January 1, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    Amol for your information India last won a test series in England convincingly way back in 1986 when there was no hype of this kind or big superstars even..but we had gavaskar vengsarkar mohinder azhar, shastri and a few others like kapil binny etc..but we were a decent, honest all round team. Now we are more a show team nothing more. We will call teams like West Indies, bangla, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand etc. ..beat them at home and say we are a great test team by performing on these dead lifeless pitches...where bowlers become meaningless..and our batsmen Gods..So please try to understand ur cricket a bit more and analyze the game as a whole and not just in a biased one sided way

  • testtimez on January 1, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    As an indian team supporter all i want is for the team to show some spine. The writer is spot on in his observation about defensive captaincy. I love Dhoni as a captain. But he needs to take some more chances when it comes to the lower order than he did in the first test.

  • on January 1, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    Dhoni is setting a defensive field not only for the tails,whenever a set batsman is out and new batsman comes, hw should not allow them to score easy singles,bring a slip tighten the inner circle,put pressure on new batsman,he is defensive in his batting too in Test cricket.He should learn to set a aggressive field .Any of the senior players should advise him.

  • on January 1, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    see we can go through dhoni's record. initially his luck was good so we got some wrong decisions in our favour and we won few tests. when that luck came to end and leadership qualities taken over from where the original talent of dhoni's captaincy. anyone show me if india won atleast one match because of dhoni (batting/keeping/captaincy). BCCI should select from all our population not only elite players

  • on January 1, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain but lately he has been a bit less aggressive. That's a possible way he can approach the tail- be more aggressive. Gambhir needs to dropped (because Kohli deserves the axe) or put down the order to work on his technique on the lifting ball. Dravid or Laxman can assume opener's responsibilities. Rohit should assume the No. 5 role with Gambhir or Laxman at No. 6, so he can grow in confidence with senior players (Tendulkar or Laxman preferably).

  • Nampally on January 1, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    @Godfrey Pieters: Sir, there is no comparison between Sammy & Dhoni - the record speaks for itself. Dhoni has the best record for any Indian WK for victims claimed and also his batting average is way above Sammy. You say he is the luckiest man & wonder how he made it to Test captaincy!. I would partly agree with you because he came from unknown area for cricketers & was a poor villager not able to play even with suitable cricket gear or any coaching. Despite all these handicaps, this self taught man rose from poverty just like great Gary Sobers and now captains the Indian team.This is a remarkable feat.His footwork & fundamentals may be wrong but he does score e.g., hitting the England Seamer Finn for a huge helicopter shot - 6 over mid wicket out of the stadium.Also because of his background he never had much coaching on tactics & plays just by intuition. Nevertheless he succeeded leading India to #1 in Test ranks, ODI WC & T-20 champions, in different years! Great achievements - Eh!

  • Nampally on January 1, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    @Zenboomerang: Sir, Broad has a test century & several 50's while Bresnan almost got a test century. Yes, they scored when their team was really down too.These guys could be classified as Bowling all rounders. Same is the case with Vettori with several test centuries but bats low in the batting order. But the main point I was making is why should Dhoni bowl any differently for the tail enders as to the rest of the batting? His aim should be to take wicket by attacking all in coming bats for the first 10 overs - Not give them confidence by spreading out the field & replacing a guy who got 2 wkts. in 2 balls!.This article suggests as though special strategy is needed to bowl to the tail enders.Main aim is to get the guy out as cheaply as you can(irrespective of where he bats) by applying pressure with your best bowlers. This is common sense. Dhoni has common sense & he needs to use it.

  • ROXSPORT on January 1, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    It's no surprise Clarke agrees with Dhobi's ....er....Dhoni's tactics. He wants Dhobi....er.....Dhoni to continue with the same tactics for the rest of the series so that the Aussie lower order gets some easy runs.

  • ilovecricket1234 on January 1, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    They need Irfan Pathan at the tail with his bowling and amazing batting contributions.

  • on January 1, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    A 5-point strategy, if applied, will win the test 4 India

    1. Drop VVS Laxman from the squad and replace him with Rohit Sharma 4 the rest of the series. 2. Attack Ricky Ponting, David Warner and Michael Hussey throughout their innings until they get out, dont let free runs to flow from their blades. 3. Be wary of Shaun Marsh and Pattinson. 4. Use Zaheer sparingly, drop Umesh yadav as he is ineffective, play in Irfan pathan 5. Tell Ashwin if not performed , this would be his last test series.

    If Indian Management including Dhoni will follow these, then surely India will win the test series, what about 100th 100 of Tendulkar? will surely be scripted in this series 4 sure, dont worry

  • on January 1, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    This is disappointing to hear, especially since Dhoni was touted as a great captain. This shows how overrated he is, and he has much to learn about the game. Just because he won a T20 comp doesn't make him a great leader. Test cricket is the ultimate hurdle and he hasn't passed that yet.

  • on January 1, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    It is correct that India needs to rethink its strategy against tail; But their own tail has to flourish; In overseas tours only the tail enders are going to be the major deciding factor of winning or losing a test match; As of now Ashwin is doing a good job as a tailender but zaheer, Ishant sharma & Yadav has to share atleast 60 runs between them;

    The selection policy has to be like this:

    All the bowlers batting average has to be minimum 20 and above in domestic matches ; One bowler with extraordinary bowling capabilities can be spared even if his batting average is below 20

    In modern cricket it is not a bad idea to send a pinch hitter once the first wicket fell quickly when the scoreboard reads 20 and below;

  • ssenthil on January 1, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    People thinking Ashwin as an All-rounder, Please stop boasting about it. I don't want another bowler to concentrate on his batting and then lose his Bowling mettle and then dropped from the team itself like Pathan and H Singh. Perhaps he is an decent bat but he is not an All - rounder, his runs with bat are useful but not demanded. I won't mind he scores very little and take wickets more eventhough the conditions in Aus is not as helping as at back home. I m surprised at he is already in 19th place in the Test All rounders list in just 4 Tests perhaps is an indication of lack of all-rounders at Test level.

  • ssenthil on January 1, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    @Full-Blooded-Wallop, Stats always misleading when you don' t look at in depth. Dhoni perhaps have a Best Avg but for insight, Dhoni away from home Avg is 34.00 from 35 matches while his Home Average is 43.00 from 30 matches. While his Away Avg (Excluding BD and NZ(Purly becoz the 2009 tour was all in Batting paradise and NZ were down to No.8 Ranking after Fleming retirement)) is 29.67, Which is poor. Poor Keepers you have mentioned never played against this Opponents to improve their Average (NZ had good bowlers Until Fleming was Captain). While his Batting Avg in Aus is 17.00 in 5 Tests, 39 in England after 7 Tests (Which is perhaps even good), 59.66 in Pak in 3 matches (Sub-continent Wicket), 31.44 in SA in 5 Mathces, 32 in SL in 3 Matches, and 22.08 in WI in 7 Matches. So the More he plays the more bad his Avg going even against weak teams at their Home, eh? Dhoni is just an Average Keeper, drops too many catches. Not an Extra-ordinary Batsman either. Nothing much to boast abt him

  • Amol_Gh on January 1, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    ("Sachin's got the game to do well in England and Australia but he will only be a good batsman than a great one in bowler friendly conditions") Is not Sachin's average **IN** ENG and AUS which is respectively 54.31 and 58.10 GREAT ?? If it's not great than what it is ?? OH YEAH... May be it should have been 99.99 (whatever) like Bradman who kept playing against the same opposition all his life and so much less matches than Sachin, then only Sachin's so-called 'critics' would have been satisfied.

  • g.narsimha on January 1, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    5WOMBATS ,Now you are augueing that ENG was not full strenghted in odis in INDIA, india was more or less was in simlar situation in eng , no demeaning of eng wins over india , your erlier coments always on englands victories ,painting india as hopeless team , my line of aurgument was , if one home series win in decades makes eng worlds best & india worst ,what about erlier achievementsYOU MAY ALSO APRICIATE OUR FAMED BATSMENS PERFORMANCE IN ENG& AUS IN ERLIER TOURS ,yester day in another page i mentioned england IS ONLY EXCEPTION at present they are the only team which won out side ,winning ASHES hansomly ,untill& un less your team wins in india it cant be accepted as best , but no denying as, aus, ind, &sa are struggling ENG , sits pretty well if they play with the same intencity & agrassively as it demonstrated against india ,no reason to doubt its seccess in uae, happy new year,

  • Amol_Gh on January 1, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    ("Tendulkar will as always play for himself and score runs when it does not matter ") Sachin is not a match-winner ??!! Ridiculous Statement at best. Such statements should be taken with a fistful of salt and should be ignored totally without responding to them because they are not worth it. Sachin averages an impressive **66.59** in IND's WINS IN HIS WHOLE CAREER and whenever he scores anything less than 38, IND generally loses. That's a fact and the only stat that matters to me (even more than his ninety nine 100s.) and is slap on the face of those guys who don't use 'Statsguru' to check stats before commenting.

  • Amol_Gh on January 1, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    ("Sachin can make all the runs in the world but he still has to play the defining innings under pressure and win the match: he had another chance in Australia and again he failed. ") Can someone define when does Pressure exactly start showing itself? It's right there from Ball-One and everybody of those 11 players have to score runs to get to overcome the opponent's total. And Sachin scored 105 which is great in this TEAM-GAME. Saying that a particular team player's runs don't add to the TEAM-total because that particular player will be carrying those runs away with him to the Bank instead of the Team-total is clearly a distress-call by the Sayer that point out that he himself is need of some shrink.

  • Amol_Gh on January 1, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    ("So how come the news headlines of SL victory is still present on cricinfo's main page, while headline news of India's miserable and humiliating defeat has been QUICKLY taken off the home page and burried deep somewhere in the archives") That's because both the events may not repeat themselves again in the near future but the former event is in fact a MIRACLE which may never repeat itself at all.

  • on January 1, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    in any case Team India has a chance to review Team Composition an important aspect of strategy. In addition to the number of class batsman on feild and in reserves available India now has a formidable strenght of spin and fast bowlers.Inability to clean up the tail tail has been an issue with Team India.

    A batting heavy team means feilding 4 bowlers or 22 overs / bowler /day. In every match we will have tired bowlers towards the innings end.Now if even 1 out of 4 bowlers is off-colot then Team is in for a uncontrollable damage.

    It is foolish that India is not playing 2 all rounders. That way there will be 5 bowlers ( 2 of which can bat ) + 5 batsman +1 wkk/batsman .16 instead of 22 overs /bowler /day, will keep bowlers fresher and provide more variety to attack surprising the batsman.More important it will make the 5 batsman less complascent.

    Ashwin is already 1 all rounder in the team, get in 1 more !

  • Romenevans on January 1, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    LOL Tail? Tehy should first work on their batting. That is the weak link.

  • on January 1, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    @ Mark Souza Have you seen Australia's top order getting out by inside edging the balls shows lack of foot work. say whatever you want to say but even the aussies are pathetic in the subcontinent they too need too learn how to play else where.

  • JackJak on January 1, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Dravid is a better batsman in England than in Australia. He is better with the swinging ball but not too great in Australia where it comes on faster but swings less. VVS Laxman is the opposite and is horrible in England where his lack of footwork is exposed but can get away with it in Australia. Sehwag's game is such that its more a lottery and he can suceed or fail so if he does well its only a bonus. Sachin's got the game to do well in England and Australia but he will only be a good batsman than a great one in bowler friendly conditions..Gambir is just an Indian easy pitch expert and doesnt have the game to suceed where the ball swings or bounces and comes on faster. His dabs might succeed in India where the ball doesnt even bounce ankle height. Wasim Jaffer would have been better off for this tour or even Mukund than Gambir for overseas tours. Kohli can't see him as a test player, too fidgety to be a good test batsman. Cant believe that Rohit's not in automatically

  • on January 1, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    Forget the strategy against the tail, Indians need to learn to bat and bowl. Their basics are very weak, and only good for playing in the sub-continent.

  • JackJak on January 1, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    As Eli Mahendra says india's great batting might is just a creation of the media and the BCCI's dominance in cricket..nothing more. All these great batsmen that we talk about really dont play in tough conditions all the time..and they go to England and Australia so very rarely and when they go there the truth surfaces. Last couple of series when we went there the Aussie attack wasnt too good..there was no Mcgrath or a few others were injured..and the pitches were flatter..So this time will be better to see the reality surfacing.

  • Alexk400 on January 1, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    continued... we humans never talk about things in front of us. Always about something or someone else. It is easy that way. If you solve the problem , what you do next , if you can't solve (batting procession) , you will have headache. if you blame batsman , you are also one of them , it may hurt your own brain. self loop is bad schizophrenic disease. you don't want that. So dhoni blame easy target. Always bowlers get the blame , batsman get the praise , money , adulation even bharat ratna. wau wau. Great. Dhoni is great in man management skills , tactic wise he rely on pure luck. It worked india as he was a golden boy. When applied pressure , his luck gets deserted. He needs sehwag to fire for him to succeed. I think if you want to build a team , you need fighters (counter attackers) as well as holders , we really lack people who don't give up that easily when things are in dire straits. It is just that simple. Team lacks character under adversity. That is the reason.

  • Alexk400 on January 1, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    It is like trying to find something to blame , a scapegoat. We humans live in illusion. We love it. We know what is reality and we hate to talk about it. we hate the truth. Because it is a bitter pill. Blaming bowlers is blaming people who does most of the work , it is easy that way is n't it? You can't blame yourself, you blame others so you feel secured. if you blame batsman that includes you , it hurts , is n't it dhoni?. India has many problems , bowling tail was not that number 1 problem. Number 4 or 5 may be. 1, Lack of planning in batting as a team. 2. Dhoni conservative field setup as though he think every thing fall in itself. Not gona work outside india. if you don't shake the apple tree , apple won't fall. May be it can in india. Not here. You have to put pressure and find weak links mental and physical side of each batsman and apply pressure. 3. Duncan fletcher collecting FREE MOOLA for doing nothing. 4. Gambhir , VVS , Kohli and Dhoni are dead weights in batting departmen

  • fanofteamindia on January 1, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    I think those saying Dhoni's tactics were wrong are very old fashioned in thinking and stuck in the past ages and have thinking that belong to the Chappell era. Those days tail enders were tail enders in every sense of the term. You have six batters, one wk who won't bat and 4 bowlers who don't even think of batting. But, now every team insists their keeper who bats at no.7 should score runs. The latest trend is even your no.8 should contribute some runs. If you say these are wrong tactics, those are the main reason England is such a formidable force. But the tail enders will not be able to bat long as the specialist batsmen. That's what Dhoni counts on, don't give them boundaries, they will give you wickets. It just didn't work in this match, but that is how modern cricket is played. Guys, please wake up to the modern times. We did not lose this match because of his captaincy but because of batting which ofcourse includes Dhoni the batsman.

  • PallabBanerjee on January 1, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Time and again we would find ways and means to defend the failures of our batsmen, this is because we have always put them in high esteem. Playing with big names are a bane to this country, instead we would be better of if some lesser known players who would contribute as a team are selected in the playing eleven. Individual brilliance like a player getting hundred centuries or a player scoring a triple century within a day or a player possessing highest technical finesse are better for the record book but not for getting victories for the country.

  • BlueyCollar on January 1, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    The difference is more between the respective number 10's and 11's. Ashwin and Sharma bat all right.

  • cjude09 on January 1, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    @shamlaatu. My guess is that the win by Sri Lanka was a historic win. I'd say it's rather news worthy.

  • Anantharao on January 1, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    The shortball handling is difficult for South Asian batsmen. Also the failure rate of these teams against countries like Australia, South Africa and England is more. What batsmen has to do to get out of this shortball ? There is a way. Keep things simple. That means when a fast ball comes, you don't have enough time to respond. So you have to play the shot very little time. To acheive this if you are slow reposnse batsmen, you have to change the way you bat. Possible change the way you stand for batting. Stand and bat. Lift the BAT and stand in a comfortable position. So the bat lifting time will be reduced and the Batsmen could produce effective shot. Also you could easily move away from the line of the ball if it is short. Also you could easily play the short bacll. Those who are struggling to play shortball, could try this and may find very useful for them.

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on January 1, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    @goldfrey pieters : going by your logic you should be surprised how the likes of dujon,healy,rod marsh,boucher etc made there respective teams? coz all are far behind dhoni...tell me one wk keeper westindies has ever produced who averages more than dhoni :P and even sangakara shouldn't made his team as he is not far ahead of dhoni as a keeper batsman!

  • VIJAYJKR on January 1, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    Full-Blooded-Wallop, i m very agree with u about dhoni's being in team but DHONI is not scoring at NEED and agnst strong teams. and other reason for INDIA's poor performance is POOR OPENING BATTING as GAMBHIR is out of form. ABOUT TAIL:- INDIA was always poor to get rid of opposition tail.

  • maximus1982 on January 1, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    agan dhoni showed that he is lucky captain not a good captain. india needs tp come back a long way in this series and some body needs to take the lead. bit dhoni will not be that person.

  • on January 1, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    We can theorize a lot but the fact is that Indian batting as it is isn't good enough. They are continuing from where they left off in England. They can score only in India. If you ignore the obvious you are bound to continue to fail.

  • shamlaatu on January 1, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    So how come the news headlines of SL victory is still present on cricinfo's main page, while headline news of India's miserable and humiliating defeat has been QUICKLY taken off the home page and burried deep somewhere in the archives ???

  • maxjanu on January 1, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    You just feel that this is India's biggest chance of winning a match this series. With the Aussie pacemen, Australia should win WACA, but if India are to win SCG and Adelaide test matches, their batsmen have to step up. Sure, Dhoni's tactics are poor, but the main reason they lost was because Tendulkar and Dravid were the only ones that put up any kind of resistance against the Aussie quicks. Dhoni should not be worrying so much about his tactics, but about his batting, and his whole teams batting. People said coming into the series saying that India's bowling attack was rubbish, but their bowlers got Aus out for 333 and 240 at the MCG. No, what India's problem is at the moment is their top and middle order batmen. Aus have work to do in their top order too.

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on January 1, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    To all those saying is dhoni is pathetic in test matches and especially goldfrey pieters raising questions over his place in team, here are some facts for all of you:Mark Boucher, arguably greatest wicket-keeper in the game, averages- 30.20 Ian Healy, one of very best for aussies, averages 27.39 Rod Marsh, most respected w/k in intl cricket, averages 26.51 Jeffrey Dujon, w/k of WI during 70's,80's, averages 31.54 DHONI avaerages 38 which is highest for any Indian WK-Batsman since the advent of cricket in India in 1932.Sayyed kirmani hailed as the best wk-batsman for india has 14 50+ scores(including2 centuries) in 125 inings and average of 27.04....while DHONI has 28 50+scores(including 5 centuries) in just 102 innings!! People blindly raise fingers but just think once before commenting...also never forget the fact that he is captaining the side in all 3 formats of game...which makes his job even tedious.....even sangakara has a batting avg of only 40 as a wk-batsman!!

  • Mandadi on January 1, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    First thing field positions were not good for top order as well, if we observe on first day no gully fielder at all and the body language of our players wasn't positive. Gambhir is my favorite batsman but he wasn't at all comfortable with bounce on outside of. I want to see our team come with positive mind-set and right body language, end of the day everyone enjoy the game.

  • SRT_GENIUS on January 1, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    @Imad_K: Your insights are incredible.

  • neerajprasher on January 1, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    hope kohli and ishant will be out for SCG test my XI sehwag gambhir dravid tendulkar laxman sharma dhoni ashwin khan mithun yadav.thys y everyone was talking need pathan in test squad so india can play with extra medium fast bowler and extra batsman.dont play with the same team plz.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on January 1, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    This tactic of the fielding side deciding one of the tailenders is THE BATSMAN and almost stop trying to dismiss him infuriates me. From the Indian point of view (personally thought Aust were no better) the logic of bowling out the whole upper & middle order using one way (ie good bowling & attacking fields) and then setting the field back for the no9 escapes me entirely. Why not do what you were doing ? The problem for both sides is that the only batsmen capable of digging in and batting through difficult conditions are the old timers Tendulkar Dravid Ponting & Hussey. Both teams need to find at least 3 fighters in the top 6 in the next 12 months .....at the moment the only team in World cricket with a reliable top 6 is England. That and their steady attack exploiting the impatience & fragility of the other countries top 6 is and will continue to keep them well clear at no1.

  • zico123 on January 1, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    Dhoni should not get defensive as soon as last recognised batsman bats with tail, if the last recognised batsman is also new to the crease, then there is every chance of getting him out too with an attacking field, so instead of trying to get a wicket with 6 balls, he tried to get tailender out with 2 balls, it backfired, this strategy would fail more often than not, if the last recognised batsman gets set then it makes sense to get defensive against him and attack on the other end, but 3rd man should be kept always

  • keencricketer on January 1, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    I am sure there is a lot of talk about the tactics that were on display. Well, let them treat the tailenders as they are and bowl on their toes and bounce them out as they dont extend any favours when the Indian Tailenders are batting. Also, there needs to be support to the captain from the audience too. There should be more reception to failures too as these are opportunities to improve too. I am sure the papers were talking about the great indian batting line up and now they talk about their reflexes, this is perhaps a late discovery that the press has made, I am sure the sensible audience can appreciate their preparations and maybe review their support for the excessive T20 matches that may help make these contests better with the batsman and the bowlers being fully fit and both teams can put up their best eleven to truely reflect the outcome in the series. The coach can perhaps look the next breed of players in the academies and also the pitches that are used in the ranji trophy.

  • on January 1, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    Having few more men in the 30 yard will help. Since at MCG Test, 4 men were patrolling the boundary instead of saving singles and putting pressure on lower order batsman.

  • on January 1, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    The problem is not so much the bowling, but the batting. If you collapse twice in the same Test, the bowling doesn't make much difference. They had a good opportunity to bat throughout Day 3 and take a big lead. Instead they threw away 8 wickets, and now he wants to talk about Australia's tail!

  • criclover999 on January 1, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    Mark my words if Rohit Sharma play india will not loose sydney test match what a blunder not playing him .

  • zenboomerang on January 1, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    @5wombats... Making excuses for why your team gets beaten all the time?... Your selectors pick your ODI team same as for Tests - So yes, India thrashed your national team in ODI's in India... Australian thrashed you 6 - 1 last summer... Eng took over as top Test team for the last few months but cannot get into a WC semi-final says alot about your current team & selectors... Still Australia was at rock bottom & can still beat you in ODI's... lol... Lets see what the lowly ranked Pakistan can do against you in the coming weeks...

  • zenboomerang on January 1, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    @Nampally :- "But Siddle & Pattinson are not in the same class"... You are being a bit tough... Pattinsons batting average in Tests is above 29, including 2 not outs in the last Test - in domestic grade cricket he has scored a number of centuries already yet only 21 y.o. ... It is also a lot easier for a Broad or Bresnan to come in when you already have 400 run leads & throw the bat around against a tired bowling attack - see how they do under some real pressure... In regard to the batting failures - I would give praise to both bowling units in their superb line & length creating the opportunities that they made happen...

  • Nampally on January 1, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    @Pradeep_Dash40: Your team with Ashwin opening is quite inventive.But Ashwin has not played as an opener in Tests. In Australian pitches with the ball moving it can be quite tricky. Gambhir definitely needs to be dropped but the Selectors in their great wisdom forgot to include an alternate opener or an all rounder.Gambhir was a good opener once but he got into a bad habit of chasing balls outside the off stump & he will get out every time if he does that. On the other hand if he plays straight bat & shoulder arms the ball outside off, he still can contribute. Can he do it?Playing 4 pacers is a good idea but Mithun is very erratic & will be expensive at his pace.Pathan or Dinda might have been handy.Only alternate choice of opener is Dravid or Rahane. If Rahane opens, Kohli will be dropped. Dhoni will have a choice to select 2 of Laxman, Rohit & Gambir. The bowling remains the same as in the last match.

  • sanshe1238 on January 1, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Yes Dhoni need to be more positive. India had the match in their hands and let it go. Aussies capitalized on Dhoni's poor feild placing and defenciveness. When a team has lost 4 wickets for 30 odd runs, as a captain you should be coming in with all guns fireing no matter who is at the crease. Unfortunatley Dhoni took a different approch to the game and his defensive approch was rubbing off the entire team. India has the talent to beat any side in the world but they take their foot off the gas when it really needs push on. Thats the main reason Aussie won the game, they have a killer attitude and they press on. 294 to win was a cake walk to India, but they chocked due to high quality bowling and great captancy by Aussie skipper. Come on India, lets put up a fight with out throwing in the towel.......

  • dicky_boy on January 1, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    @ mr WOMBATTS this argument is going on for ever teams outside subcontinent should win in India or sl but anyway looking at the state now, England test side is far ahead than any other side, out side India ATLEAST we have seen that we have a guy for. Captain whosea average is15 in tests outside India and he is a no 7 and two overated openers and one or two grandpas , so we can't expect anything else but to repeatedly get our heart broken an to a million pieces in tests and I am hoping that's just outside India

  • spinkingKK on December 31, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    Everybody seems to comment on the players just on their stats in the first test. For them, Laxman is useless, Kohli doesn't fit, Yadav is in the same class as Akram or Imran Khan. Please. Laxman doesn't become a useless player just because he couldn't win the match for you again. Kohli only failed in one match. He has a lot of potential and he is a tough charector and you have to give him at least one more opportunity in this series and a few more later on. He earned his spot with his excellent showing in the tour game. Yadav bowled decently in the match. However, the reason why he got that many wickets was because of the poor shot selection of the Aussie batsmen. If India wants to come back in the series, Zaheer Khan should increase his pace and aim for 5 or 6 wickets instead of 1 or 2 wickets. He should forget about what will happen if he gets injured. 0-1 down and there is no time to think negative.

  • on December 31, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    It is absolutely correct that Dhoni lacks aggression as captain but not as a batsman. At every level, aggressive field placing is set as soon as the top order is back in the pavillion. Dhoni has been very successful captain for India but on occasions have ended up on losing side or not as a winner due to lack of aggression. He probably needs to rethink the strategy but he is not only to be blamed for this as the coach and the senior members of the team have a very important role to play during team meetings and adopting and formulating strategies. At international level, we all see the captains as heros and culprits but there are more than captain involved in such decisions. I hope and wish that all involved learned a valuable lesson from this latest defeat which is not soemthing new anyway. Good luck to India in next test but Australia deserved to win as they showed more positiveness and hunger than India. Kudos to Zaheer, Umesh, Ishant and Ashwin for exceptional bowling.

  • maddy20 on December 31, 2011, 23:43 GMT

    Exactly! THe last 3 wickets added 150+ runs both innings combined, and considering that the margin was only 122 I am sure Dhoni would realize what a moronic fields he had set. I was really outraged when they were picking easy singles. He should throw caution to the wind and set attacking fields to put pressure on their tail. Hope he has learned from it. I also hope the likes of Kohli, Laxman Gambhir and Dhoni step-up to the challenge. If two of them have a good day, OZ will be in trouble!

  • here2rock on December 31, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    TAJY, Dhoni's captaincy is going to cost India the chance of winning a test series against a weak Australian side. I don't doubt his ability in ODIs and T20s, his reocrd is very poor in test matches outside the sub continent. When you hear him talk he does not strike you as a confident man, he is too cool for my liking. He needs to get angry, the defeats should hurt them what it does not seem to have any effect. This is humliation defeat after losing 4-0 to England. Home wins count to nothing, I like to see India challenging Australia, England and South Africa in their own backyard.

  • ShabiHasan on December 31, 2011, 23:28 GMT

    firstly a happy 2012 to every1

    2ndly congratulations to australia for an outstanding performance in melbourne test well played boyz, keep up the good work. Australia should be first 200% sure that the sydney wicket will assist the FAST BOWLERS for 5 DAYS then only they should go for 4 fast bowlers or else 3 fast + 1 spin a safe option is a better and the oz should give their 100% effort in the 2nd test bcaz if they win it then its 99.9999% confirm aus will take this series bcaz after sydney win even 1 draw will b enough for them to take the series

    for India after a long time we can finally say their bowling looks really good aus batsmens got to be very carefull cant even think of taking indian bowlers lightly but the issue for india is their batting in tough batting conditions canl the experience legends bring them back into the series we have to wait n see any how all the best to both teams really looking forward to a very exciting test series

  • FrankMeister on December 31, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    I'm sorry but when you say that Ponting and Hussey could've got out already at their respective scores, you need to bear in mind that because they were half-hearted appeals, Dhoni wouldn't have reviewed it anyway - you are making a large assumption out of those decisions. Yes I agree about using Aussie technology everywhere but is that really feasible? Yeah - it is in Australia, SA, NZ, England, even maybe in India, but in UAE? West Indies? Bangladesh?

  • TAJY on December 31, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    @here2rock, 'Dhoni is not a good captain'. Are you kidding me? Dhoni is already the most successful captain in Indian history. The man has won virtually every Tournament in World Cricket and his batting is also a strong point (though he's in a little slump right now). The criticism is fair, but you can't say the man can't captain a team. He employed a strategy in this case and it backfired, big deal

  • kitten on December 31, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    A lot of people think Dhoni is a lucky captain. Let's be fair, luck can happen once, twice even three times, but it never happens again, and again, and again. There has to be a lot of skill, tactics etc involved to have a record that he has. When India were winning game after game, Dhoni was praised no end, and rightly so. Even Tendulkar, Ganguly et al had good things to say about his captaincy. One bad series against England, and Dhoni was not too much at fault there. In fact he was one of the few to put up some sort of resistance in some of the games. Furthermore, the fact that India were slaughtered by England was due to many reasons, Zaheer breaking down after two hours of the first test. Then Sehwag missed the first two tests, and when he eventually came back, he was not physically ready for it. Bhajji was a mess, and Gambhir got injured, and many others. Tell me, which captain in the world would be able to hold a team together with half their players sidelined or injured?

  • Pradeep_Dash40 on December 31, 2011, 22:42 GMT

    My Indian team for Sydney - drop Gambhir and Kohli. Bring in Abhimanyu Mithun and Rohit Sharma. Open with Shewag and Ashwin. Ashwin will always score more runs that Gambhir. So we will have four pacemen and one spinner.

  • on December 31, 2011, 22:34 GMT

    India will win the series. i know they lost this match but it was a close fought match and india lost because they couldn't take control at the crucial moments. Anyway indians have always been slow starters and this time it was a better starts then i thought. its just a matter of time when all the olddies will starts performing. i'm happy to see how indian bowled with pace and control. to me aus was more lucky then india as hussy got few chances and things didn't go the india's way at crucial points otherwise this could have been a different story all together. Wait for the next one.

  • Imad_K on December 31, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    India need to drop people like Gambhir who just looks so uncomfortable batting on these quick and boucy tracks - taking his eye off the ball, scared of playing on the front foot and getting behind the ball etc. Also, please drop Shewag - Shewag will destroy poor bowling attacks on dead wickets but in these conditions he will not last long. He is the kind of player in these conditions who will probably score over 50 in an innings out of every 6/7 innings and even then with a couple of chances and luck. I remember people arguing with me before Shewag came to Eng and I told them he wouldn't make any runs. India are better off bringing in batsmen who can hook and pull on quick tracks and aren't scared of batting in these conditions even if they haven't played many tests - I can't remember the names but India did bring some guys in against Eng in the one days who looked much more comfortable playing against the short balls than their more recognised batsmen.

  • Imad_K on December 31, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    Firstly, this is one of the weakest Australian batting and bowling attacks for a long time. Australia scored 333 & 240 against a weak bowling attack - even though Yadav and Zaheer were very impressive in this match. Regardless of who scored the runs, whether it was the tail or their top batsmen that was fairly low for an Australian team and with the batting that India possess they should be scoring those runs in one innings. India don't have bowlers like Akram, Warne, Lee that can come and wipe the tail out. With their standard of bowlers both the Eng and Aus lower order can quite easily score runs if required. There isn't much else they can do in their bowling department and I'm sure the Aussies will sort their batting out. However, the MAIN PROBLEM is their inability to play against quick bowlers on fast bouncy tracks - I hardly watch cricket anymore but have been saying that since the T20 worldcup in Eng. Evidence - how many runs did they score in SA, Eng and Aus?

  • incredible52 on December 31, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    india can only win their matches at their home ground where they can get those flat n dry pitches they can only show their talent in IPL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • wolf777 on December 31, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    I read that people want scorching Yorkers and bouncers for tailenders; but, it is too much to expect from tired lot if a partnership like Ponting-Hussey develops. Where is the reliever bowler? Two of three are always tired and third one has barely had some rest. Just too much to ask. There is a need for a fast bowling/Medium pacer allrounderto relieve fast bowlers instead of the sixth batsman.

  • on December 31, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    Maybe it is lack of stamina? In test matches there are 90 overs each day. And bowlers have no quota like ODI (10 overs). Perhaps after dismissing the top order, the bowlers just get tired and don't have energy to dismiss the tail? I could be wrong, but its just my guess.

  • Rakim on December 31, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    Yet another defeat showing what so called "gods" are all about... ha! Only world class batsman Indians have is Dravid.

  • snkhan on December 31, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    It is very easy to give out our comments watching the match on the idiot box, but tough to take onfield decisions, Dhoni is undoubtedly with one of the best cricketing brains, definitely some senior batsmen are to be blamed since the bowlers had done their job of taking 20 wickets, but their is always some room to improve in that area as well. Team India will definitely fight back in the series provided they work out on those areas which needs to be addressed. With Irfan Khan in a good form of his bowling he can be a good option with his some batting talents even though he has not proved himself as a test batsmen, but you will never know till he is given a chance. But the bottom line is that the top 4 should definitely click.

  • 5wombats on December 31, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    @g.narsimha on December 31 2011, 13:33 PM GMT you state; " the same eng team was thrashed in odis, home track bunnies tag must applies to all those teams which wins in home , pathetic in away". The England ODI Team that went to india WAS NOT the England Test team! These Test players were NOT even in india; Strauss, Morgan, Prior, Broad, Tremlett, Anderson. That's half the Test team. Bell played only 1 ODI. india ODI team did NOT beat England Test team in the ODIs in india. Now, to address your second claim; "(England) pathetic in away". If England are "pathetic in away" then how do you explain the THREE Innings defeats that England put on Australia IN Australia one year ago? If beating Australia IN Australia 3-1 in Tests is "pathetic" - then we'll settle for being pathetic any time. cricinfo please publish.

  • on December 31, 2011, 20:14 GMT

    I think it hurt India more that their tail did not wag as well as they would have liked. And the player that they would miss the most in this case is Harbajan, not for his bowling but his batting. He is one of those in between batsman who is neither good nor bad, the type that the opposition does not prepare against as much. Also he adds more intensity to the team especially when he is playing against Australia. If I was a selector I would include him in the team even tough his bowling form has not been too great, his intensity itself can help India beat Australia.

    Anyways, this is not going to happen. I think India would lose this series

  • on December 31, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    Sachin can make all the runs in the world but he still has to play the defining innings under pressure and win the match: he had another chance in Australia and again he failed.

  • cricpolitics on December 31, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    Indian fans should not be so disappointed since IPL is coming back soon where their Gods can perform again!!!!!

  • WC2011Champs on December 31, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    Dhoni has an important role to play. Saying this because he is capable of doing just that. Play a decisive knock right in first test overseas and the team can rally behind that. Love that 144 innings from Saurabh in Australia - it carves your space, it fires up other batsmen, the footing and the momentum for rest of the series . A 75-80 knock by him in first innings in Melbourne would have secured a win here and the result would have been different for the series. Same problem in England. Secondly his defensive approach overseas. Outside subcontinent there are different rules to play where typically it is a 4-days test and result is a certainty. Cannot wait out the opposition to make mistakes. Take and keep the pressure up on the opposition. The best time to take Hussey out is first bowl like Zaheer did and not like Ishant who kept giving them width at 26-4. REGARDING BATTING THE BATSMEN HAVE TO COMBINE EFFORTS TO PUT THE OZ BOWLERS UNDER PRESSURE. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.

  • on December 31, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    Hey ! tactics r important in anu sports . look at elclasico ..real madrid lead at the very first minute ..but Pep giardiola adapted the formation to beat real madrid ..look at the result ..Barcelona won 3-1 ..it is important to rate the tactics in the first place ..Barcelona teams has a lot of talents like this indian team but pep guardiola puts tactics and discipline above talent ..and the result is that Barcelona is the best team right now ..lets pray the Dhoni believe in tactics .. tactics could force opposition into mistakes ..like our indian batsmen fell into prey to aggressive and discipline aussies and english bowlers .. it is only the conditions but the discipline that favours all the conquerors of the history..

  • Nampally on December 31, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    Dhoni should bowl to the bottom orderthe same way as to the top order with the intent of getting them Out. If he remembers & implements this rule, he will be OK. It is common knowledge that the bottom order is weaker than the top. But in some teams, there is good batting left till #9 or 10.Vettori ia world's best #8 bat, the same is true for Bresnan or Broad(England). But Siddle & Pattinson are not in the same class and this is where Dhoni has failed.Why did he remove ZAK from the attack(after taking 2 wkts. in 2 balls) & bring in Ashwin? Not only that he was terrified of Haddin & spread the field.Hence all the criticism from Fans & Chappell - because Dhoni has made this a habit for tail enders. BCCI & the Indian Selectors are at fault for closing their eyes & need to act. But more important fact: where is India's top half batting when bottom half does better than top -Tail wagging the body sounds strange but that was the case at MCG.Gambhir, Laxman & Kohli were absolute disasters!!

  • dicky_boy on December 31, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    @dravid gravitas, mate I know how hurt you are , but please don't insult dhoni in odi and t20 format I accept in tests he is worse than a tail ender and he deserve to be shown the boot, But in odis his form is fantastic throughout the world ,

  • dicky_boy on December 31, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    GUYS I ACCPET INDIA IS REALLY BAD THIS YEAR OVERSEAS , BUT THAT'S NO REASON TO SAY WE WIN ONLY AT HOME, WE ARE THE ONLLY TEAM WHO HAVE SUCH A STRONG HOME FORT , WE ARE THE ONLY HOME TEAM TO WIN THE WORKD CUP , EVERYONE LOST MORE HOME SERIES THAN US, AUS, WI, ENG IN THE PAST TWO OR THREE DECADES, IF I AM NOT WRONG. WE LOST 2 or 3 , SO I ACCEPT TEAM ABROAD IS BAD BUT BEING THE BEST AT HOME IS NOT BAD CRIC INFO PLEASE PUBLISH

  • BravoBravo on December 31, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    @Hassan Shahid: IND bowlers are doing just fine. Yadav is showing qualities of Akram and McGrath. He is such a talented bloke. It is the IND batsmen who are failing to make runs, they are scoring less than AUS tailenders. IND batting (except RSD) has always been flawed and well kept secret, but it has been exposed in ENG recently, and being exposed in AUS now. Currently, from IND side only RSD, Zak and Yadav can turn the match in their favor. Blaming MSD is not the solution for IND batting plight. A captain depends on his team, he delivers as good as good team is. @Sharjeel Kahn and @ Thilanka Ranasinghe: I am with you there. What is the use of making 50K runs when you cant deliver when it is needed.

  • cricket_pak419 on December 31, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    India lost because they are not playing at home! They won world cup because they played at home. Even look at the England series. In two, three years India will be the worst team ever! PAKISTAN WILL BE NUMBER ONE!

  • K_RAJEEV on December 31, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    I am hoping for a clean sweep for Australia , 4-0. Three top Indian batsmen are past their best. It is foolishness to believe Laxman, Dravid or Sachin can bat for 3-4 hours against quality pace bowling. Just like what happened in England, I am getting myself ready to accept 4-0 defeat. But selectors could use this as a good opportunity to bring some new players.

  • AVRAJAN on December 31, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    This is my additionall comment regarding the above subject.

    While tackling tail enders the captain should keep quiet. He should leave the field placing to the bowler. He knows how to get the batsman out and what sort of field he likes to employ. If the captain thinks to relax the field and the bowler is confident of getting his man out aggressively, then the strategy works mutually against each other and the tail ender settles in. So, there is no point in saying that the captain should be aggressive or be defensive. Moreover no bowler should bowl more than two overs and frequent change in bowling and change of ends is necessary to unsettle them in the initial stage itself. But in practice what the captains do is they give the same bowler who took the seventh or eighth wicket. In reality the bowler who has bowled to the top order might have been tired while the tail comes in and allows them to settle down. So while the tail comes in a fresh bowler is more efficient.

  • on December 31, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    Indians CRUMBLE under pressure. That is the main reason for this failure. First innings sachin gone and batting collapse. Second innings chasing big total and batting collapse again including sachin.

    Dhoni is NOT a great captain either. He is OKAY and he has a lot of luck and is a good person who doesnt try to dominate others under the name of leadership (like how ganguly did). Lower order defensive tactics is also one of the reasons but a minor one.

  • KARGIL on December 31, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    i dont understand why so much noise is being made about indian batsmen not being able to handle lively,bouncy and seaming pitches,that indians are just lions at home and are just flat track bullies.i mean what rubbish is this.i am so sad that reputed newspapers,commentators are talking such stuff.if it were so easy to play on subcontinent pitches why batsmen like ricky ponting just got one century there and many others not even that.why steve waughs australia couldnt win in india let alone england.i dont remember when they won last.india won the series in england 2007/8.India drew series in australia and the last one in australia i wont comment.yes we lost in england all tests so what england lost 3-0 in 1992-93.we played amazing cricket in south africa on bouncy tracks against the best bowlers not long ago.if england and australia win in india maybe then they are not only lions at home.last time australia lost 2-0 in indiai,india probably has the overseas record .so be proud.JAI HIND

  • Scallopian on December 31, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    I want to begin by saying that while India's woes against the lower order batsmen is a problem, it is NOT the biggest problem that we should be talking about. Even if the Australian lower order had not scored an extra 60-70 runs in the second innings, India would STILL HAVE LOST because the batting failed to even come CLOSE to the australian total, and India lost by over 100 runs. Thus, the main problem is obviously the batting for India. To this end, many people have been blaming India's ageing batsmen like Dravid, Tendulkar, and Laxman. Getting rid of these batsmen now is CLEARLY not the solution. In fact, the only time that Indian batting looked even remotely good was when Dravid and Tendulkar were at the crease in the first innings, and when Tendulkar was at the crease in the second innings. People like Kohli, Dhoni, Gambhir (younger players) failed miserably in this Test. If Dravid, Tendulkar, and Laxman get replaced by Raina, Rohit, etc imagine HOW MUCH WORSE our batting will be.

  • on December 31, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    I cringe to think of India on a seamer-friendly SCG pitch.....I hope the top order cuts out the flamboyance and gets stuck in for the long haul. And, Dhoni.....please attack the Aussie tail......its only as strong as a Kangaroo's....:-)

  • wolf777 on December 31, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    Bring in Irfan Pathan from India. Irfan Pthan as an allrounder will not only help keep bowlers fresh and rested, he will fulfill the sixth batsman role when not burdened with the responsibility of being one of the main attack bowlers. The versatility in the bowling attack will be an added bonus. Six batsmen strategy is not working and it is time for new start in New Year.

  • here2rock on December 31, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Dhoni is not a very good captain. He is too defensive and "enjoy the moment" captain. He needs to show aggression against tail, not bouncer every ball but sensible filed placings and odd bouncers from the quicks. For god's sake don't treat them like Adam Gilchrist!

  • Harsha_Reddy on December 31, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    It has been Aussie way to attack the opponent captain, i understand Dhoni did not have best of field but truth was India lost because of its batting. just before second test i hope the greats show what they are made of (Sachin,Rahul,VVS) and see how everything falls into place.....the only thing it will matter is india able to take 20 wkts and SACHIN RAHUL AND VVS performing.

  • mjshaheed on December 31, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Come on Guys, don't vent your anger against Dhoni or Indian team unnecessarily. I read somewhere that after this Australian series, we will only be playing in the subcontinent(I meant substandard) pitches for the next 2 years...many records will be broken/set...let's cheer for India by saying "Come on Indiaaaaa"(better come home sooon) :)

  • jmcilhinney on December 31, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    I guess that we all have 20/20 hindsight and if this tactic had come off we wouldn't even be talking about it. That said, this is exactly the same as a batsman playing his shots to get to 90 and then going into his shell and trying not to get out in order to score a hundred. If you get to a point by playing one way and it has been successful, why would you think that that same approach will stop being successful? There really is an epidemic of overly cautious, paint-by-numbers captaincy in world cricket at the moment. I'm an England fan and I appreciate what Andrew Strauss has done but I think that he is similarly defensive. I don't see Alistair Cook being any different when he inevitably takes over. As Dhoni specifically, I'd rate him better as both a batsman and captain in ODIs than tests.

  • on December 31, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    except Dravid all other indian players can play only in indian flat pitches. but they are overated because of their indian media.

  • on December 31, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    zaheer khan never got selected if he play for pakistan..............he is just over rated bowler............if u give so many chances every medioker bowler can include in top ranking..............thats not a big deal...............dnt compare with wasim akram he is legend and one of the best of the world...........ok

  • Indiaforever on December 31, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    @san789 how did Sachin fail in SA? He scored 2 centuries and got past probably the best spell of bowling in the year by Dale steyn without losing his wicket. In the first test against Aus he was the one player who looked in supreme form, you cant say he failed in Australia when only 1 test has been so far.

  • AVRAJAN on December 31, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    See. The tail ender problem is not because of field pacing. But it is due to the six batsmen theory adopted by Dhoni.

    You have six batsmen and India could score 300 runs only in one innings out of six tests played outside India. Instead you can have one more bowler.Even if that bowler takes one wicket he could save 30 runs scored by the opponent team.

    You say that you have world class batsmen. Then why do you take the sixth batsman. Actually only when you think and mean that your bowlers are world class you should take four bowlers.

    Again you should take only wicket taking bowler regardless of the pitch. And our stenghth is spin. You should have Ojha and Ashwin both in the team. In a pace oriented pitch what is the use of having Ishant going wicket less in the first innings.You already have experience in sending Ojha with new ball and see him taking wicket against West Indies. Ashwin can also do very well with new ball in case of need.

  • ultrasnow on December 31, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    Aussies, can you please reverse your batting order ? That way we can get the tail out cheaply :P

  • on December 31, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    you need genuine fast bowlers to intimidate and bowl out tailenders,and we all know how fast indian bowlers are and how scary lol

  • on December 31, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    strange debate is going on that indian bowlers cant bowl out tail enders .I don understand when will they praise there bowlers and will feel batsmen responsible for their away test losses.Chasing 290 odd runs was too easy for this World record batting than chasing 310 for struggling aussies against SA still you ppl blame bowlers .Bowlers have done miraculous job and sorry they cant bowl out australia on 47 for you so that you can chase target around 100 .So concentrate on batting not bowling i am pakistani supporting indian team in this series.

  • pamaran on December 31, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    @san789 you must be joking when you say sachin failed in SA, Eng, and Australia. Go and check the stats. He scored two centuries in SA in 3 tests. Yes, he had a bad tour of Eng for his standards. Even then he made couple of half centuries. And in the first test against Aus, he was the top scorer in both innings. Remember that all teams are weak outside their home.

  • Naresh28 on December 31, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    @san789 - (1) we need fresh young players who can field (e.g. Raina, Kholi) (2) We need a bowler like ATUL SHARMA - very pacy) (3) We need a new captain (4) We need good openers - scoring 50+ stand (5) We need a good allrounder - fit fielder, batsman, bowler) (6) since team sport - we need everyone contributing when batting. Dhoni, Gambhir, Laxman, Dravid did not contribute (6) dropped catches let Oz off the hook

  • samincolumbia on December 31, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    @san789 - It's not India's fault that SA, Eng and Aus cannot play on 'flat' tracks!! I did not know that Perth was a flat track as well. It's not India's fault that SA, Eng and Aus teams get clobbered on the flat tracks!! Sachin averages over 50 in Aus while the 'great' Ponting averages 20 in India. Check the facts before posting your lies here.

  • spiritwithin on December 31, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    @san789..i dont understand with some fans that y they does'nt check the stats before commenting,u said sachin failed in SA,Eng and now in Aus but the thing is sachin had two centuries in the last series in SA where he scores 316 runs at an average of 79,in eng though he failed but still he averaged 34,yes its a failure by his standard but many has their overall career average in Eng less than that(Kallis has just 25 and ponting little bit higher at 42 is their average in Eng),in Aus sachin though havent scored big runs but he still had scored 73 & 32 for a total of 105runs in the match which is second only to ponting(66 & 60),Laxman still has very good records in aus and its not on paper but scored on the field...these players has better away average compared to their home average...i hope u d some research before demeaning players..cricinfo pls publish

  • on December 31, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    guys i think it's too early to criticize d team. see, we hav to understand that both aus and eng r good in mind games. in eng they used their media well and it worked for them. already the greats of the game like sunil ji and wasim bai have criticized our captain & the boys. i accept dhoni could have been little more aggressive.but let'em learn. we know that india, even all the sub continent teams are early chokers in abroad as waim mentioned. but we as fans, should not loose hope & that to too early. as far as i know the current problem right now is batting and not bowling. u guys remember ishant clocked above 150. we hav masters, game changers and young promising and gifted players. let's put our weight over'em. as far as changes are concerned i would go with rohit instead of virat. i feel rohit s a better oversees player than virat is. we all witnessed him scoring "consistently" in WI and in the warm up games here in aus. let's hope for the best out of our boys.

  • Ashtalk on December 31, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    India need to consider Wasim Jaffer for the opening slot, wonder what Kohli is doing in a test team ? Also Ashwin needs to be promoted up the order, and considered as the best night watchman. All the Best India, waiting for a turnaround.

  • on December 31, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    too much of media and criticisms only make fans hate their team than being supportive of it. if everyone of you are so sure about what must have been done at those moments, then why didn't you become the captain of world cup winning side and win these matches. dhoni never came to this position by luck, if thats what you are claiming then our world cup is also out of luck as dhoni's last winning knock to boundary must also have come out of luck...

  • on December 31, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    Dhoni's defensive tactics have much to do with the amount of ODIs being played these days. I think that s/times he forgets that there r no limits to field setting in test cricket. Maybe he should be relieved of his test engagements & concentrate on the ODIs. He is not the only capt in this dilemma. Sammy did the same thing in India.

  • NairUSA on December 31, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    Scorching yorkers and accurate bouncers! These should be the ones to get the tailenders out. Not sure who can deliver them in the current Indian team. Team India should train at least one seamer to do that in a test match.

  • on December 31, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    Let's add some logic & method to this tail issue. Eg Ashwin, Siddle,Pattison, these rr not accomplished batters, but they can hold a st. bat. Their strength is in their defense. They generally will defend & when they have enough confidence will play strokes. Now this is the plan. Ashwin is comfortable with spin, so u attack him with pace & force him to either defend h/self or play a rash shot, if u frustrate him enough he will play a rash shot. On the other hand the Aus r comfortable with pace,so u bowl Ashwin & set an in out field. Two close men for the bat pad catch, & when u frustrate him enough he will go over head & that's it. With some luck yr h/aches r over.

  • on December 31, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    I would say two things turned the match on their side.India's weakness in batting and contribution of australian lower order. India needs to practice with these pitches right at home.At home is where they need to start learning to play in high and bouncing pitches. Also it would be good to have two teams.One to play in overseas and one in india.Like we have a test team and one day team.

  • heathrf1974 on December 31, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    Indian fans shouldn't panic, there are three more tests left and this Australian team is a work in progress. The biggest issue with Australia at the moment is consistency and India have found some quality bowlers. It's good to see the ball beginning to dominate the bat for a change.

  • san789 on December 31, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    I think India should play both ODI's and Test cricket only in India, Then only they can make all their cricket fans happy. These talented Indian players( only on record books) can score runs only in flat Indian wickets, Their Master Sachin has failed in SA, ENG and now in Aus. Shewag has never been able to score runs outside India. Rahul Dravid is the only player who has consistently performed in India as well as out side, Therefore ICB should have all matches only in India in flat wickets, Then you will even see a triple hundred in an ODI in future.....

  • area1985 on December 31, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    india's problem is poor batting, not only there bowling, there batting looks average in live wickets outside subcontinent, unless aus prepare flat Turing wickets this is going to be 4-0 clean sweep

  • Amol_Gh on December 31, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    Neither is Dhoni's captaincy great nor his BATTING. Just check the his batting analysis in the stats section. He fumbles against good teams like SA and AUS. Playing Dhoni is like playing a Batsman less.

  • santhedon on December 31, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Indian batsman are on defensive mood, this is not the best way. They should counter attack the australian bowlers,i.e what England did to them, they should look to score runs rather than playing safe, that`s the only way Aussies gets frightened. Go there, attack the bowlers. I think only sehwag does that in the entire Indian team. When you score runs as quickly as possible with 4.00RR they get into trouble. Play like pietersen and flintoff.

  • g.narsimha on December 31, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    east west , At this crucial peroid we should not make fun of our batsman also , during the last decad they had perfored in AUS, ENG, SA& other plces out side india , they failed us in ENGLAND the same eng team was thrashed in odis, home track bunnies tag must applies to all those teams which wins in home , pathetic in away , however our team was 3rd seccess full in out side home winning 23 matches during the last decad , lagging behind AUS, SA, in home wins we are 5th, the aussees were thrashed by us in their last tour , our batting is not clicking , the slump continued even in home series against WI , in my opinion the main culprit in this defeat is our captain, he is still arrogant , amzing field placements , this is the first match which we could have won ,save our captain,hope for better in next test HAPPYNEWYEAR.

  • on December 31, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    India's problems are many and Dhoni's captaincy is just one of them. Starting at the top Ghambir has stopped performing (after his large KKR pay cheque). Shewag plays for Shewag not India gifting his wicket playing ludicrous shots, Laxman is a spent force and a liability in the field, Dravid's slowing reflexes make him a liability in the slips. Tendulkar's obsession with his hundred hundred see him freezing at crucial times in a match, There is a big question mark about the number six batting slot, added to Dhoni's defensive mindset all make it recipe for disaster. The warning signs were there after the England tour but the BCCI choose to paper over the cracks . Dhoni needs to be sacked as test captain but unfortunately there is no one with a strong enough personality to take his place. In short India need another Ganguly. The culling process that started with Harbajan also need to continue.

  • on December 31, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    I agree with vineet...it is better for dhoni to retire from tests...and concentrate on ipl and odis...It is now given that the great wall rahul dravid has no hands...he has been the most worst slip fielder for last three years(~30 test)..still we are persisting with him! god help indian cricket ....in every match he spilled at least a simple catch let alone harder ones..

  • on December 31, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Fix the Head and make sure it stays fit on the shoulder.... the tail will always wander!

  • spinkingKK on December 31, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Everybody is praising the Indian bowling and cursing the batting. I too was praising the Indian bowling. However, when you look closely, one thing is clear. India bowling was lacking the spice to get the tail-enders out. When I look deeply, only Zaheer Khan was bowling unplayable deliveries consistently. However, he was bowling at a reduced pace of between 125-132kph. This is not going to get him too many wickets. Austalian batting has got terrible problem of thorwing away wickets and that is the reason why the Indian bowling looked good. For the Indian bowling to be good in sydney, Zaheer Khan has to increase his pace to 136-142kph. It will make a huge difference. Zaheer got to understand that even Wasim Akram struggeld to take wickets when he reduced his pace. Wasim had other bowlers in his team who can bowl at 160kph. So, it was ok. But, here Zaheer should try to take 5 wickets every innings. Only problem in doing that is, if he gets injured in the process, we don't have reserves.

  • Freewheeler on December 31, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    Currently, the problem with the Indian test team is 4 'walking' wickets - Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, and Dhoni. A sinewy and experienced middle order can only do so much especially when they do not click as a unit. The team needs a tough customer with a good cricketing technique at number 6, and I can think of either Cheteshwar Pujara (when fit) or Subramaniam Badrinath (the Indian Mr.Cricket) as future possibilities. From what little I have seen of them, they seem to possess the watertight technique required to succeed in overseas tests. That said, Indian bowlers punching above their weights is a good sight to behold. Some disgruntled 'Bhajji' fans have termed Ashwin a Ranji-level offspinner, but little do they realize that 'Bhajji' is not even Ranji level right now (for the ignoramuses, Bhajji's bowling average in Australia is an abysmal 73.22). Moreover, on present form, Ashwin deserves to be in the team based on his batting alone.

  • ssenthil on December 31, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    I also request Dhoni to stop the boundaries, use a THIRD-MAN at Boundary. I don't mind even a Tail-ender scoring boundaries after playing a cricketing shot rather then edging to third man to score that Boundary. Dhoni doesn't respect a proper cricketing shot as he never plays any cricket shot. No wonder Dhoni was not voted as People choice even after INDIA (not Dhoni) won the world cup shows, the lot of knowledgeable cricket fans are not emotional fool. I wonder Chekka and Co have the same guts to drop Gauti, Virat, Ishant as they dropped H Singh, Sreesanth and S Raina after India's poor tour to England or else they are waiting India to fail in the whole series?

  • ssenthil on December 31, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    @Herath-UK, I guess India have enough resources to handle their own problem and you can address your own Sri Lanka cricket. You should worry about Lanka, who have more then one problem to solve rather then India. Perhaps Durban is Lanka's First Test win after Murali retired!!!! This perhaps can give a wrong boost to Lankan fans, wait for Cate Town and Philander!!!

  • ubl2729 on December 31, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    dhoni u will get 100 in this serius then u will 100% best captain otherwise dada is better then u why u will come upon the order allready u will 30 when u show u r a great batsman u r bating look like a ajit agarkar

  • on December 31, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    Dhoni was never a Great Captain and all the way he was driving his luck. He didn't learnt anything from English debacle and time has come for Gambhir to be appointed as Test Captain given his 100 per cent record in ODI's. And as far as wicketkeeping is concerned, Parthiv Patel and Saha are much better options than MSD for No.6-7 spot!

  • on December 31, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    I can have the last laugh. The Indian fans r now coming around to the fact that Dhoni might be a little better than Sammy. I was very critical of Dhoni when India were in the WI. And was chastised by the Indian fans. I will say it again, Dhoni is the luckiest cricketer on the face of this earth. I often wonder how this guy ever made India test side as a batter, much less a keeper. But Dhoni is no dunce. So why is he making the same mistakes over & over? I'm beginning to get suspicious. I hope I'm dead wrong. Talk half & left half.

  • rahulcricket007 on December 31, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    @herath -uk . AND YOU ARE BACK . WHERE WERE YOU HIDING UPTIL NOW ? WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOUR SL WAS NOT WON A MATCH FROM PAST 15 MONTHS NOT EVEN IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY .

  • on December 31, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    @All my Indian fellows! Guys! Why so upset? India did put up resistance in patches in this game as opposed to series in England!So as I said, it can only get better and better with every match. All the batsmen are proven and excellent. All they need is to adapt and apply themselves(As Tendulkar did. Man he played some really vintage shots! Especially that upper cut for 6.) and have to gain their self confidence and faith. A true fan is the one who supports the team through ups and downs. Our team may be failing, but never lose faith in them, because if hope and faith is lost, you can never win. Look at Sri Lanka... They had bad year but still bounced back in the last match. Bad patches are a part of game, we need to bear t and look for positives. I don't know about others, but India will bounce back... harder and meaner. I'll still support 2-1 to India. Hope New Year beckons more successes and happiness for our Indian team. Cricinfo please publish.

  • Zohaib.R.Q. on December 31, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    What is with these subcontinent teams? why should they even expect the tail enders to score for them?

  • on December 31, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    @All my Indian fellows! Guys! Why so upset? India did put up resistance in patches in this game as opposed to series in England!So as I said, it can only get better and better with every match. All the batsmen are proven and excellent. All they need is to adapt and apply themselves(As Tendulkar did. Man he played some really vintage shots! Especially that upper cut for 6.) and have to gain their self confidence and faith. A true fan is the one who supports the team through ups and downs. Our team may be failing, but never lose faith in them, because if hope and faith is lost, you can never win. Look at Sri Lanka... They had bad year but still bounced back in the last match. Bad patches are a part of game, we need to bear t and look for positives. I don't know about others, but India will bounce back... harder and meaner. I'll still support 2-1 to India. Hope New Year beckons more successes and happiness for our Indian team.

  • rkannancrown on December 31, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    Dhoni also went on the defensive in second innings when Ponting & Hussey were struggling. He had deep point, deep squareleg, fine leg with Australia 4/40 & Ponting & Hussey struggling. His defensive tactics worked against India. This was ok against West Indies with the main bowlers injured but with 4 bowlers looking like getting a wicket every balls, it was important to attack. However, the Melbourne defeat is all about batting failiures. 200/2 and all out for less than 300 despite Ashwin scoring more than expected. Similar failiure in second innings.

  • on December 31, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    I like that some PAKISTANI fans supporting indian team...Dhoni should Play ROHIT SHARMA instead of KOHLI for AUS condition.he far better than KOHLI in this condition and he can play with tailenders as well.

  • Happy_AusBang on December 31, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    This is the perrenial problem with sub-continent sides. They are very quick to spread the field to lower order batsmen. That is how they try to get them out in the sub-continent. They seem reluctant to adapt to different conditions. I still remember when Pakistan had spread the field to Siddle and Hussey first thing in the morning when Pak were in sight of victory. Pakistan lost that one simply because they allowed the tail easy runs and gain confidence against the bowlers. India did the same thing when they should have persisted with attacking field placements for a 5 to 10 overs at least.

  • keecha on December 31, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    India's real trouble is with the lower middle order of Laxman, Kohli and Dhoni, none of whom can stand up against quality fast bowling. To add to this, we also have Gambhir, who falls in the same category. And Sehwag is a gamble coz he has a 50 % chance of missing out due to his approach. So we have 2 and a half batsmen to do all the scoring alsong with a tail with heart and still blame the tactics for loosing games? Even if India had run through the tail in both the innings their batsmen would hae let them down anyways.. Very sorry to say but Laxman is good only on Indian tracks... So is Dhoni

  • vineetkarthi on December 31, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    A point no one is willing to admit is the role Rahul Dravid (of he who can do no wrong fame) played in pushing India down the precipice late on Day 2. Once he got injured, he broke the momentum of the innings in more ways than one, broke the concentration of Sachin enough to get him dismissed and then promptly got out next morning. Worse he dropped a sitter of Hussey and slips. Imagine what could have been had he walked off and let someone more fit take over. As for Dhoni, he is the perfect example of a Non-Playing Captain.

  • on December 31, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    I have been watching Indian cricketing team,s consistently with one or two exceptions, , poor performance in Australia . i believe we lack ,mental toughness, physical fitness ,stamina ,weak at mind game

  • itzvinay on December 31, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    Dhoni's captaincy was never great..he was always had stars in his favor...in all logic...bowling Joginder Sharma was a rookie mistake but Dhoni got lucky..He has just had a very good cricket team...that is it..his batting may be inspiring but that does not make a great captain..

  • vibhu09 on December 31, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    I agree captaincy was very defensive for when tailenders came in but the real problem is that our bowlers dont know how to finish the tail up. Zaheer is a great and very matured bowler. He is leading the attack very well but he also doesnt have good skills for finishing up the tail. We need to hire Wasim as our bowling coach; he was a master at finishing up the tail. He can give the right strategy from the bowling prospective. Also, will be a great help to youngsters like Umesh Yadav.

  • on December 31, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    let us hope that 2012 turns it around for team india.@ all you india fans:come on guys!we need to support the team thro this tough time.except the england tour,they hav bounced wen they had their backs against the wall.

  • on December 31, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    Dhoni is an incompetent captain and as a batsman does not deserve his place.

  • anah on December 31, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    I agree with this article. True that Indian batting needs to improve but if the tail can chip in with important runs it deflates the opposition and gives the whole team a lot of confidence. At this stage getting some confidence will be very crucial for India. We all know the indian batsmen have the potential to score big runs but it seems they are surely lacking in confidence and form

  • RasCric on December 31, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    Ha! MSD, work on your own top order before australian lower order!

  • Herath-UK on December 31, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    Whatever your plans are you need an attacking bowler to get rid of the annoying partnerships that seem to take the game away from you or the tail enders.A good example is how Dilshan used Dilhara to get rid of Smith and Prince in the just concluded test. They may not bring you regular wickets but very helpful in such situations.Dilhara flooring Kallis is classic example who since then has not got his usual self confidence yet.Malinga did just this in the Sri Lankan victory over India in Murali's 800 wicket Test when the game seemed all but a draw then. Ranil Herath-Kent

  • East_West on December 31, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    Sorry Sid! Tail OR no tail, our batsmen were the culprits! All the Fake3 should go, and wonder why Dhoni is still around for Tests! openers have no clue at all! sehwag thinks it is a flat track so that he can bulldoze the opponent, Gauti became very arrogant lately and Kohli should stay at home and play IPL- in fact the only saving grace is the Bowling Dept! what a refreshing site to see Yadav damn he is good!], Ishant and Zaheer and Ashwin, the thinking bowler! Let us not make fun of our bowling - Australian pitches suit bowlers and we also showed them that our bowling is as competitive as theirs! this is the simple fact!! Tail or no Tail, Dhoni DOES NOT KNOW how to go for a kill! hope you publish this!

  • cricketforpeace on December 31, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    @rohan024. Agree completely with you. India lost the plot in their first essay itself, when they collapsed. The revelation were our bowlers who put on a brave effort. Were it not for our bowlers, Australia would have scored more than 350 in both their innings. What Dhoni and the Indian selectors need to seriously ponder about is except on one occasion; the top Indian selectors did not cross 300 during the English tour. The reason is of course credit to the opposition bowlers but also the continuing dismal performance of our top six. Even though, I am not in a hurry to write this Indian team off; I personally feel that the signs as of now are not exactly encouraging. If we are white washed 4-0 during this Aus tour; we are likely to see changes. Gambhir and Laxman should be dropped. Anyone for W Jaffar? Dhoni should step down from the captaincy as a test captain because he is'nt inspiring in his captaincy nor is he performing. Radical but feel quite frustrated by the poor performances.

  • on December 31, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    No Point blaming on bowlers , the batsmen gifted away the test match. 3rd morning session was the turning point if Ishant can battle it out for 1 hr why can't others?. Tail enders of either team are bound to get runs it happens. Blame the Batsmen

  • veerakannadiga on December 31, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    Next match.........Sydney...No happy memories.I do not know how many people will be crying for my head when I write this...but the thing that saddend me more than the Indian loss was Dravid's dismissal in both the innings.It was so unDravid like.

  • indianpunter on December 31, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    Let's not miss the forest for the trees. The bigger issue is that of batting failure which has continued to plague India in England and now in oz. India has not passed 300 once in 16 innings overseas. bowling to tail would not become an issue if the batsmen showed more fight and application. Everyone should put a price on their wicket and not throw it away ( zak esp).

  • Anantharao on December 31, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Dhoni has to put some fielder in Thirdman Area regardless who is bowling. Australia and england has scored most of their runs through that area only. Also the team needs change. Rohit sharma has to be in instead of the ageing (one of them) player. We have to give chance to them if india is looking forward. Or else the result is going to be the same for more time. 0,1,2,3,4,5 etc let him score instead of ageing staff. This will be experience for him for the future.

  • SanjivAwesome on December 31, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Dhoni's logic and belief systems are seriously flawed. He is there to win games. Not defend runs. This is the only belief that matters. Example? Aus bowlers didn't hesitate to send down fierce bouncer to India tail enders. At one time, 3 bouncers were hurled to the batting Zaheer despite Umpire's warning. This is aggression. This is what teams that want to win, do. What does our captain do? Sends out gentle trundlers like Ashwin who bowl to spread out fields. His logic and belief systems is seriously flawed. Is this the man we believe can lead India to an overseas test victory?

  • woodhaven on December 31, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    india should only play in their homeland with spin pitch and with NO UDRS, so umpire will support them too and only play with high rank team and make flat pitch, so batsman will make 1000 run in one match

  • Rumy1 on December 31, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    If SCG is going to be a quickie track then we had it. I shudder to think fate of likes of Kohli and Gambhir. Hope Srikkanth and Amarnath do something about it. Hope they airlift Badrinath and Jaffer straightaway to SCG. Lest we are perhaps staring at 4-0 scorecard. We hear that Ryan Harris is returning to bolster their pace attack. 5-6 team players who could be depended upon to deliver are Dravid, Laxman, Zaheer,Ishant,Umesh and Dhoni with gloves. Rest are more or less individual contributors and not team players.Sehwag is a hit and miss guy. So forget about him.Gambhir doesn't belong there so he is done. Sachin has to score his 100 so his focus is there.Kohli is a shorter version guy.I don't understand why he continues to be in despite proven shortcomings and Test failures.Ashwin is an average Ranji level offie with a carrom ball who speaks good english.In Tests carrom balls do not have utility especially against likes of Ponting, Clarke,Hussey and Warner who have all the time to play

  • on December 31, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    The reason why india lost this match is bcoz of poor attitude by dhoni on the field when fielding as well as batting.He knows that he is not a good enoough batsman and he just leaves it there and doesn't try and improve on his flaws and he doesn't encourage fast bowlers to be agressive .sreesanth was an aggressive bowler but he stopped him from being agressive , agreed that he wasn't very good bowler but dhoni could given him some space .

  • on December 31, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    dont criciticisd indian team win or loose part of a game u we will see india fight back and win the series in down under iam a pakistani but my heart wdth team india i hate pakitani team .... iam sure indian batting will click in SCG to produce results inshallah

  • kpmtwit on December 31, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    India missing the killer instinct to cut the tail off. We dont see the agressive fielders around the tail batters.. to put pressure. India misses the instinct means MSD lost it on the way. Mr. Cool should not be cool in the field!

  • on December 31, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    Don't worry .. India will bounce back hard. Dhoni is a strong man he will come back with a bang. Come on India come on Mr. Dhoni just make others mouth shut with a great performance same you did in WC final.

  • coldcoffee123 on December 31, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    A once swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman thinks he is larger than the game itself. Stop this nonsense. Please.

  • on December 31, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    lower order is alws painful for India. from last 3 years.Indians always makes statergy against up to 7 or 8 no.batsman not for 9,10,11.our bowler relax against that batsmans. not attacking them. so MSD thinnkkk about lower order batsman.

  • on December 31, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    may be someone would know what i am interested in to know...: why is it that Australians always say, e.g., 3 for 205 whereas the rest of the world chooses to say it the other way around i.e., 205 for 3?

  • on December 31, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Looks like a turning point in Dhoni's captaincy. It could be another defeat for him.

  • ansarri on December 31, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    the indian bowling is such a pathetic one that they are deciding on a strategy to dismiss the aussie taileneders. how sad.

  • rohan024 on December 31, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    Can't believe that so called experts believe that Australia's late wicket partnership(s) is the main reason for defeat..The fact that India from 213/2 slipped to 270 all out is the only reason why India lost this match..All aging batsmen in India want to bat in top order, all of them want accolades and centuries but none is ready to play the role of a mentor. When Kohli is playing in Aus for the first time, why can't we have Kohli batting in between Laxman and Tkar and not after both of them ? Moment India is 4 down, it looks like that the end is near..They should learn from Stever Waugh who raised his hand up and allowed all youngsters to bat before him, in order to decrease the possibility of a collapse..Secondaly, why is that Dhoni can't see what we all can see ie. Rohit Sharma is far better batsman than Kohli in these conditions..

  • shikhargupta on December 31, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    india should use fast bowlers to finish off the tail. Spinners are not enough capable to finish off the tail. Particular Zaheer Khan is best option to finish off the tail quickly.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 31, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Monga, thanks a million for bringing this up. It so happened that we needed this shake-up at MCG to wake-up and realise that there is a deeper malaise to our misfortunes. MSD! I never liked him as a Captain in any format because I don't consider him a proper cricketer in the first place. But somehow I began accepting him as a Captain. There sure is a pattern that has emerged and we just failed to notice it. Newlands - spread the field, England - spread the field, MCG - spread the field. And hold tight. Can you believe that he did the same thing in West Indies as well? I just checked that series again. How big a team is Windies? And Dhoni had the same strategy against them as well?! He literally threw India into the abyss of failures for one whole year and none of us 'pundits' realised that! I was shouting at the top of my voice after every test match, that Dhoni is doing something wrong. But articles churned out saying how 'cool' he is. Is cool the new synonym for fool? I'm gutted.....

  • Jaggadaaku on December 31, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    Dhoni, first you need to rethink the strategy of your own. If Harbhajan can blast the century playing with the tails, and twice in the series, newcomer and bowler Ashwin also can do it then why didn't you even try? When you and Ashwin was playing, Ashwin, the bowler put you in the shadow. What happened? This wasn't an ODI where runs need to make in certain time. In second innings, Yadav quick blew 3 wickets and you stopped giving him bowling and started Zaheer and Ishant trying to make every bowler happy. You needed to give the bowling to yadav on one end and you could have changed the bowling on the other hand. When Zaheer dropped the catch during Yadav's bowling you stopped his bowling after end of that over. You always manipulate talents trying to make your cricketers friend-Zaheer, Yuvi, Bhajji, and Sehwag happy. First you need to rethink of your own strategy.

  • Rags57 on December 31, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Let us not assume Clarke means what he has said - may well be a strategy to have Dhoni to continue to use the same tactics in the upcoming tests as well. Dhoni, please don't fall prey to such dubious support to your strategies. I would rather that India loses by showing intensity and attacking than play conservative and hope to win. More often than not, you win by being an attacking captain. Let us hope wish that Dhoni's strategy at Sydney helps India square the series.

  • ravimenon on December 31, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    I don't know whether I need to change the strategy to get the tail out. but one thing is for sure, Mr.Dhoni lacks imaginations. India lost first three test in England due to his unimaginative captaincy. In all these tests , there were situation where India could have dictated the match and could have won from there. Instead India lost pathetically. Here in Melbourne also, the same thing happened. He is a lucky captain, but not a quality captain. In most of the tight situations, he finds it tough to control the situations. Once Ganguly pointed out, Dhoni is a gambler but not good captain. By Gambling you can win mtaches in T20, ODI but not in test.

  • on December 31, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Here's an interesting observation from the recent India v West Indies series:

    1st test at Delhi: 1st inns WI 269-6 to 304 all out 2nd test at Kolkata: 1st inns WI 120-6 to 153 all out 2nd test at Kolkata: 2ns inns WI 401-5 to 463 all out 3rd test at Mumbai: 1st inns WI 518-4 to 590 all out 3rd test at Mumbai: 2nd inns WI 112-3 to 134 all out

    Dhoni was the Indian captain each time.

    I can't see how tailenders have bothered India at all. In fact, they hardly resisted judging by the above statistics.

    What is Dhoni complaining about?

  • on December 31, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    While agreeing with the author about Dhoni's tactics, I couldn't understand the fuss around our lower order not contributing enough runs. I have been hearing and reading enough of it since England tour.... Ok if last 4 aren't contributing enough runs.... But what the "Great" 7 are doing then? in 10 away innings from English tour, they couldn't go past 300 even once!!! Is our great lineup is much hyped? or is that media is afraid of pointing to them?

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  • on December 31, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    While agreeing with the author about Dhoni's tactics, I couldn't understand the fuss around our lower order not contributing enough runs. I have been hearing and reading enough of it since England tour.... Ok if last 4 aren't contributing enough runs.... But what the "Great" 7 are doing then? in 10 away innings from English tour, they couldn't go past 300 even once!!! Is our great lineup is much hyped? or is that media is afraid of pointing to them?

  • on December 31, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Here's an interesting observation from the recent India v West Indies series:

    1st test at Delhi: 1st inns WI 269-6 to 304 all out 2nd test at Kolkata: 1st inns WI 120-6 to 153 all out 2nd test at Kolkata: 2ns inns WI 401-5 to 463 all out 3rd test at Mumbai: 1st inns WI 518-4 to 590 all out 3rd test at Mumbai: 2nd inns WI 112-3 to 134 all out

    Dhoni was the Indian captain each time.

    I can't see how tailenders have bothered India at all. In fact, they hardly resisted judging by the above statistics.

    What is Dhoni complaining about?

  • ravimenon on December 31, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    I don't know whether I need to change the strategy to get the tail out. but one thing is for sure, Mr.Dhoni lacks imaginations. India lost first three test in England due to his unimaginative captaincy. In all these tests , there were situation where India could have dictated the match and could have won from there. Instead India lost pathetically. Here in Melbourne also, the same thing happened. He is a lucky captain, but not a quality captain. In most of the tight situations, he finds it tough to control the situations. Once Ganguly pointed out, Dhoni is a gambler but not good captain. By Gambling you can win mtaches in T20, ODI but not in test.

  • Rags57 on December 31, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Let us not assume Clarke means what he has said - may well be a strategy to have Dhoni to continue to use the same tactics in the upcoming tests as well. Dhoni, please don't fall prey to such dubious support to your strategies. I would rather that India loses by showing intensity and attacking than play conservative and hope to win. More often than not, you win by being an attacking captain. Let us hope wish that Dhoni's strategy at Sydney helps India square the series.

  • Jaggadaaku on December 31, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    Dhoni, first you need to rethink the strategy of your own. If Harbhajan can blast the century playing with the tails, and twice in the series, newcomer and bowler Ashwin also can do it then why didn't you even try? When you and Ashwin was playing, Ashwin, the bowler put you in the shadow. What happened? This wasn't an ODI where runs need to make in certain time. In second innings, Yadav quick blew 3 wickets and you stopped giving him bowling and started Zaheer and Ishant trying to make every bowler happy. You needed to give the bowling to yadav on one end and you could have changed the bowling on the other hand. When Zaheer dropped the catch during Yadav's bowling you stopped his bowling after end of that over. You always manipulate talents trying to make your cricketers friend-Zaheer, Yuvi, Bhajji, and Sehwag happy. First you need to rethink of your own strategy.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 31, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Monga, thanks a million for bringing this up. It so happened that we needed this shake-up at MCG to wake-up and realise that there is a deeper malaise to our misfortunes. MSD! I never liked him as a Captain in any format because I don't consider him a proper cricketer in the first place. But somehow I began accepting him as a Captain. There sure is a pattern that has emerged and we just failed to notice it. Newlands - spread the field, England - spread the field, MCG - spread the field. And hold tight. Can you believe that he did the same thing in West Indies as well? I just checked that series again. How big a team is Windies? And Dhoni had the same strategy against them as well?! He literally threw India into the abyss of failures for one whole year and none of us 'pundits' realised that! I was shouting at the top of my voice after every test match, that Dhoni is doing something wrong. But articles churned out saying how 'cool' he is. Is cool the new synonym for fool? I'm gutted.....

  • shikhargupta on December 31, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    india should use fast bowlers to finish off the tail. Spinners are not enough capable to finish off the tail. Particular Zaheer Khan is best option to finish off the tail quickly.

  • rohan024 on December 31, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    Can't believe that so called experts believe that Australia's late wicket partnership(s) is the main reason for defeat..The fact that India from 213/2 slipped to 270 all out is the only reason why India lost this match..All aging batsmen in India want to bat in top order, all of them want accolades and centuries but none is ready to play the role of a mentor. When Kohli is playing in Aus for the first time, why can't we have Kohli batting in between Laxman and Tkar and not after both of them ? Moment India is 4 down, it looks like that the end is near..They should learn from Stever Waugh who raised his hand up and allowed all youngsters to bat before him, in order to decrease the possibility of a collapse..Secondaly, why is that Dhoni can't see what we all can see ie. Rohit Sharma is far better batsman than Kohli in these conditions..

  • ansarri on December 31, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    the indian bowling is such a pathetic one that they are deciding on a strategy to dismiss the aussie taileneders. how sad.

  • on December 31, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Looks like a turning point in Dhoni's captaincy. It could be another defeat for him.