Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney January 2, 2012

Premature to write us off - Dhoni

  shares 77

MS Dhoni, captain of the beleaguered Indian side in Australia, has admitted that five straight losses away from home have hit the self-belief of his side a bit, but said that to write them off no-hopers on fast pitches would be premature. Responding to Australia coach Mickey Arthur's comments that his side had dealt India a few psychological blows, he said his side had hoped to make Australia "walk the walk" too.

"That's what you think [that India are not good in testing conditions]," Dhoni said. "If you see the kind of players we have got, that will be a very premature statement to make. What we have seen is, we have always bounced back and the Australian team will have to keep the pressure on the batting line-up and the bowlers. It's just that we have not performed in the first Test, and we'll look to improve in the second."

India's ability to come back from early losses was the hallmark of the side that rose to the No. 1 ranking, but it went missing when under constant pressure in England. Dhoni noted that the big difference from that tour is that all players are fit. He also said it was important not to get bogged down after a poor year in Tests.

"It does affect it [the belief] a bit, but it's not something to get bogged down about because we all know the reasons as to what exactly happened," Dhoni said. "You learn a lot from the mistakes you make so we are looking at the positives. In the last five Test matches abroad that we have lost, we have still had plenty of positives in those particular games."

One of his worries has been Gautam Gambhir's form at the top. "Opening is a very crucial thing for us," he said. "Whenever we have done well, we have relied a lot on the opening pair. We don't really want to put pressure on the opening batsmen, because if you see, [Virender] Sehwag is the kind of batsman who loves to go out there and play his strokes and looks to put pressure on the opposition and in the same way, Gautam equally complements Sehwag because he's someone who takes his time to get in. But if it's in his area, he loves to play his strokes so overall, both the batsmen really complement each other, run really well between the wickets, so it's not a big concern.

"It's always good to leave deliveries because initially it [the Kookaburra ball] does a bit more, and after the first 15 or 20 overs we have seen that it doesn't do the same amount as the new ball does. That's something we're definitely working on, but again, you don't want Virender Sehwag to leave too many balls because he's someone who relishes his cut shot, so if it's in his area he'll play his shots."

Even in Australia, Sachin Tendulkar has hardly gone anywhere without being reminded of the 100th international hundred. Local papers feel it's almost preordained for him to get it during the SCG Test, the 100th at the venue. Dhoni insisted it wasn't putting any extra pressure on Tendulkar.

"Well, he's always close to a milestone," Dhoni said. "If you see his career in the last three years, whatever he has done, somehow he has been very close to a milestone, whether he's playing the most number of ODIs or Test matches or the 100th hundred or all the things. Playing for 21-22 years and being at the top always, it's bound to happen. You'll be overtaking all the records or, if not, there'll be something you're creating, so it's not something that puts pressure on him.

"I don't think he personally thinks about it a lot. Of course, the quicker he achieves it, it will ease off whatever the so-called pressure is on him. He doesn't really talk about it and it never feels as if he's under any sort of pressure when it comes to scoring the 100th hundred."

Dhoni said the back-to-back Tests didn't bother him. "Personally, I've been a big fan of less gaps between games because that helps to keep you glued to the cricket and to see exactly what's happening . I think we've still got enough time between Test matches."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Jaggadaaku on | January 5, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    @ Chetan Asher, well said! Your comment is that truth what is bitter but truth. Mr. Cool really became cold now. Sehwag is a gamble. Dravid is wall behind stumps. Awesome writing! Great to read all those facts.

  • POSTED BY IndianinNJ on | January 4, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    Can we write you off now, MSD? give me a break. stop making excuses and put your cricketing skills to work. I am embarassed to see this tour the way its going.

  • POSTED BY bhrangi on | January 3, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @Alexk400 : Atleast sachin scored some some 41 runs Comfortably , How do u know sachin is playing for his record, let it be he is scoring something rt and it benefits the team as well. Dont always pull sachin's leg for everything, What these GAMBHIR, KOHLI, VVS , DRAVID ( in this series) doing. Gambhir and kohli hav to play only in our flat track. If SRT & Dravid retire thats it, india ll be a minnow in test.

  • POSTED BY BalaSenty on | January 3, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    After watching the way the Indians play at SCG, I think another white wash will be round the corner. Send Gambir home and take some one like Pujara and rohit can also brought in place of Laxman. Anyway India will loose. Sorry India

  • POSTED BY 777aditya on | January 3, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    premature, eh?! its already 178/8 at tea - another whitewash guaranteed!

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | January 3, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    I think we need one leaver type opening batsman. Who can play as many balls. That way ball gets old. At present no one staying at the crease. Aussies are picking up one by one. Plan and executing for each target. Clarke made a mistake by going with spinner. if he had 4 fast bowler , game would be over by now. if dhoni can get the score 300 we can give a fight. I doubt it but i can hope. Can i? :)

  • POSTED BY Meety on | January 3, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    Way too early to write India off - but @ 6/124, India are almost gone. Will the captain stand up. Who's to say though that India can't get a 1st innings lead? (NZ did in Hobart!)

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 2:32 GMT

    India will win if somehow we can convince them that they are playing Pakistan instead of Australia.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    after watching the game uptill the lunch sessions i think we can write off the indian team..

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    To all the ppl who comment without knowing the facts,plz do some stat references before commenting something. Sri Lanka have won 9 Tests (SA 1, Eng 2, NZ 2, WI 1, Zim 3) outside subcontinent out of 59 with a 15.25%. For India its 25 out of 176 (14.28%). Pakistan has the highest win% for a subcontinent team winning 37 out of 150 (24.67%). If you want to get rid of Zimbabwe from the equation, here are the stats. Sri Lanka 6/51 (11.76%), India 22/170 (12.94%) and Pakistan 31/142 (21.83%). Clearly Pakistan is the best Subcontinent team when playing outside of Asia. There is no big difference between India and Sri Lanka in win percentage. Yes. India have won more matches than Sri Lanka (16 more), but played a lot more matches too (117 more). India playing Test Cricket for 79 year yet they have won 25 outside Asia. only 0.31 per year. Sri Lanka playing for just 29 years and won 9 which is 0.31 per year which is the same as India. For Pakistan 59 years 37 matches, which is 0.62 per year.

  • POSTED BY Jaggadaaku on | January 5, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    @ Chetan Asher, well said! Your comment is that truth what is bitter but truth. Mr. Cool really became cold now. Sehwag is a gamble. Dravid is wall behind stumps. Awesome writing! Great to read all those facts.

  • POSTED BY IndianinNJ on | January 4, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    Can we write you off now, MSD? give me a break. stop making excuses and put your cricketing skills to work. I am embarassed to see this tour the way its going.

  • POSTED BY bhrangi on | January 3, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @Alexk400 : Atleast sachin scored some some 41 runs Comfortably , How do u know sachin is playing for his record, let it be he is scoring something rt and it benefits the team as well. Dont always pull sachin's leg for everything, What these GAMBHIR, KOHLI, VVS , DRAVID ( in this series) doing. Gambhir and kohli hav to play only in our flat track. If SRT & Dravid retire thats it, india ll be a minnow in test.

  • POSTED BY BalaSenty on | January 3, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    After watching the way the Indians play at SCG, I think another white wash will be round the corner. Send Gambir home and take some one like Pujara and rohit can also brought in place of Laxman. Anyway India will loose. Sorry India

  • POSTED BY 777aditya on | January 3, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    premature, eh?! its already 178/8 at tea - another whitewash guaranteed!

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | January 3, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    I think we need one leaver type opening batsman. Who can play as many balls. That way ball gets old. At present no one staying at the crease. Aussies are picking up one by one. Plan and executing for each target. Clarke made a mistake by going with spinner. if he had 4 fast bowler , game would be over by now. if dhoni can get the score 300 we can give a fight. I doubt it but i can hope. Can i? :)

  • POSTED BY Meety on | January 3, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    Way too early to write India off - but @ 6/124, India are almost gone. Will the captain stand up. Who's to say though that India can't get a 1st innings lead? (NZ did in Hobart!)

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 2:32 GMT

    India will win if somehow we can convince them that they are playing Pakistan instead of Australia.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    after watching the game uptill the lunch sessions i think we can write off the indian team..

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    To all the ppl who comment without knowing the facts,plz do some stat references before commenting something. Sri Lanka have won 9 Tests (SA 1, Eng 2, NZ 2, WI 1, Zim 3) outside subcontinent out of 59 with a 15.25%. For India its 25 out of 176 (14.28%). Pakistan has the highest win% for a subcontinent team winning 37 out of 150 (24.67%). If you want to get rid of Zimbabwe from the equation, here are the stats. Sri Lanka 6/51 (11.76%), India 22/170 (12.94%) and Pakistan 31/142 (21.83%). Clearly Pakistan is the best Subcontinent team when playing outside of Asia. There is no big difference between India and Sri Lanka in win percentage. Yes. India have won more matches than Sri Lanka (16 more), but played a lot more matches too (117 more). India playing Test Cricket for 79 year yet they have won 25 outside Asia. only 0.31 per year. Sri Lanka playing for just 29 years and won 9 which is 0.31 per year which is the same as India. For Pakistan 59 years 37 matches, which is 0.62 per year.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | January 2, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    My advise to dhoni is tell sachin to put the team goal first , if sachin opens with sehwag , we know india mean business. Until then all these are EMPTY TALK!.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | January 2, 2012, 22:05 GMT

    I am writing you OFF Dhoni. Because facts are in front of us. Indian middle order do not play well under pressure. India rely on sehwag too much , also Gambhir has been found out. His poking don't going to work in overseas swinging condition. Main reason for Gambhir problem is his head (EGO) is weighing so heavy after his world cup performance that he is not listening to anyone. The rate he goes , mukund will be next opening batsman. Gambhir is better player but he needs a break from TEST. Nothing going to change. Personal are same. Same 100th 100 pressure. Yes pitch may be batting track...KEY IS SEHWAG. Only him can change the course of the match towards India. India need more X factor players. India have too many middle level players now. More of Holding the one end type.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 2, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    @donda: Hulloe Sir, I can see you are very frustrated with the Indian team. So are most fans - All Noise but no action. But in the last tour under Kumble, India came back strongly after losing the first test by over 250 runs to win the second. So give the Indian team a chance to prove their worth. On paper India should win if they execute their actions properly. There were many phases during the first test when I thought India will win starting from the end of the second day onwards. Rohit Sharma in place of Kohli is the only remotely possible change but I doubt it! Gambhir will play irrespective of his rash batting. We just got to hope the Fab 3 will perform for once - all 3.Sehwag is another guy who can come up big - if he does he will thrash the Aussie seamers.I do hope the Indian bowlers do as well as in the last match, which is key to the success. A 50 run opening stand is essential for Indian batting.I am confident this Aussie team can be beaten if India play to their potential.

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | January 2, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    @greenteam-elite you known the FUNNY thing is neither can pakistan!

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    Well - MS.... The Indian batsmen should stand well outisde the crease to neutralise the movement of the ball. The ball would get their fraction of second earlier, but, that should be part of their training to manage. If you allow enough time to let the ball swing - Dravids (no ball out and real out) and Tendulkars will continue to happen, and of course the Melbournes will also continue.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Every mistake is something you can learn from. Dhoni is a true champion. I just love his mental attitute. Win does not inflate him, anf defeat can not deflate him. Defeats make your character stronger. I love Mahindra Sing Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY donda on | January 2, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    Nothing special is going to happen in SCG. India will lose as always Sachin will not score 100th 100 VVS will not be special again because he is getting old. Sehwag will get out after firing 50 Dhoni will score 11 runs as he did in last year in every match. Same old story. just wastage of time.

  • POSTED BY shahbazhussain on | January 2, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    So the order for top 6 teams in the world cricket in all formats is on reverse gear. Pakistan from 6th position in all formats are rising up, so it happened with England in past 2 years. India, Ausrtalia, South Africa and SL are all declining. The main thing is that, these team did not introduce new talent in the playing elevens. That is why you see after couple of years, their players and their performances have been saturated hence there is nothing for them to show-off. IPL has killed badly all these 4 teams as they are the top contributor in IPL. People, get some lessons... If you cant remove IPL from earth, lets put some gaps in the tournaments at least it should have 1 year gape. Otherwise I really bet - all players will think only T20. There is only one extra-ordinary player who survived from the shortest format. And he is one and only David Warner who took off from short and landed safely in the longest format. There is no such example other than him. They should learn from him.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 18:57 GMT

    something tells me this test is going to be Very Very Special

  • POSTED BY GreenTeam-Elite on | January 2, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Hmmm... Interesting Response from Ms Dhoni!!! But it's a Bitter Truth that Indian Team cannot Perform Well on Green Top Pitches whether, it's Batting Department or Bowling Department!!! Indians always speak we won in 2007 or whenever I don't remember exactly, But I Think One or Two Series win is not enough to say that now again we can beat any team on Green Top Pitches!!! Well hope it will be also an Interesting test match like 1st test!!! Let us see how Indians Fight Back without anything in their Hands!!!

  • POSTED BY AlpsRock on | January 2, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    I agree with Ajay_Toronto, three words. I like to add few to that. 'Consult Seniors to Set the Attacking Field'. If not call Ajay or Me :). Mr. Dhoni show the attacking attitude rather 'wait and see', look at the Dada or Imran or Border, they went for 'Kill' rather waited for 'things to happen'. Zac can' give the breaks always so better do something different if wants to win in OZ. Good Luck to Indian Team.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    Virat should be given more chance before trying rohit...Rohit has to wait!

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    Virat should be given more chance before trying rohit...Rohit has to wait!

  • POSTED BY NairUSA on | January 2, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    Good attitude before the test. Wishing Team India the best for winning this match. It is not a difficult task to overcome this australian side if the Indian players stick to their basics and elevate their game at the right moments.

    australians are managing to offer decent challenge despite not having stalwarts in their team. They are a resourceful bunch of players.

  • POSTED BY theRule19 on | January 2, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Keep attcking fields and always keep attacking always. Look for wickets and not containing the batsmen, because it is the pressure that makes wickets fall.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Captains remarks on Arthur are encouraging.A captain should say so even when Shame & agony prevail over the Team.there are occasions of course when India came back & struck.atypical example is World cup.but more occasions are there to quote when India could not could not even stand to explain.Such horrible things have happened in the Past.the most justifying example is the Debacle of Melbourne last week. So better not to preach.but put things into PTA ice & show everyone to realize TALK LESS&WORK MORE should be the motto for the time being. Talking can wait until the end of the Tour of Australia when achievements & failures,Happiness & Agony can be balanced to arrive at an overall conclusion. The situation now does not look Bright as Sunil Gavaskar had said. Sreedharan Mundanat

  • POSTED BY Ajay_Toronto_ on | January 2, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    Three words for Dhoni - "SET ATTACKING FIELDS".

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | January 2, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    @godfrey - I agree with you. India needs a good start by Shewag and his partner ( hope it is Rohit) Bat responsibly. In future INDIA should look at Akash Chopra as an opener he once played for India.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | January 2, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Dhoni will be writted off after this Test. For losing a test with such a fine set of bowlers and batsmen, he has to be ostracised. he looks a loser before a match begins.

  • POSTED BY noplay on | January 2, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    It has affected the self-belief of the side a"a bit". There won't be a greater understatement this year. The young players are brimming with confidence but the older guys have been hit hard. The outcome depends on which group impacts on the other

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Indian team has every chance to create a miracle,but if the trio doesnt get their head straight then it would be a very big debacle.I would like to see a big 200 from the crafty dravid and a quick fire ton from sehwag,this would break the spinal cord of the australians new found quicks.I would like to watch ponting's new found form,lets hope it doesnt open the floodgates....As for gautam or Mr.Virat aka THE GENTLEMAN or Dhoni,we cant rely on these guys they never or will perform the grassy bouncy tracks.Many would say laxman is very susceptible to swing because he is a guy who likes to see the leather comes to the bat,its not with him but with all wristy players who cant hold their bat,my prediction,laxman will see off the first 30 balls of his ininngs and start off his run-fest.

    Tell PATT that LAX IS Here!!!! :P

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    I think we need to perhaps change the batting line-up to include Rohit Sharma instead of Virat Kohli. Secondly it may not be a bad idea to include an extra pace bowler instead of Ashwin and get Sehwag and Sachin to spin the ball.Dhoni, Gambhir and VVS need to make their places count as well..

  • POSTED BY AvidCricFan on | January 2, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    India definitely needs to make changes to the team. Two of the three, Gambhir, VVS, Kohli needs to be replaced. This will not happen and India will repeat the performance of the last 4 overseas matches.

  • POSTED BY noplay on | January 2, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    It has affected the self-belief of the side a"a bit". There won't be a greater understatement this year. The young players are brimming with confidence but the older guys have been hit hard. The outcome depends on which group impacts on the other

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 2, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Dhoni says" it is premature to write us off". This is bit rich after you lose 5 in a row! Where is your gumption & Will to win by playing high class cricket? Failure to score 292 against a second string Aussie bowling was poor show, Mr. Dhoni. The facts are there peering at you.You want a great opening stand with Gambhir trying his best to give away his wicket poking at every ball outside the Off?.How can India get a good start with a suicidal opening bat at one end? There is no change in tactics or the XI however badly the guys play. Kohli, Gambhir, Laxman need to raise their game and contribute. There are XI guys in the team and each has to do his share, for the role he is picked for. Play like winners, with confidence & maturity. If you frustrate the young bowlers, they will not have patience & will falter, lose direction.India should get >400 runs not <300 thru grit, patience & determination."Walk the talk" by your actions on field -Winners always find a way to Win! JUST DO IT.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    For all those who said that Indian bowlers are not good enough to take 20 Aussie wickets, Melbourne Test was the answer. It's just that the Batting Line up must be consistent especially in the 2nd Innings. Indian Tail-enders should learn from England and Australian tail-enders. They should make the opposition work hard for their wickets. Also, the Indian bowlers should remove the tail-enders quickly. They should have removed the final wicket soon after Hussey departed early. Those leaked runs made the difference and made the target look like a heavy task mentally.

  • POSTED BY Nish8738 on | January 2, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Aus were riding high after beating NZ in the first test but we all know what happened after that. Now they are riding high again but they're playing against a team that is 6 times stronger than NZ so they have to be very careful in taking india lightly.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    yes skipper you are rite . and we all wish u to kick aussies in the 2nt test match and prove to the world that tey are gud side outside subcontinent and win the series there inshallah

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | January 2, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    COMEON SHEWAG/GAMBHIR you guys are a big let down to INDIA. Have to have a good penning stand of 50+

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    Aus will win 4-0 comfortably, Aussies can place 9 slips for Gambhir. it is time to revamp indian Test side too. Mentally and physically they are not fit enough

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Yes, he is right. We must wait until we lose 4-0 before writing them off, like we did in England.

  • POSTED BY Aussierise on | January 2, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Cont....If India continue to neglect the Fielding aspect...Australia will continue to turn no run into 1 run, 1 run into 2 runs, 3 runs into 4 runs etc etc until the pressure gets too strong and they crack like Day 3/4 in Melb. Watch a replay of the First Test and look closely at the Ponting and Hussey partnership....they got singles and two's at ease when they first got to the crease. People will say poor captaincy...but I think poor Dhoni has not got much at his disposal in terms of fielding. Does he have a bravo, warner, devilliers, collingwood, clarke, punter, dwayne smith, symonds (all world class inner circle fielders) at his disposal to crowd the off side inner circle and maximise the pressure? I think not! As good as Laxman and Dravid are with the bat...if India want to get serious about being Number 1 in the world they may need to contemplate finding batsman who are great fielders...the days of a player only being good at one facet are going very quickly thanks to 20/20.

  • POSTED BY Aussierise on | January 2, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    I think like the first test this is going to be a close and hard fought match..may just come down to who cracks first mentally around about days 3-4 like India did in Melb...but could have also easily been australia who cracked in that match.I hate to admit the truth to Indian fans but if you really want to be the number 1 in the World for cricket (personally I think you can be!) then you need to stop neglecting the third facet of the game - FIELDING! I think the biggest problem with India for the past 25 years is that they choose to neglect or overlook this third facet of the game! Its all well and good that India have these super great "legendary" batsman and great bowlers..especially great spin bowlers (Harby and Kumble in previous years) but this has consisterntly been India's demise in big matches and big tournaments. The first test they looked lame..laxman, dravid & tendulkar (all slow inner fielders), gambhir (weak arm), and dont even get me started on your bowlers fielding!

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    its ridiculous from msd that always he seeks positives from the game ...who wants positives or negatives,whoever plays they only require victories after having so called great players..its no doubt they are few great in Indian wardrobe but what about youngsters who have been given ample of opportunities and they are losing them...looks the like of raina kohli rohit ishant zaheer who are higly overrated by the india commentators.... you still are not the no 1 team after having such star studded batting line up and most of the teams around are under transition phase..compare the teams its more of the shame where most of the aussies player are not even played more than 30 test matches and most of the india players played more than 50 matches each... this victory wont be of great cos aussies are almost new team and indian team is vastly experianced so there is no meaning in this indian team.they are probably playing against the less esperianced bowling line up..its just a shame.....

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    Hello all, as said earlier, commenting without knowledge leads to blunders. We all need to understand that the players fighting out there know better than what we do. Even we people are falling short of consistency as our players, ppl who were calling for sacking Hussey,Ponting, hilfenhaus, etc just before the first test now started questioning about Haddin, Gambhir, Laxman, virat etc. Whom do u replace Gambhir, virat and Kohli with r u ppl calling for Rahane, Rohit etc. What is the guarantee that these will perform, with one failure we will again ask them to be sacked, so how r we going to build a team. Players are humans and not supernatural powers, they do have bad times. A true fan will be one who supports his player through a lean patch more than when he is on song. Just stick on guys, you will see plenty of memorable moments from these players itself very shortly. As an optimist I see things turning around very quickly. :)

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    We are depending too much on the old war horses. It is better to lose in the process of infusing youngsters rather than trying to avoid a loss by keeping the stalwarts and still end up losing.

    We are concentrating too much on Sachin's 100 rather than Indian victory.

    Every 6 to 12 months, one senior should retire and one youngster should come in.

    Like Yuvraj Singh even Virat Kohli is no Test player. Rohit Sharma seems to be more of Test match player. Indian selectors should know to make the differences between the Test match and One day players. They have to constantly keep track of who has the ability and talent to play the longer version of the game.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    Wait n watch people India might have a surprise for all :)

  • POSTED BY ssenthil on | January 2, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Perhaps it's mature to write off Dhoni as a Test Player and Captain. he shouldn't be playing any Tests for India on merit. Perhaps the Indian legends may bring a respect to the Indian team but Dhoni doesn't deserve to be part of this team, doing nothing

  • POSTED BY crossbathoick on | January 2, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    Apart from the middle order collapse in the first innings, the Indian bowlers were inconsistent in their line and length throughout the Melbourne Test unlike the Kiwis at Hobart who never allowed the pressure to release. Ishant bowled too short and wide so all the effort put in to bowl at 150 k's was of little use in the end as it thudded harmlessly into Dhonis gloves. Ashwin tried too many variations and followed up good balls with bad ones. Unless they correct their line and length in this series they will not be able to get the best of the conditions even if it helps them. I think this is the main difference between the two teams.

  • POSTED BY ramli on | January 2, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    everybody is entitled to an opinion ... here is mine ... India did not bat well in first test ... so we lost ... if we bat to potential .. we will win .. simple ... for that to happen .. we need self-belief ... that is all ... to blame every loss to Dhoni's captaincy is becoming the fashion now ... keeping 4 slips to a tail-ender is blind aggression ... even for this to succeed .. you need a bowling plan ... that is what Dhoni is lamenting as lacking in his bowlers ... India has previously been very close to winning in SCG .. let us hope that India is on the right side of the result this time ... thank you

  • POSTED BY Positive_Critic on | January 2, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Do we indians fear questioning Dhoni's ability to bat against the moving and the bouncing ball... I don remember Dhoni doing anything substantial when our batting required him to do so.. especially in testing conditions.... I am no Dhoni basher but frankly MSD's technique is not suitable for these conditions... I am not saying to sack Dhoni or something, just that the man should take responsibility for a series of batting failures...

  • POSTED BY bhrangi on | January 2, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    Another whitewash for sure :(

  • POSTED BY saiki4116 on | January 2, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    The present austrailia batting lineup also crumbles under pressure,i really hope SCG features a fast bowler friendly track,this really aides our bowlers and if two seniors(Dravid/Laxman/tendulkar) play well,game will be India.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    India have the tools to reverse it's fortune in AUS., just need to strengthen up mentally. India need a good start,it is not ok to say this is the way Sahwag bats. He needs to approach his batting more responsibly. He is one of the keys to an India's victory. The bowling attack is just fine, it can get 20 Aussies wickets in 5 days. I know Sachin will make runs in the 1st inns. And finally, Dhoni has to be much more positive in his approach. 450 on the tin & my money is on India.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    I Doubt this Australian Team has the caliber and dominance of previous era to maintain the pressure on this star studded Indian team, though they manage to win the first test primarily because of the abject surrender by Indian team in the last day, otherwise it was a close encounter. Australia recent performance is also testimony to the fact that they aren't able to maintain the same kind of pressure throughout the series.Having said that their pace attack has the capacity to derail this star studded batting line up

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    I am not fully agree with MSD statement like we always comeback in overseas. During the last test the match was in our control after we allowed to slip from our hands. Indian bowlers suffering against the tail enders. Atleast Umesh need to be more aggressive. Well directed yorkers are good enough to clean the tails. Our fats bowlers need to watch some video recording of Wagar and Akram. One thing is very clear this aussies team is not in good shape. If viru clicks I don't think this bowlers can contain him. If India bat first and score some very good total automatically the pressure will be on aussies side. Arthur comment is premature and if our best three clicks then they will face a different indian team. It is good to see Zak bowling at right areas. If Ishant compliment both zak and Umesh always we will attack fragile aussies top order.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    India can win if they play with intensity... In MCG their body language was not good.. Let us hope they play to their potential and win at SCG !!! Let's support them !!!

  • POSTED BY maheshrathi on | January 2, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    It is absolutely amazing. Even after India achieved the number 1 ranking in tests and even after we have started winning overseas, we still beat up the team so much every time they lose.

    I do not agree that this team does not show any fight. That's a very harsh comment to make for someone like Dravid or Laxman or even Ishant. I agree that Dhoni should have been more aggressive, but he has proved his critics wrong time and again. Just because his tactics did not work this time, we cannot beat him up. He is still the best captain we have, and possibly in the world.

    The only real problem I see with India are the pitches we prepare back home. That is the problem BCCI should solve. MCG proved how good a pitch can be and how a test match can be interesting even if it finishes within 4 days.

  • POSTED BY snagaraj87 on | January 2, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    I have been a great fan of Dhoni's captaincy and it has probably been the most important reason for India's rise in the last few years. I have always felt that he reads the game slightly earlier than others, especially in the shorter form. However, I have grown skeptical of his tactics in tests and more disappointingly his habit of repeating the mistakes. This is where someone like a Duncan needs to step in and guide the captain ... otherwise, not sure what the role of a coach is in cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    My favourite thing about India playing in ENG/AUS/SA/NZ is the excuses they make for underperforming in the media, I enjoy reading articles with quotes like 'alot of positives' more than the actual cricket itself. I'm not sure if thats becasue of the quality of cricket india plays, or the quality of the articles Sidharth Monga writes...

  • POSTED BY yuvrajsngh007 on | January 2, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    ya u r right Dhoni...bt u hv the potential ...u should hv to play ur natural game....

  • POSTED BY sankar8000 on | January 2, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    @ Manikandan.....What a Big Cruel Joke?! You want to drop Sehwag who is a champion performer and you want to retain so called talents who are not performing and becoming liabilities like Dhoni,Gauti and others...Wow....

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | January 2, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    Still think they will fold under pressure as normal.They just seem to have no fight or pride in representing their country.have never seen a team with less effort than we saw this summer and this constant retort of we were unlucky does not help.Real champions fight through adversity and we just don't see that from this Indian team.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    MS - 1. Dravid - a wall behind the stumps (ball bounces off his hands rather than bat now) - good-for-nothing anywhere else on the field & therefore stationed in the slips. 2. Laxman - can't run, can't field, can't bowl - bats when he wants to...but you can't get rid of that piece of Junk. Messes up the 1st Innings & gets rewarded for the flukes he delivers during the 2nd (required only because he messed up the first to begin with). 3. Tendulkar - lost focus, has got into the habit of getting out against the run of play of late. 4. Gambhir is no more what he was a couple of years ago. 5. Sehwag - He's Sehwag, a gamble if you had a good line-up, a luxury considering the junk your batting now is. 6. Dhoni - seems to have lost his batting focus. To protect them you to carry more junk in the side - Raina / Kohli - Every knows they are just bunnies for anyone who delivers one over above the waist. But they occupy the position of a 4th Quick who would help you at least get wickets !

  • POSTED BY moBlue on | January 2, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    to all you IND naysayers, i say: i agree with dhoni and i will go one step further! MCG has *always* been a graveyard for IND - 0 wins, 5 losses and 1 draw since 1985. the only highlight i can remember for IND at the MCG was sehwag's 194 in 2003... and IND are slow starters. do you expect AUS to ever win at the feroze shah kotla in delhi or in kolkata? keep on dreaming! :) similarly, i fully expected IND would be 0-1 by this time in this series. yet IND didn't lose shamefully at the MCG this time around. they only failed in batting in the second inning... and vvs was caught off a no-ball. :) be that as it was, IND has piled up 705 and 532 [batting second after AUS had scored 465!] against AUS at the SCG in 2003 and 2007, won in adelaide in 2003 and won in perth in 2008! IND's challenge to AUS begins now! let us see how your champions-turned-into-chumps in the ashes will withstand IND's reply and respond! don't forget. IND a year ago paid SA back in T2 after losing T1 by an inning!!! :)

  • POSTED BY indianpunter on | January 2, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Dhoni is putting up a brave face, amidst the chaos behind the scenes. He better walk the talk. I can see that "india's walking wicket- GG" is going to play ( judging by Dhoni's comments). Disaster awaits India. I am already feeling gutted.

  • POSTED BY RasCric on | January 2, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    It is not premature. 4-0 thrashing awaits you! Welcome to Australia (I shoud actually say welcome to overseas cricket :P )

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Hope our opening pair will do some good in the coming test!!!

  • POSTED BY Silverbails on | January 2, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    I couldn't agree with Sidharth more on his article!! Come on Dhoni - more AGGRESSIVE Captaincy is what's CLEARLY needed, particularly with the tailenders. Otherwise, it'll be another CRUSHING Aus. 2 - 0, which will soon become 4 - 0!! Gambhir and Kohli (IF he's given YET ANOTHER overseas chance!!) NEED to come good...Otherwise, chances should be given to others in the wings who ARE performing WELL at first class level back home. And, as for setting defensive fields to Ashwin, in particular - just WHAT is Dhoni thinking of?!?! Anyway, COME ON INDIA, PLEASE let's HAVE A WIN AWAY FROM HOME (JUST FOR A CHANGE!)!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Its Premature now !! Will be apparent in another 3 days ? Stop Speaking and start playing.. Drop irresponsible Sehwag !! Bring in Rohit.. Drop Ishant and play someone else !!

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Right..........................................Dhoni..............

  • POSTED BY sankar8000 on | January 2, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Expecting India to Bounce back...if you want to write off India do it at your own risk...

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | January 2, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    For me a 90 from Tendulkar will be good enough for the team.The comment about Shewag I do not like. His wicket in hand is better than losing it in the 1st 10 overs. Indian openers need to learn to be patient otherwise we will not get a good openning partnership. It puts a strain on the rest following in. Something they do not learn. AKASH CHOPRA is better at this than most.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 2, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    This PC shows that our beloved captain 'cool' just remains that,cold to all disasters happening around.Most times I find his statements hollow but the one that cracked me up was when he parroted a similar line from England,that 'there are plenty of positives' to take.Seriously?? is it supposed to keep the public and team in good humor or you really mean it.I don't expect a captain to say 'we were rubbish' always but at-least an iota of honesty and 'real' action on ground& behind the scenes will be appreciated! This either shows the entire team is so 'cool' that it is just inert or plain indifferent to thumping losses.Wake up from slumber Mr.Dhoni,time to walk the talk...

  • POSTED BY me.nuralam on | January 2, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    I am completely agreed with MS Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Dhoni, I was very proud of you when you came out to bat in world cup finals when we were in a crisis situation and played splendidly.. and currently also its a very demanding situation, you have do something extra ordinary to over come the hurdles... Please bring ur A game in test in abroad too... lately you have become very defensive.. only when u r ready to lose, u will be able to win test matches.. you have attack most of the times, rather than reducing the opposition run rate.. If u India lose this series by 3-0 or 4-0.. most of the blame will and should come to u.. ur batting has beocme very very poor in test.. as a Captain take responsibilities.. already in melbourne we lost half the battle.. if something can be achieved, it should be in sydney.. if we lose this, then 4-0 is on the cards.. Hoping you will change ur strategy and make us proud again..

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | January 2, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    I am not writing them off completely but I am certain their batting will fail again. The solid work by Zaheer, Yadav and co is what held them in contention at the G. Will they be able to put in a performance like that again? Questionable at best. AGain I hope their unwillingness to accept the DRS comes back to bite them. Sachin out to a howler on 99, yes please!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | January 2, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    I am not writing them off completely but I am certain their batting will fail again. The solid work by Zaheer, Yadav and co is what held them in contention at the G. Will they be able to put in a performance like that again? Questionable at best. AGain I hope their unwillingness to accept the DRS comes back to bite them. Sachin out to a howler on 99, yes please!

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Dhoni, I was very proud of you when you came out to bat in world cup finals when we were in a crisis situation and played splendidly.. and currently also its a very demanding situation, you have do something extra ordinary to over come the hurdles... Please bring ur A game in test in abroad too... lately you have become very defensive.. only when u r ready to lose, u will be able to win test matches.. you have attack most of the times, rather than reducing the opposition run rate.. If u India lose this series by 3-0 or 4-0.. most of the blame will and should come to u.. ur batting has beocme very very poor in test.. as a Captain take responsibilities.. already in melbourne we lost half the battle.. if something can be achieved, it should be in sydney.. if we lose this, then 4-0 is on the cards.. Hoping you will change ur strategy and make us proud again..

  • POSTED BY me.nuralam on | January 2, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    I am completely agreed with MS Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 2, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    This PC shows that our beloved captain 'cool' just remains that,cold to all disasters happening around.Most times I find his statements hollow but the one that cracked me up was when he parroted a similar line from England,that 'there are plenty of positives' to take.Seriously?? is it supposed to keep the public and team in good humor or you really mean it.I don't expect a captain to say 'we were rubbish' always but at-least an iota of honesty and 'real' action on ground& behind the scenes will be appreciated! This either shows the entire team is so 'cool' that it is just inert or plain indifferent to thumping losses.Wake up from slumber Mr.Dhoni,time to walk the talk...

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | January 2, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    For me a 90 from Tendulkar will be good enough for the team.The comment about Shewag I do not like. His wicket in hand is better than losing it in the 1st 10 overs. Indian openers need to learn to be patient otherwise we will not get a good openning partnership. It puts a strain on the rest following in. Something they do not learn. AKASH CHOPRA is better at this than most.

  • POSTED BY sankar8000 on | January 2, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Expecting India to Bounce back...if you want to write off India do it at your own risk...

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Right..........................................Dhoni..............

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Its Premature now !! Will be apparent in another 3 days ? Stop Speaking and start playing.. Drop irresponsible Sehwag !! Bring in Rohit.. Drop Ishant and play someone else !!

  • POSTED BY Silverbails on | January 2, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    I couldn't agree with Sidharth more on his article!! Come on Dhoni - more AGGRESSIVE Captaincy is what's CLEARLY needed, particularly with the tailenders. Otherwise, it'll be another CRUSHING Aus. 2 - 0, which will soon become 4 - 0!! Gambhir and Kohli (IF he's given YET ANOTHER overseas chance!!) NEED to come good...Otherwise, chances should be given to others in the wings who ARE performing WELL at first class level back home. And, as for setting defensive fields to Ashwin, in particular - just WHAT is Dhoni thinking of?!?! Anyway, COME ON INDIA, PLEASE let's HAVE A WIN AWAY FROM HOME (JUST FOR A CHANGE!)!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Hope our opening pair will do some good in the coming test!!!