Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 1st day January 3, 2012

Fletcher wants middle order to step up

101

Duncan Fletcher, under whose watch India have lost five straight away Tests and are struggling at the end of the first day of the sixth, would not say if he felt the Indian batsmen are doing badly, but hoped they, especially those in the middle order, would click together. India were bowled out for 190 after choosing to bat on a greenish SCG track, which would need diligent batting while the pitch was fresh; India lost four wickets in the first session.

Fletcher, however, chose to give credit to the Australian bowlers and blamed the lack of "fortune" when asked about the continuous problems the batting line-up has faced, which shows in how they have gone past 300 - a barely competitive score on a non-dodgy pitch - only once in their last 17 away innings.

"The mood in the change room has been very, very good," Fletcher said. "They have worked very hard at the nets. They are putting in the effort, they are trying their best. They are just some times in cricket we need a little bit of good fortune. If you see Sachin [Tendulkar] today, how many times do you play on from that width? Normally you put that through the covers for four. Sometimes it goes against you, sometimes it runs with you." Tendulkar was the only specialist batsman who looked at ease for a longish period, and played on when driving at a full and wide delivery.

Fletcher spoke of the importance of partnerships. The problem, he said, didn't lie with getting them started, but in converting them into big meaningful ones. "What's crucial is when we get a partnership going, we make sure we take advantage of it," he said. "At times we have got partnerships going, and then suddenly we lose wickets, and haven't been able to take that partnership further. It's crucial in Test cricket that you get those partnerships of 100 and 150 to get that big score that's required."

Fletcher said it was a matter of two or three of India's middle order performing well together. "It's important that they click together," he said. "As a unit they haven't scored consistently - all of them. I mean Rahul [Dravid] batted well in England. He has lost a little bit of form here. Sachin looks as though he is in good nick. There's just probably Laxy [VVS Laxman]. He is striking the ball well, he probably needs a little bit of good fortune. That middle order should be able to put in the good scores we require."

What makes the Indian failure all the more intriguing is that Fletcher is considered to be one of the best men going around when it comes to batting technique. He, though, chose not to speak too much about technical flaws. About Gautam Gambhir's struggle - he fell in the first over today - Fletcher spoke of the mental side of things.

"We have just been working on him to get more positive," Fletcher said. "That's what's crucial with Gautam. We are working on the sort of mental side of it, where we feel he has been quite tentative and pushing at balls instead of going out there and batting like he should. We have seen Gautam. He is an attacking batter. We are trying to get him to be a lot a more positive in his approach. Today the ball he got, it would have been difficult to leave that, pitching on leg stump, going across you. It probably would have got a few left-handers out so early on in your innings."

Fletcher wouldn't get drawn into a debate on the defensive fields that have been India's hallmark during this series. Today, when India could have ended the day close to even if they had taken another wicket towards stumps, India employed well-spread fields in the final few overs. "You have to give credit to the opposition at some stage," he said. "[Ricky] Ponting and [Michael] Clarke came out and batted positively. Clarke was pretty positive. There were a few loose shots upfront there. He looked under a bit of pressure. He could quite easily have nicked one of those early, and they could have been four down."

India's slide in Test cricket has coincided with Fletcher's appointment as the coach of the side when Gary Kirsten left after the World Cup success. He was asked what has gone wrong. "I don't think much has changed," Fletcher said. "I had long chats with Gary. I am very friendly with him. The approach, how you deal with an Indian side, we haven't changed that much."

When asked how bad it will get before it gets better, Fletcher said it could all change as soon as the next innings. "We are pretty confident that at some stage they will get the runs that are required," he said. "In the second innings, let's just wait and see what happens there.

"From tomorrow if we get through and keep them down to a similar score as us, that's not out of the question. I think we can put Australia under little bit of pressure if we bat well in the second innings."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zenboomerang on January 6, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    @Scallopian... Yes, agee that Laxman, et al, came out 20 days early... But they didn't play & prepare as a full team - just in nets... It seems a bit disjointed... Nothing beats time in the middle... I'm not picking on BCCI, CA have done the same in the past & I have been critical of their schedules... Also look at last years SCG Test & you will see a similar pattern - bowlers pitch for 4 sessions followed by flat track until later in 4th day when track starts breaking up more...

  • JG2704 on January 5, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Karthik Raja on (January 04 2012, 06:39 AM GMT) - David Gravitas is just a realist. I'm sure he's annoyed with how all the Indian batsmen (inc Dravid) are performing right now

  • zenboomerang on January 5, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    @Scallopian... Yes, agee that Laxman, et al, came out 20 days early... But they didn't play & prepare as a full team - just in nets... It seems a bit disjointed... I'm not picking on BCCI, CA have done the same in the past & I have been critical of their schedules... My point is "how important is Test cricket to the top boards running cricket?"... Obviously running 2nd to the TV media interests & who gets paid what! ... As to who gets selected for either team - we all know it is politics & payments...

  • Scallopian on January 4, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    @zenboomerang- Yes, the BCCI is responsible for India's pre-test preparations. However, this is not a justification for India BLAMING its failures on lack of preparation. Even if preparation for the Australia tour was not ideal, it was definitely SUFFICIENT. Two tour games, the second of which, India VOLUNTARILY chose to shorten in order to get more batting practice. If you don't think Test specialists like Laxman, Dravid, etc. going to Australia well in advance (nearly 20 days in advance), JUST to get acclimatized to the conditions is a sign of advanced preparation, then I don't know what is. Keep in mind, I am NOT a supporter of BCCI scheduling policies- but the Australia preparation was reasonable. Even if India was slightly unprepared for the first Test, that is not their premier concern. Regardless of the first Test, the fact that India's batting failed in the second test (1st innings) as well, proves that there are clearly more important factors than lack of "practice matches."

  • on January 4, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    First change i want is kick fletcher out !!! Honestly speaking who is duncan fletcher ?? A zimbabwe player who just played 7 odis !! 60 yrs old !! Oh god even kohli has more experience thn him !! Kick fletcher out .i surely dont under stand how the hell bcci has even considered him as the coach of indian team which was world no.1 in tests before he joined as coach now see where is india battling for no.5 position greattt .we need some experienced coach who has played a significant number of games and who has played all around the world and ypung and athletic and who has great batting skills like stephen fleming,sunil gavaskar,ian chappel or geoff marsh surely not a 60 yr old guy who has played just 7 odi's in his entire career hailong frm zimbabwe

    kudos to fletcher to swallowing off every thing what kirsten and dhoni did in past 3 yrs.if kirsten would have been indian coach atleadt he would have an exlerienxe on australian pitches,fielding tactics etc

  • bhrangi on January 4, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    @YoBro: I agree with u mate, I wasn't dig fan of dravid / sachin but if dravid plays it ll be a draw at max.@ Dravid_Gravitas : in ur most of the comments ur pulling sachin, atleast he scored 41 ya it is not a good score for team. But till he scores runs, he is playing comfortably not like dravid, when the attacking field set, dravid start to struggle. By the Way Dravid is legend but he is getting old and no more worthy.

  • silly_pt on January 4, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Disappointed that India will lose this series only '4-0'. With their performance they deserve to lose this 'infinite-0'. Can't see them performing well without wholesale changes.Right now they are sliding down the abyss of low-confidence & there is just no way that they are gonna get out of it with current resources. Cricinfo Publish.

  • on January 4, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas.. As i hv told u b4, y bring SRT into conversation whn defending RD..?? Man, u r making sick of Dravid.. Such a legend he is.. And I am sure he wil b ashamed of having fans like u.. Its gud to criticize some1, bt not whn he is doing better than others.. Goin by ur argument, was the result any different whn Dravid had spine to stand up and deliver in Eng..?? If that was SRT who scored those runs in ENG, I am sure wt ur points wil b.. "Meaningless centuries.. Not @ winning cause.. Playing for himself.. Playing for records.. Centuries never mattered.. Exposed Tail-enders to remain NOT out.. He didnt score in 2nd Innings which is more important.. Put pressure on other batsmen by not rotating strikes.. Low strike rate.. Never applied pressure on bowlers.. etc etc.." Be honest and think of this comment.. I need a honest reply from u..

  • TRAM on January 4, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    @Kavindeven, I would agree with your point (that Kholi should be persisted with) if 1. he showed strong basics which he did not (example, FIGURING OUT OutsideOff balls & LEAVING THEM). 2. If other Ind youngsters with even more sound technique, fielding and consistent performances are given as much chance as Kholi got. How many matches he played for India including ODIs!. Compare that to the chances Mukund or Badri got.

  • MiddleStump on January 4, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    @LillianThomson. If you want to identify genuine candidates for retirement you can start by looking at the runs made by Laxman and Ponting side by side with SRT. Punter averages around 36 while I am afraid VVS is even lower in 2011 overall and around 16 abroad.

  • zenboomerang on January 6, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    @Scallopian... Yes, agee that Laxman, et al, came out 20 days early... But they didn't play & prepare as a full team - just in nets... It seems a bit disjointed... Nothing beats time in the middle... I'm not picking on BCCI, CA have done the same in the past & I have been critical of their schedules... Also look at last years SCG Test & you will see a similar pattern - bowlers pitch for 4 sessions followed by flat track until later in 4th day when track starts breaking up more...

  • JG2704 on January 5, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Karthik Raja on (January 04 2012, 06:39 AM GMT) - David Gravitas is just a realist. I'm sure he's annoyed with how all the Indian batsmen (inc Dravid) are performing right now

  • zenboomerang on January 5, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    @Scallopian... Yes, agee that Laxman, et al, came out 20 days early... But they didn't play & prepare as a full team - just in nets... It seems a bit disjointed... I'm not picking on BCCI, CA have done the same in the past & I have been critical of their schedules... My point is "how important is Test cricket to the top boards running cricket?"... Obviously running 2nd to the TV media interests & who gets paid what! ... As to who gets selected for either team - we all know it is politics & payments...

  • Scallopian on January 4, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    @zenboomerang- Yes, the BCCI is responsible for India's pre-test preparations. However, this is not a justification for India BLAMING its failures on lack of preparation. Even if preparation for the Australia tour was not ideal, it was definitely SUFFICIENT. Two tour games, the second of which, India VOLUNTARILY chose to shorten in order to get more batting practice. If you don't think Test specialists like Laxman, Dravid, etc. going to Australia well in advance (nearly 20 days in advance), JUST to get acclimatized to the conditions is a sign of advanced preparation, then I don't know what is. Keep in mind, I am NOT a supporter of BCCI scheduling policies- but the Australia preparation was reasonable. Even if India was slightly unprepared for the first Test, that is not their premier concern. Regardless of the first Test, the fact that India's batting failed in the second test (1st innings) as well, proves that there are clearly more important factors than lack of "practice matches."

  • on January 4, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    First change i want is kick fletcher out !!! Honestly speaking who is duncan fletcher ?? A zimbabwe player who just played 7 odis !! 60 yrs old !! Oh god even kohli has more experience thn him !! Kick fletcher out .i surely dont under stand how the hell bcci has even considered him as the coach of indian team which was world no.1 in tests before he joined as coach now see where is india battling for no.5 position greattt .we need some experienced coach who has played a significant number of games and who has played all around the world and ypung and athletic and who has great batting skills like stephen fleming,sunil gavaskar,ian chappel or geoff marsh surely not a 60 yr old guy who has played just 7 odi's in his entire career hailong frm zimbabwe

    kudos to fletcher to swallowing off every thing what kirsten and dhoni did in past 3 yrs.if kirsten would have been indian coach atleadt he would have an exlerienxe on australian pitches,fielding tactics etc

  • bhrangi on January 4, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    @YoBro: I agree with u mate, I wasn't dig fan of dravid / sachin but if dravid plays it ll be a draw at max.@ Dravid_Gravitas : in ur most of the comments ur pulling sachin, atleast he scored 41 ya it is not a good score for team. But till he scores runs, he is playing comfortably not like dravid, when the attacking field set, dravid start to struggle. By the Way Dravid is legend but he is getting old and no more worthy.

  • silly_pt on January 4, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Disappointed that India will lose this series only '4-0'. With their performance they deserve to lose this 'infinite-0'. Can't see them performing well without wholesale changes.Right now they are sliding down the abyss of low-confidence & there is just no way that they are gonna get out of it with current resources. Cricinfo Publish.

  • on January 4, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas.. As i hv told u b4, y bring SRT into conversation whn defending RD..?? Man, u r making sick of Dravid.. Such a legend he is.. And I am sure he wil b ashamed of having fans like u.. Its gud to criticize some1, bt not whn he is doing better than others.. Goin by ur argument, was the result any different whn Dravid had spine to stand up and deliver in Eng..?? If that was SRT who scored those runs in ENG, I am sure wt ur points wil b.. "Meaningless centuries.. Not @ winning cause.. Playing for himself.. Playing for records.. Centuries never mattered.. Exposed Tail-enders to remain NOT out.. He didnt score in 2nd Innings which is more important.. Put pressure on other batsmen by not rotating strikes.. Low strike rate.. Never applied pressure on bowlers.. etc etc.." Be honest and think of this comment.. I need a honest reply from u..

  • TRAM on January 4, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    @Kavindeven, I would agree with your point (that Kholi should be persisted with) if 1. he showed strong basics which he did not (example, FIGURING OUT OutsideOff balls & LEAVING THEM). 2. If other Ind youngsters with even more sound technique, fielding and consistent performances are given as much chance as Kholi got. How many matches he played for India including ODIs!. Compare that to the chances Mukund or Badri got.

  • MiddleStump on January 4, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    @LillianThomson. If you want to identify genuine candidates for retirement you can start by looking at the runs made by Laxman and Ponting side by side with SRT. Punter averages around 36 while I am afraid VVS is even lower in 2011 overall and around 16 abroad.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 4, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    @YoBro, you can contend whatever you feel like. And so what happened to our team when Dravid didn't carry his bat for 'himself' in the two tests till now? All the others put together couldn't even take us to some respectability and couldn't make some contest out of each game. Get a grip. Will you? BTW, Pujara is just recovering and playing some games I guess.

  • on January 4, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    4-0 another whitwash seems imminent. After the WC vistory and hunger/desire is all gone from the old boys network and on top we have Fletcher as coach...so recipe of success is shake up things as this is the time. Things to do: 1) Dhoni has some learning curve to do for test captan as his captancy is pathetic. 2) the indian players need to be shaken from the caccon position and some one tell me why rohit sharme is not playing and that even at an expense of Gambhir/Laxsman or Kohli.. 3) Sachin may be there for this year but if he does get his 100 hundred he will probably hang his boots sooner. Dravid maybe be contemplating his next move if things dont go his way with his batting. As such both him & Dravid deserve to time their exit at their terms. 4) With the stae of affairs we wont have laxsman for too long as he is soft target. 5) Gambhir needs to go back to the enst and sort out his things and so we need some one to open with Sehwag.. 6) The writing on the wall Flecther needs to go

  • zenboomerang on January 4, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    @Scallopian... The BCCI is fully responsible for the pre-Test itinerary... I respectively disagree about India being prepared for the 1st Test... One 2 day hit & giggle game, one 3 day game that ended early - both at Manuka Oval... Not all the Test batters played in either game... Some of the Oz bowlers were not 1st pick bowlers in State teams... England played full matches against Victoria (MCG) & an Aust A team (Hobart) on Test wickets... They also brought an England A team that played a series of matches for support - 2 teams... Getting used to the extra bounce & grass takes time - England took that time...

  • manasvi_lingam on January 3, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    @LillianThomson: That's an interesting point you raise, but a flawed one. Tendulkar hasn't been playing as well as he did in 2008-2010 until the end of the WC. Since then, the pressure of the 100th 100 and all the hype and hoopla that's accompanying it seems to have adversely impacted his batting. However, singling him out alone as the reason for failure is just plain stupid. Gambhir, Sehwag and Laxman have all performed even worse in the recent away Tests. If the Indian public & media had chosen to take a much more balanced view of the landmark I feel that the hundred would have arrived earlier and his own batting would have been better.

  • longandshort on January 3, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    India is the most over rated, hyped up team in the world. A 4-0 thrashing will get them down to the ground from their heady IPL salaries. This bunch just does not have the character of the Aussies to stick in, grind and build up momentum for a win.

  • LillianThomson on January 3, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    Like any addict, the Indians will only recover if they acknowledge what the problem is. And the problem is Tendulkar. In the last 12 months, Tendulkar's scores in six away Tests are: 34, 12, 16, 56, 1, 40, 23, 91, 73, 32 and 41. This has brought his Test average down below 56 and he has dropped down to 16th in the all-time Test batting averages, and among current Test batsmen his career record has now dropped below Trott, Kallis and Sangakkara, even though half his matches have been on much easier wickets. All great batsmen find late in their careers that while they are still excellent batsmen centuries become much, much harder to acquire - think of Viv Richards (1 century in his final 19 tests) or Allan Border (4 centuries in his last 45 tests). Tendulkar is past-it, and the odd away Test century here and there against good teams cannot conceal that fact. Ian Chappell has helped many Australians choose when to retire - SRT needs to go before he destroys his reputation and legacy.

  • Scallopian on January 3, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    @GeorgeWBush- I disagree. Yes, in the case of the England tour, we did not receive enough warm up games, and the BCCI is partially responsible for that. However, the same does not apply to the Australia tour. Indian team played two warm up games spread across an entire week. Also, test specialists like Laxman, Dravid, etc. went to Australia AHEAD of time to get used to the conditions and practice playing. So, we can't hold player fatigue/lack of practice responsible for our failures in Australia. Keep in mind, when countries like Australia and South Africa tour India, they also never get more that 2-3 warm up games prior to a series. The playing field is even- India's batting just lacks temperament.

  • YoBro on January 3, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    Why is Pujara not in the team? Anybody knows? Is he injured or something? This is ridiculous. I still remember he showed a lot of application in playing us out to a draw on a sporting pitch in his last Test innings at Bangalore.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 3, 2012, 21:27 GMT

    @Raminder Bali, Lol....you cracked me up! 100th 100 is a curse. Loll... I was so sad since yesterday. Even your other post predicting some 250 notout for Ponting and 200+ for Clarke 600+ Australia and India some 40 for 6 with Dhoni and Ashwin at the crease - that post was a gem. I laughed so loud after reading that post that I had to keep coughing for a couple of minutes. Take a bow to Raminder Bali...Excellent posts. I think sadness brings the best humour in some people at times...

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 3, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    @KarnMamgain, I'm sorry man. I don't mean to insult Sachin. Just frustrated. Plain frustration at our torrid times and I just happened to recollect the moronic posts of rabid Dravid bashers about his strike-rate. Isn't it common sense that when a batsman faces the most number of balls during difficult passages of play, he actually does lot of service to his team by keeping his team-mates away from strike? Wonder what would happen to his team mates if Dravid takes a simple single and goes to the non-striker's end during difficult passages of play and/or goes back to the pavillion as is happening now?? NONE, I repeat NONE, are standing up to take India to respectability. Pain man. Deep pain. People will understand the importance of the luxury of Dravid at no.3 - shouldering arms or defending back to the bowler. Rahul 'The Priceless' Dravid. I'm not insulting Sachin and neither is that my intention. Just noting down the point that Ganguly keeps making about Sachin. Ganguly's spot on.

  • YoBro on January 3, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: The argument goes both ways. I contend that Dravid plays slowly for himself. He assumes no risk, dead bats no end, picks up the odd single or two ticking his score along. If everybody assumed that luxury, sure they'll all end up with OK averages, but make no contest of the match and infact lose it because the score won't tick along and eventually wickets will fall. His career strike rate (for not being an opener and for someone who made his deut after 1995) is abysmally low, considering the recent impetus provided by Sehwag and batsman friendly pitches everywhere.

    The others (VVS, Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin) are the ones trying to make a contest out of each game, by scoring at every opportunity selflessly without thinking about the risk of getting out or an upcoming landmark (like a certain 100th 100). Thanks to them we get Test results (you win some and lose some). The accolades go them for a good reason. Dravid can carry his bat through for himself.

  • JB77 on January 3, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    I still can't believe that Fletcher won this position. I'd be concerned if I were an Indian fan about what lies ahead with so many ageing players in the team and Fletcher running things. Fletcher showed towards the end of his run with England that he was unable to make hard calls when it came to dropping under-performing players (picking Giles and Jones in the 2006/2007 Ashes ahead of better players, allowing Vaughn to play on far too long, persisting with the overrated Flintoff and generally trying to keep the 2005 Ashes squad together when it was clear that those days had passed). Fletcher was great while England were on the way up, but when they were on the way down he had nothing to offer....and with 5 or more players likely to go in the next two years Indian fans should be worried.

  • Smithie on January 3, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    Last week Duncan you said your contract with the BCCI precluded press conferences. Now that Srinivasan has allowed you to front the journos, you come up with the BCCI party line on DRS. Intellectually bankrupt - but good for the bank balance I suppose. Bet you wish you had a Gary Pratt to give the Grand Pas' a breather from that irritating fielding caper. Press on and just think of the Rupees in the account!

  • RSBali on January 3, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    100th 100 is a curse......

  • on January 3, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - Picking up from the previous post. In RSA, perhaps, India's most challenging tour in recent history--yes, the quality of opposition was better there than it was in England; but in England, India were hideously submissive, except RD, of course--RD scored 120 runs in six innings; SRT, 346 in 6. These are all from last four years, man. If I go back to stats from 90s and early 2000s, I am positive that I will find a lot more to add. I want to clarify again: I like RD as much as I do SRT. There was a time when RD was far superior to SRT--2004-2006, to be exact. Like I did with SRT, I can get a bucketload of example where RD saved India, and thus I respect and admire both of them equally. Because the respect I have for RD (and all quality cricketers) I won't end with a hateful insult like you did (plus, I am not a troll), but I would say, even if RD himself sees baseless assertions like yours, he's be infuriated. As per opinions go, you have as much right to opine as I do.

  • GeorgeWBush on January 3, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    Just as in England, India are suffering from a lack of warm-up games. Unless they change the scheduling of their tours they will continue to struggle abroad.

  • on January 3, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    I am a huge fan of Dhoni for his character and attitude in general. But he somehow seems to loose his grip on captaincy. As Ian Chappell pointed out, he is very conservative these days when comes to field placings. The attacking instinct is not there. Clarke would have been gone last night where he inside edged to his pads and the ball lobbed in the air towards short leg. When its coming to close of play and the batsmen are looking to negate rather than score, there should be fielders all around the batsmen. I believe Sachin's dismissal on second days play(which was again, coming to close of play and knocked over for being defensive in mind) and Rahul dropping a sitter to relieve Hussey in second innings were the crucial points for us loosing the last test.

  • BravoBravo on January 3, 2012, 19:05 GMT

    I n this aricle, when I read the following. "India's slide in Test cricket has coincided with Fletcher's appointment as the coach of the side when Gary Kirsten left after the World Cup success. He was asked what has gone wrong." I t gave me a big laugh at the question posed to Mr. Fletcher. During Gary's time as coach IND was mostly playing with SL and BD and occasionally with AUS in their own (IND) backyard, while during Fletcher's time, it is IND second outing. The second outing is also not looking good for IND. Everyone knows that IND is Home Chumps not the World Champs. So why to bother and write such ordinary and deceiving question and asking the coach of IND cricket team to answer it. @sabee66: You are absolutely right.

  • on January 3, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    Indian Top order batsmen need to bat like MS Dhoni did today....57* was excellent in today's pressure situation. Play your natural game and instead being edgy and unsure, you need to put the pressure back on the bowlers. Quick 50s and 60s fro every batsmen can sure make up for a big total. Come on India! You know you have it.. Instead of going into your shell, play naturally like Tendulkar and Dhoni did today. Just need to self introspect a bit and you will be on fire! Cricinfo please publish.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 3, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    For those people who moronically keep harping about Dravid's strike-rate, they don't have a clue. It is during these difficult passages of play that Dravid takes most of the strike, exposing himself to the brutal spells, keeps the bowlers at bay and his team mates safe. Being the technically most accomplished it is only right to assume that he will have a better chance of survival. What if he takes a single of every ball, rotates strike and exposes his team mates? There's a method to his 'madness'. There's a role that is defined and set in stone for nearly 15 years. Shameful lack of knowledge on the part of rabid Dravid bashers. See, what happened when he gets out during a difficult passage of play! NONE, I repeat NONE, have the spine to stand up and take India to a respectability. Take a bow to Ganguly for giving an insight about Sachin's inability to manouver difficult passages of play. Not for no reason Dravid is called The Wall. If The Wall's broken, paper god's exposed. Period!

  • srikrishnabhagwan on January 3, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    Everytime Indian team plays abroad the story seems to be the same and people don't stop commenting.Flat track bullies don't learn. There is no need to since they make millions on the other flat track pitch Circus called IPL. Sehwag who recently created new one day record will not score that much in the all the innings put together in Australia. BCCI, please have a 2 test series against Bangladesh soon so that Sachin can get his 100th International Century and get the pressure off him. Wall is finally crumbling and no amount of concrete will cement it back together to the old glory. Most of the current Indian batsmen are very lucky. Compared to this,G.R.Vishwanath was very unlucky since he was dropped from Indian team for just one Bad Series(the series which saw the reverse swing the very first time) against superior Pak Bowling.

  • SanjeevHN on January 3, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Two more tests... Perth and Adelaide. Time to move on. Laxman, Dravid and hope Tendulkar. Great servants of the game and Thanks for their services and we Indians appriciate their contributions to the game. Please welcome Rohit Sharma, Rahane, Kohli and many more

  • dr.jha on January 3, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    full strength indian team vs zimbzbwe at centurion.... i bet india will loose...

  • Arrow011 on January 3, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    @ Anandh - You are spot on.

    @ Kavindevan - I feel no senior can be replaced as some immature comments suggest, look at Virat Kohli how he is faring as a great player in India, he is unable to score any runs in Aus, even Gautam is not doing well. VVS is ofcourse going through a very bad series so far but how can you replace him when there is no proper player? Sachin is the best we have for 22 years, the world envies him. Rahul had a great last year with 5 / 100s. Talk of seniors going away is really absurd & lacks substance. People say Rohit should come in, remember he is a minnow basher even in flat tracks of India his all runs have come against windies which is a minnow team &even in Windies he scored runs but you can never judge a player who scores against minnow team only. His scores against Saf, Eng & Aus are very very poor now you guys are talking of his Test debut in Aus.?

    Our openers should play well, Gambhir is a class act he should be persisted with, Ishat looks a worry

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 3, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Middle order needs lifting ? hahahah Duncan. How about you ask your middle order to RETIRE ?!! sounds more sensible that way. At 38 and 39 yrs of age.. Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman are an EMBARRASSMENT to the game. They better call it quits before people start humiliating them more openly after each successive failure. This nonsense only happens in India. I don't get it why Indians patronize their seniors ?! I fail to understand the logic behind it. Enough is ENOUGH ! I rather lose games with young blood who are energetic and show a lot of flair. Lastly... I also strongly believe Duncan Fletcher holds a big hand behind Indian losses recently. He's NOT the right coach for India. He's OLD and brings old ideas. India need a slightly younger coach like Tom Moody or Stephen Fleming. Gary Kirsten was the perfect fit. So a combination of the Indian seniors along with good OL' Duncan are responsible for India's embarrassing losses. This will continue for some time to come.

  • ahweak on January 3, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    When the batting unit has failed collectively to reach 300 in 16 of the 17 away innings, form or fortune is not likely to be the cause.

  • on January 3, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    it will be wrong to credit to gary kirsten too much for Indias rise to No.1 rankings in Test. The results that propelled there came under dravid-kumble captaincy and when they DID NOT have a coach. Wish Greg.Chapelle had better synchronizing with dravid to put his planning in action.

  • dosapati_anand on January 3, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    @crindo77: you said "Tendulkar looks like he is playing on a different pitch and Dravid looks geriatric". Well, can U tell me how Tendulkar and Dravid looked like during England series? Are 73,32,41 any better than three hundreds against the best bowling attack when the rest were clueless? And why have we forgotten so quickly that tendulkar's batting position was never shuffled in England though he was failing miserably when Dravid was forced to open and Laxman at one drop which greatly reduced the value of their wickets? And so many here are praising Chappell (too late). Can you all remember who was that "legend" among those who didn't get along with Chappell?

  • Love-Pak on January 3, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Come on you Guys, there is no excuse for so called world class indian batting line up failure again and again except one, they are just FLAT WICKET BULLIES. All indian batsman are lion on flat indian wickets but once they go overseas and play on some bouncy and seeming wicket with little bit movement then they become mouse. This fact have been proven again and again in the past so many times, recent example is their last England tour. Their misrey cotinues in Australian tour now. It is well known fact that all Indian batsmen are master of palying on dead indian pitches, most of their records are made on indian and subcontinent's flat tracks. You will see these flat wicket bullies will continue to suffer on overseas wicket until they start making conducive and supporting wickets in India.

  • dosapati_anand on January 3, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    It's amazing noone here is talking about Tendulkar's retirement who is a massive failure for the three test series (including this one). Instead they call for Laxman's retirement who is younger than Tendulkar, had reasonable success against west indies and won more matches for india than tendulkar ever could.

  • ashy2010 on January 3, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    Kavindeven.. I agree with your assessment on Kohli and fully a support the need to give him more chances. I have played competitive cricket and know how tough it is for a youngster to come good in test cricket. He needs chances and I think we have the time to give him a longer run to find dada's replacement. Coming to your comment about our legends. Mocking them at 40yr old daddies is not the right way. U need to be ashamed for treating our legends like that. 20odd years playing cricket for the nation is not an easy task. We have not achieved even 10% of what they have done in cricket. They deserve respect and they have earned the right to leave the game in their own terms when they decide its time. Coming to Dhoni. He is still a great captain. A captain is as good as his team. If the team does not play well the captain looks bad. Ponting is an example for that. He has had great success as captain barring the last 2 away series. too early to judge. Earlier captains have had worst tours

  • LuvThyGame on January 3, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    VVS has to go now.. he has been phenomenal but of all the batters he appears to be struggling the most.. his batting position is extremely crucial.. from where he should guide the lower order to a respectable total and also give support to a top order like a Sachin or Dravid on song... he has been the biggest let down.. in Eng and now in Aus... had we had good nos 5 and 6.. things would not have been so bad.. time has come for Rohit to get a chance... this may also inspire Virat as the competitve intensity between the two was great in the recent WI ODIs..

  • Ravishankara on January 3, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    I am afraid this Australian series is going to be the last series for the trinity of 'great' batsmen. Atleast one of them will not get selected and others will be coaxed to retire. We will not see Sachin scoring 100th century in international cricket.

  • amjadmayo on January 3, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    IPL badly damages Indian cricket specially test cricket. Batmans like Sachin, Laxam, Ghumbir out just like school boy on flat looking SCG pitch. They need more application in shot selection. If Indian batsman continues that type of form, then there is another white wash. If that not do that, then play only in IPL and dead Indian patches.

  • analyseabhishek on January 3, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    After the Greg Chappell fiasco, coaches are reluctant to be strict with the team. Gary Kirsten was fortunate- his stint coincided with all the players in great form. Poor Fletcher has to contend with over-the-hill superstars who refuse to call it a day

  • on January 3, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Why people here are so harsh on VVS... i still don't construe this guy saved us in many times.

  • on January 3, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Very very very disappointed with what I saw today-tough to believe that it's the same team that won us the WC hardly 9 months ago. True-most of that team comprised youngsters-but then again, I guess that its true that we are lions at home & dogs abroad. The Aussies have landed punch after punch in the noses of Dravid, Laxman & Gambhir & they are simply unable to fight back! I really feel that BCCI should only make this team tour Bangladesh, Zimbabwe & maybe Ireland-at least there we can hope for this team to compete.

    As for Dravid & Laxman-I salute you for what you did for the country. But, the sun is going down on you-please don't be so selfish & make way for the others. Kindly walk away in the sunset, or else be ready for a humiliating exit! (I really really hope that I am proven wrong here, for, like a true Indian Cricket fan, I am ever hopeful).

    Lose against anyone, but please be at your best against Pak & Aus-they are our enemies number 1 & 2 respectively!

  • cricketcrazy555 on January 3, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    It's time to look for new and young talent. Our Aging legends no more capable of scoring runs against fast, Bouncy @ swinging attack. Mr. Fletcher don't go on the names just request BCCI to select the team on current farm.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 3, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    Easier said than done. Dravid has been brought back to earth. Sachin is being made to continue his horrible and meaningless form/contributions from 2011 into 2012 and VVS is - horrible. So, in-form batsman losing it and out of form batsmen are continuing it. Our trouble seems to have gotten deeper than it was in England. No one is standing up now. Lol...I can't even cry. Just sick in my stomach...Horrible 'perennial spread the field' tactics from the Captain coupled with spray the ball on either side of the wicket by Ishant and Yadav....Lol....frustrating to say the least......

  • RSBali on January 3, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Duncun, please now send the Dhoni aunty, Ghambir aunty, Tendulkar aunty, Ashwin aunty back to India so that our knee-high-bounce tigers can concentrate on the game.

  • on January 3, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    according to me the problem with indian batting line up is tht there no seneio r player playing @ number 6 , why they r playing kholi at number 6. he is too young to handle the pressure tht a number 6 faces. so it is better to bring laxman at number 6 rather then trying out a young player . besides kholi lacks tht technique to play in test ckt, better bring rohit sharma.

  • 1_234 on January 3, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Category: Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L

    Overall: 459 112 144 1 202 0.77

    Home Series: 232 75 49 1 107 1.53

    Away Series: 227 37 95 0 95 0.38

  • on January 3, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Something doesnt add up. Since the second innings in melbourne, their body language has been really negative. You cannot be intimidated by some 20 something youngster who has played just 3 test matches. The big three of the team has faced a prime McGrath, Gillespie, Warne, Allan Donald...There seems to be a lack of application and common sense..If Ashwin can get 20 and 30 odd under such conditions, Sehwag, Gambhir and others can probably do better...India is a good team. What they lack is a sense of direction perhaps...Dhoni has been a below average captain, his field settings have lacked aggression..When you have your opposition 3 down, you get 6 men surrounding the batter eye ball to eye ball..you dont just let them take singles...

  • on January 3, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    The openers should play out 20-25 overs and don't expose the middle order so soon. Unless this happens, India are bound to crumble.

  • Romenevans on January 3, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Those who are bashing Kohli are clueless people who knows nothing about cricket. This bloke has only played 5-6 test matches, it takes time to develop fine cricketers for long period guys! They don't just come in the team and starts scoring tones of tuns. Look at shaun march and David warner, they are also getting out cheaply by our rookie fast bowlers at their backyard, but aussie management isnt talking about dropping them. Ian bell, Hashim Amla,. AB Develiers they all came in the scene just like Kohli is going through this period. He is a star in the making and he needs time to learn and develop his skills. For Christ sake he is just a 23 years old kiddie. Look at these 40 years old daddies struggling to score runs and you expect kohli to score triple hundred on 2nd test match he is playing in Australia? Grow up people and think about future. It is time for Oldies to gracefully retire and let the team go through the re-development process.

  • on January 3, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    selecting the right middle order is the first thing kohli shud he kicked out and rohit sharma included to give strength to middle order....not just media coverage

  • Romenevans on January 3, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    Middle order to lift? What about the top order gambhir and Sehwag who are supposed to see off the new ball so that middle order batsmen can cash in when the sun bake the wicket during the second session? When the coach his clueless and talking rubbish, then God save this Indian team. Gambhir and sehwag are the culprit and major cause of collapse! Hopeless gambhir always ready to poke it on the off stump away moving ball and then ready to go sit back the dressing room. When it comes to field he just stand at the short leg says "Nothing" to cheer up the bowlers. What a hopeless cricket he is.

  • MiddleStump on January 3, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Wow Fletcher is a gem! After a year and a string of 6 consecutive losses (going on 7) overseas he has discovered the cause of Indias woes. At this rate, he may(gasp!) even make a change in the team before this series is over. And Laxy better watch out. Fletcher may not have the patience to take him Down Under again in 2015.

  • on January 3, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    Good fortune Dunc? Your batsmen have enjoyed oodles of that this series! SRT's play-on today was one of the rare moments of bad luck! How many dropped catches have we seen off your batsmen and so many edges for 4?! Last test, Ashwin was all at sea but was lucky enough to get 3 consecutive 4s off edges! When 3 of the first 4 Aussie batsmen played on to the stumps and our opener was given LBW to a ball angling across the stumps, you call it good bowling but when your batsmen can't put up runs, it's called misfortune? Dhoni and Dunc - masters in hypocrisy!

  • Bharath.Narasimhan on January 3, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Guys please dont blame a coach,if the team plays very well you credit the team and you forget the coach.If the team looses in all sorts you directly blame a coach,thats pretty unfair.Our playing XI is the experinced side in the world as of now,so cant they regroup and sort it out instead we start the blame game.If dravid and laxman get their head straight we could come out of this debacle in a day or two.

  • on January 3, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Send ur batsmen to play domestic cricket to get form.......Pls give retirement to VVS.

  • sabee66 on January 3, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    India was accidentally world number 1 due to Umpires favours and IPL's money but truth is they got exposed Badly, i still support them coz of ageing players

  • on January 3, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    I think its about the Captaincy as well... which everyone is missing.. No. & Records says Dhoni is the best Captain.. India ever had.. but i think this is the area. where Ganguly was far better than Dhoni.. his fighting attitude.. always helped India.. his score of 141 at Melbourne in 02-03 .. had set the tone for the series.. & India Dominated that series.. Dhoni lacks that attitude.. under Ganguly India never had clean sweeps.. we saw the same thing happening in England.. at the start of the tour.. Dhoni said.. we didnt get time.. so didnt play well.. & that remain same for next 4 tests.. I am getting confident that India will not improve their chances of winning by Batting like this.. & with a Bowling line up which is just depended on One Bowler.. who still is not fully fit.. I am very disapointed by India's lack of fighting attitude.. Winning & losing is ok... but Keep losing in one way.. is disappointing..this is what IPL had done to Best Batting line up in the world. m sad :(

  • PallabBanerjee on January 3, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    I wonder how much can a coach contribute to a teams success or failure, he obviously can not play on behalf of them, therefore if India go down 4-0 in this series too, at the max, we may see Duncan Fletcher leaving the coaching assignment, but does that solve our batting woes while playing against quality fast bowlers on bouncy pitches? will that put an end to our mediocre bowling and fielding standards? I feel the selection committee and the BCCI has much more responsibility than a coach.

  • 360review on January 3, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    What about top-order? Why is Gambhir still on team? A Raina or Yuvraj would have been a better choice then him. Gambhir bring no other skill then batting to the team and he is struggling with his batting for a long time now. Give him a break. Has anyone read Sydney's newspaper from day before 2nd test? I'd say, Interesting way of intimidating Indian Team. Ozzie's never cease to amaze - even in the wrong way.

  • indianpunter on January 3, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    I said it here on Cricinfo yesterday that Gambhir would be out with next to nothing on the board. I was wrong. There was nothing on the board when he nicked one today.I cannot fathom how he played this test. ( one test too many and now the colt has bolted). Gambhir was never the most technically correct batsman, but he had the mental fortitude and the will to fight, which has now been replaced by complacency and denial ( "I am in fine form, only that i am not getting hundreds ") after he became the 2.4million man. As a die hard Indian fan, i get that sinking gut wrenching feeling that i got when we were playing in England few months ago. A 4-0 thrashing beckons. And, Laxman, thanks for the memories, but its time.

  • kitten on January 3, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    'It may be worthwhile to experiment with Rohit Sharma at the top of the order'. Anything is better than GG at the moment. He looks dazed to say the least. So let us put him out of his misery, and drop him, and get Rohit or Rahane instead. At least we will have a few runs on the board for the opening partnership. I feel Sehwag is affected when GG falls, and doesn't play his usual game. If his partner keeps one end up, Sehwag then plays his shots, and we all know what normally happens when India get a good start. Of course India has got few good starts, but have failed miserably and collapsed time and time again in the last few months. This never happened before. Maybe the time has come to say goodbye to a couple of the legends (would hate to do that, but drastic measures need to be taken). Dravid, and Laxman seem to be feeling their age, but Tendulkar is batting brilliantly, and I sincerely hope he gets the century he needs, and India start performing again. It's a New Year wish anyway.

  • dharmadasa on January 3, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Greg Chappel wanted to change the mentality of the Indian team because he could see what was needed. But no-one in India wanted the truth to be told. Complete arrogance, typical. So now Duncan Fletcher, the coach who led England to a 5-0 whitewash in AUS, gets a chance to repeat his formulas! Good luck Duncan, you'll need it!! When will India have the humility to listen and learn even though the message is a hard one? India must give away all this flat track bully boy culture and develop resilient, tough and seasoned cricketers who can play in all sorts of conditions. Only dust bowls at home, only one dimensional batting.

  • on January 3, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    fletcher should be axed he has not done anything for our team and also that he is highly hypocritical about DRS etc... please India are already a defensive team by nature, they have the talent all they need is a Coach that can instill that Killer Instinct so required in sports. We looked scared against the bowling attacks of Australia today and this collapse right after 2nd innings pf MCG.

  • on January 3, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    I Think the way youngsters like virat kohli are facing swinging deliveries outside the offstump it is a worrying sign for indian board. I think fab four(sachins and dravids) should retire and give more exposure to these younsters under foreign conditions. otherwise india will never a win a test match abroad bcoz players like virat kohli are vulnerable against swinging deliveries. and i can see one more whitewash for india this series.

  • AtticusFinch on January 3, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    My two bits would be for Fletcher to advise Dhoni on setting attacking fields for his good crop of bowlers and shed the negativity when playing abroad. He should ask Dhoni to show more intent on the field also. Else recommend to the BCCI for a new captain. All our ailments stem from the Captain. Make him a ODI Captain and have a new Captain/WK for the Test Team.

  • tragicmagic on January 3, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    Indian supporters, take a step back and swallow a chill pill. Its a very fine line between success and failure in cricket as we all know. If you actually analyze this series (so far!!!!) closely, the difference between the two teams is Ricky Ponting. Now, could there be a greater Irony :))

  • cric_its_best on January 3, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    i like to see them performing so good overseas

  • tragicmagic on January 3, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Indian supporters, take a step back and swallow a chill pill. Its a very fine line between success and failure in cricket as we all know. If you actually analyze this series (so far!!!!) closely, the difference between the two teams is Ricky Ponting. Now, could there be a greater Irony :))

  • cric_its_best on January 3, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    so sad!no one is out of form its just the conditions.if you take them to india ever1 will score 100.flat tracks bully

  • on January 3, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    C'mon Guys Pick yourselves UP!

  • satish619chandar on January 3, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Well Gauti cant bat now surely.. He fiddles every ball outside off and is simply a walking wicket for the opponents. .Rahane doesnt have a cover drive itself.. He will be attacked for sure by the Aussies.. Lets make Dravid open with Viru and send Virat at 3.. Virat used to bat at top order for most part of his ODI career and might feel a bit comfortable.. Sachin,Rohit and VVS in same order can follow.. Dont let VVS in unless 50th over.. Give the no.7 slot to Ashwin.. His batting is very composed and has a no nonsense approach to batting.. Dhoni at 8 can be a pinch hitter and the tail can support him a bit.. These are simply dramatic changes to be done(Except asking Dravid to open as he ll do anything team asks from him) but surely u need to do something dramatic when ur team is completely outplayed in 6 consecutive overseas match.. Lets try to surprise the opponents a bit with the batting order..

  • SachinIsAGoner on January 3, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    Poor Fletcher...he can expect some backfires from BCCI Team once he retires, like Chappel.

  • Meety on January 3, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    @cricnitz - all due respect, but "The killer instinct that became the hallmark of the Indian team.." is not a statement I would make in relation to the Indian cricket side. They have performed well to get the #1 ranking, but they've never had the killer instinct. Limp performances against the Windies & NZ, drawn series against the Saffas & troubled by Sri Lanka is hardly dominating. India's modus operandi is to make big scores & put the opposition under some scoreboard pressure. Killer instinct is when taking a wicket you got all out to get another 2 or 3 quickly.

  • keshav021 on January 3, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    First of all, all credits to Australian Bowlers... they just bowled in right areas... I could see this series going in the same direction as England series. Though as an indian fan still hope to turn things around for Indians, I don't see any fight in batsman or bowlers... If this continues for the second test match as well than i'm sure some players will be injured before the third test. :):) As said by fletcher, its the mindset of indians that has to change. They just have to play their natural game and need some luck as well :):). Hopefully they will be come back, else another whitewash on the cards :(:(

  • serious-am-i on January 3, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    Duncan kindly focus on the intensity of the team this team desperately lacks it. At times it feels like these guys are playing a charity match with shoulders down. It would be interesting to see Kohli given a chance to open with Sehwag and Rohit coming in no.6 . Kohli may not be the best test opener around but at least he can gain experience with the opening slot on how to face in these conditions.

  • Rags57 on January 3, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    I like his positivity. There is only so much a coach can do. Gary Kirsten was a great success as a coach but did not have to coach the team on tours to England and Australia (two of the toughest places to win a series). Gambhir needs to go back to domestic cricket, get some confidence and then come back. We need a technically solid opener - even Rahane is more of an attacking one day kind of opener. We need the likes of Aakash Chopra and Wasim Jaffer to lend some solidity at the top. Abhinav Mukund could have been persisted with but he is not there now. It may be worthwhile to experiment with Rohit Sharma at the top of the order.

  • on January 3, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Fletcvher is not Gary to get the killer instinct in Team Ind :(

  • ssenthil on January 3, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    If you have a Middle order as out of form as this, don't expect any runs. Drop Gauti, Laxman and Virat. Replace them with Rahane, Rohit and Vinay and ask Dhoni to bat at No.7, Ashwin at No.7 and Vinay at no.8.

  • on January 3, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    We want Lax, Wall and Sachin all to fire together in second innings... it would be a remarkable comeback from what we see here.

  • on January 3, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    what about gambhir and shewag .. if they play the middle over will click.. seems they are in IPL mood

  • neerajprasher on January 3, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    why you picked the same time ?Gambhir out Rahane in , Kohli out sharma in,Ishant out Mithun in.if they are not performing you should picked them for SCG TEST.

  • on January 3, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Oh god absolutely atrocious cricket by india since fletcher came in !! India never scored 400 in the past 12 innings away !! Add today's its no.13 !! Vvs laxman need to be dropped asap not even.one tym.he scored a double digit score frm padt 6 away matches imho. Instead people are blaming kohli ?? Great atleast he touched a doubke digit and he will improve as the tym goes.bring in rohit for 3rd test in place of laxman if u want to see a change otherwise i dont see even india batting till day 3 !! Rohit can bowl off breaks too and is a great fielder laxman cant do both .he isjust gud on indian pitches.and past he had gud records on aus pitches but now he doesnt luk tohave that advantage.rest him or drop him bring the changes immediately otherwise another white wash on the cards !! No offence intended just stating the facts .

  • Siddiee on January 3, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    We all know whats going wrong Duncan. If plan A doesnt work then there has to be plan B. What about trying to get the basics right and make an effort to spend time in the middle when fancy shots arent productive ?

  • on January 3, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Perhaps the most frustraiting thing about cricket for teams in the SH is that India is going to get 4 chances at playing australia, and at this rate will be soundly thrashed in all 4. However, the series against South Africa and New Zealand were nothing but brilliant, but so frustraitingly short. WHAT A SHAME! ):

  • on January 3, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    India..Is now the worst touring team again...after having some great years in away tests we are back to what we do best...Lose test badly away and win comfortably at home...

  • Rags57 on January 3, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    You have to admire the man's positivity but there is only so much a coach can do. It is arguable if Gary could have helped India do better in England or Australia. While Gary was a major contributor to India becoming the number 1 in test cricket, he never had to coach when India played in England or Australia. Let us admit one thing - Laxman's reflexes have become much slower than they were three years ago so let us not expect him to succeed on pacy, bouncy and seaming wickets as he did during his previous visits to Australia. This may be true partly with Dravid as well. His loss of form and dropping of catches in the slip region all have to do with the age factor. India needs to start inducting replacements before too long else face the ignominy of being beaten even by lower ranked teams.

  • DrSunilSharma on January 3, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Indian test cricket team needs bit of a batting reshuffel. Let Dravid open with Sahwag , promote VVS to first down, second down Tenduklar, third down Kohli, fourth down Dhoni, fifth down Ashwin, six down Gambhir, Seventh down Zaheer , eight down Sharma ninth down Yadav.

    Indian should put their best feet forward. Gauti needs bit of confidence and will do well for six down. Team India is a Champion team and will make turn around very soon.

  • crindo77 on January 3, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Good mood in the dressing room = 191 all out on a batting beauty and 4 ducks. After all that pre-match tough talk about how early it is to write them off. Really Duncan? Or is the mood good because of the millions of IPL dollars and endorsements? If team India are expecting Bangalore and Nagpur pitches in Down Under, they have it coming. I have resigned myself to 4-0 thrashing right after the 2nd day at MCG. Sachin Tendulkar is as usual looking as if he is playing on a different pitch from the rest ; Virender Sehwag looks as if he's playing on a different planet. The ' Wall' and 'very very special' are looking geriatric and Gambhir's dead stare and hopping and shuffling at the crease is reminiscent of , I never thought I'd say this, Devang Gandhi . Remember him? I'm just waiting for Zak's hamstring to go; Vinay Kumar will probably make a better opener than what we have. And he will be the secret weapon the Indian selectors have planned to unleash upon the Australians. Vande Mataram.

  • maddy20 on January 3, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    As dismal the batting performance is one winders if fletcher's flawed methods are a part of the problem. Ever since Kirsten left, things have gone downhill pretty fast. I was simply outraged and disappointed by the pathetic bating performance. It was almost like a repeat of the second innings at MCG. Batsmen feeling outside off to deliveries that could have been easily left alone. Its time for Laxman, Gambhir and Dravid to bid adieu to cricket or kicked out!

  • prashkannam on January 3, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    KEEP DREAMING MR FLETCHER!!

  • cricnitz on January 3, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    The Border -Gavaskar trophy was closely fought one till this tour. I just get the feeling , it will be one sided this time. Ind vs Aus ...Agneepath series..hahahahahaha

  • Cric-opinion on January 3, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Duncan somehow get these boys to score runs. It's depressing to see them being hunted down like this. Before it gets beyond repair get them on track please

  • on January 3, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Gambir and Kohli, Laxman should be out of team now.!!!!

  • Chris_P on January 3, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Well spoken Duncan, at least yuo are man enough to offer credit where it is due. Your guys may have struggled the past 6 away tests, but at least they have faced outstanding bowling on each occasion.

  • cricnitz on January 3, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    The killer instinct that became the hallmark of the Indian team , is missing . The attitude is what is needed to challenge the opposition . Please get that attitude and intention back...plssss

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  • cricnitz on January 3, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    The killer instinct that became the hallmark of the Indian team , is missing . The attitude is what is needed to challenge the opposition . Please get that attitude and intention back...plssss

  • Chris_P on January 3, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Well spoken Duncan, at least yuo are man enough to offer credit where it is due. Your guys may have struggled the past 6 away tests, but at least they have faced outstanding bowling on each occasion.

  • on January 3, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Gambir and Kohli, Laxman should be out of team now.!!!!

  • Cric-opinion on January 3, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Duncan somehow get these boys to score runs. It's depressing to see them being hunted down like this. Before it gets beyond repair get them on track please

  • cricnitz on January 3, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    The Border -Gavaskar trophy was closely fought one till this tour. I just get the feeling , it will be one sided this time. Ind vs Aus ...Agneepath series..hahahahahaha

  • prashkannam on January 3, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    KEEP DREAMING MR FLETCHER!!

  • maddy20 on January 3, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    As dismal the batting performance is one winders if fletcher's flawed methods are a part of the problem. Ever since Kirsten left, things have gone downhill pretty fast. I was simply outraged and disappointed by the pathetic bating performance. It was almost like a repeat of the second innings at MCG. Batsmen feeling outside off to deliveries that could have been easily left alone. Its time for Laxman, Gambhir and Dravid to bid adieu to cricket or kicked out!

  • crindo77 on January 3, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Good mood in the dressing room = 191 all out on a batting beauty and 4 ducks. After all that pre-match tough talk about how early it is to write them off. Really Duncan? Or is the mood good because of the millions of IPL dollars and endorsements? If team India are expecting Bangalore and Nagpur pitches in Down Under, they have it coming. I have resigned myself to 4-0 thrashing right after the 2nd day at MCG. Sachin Tendulkar is as usual looking as if he is playing on a different pitch from the rest ; Virender Sehwag looks as if he's playing on a different planet. The ' Wall' and 'very very special' are looking geriatric and Gambhir's dead stare and hopping and shuffling at the crease is reminiscent of , I never thought I'd say this, Devang Gandhi . Remember him? I'm just waiting for Zak's hamstring to go; Vinay Kumar will probably make a better opener than what we have. And he will be the secret weapon the Indian selectors have planned to unleash upon the Australians. Vande Mataram.

  • DrSunilSharma on January 3, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Indian test cricket team needs bit of a batting reshuffel. Let Dravid open with Sahwag , promote VVS to first down, second down Tenduklar, third down Kohli, fourth down Dhoni, fifth down Ashwin, six down Gambhir, Seventh down Zaheer , eight down Sharma ninth down Yadav.

    Indian should put their best feet forward. Gauti needs bit of confidence and will do well for six down. Team India is a Champion team and will make turn around very soon.

  • Rags57 on January 3, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    You have to admire the man's positivity but there is only so much a coach can do. It is arguable if Gary could have helped India do better in England or Australia. While Gary was a major contributor to India becoming the number 1 in test cricket, he never had to coach when India played in England or Australia. Let us admit one thing - Laxman's reflexes have become much slower than they were three years ago so let us not expect him to succeed on pacy, bouncy and seaming wickets as he did during his previous visits to Australia. This may be true partly with Dravid as well. His loss of form and dropping of catches in the slip region all have to do with the age factor. India needs to start inducting replacements before too long else face the ignominy of being beaten even by lower ranked teams.