India in Sri Lanka 2010 July 26, 2010

India should strengthen bowling on batting tracks

Stats do the talking: Sri Lanka post a colossal 520 for 8 after being reduced to 393 for 7
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Stats do the talking: Sri Lanka post a colossal 520 for 8 after being reduced to 393 for 7. India, on the other hand, lose the last five wickets for a paltry 26 runs in the first innings. Once again, five middle-order wickets pack up in 36 runs in the second innings -appalling figures that sum up the Indian tragedy in Galle.

Was it the Indian batting that failed twice in Galle or the bowling that allowed the Sri Lankans to post a mammoth total or, perhaps both? What exactly was the reason behind India's dismal show in the first Test? While armchair criticism is rampant at this time, a bit of introspection, not misplaced criticism, would do us a world of good.

In my view, we started the first Test match on the wrong foot. The team's endeavour, especially the No.1 team in the world, should be to win the match regardless of the toss and the conditions. Since you need 20 wickets to win a Test match, it's imperative to tighten up the bowling unit before the start. While picking the playing XI, one must take into account the track (which would always be batsman friendly in the sub-continent) and the possibility of losing the toss (which means bowling first).

Did we have a bowling department convincing enough to dismiss the strong Sri Lankan batting twice? If the honest answer to the question is a No, it rests the issue. We hoped that we would win the toss, bat first and post a huge total, make Sri Lanka bat twice and 'perhaps' win the Test match. But as we now know, Test matches are not won on naive presumptions.

Let's have a look at how the first Test panned out. The bowling looked quite listless to start with which was perhaps along the expected lines. You don't expect an attack comprising a debutant, a rookie and a bowler making a comeback of sorts to run riot. Even the senior-most bowler was under the weather and perhaps wasn't a 100% fit.

Just to add to India's woes the track was flat and MS Dhoni called incorrectly. While the fast bowlers redeemed themselves somewhat and brought India back into the game, their slower counterparts failed to step up. Sri Lanka's lower order made merry and the No.8 and 9 batsmen notched up their highest first class scores. Our bowling had run out of steam by the time the tail arrived.

Yes, the famed batting line-up failed twice in Galle, but had the Sri Lankan tail not wagged as much, we wouldn't have fallen short of the follow-on mark. No, I'm not trying to defend the batting breakdown, but only saying that even if India batted better, we could have only salvaged a draw. For batting can either set up or save a Test match but rarely win it for the team.

While saving a Test match is an art, you must always plan to win. Despite the twin failure, I'd say that our strength lies in batting and hence can provide cushion to the bowling department. India must play bowlers who can take 20 wickets and if four bowlers don't look resounding enough, there's no harm in playing five. In any case, Dhoni at No.6 is as good a batsman as you could ever get at that position. By sacrificing one batsman you'd put some real pressure on the batting line-up and undoubtedly they'd respond positively.

It's only wise to strengthen your bowling on good batting surfaces, just like you bolster the batting on surfaces which assist the bowlers.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anonymous on August 7, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    Praveen kumar is the best fast bowler India currently has and Harbhajan singh should only be given chance to play in test match when India plays at Home.

  • GD on August 5, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    The talk of producing a certain type of pitch to favour x, y or z is not going to help. Better there be a range of pitches in any country so that all players can benefit at different times. I liked the idea of Aus v Pak in England. Whether its workable longer term is debatable but it produced results that probably wouldn't have been the same in Aus or indeed Pakistan.

  • dharshi on August 2, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    true....how can they depend on thier batting line up??? evn if ts great we saw wat hapnd in the first test match......indians doesn;t deserve to be the 1st in the world....sl should become first...m seriuos

  • Jeon on August 2, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    If Indian cricket Mgmt is really focussed on coaching fast bowlers than we have to consider Pakistan bowling coaches and import some gully bowlers from Pakistan and train them here(As S.African players are doing it for England). Sack the present selectors and groom better bowlers like Mithun,Ishant, I.pathan, Munaf,Powar,Mishra for betterment of Indian cricket.

  • Nakul Barfa on July 31, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    People should only concern about how good he plays and how well he maintains his performance in the game!! How much he scores and how he loves Cricket!!! People should also see that the amount of simplicity and respect he shows in his nature and behaviour!!!! People who talk about Sachin's age are already very old from their mind because a true and young Indian would proud of Sachin for playing so amazingly in all the formates of the game. Instead of talking of about Sachin's age people should talk about his achievements, glory, class, technique and the consistent performance! The most important thing about Sachin is he is always on the ground! He never talk, never said anything to any player in the world, its his bat who give the talking.

    Lets talk something about Cricket and Sachin - First of all what do you need to be a good batsman and player???

    He is the best judger of the run which is very very imp and he also run very fast even better than other young players around the worl

  • tombaan on July 29, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    For reasons unknown Murli and Pawar the best spinners have never gotten their day under sun. The next series is in INdia and Singh will claim some wickets and then say media is targeting me. Then off we go to africa with him again and a OJha or Mishra. Then again in India thus it goes....

  • V.Sivaram on July 29, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Some ex cricketers r advocating the 5 man bowling attack but where r the quality bowlers in this team-What is the use of adding an extra bowler who is not good enough to take wickets ?

  • Dani Boi on July 29, 2010, 2:36 GMT

    India will never hold on to that # 1 spot in test rankings, simply because they do not have a good fast bowling attack. The focus has to be on swing bowling, the speed will come! The problem is that India focuses too much on batting, in order to get good fast bowlers you need to change the lifeless wickets in India. What is the point of making spinning wickets if you can't produce quality match winning spinners (sorry Harbajan is overrated). Make them suit fast bowling, that way, you will produce fast bowlers and also batsman who can attack on the back foot and play the short ball(like the Australians). India for sure has talented fast bowlers which have not been found or simply will not be allowed to play due to their cast and family position. Kamran Khan is fast and can swing the ball, why not draft him into the team???

  • anonymous on July 28, 2010, 23:47 GMT

    Why do we have Harbajan in the side. He performs once in 25 matches, he has at most helped win 2-3 matches in his career. Is he in the side because he is the best in India? If yes, we can imagine the state of bowling in the country.

  • Rajaraman on July 28, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    The Indians never have a game plan for all situations. They dont even try when the conditions are loaded against them, leave alone succeeding. When you play with six batsmen and four bowlers, your batting unit is supposed to defend whatever total has been given away by the bowlers. But you should also look at the fact that the Indians have never fared well in a overseas tour opening game. They always do well to come from behind and make amends in the subsequent games. But all said and done, unless the ICC takes steps to give the bowlers an edge in terms of pitches and technical rules (like bouncers etc) people will lose interest in test matches. Nobody likes to see high scoring dull test matches, even if it is the home team which is dominating.

  • Anonymous on August 7, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    Praveen kumar is the best fast bowler India currently has and Harbhajan singh should only be given chance to play in test match when India plays at Home.

  • GD on August 5, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    The talk of producing a certain type of pitch to favour x, y or z is not going to help. Better there be a range of pitches in any country so that all players can benefit at different times. I liked the idea of Aus v Pak in England. Whether its workable longer term is debatable but it produced results that probably wouldn't have been the same in Aus or indeed Pakistan.

  • dharshi on August 2, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    true....how can they depend on thier batting line up??? evn if ts great we saw wat hapnd in the first test match......indians doesn;t deserve to be the 1st in the world....sl should become first...m seriuos

  • Jeon on August 2, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    If Indian cricket Mgmt is really focussed on coaching fast bowlers than we have to consider Pakistan bowling coaches and import some gully bowlers from Pakistan and train them here(As S.African players are doing it for England). Sack the present selectors and groom better bowlers like Mithun,Ishant, I.pathan, Munaf,Powar,Mishra for betterment of Indian cricket.

  • Nakul Barfa on July 31, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    People should only concern about how good he plays and how well he maintains his performance in the game!! How much he scores and how he loves Cricket!!! People should also see that the amount of simplicity and respect he shows in his nature and behaviour!!!! People who talk about Sachin's age are already very old from their mind because a true and young Indian would proud of Sachin for playing so amazingly in all the formates of the game. Instead of talking of about Sachin's age people should talk about his achievements, glory, class, technique and the consistent performance! The most important thing about Sachin is he is always on the ground! He never talk, never said anything to any player in the world, its his bat who give the talking.

    Lets talk something about Cricket and Sachin - First of all what do you need to be a good batsman and player???

    He is the best judger of the run which is very very imp and he also run very fast even better than other young players around the worl

  • tombaan on July 29, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    For reasons unknown Murli and Pawar the best spinners have never gotten their day under sun. The next series is in INdia and Singh will claim some wickets and then say media is targeting me. Then off we go to africa with him again and a OJha or Mishra. Then again in India thus it goes....

  • V.Sivaram on July 29, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Some ex cricketers r advocating the 5 man bowling attack but where r the quality bowlers in this team-What is the use of adding an extra bowler who is not good enough to take wickets ?

  • Dani Boi on July 29, 2010, 2:36 GMT

    India will never hold on to that # 1 spot in test rankings, simply because they do not have a good fast bowling attack. The focus has to be on swing bowling, the speed will come! The problem is that India focuses too much on batting, in order to get good fast bowlers you need to change the lifeless wickets in India. What is the point of making spinning wickets if you can't produce quality match winning spinners (sorry Harbajan is overrated). Make them suit fast bowling, that way, you will produce fast bowlers and also batsman who can attack on the back foot and play the short ball(like the Australians). India for sure has talented fast bowlers which have not been found or simply will not be allowed to play due to their cast and family position. Kamran Khan is fast and can swing the ball, why not draft him into the team???

  • anonymous on July 28, 2010, 23:47 GMT

    Why do we have Harbajan in the side. He performs once in 25 matches, he has at most helped win 2-3 matches in his career. Is he in the side because he is the best in India? If yes, we can imagine the state of bowling in the country.

  • Rajaraman on July 28, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    The Indians never have a game plan for all situations. They dont even try when the conditions are loaded against them, leave alone succeeding. When you play with six batsmen and four bowlers, your batting unit is supposed to defend whatever total has been given away by the bowlers. But you should also look at the fact that the Indians have never fared well in a overseas tour opening game. They always do well to come from behind and make amends in the subsequent games. But all said and done, unless the ICC takes steps to give the bowlers an edge in terms of pitches and technical rules (like bouncers etc) people will lose interest in test matches. Nobody likes to see high scoring dull test matches, even if it is the home team which is dominating.

  • ABtheSelector on July 28, 2010, 15:07 GMT

    To win a test match we need bowlers to take 20 wickets and replace those living on past glories. The following should be there- On a fast pace friendly/green top: Sehwag, Gambhir, Badrinath, Tendulkar, Pujara, Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Harbajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Ashish Nehra. Keep Dravid, Murli Vijay, Raina as standby batsmen & Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel as the bowlers.

    On a flat/spin track: Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Pujara, Dhoni, Harbajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha. Keep Badrinath, Murli Vijay, Raina as standby batsmen & Piyush Chawla, Irfan Pathan & Nehra as the standby fast bowlers.

  • Kashyap on July 28, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    India should have played with 5 bowlers,as india have vastly experienced batting line up.The pitch prepares is too batsmen friendly and hence shall turn the match to the side which bats first.I think India should look for a bowling all rounder. After Kapil dev, India have not produced a fast bowling allrounder

  • Sriram on July 28, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    On what basis was Munaf picked, he has never been the go to man when our main bowlers were absent, a wise man would have either picked Vinay kumar as he was the second best last season and has a nippy pace or RP for the variety be brings from a diffent angle. If Munaf was picked on past credits, so can RP come in. Selectors seem to have no plan, it was good to send Jayadev and Umesh as net bowlers, in that case why not send RP as well.

  • zeeshanshah on July 28, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    Team indian always struggle with lack of pace bowlers. The dont even a single world class fast bowler whom they can depend unlike Pak team who produced bunch of pace bowlers from last two decades. their current bowling attack is the strongest one if compare with the other teams. Everyone know that indian team can perform in india only, sorry to say on "dead and flat indian wickets" thats why most of their player make runs on these kind of flat wickets. If india will continue with these attack then their WC 2011 chance is very light. They will only have the home crowd advantage just with the home crowd they can not win the Word tittle. For PAK they need a very strong batsman in middle order with umer akmal if they are serious for the WC 2011. good luck for for both IND and PAK for 2011 CUP.

  • sumitcute on July 28, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    I just wana ask: HOW CAN A TEAM BE NO 1 WITH ONLY BATSMEN IN ITS LINE UP?? The team that Dhoni has picked up is not fair.. where is Irfan, Murli Kartik, Ajit Agarkar, Nehra, Balaji, Rudrapratap singh? Atleast these can be better than the current bowling attack. Bhajji is a big failure now.. a lot of expetation frm him. dont know why team managemant & Dhoni always pick Ishant in his squad I alwaya think Dhoni is a good player but when it comes 2 his captaincy he never pic a fair team.. give chance 2 another youngster or any of the former players like Irfan, Murli Kartik, Ajit Agarkar, Nehra, Balaji, Rudrapratap singh.. I think Dhoni wish 2 drop Sachin But not Ishant

  • Neel on July 28, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    Just like US not being able to produce winning soccer team, India can not create quality fast bowlers. India had great run for the last 3-4 years with the help of awesome batting line up and once in a century bowling performance, the probability of that happening is very low anymore. The best thing is for India is to retire from cricket at the top just like any wise cricketer and concentrate on Kho-kho, Kabaddi, Atya-Patya, Handi-fodi, Carrom, chess, shooting, archery and such games. Tendulkar-Sehwag and India should all retire at the same time from cricket and the time is immediately.

  • crickeyt on July 28, 2010, 0:23 GMT

    I am not convinced by this article, Aakash. Agreed that the team selection was defensive and the bowlers denied us a chance to win. But it is the batsmen who denied us even a draw. Nothing except a lack of application explains a batting collapse, twice, in wonderful batting conditions. The blame for defeat lies squarely on the batsmen's shoulders and it is a disservice to apportion all of it to a rookie bowling attack.

  • anonymous on July 27, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    we cant change our climate and food habit... Our best chance is to win on dustbowls at home.. Indian cricket is fooling everybody ....

  • Jacob on July 27, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    India should try Irfan Pathan and bring back Balaji. Also try Ashsh Nehra. If small countries like west Indies, Australia can produce great fast bowlers,then India with Population of 100 cror people why can't peoduce some good fast bowlers. I think if they cant then they should stop playing cricket.

  • Noty Boy on July 27, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    The fact of the matter is India should have played the match with 4 bowlers period! If the above statement doesn't make sense to you literally then I don't want to say anything more...

  • nishant on July 27, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    unfortunately I cannot think of 4 Indian bowlers playing currently (or 5 bowlers for that matter) who would be capable of taking 20 Sri-LANKAN wickets i Sri Lanka. Can you really??

  • Baiju Nair on July 27, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    @ Madhusudan Rao "can India run through an Australian side like the Pakistan team did last week? Doubtful"

    Haven't you watched Sreesanth and Zaheer skittle out South Africa for 81 runs in Johannesburg in 2006....? So don't say India doesn't have good bowlers. If Sreesanth, Ishant, Munaf and RP Singh are nurtured and groomed correctly by the BCCI, they are the answer mate. No one has doubts in their abilities as they have showcased it in different occassions, agrred they are not consistent and injury prone. But that is the problem of BCCI not looking after them properly. Who knows what these guys are doing at the Gym...do BCCI have a qualified physical trainer for the fast bowlers....??? Does anyone bothers about their diets...I doubt....these are the things that has to be in order first.

  • Ranjit on July 27, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Even though India are a good side they really are not the no.1 team in the world,in spite of the statistics.Our team do not have the consistency of performance and the mental toughness of the Australians or the South Africans

  • Ravi chokkalingam on July 27, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    India did a big blunder in not going for additional bowler in the second test.They should have got the bowling reinforcement after the debacle in first test.They have so many talents available and unlike England /Aus/SA, SL is geographically very near and the additinal bowler could have reached in no time. Very ackward to see the #1 team toiling very badly without the right combination of team. Shame. Really shame.....

  • Sanjeev on July 27, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    Sometimes I read these articles and am at a complete loss how a reviewer / editor allows stuff like this to be published. This one says in about 8 paragraphs "India should pick better bowlers on dead surfaces". As if there are terrific bowlers just waiting to be picked who were deliberately omitted - isn't the whole problem that we don't have better bowlers who are fit to play test cricket? Doesn't every international team pick its best bowlers capable of taking 20 wickets as quickly as possible on ANY surface, not just dead ones?

    Of course cleverly, the 8 paragraphs lack a single name - of a bowler Akash thinks might have worked better. And if your point is "India should produce better bowlers", thats the equivalent of saying "the US should produce better soccer players"...

  • sundar on July 26, 2010, 23:38 GMT

    look at this test match and compare that to aus vs. pak at headingley. both test matches generated results, but the kind of results speak volumes about the track preparation and its effect on 5-day cricket. I mean, if you are playing for 5 days, the least you can do to make the match interesting is prepare balanced wickets (bat vs. ball). All this talk about saving Test matches with pink balls and D/N cricket makes no sense if you prepare lifeless pitches such as SL.

    your point is fair but i think Dhoni plays safe in always going with 4 full-time bowlers. I think the reasoning is "play to your strengths" and he may be right in that regard. So even if the bowlers don't take 20 wickets and it is a run-fest, Dhoni is counting on the batsmen to save the match, which they did not. So we lost the test match because our strong batting unit is not as strong as one might think :).

  • JP on July 26, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    Agree!!

  • ratee on July 26, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    Man how can you win any match without a good bowling attack.

    India cannot remain a number one team without a good bowling attack.

  • ratee on July 26, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    Man how can you win any match without a good bowling attack.

    India cannot remain a number one team without

  • Naresh Patel on July 26, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    Akash Chopra's analysis is always good. Keep up the good work. Honestly speaking you would make a good coach. I agree with comments that India's bowling falls short on many occasions. We need at least one fast bowler to be unearthed in India. Our "fast bowlers" are often laughed at that they are medium pacers by teams playing against us. We need a good, strong, tall athlete who can genuinely bowl fast consistently over long periods. Right now Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth our stock of fast bowlers. I once heard of a raw bowler from the "gumra" who worked as a garbage collector and played cricket and could bowl good anf fast. What happened to him?

  • Nitin on July 26, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    Extra bowler or no extra bowler ... I think it does not matter for India. We do not have quality bowlers. Even if you will add 2 more bowlers of toothless quality, it will not do any good.

    Ishant will be long gone. Cricinfo should correct his statistics about him. He is a medium fast bowler. Where he is mentioned as Fast bowler.

  • James Bond 007 on July 26, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Indian bowling is always like this, not so great. Indian batting is very strong yet fail to click. I consider this more a batting failure rather than a bowling failure. Indian so called "gods" need to come out and play as a champion; otherwise these Sri Lankans will dominate in 2nd test match as they dominated in 1st match. Get some bowling lessons from Wasim Akram, or see video tapes of Pakistani fast bowling 2A's or 2W's. Also, bring Arfan Pathan back.

  • Anonymous on July 26, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    Akash, What choice of bowlers is available in India, a Nation with 1.1 Billion people and which claims Cricket as their National sport? Harbhajan & Sharma, the most experienced bowlers bowled worse than Novices, Ojha & Mithun. The Selectors do not have a plan or vision in developing bowlers - select Jadeja, Y.Pathan, Vinay Kumar, Dinda, Ashwin etc in one series and then go to totally new bowlersin the next. This is selection by Fancy. Irfan Pathan, Powar & Murali Karthik have been discarded for unknown reasons. Even bringing Kumble back is better than the present lot of spin bowlers.BCCI & the Selectors need a plan, vision and foresight for the future of Indian Bowlers. The current lot should be fired and we need visionaries at the helm.

  • Yash on July 26, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    "Dhoni at No.6 is as good a batsman as you could ever get at that position". Sorry I don't agree. Laxman was better.

  • Madhusudan Rao on July 26, 2010, 10:59 GMT

    Good one Aakash. But, I cannot imagine a bowling side that can take wickets for India, forget on batting tracks. Even in conditions suited to the bowlers, can India run through an Australian side like the Pakistan team did last week? Doubtful.

    We seem to take bowlers for granted, irrespective of their performance. What has a Harbhajan done of late, especially in test matches? Are we retaining him just on the basis of 300 wickets? We can then bring back Anil Kumble out of retirement - for he has more than Bhajji.

    Also, what options do we have if we play 5 bowlers? A Munaf Patel, whose attitude is questionable. Amit Mishra, who has lost his form so mysteriously!! No wonder, MS Dhoni has more hopes on Sehwag's golden arm.

    But seriously, once this series is over, everyone will forget this series and go on to the next one. Is there any long-term planning or strategy (the word seems out of place here) being thought by the Board? Sorry.

  • Rizwan Younus on July 26, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    Salam to all. I think look First things first congratulations murali for your achievement 800 test wickets is incredible whats amazing about you is that your a better human being then you are a bowler and thats some achievement you will be missed. This test match was lost during the herath malinga partnership yes indias bowlers struggle and do need to play 5 bowlers however bold decisions have to be made and one of them is dropping baju. Against South Africa in calcutta he bowled well but these performances are too few and far between his bowling average is going in the wrong direction and i believe that he is way to comfortable in the team. The management need to drop him and send a message he will come back a different bowler. Well played sri lanka for the first test. May the best team win in the second. Khuda Hafiz.

  • harish on July 26, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Dhoni's Decision is not good.Ishant performed wrost in last game.then he selected him agin in the second test.Why we try munaf patel.

  • Anonymous on July 26, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    None of the bowlers in current indian team looks like match winning. even young one who get first opportunities are not performing. , We are so called No.1 team in world and strugle like this. why indian always under perform to their potential. look at Harbajan having so much of experiece must lead from the front,but he is very disappointing. india continued same pace attack for 2nd test.. if you cannot play Nehra, Munaf and other stock bowlers why did you choose them..just for fun trip???

  • Mahek on July 26, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    What good is a fifth bowler if he's just as bad as the others? Quantity cannot make up for lack of quality, or maybe in your world it does.

  • faizal on July 26, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    why should selector not take Irfan pathan he is a good alrounder if Ms Dhoni or team coach gave him chance to bowl with new bowl he might be back in track.We saw what our new bowler doing in second test also.i sure i lost this test also.we dont take quality bowler its bad for indian cricket.why should Munaf out for second test.

  • Homer on July 26, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    Is that why you chose to bat at home on a green top in the Md Nissar Trophy?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Homer on July 26, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    Is that why you chose to bat at home on a green top in the Md Nissar Trophy?

  • faizal on July 26, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    why should selector not take Irfan pathan he is a good alrounder if Ms Dhoni or team coach gave him chance to bowl with new bowl he might be back in track.We saw what our new bowler doing in second test also.i sure i lost this test also.we dont take quality bowler its bad for indian cricket.why should Munaf out for second test.

  • Mahek on July 26, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    What good is a fifth bowler if he's just as bad as the others? Quantity cannot make up for lack of quality, or maybe in your world it does.

  • Anonymous on July 26, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    None of the bowlers in current indian team looks like match winning. even young one who get first opportunities are not performing. , We are so called No.1 team in world and strugle like this. why indian always under perform to their potential. look at Harbajan having so much of experiece must lead from the front,but he is very disappointing. india continued same pace attack for 2nd test.. if you cannot play Nehra, Munaf and other stock bowlers why did you choose them..just for fun trip???

  • harish on July 26, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Dhoni's Decision is not good.Ishant performed wrost in last game.then he selected him agin in the second test.Why we try munaf patel.

  • Rizwan Younus on July 26, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    Salam to all. I think look First things first congratulations murali for your achievement 800 test wickets is incredible whats amazing about you is that your a better human being then you are a bowler and thats some achievement you will be missed. This test match was lost during the herath malinga partnership yes indias bowlers struggle and do need to play 5 bowlers however bold decisions have to be made and one of them is dropping baju. Against South Africa in calcutta he bowled well but these performances are too few and far between his bowling average is going in the wrong direction and i believe that he is way to comfortable in the team. The management need to drop him and send a message he will come back a different bowler. Well played sri lanka for the first test. May the best team win in the second. Khuda Hafiz.

  • Madhusudan Rao on July 26, 2010, 10:59 GMT

    Good one Aakash. But, I cannot imagine a bowling side that can take wickets for India, forget on batting tracks. Even in conditions suited to the bowlers, can India run through an Australian side like the Pakistan team did last week? Doubtful.

    We seem to take bowlers for granted, irrespective of their performance. What has a Harbhajan done of late, especially in test matches? Are we retaining him just on the basis of 300 wickets? We can then bring back Anil Kumble out of retirement - for he has more than Bhajji.

    Also, what options do we have if we play 5 bowlers? A Munaf Patel, whose attitude is questionable. Amit Mishra, who has lost his form so mysteriously!! No wonder, MS Dhoni has more hopes on Sehwag's golden arm.

    But seriously, once this series is over, everyone will forget this series and go on to the next one. Is there any long-term planning or strategy (the word seems out of place here) being thought by the Board? Sorry.

  • Yash on July 26, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    "Dhoni at No.6 is as good a batsman as you could ever get at that position". Sorry I don't agree. Laxman was better.

  • Anonymous on July 26, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    Akash, What choice of bowlers is available in India, a Nation with 1.1 Billion people and which claims Cricket as their National sport? Harbhajan & Sharma, the most experienced bowlers bowled worse than Novices, Ojha & Mithun. The Selectors do not have a plan or vision in developing bowlers - select Jadeja, Y.Pathan, Vinay Kumar, Dinda, Ashwin etc in one series and then go to totally new bowlersin the next. This is selection by Fancy. Irfan Pathan, Powar & Murali Karthik have been discarded for unknown reasons. Even bringing Kumble back is better than the present lot of spin bowlers.BCCI & the Selectors need a plan, vision and foresight for the future of Indian Bowlers. The current lot should be fired and we need visionaries at the helm.

  • James Bond 007 on July 26, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Indian bowling is always like this, not so great. Indian batting is very strong yet fail to click. I consider this more a batting failure rather than a bowling failure. Indian so called "gods" need to come out and play as a champion; otherwise these Sri Lankans will dominate in 2nd test match as they dominated in 1st match. Get some bowling lessons from Wasim Akram, or see video tapes of Pakistani fast bowling 2A's or 2W's. Also, bring Arfan Pathan back.