Samir Chopra July 11, 2011

Oh no, not again: the great misses continue

In 1978, seven years after the Bangladesh War, India and Pakistan resumed cricketing ties in a three-Test series played in Pakistan
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In 1978, seven years after the Bangladesh War, India and Pakistan resumed cricketing ties in a three-Test series played in Pakistan. After playing out a draw in the first Test at Faisalabad, drearily in conformance with the cricketing history of the two sides, Pakistan beat India in the Lahore Test, thanks to Zaheer Abbas' magnificent 235, and a very enterprising run-chase on the fifth day in which Pakistan scored their runs at 6.19 an over, and galloped home with 8.2 overs still left in the day. This was heartening enough for fans of Test cricket, but it was the third Test that really showcased positive Test cricket at its best.

Sitting on a 1-0 lead against their archrivals, in a series fraught with emotional and political significance, Pakistan chased down a victory target of 164 runs in a maximum of 100 minutes. At times, the asking-rate had mounted to seven an over. No matter; the Pakistan batsmen, especially Asif Iqbal and Javed Miandad scrambled singles like a pair of amphetamine-crazed ravers, drove the Indian fielders batty, and then finally, thanks to Imran Khan's assault on Bishen Bedi's bowling late in the game, Pakistan scampered home with an over to spare.

That was 33 years ago. Well before Twenty20 cricket had been conceptualised, and only three years after one-day cricket had staged its first World Cup. Just like India going into the Dominica Test that concluded on Sunday, Pakistan enjoyed a 1-0 lead in 1978. They could very well have shut up shop, strolled over to the victory dais, picked up their thousand-rupee cheque (I'm guessing that's what the prize money must have been in those days), and posed for the post-series victory shots. Mushtaq Mohammad could have given us some pablum about not being disappointed, about how Sunil Gavaskar had held them up on the final day, how the Karachi pitch was a bit slow and not conducive to penetrative bowling and so on.

Instead, Pakistan chased down the runs. There was a match to be played, a contest to be engaged in. Pakistan were not the world's No. 1 Test team; India was not one of the world's weakest teams (they might have been one of the world's worst fielding sides though). Rather, what made Pakistan go for victory, I suspect, was how that lot, Majid, Zaheer, Asif, Javed, Mushtaq, just played the game.

We should keep this in mind when we think about what transpired in Dominica on Sunday. The Test was called off by mutual agreement between both captains with India needing 86 runs from 15 overs after having been set a target of 180 in 47 overs. Abhinav Mukund's first-ball duck might have put a damper on things, but M Vijay and Rahul Dravid had at least scored at three an over, and Suresh Raina had sensibly been sent up the order. But the Indian balloon deflated rapidly after his departure and, in one of the most-bizarre abandonments of a Test match I've ever seen in my life, India walked off with 90 deliveries still left.

There are some Indian fans out there, including me, who are still surprised that India agreed to call off the 1979 Oval Test with one ball left and nine required to win. They, and I, will certainly never understand the shutting up of shop against West Indies on Sunday.

To be a true champion it is not enough that one sit on top of a numerical ladder of rankings and points; it is necessary the putative champion show the desire and the ability to respond to challenges, to find a way to transcend limitations and rise to the top of the game. This Indian Test team is certainly one of the most consistent in Indian cricket history and MS Dhoni is certainly one of its shrewdest captains. But the Dominica result shows that there is a long way to go before it can attain the status of champions. For the spirit of Melbourne 1986 - when India scored at 2.36 runs an over while chasing 126 on the final day and had bad weather force a draw - still lives on apparently, and the desire and wherewithal to force a win when not everything is in ones' favour still seems missing.

As for Test cricket, in such dire times, you need better guardians.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andy on July 15, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    I really want to believe my own theory.the whole efforts were to allow West Indies to Draw. in order to promote cricket in Dominica & indirectly support growth of cricket/economy in west Indies. to make sure one of the oldest beauty in the cricketing world survives. wow I feel so good being an Indian. its impossible to believe, #1 Test ranked team, world cup winner, T20 champs, IPL folks habitual of carrying T20 hammer, Legends of test cricket on the crease, Best young talent, coolest captain & most destructive Oneday player, game changer Bhaji, formidable lower bat order (if Fidel can bat for 37 ovr),slow but batsmen friendly pitch.et al.. pls do not tell me any other reason for offering a draw. in total disbelief, I did not move away from the screen, untill they stopped transmission. then I question myself.. wasnt it the West Indies, who after their worldcup defeat came, demolished, demoralised & went back with 3-0 test & 5-0 ODI win. I will go with my first line & Shardas first para

  • Anonymous on July 13, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    i think these playes just didnt not think of fans enduring the whole match and as when they deserved to watch some thrilling good quality cricket with fiedel and co. challenging the great indian line up they were denied just because of some laziness,lack in desire and commitment.The test cricket and fans were robbed.the crowd must ask for the return of tickit money

  • BirKat on July 13, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Typical Indian fans giving excuses for their boring team... Team India did not play like champions, or as the No.1 team in the world. Taking a risk in order to go for a win is a true part of a champion team... Australia under Mark Taylor made a name for themselves as an aggressive team that always went for a result, that's why they were so respected as a cricket team. India and MSD have a long way to go to be regarded as true champs. But please don't give excuses for not having the confidence in your abilities to go for a win. And don't critisize the author for doing his job. His points are valid and said with the best interest of Test cricket at heart, and with no malice whatsoever...

  • Diwakar on July 13, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    @ajay: Dravid can wring a draw out of a T20 game. And everyone knows that! Dhoni himself should have come in before Dravid and run the singles hard. Less than 6 an over with 7 wickets in hand, however slow the wicket, is gettable. This is not 1982 for God's sakes when an asking rate of over 4 was Himalayan.

  • Samir on July 13, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    Come on, don't be stupid. It took them 105 balls to get the No. 10 out on a day 5 pitch. You cannot win with that kind of loser play.

  • Hidustani 007 on July 13, 2011, 0:34 GMT

    India have let slip an opportunity, fair enough on the last day of a test match it is never easy to chase and hence some consideration to the fact the team opted for safety, but the no 1 team in the world should be going for victory in these circumstances, playing a pathetic WI team with average bowling at its best. 180 in 47 overs not easy but a better effort needed to be made at least continue the chase until the fall of 5 wickets. Poor effort!! Also I think it is time Dravid said goodbye and we give Kohli a chance at 3, yes sure Dravid made runs in the first test leading India to victory but he no longer looks like the wall too many easy dismissals and his slip catching and general fitness no longer looks upto the standard of the past, time for him to go!

  • hunks on July 13, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    Virendraji by any chance are you from Sehwag family??????

    I sincerely believe Samir is right in criticizing as India did not even try to win

    I wish Sehwag (Most destructive test opener of modern era-The Game Changer) was available for selection

  • sachin parekh on July 12, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    People here keep saying no 1 test team nit going for the kill but please take a look at the team Which did not have Sehwag Gambhir Sachin Zaheer Yuvraj

    Well to me it was an india a team pkaying this series and for an india a team to get such results means we have a pretty good back up team so you party poopers cheer up

  • sachin parekh on July 12, 2011, 23:43 GMT

    Please for a moment leave the indian team alone They just won the world cup by hitting a last ball 6 and deafting australia , pakistan and sri lanka back to back The india a team won the t 20 and one day series and won the first test from 80 for 6 In the second test rain saved the west indies Agred that they could have gone for victory in the 3 rd test and they were trying to do it with raina but wi raina gone and west indies bowling leg stump wides that had to be chased to make the runs i felt dhoni made a very informed and pragmatic decision. The win hungry people of india willl always crib for a win in every match even if india is trying its bench strength and looking to develop players for the future

  • ajay on July 12, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    well written article! I think apart from Dhoni, Dravid too should be criticized foor the way he was batting. It was anybody's guess that Dravid was playing for a draw. No intent or desire to win was displayed by him. Dhoni should have sent Kohli at No. 3. The entire innings should have been converted into an ODI kind of format.

  • Andy on July 15, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    I really want to believe my own theory.the whole efforts were to allow West Indies to Draw. in order to promote cricket in Dominica & indirectly support growth of cricket/economy in west Indies. to make sure one of the oldest beauty in the cricketing world survives. wow I feel so good being an Indian. its impossible to believe, #1 Test ranked team, world cup winner, T20 champs, IPL folks habitual of carrying T20 hammer, Legends of test cricket on the crease, Best young talent, coolest captain & most destructive Oneday player, game changer Bhaji, formidable lower bat order (if Fidel can bat for 37 ovr),slow but batsmen friendly pitch.et al.. pls do not tell me any other reason for offering a draw. in total disbelief, I did not move away from the screen, untill they stopped transmission. then I question myself.. wasnt it the West Indies, who after their worldcup defeat came, demolished, demoralised & went back with 3-0 test & 5-0 ODI win. I will go with my first line & Shardas first para

  • Anonymous on July 13, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    i think these playes just didnt not think of fans enduring the whole match and as when they deserved to watch some thrilling good quality cricket with fiedel and co. challenging the great indian line up they were denied just because of some laziness,lack in desire and commitment.The test cricket and fans were robbed.the crowd must ask for the return of tickit money

  • BirKat on July 13, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Typical Indian fans giving excuses for their boring team... Team India did not play like champions, or as the No.1 team in the world. Taking a risk in order to go for a win is a true part of a champion team... Australia under Mark Taylor made a name for themselves as an aggressive team that always went for a result, that's why they were so respected as a cricket team. India and MSD have a long way to go to be regarded as true champs. But please don't give excuses for not having the confidence in your abilities to go for a win. And don't critisize the author for doing his job. His points are valid and said with the best interest of Test cricket at heart, and with no malice whatsoever...

  • Diwakar on July 13, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    @ajay: Dravid can wring a draw out of a T20 game. And everyone knows that! Dhoni himself should have come in before Dravid and run the singles hard. Less than 6 an over with 7 wickets in hand, however slow the wicket, is gettable. This is not 1982 for God's sakes when an asking rate of over 4 was Himalayan.

  • Samir on July 13, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    Come on, don't be stupid. It took them 105 balls to get the No. 10 out on a day 5 pitch. You cannot win with that kind of loser play.

  • Hidustani 007 on July 13, 2011, 0:34 GMT

    India have let slip an opportunity, fair enough on the last day of a test match it is never easy to chase and hence some consideration to the fact the team opted for safety, but the no 1 team in the world should be going for victory in these circumstances, playing a pathetic WI team with average bowling at its best. 180 in 47 overs not easy but a better effort needed to be made at least continue the chase until the fall of 5 wickets. Poor effort!! Also I think it is time Dravid said goodbye and we give Kohli a chance at 3, yes sure Dravid made runs in the first test leading India to victory but he no longer looks like the wall too many easy dismissals and his slip catching and general fitness no longer looks upto the standard of the past, time for him to go!

  • hunks on July 13, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    Virendraji by any chance are you from Sehwag family??????

    I sincerely believe Samir is right in criticizing as India did not even try to win

    I wish Sehwag (Most destructive test opener of modern era-The Game Changer) was available for selection

  • sachin parekh on July 12, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    People here keep saying no 1 test team nit going for the kill but please take a look at the team Which did not have Sehwag Gambhir Sachin Zaheer Yuvraj

    Well to me it was an india a team pkaying this series and for an india a team to get such results means we have a pretty good back up team so you party poopers cheer up

  • sachin parekh on July 12, 2011, 23:43 GMT

    Please for a moment leave the indian team alone They just won the world cup by hitting a last ball 6 and deafting australia , pakistan and sri lanka back to back The india a team won the t 20 and one day series and won the first test from 80 for 6 In the second test rain saved the west indies Agred that they could have gone for victory in the 3 rd test and they were trying to do it with raina but wi raina gone and west indies bowling leg stump wides that had to be chased to make the runs i felt dhoni made a very informed and pragmatic decision. The win hungry people of india willl always crib for a win in every match even if india is trying its bench strength and looking to develop players for the future

  • ajay on July 12, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    well written article! I think apart from Dhoni, Dravid too should be criticized foor the way he was batting. It was anybody's guess that Dravid was playing for a draw. No intent or desire to win was displayed by him. Dhoni should have sent Kohli at No. 3. The entire innings should have been converted into an ODI kind of format.

  • virendra on July 12, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    to Samir Chopra

    do have any idea how difficult to bat in slow pitch....have ever hold cricket bat....

    hello mr you can't time the ball in slow pitch...its very difficult

  • Diwakar on July 12, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Dhoni put his record above pride. It is as simple as that. If a team with Dravid, Laxman and Dhoni in its lineup cannot bat through 15 overs to at least save the Test, something is very wrong. Perhaps the ICC ranking system should include such a negative approach as a parameter while awarding points. One still remembers Kapil's Indians going for that win in Madras against the Aussies which led to that momentous tied Test. But bravehearts like Kapil come along once in a lifetime. No Dhoni is going to match that whatever his record might say.

  • Kent Jones on July 12, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    Rather unfair and unfortunate comments on team India. Everything should be put in perspective before making rash and unwarranted criticism of the Indian performance in the Caribbean. More than half of the best side was missing, more than one third of total playing time was lost to rain. India won the T20, the ODI and the test series. Nuff said!!!

  • bharat on July 12, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    OMG Samir chopra give MSD and Team India a break. All you know is to write articles and nothing else! You are not the one that goes out there on field and make decisions. Infact we all indians tend to forget the good things of a player and remember all his flaws!seriously Sameer get a life!Remember not Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid have been as successful as a captain. MSD Hits the list on top so just chillax and let him do his job and you do your own

  • aayush on July 12, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    @anyonmus - u cant say wc win has come to 0 we are still no1 in test still world champs and one bad move everybody does

    india hasnt lost a test series for 3 years MS dhoni never lost a test series as captain

  • deepak on July 12, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    i do not agree with anything that the author has written. No team has ever won a match chasing more than 4 an over AWAY FROM HOME! the WI bowling attack is not as weak as it looks, Fidel is pretty good and Sammy will get wickets when batsmen try to be aggressive. The Indian team did the right thing by shutting shop. If time had not been lost to rain, India would have won easily. All this criticism is unfair and just nitpicking. So all you experts take a chill pill and celebrate the fact that India has won a series outside the subcontinent without four of their starting XI.

  • sriram on July 12, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    Dear journalists, please stop this kind of sensationalism. Dhoni had been a shrewd captain and a good judge of the situation. If Dravid and Vijay could manage only 3 runs an over for 32 overs, expecting the team to score 86 of 90 is absolutely optimistic. It is sad to watch the journalists find a word in Dhoni's statement and make a hype. Do you think that Dhoni would have made the decision on his own without consulting Dravid and Laxman in the middle? So please stop this sensationalism of denouncing the team and the captain. Any one following Dhoni, who has scaled all the peaks , would trust his judgement and integrity. If he had called off , then he was right in his judgement. It was sad to watch television and the news papers calling him arrogant and coward. PLEASE HAVE SOME CONFIDENCE ON THE CAPTAIN WHO HAS DONE INDIA PROUD.

  • sriram on July 12, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    first salvo fired by Mr.Duncan Fletcher

  • max on July 12, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    this is all well and good, but india is missing big names. sending raina in was smart and if he had made a quickfire 30-40, we would have gone for it..

  • sumit on July 12, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    All is all india is no.1 and if anyone not like the indian cricket team PLZ stop watching cricket. Afterall the hard work done by dhoni an indian team paid off and they reached NO.1 spot. This means that there is something special in the team which others teams lacking off. So plz spare the team.

  • habsone on July 12, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    To those of you who are claiming "it was nearly impossible"to score 86 from 15 overs and India lost Mithun on first ball,Negative bowling and some other lame excuses.Before we started chasing we all knew One of the opener was not playing good. In chasing even if India had lost few wickets we still would have been able to draw the match. Instead it seemed only out of form Vijay was willing to give it a go.Dhoni could have come after Raina got out and we still would have had Laxman and others to hold the fort for few overs if it came down to that. Let me remind you the required rate was just over 4 Runs per over to begin with. As they say NO GUTS NO GLORY!

  • Naresh on July 12, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    just a typical trumpet on the bandwagon this was: "Champions go for wins"....no sir, champions also take the reality of a situation into account. its more important to asses conditions - and this is what the Indian batsman did.

    as for the two tests quoted - 1. India were without 3 regular batsman here in 2011 - unlike pakistan. 2. the wicket in both those tests was flat - unlike here.

    so I would say well done India to keep your head together rather than trying to satisfy some phony maxim like "champions go for wins"...yeah, nice movie title dude.

  • kunu on July 12, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    India should have gone for victory, agreed scoring was tough but we have enough greats and fire power, this might in the end turn out to be the difference between the current Indian team and australia team of the early 2000 s and the windies of 80s

  • rajesh on July 12, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    All these frustration by the Indian fans is just because they sat the whole night to see india win the series 2-0. Considering the conditions at the stage when we were 3 down with the hitters at bay and ball not coming onto the bat.... I felt that was a better decision at that stage ... rather than goin after windies bowling and losing quick wickets n drawing the series.. Indians are capable for that too :)

  • Prem on July 12, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Well. It was not a question of No.1 Test Status or to be called a Champion Team. Irrespective of the Team ranking, the body language displayed by Team India was not appropriate. Definitely, the scoring was tough, but the effort level was low. Though they did try to chase by sending Raina ahead, probably Vijay & Dravid should have run better in taking singles, as boundary balls were rare & pitch was not conducive to fast scoring. Only Raina showed some urgency in running. Neverthless, it is not correct on our part to question Dhoni's decision to shut shop as he is an intelligent captain

  • Arman on July 12, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    I don't understand what Fletcher and Dhoni were thinking, because if they had batted on they had a chance of winning. At worse the test would have been drawn, because there was no way the W. Indies bowlers could have taken 7 wickets in 15 overs.

  • Raja on July 12, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    We are No.1 in tests but a long way to go to become a Champion side...

  • cherry on July 12, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    I want to ask just one question to Dhoni and Fletcher, would you guys have abandaoned the match if the series score would have been 1-0 to West Indies?

  • venkat on July 12, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    well said samir. Not for one moment are we suggesting that India would have won or should have won. We are questioning the intent. They did not force west indies to employ a one side field with their intent to go for win. Then we could have argued India's case. its very disappointing to say the least. India is not the undisputed No.1 team in the world. Rather they are the most disputed No. 1 side in the world.

  • Truemans_Ghost on July 12, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    What frustrates me most is not that India didn't go for the win- it is their perogative, even if it does reflect badly on them. It is the abuse of the rule which allows captains to shake hands early. That is there for situations where no result is possible, not for ones where both captains decide that a draw is preferable than the chance of an unfavourable result. England were also guilty of this (to a somewhat lesser extent) against Sri Lanka. If captains can't follow thespirtit as well as theletter of this rule, it should be tightened up.

  • Robin Sharma on July 12, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    To all the 20-20 and one-day international cricket lovers out there...please could you keep your comments about test cricket to yourselves if you don't know what you are talking about. Scoring at six an over in a test match against negative bowling, that too on a fifth day pitch, is virtually impossible in modern cricket. The opposition will simply bowl two feet outside the stumps with a packed field. Maybe if Sehwag were playing and had gotten us a start it could have worked, but please give Dhoni a break...we had won the series already, so no madness was required. This ludicrous article has to go back 33 years to find Bishan Bed's experiment in Karachi in 1978, when India had already lost the series, where he was trying to go for broke and buy wickets with an attacking field, to compare with a totally different situation in Dominica. The reality is that 2 days were lost to rain, and if it weren't for rain delays in the last two test matches, the result would have been 3-0 India.

  • Finnster on July 12, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Indian supporters are entertaining! India is a statistical No1, but no serious analyst considers them the real number one. They are probably the hardest to beat at home, and play an inordinate amount of games there. Getting to "No 1" meant the only teams they had to beat in AWAY series were Bangladesh and NZ! Please! The No1 team beats all others, home and away. Has India EVER done that? This year was their test. They had to beat SA away, England away and Aus away. They're lucky to pull out a 1-0 against the No.8! Aus have been injury-riddled for the last two years, but to think they would lose against Ind in Ausis laughable

  • Anonymous on July 12, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    If you want a draw, you should at least be made to play out a draw. They don't stop soccer games in the world cup after 70mins because they are happy to settle for the score at that time, NO they play the entire 90mins.

  • Anil Koka on July 12, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    What do Team India do with Series win when West Indies played with their B grade team. Simply shame on Team India. I got up at 3 AM assuming that India will win. Surprised to see that match is called off when 86 required off 90 balls. Shame for Indian cricket fans.

  • Anonymous on July 12, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    Crisp and precise article. I wish Dhoni and co would read such articles to understand what it takes to make a great team. All No.1 teams are not necessarily great teams. Another positive run chase that I can think of. I remember a test match in Hobart, aus v/s pak.Aus was reduced to 5 for 126 chasing 369. They cud've played out for a draw since they had jus one day to play and they were 1-0 up. Instead gilly & langer launched an amazing counter attack & finished the match well before end of the day. Thats greatness. Not the rubbish we saw being played out on the last day.

  • Roomi on July 12, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    Also, everyone is talking about the target of 86 runs in 90 balls, at almost run a ball. Remember, the target was 180 runs of 47 overs which is less than 4 an over. We did not think about going for it right from the start! I believe if Dhoni/Fletcher had the option of calling it off after the 1st over itself, they would have settled for a draw at that time too. If they had thought about winning, it would have shown in batsmen's approach in the 32 overs that were bowled....

  • Venkatesh on July 12, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    Is anyone really surprised by this ????? Sure India are No. 1 in the rankings but they have never shown the intent to produce a result - South africa third test, New zealand ... This really is a terrible state of affairs right now when we follow a match for almost 5 days and then agreeing for a draw. No matter what their billion fans may say , India can never hope to match the Aussies with this attitude. South Africa are the real No. 1 right now

  • Roomi on July 12, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    Dhoni and Fletcher are giving their own reasons about pitch being difficult to score etc, but my questions is what was more difficult - India scoring 86 runs of 90 bals with 7 wkts in hand, or Windies taking 7 Indian wickets in those 90 balls? We didn't think we could score those runs, but we had full trust in Windies bowlers to get those wickets? C'mon man, we should have given it a try !!

  • Mahesh Sai on July 12, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Guys...sitting in front of the pc/internet/ac one cannot write all that you want. These attitude of cricket lovers need to change. You need to think that these guys gave all their efforts to lift the WCup and i respect their decision to conclude for a draw, it would be the same once commenting here otherwise if they had opted to chase and have a scorecard off 150 all out. Cricket is never easy as you all think... it is just not battig,bowling and feilding. There are more to it and you can only experience that when you play atleast for your school/college teams. All the best to Indian players to move from 6th position to the 1st position whcih i feel no team has done till now..

  • Roh on July 12, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    this is what i have always said. it is not good enough to be the number one side on paper, you have to also play like the number one side. as of now, india does not look like a number one side. they dont have a killer instinct. just watch the aussie and west indian teams of yesteryears because those were champion teams. they always went for the win, and only gave up when it was clearly impossible. 85 runs from 90 balls is what you would require in a one-day game. thats plenty of time. not good enough, i dont expect india to retain the number one spot forever. and for the indian fans who keep saying 'look at the rankings, who's number one?', you know deep down that india are real champions. a very good side, but not champions, just pretending to be.......

  • Clivejw on July 12, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    Good article. To my mind, it's an insult to the paying spectator and the television audience to call a halt to proceedings when the match is very much alive. I don't think that a team batting fourth should have the option of declaring. Play the game and entertain the crowd.

    This isn't India-bashing; England also called off games much too early against Sri Lanka at Lord's and the Rose Bowl.

  • Arun on July 11, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    Shame on INDIA!!!!....remember you are a no. 1 test team and you are playing no. 10 test team. How can you shut the shop when you have 7 wickets left in hand and 86 needed to score off 90 balls. A team like India cannot get bowled out in 90 balls. So, being a no. 1 test team they should have gone for the chase and there lies the true spirit of the game. I bet Australia might have definitely gone for the chase and won the match.

  • Vishal on July 11, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    Those who defend India's negative approach and calling other posters T20-generation are showing typical middle-class mentality of living within the self-imposed box and never going for excellence. They are assuming that merely by trying to win, India would have definitely lost the match which is a not correct.

    At one time India needed 116 of 28 overs and even scored at a very fast pace for few overs. Dhoni could have saved himself and Laxman and have thrown everybody else to try attack from one end while Dravid continuing sensibly. We could have tried till 6-7 down with that approach and then gone defensive with wickets of Dhongi and Laxman intact. They have done a great insult to themselves by not showing self-belief. Even if India were 6 down with 6-10 overs to go, was our captain suggesting that he thought he and Laxman did not have bxxls to play those overs and save the match. Great injustice to the spirit of Cricket and all spectators who were in stadium or watching otherwise.

  • Joel on July 11, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    I am really disappointed with the indian team, i really hoped and thought they would go for the win.. asking rate of 5 -6 is easily achieved these days and that too with 7 wickets in hand.. and a line up boasting dhoni... a champion team is not one which gets opportunities its one that makes opportunities...

  • Abed Wahed on July 11, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    I agree with you Umesh, But I feel that we could have taken a chance by sending Dhoni, then Harbhajan after Raina departed. And if they had failed to score, we oviously have players like Dravid, Laxman and Virat who caould have easily forced a draw. Common India......Start learn fighting..........

  • siva on July 11, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    With depleted Indian batting, Dhoni and co did a right thing of not going for the kill - my two cents

  • Roger Mallick on July 11, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    How much we missed Sehwag! The electrifying start he gave against England in 2008 allowed us to chase down about 390 runs in the 4th innings. It just shows that a successful 4th innings chase especially when time is not on your side, is built on a rapid start. Indian batsmen in particular derive lot of comfort and encouragement from the type of opening Viru can provide. Conversely, there is a defensive mindset when Viru is absent and his replacements fail. So it was not lack of talent in the line-up but lack of strategy that accounted for this failure to chase down 180. They should have taken chances, shuffled the batting order, sent in Kohli along with Vijay to open, then even experimented with moving Bhajji up the order to shake things up. Dravid and Laxman should have been moved way down to save the match in case things went awry. Unfortunately, Fletcher is not as creative as Greg Chappel or Gary Kirsten - excuses will not do.

  • dravidfan on July 11, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    I just hate dravid from today. What the hell was he doing. Simply blocking everything. Too Selfish. Sehwag or gauti or Sachin would surely have gone for this target.Drop dravid. He cost us the match. Dropped chandrapaul twice and then played like a novice. He was a good batsman but thats all. Time for him to Go.

  • sehwaglover on July 11, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    we need sehwag... im absolutely disgusted at dhoni.

  • Varenya Kumar on July 11, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    We are the supporters who are forever going for the heads of these wonderful cricketers, never satisfied with anything that they achieve. These are the wonderful cricketers who have become the No.1 team in the world and won the world cup. For once, let's just leave it to them. For once, let's acknowledge that they understand cricket better than us!

  • JS on July 11, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    It is easy to talk than do it. If the Indian team thought the conditions would allow them to win, they would have definitely gone for it. As was the case with the batsmen that played, and as Fletcher said, the batsmen that were already settled couldn't force the run-rate. It only follows logically that draw is the most likely outcome. I am just glad that the Indian bowlers bowled rather well, especially Ishant, and all our batsmen toughed it out at some point. That is a good sign for the series against England. Dhoni has gotten us every trophy there is, how can you not call his team a champion side? Quit picking one or two aberrations in the past and writing with emotion rather than logic.

  • Al on July 11, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    The Indian griping is at odds with the cold logic of modern Test cricket. Firstly, I believe many are irritated that they stayed up late and were splashed with a bucket of cold water when the chase was called off ! I was too, but I understood the rationale right away. The target was tempting, but never a practical one. It needed one spectacular, early assault on the new ball, which in the absence of Sehwag was never on the cards. The older ball was just not coming on to the bat. It was very unlikely that all the overs would be bowled. And does everyone here forget the basic idea that in test cricket, you can bowl a negative line and not be penalized ? The standard equations of balls and runs just do not matter here. With all due respect, I venture that most of the negative comments are from fans who are younger - the ODI/T20 generation ! I mean, one day you praise Dhoni for his bold declaration, and a few days later you call him spineless ? Talk about fickle !

  • Kumarcoolbuddy on July 11, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    If you really think that Dhoni is defensive why would he declare in 2nd test and try to win the match despite heavy rain? First of all where is the point of being defensive if there was not even 0.1% harm in continuing the play till last 15 overs. I am disappointed too for not playing last 15 overs but I don't wanna blame Dhoni for that. I strongly believe that there is some other reason which forced him to give up those last 15 overs. I found it funny when everyone was saying champions shouldn't play like this. I believe that India's performance was very good in both bowling and batting department. Use common sense instead of emotions.

  • Vish on July 11, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Comments on this blog also indicate that it takes only one game or one decision for Indians to turn against a team which was the dream team until 5pm the same day.....Maybe most of us just love cricket, but we dont understand it.

  • Vish on July 11, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    I support this decision. I think MS measured the behavior of the pitch by sending Raina who could score 8 in 18 deliveries that this would require some mindless hitting to win. If it worked, he and his team would receive laurels, and if it didn't, then everyone will go against MS that why did he try especailly when they were sitting pretty at 1-0. Everyone in India is an expert, but thinks with his heart and not with the brain. I think it was a sort of business decision that MS took in which he didn't want to lose.

  • jagannath on July 11, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    I support the indian team. When you are the no.1 team,and already won the series, its important to keep your head between your ears and play wisely. I saw India's batting and India's bowling on the final day. The pitch was hard rock and not very easy to play for any team. It was sensible batting by the indians after an initial go for it by vijay and raina. If we batted like an afridi lead team or like the aussies, we would have ended up with extra time and probably made a greg mathews vs maninder singh madras drama which would have been disgusting to watch.

    I also saw the indians getting prepared to play an innings for atleast 2 full days and were getting prepared for england. A good move. I hope we can play an innings for 2 full days in england. If we do this, we will win before lunch on day 5 on all tests.

  • crikkfan on July 11, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    Cant agree more with the sentiment of this article. India should have definitely gone for the win. Let's not get overboard with deserving #1 etc, even if India were #2 or #3 like they were for so many years, that would be what I expect from that stage of the game with players like Dhoni, Laxman and Dravid still playing.

  • rbg on July 11, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    it amazes me that people make a big deal about this issue.... if they had gone for the chase and lost 2-3 quick wickets people would have started pointing out fingers at MSD and the think tank... I guess the important thing is not too get carried away by this number one tag.... Cmon guys important thing is India won the series....

  • Bharat on July 11, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    Bizzare that we threw in the towel. Indian fans would have even liked losing if the team had shown intent. There was one missing ingredient for chasing this total: Virendra Sehwag. I am sure if he were in the team he would have gone for the victory.

  • Abhinav on July 11, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    No. 1 side? I am sorry who? Sorry dear India, you've lost one die-hard fan. I am proud of our struggle of freedom fighters who taught us the 'fighting spirit' without the fear of dying. And you guys are defying that. It's a shame.

  • Sanjai Prabu on July 11, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    India might have gone if Fletcher wasn't the coach.

  • psingh on July 11, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    Very disapointing, we are the #1 Test team in the World. But we have not played like a champion the last day. Dhoni nd team has not given it a Try. It shows they only depend on sehwag to win them the matches on the last day.

  • Saurav Singh on July 11, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    Donno why Samir wrote this article...as if he is a champion...ICC made a ranking system..INDIA are top of it...INDIA still is on top...what does he want finish a test in 2 days...lot was lost due to rain...hadn't rain been there..INDIA would have won this 3-0...

  • R.Rengasamy on July 11, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Well said Samir. Those Pakistan matches and one you missed out the Jamaica Test in 1983 lives green in my mind and hurts me till date.Those who are saying WI bowled negative line should know even in those match against Pakistan Kapil dev bowled very wide of the stump, which forced Majid khan to take out the stumps and rooted it were Kapil was bowling wide. But through their positive mindset pakistan were able to win the match against creeping run rate.

    It is shame to say we are no.1 test team. I am terribly disappointed.

  • Suhas Wadadekar on July 11, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    Cricket is entertainment for spectators, but a job for cricketers. They need positive results to be employed. It is the faulty rules that rob spectators of their fun. I am referring to the fact that draw is a valid result of a Test match. I would have done what Dhoni did too, to protect the series victory than go for the kill and potentially look down at levelled series.....and that wouldn't have looked pretty having dominated WI the entire series Also the Pakistan example you quote is a once in 30 years occurrence....it is how the rules are written make most players and captains, not the other way round also this line says it all "As for Test cricket, in such dire times, you need better guardians. " It's like some NASA lobbyist desperately trying to retain federal funding for future space launches, and stare at the Columbia disaster with a senator from the observation deck. Results matter, not the quality of it.

  • techna on July 11, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    Guys, have you ever captained a side? Maybe in your childhood for the Under 10 side. Maybe yes. To all those detractors and so called critics of Dhoni, my simple message is if you had it in you to captain the side, then you would have been in Dhoni's place rather than making rubbish insinuations about a practical decision! Its not always about winning in style!

  • vas4 on July 11, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    What a Shame! If they carry on doing this, how on earth are they going to keep test matches alive? 160 runs at 4 runs an over is difficult to chase for a champion team? I am extremely disappointed. This is cheating the fans. There are different opinions written here, but please does anyone thing that it was an un-achievable task? Dhoni and team did not even try. Dravid was never going to score runs for us to win, becasue it was not a wall we needed in that situation. Fletcher is so negetive minded person with his comments at the press conference. We need a coach with positive intend and a captain with killing instinct. Dhoni is only looking for 1-0 series win against his name. Shame on you.

  • Jayaprakash on July 11, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    If the so called weak WI team managed 300+ runs in the second innings, then it is baseless to give excuses highlighting the difficulty in scoring. Let us not count from the runs to be scored in the last 15 overs, but from the start of the innings itself there was no earnest effort to win the match. The champions should not be shocked when they loose their first wicket for nought, especially since he is not yet a star batsman for India. Instead of only playing defensive shorts, they could have tried a positive approach.When some runs in single and twos start coming regularly, then the opposition will start panicking and WI themselves feel as very much inferior (team) while playing against the current Indian team. Being the world Champions, they should have taken it as a challenge. They forgot about the millions watching in India late night hoping for an exciting game. If Shewag was there, he should have taken the challenge by himself, for sure. Shame on you Dhoni & Co.

  • Sajal Choudhury on July 11, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    Yes, India should have accepted the challege of scoring 180 runs in 47 overs.However, their planning to do that needed different orders for the batsmen,as opposed to what they did in reality. And that was the greatest mistake. After Mukund's dismissal,the order should have been, Dhoni, Raina, Kohli, Harbhaja, Kumar, Laxmam , Dravid, Sharma,if necessary. That would have been the challenging decision. Hope, they play better cricket in England. The batting was dismal, so also the bowling. It was Ok against a weak team like WI, but not acceptable in UK, where the England team is playing art their best. Good luck.

  • Vijay Bhaskar on July 11, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    I think Dhoni's decision to call it off is perfectly justifiable. I am not a Dhoni fan but don't you guys think the series win is more important especially when we are playing with a second string squad.What if we had carried on and lost ? then all of you will be up in arms saying we lost to West Indies. And being a champion side is about winning a series be it 1-0 or 2-0. So as far as Indian cricket goes we have won this series and we'll look ahead at the England series.

  • Arjun on July 11, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    I'm getting tired about all these comments concerning how India should have went for the kill. We're already up 1-nil why risk it all and end with a tie result? Sure different eras would have done it (WI's in the 80s & Australia 90s) but THAT'S when they HAD their full batting choice where they knew they could tackle the score. All we had in this series where the likes of Dravid and Laxman, besides that, we know Dhoni and Kholi (the next batsman in line) haven't had a good series, so why risk it? I'm sure if we had the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, and Co. we would have surly went for the target, but as for playing with are B-team, why take a risk?

  • Sandeep on July 11, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    Guys, can someone here tell me what it takes for a team to win 16 consecutive test matches twice in a decade?

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    for the fans who are saying that it was the right thing to do... wwll let us analyze this...3 wkts down... 15 overs to go... no real threat of being bowled out is there.... ok windies will bowl negative line... so what then atleast we tried.... they shud have tried to go bonkers for next 5 overs... if it ddnt come off, then shut shop and play for draw... there wer so many options but Dhoni took the worst option... captain Courageous just became captain COWARD..

  • Suresh Anand on July 11, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    I think people are getting greedy just because India are the Number 1 side now. They want India to dominate every situation. When Australia were the No.1 side, there was such a big gap between No.1 and No.2 that they used to dominate most teams. In the current scenario, India is No.1 but not by a big margin. SouthAfrica and England are close. We need to respect the situation when India abandoned the chase. It was perfect sense looking at the way the West Indies captain started having defensive fields and bowling leg side line, It was difficult to score. Need to ask this author how the fields were when India played Pakistan in 1978. Lets not get carried away - India without their full strength team have done very very well.Period.

  • Raj on July 11, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    I have a different take on this, WI were 0-1 down in the series and had an opportunity to take wickets and force a win but they started bowling a negative line after first few overs. I suppose they are not a strong bowling unit but I am surprised that no one is even talking about this. India at least went for a win in the 2nd test by declaring early, WI never tried.

  • Rohan on July 11, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Samir Chopra have you ever played cricket in your life? I am pretty sure you did not and obviously haven't played test cricket. Playing test cricket in that heat for 5 days on a difficult pitch with negative bowling is very difficult. Sitting in a AC room and commenting about the game is easy. I totally agree with the result if you want to blame blame the bowlers for taking too long to take those 2 wickets. I back India to win in England.

  • karnveer on July 11, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    Yeah it was disappointing that India didn't go for a full fledged chase. But, what if there was a sudden collapse? (recently SL lost to England after witnessing a collapse), and India would end up loosing the match and then would have faced more criticism. You win the series 1-0 or 2-0, in the end it's a SERIES win. But a tie against a depleted West indies team .. was too much of a gamble. Now after a year or so your stats will say: India's tour of WI 2011 -- Series victory in both ODIs and Tests. It's better to be safe than sorry strategy I think.

  • Varun on July 11, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    Sameer - maybe you should try and find out what line the Indians bowling to the Pakistani batsmen in that test you mention. I am sure India-Pakistan series must have felt like a war in those days and India must have been trying their best to level the series and trying to bowl aggressive lines. Now coming back to this test, the only aim of West Indies was to draw this test. They never wanted to win. Batting under those conditions would bring only 2 results - a draw or a loss for India. Yeah I agree they could have tried for 5-6 overs more. But really I don't see the result being any different even then. The only thing I would have liked to see different was using Harbhajan or Dhoni somewhere in the top 3 of the batting line-up for the 4th innings..

  • DavidG on July 11, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    australia is known for playing safe and squandering advantages in the past. looks like india is catching up fast

  • NJ on July 11, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    Seriously guys, take the chill pill. India won yet another series, and they can get ready for England now. With articles about WI's commitment and India lacking championship class, I even forget who actually won the series.

  • windiesbooks on July 11, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    West Indies chasing 342 on the last day at Lord's in 1984 (Greenidge 214 not out and Larry Gomes 91 not out) and West Inides chasing 308 against Australia at Bridgetown in 1999 (Lara 153 not out) are tow more examples of what Champions are made of. Until India can do so and not abdicate their ranking as they did at Dominica and win in Australia thay are but a ranked team and not a true champion team.

  • Greg on July 11, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    I don't agree with many of above comments. I see every one need a point to discuss. If you see the rate at which India scored in first 30 overs, its hard to reach the target. Secondly India is N0.1 position, doesn't mean that with any composition of Indian team should go for a win. No.1 batting lineup is not part of this team. we are missing Gambir, Sachin and Sewhag. India was already down by 3 wickets and left only couple to go down in next 15 overs. What i think now is, India should have played and showed critics what is impossible , but it might have gone wrong 100%.

  • Sameer on July 11, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    Guyz its easy as said than done.... its high time we realize that For india winning the series was way more important then drawing it out.15 overs 86 required means that atlest 3 overs would have been lost due to the light which makes it 12 overs 86 runs which means 7 runs per over+ not tat easy especially when u are 1 up in the series. there was quite a lot of risk involved.we should remember the fact that dhoni declared tat innigs in barbados very aggresively unlike many other captains so he is a very good judger of the wicket and especially when he has exprianced staff+players with him to help...Good decision

  • Jey on July 11, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    Champions go for wins.... Yes They are true champions. They know their strengths and weaknesses very well. So They are going after series wins Which is 100% correct. How people can complaint of these after seeing bishoo bowling like Ashely giles.

  • Vijay Murli on July 11, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    I dont think that team India made any wrong decision. they knew about the pitch better than us and thus keeping in mind the pitch behaviour they decided to end it in a draw. It can crumble enough on the last day of a test match to get even Indian batters out. And if while chasing if the remaining 7 wickets fell, and WI managed to level the series, how many India fans would support the team? All would have said… Whats need if series was won? After all it could have been series equal rather than 1-0.Fourth inning chases are very risky and its better to take no chances. Besides WI would have bowled a leg-stump line with a the privilege of unrestricted field set , if India got closer.

  • Lloyd Budhram on July 11, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    I am sure if the present West Indies team were given the same task of scoring 180 from 47 overs, you bet they would have gone for it in a flash. And I can say for certainty they would have won with lots of balls to spare. The mind set of the present Indian team would crumble under the English condition. Most teams in the world would relish the opportunity like what the Indians threw away. The coach was thinking about his job and played it safe, rather than to see how far he could have pushed the Indian team. Poor marks to the captain and the coach.

  • Pankaj on July 11, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    So, you couldnt come up with another examples in 33 yrs??? I dont know what happened 33 yrs ago. But I know what happened in Dominica yesterday. WI fast bowlers were bowling way outside the off stump. Bishoo was bowling way outside the leg stump hitting the pads. It was so negative it wasnt even worth appealing. They werent even attacking the batsmen. Sammy look a lap of honor while saving the game. He brought in all negativity in his approach to save the game. If Sehwag was around, maybe we couldve managed. But we didnt have Sehwag. And they did try hitting boundary (or two) every over while Vijay/Dravid were around. Once they both fell and Raina fell, team strategists took a step back and I cant blame them. Didnt we applaud the same Dhoni for declaring in 2nd test? They go aggressive or defensive depending on a situation, not just cos they have to. We always pick on players saying "Raina and Kohli are still in T20 mode. Looks like Samir Chopra and his readers are in T20 hangover.

  • Noushad on July 11, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    Bad cricket, it is not good for test cricket,think positively, play aggressive cricket. Dhoni's attitude is questionable, this is not the approach we should expect from a No. 1 test team. Disappointing result in the end.

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    Mates , very soon InEngland reality of better test sides will be known. Ganguly missed with Australia, sachin with Newzealand, Dravid with england and dravid very comically suggested, people sitting in living room dont understand status, then kumble with pakistani and Dhoni missed with Newzealand, but these were all late declarations, Here was a clear opportunity and only 180 runs to win. I bet even bangladesh would have tried for victory and if India cant win,by chasing just 180 runs agst one of weakest bowling attacks and on pitch where no.10 batsman played more than 100 balls ,scored 30 odd runs agst. much better attack, and apparantly atleast 2nd best current spinner, how can Dhoni and selectors claim themselves as India no. 1 tea..remeber Gambhir saying, a captain is as good as team's performance,Dhoni was afaris if trying to chase India looses some quick wickets, captain himself will neither able to win nor save macth for india.Time for changing captain.WC Final innig was a fluke

  • Ashok K. on July 11, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    I think India gave it a try by sending Raina. As a true fan I would want them to win but it was not possible the way ball was turning for the spinners. Raina tried his best but succumbed. What else could they do other than opting to give up the chase?

  • isac on July 11, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    come on samir,, a test match battle caanot be won by paper and pen you cannot judge the match sitting before the tv screen,, time and again dhoni and company proved they r the best in business,, u cant dismiss the decision of best captian india ever seen just by one test or limited knowledge u have about the game, so instead of just complaining cheer the indian team for their series win and motivate for next big series against england

  • jvijay77 on July 11, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    Also, if we had done that hitting, overall it should have been really said that indeed tried the best and westindies were negative ... in this case, indian team has been portrayed negative ... you are winner, then your image as an winner also matters.

  • Vijay on July 11, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Rightly said ... Agreed that dravid & laxman are the pillars ... but before that, we should have had harbhajan & dhoni coming and trying some pyrotechniques.. who knows westindies might have got tensed and start bowling bad. We lost 2 rating points and westindies gained 2. We could have strengthened our position by getting that points by winning here. We have a long way to go as a team who can really stand up in the top for next few yrs.

  • Ravi on July 11, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    I think you completely ignore the fact that our "Javed and Imran" are not playing ... if Sehwag/Tendulkar/Gambhir were playing I could see our team going for a win. But given the team to Dhoni - it is not reasonable to expect him to be agressive with a series win/draw at stake.

  • Tamil Indian on July 11, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    BANG ON!! - I'm sure most of the fans would have been proud of a team that tried to win but lost. This mentality to play it safe is sickening.

  • Sudhakar G on July 11, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    Uday, please check the piece I've written. You have the information that you wanted

  • Tajinder Singh on July 11, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    First Of all,I admit our comments will not make any difference to the guys who hold puppet strings of Indian Cricket.Its in India only where a selector who has been regualrly selecting his statemates prefering them over much more deserved.Finally he came to lime light by selecting his own son, over the likes of Uthappa.India goes to play in Australia later this year.3rd reserve opener likely to be Mukund or Vijay are not in emerging players squad to Australia.Cheif selector and Captains dectatership continues to play with Country'spride.Mr Dhoni knows,after 1 month and in history he will be regarded as one of most succesful and great capt.& only 3rd one to win series in WI. But we mango pepole watch matches,indirectly pay them and want to see India win, so we must ask,how can he miss such a chance & make decision not going for win.He did same in Newzealand,in 3rd test,kept on batting for his century & gave kiwis over 600 run target,resulting draw. But for How long? Dhoni time changes

  • Ramesh P on July 11, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    Bottom line; If you are scared to lose, you will never win. This match was a classic case of being scared of losing. Ceratinly one of Dhoni's worst decisions as a captain.

  • Hunksurat on July 11, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    I absolutely agree with you on this. Though India is no.1 on ICC ratings, I sincerely do not believe we deserve the tag "Champions". We are actually far away from it. I still remember the Aussies touring around the world and beating pretty much every one they played against in emphatic manner. They we chickened out yesterday was terrible and reminded me of our England tour where Dravid's Indian team had done something similar. I have to rate teams on current form the order will be 1) South Africa 2) England 3) Australia 4) India & Srilanka. Now we all are looking forward to the England tour of India. I bet its going to 2/3-1/0 (England vs India)

  • Karthik Rajasekar on July 11, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Only stupids risk everytime. A wise man will only take risk when necessary. I stand by the Indian team decision.

  • Vijay on July 11, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    India not always married to #1 rank- & @ some point in future, it will definitely run away with the best suitor. Hence, stop trying to tie it to your neck, rather impress it by pursuing its best interests. Test cricket, it is the test of the caliber of one-self & it is the only format that defines character of a player. When players lounge for a place in the format then they shouldn't dare to abandon the game while playing it. We fans want our #1 ranked team continue fighting till the very end. Win or Loose - still the Fan & Cricket are always winners.

  • Arun on July 11, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    Hi, I agree that it was possible for India to have been more optimistic in the run chase. But then again, the people who comment are not the players who have won the world cup. We see it from the perspective of a spectator, but they see it with a cricketing brain and lot more of reputation at stake. I think we can't really comment whether they should have chased it down or not because WE were not playing on that pitch and have no idea really what they were experiencing in terms of gut feel of chasing the target.

  • outswing on July 11, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    It was actually a good and sensible decision. This is not a T20 or ODI. There are no field restrictions. And pitch was very difficult to score on. You can stop the flow of runs easily with stacked field on one side, and when the ball is not coming on to the bat, if you try to do too much, you lose your wicket. People watch T20/ODI so much that they don't realize what Test cricket is and expect 100 runs in 100 ball every time.

  • Rishi Darira on July 11, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Dhoni surely missed Sachin today! Sachin unlike Dravid has the capability of winning matches. The "holding the fort" excuse has been used by Dravid for years. The bottom line is that he is not capable of changing this intent based on the situation. Dhoni's only fault was not pushing Dravid down the order. Dravid was one of the main reasons for the last test's draw as well!

  • Vishal on July 11, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    The FACT is that Indian team were in two minds from the beginning of the chase. All this 15 overs 85+ is BS talk. They could have used all of their lower order as pinch hitter while saving Dravid, Laxman, Dhoni and could have gone offensive till 6 down. Black day for Cricket!!

    And the guy Ratheesh who said that people are commenting reading news and did not watch match till late night - Come out of the well Mr. Frog, not everybody lives in Indian timezone and secondly even Indian fans can watch game till late night.

  • anil on July 11, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    I watched the game. Why is pitch difficult only when India has to go for a win. Bottomline - WI would have gone for it if they were to score 180 off 47 overs. Question is why could n't #uno team? If memeory serves right - WI gave it a try in the previous test while chasing 280 in 80 overs. Leadeship including Seniors need be accountable - That time and again '80s, 90s, '00s and now in '10s - They keep repaeting the same mistake - i.e. if there is win to chase - Donot do it. Rather be contemp with a draw. Pathetic!

  • surya on July 11, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    this is d difference b/n sehwag and other indian players.If sehwag wud hav played, india wud hav won d match easily

  • Raj on July 11, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    we missed Viru to say the least....

  • sidharth nagpal on July 11, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    India performance in chasing a meager target of 180 runs in just 47 overs , is pathetic. I think India is no1. only by some of their points . Their performance on ground against no.8 time is not good. Dhoni is fearful captain and South Africa and Australian team are much better than Indian team. India doesn't deserve to be no.1. If Indian team is no.1 , they will definitely go for win .

  • Vivek on July 11, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    My respect for Dhoni went few notches down. He is a good captain but I doubt he can be termed as a great captain - this will be a decision that will always stand out against him. Cricket/game was the loser and let down by no 1 team in ratings. Sports is all about competing and not playing conservative, safe game - please rise above ratings and act as sports icons. This is not a good advertisement for cricket and not at all for the new breed of ambitious Indian cricketers. At least they could have given it a shot!!!

  • Rohan Rai on July 11, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    Any strong teams win in this situations. This attacking attitude even led Australia to loose many matches in the process but they attacked. Same was the case of West Indies in early eighties. I still remember Viv Richards blasting indians and winning a match in 1983 tour of Indian team to WI. In 2005 when England was in top form they did the same thing.However the team would have helped Tendulkar etc score personal milestones no mater what. This shows that India is just theoretically No.1 just because other teams have drastically fallen apart due to retirement,passion for cricket etc. The Indian cricket says it all.India is Quantity but no Quality in any product.

  • Thinkbeforewriting on July 11, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    Misplaced machismo and emotional outburst. Most fans are upset because they stayed up whole night. Thank God Dhoni doesn't do what stupid fans think he must do...read Fletcher's comments on why they did not go for the chase. I too feel let down by what could have been an exciting chase, but once you hear the reasons, you will understand if you understand cricket...

  • alex on July 11, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    Time to dump the non performing Dhoni. He is no body if sehwag not there to upset opposition plans.

  • Ram on July 11, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    Winning is one thing but I am surprised that they called off with 15 overs to go and just 80 odd to get. Not the hallmark of a champion side and at this rate they won't be champions for long either.

  • Cloudmess on July 11, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    I fear India have appointed the wrong coach - this had all the ultra-caution of Duncan Fletcher stamped over it. He is a great coach of struggling teams - and vice versa. India don’t currently need someone to show them the forward press, they need a more positive, lateral-minded coach to challenge and coax them into something greater than the sum of their parts, as John Buchanan did Australia. Australia under Buchanan repeatedly won games other teams would have drawn. Even when Fletcher had a very successful spell with England, he needed Michael Vaughan at the helm, who was much more a risk-taker. England would have drawn the 2004-05 series with South Africa 1-1, had Fletcher had his way. He was furious with Vaughan declaring early in a rain-affected 4th test. England bowled out SA with a couple of overs to spare and won the series. As Vaughan said of his coach "you can take the boy out of Africa, but you can't take Africa out of the boy".

  • Kinshuk Kumar on July 11, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    WOW!!!!people have incredibly short memories!!!!India showed a lot of intent when they declared in the last game.... clearly, people seem to have forgotten all about that!

    Maybe India should have gone for the win....... but let's assume India didn't agree to the draw.... they would have stayed in there and bishoo and company would have bowled attrociously negative lines (actually, continued bowling negative lines).....

    let's not forget test cricket gives fielding sides the freedom to be negative... heck, they could have kept all 9 fielders on the boundary rope!!!

    so let's cut these guys some slack!!

    what needs closer attention is india's batsmen's overall struggles with the bat in this series.... apart from laxman none of the batsmen looks solid enough to stand up to the challenge of playing better bowling (and that includes dravid who might have got some runs but didn't look convincing!!)

  • Swapneel on July 11, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    I thought things would certainly have been different if we had the gauti and viru show.. but with an inexperienced team this was always going to be tough task but not impossible by any means..

  • ck on July 11, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    ok samir and every one who has commented,my question. if there was a result possible, why did sammy allow them to call it a day. They could have taken the rest of the wickets and won the match right.why dont you all talk about cricketing spirit from westindies point of view.because you are all narrow minded and opportunistic.

  • kingshaker55 on July 11, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    So, you would all be happy if India folded in next 5 overs ?

  • teg sidhu on July 11, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    At the end of the day, neither Dhoni or Sammy lost. It was the defeat of the cricket...

  • CJ on July 11, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    I think Dhoni and Team India has shown enough Champion signs in this series, main ones being declaring the third innings in 2nd test (i do not think anyone expected that) and go for the result (and they almost pulled it off if not for bad light in later part of last day). Even in this test, they went on for win and even sent Raina above in the batting order. Once he was out and WI bowlers completely resorting to negative line (Bishoo especially), there was no reason to go for the win. Even though for fun/entertainment sent, I would have love them to go for it but as per common sense, it was wise calculated decision by Dhoni and team. I think we all should appreciate another away series win (both Tests and ODIs) and get ready for clash with England.

  • vishy on July 11, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Dear friends I am totally dissapointed,How could they do this!Whats the point of having test averages above 50 when u can't score run a ball of these poor west indies second string side.India by no means can be compared to the Australian test side,when it comes to being test cricket.Its stupidity on dhoni's side can't score those 90 runs,if you guys being IPL champions can't do this,its disgraceful.should have been 2-0 series victory.I forgot to tell you guys Mr.Dhoni is just T-20 CHAMP,ONE DAY CHAMP,but believe me I have never seen him hungry to win lot of test matches.He is an ordinary thinker of testcricket,don't think he has great skills like S.waugh or ricky ponting.Its our badluck tht we have to persist with this so called lucky charm,which is just Nonsense.I hate these guys

  • ck on July 11, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    Before talking lots of nonsense , please review the history.Even the great australian team of 1980's failed to chase below 200 target in an entire day twice and as a matter of fact lost both the matches to england.

  • Rodney on July 11, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    5th day of a TEST match. Slow wicket. Nothing there for the batsmen. Windies batting out for most of day 4. People - this isn't 20 over cricket. Tests are all about strategy and decision making. Funny how EVERY single stat are from pre 1990's. Couldn't find anything recent? Winning is winning. Why risk the match and the series? Lets have a bit of sense shall we?

  • Keshav on July 11, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    yes yes.. one day you praise him for a daring declaration and next day diss him for this.. all i can say is Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni have a better idea about the game and the conditions than everybody sitting on a couch and commenting..

  • commom man on July 11, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    The Test match day 5 was boring for Indian fan. They should not have allowed to let edward and company bat for so long in the morning. Was the Indian battting full strength I tink Dhoni would have gone for it. He missed Sachin,shewag,gambhir

  • satish on July 11, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    What about if we try for target and lost the game. how many of you who are criciticising INDIA not going for a win, agree with the loss by a 8th ranked team.

  • Anwarul hoque Nishad on July 11, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    India playing with 8th ranked team PLUS a second string westindies side. Shame on india. Somebody saying westindies bowling wrong line....ofcourse they have to bowl...because they are happy to draw and they know they cant win it,,,,, This is really funny comments that westindies bowled negatively.

  • Anurag on July 11, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    I remember Australia chasing down 168 in 32 overs in the Ashes test in Adelaide in 2007 on the final day against a much better bowling attack. Didn't England try and bowl negative? Of course they did. But Mike Hussey reverse sweeped Ashley Giles to put off his negative bowling. That, my friend, is called intent. That's what was missing yesterday.

  • Raghu on July 11, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    The most ridiculous comment from MSD is that with 15 overs to go they didn't want to risk of losing. If 7 wickets in hand if you are not confident to last JUST 15 overs SORRY Indian team doesn't deserve to be No 1. The pitch is also not a minefield either !!. Who knows the 3 points lost in ranking may hurt in England and deservedly they will slip from No 1. I felt ashamed about myself to have stayed awake till 2 Am only to see this end ....

  • TJ on July 11, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    India didn't go for the win ..shame on them . But shame on WI for bowling a negative line ..if India had really gone for a win the negative line would have just increased ..neither team deserved to win this one .

  • Mudit on July 11, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    And so yet again we have arm chair critics out in force sharpening their daggers. And dont they know better than the players in the middle! And O yes mythical teams- that 'Australia of 2000s' and 'Windies of 80s' - those great 4th innings vanquishers-are bought out as comparison. Ignorance is bliss and ignorance about past even double so. Sometimes I wonder whether anybody was actually watching the game unfold to talk with such certainty about the impending victory pot at the end of 15 overs rainbow.

  • Sjp on July 11, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    the truth is India are paper champions... statistical ladder hoggers! What have they won to attain their No.1 Status? A series in England way back in 2006... three draws against South Africa (2 at home), wins against SL, NZ, Australia ... all at home... they've done nothing of note... a win in New Zealand? India's record in NZ is not comparable to Pakistan's or Sri Lanka's. India are paper champions but due to their status they will have plenty of opportunities to prove themselves... it only remains to be seen if they do!

  • Sarav on July 11, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    It's funny that all here are complaining that India did not go for a win. When this tour started, it was determined that this Indian side would get a severe beating and would not win a match against the fast track pitches. They were called slow track bullies. And to add more, all the youngsters were fresh and only 2 of them had experience in fast tracks. The youngsters rose to the occasion, but all these people want to burn them out so quick. Give the team some time. I would say that was a good decision, even though it would have been a exciting match. All those people who are shouting India, would have said , India should have safeguarded the series, if India would have persued and lost the match.

  • M.R.Sampath on July 11, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    Samir's views expressed certainly deserve some attention; but, it is unfair to pass adverse judgement on the merits of India being No.1 nation in cricket It may be noticed that throughout the 3 match series the bowlers have dominated and even in the last test the batsmen have just laboured to get the 300 odd runs at ridiculously low run rates confirming the bowlers' dominance over batsmen. Dhoni made a bold declaration in the second test but narrowly failed to get past. Even in the third test run was difficult to get. Vijay did try hard but the uneven bounce took the toll of his wicket. Dhoni tried even then sending Raina to go for the runs, but he too succumbed to the wiles of the pitch and some hostile bowling. At this juncture, it is not prudent to go on a 20-20 mode and risk loosing the lead in the series. That would have been disastrous. 'Prudence is the better part of valour' is the saying. Please do not disturb the morale and rhythm of the Indian team. They have a job to do in UK and allow them to concentrate.

  • SM on July 11, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    ".....To be a true champion it is not enough that one sit on top of a numerical ladder of rankings and points......." You nailed it brother SAMIR! I am proud to be an Indian, but this really sucks to see Dhoni et al running after being SAFE and opting for maintaining #1 position rather than going for a KILL! May be Dhoni is not confident of his OWN abilities as a Batsman! If we are #1, then our so-called bench strength should be #1 as well! When people question our ranking, we get offended, but this kind of soft approach will be under the scanner for a long time! Honestly, we don't deserve to be numero uno Test nation!! What a disappointment!!!

  • Aamir Afzaal Malik on July 11, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    I was surprised to read in Newspaper Today morning that India could not win :|

    Loss is better than a draw, says Imran khan the legendary Captain.

  • DSK on July 11, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    It is easy for every tom dick and harry to criticize India for not going for the kill. A chase of this sort requires a quicker start, whereas we lost our opener for a duck. We need to consider the negative lines the WI bowlers bowled, which is understandable, as they were content with a draw. Also, with the second string team the important thing is we won the series, and our younger lot gained valuable experience. To me we achieved everything possible with a second string team. A win in this game would have been icing on the cake.

  • yousaf pakistan on July 11, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    nice written article... Better cricket was expected from India, who are probably at their best... They should have go on to win, and I am sure they would have easily done that. Even Pakistan has made really stupid decision of calling off test matches when it was really achievable in recent past. dont know what MS Dhoni has to say on this???

  • Ram on July 11, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    I understand the crticism and uproar for India going for a draw. What we seem to be forgetting are the fact that we played a third string team on a tricky wicket. We could have easily chased down this target with our A team. It is an unfair comparison to 1978 test series when our C team played here. Let's get real and give our boys a break.

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    @srtGenius - I think the point here is that We Indians still lack the aggressive attitude to be worthy of the No1 spot. What was the worse that could have happened, we would have lost the match rite (and im talking extremely worse, remember the 8th wicket partnership for WI played like 40 overs or something, im sure we could have played 10 overs). But its ok loose in pursuit of winning. Only then people will watch Test matches. Boring draws like these, just to keep the No1 spot intact will kill test cricket.

  • Dinesh on July 11, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    I as a Indian Cricket Follower & a ardent fan of cricket, I was watching the match on the final day, expecting that Indians are pressing for the win. as soon as it was last fifteen overs left, i thought since Raina came up the order & was looking to chase the runs, it was time for dhoni or may be harbhajan come up the order & have a blast, this decision could have also been taken in last 5 overs, that if we were not in a position to chase or lost too many wickets. I don't agree with dhoni's decision playing safe, what if Sammy doesn't wanted to take the draw, he wanted to look for the win & take all the wickets in the overs left, in that case dhoni would be seen as a joker!

  • ld on July 11, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    Come on ! You can't always compare the current situation against history. If you do, then 1 must compare all factors ,not just few.Also remember, the Indian team were without Gambhir and Sehway,either of who could give the team a blazing start and cut short the margin after which the other could chip in. You don't want to loose like Srilanka in the match against England recently. Cheers to India !

  • Raks on July 11, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    @SK - where did Samir mention that Indian bowled negative line to Pakistanis?

  • Vijay R on July 11, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    Great piece Samir. Very interesting bit of history you dredged up quoting the 1978 India-Pak series. Yes, calling off the match with 90 balls to spare and 80-odd runs to get was one of the strangest decisions you'll ever see in Test cricket.

    Hope all is well. Raja.

  • SB on July 11, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    Shameful, in my opinion. I am not saying it would have been a stroll in the park. But it is the mindset that matters. This could be the beginning of the end, and signal a deeper problem. Like Chappell had messed up Ganguly's team, now Fletcher will bring down Dhoni's. Dhoni, stay away from Flethcher, please.

  • Angshuman on July 11, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    @Venkat - "For the neutral observer it is a little disappointing but if you are a lifelong India fan then you know where I am coming from" - yeah! - I know. and thanks for your comment. It will be difficult for the new fans to understand the feeling of just winning an overseas tour. Guys - WI is still a pretty competitive side at home and 1-0 is pretty good when we could have won the 2nd one and when we don't have Sachin/Zaheer/Gautam/Veeru.

  • Craving4Cric on July 11, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Mr. Fletcher teach the boys how to overcome such situations don't teach them how to escape. Dhoni - you did it in world cup, why you lost your confidence yesterday. If the same decision was made after laxman, dravid, kohli, you and harbhajan then we will be happy with the result too. Please make sure the whole nation is happy with the result. The pitch has no venom in it, vijay and raina were out not because of the deteriorating pitch, those are bad shots. Don't you see how nicely laxman was finding the middle of the bat and gaps between the feilders? Please don't repeat it again - Now focus on the England tour, go with confidence. Good luck India!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • N J on July 11, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    Totally agree with Samir. All comments are regarding the lack of will to chase. Do consider instead the inability of the bowlers to remove Nos. 10 and 11 quickly. Ishant and Harbhajan bowled much rubbish during that long stand for the 9th wicket, too many deliveries wide of the stumps in every over, and no innovations to try to trick the batsmen. Mental ineptitude rather than physical, and no interventions from Dhoni either to wangle for that key wicket. He is a good captain mostly, but lacks initiative to force a win in Tests. Perhaps an answer is to grade prize money for winning a series by number of results in it, making the escalation very sharp as the number (not just the winning margin) increases.

  • Saket on July 11, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    Samir, a couple of points to consider before feeling let down about the Indian team- 1. No doubt it was great cricket from Pakistan in 1978. But then, India were terrible at fielding (which this WI team is NOT). Secondly, everyone knew the umpires there would usually support the home team (not just in Pakistan). Compare the home and away stats of the leading Pakistan batters--it is much easier to play 'attacking' cricket in such conditions and when there is no fast bowler in the opposing attack. 2. Before comparing the Indian team to the Aussies and the WI teams of past, THINK about the fact that India is trying to rebuild AND win series. The Aussies and Windies (of the 80s) never had to worry about their main players retiring in a couple of years, when they were at the top. Again, it is much easier to play attacking cricket in such conditions. 3. When was the last time Indian won consecutive Test series in WI? The nay-sayers might want to think about these things...

  • Swami on July 11, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    I disagree with the article - We did not have Viru, Sachin to bring that balance to go for the kill. Give these young guns few more years and then you can claim about why they did not go for the kill.

  • AJ on July 11, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    Hhaha Had India tried to chase down and lost, the title wud say that India is toppeled from # 1 by # 8 team......... and they did not deserve #1 place to begin with........ Rackless batting display......Bad captain......... and on and on and on.... When playing against # 8, the points are lost even series is tie.

  • Sekhar on July 11, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    If Sehwag, gautam and sachin were there in the line up...India would have atleast tried to chase. How do people expect Dhoni and Kohli to chase those runs? Once Raina fell, Dhoni lost confidence about achieving the target... so, good decision in the end...

  • Rajiv on July 11, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    I guess it is very easy to sit at home and comment on how and why India failed to play like the No. 1 team in the world. Points to ponder on - Dravid was finding it difficult to manouever the ball to the offside, and the negative line bowled by Bishoo. Yes, we had attacking batsmen down the order; but what are their scores this season or in this series? If they would have lost a couple of wickets during the mandatory overs, fans would have been waiting to let the world know that India cannot be No. 1 for long as the current flock of young cricketers lack the quality of the fab 3. Guys, cut them some slack. They know the conditions better than us. Yes, it was disappointing to sit all night expecting a chase. That they sent Raina shows the intent. Congrats to India, and well played Windies!

  • Tom on July 11, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    I don't think this can be excused with the absence of key players. It was India's decision to go on tour with a B squad, and if they don't think it's capable of winning Tests they shouldn't have picked it in the first place.

    India are particularly bad at this - I vividly recall the Oval in 2007 when Dravid chose to bat again rather than make England follow on, then blasted 12 off 96 balls; India made 180 in 57 overs and set England 500 to win in just over one likely rain-affected day - but they're not alone. For all his positive captaincy over the last couple of years, Strauss was more than happy to call down the curtain at Lord's against Sri Lanka when the win was still conceivably on.

    Hopefully the England-India series later this year will see both sides going for the throat. I fear, though, that while England know they need to give India a good shoeing to claim #1, and might be positive as a result, India will go all-out to avoid defeat and we'll see four stalemates.

  • v.Vaidyalingam on July 11, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    Yes it would be frustrating for people who watched the game till the end expecting an Indian win. But it was very unlikely. The bigger question which should have been raised was why were we not able to bowl the west Indians out - that too this team and on a pitch that is offering quite a bit for bowlers.

    Thinking logically it is not easy wicket to bat on like the ones we give for one dayers in India. It had something significant for the bowlers. You go after the bowling in search of a win, lose some quick wickets and get under pressure, who knows. Then we will be angry with our guys for having not played carefully enough.

    We become champion sides not by a bravado against a weak side. We need to win South Africa and Australia in their home turfs. For this we need Excellent bowlers and not just good bowlers who we have today. We should be worried about that. Samir, I think got carried away because he wanted expected to win. For me, India was not going to, on this wicket.

  • Kumarcoolbuddy on July 11, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    I want to see what Dhoni says. I still can't believe if this is Dhoni's decision. I know Dhoni used to be defensive in tests but with previous 2nd test declaration he just erased that opinion from everyone's mind. Infact there is no harm in continuing the play for 15 more overs so why would he be defensive? It looks like a mystery for me.

  • mann on July 11, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Are you guys kidding? Look at the strike rate of players and perhaps you guys can do a ittle bit of math. While I believe that Dhoni should have put himself and Kohli before brining out VVS and the tail, it's impossible to claim that they could have chased it down if they only tried. But even my recommendation comes with the preassumption that The Wall couldn't be broken down. Let's not forget India made it to where it is now thanks to Dhoni's captaincy. Support the team because we are where we haven't been, and winning all 3 formats, that's just awesome!

    I wish that the bowlers performed a little better, but they did well, Sharma was the man of the match for christ sake. Don't compare India now to teams that were, time changes everything. Besides, don't you guys think that if the weather had been a little better, we probably would have ended with 3-0? You want to blame that on Dhoni too? All I can say good job team.

  • Vish on July 11, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    Samir Chopra, I would love to see if India tried to chase and lost the match. So please take it easy.

  • dinesh on July 11, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    This test just proved my opinion right, India were never no1 test side. the rankings was just achieved by them winning at home. By some flat pitch experts.they have never won in srilanka, southafrica, australia and they are champions? southafrica is no1 test side.

  • kshitij on July 11, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    Shame on dhoni ! you could have settled for draw any time in the duration of those 15 overs !!! what was the need of mutually agreeing for draw . At least you should have tried ,if loses 2 3 wickets in 5 6 overs then still rest batsmen could pass easily rest 7 8 overs for draw !! THIS IS THE BIGGEST CHOKE ANY TEAM HAS SUFFERED FROM .

  • shashank on July 11, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    an amazing blog....each n every word right...when raina got out there were some 16-17 overs left n the asking rate was somewhere around 5.7...dhoni was supposed to promote himself up the batting order after raina went....with kohli and laxman still to come there was total assurance that we wont lose..it just goes to show the trust (or rather the lack of it) that team management has on our batting order....disappointed.

  • jayakumar on July 11, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    India's tour of South Africa, 3rd test Cape Town. India going into the last test of the 3 test series with the series 1-1 tied up. South Africa in the 2nd innings struggling at 130-6 lead by 128, when boucher joined kallis. This is where dhoni's tactics again cost a test match and a series win in south africa for india. Dhoni opted to spread the field and gave away easy singles. This released the pressure for south africa and there is no possible for taking the wickets with this field. Kallis and Boucher scored freely with kallis scored a century and south africa set a target of 340 in the final day. India never at any stage tried to achieve this target and settled for series draw at 1-1.

    ANd here this is the same situation again where india should have won 2-0, but dhoni( whom you say as Good captain) settled for 1-0 win with the No.7 ranked team. India with the mentality can nowhere match the champions like West India or Australia in their era.

  • jayakumar on July 11, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Once again Dhoni's decision in crucial times cost a test match win for india:

    India's tour of Newzealand, 3rd test Wellington. India wasted time by not declaring when the Lead went past 500. This match has already interrupted with bad light and the weather forecast for last day is not good. Considering the situation, Dhoni should have declared earlier and we would have easily won the match within time. But Dhoni waited too long and set a target of 617, in the end NZ ended the fifth day with 281/8 (still not half of the target) when rain interrupted and thereafter there is only one result possible. In the end india's chance to win two test in an overseas test series was undone by dhoni's crucial decision. 2-0 win sounds beeter than 1-0 win.

    India's tour of South Africa, 3rd test Cape Town. India going into the last test of the 3 test series with the series 1-1 tied up. South Africa in the 2nd innings struggling at 130-6 lead by 128, when boucher joined kallis. This is wher

  • Srinivas on July 11, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Dhoni needs some break.He should be advised 6 months rest from International cricket.Pathetic decision to draw the match.

  • stonebull on July 11, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    it's a shame and disgrace. indians are too conservative. what about heart and guts. what about the crowd. and we wonder why people don't come to test matches.these are guys who just came off two months of ipl.guys who can score 200 in 15 overs if they wanted. i guess the billion dollar ipl is a waste of time and money.i remember wanting to cry as i listened to the radio as viv and friends mauled 170 something in 25 overs 28 yrs ago.i don't think any aussie team would abondon this chase.i would understand if they lose dhoni and harbajan .and dravid and laxman would shut up shop.

  • Dinaharan on July 11, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    I agree with Kumar. If the team is a champion why would they agree for a draw? and loose their rankings. Even though its a 2nd string they have exprience of Rahul and Lakshman and Dhoni. Does it show they are not confident. Matches should be won. I dont like teh excuse of 2nd string. The last match we should have another regular spinner. Being Indian I am shamed. Of course u can blame the rain and umpiring but where is the spirit. Chake de India.

  • Sadak SA on July 11, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Be happy with the team's performance and learn to enjoy the match, Really one should appreciate them as they come, Am sure India is a champion side and much better than the rest. I dont think that team India made any wrong decision, they well knew about the pitch better than us and thus keeping in mind the behaviour of the pitch, they decided to end it in a draw. Nothing wrong in that.....Remember that great people take great decisions and ordinary people just dont understand that and oppose it. Please calm down guys, Being on the field and knowing the conditions of the pitch, Captain and coach might have taken a better decision, but few people just don't get this.

  • bigwonder on July 11, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    A lot of criticism for India in the comments, but keep in mind that WI sank low to negative bowling to avoid a loss, which is perfectly legal in test. Hence, changes are needed in Test Cricket for it to survive. What is the point of playing for 5 days and ending up without results cause one team wants to deny results if they chose to. India (in the past) too have gotten away by batting slow on day 4 and 5 to induce a draw. Most of the Cricket fans want results not a draw.

  • J on July 11, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    Whatever critics say Harbhajan is an asset to Indian team or else how can he be there in the top 10 list of three ICC rankings (Test Bowling, Test All Round, One day bowling) .....

  • Sojan on July 11, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    A team's first responsibility is to not lose. Having wrapped up the series, I don't see why Team India would risk losing, no matter how miniscule the chances. Winning was not really possible. This isn't a ODI or T20 - the west Indies would have bowled Bishoo on an outside the leg line - to be able to chase a run a ball. There is a reason we have all those rules in limited overs cricket. If anyone is to blame, it's the rules. Whether a result is possible is not the point - the players should never have the option to walk off without playing 90 oversin a day, weather permitting. The fans paid to watch a full days game and that's exactly what they should have gotten. It's time to do away with these archaic rules about the "Gentleman's Game". It is not one anymore. It's a spectator sport with millions of passionate fans.

  • sujo on July 11, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    absolutely agree with everyword samir said,, not a good advertisement for indiancricket and test cricket,, even inthe last test we should have forced the declaration earlier and pressed for a win,,,,and inthe third test with just 2 and half bowlers they have in the first innings india should have attackes Sami and forced him to take himself of and put them under more pressure with just two bowlers,,,but do we have a think tank?!! Disgusting And disapponting not a great fan of Dhoni any way ,,,

  • Earl Maragh on July 11, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    The idea of abondaning a run chase so early to to win a match which was in your grasp was very suprising.Fletcher can offer all the rationals, but none seems to pan out. However this must have been planned - Indian coming off a series win with their second eleven team, creates a good hype. Now for the big one, India with all their star studded players, are ready to take on England, who have just beaten Sri Lanka. How does this sound for marketing/publicity?How many die hearted cricket lovers around the world and India in particular will be subscibing to video cast etc.

  • ratnakar on July 11, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Why india can never be a team like australia-47 overs 180 target-ur the no.1 team in the world up against the no.8 team yet u dont even try to win let alone win..ur very comfortable playing for draw right from the word go...for all you die hard indian fans england wont be a cake walk if u draw two tests against a struggling windies side imagine how it wil be against home side england..the matter of the fact for now though u just dont belong in the champions league-statistics wont stay longer its the spirit and the approach that matters and lingers on...india was not missing somebody(virender Sehwag) it was missing the intent to win...the intent to raise above the ''i am happy with a 1-0 series win than a 1-1 or 2-0 risk"killer instinct has always eluded india and alas it continues to...

  • abhishek on July 11, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    For India it was not about winning the series only, but to prove its dominance. Champions believe in attacking instead of defending and that too when the situation was so much under control, the decision of going for draw was really shameful. Dhoni again showed that he plays on his luck instead of his capability. Its really a shame for no. 1 team to go for the draw with no. 8 team, taking the scenario under consideration...

  • sreeraj on July 11, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Where is my man Viru????

  • Srini on July 11, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    I remember Pak and WI chasing stiffer targets than Ind had in this test and winning back in 80s.The captains involved were Imran and Richards (or Llyod, I am not 100% sure) were far more aggressive than Dhoni. Ind being No.1 team should definitely have gone for the win with Kohli, Dhoni and Harbhajan still in the hut.

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    The first nail in the coffin of test cricket might have been struck long ago by some other sides, the current world number one just seems to be driving in one more every now and then rofl

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain and there is no doubt in it. He has a strong decision power and that has lead Indian team to no 1 position. But we cant dismiss that matter that India even didn't tried to win the game. I mean WI is at the bottom of their game and their bowling power is certainly not at its best.

    India is not with its A team but still its sure is a good line up. Promoting someone like Bhajji or Captain himself for some hitting ahead might worked as both can hit hard and have recently played some promising innings. Vijay in IPL final showed that he can be a good hitter. If this 3 don't work out then we have Mukund, Dravid, Laxman, Raina to save the match.

    Well but this are just opinions. Team and its captain knows better than us as we just sit at home and comment.

  • adarsh on July 11, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    simple strategy let raina, vijay, harbajhan, kohli go for runs let dravid, mukund, laxman, dhoni hold fort

    if you cant back your top 8 batsmen to bat out 47 overs then might as well call it quits

    I think this is when we understand the importance of shewag in the batting line up, a long term strategy for india should be to have someone / train some one to bat like him in the wings

    shame on team india

  • Sandeep on July 11, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    I am NEVER going to watch a Ind vd WI Test Match in my life...

  • Arun D'Souza on July 11, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    As I (based in Europe) have read this article and have minutely read most of the comments...one and only thought came up to me very strongly, that is......... "A 'Winner' OR LETS CALL a "Champion" is not who never fails, who never draws the cricket test match.... but is the one who never quits!" For me every Indian cricketer (senior or junior) leaves the pavilion with his bat to do well for his country and not to quit on any circumstances......We (the readers and journalist) would do the same! Let us look at the better side of the series just completed and support 'The Champions India' not to quit their number one position versus England series!

  • Sriraj on July 11, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    While it is acceptable that the BCCI did send a weak squad without Sehwag, Tendulkar, Zaheer and Gambhir, it has to be accepted that the WI also played with a depleted squad. The politics over there has ensured that Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Jerome Taylor did not feature while Pollard missed the limited overs squad. And one wonders why Roach never got to play in the tests when he has the ability to challenge top batsmen in the world. Rampaul, Roach and Edwards could have the ability to bring WI back up. While I won't blame or criticise the Indian side for not dominating or seizing the moments, in my opinion WI showed more positives in this series and showed great champion spirit given their current situation.

  • santosh on July 11, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    Dear Friends, Something is Fishy here. I am sure bookies have to do something with this. ICC must investigate.. When Everyone thought India will WIN, bookies might have thought otherwise and called in for a DRAW. Like a stupid guy, I was awake and watching this match for an Indian Victory. This is A No1 Team that does not even have the guts to play positive cricket against Minnow West Indies. Shame Dhoni & Co.. We the Fans need a Genuine Explanation.

  • PT - the Axis on July 11, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    all the indian fans who keep asking who has chased more than 4 runs per over on last day - please read the article and other comments properly where many instances of that happening are shown. what can be said about people who don't even read the article properly when commenting. who can talk to people who stay in their own head & refuse to see reality.

  • MKD on July 11, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    3.64 runs per over was the asking rate. What happend with our great one day/T20 batsmen like Murli Vijay,Raina,Kohli and Dhoni?

    The sad thing is they didn't even try.It's all about mindset.

  • Prasant Sarangi on July 11, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    It just shows how indispensable Sehwag & Sachin are to Team India. More in their attitude than in their execution. Once they are back, I am sure the team would respond in a manner that is resemblance of a side which deserves to be at No.1.

  • H Rehman on July 11, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    Well said Samir. The prime object of sports is entertainment, cricket fans could be treated to a fabulous final hour, 90 balls with only 86 runs to get!!!unbelievable!!

  • Sachin Moghe on July 11, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with India going for a draw! This bashing is apalling. Had India lost the game and series, it would have been more disgustng. How do you expect the batsmen to score 5 runs an over on the 5th day for a good 15 overs ?

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    I fear India have appointed the wrong coach - this had all the ultra-caution of Duncan Fletcher stamped over it. He is a great coach of struggling teams, and vice versa. India do not currently need someone to show them the forward press, they need a more positive, lateral-minded coach to challenge and coax them into becomning greater than the sum of their parts, as John Buchanan did Australia. Australia under Buchanan repeatedly won games other teams would have drawn. Even when Fletcher had a very successful spell with England, he needed Michael Vaughan at the helm, who was much a risk-taker. England would have drawn the 2004-05 series with South Africa 1-1, had Fletcher had his way. He was furious with Vaughan declaring early in a rain-affected 4th test. England bowled out SA with a couple of overs to spare and won the series. As Vaughan said of his coach "you can take the boy out of Africa, but you can't take Africa out of the boy".

  • Cricfan78 on July 11, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    Bizarre article.

    First of all this was not the team which is no. 1.

    Second RR achieved in whole Test was never above 3 so how do you expect side to be chasing runs at 6 an over. The example you gave about India Pak Test had RR of excess of 3.5 in 2nd and 3rd inns.

    Third India already had series in bag after playing 3 back to back Tests.

    Its easy sitting in a sofa and being an armchair critic and trying to prove the point by comparing apples with oranges.

  • Santosh John Samuel on July 11, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Well written; and a lot of us share the same sentiment. Two years after the delayed declaration, and subsequent playing for time, in New Zealand, a much improved Indian side (the no. 1 tag and the WC holders) still has not made any progress in overcoming the mindset of playing safe. Records or the fear of losing should not distract us from playing attacking cricket. It is possible that we could have ended up with a drawn series – hardly a bad result; it is equally possible that we could have pulled off a victory and then gone to England with a spring in our steps. Just can’t imagine the great Aussie side of a few years back not going for broke, faced with a little over 80 runs, with 7 wickets and 15 overs to spare! The champions tag is not about numbers alone – much as a lot us are happy about the top ranking, our team does not feel like it. And yes, absolutely agree with the last thought – Test cricket needs better guardians.

  • nns11bel on July 11, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    God Knows. Should we defend our Indian Team or accept the limitations they have ? But if that's the case then do they deserve so much high-profile status and money ?

  • Raman on July 11, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Shame on Team India. They did not play like No #1 side, instead they played like No #9 ranked team. Is it really worth of holding to No#1 ranking without having guts? NO NO NO...

  • Seshadri on July 11, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    This the clear difference between a real # 1 team and a team that wants to cling on to the # 1 spot. A champion team is like 1984 WI team that had to chase 342 on the last day (WI was leading the test series 1-0), and they went on to chase it more than 10 overs to spare against England that was quite better than the current WI team...Now thats a champion team and becoz they decided to win from the word go & they won with 9 wickets to spare. If India is the #1 team with this bowling, then it is degradation of cricket. Any team that has been the # 1 team should be able to clean the tail without any problem. The difficulty has to remove the tail is quite irritating.

  • nmj on July 11, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    As some people say here, yes, India won the series 1-0. But, they have lost 2 rating points against WI, which rated as Number 8.

  • Mohsin on July 11, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    India doesnt deserve to be World Champion.

  • Lochan G.P. on July 11, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    Well written Samit Chopra. I stayed awake the whole night to watch an exciting test and, of course, to see an exciting Indian win. In the end it was a mockery. The teams (an especially India) should be penalised for calling off the match with 15 overs to spare. Fans are not paying money to watch this. India, with this kind of attitude, can never ever be No. 1 or champions. They don't take up challenges like this and whenever to battle to save a test they have invariably lost it. Dhoni is a shrewd captain but has more luck going in his favour than shrewdness. He should be ashamed to say "I am not disappointed".

  • kishore on July 11, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Its shame for the INDIAN team being No.1 they did not even tried to win the 3rd test match. they should have chased the target 180 in 47 overs. Also I can't understand why DHONI giving so many chances to BAJJI who is in WORST form.I think Aussie the best team in this type of Matches. As an indian i feel shame of INDIAN TEAM.Also indian team withour SEHWAG & GAMBHIR is nothing in any format.Also DHONI should reduce his proudness.

  • Bhuvana on July 11, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Iam totaly disagree with u its always easy to criticize others they only play on the field they know what to do we have no say this team won the wc no.1 in odi they have done all things for us so we have to back their decisions atleast once 'two months ago dhoni was the best now he is the worst' its stupidity

  • Kiran on July 11, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    I disagree with the article. Why should every cricket match be played like an ODI or a 20-20? A winner does not win always but knows when to quit.

    Samir is only looking at what India could have done in chasing the target, AND not at what WI would have done in that case. WI were already bowling wide of the off-stump with 6 men on the off side. Had India attacked, the WI attack would have been more negative.

    I am sure many would criticise if India had tried to chase the target and lost the match.

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    First of all the required run rate at the start of the innings was never achieved and it kept climbing. Secondly it was hard to believe that at any time that India was interested in chasing the target since in the top three none of the hitters ( raina, Kohli, Dhoni, ) came out to bat. To their credit WI bowled tightly and limited the free scoring , sometimes, by bowling negatively. I must point out that MS opened up the second test and gave WI a sniff of victory on the last day with a sporting declaration. That is called aggressive proactive captaincy. He did not have to do that and could have batted on. After all if I am 1 up think it is up to the other team to prove their mettle and catch up to me.

  • Anindya on July 11, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Only problem with this rant, is that the Indian team on display was not the team which made it to the No.1 rank. You can't expect to replace 3 of your champion batsmen with rookies and still expect similar performance.

  • Ravi on July 11, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    I was shocked to see a declaration at that stage of the test match considering the amount of 20 20 cricket played these days. It was a spine less decision from the captain and the coach to back off.. This would not have happened if this test match was played for a IPL franchise. I get angry when the past cricketers from Australia do not accept India as the No 1 test ranked side; I begin to agree with them. I don’t think this declaration is a reflection on what Team India could achieve. I don’t think Team India wants the glory they just want to play safe.

  • P.Satish on July 11, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Yeah true. India can't win, they are not a number 1 side. And Tremlett will tear India apart. Look how he(and Anderson and Swann and Broad) tore into the Lankans in the second and third tests. They were all like Fire From Hell In Babylon!!!

    Interestingly, I might have gotten my figures mixed up but no chance that India might have chased down 387(or even around 260) in just over a day on crumbling wickets recently, is there? I thought so.

  • Karthik PV on July 11, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    This was not the #1 Test Team playing. India was without Stalwarts like Sehwag,Gambhir and Sachin. The Question is would India have drawn the second test(referring to the slow batting in 2nd innings) and would the match come this far in the Third had Sehwag been playing :) Smart Decision by Dhoni- As Always.

  • Anil Rawat on July 11, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    The world's no 1 Team gave up after doing all the hard work they have done so far in the series. One of the worst end you can expect when you are watching live at 2:00 am just to see India win and make a statement. Surely now I realised why Australians have dominated in the past. Its about grabbing the opportunity at hand when you have nothing to loose. At the least they should have fought till the end. Worst day for Indian Cricket.Shame on Dhoni.

  • kevin on July 11, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    i understand that there is a difference between the scoring rates in test cricket to limited overs cricket. i understand that the WI could have persisted in bowling a negative line. i understand that the WI could have put fielders on the boundary. i understand these and the other explanations suggested... but 7 wickets to go, 15 overs in hand, dravid and laxman in and only 85 runs to chase... india gave up too early

  • dr mahanand on July 11, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    our team needs psychiatrist counseling , how cheap to say draw,i thought 2-0 ,after seeing 90 runs in 15 overs,7 wickets left...wht a shame to india ...i think aus wil laugh at us....daily watching every ball and wasting the sleep time, horrible ----please appoint one psychiatrist to team,,or i will apply for that post...i was captain for my college team ,we were champions in inter college cricket tournment.i think i can support them psycologically.....

  • Brian Newham on July 11, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    This is 2011. Entertaining the crowd who themselves have paid their money or simply just winning a game count for very little. Money counts for a great deal. Therefore reduce the prize money for winning the series and raise it high for winning each test. Make sure that the players' win bonuses follow suit. We must recognise that ideals and admirable qualities are now stone dead and this is the best way to simulate the way the game would be played if they were still alive.

  • Suri on July 11, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    Well written Samir.I still remember that Pakistan test match.This doesn't come as a morale booster before a tough series.Our bowling (minus Zak)could not get their last two wickets. What I fail to understand is the fact that we guys are generally satisfied with a 1-0 win!!I guess if we have to dethrone the Aussies permanently,we have to have a mindset similar to them. This match proves the fact that we are no 1 mainly because of Viru.Lets not think too much about this and lets plan our victory against the English.Jai ho!!

  • HD on July 11, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Wow, everyone is after the blood of Indian team, no one is thinking that this was a test match, and if for whatever reason India would have lost the game then, these same people would be ready to kill. Come on guys you can't compare every #1 team to Aussie or Windes, times have changed and so have teams. We did not have the top 4-5 players, so still an A team (Viru, Gambhir, Sachin, Yuvi and Zaheer). Give them a break. #1 team in test ranking, World cup winners, T20 winners .... what else do you want, win every game whatsoever?

  • Akshay Sabnis on July 11, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    MS Dhoni, Duncan Fletcher and Indian Cricket Team.. You have cheated the paying audience from a Good Test Match.

    You have lost the right to be called unanimous No.1 Test Team last night, by giving up without trying...

    Indian Team will never be a dominating force like Australia or WestIndies, coz u don't even try to dominate... You take what comes your way and give up if it doesn't.

    And please never cry foul if Test Cricket dies out, coz this is one of the nails in the coffin....

  • Mathew Kuriakose on July 11, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    The decision to go for a assured series win was the right one. The kind of instinct that makes some people on here saying that india should have attenpted to chase down the total against the west indian bowling attack and on this pitch, is called bravado. And it has no place in test cricket. So such people should go back and wait patiently for their hit and giggle season next year. And India must go to England with the same frame of mind like a season general would go about in a war. Consolidating wins and building fortresses around the gains. Post Dravids all around. Clone him 120 times.

  • alfanso jerry on July 11, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    The worst part for me is that West Indies agreed to call it off so early.Even if they had gone on to lose the match, it would not have changed the series outcome. On India's part, when I see an end like this, it makes me want to hail the greatness of Viv Richards even more. I can not imagine a side with Viv would just settle for a gutless end like that.Just check out the game at Sabina Park in 1983 or when he scored the fastest test century in St. John's. This is one reason why test cricket as a spectator sport is in serious decline. It has too much to do about individual stats and records and not enough about heart and team excellence.

  • Prerit on July 11, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    I was ready with a plate of Noodles at 3 o'clock of a Sunday night. I was shocked to see player shaking hands. I was expecting Dhoni to come after Raina as he was highest scorer in 1st innings.. I agree the target was very difficult but at least give it a try yaar.. I can only say disappointing & disgusting for a fan........

  • john on July 11, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    wonder how many of the arm chair critics in here including SC would have appreciated India had they lost the match making a valiant effort to win the match. That was a distinct possibility if India had tried to chase and get those quick runs. India richly deserve their No.1 ranking. They have been consistent for a while now. And there is no need to prove anything to anyone. Take it or leave it. ICC ranking is fact not fiction. The glass is always half empty for some people.

  • suneej on July 11, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Guys please stop mourning about the No.1 spot of Indian team.Please hav a look at India's recent paast performances.Mny occasions they came back from bad situation and either they won or draw.

  • rananujam sridhar on July 11, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    I think the difference between the present Indian team and the earlier Australian team is simple. This team does not believe it can win from anywhere and yesterday was simply a case in point. Even in the earlier test match that was drawn India played too slowly and too painfully and did not give itself enough time to bowl out the west Indians . Yes the gap between no. 1 and no. 8 may be huge in the ratings charts, but it was not apparent the way we played. Is the absence of the senior people affecting Dhoni"s outlook or is our philosophy first to save the gameand then worry about winning and if we dont win , so be it. That is worrying. Because we must think, act and play like champions not merely talk like them. There is too much talk about India"s number one status and ranking and not enough action on the field to demonstrate it. The Australians had an aura about them. Even watching them race on to the field was sending out a signal. The signal we are sending out is uncertainty .

  • Longmemory on July 11, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    The only thing that surprises me anymore about this is that we are surprised at all. The irony, of course, is that we are the one-day champions of the world, having just chased down 275 to win the final of the World Cup barely a month ago - and here we were, refusing to even attempt to a gettable target. Its matches like this which make India's #1 test ranking a bit of a joke. No one outside India takes that seriously at all - and on the evidence of gutless displays like this one, very few within the country should take that ranking seriously either.

  • Usman Sharif on July 11, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Disappointing stuff for cricket... With aggressor like Dhoni still left and Laxman and Dravid at disposal India had less than zero percent worry of losing the match... It was extremely negative attitude. Dravid should have kept up pace with required runrate. If fielding is on boundary, getting ones and twos become easier. Its real shame how india batted and even more how team India's fans are defending it... If u talk about ranking, winning by 1-0 against number 8 team has done nothing good to india, and india has lost points infact. So a totally poor decision and its death of test cricket... Shame Dhoni and team India

  • GM Norm on July 11, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Bad decision by Sammy to bowl negatively , had Dravid or Laxman got out they would have had 14+ overs to get 6 wickets of whom the highest average was Harbhajan. With Edwards, Rampaul and Bishoo going full tilt I think the WI could have created some embarrassment here.No wonder Dhoni didnt want to bat.Imagine a tight finish in which Munaf is required to last one over . Those criticising MS Dhoni are neglecting the information provided by the first two tests which is that only Dravid, Laxman and Raina can bat on WI wickets and only Laxman and Raina can score quickly. Dhoni already had the series he just needed a draw, it is Sammy who needed the win to save the series.

  • Kalyan on July 11, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    I wish India lost the first test so they could have had some fire in the belly to win the last two matches. Looks like they think only about the history books so some 10-20 years down the line if someone wonders what happened in WI, they would be seeing the final result (1-0) and India won the series. Losing a matching is completely different from denying a win by ourselves , a weird disappointment!

  • v.sethuraman on July 11, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    Article is nice to read.Considering the conditions of the pitch,one can not blame Team India for having given up the chase.

  • Srinidhi on July 11, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    I am a great fan of Indian team and Dhoni. This is one of the saddest day for Indian cricket. I am seeing that many people have commented about India losing 7 wickets in 15 overs - unimaginable. Guys, this is the same pitch where FIDEL EDWARS alone batted for 10 overs. Are the Indian batters so incapable? I don believe. It would ve been woth a try for a win. Another 2 quick wickets and then they could ve called it off. If the same negative attitude is carried to England, we will be beaten Black and Blue.

  • Kumar on July 11, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    I remember when Dravid's team gave up on making England follow on in their last tour. A team which doesn't have the self-belief to go for a win doesn't deserve to be number 1. Also, BCCI should be taken to task for sending such a weak team that is not able to convert the advantages. The net result is not just that we beat a #8 ranked team 1-0, but also slipped 2 points in the overall ratings. Despicable!

  • anand jakhotia on July 11, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    true india gave up the chaase bcos dhoni knew his hatsmen were not capable to pull it off. he accepted it candidly. one man who could do it is not in the team.v were already 1-0 up. From other view why dont u blame WI for eating away time. they should have batted aggresively, declared & try 2 bowl out india. infact they needed a win to draw level. funny world is'nt it.

  • Amogh Mathure on July 11, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Well said Samir, Champions play the game to win! & in this context India never ever showed champion stuff. Adelaide 2006, AUS were required to score 168 in 36 overs (4.66 RPO which they achieved in 32.3 overs @ 5.11 RPO) as against yesterday's 180 from 47 overs (3.83 RPO which they tried to achieve at 2.93 RPO).

    Perhaps Majid, Zaheer, Asif, Javed, Mushtaq or Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Hussey, Martin, Clark is much above Mukund, Vijay, Dravid, Kohli, Raina, Laxman.... I know I will get flakfor this comparision but what matters is desire to win, winning attitude and not individual brilliances that do not transform into winning performances.

    Perhaps Samir, you have given answer to all this in your own alanysis.. when you say "This Indian Test team is certainly one of the most consistent in Indian cricket history".. is it enough to be most consistent Indian team? Even if that bench-mark is much below global standards? Just cos of such attitude since long that India were never real Champs!

  • Somanath on July 11, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    I'm totally disappointed like most of the Indian fans but on the final session of a final day, to score a run-a-ball could have gone in favour windies too, as they have had the privilege of unrestricted field setup with bishoo and edwards. A test match is oughta be played like a test match and they did it. So, despite the disappointments they played well. Hail India [even if they lose] from an indian fan!

  • Raj on July 11, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    Disgusting....I feel cheated...like millions of other fans I woke up the whole damn night to see India winning this match...coudnt belive my eyes when I saw them calling it a day...Guys..India should have gone for the kill...this was not a big target to chase...sad to say but this is not how champions are made...

  • Sujay on July 11, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    I fully support Team India's decision. Being No 1. is not a measure of dare-devilry; this is not a war. A Game is lot about strategies and tactics. In the mentioned Ind-Pak match, did India start bowling a negative line? Also all the people commenting otherwise and the writer including, would not have played a test. It is very easy to comment from sidelines and/or question others decisions.

  • Ramamurthy on July 11, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    It is shame to call ourselves as World no.1. Indians could have made it easily without any difficulty. I recall the match in 1983 at Jamaica. West Indies needed 170 runs on the 5th day after Tea. They just made it in 27 overs still some overs to go. They were at that time World No.1. They played for winning not for a draw.

  • Bipin Panchasara on July 11, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    It was a shame, India being No 1 team and did not have the confidence to chase runs despite having 7 wickets in hand and that too against the team who are at the bottom in the rankings. Fletcher says it was difficult law wicket to bat on and chase, thats all rubbish talk, how come then Chanderpaul with tailenders did so well and put up a good total on the same fifth day wicket, how about Harbhajan not doing the job on a slow and law pitch! I think he is struggling and our batsman did not have the confidence (like the No 1 team should have) to go for the easy win. One of the greatest former Indian cricketer once said indian players are complacent and how very true he has been proved by Dhoni & co. This No 1 team have strugled against a low ranking team and that is the fact, forget about the missing players, the batting youngsters have failed and so did the team. just accept it.

  • mohit sharma on July 11, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    the most ridiculous decision ever by a team known for taking stupid decisions. Dhoni, do u realize that the Indian fans were up for 5 consec. days till 3 am hoping that their beloved team will fight it out in the end and win it and not get scared and bow out at the last hurdle??? please dont delve on ifs and buts of the game such as if we had gone for the chase they would have started bowling to the offside field etc. u did not even give it a try.u belong to teh generation which is dying to get ahead in the world,trying to be assertive, willing to take risks to achieve higher gains.when Indians are finally becoming fighters in all fields, u set us back by about 50 years by ur decision....a black day for Indian cricket...!!!

  • RIZWAN AHMAD on July 11, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    I cannot understand what was in Dhoni mind.With 15 overs still left and players like himself and Kohli to follow why he did not go for the chase.It is no way the attitude of a champion team.Dhoni has really left our head down.

  • Adi on July 11, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    It is baffling that the author made no mention of the fact that this is not India's full strength team. At least 4 men who will be a shoe in the main team are not playing(Sachin, Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer). Had this been a full strength squad the criticism was perhaps justified. And as Liam mentioned this ain't 1 day or T20 cricket, there are no fielding restrictions so Sammy would have gone on the negetive for sure anyways.

  • Kumar on July 11, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    Where were you during the 5th day of last week's Barbados Test??? You refuse to see a Champion's declaration, and then turn up with a pitch-fork the next week! Rubbish!!!

  • Sanjeeb Kumar on July 11, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    Having been a follower of Indian cricket from the MCC Tour 0f 1972-1973(The england Touring team was called MCC then and the first class matches were played by MCC,and following from India,I went to sleep after 1 AM IST.Except for an aberration called Sehwag, no Indian batsman over the years has shown urgency while batting.With sehwag opening with Gambhir,the Number One side would have picked up the gauntlet.Infact, the team that took India to number one included Sehwag, Gambhir and Tendulkar.This team was barely competitive and that too on the strength of Dravid and Laxman.They would have been game for a 400 taget over two days but remove Sehwag from the equation and India scores a little over 2 an over, with sehwag they score about 3 and England, australia and South Africa regularly score at a faster pace.

  • Kumar on July 11, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Where were you during the 5th day of last week's Barbados Test??? You refuse to see a Champion's declaration, and then turn up with a pitch-fork the next week! Rubbish!!!

  • Anjani Kumar on July 11, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    I was a big fa n MSD captaincy. I admired his guts to give a chase of 250+ in 2nd test . But what a shame here ? JUst 180 in 47. What a pathetic chase ? And what a pathetic decision at the end ?I was a big fa n MSD captaincy. I admired his guts to give a chase of 250+ in 2nd test . But what a shame here ? JUst 180 in 47. What a pathetic chase ? And what a pathetic decision at the end ?

  • avneet on July 11, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    I would not consider India as the No 1 test team after the horrible decision taken by MSD. they go after the bowling attacks in IPL for there franchises and get 10 in an over day in day out, when its comes to playing for the country why do they hide their tale between the legs and run away saying that we have already won the series? I guess MSD has forgot that whatever he is today that is only because of the people of the country. Australia truly ruled the world cricket for more than a decade and i don't think that Taylor, Waugh or Pointing made such a huge blunder throughout the period of time. I mean how can you do this? People are up till the midnight hoping and praying for the victory and as a Indian cricket teams captain you can take it that easy? This is a SHAME FOR THE NO 1 TEST PLAYING NATION AND IT HAS HURT THE FANS VERY BADLY. I guess MSD has started thinking he has achieved what all a cricketer has to so he can relax.

  • Ratheesh on July 11, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    I wonder how many people posting here would have watched this match till end.just by watching some news channels and making some comments is not right

  • Jigish on July 11, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    More than the intent, I think it was a mistake in tactics. Dhoni should've used either:- 1. Laxman at 3, Raina at 4, Dhoni at 5 (Dravid at 6 to play out for a draw) 2. Dhoni at 3, Raina at 4 (Dravid at 5 and Lax at 6 to play out for a draw) 3. Bhajji at 3 as pinch-hitter

    There were so many options that had a better chance of working than the batting order that was used.

  • Kumar on July 11, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    Yes, this was a missed opportunity... but mainly because we couldn't finish off the WI tail quicker. As for champion stuff... why didn't you hail India and Dhoni after that fabulously bold declaration at Barbados??? (where bad light saved the WI) A champion writer would have hailed that day before crying today.

  • Kumar on July 11, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Yes, this was a missed opportunity... but mainly because we couldn't finish off the WI tail quicker. As for champion stuff... why didn't you hail India and Dhoni after that fabulously bold declaration at Barbados??? (where bad light saved the WI) A champion writer would have hailed that day before crying today.

  • PJ on July 11, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Negative??!! India??! an who was the team bowling a legstump line with a packed legside field...who was the team playing for a draw while 1-0 down in a series...Im sorry but it's not that India never attempted the chase..Vijay and Dravid tried their best, Raina was sent up..but it didn't work...One has to know this is literally an India A Side with four regular batsmen missing..The India team that's No1 has a Sehwag, Sachin, Gambhir, Yuvraj in it...and Im sure that team would have continue the chase...I guess with this team no one realises but a 1-0 series win on such pitches was an excellent achievement

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Calm down guys, all those saying 'they should have gone for a win'; you guys are NOT on the field and NOT playing. Being on the field and knowing the conditions, Dhoni and coach might have taken a better decision.

  • Atul on July 11, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    This is the Indian team's classical display of complacency and this is not the first time we have witnessed such a shocking treatment to a Gentlemen's game. With England playing good cricket, a series with SA and Aus later this year..it seems preety much sure that this Indian team is all set to loose their no.1 status...!

  • Shashank on July 11, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    you guys are acting crazy! Yeah we want our team to win every match. But i support the decision They made. It takes a lot of courage And character making a decision of that sort knowing people in India will be against anything But a 3-0 win! A captain knows better than us what decision to make. If we were the ones correct And not the captain, wouldn't we be there And not the team? Its easy to criticise. But we should Try supporting our team. Dhoni was right when he said that the team plays for the country And not for the audience!

  • Jai Maddali on July 11, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    Team India has shown a lot of talent, spirit & determination in the last couple of years under MSD. This declaration seems very odd to me. This is very unlike the MSD we know. After all, he did show a very good intent during their first innings chase. Today's abrupt ending is definitely an aberration. I only hope, for Team India's sake, this kind of mentality will not continue. I hope this defensive mindset was not brought into the team by a certain Fletcher. If that is the case, then God Help India in the following series.

  • Vaisakh Krishnadas on July 11, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    I cant agree with the Author. I also sat the entire night hoping for a win. I do think that Edwards was not targeted properly. The moment that partnership managed the lead to swell 150+ it was difficult. Am frustrated and disappointed. But how can I have a blind eye. I do know that we are playin only half of our original side. and missing both your regular openers is more difficult than missing Sachin.Losing your makeshift opener for a duck is only adding salt to the wound. And If Raina the only youngster who had a decent series couldnt force the game I can only assume that we didnt have much chance.

  • memoriesofthepast on July 11, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    One can also say that WI had a good chance to level the series on its home ground by getting quick Indian wickets but they allowed Indians to go for a draw. In 2nd test WI did not go for chasing 281 target in 83 overs. At the end of it the final result is that India have won the 3 tests series by 1-0 margin in West Indies once again but without using Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer and Gambhir. In 1997 series, Indian team having Sidhu, Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Azhar and Kumble had failed to chase even 120 runs in Barbados test- India were all out for 81 in 36 overs. Difference between tests and other formats of the game is that a target more than 100 but less than 200 can also become unchasable in 4th innings of the test- even Aus had failed to chase 184 in Adelaide test of 1992-93 vs WI. Its better to go for a draw. WI should try to minimize the role of rain and bad light on their match results. It was an intelligent decision to go for a draw and no.1 side must show such intelligence.

  • Ajay Ghosh on July 11, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    I would have love India lose the match pushing for a win rather than settling for a draw... We should have played like a champion team instead we played like a no. 1 team, which is so disappointing after sitting late night to see a famous Indian victory

  • Raks on July 11, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    well said Samir. In your last sentance u mentioned about desire when things are not all right but in this case they had the victory in sight. Even if India were 7 down with 5 overs to left they could have saved the match with pathetic VVS and Dravid to bat out.

  • SK on July 11, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    To all those who are justifying the coward approach of going for a draw: If indian team is given an option to 'settle for a no-result' in an ODI game, would they go for it? Usually teams settle for a draw in a Test when both sides feel that there is not much time left for a result. In this match there was enough time for all possible results. Actually this is a general indian mentality to be happy with a little instead of going for excellence. Indian cricket team just showed that and all those defending the approach are seconding it. About the negative line, well what did the pakistani batsmen do about it in the matches that Samir has mentioned? My point is that any sport is played for excitement and if player run away from the chance of creating an exciting situation then it is truely negative. Where are all the positive thinking Gurus that worked with indian players. Imagine a football match being called off at half-time with both teams thinking it is hard to score!!!

  • Uday on July 11, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Can anyone give me an example of when the 'champion' Australian side chased a 4th innings total at even a close run rate to 4+?

    How many times in history has a team scored ~100 in 15 overs, in away conditions on 5th day wicket?

    I wonder how many of you went how with a report card showing you got 85 and you parents first question was, what happened to the other 15 marks!!?.. If you studied harder you could have got those two!!!

    I would hate to be an Indian cricketer, with fans who have no sense of perspective - what is the reward for any achievement? Being called 'gutless'.. 'I am ashamed they didn't try'.. WOW

  • sandeep on July 11, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    absolute disgrace for test cricket,a second grade club team would ve gone for those runs,besides viru this indian test team has no positive intent players ,shame on u no 1 team for letting your fans down.

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Even the Associate countries wud've attempted this, Mr. Dhoni & Co. All that WC win has come to a big ZERO. Shame on you!!

  • vijay on July 11, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    there are two classes of champions. the ones who are totally dominating and the ones who just do enough to stay at top. India, of course, is the second.

    if you have followed cricket enough, you should know by now that indians cant physically intimidate and dominate the way aussies do. we generally win based off skill and usually follow a minimalist approach. When you look back at this series a year or so later, you would just remember the scoreline. I am a little dissapointed but entirely. If india had collapsed (the way they did in sydney), it would have been far more dissapointing and frustrating and they team would be totally devastated before taking on england. India was in total control of the test series and that is what i expect off this team.

  • Aditya on July 11, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Its time we show this team some respect.Dhoni's yet to be beaten in a Test series..how many captains had that record for their first 3 years.But I do agree he's not the most aggressive captain in the world.Also this is not a champion side that is of the calibre of the Aussies and the great West Indians, but at this point of time, they are the best in the world. I am willing to bet my bottom dollar,no other team in the world could have won from the situation that we did in Mohali. Also this draw proves the importance of Sehwag to this side...when he fires...we are unstoppable.

  • Raks on July 11, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    @SRT_GENIUS - So you mean to say dhoni, kohli, harbhajan are not even capable of playing out 15 overs? It was a black day in Indian Cricket. Even in second test there was nothing brave about the declaration. Brave is when opposition has a chance to win. WI in their current state would not have chased the target so India was safe. I was a die-hrad Indian Fan but am going to support England wholeheartedly and hope they win 4-0 as India do not deserve to be No. 1 with such pathetic negative attitude. Dhoni has lost all my respect.

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    The first indicator of a Coach Mindset, utter defensive, if not negative! Wudnt be surprised if he takes us again to the 70's era. Previously, we'd lost in win causes match like, Ganguly - Sydney -2003, Dhoni in NZ-2009, etc, but all those sins've been washed away by this. This one will sit at the top of the ladder for a long time to come :( Sob

  • Hari Ravi on July 11, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    Perfect summary of an Indian side satisfied with rankings and not performances. If you look at it, India might say they played with half their regular side. But the Windies were not even 10% of their best side. Yet they hold onto a draw despite having someone like Bhajji on the other side. It shows the reluctance of the Indians and the lack of killer instinct. Despite having an aggressive skipper like Dhoni this kind of approach is un-pardonable. I think we have a long way to go before we command the No.1 position. With this attitude, England are bound to pounce on us and we will have to pay heavily. Scoring 300+ only once,unable to take 20 wickets, unable to pick tailenders, unable to get brisk starts, all add to the decline of a side. Remember how Aussies declined in the last 2 years? India has begun showing signs already. Winning is not everything, how you win is important. If you dont stamp your authority like you did in the World Cup, No.1 will be lost in no time! Hari Ravi

  • hari on July 11, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    indian team should never b compared 2 d aussies.....our team lacks consistency

  • RANA on July 11, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    i dont think that team India made any wrong decision.they knew about the pitch better than us and thus keeping in mind the pitch behaviour they decided to end it in a draw.whats wrong in that.?? If someone thinks that Dhoni made a wrong decision then can he tell me that wo is he to tell a world champion like that.??always remember that great people take great decisions and ORDINARY people just dont understand that and oppose it. CHEERS!!!

  • Hetal on July 11, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    This is the first black dot on captain Dhoni's career. This is the first time he seems to be concerned about Only Rankings rather than the Pride of the country.

  • rohith on July 11, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    You are absolutely right Samir.Now that t20 is dominating the world cricket,this target should have been chased quite easily with the likes of kohli, raina, dhoni, vijay in the batting line up who have fared exceedingly well in the ipl.Moreover dravid,laxman have also been playing ipl for the past 3 years and they at least should have gone for the chase.Dhoni is a kinda guy who has really got an attitude like "Its ok folks.We have won a test already and we have a chance to make it a draw.dont put in much effort".The same attitude has been with him earlier where India often loses matches after securing a series win.He ensures that he won the series and later pulls it back.Dhoni takes risks only when needed which is quite appreciable but he should also think of taking risks in setting up a complete dominance over the opponents.Its time for dhoni to rethink about his attitude regarding this.

  • Abhishek Das on July 11, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    6 runs an over and still a possibility...Wow - I have not seen any team do that on the 5th day..Yes if India had to go into the last 15 with around 4 - 4.5 runs needed they may have tried as well. The biggest mistake was to send dravid at no 3...It should have been laxman and we would not have been having this discussion...a wicket in the first ball didn't allow time to change strategies..

    But India should have planned the chase better...

  • crickeyt on July 11, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Dhoni can justify all he wants to .... but the true result of today's game was not a draw, but a victory for WI, albeit a psychological one. And that is why it was the WI team that took a victory lap around the park after the game, not Dhoni's team with its precious series victory.

  • ambanshu sahni on July 11, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    all the talk of dhoni being the shrewdest captain blah blah blah....this team is spineless without sehwag had he been there they would have gone for victory.its not about being no1 its about being a champion side as rightly pointed out in the article.this attitude will not help against england a much better opponent then west indies.

  • praveennvs on July 11, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Surprising decision by India !! It had 7 wickets in hand and had to score 86 runs in 90 balls. Dhoni was yet to come. Still ,they settled for a draw instead of pushing for a win.I think the team got complacent because they would anyway win the series. Dravid is a great player but he is not going to help u in this kind of chases as he always tries to defend his wicket.

  • Sudhakar G on July 11, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Surely one of the worst Test matches played by India in recent times. When West Indies were being a bowler short, scoring just about 350 in the first innings was inadequate. There just seemed no intent to hang in and grind it out. Then comes this shocker of a chase. Any team in the world would have gone ahead to play positive cricket to make the chase exciting. There was just no need to shut down the chase with 15 overs to go. Even at 3 per over for 10 overs would have left about 50 runs in the last five overs. This would have certainly been an exciting chase. In 1983, WI chased down 173 in about 30 overs when "The Hindu" headline said that the match was heading for a draw. In 2001, Australia and England matched each other in chasing exciting fourth innings targets. It is beyond imagination that India chose to shut shop so early. Shows that this team lacks the killer instinct. The mindset needs to change quickly before they take on England.If not, the number one ranking will be at risk

  • Mohd Zubair on July 11, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    India has been doing this (not going for a win)for over a decade now. Under the captaincy of Sachin Tendulkar & worst possible coach Kapil Dev they did not ask New Zealand for follow on even after the lead of 275 runs at Ahmedabad & match ended in a draw. Later in Australia, under Saurav Ganguly India did not push for a series win at Sydney by not asking the Aussies to follow on. Then against England under Rahul Dravid India were content with the 1-0 lead and did not push for a 2-0 win, again not asking their opponents to follow-on. All the matches ended in a draw. The only performance from India when they chased an improbable win was against England when Sehwag went blazing in the pursuit of 387 run target. Even the memorable win against the Aussies at Kolkata 2001 was just due to the brilliance of Harbhajan on final day. India did not push for the win on last day by not declaring the innings & instead went for VVS's 300.

  • siva on July 11, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    ok guys lets see our full strength test squad in england tour ......

  • sri on July 11, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Hmmm, a lot of people talk about safety and what-if India had lost the match and drawn the series. So what? We went down to 126 from 129 in the rankings, maybe we would have gone down to 123. I say good, if it makes us play better sooner to retain our numero uno status even with a grade-B team. Was this a pitch with huge demons with the calibre of Murali or Warnie or Mcgrath bowling? NO. Was this a top ranked side that India was facing? NO. Do I really think a full-strength India team 3-down in the same situation (Sehwag, Gambhir and Dravid) would have still gone for a win? NO. Do I personally feel we would have caved in completely after 5 or 6 down? NO. India fully deserves it's Num-1 status, but we give enough reasons for stupid tongues to wag, just notice the comments above - If we want to be seen as champs, we just take the competition by the scruff of the necks and shake them down. But I think this criticism is good, MSD did show a wee bit of risk-taking in the last test.

  • Satish on July 11, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    Champion Teams have always and will go for win.....Remember Australia vs England in Adelaide of 2006-07 Ashes.......Aus forced a victory of a seemingly no result contest....Now that's a champion team..... But this particular team is not the original WC winning team....So they can probably be excused.... If we only had someone like Sehwag, the match could have seen a result...

  • kasyapm on July 11, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    @john..can't agree more with what you said. perfect.

  • G.Jayaraman on July 11, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Let us accept India is ranked in Test cricket by default not by desire- this clearly show they just do not have the Great Australian “Guts”- If Ricky was there- he would have gone for it.

  • Sharath on July 11, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Samir,

    You go to great lengths to tell us how a 'champion side' ought to play. But that begs the question: Who said that India is a champion side or even that it aspires to be one? Has Dhoni ever gone on record saying that? Has anyone from the team ever said that? Isn't it unfair that at every possible opportunity the media gets, it compares this Indian team with the Australian team of the previous era? Frankly I am a bit tired of all the "So-and-so would have done this. So-and-so would have done that" articles. Guess what - we are NOT so-and-so. We never said we were so-and-so. We have our own brand of test cricket that has won us the number 1 ranking. It involves eliminating all risk of loss before we go for a win. If that strategy results in some games like this, so be it.

    And also, I'd settle for my team being the 'numerical number one' to being a 'champion side' (whatever that means) any day.

  • Sam on July 11, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Champions go for wins. Great title and India did go for the win. But here everyone should understand that it was a decision taken after careful consideration of the situation. THIS indian team is SECOND string indian team. If you analyze the situation carefully you will see the reasons why 1) UMPIRING was pretty poor. So any bad decisions for the last 7 wickets remaining would have spoiled the party. 2) Bad light would have definitely come into play and Indian team wouldnt have got those full quota of last 15 overs. So the RR would be more than 6 an over. 3) Pitch was not easy to score on. If batsman went for the shots and got out then they would have squandered 1-0 series victory 4) WI bowled a pathetic line, wide outside off stump fidel edwards, bishoo. Under the circumstances Indian team management did the right thing. Indian team is Champion TEAM winning T20,ODI series, Test series. Indian team has been victorious since 2008 and they are NO.1 side,Winning is a habit and they WON.

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Even Viru with Sir Viv on the other end wouldn't have been able to score these runs...! Stop being an arm-chair critic.

  • raghav on July 11, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    30to40runs in3to4overs togo,we can understand.but 86in15overs with 7wickets in hand how can u give up.this is anew facet of dahoni

  • Sam Moorthy on July 11, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    And if while chasing 86 runs in 90 deliveries, the remaining 7 wickets fell, and WI managed to level the series, how many India fans would support the team? I for one would, whole-heartedly. That statement of intent and focus on results alone would've put pressure on the WI. Who knows what would've happened! And as the world's No.1 team, India would've served test cricket well. Champions focus on winning. Failure while attempting a win is acceptable. Giving up is unpardonable.

    Agree with you completely, Samir.

  • sri on July 11, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    Hmmm, a lot of people talk about safety and what-if India had lost the match and drawn the series. So what? We went down to 126 from 129 in the rankings, maybe we would have gone down to 123. I say good, if it makes us play better sooner to retain our numero uno status even with a grade-B team. Was this a pitch with huge demons with the calibre of Murali or Warnie or Mcgrath bowling? NO. Was this a top ranked side that India was facing? NO. Do I really think a full-strength India team 3-down in the same situation (Sehwag, Gambhir and Dravid) would have still gone for a win? NO. Do I personally feel we would have caved in completely after 5 or 6 down? NO. India fully deserves it's Num-1 status, but we give enough reasons for stupid tongues to wag, just notice the comments above - If we want to be seen as champs, we just take the competition by the scruff of the necks and shake them down. But I think this criticism is good, MSD did show a wee bit of risk-taking in the last test.

  • Arvind on July 11, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    The real shame was the time it took to bowl out WI. After getting 2 wickets quickly, they took a victory for granted, and wasted too much time to get the other two. I am surprised not many people have placed the blame where it should belong to. If you cannot dismiss a No. 10 batsman quickly on day 5, you make no excuses. Enough said.

  • Venkat on July 11, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    I have watched India crumble enough on the last day of a test match to know that this was a wise decision. Imagine, if a couple of wickets had fallen with about ten overs to go. It would have been torturous to endure it. We've chased 120 and lost, crumbled on fifth day at Sydney. The list is endless. There was a series to be won. And the risk was too big. For the neutral observer it is a little disappointing but if you are a lifelong India fan then you know where I am coming from. And for all the critic swhat about Dhoni's decision to throw the challenge to the West Indians on the final day? It is not like we lack enterprise.

  • Marc on July 11, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    its funny how people judge a teams performance, I completely agree with you when you say why didn't they go for the win !!

    In the second test match MS was praised for his intent to go for the win with an early declaration - here just because he/ they chose not to - you pin them down and say to be a true champion you have to enforce a win or show intent - that is a bit contradicting -

  • Adi on July 11, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    I will say though, that you should hold your fire a little bit, because this is the same Dhoni who made a courageous declaration in the last Test. I believe he's still in his learning phase, and as he becomes more confident and comfortable with his captaincy, he will start going for the kill more often.

  • Vamsi on July 11, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    I am very unhappy the way Indian team has given up the chase. When Raina got out, M.S. Dhoni should have come up the order and press for quick runs or ask Harbhajan Singh to go for big shots. It does not matter if India lose 5 wickets. Dravid like Chanderpaul can play long innings and he was giving strike to other player who ever comes in. So, sad to see that 90 balls and 86 runs required and Indian team should have pressed for quick runs. Without players like Sehwag in the top. India never try to go for quick runs in the top.

  • Tauseef Ahmed on July 11, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    very well written article... in my view new indian batsmen can bat only on helpful pitches..i still wonder y a run rate of 6 an over cant be achieved when 5 batsmen r still there.. and india cant cant get out in 15 overs. they must have a try atleast..

  • Manoj Sharma on July 11, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Angles dread where fools rush in! It is a mark of maturity to stop the chase when you are still on top. The ultimate goal was to win a series in West Indies. This declaration shows, Dhoni and team India's maturity.

  • rajeev on July 11, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    you have nailed it. it is absolutely crazy that we abandoned the game even when we had a decent chance of atleast showing some intent and conviction. we fall woefully short of being labelled truly and deservedly as world champions. there are ample justifications of that in stats as well. no doubt the mindset has come a long way from the years of 1978, but self proclaiming ourselves as champions rather than actually pronounced and accepted by one and all is entirely different. dhoni and co., have been heaped a lot of praise already which is well deserved but lets hope they do not become arrogant and realize soon that greatness has to be earned over such opportunities.

  • ShameOnInd on July 11, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    India might have won the series but they sure didn't win any fans. The decision to abandon the game baffles me. It was limp of MSD and it wasn't as though Duncan Fletcher needed to bat to get those runs. That I might add would be difficult. Why did they not promote Bhajji and PK who can swing it and put the run rate in India's favor, or even MSD promoting himself over Dravid. The situation called for strokeplay not a Dravidesque innings that would be like watching grass grow.

  • Anoop on July 11, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    I suspect there is something deeply ingrained in our (the Indian) collective psyche that is ok with "good enough". Our legendary tolerance for corruption, semi-functional airports, newly-built crumbling infrastructure all suggest that we almost don't think we're good enough to expect excellence. And this reflects in our approach in situations like yesterday on the cricket field. Won 1 test match, series in the bag, too risky to go after that 2nd win that would make superiority indisputable. Yet again, "good enough" was the catchword and unless that is shed, this team will not be able to stand with champion teams of the past.

  • buntyj on July 11, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    india are statistically no 1 and a leading side but by no means a champion, great or dominant side; while india won 1-0 it let slip its 3rd test advantage while windies let slip their ascendant moments in the close first 2 tests; india's main vulnerability is bowling, while it can win in seaming conditions or where theres uneven bounce (last days in india tests- which is why ishant's stats in 4th innings in india and on fast tracks only abroad are so good) our bowlers really cant bowl sides out twice on good surfaces; proven again at dominica. we should hope england produce greentops; on spinning wickets again we are not neccessarily at advantage; i would fancy swann's chances better than bhajji's. on flat wickets tremletts extra bounce may surprise some of our excellent but aging batsmen; windies gained rampauls form, edwards return, bravo n edwards n baugh n bishoo; india only gained raina n ishant and in patches kumar n mukund;

  • Aditya on July 11, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Totally agree. To be honest, if Sehwag had been in the side we wouldn't be discussing this. He is a game-changer. And I think the time is up for Rahul Dravid at no. 3. Great player, no doubt, but we need someone who is more dominant in that position. Even though they may fail a few games, it's worth it just to groom a youngster like Pujara in that position.

  • Raheel Ahmed on July 11, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Well I couldn't blv my eyes when I saw both the teams shaking hands with 15 overs to go. I was gearing myself to witness a tense & exciting finish but was completely gutted to see India bailing out from that situation. One could understand the decision if India were 5 or 6 wickets down but 85 runs off 15 overs with 7 wicket in hands is quite pathetic. I think one should also read the article on this incident written today by Andy Zaltzman with the title "Cricket is the loser" and I couldnt agree more (I would like to add "test" to that title).

  • john on July 11, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    Some people are just too hard too please. Until a few years ago it was a away win that was being asked for...next you wanted a away series win...and now...win every bloody match you play...easy guys don't burden your expectation on the team. Be happy with the team's achievements and learn to enjoy/appreciate them as they come. No way India is a all conquering champion side. They are just better than the rest. Some people just don't get this.

  • venkatt on July 11, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Great comments,Samir. Test cricket at this crucial juncture, needs better intent from its leading team than the Indians showed on the final afternoon in Dominica. This draw is a real blot on Dhoni's captaincy stint. Hope this is not a sign of things to come, under Duncan Fletcher's reign.

  • mohi on July 11, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    well said, I am gutted to see India calling off Was expecting good chase and really India has let us down, not good for test cricket After Raina got out there was still depth in the Indian team and they could have gone for the win I am surprised like everybody is and I am not buying what Dhoni has said in the Post Match

  • Anonymous on July 11, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    As a west indian i was shocked (but happy)to see the players shaking hands and walking off. At that point i had resigned myself to 2-0. 86 runs in 90 balls is gettable in any kind of cricket especially if you have 7 wickets in hand and a few ball beaters in your team which India does. If this is how India plays their cricket they won't be #1 for very long.

  • nick on July 11, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    Samir, once again its easy for everyone to criticize because had India gone for the win and lost the game, they would have been criticized for not playing safely and drawing the series. For Indian cricket fans and critics, its always easy to say "what would have happned" rather than "what if".

  • Ajay on July 11, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    that's quiet correct. I'm happy with india's recent performance but I never think they're number 1. They just have potential to be no.1. Imagine steve waugh's Australia in similar situation? With 'B' grade squad also would they settle with draw under these circumstances? It's good to be logical & professional but you shouldn't get carried away with it. While avoiding panic, you shouldn't miss on aggression. I think dhoni's only worry was, two more scalps would had opened lower order. It's disappointing and unfortunately not surprising.

  • Srinath on July 11, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    so why did the indians take to field on the final day in the first place?? did they expect windies to fold within 4 balls & then chase 81 runs all day long.. I can bet that if they had to do that they wud still have lost 3/4 wickets but when u have 10 wickets to play with why not use all of them..

    ridiculous thinking from the think tank (if ever there ever was one in windies)

  • ARVIND MATKAR on July 11, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    I am totaly agree with Samir.india not only the rank no. 1 test team in the world as well as one day champion of the world as well as they play ipl t20 best league in the world in ther own country & they could not chase down 180 runs in 47 overs on flat wicket & team ranked no.7 in world very very disapointig for all indian fans

  • Sumit Agrawal on July 11, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    "Lot of Criticism for Indian Test team not chasing 86 runs in 15 overs and calling off the match". But the fact is India gave a try to chase run , sending Raina ahead of Laxman. With Mukund out in first ball and Settled pair M Vijay and Dravid struggling to score even after playing more than 20+ overs. It was difficult for the team to score 86 runs in 15 overs. And Wes tIndies bowlers are not so generous that they would have not bowled negative bowling seeing India chasing. Also West Indies would have taken their own sweet time to see not to complete those 15 overs before the light been offered. This is test cricket and not T20 or ODI. Indian Team took the right decision and we should be happy with many top players missing and still we won T20 , ODI and Test series. Its time we look forward to England Series!

  • B S Kumar on July 11, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    This does not come from a lack of spirit of true champions. It comes from coming from this ever criticizing land called INDIA. It won't take us very long to trash Dhoni and Co. for losing a single series, even though they have won a great deal for us. We are NEVER grateful, are we? We are just so greedy that we do not have the courage to ever give our boys and girls in ANY field the license to make mistakes and rise above them. We berate them constantly for EVERY failure. Guess what? It is a great deal for this Indian team to have risen above this morass of mediocrity and reach where they are right now. This is not settling for less, but indeed saving the rest for sanity's sake in this cursed culture.

  • Abi on July 11, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Truly , This Indian team need people who love to win always to become real champions;not only talents! I was amazed to see Suresh Raina's one day squad celebrating wildly when they won the ODI series even though they had lost last 2 matches; we did not see that when Aussies were ruling, a lose is a lose even when u already won the series; now the test team -talent for just win r hanging on to draw not with authority like true champs do :(

  • Software Star on July 11, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    Well written! this differentiates the real no. 1s to the statistical no. 1s. i was following this keenly on the net hoping that we would up the run rate. instead we decide on a draw with a perfectly gettable target. Imagine if one over had bought 20 runs! what would have gone through the minds of the WI players! don't lose 3 wickets and say that it was tough to score. you have 10 wickets to try and score! As for Test cricket, in such dire times, you need better guardians.

  • Mr. Cricket on July 11, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    I am very very disappointed. With this type of attitude we can't claim we are the no.1 team. We dont deserve to be called as no.1. Can you imagine Austrailia in his pick playing for a draw in that scenario? I am a die heart indian cricket lover. But I am really sorry to say we dont deserve it.One of the saddest day for Indian cricket.

  • Vaibhav on July 11, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    Yes, it was rather disappointing to switch channels for a bit when 15 overs remained. And come back to see the WI team doing a lap around the ground. It felt like I was in the twilight zone.

  • Umesh Srinivasan on July 11, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    India scored 97 off 32 overs at a little over 3 an over, the overall scoring pattern of this test in particular and the series in general. Expecting them to make 86 from 15 overs (r/r - 5.7) was asking for too much given that they had lost 3 wickets by then. Both Fidel Edwards and 'fit again' Ravi Rampaul were capable of picking up wickets and had we gone for the target, we could have easily lost the match as well. Don't forget that only in the previous test in Barbados, a sporting declaration threw the test wide open only for the weather to rob India of a certain win. Better safe than sorry.

  • SK on July 11, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Very well said Sameer. You have written the feelings of many of the indian cricket fans in the best possible way. I was completely amazed that they called it off with 7 wickets remaining. This is one very scared champions of test cricket really! They could have tried sending Bhajji and Praveen and Dhoni himself after Raina got out and then if things did not work out, Dravid and VVS could have played out a draw. And afterall it was not that they needed 10 an over. It was less than run a ball for 15 overs... so there was no need for mad-rush either. In any case, what was the problem in playing say 10 more overs with a positive intent and see where the game goes? Are our cricketers so much looking forward to take rest that they can call off a potentially exciting match! Who knows this could have been the 3rd Tie Test? They missed out being part of some adventure. To me this is against the basic sportsmen spirit, I thought sportsmen die to be in such situations and to make a difference.

  • Pras on July 11, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    True champion know when to go for a win and when not to, WI walked in this time for settling a draw, they also had millions of options to do so, negative line balling, setting up fields on boundaries to prevent runs... to name a few. If we expect in a test match to score at an average of one day, then we are doing a little injustice I guess. We could have gone for a win if we had 90 overs to go at but 47, I think its little too much to ask even for champions! Criticizing is some job which they some it very good, those must also should be kind enough to pull out favorable stats from where we see that we did what we could when we had slight hope that we can!

  • subramanian on July 11, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Captured my emotions perfectly. It was pathetic to watch- champions are made of better stuff. Thanks for pointing out the Pakistan and Melbourne tests-didn't know about them. And people scoff when it is said that Indians lake daring and killer instinct.

  • Vaisakh Krishnadas on July 11, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    I cant agree with the Author. I also sat the entire night hoping for a win. I do think that Edwards was not targeted properly. The moment that partnership managed the lead to swell 150+ it was difficult. Am frustrated and disappointed. But how can I have a blind eye. I do know that we are playin only half of our original side. and missing both your regular openers is more difficult than missing Sachin.Losing your makeshift opener for a duck is only adding salt to the wound. And If Raina the only youngster who had a decent series couldnt force the game I can only assume that we didnt have much chance.

  • UA on July 11, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    Certainly something the ICC should take a closer look at, what with all this newfangled fixing going on.

  • Noushad on July 11, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    Utter nonsense… The “Wall” is not only capable resist defeat but also a certain win

  • Kaushal Agarwal on July 11, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Simply bang on.I and many other fans like me are totally disheartened by the teams performance on the 3rd test and giving lame excuses,that the pitch was not conducive etc.It was chaseable.Its better to be at no 5-6 in rankings and show dis type of attitude rather then being at the top and try to save your position in ranking.Its a shame on Indian cricket.It was victory given from the mouth.Opportunity never knocks the door often but when it knocks one should grab it with both hands but India let it go...!!!

  • Ganesh on July 11, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Shame on the Indian team and its an insult for indian fans who awake all night only to see a tame finish by Dhoni Boys.

  • scoobie doo on July 11, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    though i m a true fan of indian cricket with this mentality india dont deserve for the world no.1 test team. they shows ugly mentality as a leader. they should have chased down this score. shame indian cricket shame shame. shame on dhoni.....

  • kay on July 11, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Well written article. I fail to understand the mindset of Indian management. What did they win today? A test series? What is a test series - a collection of tests, a collection of Individual games. It's not about a series. It's about each game, each day, each session and each over. India today lost 3 sessions, many overs and disappointed a lot of hearts. I would have been happier if we lost the game giving an honest effort to win the game.

  • antha on July 11, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    WI played for draw; they just saved their wickets and consumed as many overs as possible. when Indian finally got a chance, ofcourse, WI will bowl NEGATIVE line, leg stump line, 2 feet outside off stump, outside leg stump, umpires won't mind, no field restrictions, no bowling restrictions, they will bowl bouncers - Indians have to face all the negatives that are possible- but to be NO-1 they should tried their best to win against all these odds. that would have proved them no 1 and a strong statement. Kohli should hve been sent after raina, then harbhajan then dhoni then praveen kumar - they shud hve tried with another 4 wickets...15 overs 85 doable...am very disappointed....

  • ProudDesi on July 11, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning. India won 1-0 and their main opposition was the rain, not WI, else they would have won 3-0. Considering a 2nd string team and a real tour of England coming up, this was the best choice. If you really want to pick a culprit, it is the rain rules, I mean, why can't you add up to a day if time is lost? That would go further in eliminating draws like this. You know what they say about opinions, but the singular fact is India won the series and it is No.1.

  • priyankar on July 11, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    i m very disappointed by this gr8 indian test team as they shud go for the win or even try for it. but niether their body language nor their approach was like that. if one wants to be no.1 team then they hv to show the zeal and eagerness to win each and every match if they have 10% of chance left of winning it but this team hvnt done so .m sad and worried . anyways all the best guys for england

  • Ruchik on July 11, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Ah India did not have the stomach for a fight!I was waiting for such lazy analysis? The chase was a very very difficult one...Westindies had for all purposes shut one end up with the leg spinner bowling in the rough..for India to chase the target would require extraordinary amount of luck and the batsmen would have to take a lot of risk..In my opinion the decision taking was a reasonable one given the circumstances...

  • Anudeep Bhandari on July 11, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    Thats one way of seeing this Test. I would say that the credit must go to the Windies players. Although I wanted India to win after they were set 180 in 47 overs(which was easily acheivable), I am happy to see the Windies fight it out in both second and third tests. Its important that Windies play well and get some good players who perform consistently at this level. Highlights of this series for Windies were Bravo/ F. Edwards/ Rampaul.

  • Liam Birch on July 11, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    Cricket supporters and Indian supporters are getting a bit carried away with this now. India were perfectly justified to call this match off. Teams just dont go at almost a run a ball for 15 overs on the fifth day of a test match.

    Had Dhoni decided to play on, Sammy could have put all his fielders on the off side and asked Bishoo to bowl a yard outside off stump thus creating a farce out of the final hour.

    People seem to be struggling to disassociate test cricket with limited overs cricket where fielding restrictions, bowling options and negative bowling rules are far tighter.

  • pratik on July 11, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    Shocking, Disgusting. My suggwation...just like the indian players were showered with riches upon winning the Worldcup 2011 few months ago, they should be fined heavily for playing negatively for this test match. also an inquiry of currpt free officials should be conducted for this shameful approach by the so called No.1 Team in the world. Boo Dhoni.......Boo indian cricket team.

  • Vinod Pillai on July 11, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    It's real shame on Team India that they didn't push for a win in the final test match of the series against West Indies y'day. Being the no.1 ranked team in the world playing against no.8 ranked team, they should have gone for it. 86 runs from 15 overs with 7 wickets in hand and settled for a draw??? Crazy decision by team India....real shame....I wasted a few hours and lost my sleep watching the match till the end hoping for a historic Indian win. I'm sure, I would be the one among the millions who watched it on TV. It was the best chance for India to win two test matches in a single series for the first time in the West Indies. If they r no.1 team in the world then they have to play like no.1...

  • Deepak Naidu on July 11, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    There cannot be any excuses, India is not a champion test side... They do not have the killer instinct of a Aussie side...

  • Shesh Kondi on July 11, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    Very well written Samir. A team which does not have the guts and the instinct to win can "NEVER" be a #1 team. The challenging declaration in the previous test made me think that Indian Cricket and the mentality has changed, but in this test, it all came crumbling down. Dhoni can justify whatever he wants, but at the end of the day ...we chickened out. This was a winnable match and it was at-least worth trying to win.

  • SRT_GENIUS on July 11, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    After Dravind and LAxman, there were no batsmen of repute left. Indain fan is high on the fact India is no.1 and so, they argue, should start playing like Australians. But Indian think tank knows that's not the case and that's certainly not the case when the only people who can hold their wicket are not the ones who can chase (dravid and laxman).

    Plus WI started bowling a totally negative line.

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  • SRT_GENIUS on July 11, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    After Dravind and LAxman, there were no batsmen of repute left. Indain fan is high on the fact India is no.1 and so, they argue, should start playing like Australians. But Indian think tank knows that's not the case and that's certainly not the case when the only people who can hold their wicket are not the ones who can chase (dravid and laxman).

    Plus WI started bowling a totally negative line.

  • Shesh Kondi on July 11, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    Very well written Samir. A team which does not have the guts and the instinct to win can "NEVER" be a #1 team. The challenging declaration in the previous test made me think that Indian Cricket and the mentality has changed, but in this test, it all came crumbling down. Dhoni can justify whatever he wants, but at the end of the day ...we chickened out. This was a winnable match and it was at-least worth trying to win.

  • Deepak Naidu on July 11, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    There cannot be any excuses, India is not a champion test side... They do not have the killer instinct of a Aussie side...

  • Vinod Pillai on July 11, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    It's real shame on Team India that they didn't push for a win in the final test match of the series against West Indies y'day. Being the no.1 ranked team in the world playing against no.8 ranked team, they should have gone for it. 86 runs from 15 overs with 7 wickets in hand and settled for a draw??? Crazy decision by team India....real shame....I wasted a few hours and lost my sleep watching the match till the end hoping for a historic Indian win. I'm sure, I would be the one among the millions who watched it on TV. It was the best chance for India to win two test matches in a single series for the first time in the West Indies. If they r no.1 team in the world then they have to play like no.1...

  • pratik on July 11, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    Shocking, Disgusting. My suggwation...just like the indian players were showered with riches upon winning the Worldcup 2011 few months ago, they should be fined heavily for playing negatively for this test match. also an inquiry of currpt free officials should be conducted for this shameful approach by the so called No.1 Team in the world. Boo Dhoni.......Boo indian cricket team.

  • Liam Birch on July 11, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    Cricket supporters and Indian supporters are getting a bit carried away with this now. India were perfectly justified to call this match off. Teams just dont go at almost a run a ball for 15 overs on the fifth day of a test match.

    Had Dhoni decided to play on, Sammy could have put all his fielders on the off side and asked Bishoo to bowl a yard outside off stump thus creating a farce out of the final hour.

    People seem to be struggling to disassociate test cricket with limited overs cricket where fielding restrictions, bowling options and negative bowling rules are far tighter.

  • Anudeep Bhandari on July 11, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    Thats one way of seeing this Test. I would say that the credit must go to the Windies players. Although I wanted India to win after they were set 180 in 47 overs(which was easily acheivable), I am happy to see the Windies fight it out in both second and third tests. Its important that Windies play well and get some good players who perform consistently at this level. Highlights of this series for Windies were Bravo/ F. Edwards/ Rampaul.

  • Ruchik on July 11, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Ah India did not have the stomach for a fight!I was waiting for such lazy analysis? The chase was a very very difficult one...Westindies had for all purposes shut one end up with the leg spinner bowling in the rough..for India to chase the target would require extraordinary amount of luck and the batsmen would have to take a lot of risk..In my opinion the decision taking was a reasonable one given the circumstances...

  • priyankar on July 11, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    i m very disappointed by this gr8 indian test team as they shud go for the win or even try for it. but niether their body language nor their approach was like that. if one wants to be no.1 team then they hv to show the zeal and eagerness to win each and every match if they have 10% of chance left of winning it but this team hvnt done so .m sad and worried . anyways all the best guys for england

  • ProudDesi on July 11, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning. India won 1-0 and their main opposition was the rain, not WI, else they would have won 3-0. Considering a 2nd string team and a real tour of England coming up, this was the best choice. If you really want to pick a culprit, it is the rain rules, I mean, why can't you add up to a day if time is lost? That would go further in eliminating draws like this. You know what they say about opinions, but the singular fact is India won the series and it is No.1.