England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 2nd day

MS Dhoni, India's D.I.Y. captain

When MS Dhoni decided to hand the gloves to Rahul Dravid and bowl himself, he gave an example of the oddities and quirks that make cricket such a compelling sport

Andrew McGlashan at Lord's

July 22, 2011

Comments: 89 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni thought he had Kevin Pietersen caught behind, but the decision was overturned, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 2nd day, July 22, 2011
MS Dhoni thought he had Kevin Pietersen caught behind, but the decision was overturned © Getty Images

The concept of 'do it yourself' was brought to Test cricket at Lord's. MS Dhoni is a captain who leads from the front in everything he does; it's part of the reason why Graeme Swann picked him out as the key figure for this series ahead of Sachin Tendulkar. Swann, though, probably wasn't talking of Dhoni's bowling yet he came within one decision review of taking the 14th Test wicket by a wicketkeeper.

However, given the way Dhoni plays his cricket perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise. He has an international wicket to his name - West Indian Travis Dowlin was the unlucky batsman during the 2009 Champions Trophy - and in that match he brought himself on in the 17th over with the score at 49 for 4. The real surprise was that Rahul Dravid had given warning of Dhoni's cunning plan in his pre-play interview when he revealed he expected to be keeping wicket at some stage.

So when the players emerged after lunch to start the afternoon session with Dravid wearing the pads and gloves it was clear the captain was going to live up to his word. He preferred himself to Suresh Raina's tidy offspin, which already has nine Test wickets, while in days gone by Tendulkar would purvey some useful swingers.

It was the fourth time Dhoni had bowled in a Test innings, but the previous three occasions had been one-over spells at the end of dead Tests. This was a match at a crucial juncture with India needing a breakthrough before the second new ball. On he came at the Pavilion End - from where Glenn McGrath among others have wreaked havoc - and marked out his run. And of all the batsmen to bowl to it was Kevin Pietersen.

Facing a cricketer who rarely bowls is awkward. There is often precious little to gain for the batsman and only a reputation to be damaged. That situation is multiplied for a player like Pietersen, whose every move is being dissected as he tries to rediscover his best form. "It was really difficult to get through," Pietersen said. "Whenever a keeper comes on it's pretty hard and he got the ball to swing both ways. He's a very talented man."

Having battled his way to 71 off 157 balls - including his slowest Test fifty - falling to Dhoni would have made Pietersen's problems with Jeevan Mendis, the part-time Sri Lanka legspinner who removed him three times in the recent one-day series, seem barely worth a mention. The first ball of the spell brought an lbw appeal and although Pietersen was outside off stump he looked nervous throughout the over. Then, with his ninth delivery, Dhoni made one tail into Pietersen who didn't quite play the line and Dravid, unlike on the opening day when he missed two catches, gathered a low chance.

India appealed as one and, after suitable consideration to add to the drama, Billy Bowden raised his finger. At the same moment, though, Pietersen signalled for the DRS - it is still available for catches in this series - so the status of Dhoni's maiden Test wicket hung in limbo. It stayed hanging for more than a minute as the third umpire rock-and-rolled the Hotspot and standard replays.

Eventually it became clear that there was daylight between the bat and ball while there was a small Hotspot mark on the top of Pietersen's pad where the bat had flicked it. Two deliveries later Ian Bell, facing his first ball after lunch, treated Dhoni's bowling as it should be by square-cutting a long hop to deep point. "I had to review that, I couldn't get out to Dhoni," Pietersen said with the smile of someone who'd survived to make a double hundred.

Dhoni didn't come close to a wicket again and ended his first spell with five overs for 20 before taking the keeping gauntlets back from Dravid as the second new ball was handed to Ishant Sharma, but returned for another three-over burst when the ball was just 10 overs old. He will really have believed he could do a job and takes his bowling seriously. He often bowls in the nets, and did so at Taunton during India's build-up to this Test, and in terms of pace is around what Praveen Kumar offers although the accuracy, unsurprisingly, isn't the same.

On the list of players who have started a Test as wicketkeeper and come on to bowl Dhoni fills that most recent four slots. Before him is the last wicketkeeper to take a wicket - Mark Boucher in a dreary Test where West Indies made 747 in reply to South Africa's 588 for 6 in Antigua - but Dhoni wouldn't have been the first India gloveman to strike. That honour goes to Syed Kirmani who bowled Azeem Hafeez at Nagpur in 1983.

The history of wicketkeeper-bowlers is littered with some fascinating names. Rod Marsh once bowled 10 overs against Pakistan, Clyde Walcott twice came on to have a trundle and Jim Parks has a Test scalp against India in 1964. One who didn't bowl, but could have done a very handy job, was Australia's Tim Zoehrer who was a good enough legspinner to take 38 first-class wickets.

The best figures by a wicketkeeper, however, belong to the first man who took off the pads. Alfred Lyttelton claimed 4 for 19 (the only wickets of his first-class career), against Australia at The Oval in 1884 bowling under-arm lobs. "The remainder of the innings was alone remarkable for the success which attended Lyttelton's lobs," reported Wisden. While Lyttelton bowled, WG Grace was behind the stumps and didn't want to appeal for the first of the wickets.

Now, 127 years later at Lord's in the shadow of WG, Dhoni gave an example of the oddities and quirks that make cricket such a compelling sport.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 23, 2011, 17:55 GMT)

@spiritwithin; did you read my whole sentence? Particularly the bit about putting a team in to bat AND THEN WATCHING ONE OF IT'S BATSMEN FLOG HIS WAY TO 200. India bowled were bowled out for 286 - how was that for you?

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (July 23, 2011, 13:49 GMT)

@Vikas Sharma, I am not sure if it over-confident but I can say ENG tried psychologically to put some pressure on India by declaring below 500. Fact is Indians are no more victims of pyschological games after Dhoni's introduction.

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (July 23, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

Surprised if someone is still criticiing Dhoni. First of all Dhoni is not going to get any personal records for bowling so it is not selfish act. Secondly India didn't have good bowlers in backup.I donno how he got an idea of his bowling before other part time bowlers but what ever he did was good job. He might have definitely thought that Sachin is important for batting and so not to strain him with part time bowling. ENG was really unlucky with Zaheer's injury, Peterson's crucial survivals (other side he played well), India's bad fielding etc. But we need to accept everything as part of the game.

Posted by eomer17 on (July 23, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

since India has become no. 1 they have barely looked the part,they've just 'bout managed to hold on and always zak,VVS,sachin who've saved our skins.Zak will alwaz be under injury threat,therefore we need ishant,munaf,sreesanth/to step up else play 5 bowlers. India is no. 1 & it looks only good on paper!!start of the game India looks all formidable ,1 guy limps off dhoni is your third seamer!!wat a joke!!

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

i would say our bowlers did a better job than the english bowlers with the new ball! our bowlers managed to get 2 quick wickets! what happened to the famed SUPERIOR english attack? mukund made a mockery out of them on his first test in lords. so guys stop talking absurd stuff and wait till the match is over.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 11:46 GMT)

I think declaring the innings was bit a overconfidence shown by the English cricket team

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

Lord (Sachin tendulkar) at Lord's......

Posted by sgthacker on (July 23, 2011, 10:32 GMT)

@ zwartedepiet: India has never said that it has a deadly bowling attack. i do not understand the criticism that India should not be no.1 because their bowling attack is poor. We should rather appreciate that India is no.1 inspite of having a relatively weak bowling attack, which no other team has been able to do in the past

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 10:21 GMT)

What MS did was not only courageous but was also the only option he had. JonathonJosephs, lets not go into who was the better Indian Captain. I hail from Saurav's city and we are crazy about him. But a true Saurav fan would respect Dhoni as much. If Saurav introduced this aggressive brand of cricket, Dhoni has perfected it. India does not have the best fast bowlers, nor the best spinner, and yet it is the number one. Says something, doesnt it??

Posted by CrickFan82 on (July 23, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

Hey, India may not be the most indisputed No 1 team but it is the team to beat in all formats at the moment. I find many English fans whining here saying that they deserve the No 1 spot. Honestly I cant see even England sitting pretty on the No 1 status even if they get to it. India Srilanka England South Africa Australia, i believe can defeat each other easily.

Posted by Saim93 on (July 23, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

I wonder why Tendulkar doesnt bowl anymore, he used to be pretty useful

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 9:55 GMT)

It was great to see Dhoni bowling. During my school days I had the privilege to face MSD during our schools cricket team selection camp (MSD was already playing district level by then and had finished high school) :D. And MSD's bowling is nothing new, for our school (DAVJVM, Ranchi) during tournaments, he used to open the batting, keep and also bowl his quota of 5 overs regularly. :D

Posted by gerardpereira20 on (July 23, 2011, 9:53 GMT)

Dhoni is a human being which means he is just as capable of making mistakes as the rest of us. Mostly he is defencive, sometimes he uses unorthodox methods that pay off sometime they don't. Had he snared KP he would have been the greatest captain ever. Now he is accused of disrespecting the game. Let us face it Dhoni is the best captain India has got, a T20 and ODI world champion, as well as the currently ranked number one team in the world you can't ask for any more.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 9:31 GMT)

@sankar8000 : after the khan went to dressing room only 3 main bowlers remaining in the team . the pitch are't supporting spinners and also no seam bowing in our team . it hard to rotate the 3 bowers . to supporting our bowers dhoni him self take a chance to the action . and he did't do badly ...

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (July 23, 2011, 9:05 GMT)

@5wombats: The one trick you are talking about is called winning and Dhoni is the master magician. Remember, the game is not over yet. Stuart Broad will hopefully fill Harbhajan's role of a non-wicket taking, non-containing bowler. India's strike bowler went down early, if either Swann or Tremlett suffer the same fate, we'll see how many wickets the other two can take. India was 3 bowlers short and is Viru short in batting.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 8:55 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs do you understand cricket? the situation yesterday forced him to bowl and his bowling was decent he has been preparing in the nets for this, people like you just make stupid comments without knowing abc of cricket...

and dhoni is overrated?????/ which other captain has won 2 world cups, 2 ipls, 1 champions trophy, taken their teams to the #1 position? oh and also ganguly himself said that dhoni was the greatest indian captain, but obviously you know better than ganguly toooo...

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 8:47 GMT)

@MandarSathe do you think before writing? dhoni is a bad captain??? obviously either you know nothing about cricket or have not been watching cricket for the last few years.... people avoid making stupid comments that are ridiculous

@Sankara , @Vijay - obviously you are dravid fans but those were two catches dropped by dravid, you can protest as much as you want but he is a liabilty in the field. Its funny how people criticize harbhajan but no one talks about the catches that dravid dropped off him (2 against the west indies and 1 here) which could have made a big difference to his bowling..and perhaps to the result

Posted by SUNILDASWANEY on (July 23, 2011, 8:38 GMT)


Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

@Sunny Patel I agree with you completely, its funny that the same people here who are criticizing dhoni were criticizing him before the world cup and were ready with knives had he not won it for us. Its ridiculous that they are talking against dhoni, as if they know better, the guy has won us two world cups, taken us to #1 in tests and they are still doubting his ability. This highlights the mentality of indians who cannot see fellow indians succeed and have to bring down people who are doing well like lalit modi before and dhoni now...

Posted by anexpat on (July 23, 2011, 8:30 GMT)

I have said it before and say it again that it is about time Harbhajan should pack up his test career. he has long passed his sell-by date. Occasinal flashes of brilliance is not enough. One needs to perfom consitently. May be Dhoni was dropping a hint at Bhajji and Ishant to maake them realise how ordinary they were bowling. But he should have a courage to sack Harbhajan. He should have used Raina or Sachin itstead. Bowling department is going to be India's nemesis.

Posted by sanjeevmukherjee2006 on (July 23, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

@herath ur team has yet to win a test in india aus and sa , they have not won a series even in WI, bangladesh is better than SL at least they have won test series in WI..so see where ur SL stands

Posted by spiritwithin on (July 23, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

@5wombats..'' A truly great team doesn't put the opposition in in PERFECT bowling conditions''>>>is'nt Strauss said that he wud have bowled first had they won the toss???india is here to win the series and to take advantage of the condition if it arises,they r not here to satisfy ur heart...they being no.1 is for a reason,its not for the first time they struggled in the first tests,even in SA last year Graeme Smith put india in coz of favourable conditions,india were thrashed where their bowlers took just 4wickets in the whole tests and same fans like u questioned indian team then but they came back strongly later....and England if they want to be no.1 also has to prove in india and SL and sud stop calling their team as best just coz of their victory in Ashes..can they do that??time will tell,at present if so called the best(england) cant win even at home there's a lot to answer about ur self proclaimed best team....gear up for the hard summer

Posted by ACHILLES_FZX on (July 23, 2011, 8:17 GMT)

Our bowlers should die of shame after seeing dhoni bowl I fell if we leave Zak out of the equation then dhoni perhaps has the worst bowling attack in the history of indian cricket

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 8:16 GMT)

RP Singh Is Better...Why Don't they have him as reserve left arm seamer...He is Fit and in good Form as we saw in IPL...Sree should have been left out to regain form.

Posted by Sankara on (July 23, 2011, 7:55 GMT)

I agree with Rahul Vijay about the two catches involving Dravid. The secoond catch was very clearly Dhoni's. Dravid in fact reacted after the ball had passed Dhoni. Dhoni hashad this problem before also- he does not know where his first slipper is and has in the past also committed and then withdrawn.

Posted by bismoy on (July 23, 2011, 7:48 GMT)

@ Herath-UK Seriously Sl team is better playing minnow team....India B team is enough to trash SL team....

Have you forgotten the WC final where SL lost even after winning toss...what the excuses you have????

Posted by sankar8000 on (July 23, 2011, 7:46 GMT)

Dhoni should not have bowled as he had better options as Raina and Sachin! He Abused his captaincy! Rightly Kapil had criticized it Strongly!

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (July 23, 2011, 7:37 GMT)

@Debasis Wow, what an amazing and honest analysis from an Indian. In my opinion, you are absolutely correct - Dhoni is extremely overrated on captain abilities. He is riding on Ganguly's coattails, in which Ganguly created/developed the team that is raising India up (Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Zaheer, Harbhajan). Ganguly is truly India's best captain, but they sacked him before he could reap the benefits of his hard work. Dhoni is not developing a new team but is riding on the seniors that were developed by Ganguly. Sometimes its hard to read through the lines and to filter out what the media gives you - Dhoni is not the best captain there is

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (July 23, 2011, 7:34 GMT)

Dhoni showing that he loves the fame more than he cares about the team. Honestly with a batting line up that can spin the ball too, I'm surprised he didn't choose them. Would of loved Tendulkar bowl his leg spin and would liked to see Rain bowl more - They're both better than Dhoni, who's first ball i think was the only good one he bowled.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 7:29 GMT)

I strongly agree as someone commented that Dhoni being bowling is a SHAME to Bhajji & Ishant. Even if they were unable to take wickets, they would've at least blocked the flow of runs (by this I mean going by 3-3.2 econ. rate). It was a brave decision by Dhoni to bowl remember as it also meant that RD would keep. May be it looks like a mockery of Test cricket to the legend Kapil Dev but if someone has to be blamed then they should be Bhajji & Ishant, may be too some extent Zaheer. Not Dhoni !

Posted by kingcobra85 on (July 23, 2011, 7:27 GMT)

i said it before and i will say it again "harbhajan is playing in the site because of reputation and not performance" and a mediocre reputation i might add.. Dhoni is so afraid at times to try new things in team... more i see of harbhajan the more i get the feeling it might be the truth...Ojha would have packed up Petersen long before he had his fifty with...KP has a weakness against left armers whole world knows it but not the Indian team..because they are two afraid to change the team because of god knows what ! While sreesanth has to sit out because he hasnt performed recently but why is harbhajan playing he hasnt pulled his weight in the team for so long...if harbhajan can play why not sreesanth ..he too won us games in seaming conditions in last tour to england and southafrica

Posted by Vivek.Bhandari on (July 23, 2011, 7:22 GMT)

I am surprised that Jimmy Adams didn't pick up a Test match wicket in his career. He was a complete package. He kept wickets, bowled beautiful left arm spin, and was padded skillfully between making runs as well. Not to forget he was a decent captain as well.

Posted by KENNETH2007 on (July 23, 2011, 7:14 GMT)

What to say India had always have had good batsmen... its time to cultivate quality bowlers ....serious bowlers...to be noted is that we are now loosing the spin department...which was our + point ...is also disappearing.... SO SRIKANTH PLS DO THINK ABOUT IT... WE NEED A COUPLE OF KAPILS AND KUMBLES.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 23, 2011, 6:48 GMT)

@vasu_m_r; everyday knows that Sri Lanka were "swamped" - by rain, which saved them from more of a beating. And why on earth are you talking about Steyn & Morkel? - when I last looked they were saffers, have they just become indian? I think you are displaying a jealousy of world class bowlers because india doesn't have any - so why not just leave it about india being the "number one team". A truly great team doesn't put the opposition in in PERFECT bowling conditions and then watch one of it's batsmen flog his way to an unbeaten 200. You'd better hope the sun shines all day for india.

Posted by muski on (July 23, 2011, 6:45 GMT)

Bhajji must be given the sack. Sreesanth and Munaf should be given the look in for the next test. Most of the current day bowlers dont seem to make the batsmen play.The only thing they do is to give additional work to the keeper. While we are blaming Ishant, the way Anderson and Tremlett bowled the 6 overs, except for one odd ball which Mukund got, they looked very very ordinary. Iam quite confident that India will score more than 300 runs today. As I maintain it, this is a 1-1 series. There is nothing that separates these 2 teams even in English Conditions.

Posted by sundar1967 on (July 23, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

Now a days Bhajji has become a use less bowler. I can't remember last time he had taken 5 wickets in a match. Ishant is also a useless bowler. He has shown his talent agianst the depleted west indies. It high time the selectors may think of dropping Bhajji and replace him with Aswin and Ishant with sree shanth.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 23, 2011, 6:41 GMT)

@sultanofhyd . no u r wrong many people have hit double hundreds against no.1 side.sachin tendulkar (241) against australia in 2004 in sydney , rahul dravid (227) against australia in 2004 at adelaide , vvs laxman (281 , 206 ) against australia in kolkata & delhi in 2001 & 2008, brian lara (379) against australia in sydney , gautam gambhir(202) against australia in delhi in 2008 ..... the list goes on . even the best bowling attack of australian team has been thrashed by the likes of sachin, david, lara, laxman, pieterson etc.

Posted by cricology on (July 23, 2011, 6:38 GMT)

@Alexk400 It has been now nearly 2 weeks, for me, of reading your comments. And still I'm not able to find out whether you support India or England? Your comments are more often harsh and lopsided. Agreed that Indians are not invincibles like Aussies of 1999-2007 or West Indies of 1970-1990. But being invincible is the only creteria of being #1. Indians are #1 just because they are fractionally better than the rest. They win at home and draw series abroad with top teams and win againt avg teams. In turn, those 'top' teams (barring SA) never win a series in India. India may/may not loose in England but England, if they beat India & claim #1, will never beat India in India. Now with this avg bowling line-up, if India manages to draw/win the England series or lets say loose by a wiska, then they'll be truely #1. And the impatient English supporters must wait till the series ends which will decide who truely is #1. If India wins they truely are, if England wins probably are !

Posted by MandarSathe on (July 23, 2011, 6:35 GMT)

Dhoni showed how bad a captain he is yesterday..... It seemed frustrated move to bring himself on... Need to trust his bowlers more....Also a good captain like ganguly would have given ball to the golden arm man Sachin Tendulkar.... His gentle swingers could have broken the partneship at that stage..... Dhoni doesn't play when required.. n try to come up order when there is good chance of get lmelight...best example was WC2011 final... coming ahead of Yuvi... Yuvi deserved to a hundred n a winning six for an outstanding tournament that he had... but dhoni was selfish there..

Posted by Zycr9 on (July 23, 2011, 6:33 GMT)

What Dhoni did was good. First Zaheer was injured and second all the bowlers got hit around especially Bhajji, Ishanth. Third India was reduced to 3 man attack. And after the lunch when batsman are just coming out of break they wouldn't have expected this kind of surprise. IT was a wonderful move and almost paid off. Dhoni started very well. LBW shout, though not out it definitely woke up KP. and again in next few overs Dhoni again got one past KP;s bat this time desperate KP got saved by DRS. I hope indian batsman get lucky with DRS too. So in those 8 overs Dhoni bowled he gave away 23 runs and had KP in trouble quiet a number of times. That goes to show what a talent Dhoni has. He was swinging the ball and caught everyone by surprise. Situation demanded such improvisation and Dhoni responded. As a hardcore indian fan I still believe India can come on top with 3 days to go. But i am disappointed with bhajji and ishanth. They should have bowled better. Now its upto Indian batsman.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 6:23 GMT)

Dhoni has made India laughable at Lord's. It is where where India lifted its first World Cup 28 years ago; it is where a proud Indian captain, arguably the best who built up the nucleus of this team,replied insult indulged in by ill-mannered Andrew Flintoff by waiving his shirt at the Lord's historic Balcony . And unfortunately, it is the same venue where Dhoni created the greatest laughter of all times ! India will lose its No. 1 ranking very soon....it is achieved solely due to its batsmen , precisely, Shewag, Sachin, Rahul & Laxman and a couple of great bowlers like Zaheer, Sreenath, Kumble and Harbhajan. Now, there's no one who can be fit in these big shoes. And what Sourav did as a captain- to build a new team- Dhoni is not following the same path. Cupboard will be empty very soon. And we will nose-dive . I don't know whose fault it is anyway. But BCCI must encourage Test Cricket - not T20s-as the latter will not create any big players.

Posted by vissu295 on (July 23, 2011, 6:17 GMT)

@Shiv Shankar, Calm down.. It's not the end of the world

Posted by melvn on (July 23, 2011, 5:56 GMT)

Harbhajan is bowling really well, in twenty 20s and only in 20 20s, so its better he bowls in 20 20s only. I think he has tailored his bowling for the lucrative version. Ishant was dissappointing, he bowled well in the Carebian, probably Sreeshant would replace him in the next test.

Posted by vasu_m_r on (July 23, 2011, 5:55 GMT)

England as no. 1 team is laughable. They just about managed to beat Sri Lanka at home (same bowlers if I am not mistaken !!!!) ; and that too because of some madness by the lankans on the last day of the test. Maybe they will win the test, maybe they wont. Also wasn't DRS there for the SL series ? Then by all counts SL should have been swamped. I would be the first to agree that India today is not the Australia of say 2001; but being no. 1 for over a year and not losing a series is no mean achievement. Steyn Morkel etc. are much better bowlers any day than Anderson and co. , so dream on.

Posted by rahulcricindia on (July 23, 2011, 5:43 GMT)

@Herath-UK what do you mean 'can this be' we are the no. 1 side in the world....right now.....just swallow this truth....just care about your own hopeless team....we are used to of getting out of tough situations...thats why we are no. 1 side in the world TEAM INDIA

Posted by bigdhonifan on (July 23, 2011, 5:20 GMT)

EVEN Mighty Aussies at their prime hardly taken 20 wickets in India!!!! So as India in England! India is #1 by sure margin ahead of Saff, Eng

Posted by sanjay37b on (July 23, 2011, 5:14 GMT)

Indian think tank has a job in hand.Zaheer and Harbhajan's replacements,place for Yuvraj in playng eleven.Sehwag's return.Is dhoni's place secured in Test eleven?His field placing,bowling changes,bowlers using the wrong ends,bowling himself were the negatives of his captaincy in first test.The mistakes were basic and need to be seriously viewed by the selectors.India will not be no 1 team if the dictatorial regime of Dhoni continues.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 23, 2011, 5:11 GMT)

why people are criticizing dhoni ? his bowling figures were 8-1-23-0. a lot better than ishant's RUBBISH bowling. dhoni wanted to give some rest to PK . also he bowled well and nearly got a wicket . i don't understand why people are criticizing him ? if ganguly and tendulkar can bowl , so can be dhoni ? it is a shame for ishant and harbhajan that dhoni bowl? hope sreesanth can be pick in place for stupid ishant for next test . CONGRATULATIONS TO KP AND PK FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES . NEED A SIMILIAR INNINGS FROM THE INDIAN BATSMEN TO SAVE THE MATCH . I HOPE THAT THE NEXT TWO DAYS SHOULD BE SUNNY .

Posted by SouthPaw on (July 23, 2011, 5:09 GMT)

When Greg Chappell said that Zaheer was "lazy" and "doesn't look after his fitness" he was dead right - and all of us Indians led by Sourav Ganguly & Zaheer himself, said that Chappell "rubbed people the wrong way", "not a people person", etc..

But, see how many times has Zaheer had injury problems!

Also, I have commented before and I am saying it again. India must field a side that looks to take 20 wickets. With GG, (opener #2), RSD, SRT, VVS and MSD as batsmen, we should field 5 bowlers (3 medium pace + 2 spin or 4 medium pace + 1 spin). That way we have a better chance of getting results.

Posted by sultanofhyd on (July 23, 2011, 4:47 GMT)

Seriously, people need to get off this #1 bandwagon.

No early declaration against WI - oh no, you can't be #1, how dare you! One of the most talented batsmen of this decade hits a double century after your main bowler is out injured and one other is having a bad day, and still struggles to get there - oh no, this is not the stuff of #1, right, no one has ever hit a double hundred against a #1 side right?

India is #1 for a reason, and if you want to see how that is so please have a look at the stats over the last few years.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 4:33 GMT)

so many criticism on dhoni, i believe dhoni did a right thing to come and bowl himself, even KP said he was unsettled and looked nervous, what else u need, task completed.

Posted by blondblackberry on (July 23, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

come on dhoni you proved what a captain u r.he is the best and he wil try all the tricks to make things happen.remember in 2007 kumble got a hundred and in 2002 agarkar got one, just gives an idea of how good english "piechuckers" are.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

This is state of affairs in bowling of the so called No:1 Test team in the world. What a mockery of Test cricket! This rock star like guy is misusing the privilege that the people of his nation has given him, for his own fun, frolic and fame, bringing disrepute to his country and the game of cricket. I pity those thousands of cricket lovers on the ground watching all these clown acts of him!

Posted by anurag4u10 on (July 23, 2011, 4:11 GMT)

stop complaining guys...... dhoni bowled coz d oder bowlers were nt effective 8 all. since zk was injured nd ishant nd bhajji were hardly threatning it left india wd virtually one bowler pk so dhoni had to step in nd perfrm d task. don forget india had 2 bowl 98 overs in d day so neways a 4th bowler was still required. he did not go 4 raina initially coz he is offie while dhoni is medium pacer. nd dont forget dhoni almst got kp in d lbw appeal where hawkeye suggested kp was gone. ishant was vry disapponintin he was not using bouncers nd neither was he using away deliveries 4 kp. bhajji has already made it large enugh.. lets hope ind gets 2 a massive total in d next 5 or 6 sessions.

Posted by kab-dhi on (July 23, 2011, 3:50 GMT)

Mind my words! Dhoni will be marked as best ever captain in cricket history books . What a surprise and what a commitment, this shows why Indian team is number 1 and why Dhoni is so victorious. With versatile batting line up and average bowling attack, India has always proved itself, some examples being WC-11, ICC test rating, and unforgettable SA tour. Im taken aback by surprise even in absence of Zaheer English men just managed to get 474 and gave up 8wickets, shame for some English puffed up batmen (oops south Africans) ha ha

Posted by Rahulvijay on (July 23, 2011, 2:57 GMT)

Dravid dropped two catches on first day?? pls check your very own cricinfo commentary regarding those before u put them on article. First one was sharp chance. 2nd one was never his catch. It was dhoni's.usage of such words without care might give a bad impression abt such a great player.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (July 23, 2011, 2:45 GMT)

If only Zaheer had got injured against Somerset then it wouldnt have mattered

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 2:33 GMT)

It was a day for PK and KP (Praveen Kumar and Kevin Peterson); with their 5 for and 202 N.O.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 2:21 GMT)

dhoni is a n allround captian but only he s bowled because of z.khan had to get that annoying injury , at least he dint go expensive , india should have went for a allrounder like I.pathan

Posted by Lahori_Munde on (July 23, 2011, 2:19 GMT)

@Chandrashekar Konanur - What?? Are you really serious? Any captain would have elected to field first in this test. It was a minefield on the first day and then eased out on the 2nd day under the Blue sky. Dhoni and India's misfortune that Khan went down too early or it could have been entirely different story.

Posted by maddy20 on (July 23, 2011, 2:02 GMT)

@zwartedepiet The wicket's got hardly anything in it for the bowlers and you cannot win a WC if you are not good enough. Whether you agree or not, India is no.1 in tests for two years now and India's batsmen will show you why. Its our turn now. Poms will be leather hunting for the next two days and the world's number 1 bowler will be taken to the cleaners.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 1:02 GMT)

Some people never cease to amaze me....So dhoni did the wrong thing by opting to field first????? are u crazy the conditions were overcast..imagine wat the england attack would have done to the indian batmen most of whom are in need of some runs..now the pitch s flat they can bat n gain confidence for the games ahead...we saw wat the wi attack did....every one even strauss wanted to field first.....and him bowling was a good move an sure if he had got KP no one would be talking...lets appreciate once in a while...atleast they are out there playing while we are here watching and am sure most cant even play school or college cricket.....Thumbs up Dhoni n the whole India team..just keep doing ur best!!!!!

Posted by ahweak on (July 23, 2011, 0:59 GMT)

If Dhoni of all people has to bowl in the first innings of a major series and two main bowlers are toothless, it is hard to win against good teams like England. Just having batting strength is not enough to keep teams from knocking you down from the #1 spot. Indin cricket needs good bowlers. But a good start would be to get rid of Harbhajan, the passenger.

Posted by NRI- on (July 23, 2011, 0:22 GMT)

A legslip to Bhajji early on woudl have ended KP's innings ealry and had Trott been caught early and Zaheer not limped off, England may have been 200 all out fully justifying Dhoni's decision. If India had bowling depth, they could stop risking Zaheer in test matches so often does he get injured. But the other 3 bowlers are okay and there is no one on the bench who can bowl well.

Posted by subbass on (July 23, 2011, 0:15 GMT)

The Indian bolwing may seem rubbish, but wait till we see how our bowlers do first, the Lords wicket is always easy to bat on without cloud cover, so really it was on the 1st day when the Indians bowled poorly, when conditions where ideal.

I actually thought Dhoni bowled quite well, I just don't like the time it wastes when he comes on to bowl.

Posted by getsetgopk on (July 23, 2011, 0:03 GMT)

lost 8 overs of play because of that laughable move by dhoni. tried to be just a little too smart than he actually is.

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (July 22, 2011, 23:47 GMT)

it did not look desperate by any stretch of the imagination! lol. desperation and MSD? huh? u guys got ur brains alright? have u forgotten how he promoted himself to #3 and bashed the sri lankans black and blue in the world cup final? he is the coolest dude ever to have played and captained. dont be jealous guys no matter how hard u try neither can u replicate his calm in ur lives nor can ur 'run of the mill' captains on the cricket field!! period.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 23:44 GMT)

Should Dhoni have been bowling in the second day of first test? With Sachin, Dravid, Gambhir, VVS and himself in the side, should he have opted to field first? As a reference, no Aus captain ever invited opposition to bat when Don Bradman was in the team. You play to your strength and India's is batting. With Zaheer not having played test for 7 months, Praveen's pathetic pace, Bhajji's known weakness abroad and no all rounder in team, rather than thinking about Dravid keeping and himself bowling, he should have been thinking about putting huge total on the board first. Thats how test cricket should be played. The worst loss for a captain is when he invites opposition to bat first and opposition declares (not bowled out). Dhoni learnt that hard way here. He should understand he does not have the 70s and 80s WI team to put any opposition bat. Hope he remembers this learning in future, rather than thinking he is a do-it-yourself captain. There is limit to arrogance and he was shown that.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 23:31 GMT)

yes , all your comment is good beside some not good. dhoni's action never they check in there prepration so he try nothing wrong with it. if you do'nt like india this is your problem.

Posted by Nampally on (July 22, 2011, 23:29 GMT)

It was unfortunate that India was reduced to just one wicket taker in P.Kumar after the unfortunate injury to Zaheer. Ishant Sharma bowled very poorly & Harbhajan matched him all the way with 0 for 152. It is time to exclude Harbhajan from the XI because he is just a shadow of the bowler he once was.Praveen's inspired bowling reminds me of great Vinoo Mankad who bowled brilliantly at Lords in 1952 tour taking 5 wkts for 192 runs in 96 overs in one innings. He followed it up with 72 & 184 in 2 innings opening the innings for India. While Praveen did India proud, Can the Indian batsmen rise up and revive Vinoo Mankad's batting show here, 59 years later? They have to keep their heads down and each batsman should contribute like the 6 England batsmen did. In a team game everyone contributes.Indian batting is considered to be the best in the world. Now is the time to rise up & match Praveen's lion hearted bowling with excellent battin - No rash stroke or Run outs, Please. Lets go India.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 22, 2011, 23:21 GMT)

Dhoni's intention was very good but his bowling was awful. He should not allwoed to bowl!. if he can bowl i can bowl better.

Posted by zwartedepiet on (July 22, 2011, 23:20 GMT)

Hahaha, Indians make me laugh. Number one test side in the world? Show us your bowling attack. Good luck getting twenty wickets in any test of this series. Zaheer is injured, yes, big blow, but would losing one bowler render any truly great test side incompetent with the ball? No. Maybe Dhoni shouldnt have been so soft and wimped out of what wouldve been a test win in the last match vs the windies. Couldve been their last chance to win for a while. At least now we get to see some decent cricket with Englands bowlers having a go at Indias great batsmen.

Posted by krazzyking on (July 22, 2011, 22:54 GMT)

Err... Dhoni wanted to bowl...so?... it dint feel like a desperate attempt at all... I mean, what the hell, if a player is quite confident about his bowling, does it matter if he is the WK? sheesh, what there to harp about?

Posted by RodStark on (July 22, 2011, 22:41 GMT)

Well, if England were to lose one of their four bowlers at some point during a match, they'd be in even worse shape! Just like all bowlers are expected to bat these days, all batsmen should take part-time bowling seriously.

Posted by bigdhonifan on (July 22, 2011, 22:31 GMT)

@Herath-UK is sri lanka have a quality team????? Please play against minnows or at home!

Posted by deegowd on (July 22, 2011, 22:26 GMT)

Though Sachin can bowl, he might not have been half as good as Dhoni was with seam-up bowling (he is better off bowling his twirlers). While there is nothing wrong in Dhoni's move it was surprising that he took the gloves back from Dravid if he wanted to come back. He is already in the dock for slow over-rates and risked aggravating the situation. I remember a match when India chose just one seamer in Prasad and Saurav opened the bowling. Situations like these highlight the importance of having atleast a half-decent all-rounder like Irfan Pathan.

Posted by maddy20 on (July 22, 2011, 22:22 GMT)

Give the guy a break people. He bowled pretty well and nearly got a wicket for his effort. KP admitted that Dhoni's bowling un-settled him a little. Instead of appreciating him for leading from the front, people are busy criticizing a captain who has won two worldcups for us in the last 4 years and was hailed as a champion few months ago, never mind the cool captain, strategic captain bla bla bla.

Posted by gerardpereira20 on (July 22, 2011, 22:10 GMT)

What has gone wrong with Ishant? Is he the same bowler we saw in the West Indies? Dhoni had no choice but to step up and be counted, one Ishant and Harbajan proved to be duds. Raina may have got a few wickets in the West Indies but the last over he bowled to KP exposed the kind of bowler he is.

Posted by nlambda on (July 22, 2011, 22:02 GMT)

Dhoni bowling is a shame for Harbhajan & Ishant. Both were absolutely mediocre. Harbhajan really needs to be dropped for a few months. Dump him now and maybe he will be better for the Australia series.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 21:53 GMT)

Are you guys seriously criticizing Dhoni for rolling his arm over? What is wrong with you? You guys do know we're not playing in the sub-continent right? We're playing in England - seaming and swinging conditions! And no other batsmen bowls medium pace barring Tendulkar - who hasn't bowled in ages! I fully back Dhonis' decision to bowl himself. Had he got that wicket of KP, you guys would not be saying half the things mentioned on here. Yes, it's understandable this is an important series (only because we're battling for the number 1 ranking, not because it's the 2000th test of the 100th test between the countries) and we need our best bowlers to bowl. But our BEST bowler is injured! I personally think Dhoni was the next best option. Hats off to him for even trying. Just 'cuase something of this sort doesn't happen so often, does not mean it's not worth a try. On the other hand, had our "other" bowlers bowled better, Dhoni may not have needed himself to come on. Well bowled Dhoni!

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 21:25 GMT)

Definitely missing Yuvi..to bowl to Kevin...Don't understand why Yuvi is out..Dravid could have opened the batting with Gambhir..Remember Dravid & Sehwag in Pakistan 400+ opening partnership....Still at a loss to understand why Yuvi is out after heroics of World Cup...

Posted by sudheer.cricketfan on (July 22, 2011, 21:21 GMT)

Although I appreciate the Captain's intention of bowling few overs, to give enough rest to the Indian bowlers, i also agree with KapilDev's criticism of Dhoni making a mockery of test cricket. In such an important match, and at such an important stage, taking the match so lightly by bringing himself, instead of other part timers Suresh Raina, Sachin tendulkar who already had the experience of doing such job, is some thing childish.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 21:15 GMT)

i dont know how to describe it, but its not a very good picture of international cricket! when dhoni started his 1st over the ball was 77 overs old,perhaps he wants to bowl 2 overs before new ball! but somehow his spell became longer & a comeback with new ball thanks to ishant's mediocre bowling! are we playing with 1 bowler in this match? we have seen WI managed quite well in absence of ravi rampaul just few days back then why not we ?

Posted by Herath-UK on (July 22, 2011, 21:00 GMT)

The wicketkeeper choosing to bowl himself out in such an important stage of a Lord's match is mere admission of surrender and desperation;Sri Lanka played with five bowlers in spite of their batsmen not in the groove to take the fight to the opposition.Can this be the No. one team in the world! Ranil Herath -Kent

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 20:48 GMT)

I could be wrong, but I think Alfred Lyttelton actually kept his pads on when he took his 4 for 19. He also earned undying fame by observing that W.G.Grace didn't wash behind his ears. Now that's courage.

Posted by the_blue_android on (July 22, 2011, 20:35 GMT)

India in a spot now. Hope Gambhir can come up with one his back-against-the-wall knocks to earn a draw!

Posted by 5wombats on (July 22, 2011, 20:13 GMT)

Could it be that india are a bit of a one trick Dhoni? :-)

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 19:52 GMT)

That clearly shows the desperation of a need of wicket at the stage. Wish Indian part-timers are trained well in future so that they could be handful with injuries being a regular part in Indian team !

Posted by   on (July 22, 2011, 19:41 GMT)

Please ignore my previous comments - my apologies, did not read through the detail properly.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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