India v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Perth February 8, 2012

Dhoni not pleased with middle-order shot selection

104

MS Dhoni is not pleased that India's middle order - he is a part of it - let Sri Lanka back in with ill-advised strokes, but he doesn't want to be too harsh on Rohit Sharma, who has scored 0, 21 and 10 in three innings without looking convincing. There were many calls for Virat Kohli to be dropped early in the Test series, and VVS laxman towards the end, to give Rohit a chance. Dhoni, however, doesn't want Rohit to play under the constant pressure of keeping his place in the side, which is why India are rotating the top three batsmen and not the middle order.

"We are looking to give Rohit as many games as possible and we can afford to do that in the first leg of the tournament. Hopefully we can rotate the openers, or you may see the openers again," Dhoni said. "It's not an easy thing to do. You get a chance, and you are always expected to perform in those couple of chances, but it's very important to give a long run to a batsman like him.

"We all talk about the talent he [Rohit] has got. He goes back to domestic cricket, he still scores a lot. He plays IPL, the best of bowlers, and scores runs. So we all know he has got the talent to easily prove himself at top level. We need to back him, and we believe in the kind of talent he has. Hopefully in the next few games he will get going, and that will be a big boost because he is somebody who can field really well both at the boundary and inside the circle. And also if needed he can bowl a bit of offspin."

Dhoni didn't like the shot selection in Perth, though. "I'm happy with the win," Dhoni said. "I agree that there were a few shots that we shouldn't have played but mistakes do happen in the game, but it's good that we ended up on the winning side. We could have lost this game also. Hopefully we won't repeat the mistakes in the coming games. Intensity wasn't over the top in fielding but still up to the mark. Middle overs went well, but batting department can improve a bit."

One of the players yet to get a chance - a proper run - is Irfan Pathan. You would have thought Australian pitches would have been ideal for a seaming allrounder, but Ravindra Jadeja has kept Irfan out. "The last time he played, I wasn't part of the side, I was rested," Dhoni said when asked if he saw Irfan as an allrounder. "I don't' think he got much opportunity to bat. He has come back and we would like to give him a few games. Ideally he is someone who suits the job very well. He can bat and bowl well also. Ideally he is the one, but he needs to do the batting part and bowling part also."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 11, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    first drop DHONI, give others a chance.

  • poojapatel21195 on February 11, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    NO NEED SEHWAG IN XI BECAUSE HE DOESNT HAVE DONE ANYTHING GOOD! AND TRY AJINKYA RAHANE AS AN OPENER!

  • poojapatel21195 on February 11, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    DROP RAINA AND TRY TIWARI AND ALSO GIVE A CHANCE TO IRFAN PATHAN BECAUSE THEY BOTH PERFORMED WELL AGAINST WEST INDIES!!

  • poojapatel21195 on February 11, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    DROP RAINA AND PICK MANOJ TIWARI...!!! AND TRY IRFAN..!!

  • zenboomerang on February 11, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Wondering why Dhoni is blaming the players around him? - 1st game it was the bowlers & now it is the middle order batsmen around him... Not like a captain to put so much blame on his team-mates... Well, at least publicly...

  • zenboomerang on February 11, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    @S.Jagernath... Agree on Daniel Vettori - a true ambassador of cricket... I hope Ashwin goes on to be like him, as they seem to have similar natures & I like what I've seen in Ravichandran Ashwin...

  • zenboomerang on February 11, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    @Nampally :- "It should be an ICC ruling to go back to 1950-1975 formats"... It has nothing to do with the ICC... The team touring gives the host a possible schedule well before a Test series starts & is agreed to - Eng toured Oz & played two 3-day matches & one 4-day match... While Ind wanted just two 2-day games... 10 days FC cricket compared to 4 days - weather permitting... & there is much more difference between Ind pitchs than Eng pitches compared to Oz - so whom was better prepared?...

  • S.Jagernath on February 10, 2012, 22:22 GMT

    Once again Suresh Raina is exempt from all discussions regarding the performances of batsmen.Raina is excess baggage,it seems as though he is in the team just for his fielding.India should not be accepting his lack of consistency,his average of 34 will be easily bettered by a dozen Indian cricketers that are not being selected.Ravichandran Ashwin is starting to offer what Daniel Vettori offers New Zealand,India can do with a player like that batting at 8.

  • harik24 on February 10, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Dear all, first of all sehwag would be removed from our team...because he is useless in other countries ..he is use in only asia countries....

  • SanjivAwesome on February 10, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    @MrGupta. Based on a Performance Based Culture, Dhoni would be out. And yes, Tendulkar will be in even though I had wrongly posted earlier that he would not. Thank you. And yes as you say Sehwag would be out too. But these are mere illustration of what I feel is a larger malaise - we have a captain providing mediocre leadership to a team of 11 players when he has access to far better talent among a larger pool India has to offer.

  • on February 11, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    first drop DHONI, give others a chance.

  • poojapatel21195 on February 11, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    NO NEED SEHWAG IN XI BECAUSE HE DOESNT HAVE DONE ANYTHING GOOD! AND TRY AJINKYA RAHANE AS AN OPENER!

  • poojapatel21195 on February 11, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    DROP RAINA AND TRY TIWARI AND ALSO GIVE A CHANCE TO IRFAN PATHAN BECAUSE THEY BOTH PERFORMED WELL AGAINST WEST INDIES!!

  • poojapatel21195 on February 11, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    DROP RAINA AND PICK MANOJ TIWARI...!!! AND TRY IRFAN..!!

  • zenboomerang on February 11, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Wondering why Dhoni is blaming the players around him? - 1st game it was the bowlers & now it is the middle order batsmen around him... Not like a captain to put so much blame on his team-mates... Well, at least publicly...

  • zenboomerang on February 11, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    @S.Jagernath... Agree on Daniel Vettori - a true ambassador of cricket... I hope Ashwin goes on to be like him, as they seem to have similar natures & I like what I've seen in Ravichandran Ashwin...

  • zenboomerang on February 11, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    @Nampally :- "It should be an ICC ruling to go back to 1950-1975 formats"... It has nothing to do with the ICC... The team touring gives the host a possible schedule well before a Test series starts & is agreed to - Eng toured Oz & played two 3-day matches & one 4-day match... While Ind wanted just two 2-day games... 10 days FC cricket compared to 4 days - weather permitting... & there is much more difference between Ind pitchs than Eng pitches compared to Oz - so whom was better prepared?...

  • S.Jagernath on February 10, 2012, 22:22 GMT

    Once again Suresh Raina is exempt from all discussions regarding the performances of batsmen.Raina is excess baggage,it seems as though he is in the team just for his fielding.India should not be accepting his lack of consistency,his average of 34 will be easily bettered by a dozen Indian cricketers that are not being selected.Ravichandran Ashwin is starting to offer what Daniel Vettori offers New Zealand,India can do with a player like that batting at 8.

  • harik24 on February 10, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Dear all, first of all sehwag would be removed from our team...because he is useless in other countries ..he is use in only asia countries....

  • SanjivAwesome on February 10, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    @MrGupta. Based on a Performance Based Culture, Dhoni would be out. And yes, Tendulkar will be in even though I had wrongly posted earlier that he would not. Thank you. And yes as you say Sehwag would be out too. But these are mere illustration of what I feel is a larger malaise - we have a captain providing mediocre leadership to a team of 11 players when he has access to far better talent among a larger pool India has to offer.

  • Nampally on February 9, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    After watching what is arguably the strongest top 5 Indian batting in the world, go down with not a single century in 4 Tests, the main question still remains, WHY? These 5 had a total of > 50,000 runs in the test cricket between them!.The same thing happened to much fancied England batting against Pakistan. They folded like nine pins and were totally demolished. These batting line up performed superbly in their own countries. Only obvious conclusion is, it takes time for even the best batsmen in the world to adapt to the conditions different to those they are familiar with. It should be an ICC ruling to go back to 1950- 1975 formats, when the visitors played a number of matches with local counties before the first test to get used to the pitches. This enabled in minimizing the Home team advantage.If ICC do not make this ruling, the Visiting team would be at a great disadvantage. I sympathize with Dhoni & Strauss for taking heat for the total eclipse of their strong batting lineup!.

  • Freewheeler on February 9, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    Agree with Nampally that Jadeja and Pathan should be part of the Test team. With a spineless middle order and a bamboozled captain (especially in test cricket), India will be better served with three potential allrounders - Jadeja, Pathan, and Ashwin - in the lower middle order. Vinay deserves his chances (he averages 24 in first class cricket), but I do not see him scything through the opposition. At best, he is as good as Irfan Pathan but without Irfan's tight batting technique. Zaheer Khan (for his ability against left-handers) and Umesh Yadav (for his pace) should be the first choice seamers with Praveen and Ishant as back up. Sehwag, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Jadeja, Pathan, Ashwin, Zaheer, Umesh will make it a well balanced team. Without two genuine quickies or a mystery spinner, the present plan of playing four bowlers will never win matches. Packing the side with allrounders seems to be best approach.

  • on February 9, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    Remove Praveen Kumar and replace him with Irfan Pathan. Praveen islike Agarkar, there is a bad ball ina n over and gets smacked for four..andd yet he thinks he is doing ok; no more revolving door for him(Praveen). Atleast Irfan Pathan bats better(may give same runs);

  • on February 9, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    drop the useles raina and and get all 3 openers with GG at no 3 and if sehwag doesnt perform in another two or three matches get tiwari in , raina just can play on flat tracks and not in tough circumstances unless in extreme cases.i think rotation is more needed in fast bowlers i think that too is happening and about irfan i too think he should get his chance and i am sure he will give but ya unawarely blaming captain dhoni is too unfair . he is same captain who with some highely criticsed move won world cup as captain . i think the roataion in batting to give youngsters a chance for 2015 world cup is half minded thinking then why we have tendulkar here ajinyka rahane is missing out and not a totaly senior player gambhir too is part of this rotation who did well here in 2008 but with test series his confindence is down and needs more chances and why a young talented given less oppertunity rohit sharma is being targeted he is 1000 time better player than raina and will prove it

  • chapathishot on February 9, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Some of the comments are mind blowing and also suffering from short term memory loss.Dhoni was the top performer in ODIs in England and against England in India.So he is not the weak link in the batting as calimed by some.During the world cup the comment was that why Ashwin was not given a chance when Bajji was not doing well.When Ashwin was given regular spot the talk was that He is CSK so he is getting better treatment.As every one remember how Irfan was out of the team ,Even his performance in last IPL was pathetic and has no pace and unless he can in swing it late he could go for plenty for sure .So it is up-to the management to find out whether he has it to play or not and not the people commenting

  • Nampally on February 9, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    @Rahul_78:Both Irfan & Jadeja are very good all rounders & should have been in the Test squad if India had more visionary selectors. Dhoni appears to know v.little about Irfan who debuted at the age of 19 in 2003 & was tipped to be the next Kapil Dev. He has scored a test century & averages around 30 in batting in both Tests & ODI having played about 100 innings in tests & >150 innings in ODI's. He has also taken over 100 wkts. in both formats.He is now 27. The idea of 2 all rounders is to use them on Seamer or spinner pitches, as the conditions may be.Not giving Pathan a chance on seamers' wkt. is biased selection. Hence the wrath of the cricket Fans!. Irfan can fill in the role of a 3rd seamer/Specialist. Jadeja is no match to Rohit Sharma in batting.He gave 44 runs in 2.4 overs vs. Aussies in first ODI.Rahul is a far superior spinner to Jadeja.So Dhoni's bias towards Jadeja is unfair.India deserves a team with a XI pulling in the same direction. This is not happening under MSD!

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Manoj tiwary can replace Raina; he is swift and an exceptional fielder and can fill up the void created ;... and vinay kumar should be rested to give way to irfan.... that will add a little more depth to the batting lineup;

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Can somebody please stop this nonsense coversation related to irfan. Dhoni is a captain of india. He knows what to do and what don't to do. You peoples are here and sitting in home in billions commenting his decisions. Such hard thing to accept. Respect what he did for the team. He may be a proper test batsmen but in limited overs he is entirely different. Period

  • peterss on February 9, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    Pathan doesnt deserve to play just yet. But for all these following he has got, not a bad idea to try him out for one game. But in place of who?! Possibilities are Ashwin & Jadeja. But both of them saved the game for Ind! Weak link is the batting. Pathan isnt that good a batsman. Perhaps in place of Praveen Kumar!

  • RISHI2016 on February 9, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    there seems sthg really wrong wid statements Dhoni makes for Irfan what does he mean when he said ; " "The last time he played, I wasn't part of the side, I was rested,". Does not a regular captain keeps track of happenings when he is even rested. Clearly he does not believe in Irfan's ability. Stuart Board was always backed up and see what a wonderful palyer he has become even after being hit for 6 sixes. How many chance can be given to Rohit Sharma... why nt groom Manoj Tiwari who, when, last played got a century...It would be better to drop both Rohit sharma and Raina and blood in Tiwari and Pathan...

  • world.cricketer on February 9, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    @luckysurya:= I don't agree with you that Rohit has got enough chances. See his recent form in last 20 matches he avgs 43 in ODI's Where as Raina avgs 24. Rohit must be Given some more chances definately he will prove.

  • on February 9, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    Our pacers are not bowling upto the mark.. Praveen is a natural swing bowler bt he is bowling short balls I saw last game. Vinay Kumar full of enthu bt not on target.. Zaheer is not giving 100%..Irfan must be tried..Sreesanth is missed in this tour. Test matches lost due to srees absence. Dinda is also required for new days

  • anver777 on February 9, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    A close call for Dhoni..... if not for Kholi's innings, Ind could have struggled... luckily in the end a match winning partnership under pressure by Jadeja & MOM Ashwin sealed the game for Ind !!!!!

  • Vilander on February 9, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    Drop Praveen for Irfan. if Irfan clicks ( against Aus) we have opportunity to bring in Yadav in place of Aswin or Jadeja for next SL game. Sl wont do the same mistakes twice, this is crucial if we want to make it to finals, provided we loose all games against Aus.

  • on February 9, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    It is good 2 see dhoni back rohit after his recent under-performances, but how come raina has slipped under radar unnoticed. Now as for rohit he really needs 2 learn from virat & tighten his game. He 's too casual . He's got talent & its time he make it count bcos these r his best years & v cant ill-afford 2 loose him whn our seniors r going 2 retire. As for irfan i am sure he will b playing in the 2nd leg of this series & its matter of time he 'll b back in reckoning. He is the one who can really balance the side & india need him if they have 2 defend the title in 2014.

  • rahulcricket007 on February 9, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    DHANNO HAS FORGOTTEN THAT THE WEAK LINK IN THE MIDDLE ORDER IS HE HIMSELF . FIRST MAKE SOME RUNS FROM YOUR BAT & THEN CRICITCIZE OTHERS .

  • tiger9999 on February 9, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Dear Mr. Dhoni, while there has been a lot of press about selectors not giving opportunities to youngsters - when you've had the youngsters in the squad you have relegated them to the bench. There is one Manoj Tiwari who knocked a hundred in the last time he played for your team and now he is on the bench serving tea to Suresh Raina, who needs just one bouncer - all the bowlers in the world know this. And if an aussie bowler only says that he will deliver a bouncer next ball - Raina is more likely to get out whether its a bouncer or not. Now that the team is in such poor form that a quarter century from any of the stalwarts is an occasion for celebration, isnt it time you gave the centurion a bit of a run? Regards, Baffled supporter of India!

  • MINHAJAHMEDKHAN on February 9, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    One of the players yet to get a chance - a proper run - is Irfan Pathan. You would have thought Australian pitches would have been ideal for a seaming allrounder, but Ravindra Jadeja has kept Irfan out. "The last time he played, I wasn't part of the side, I was rested," Dhoni said when asked if he saw Irfan as an allrounder. "I don't' think he got much opportunity to bat. He has come back and we would like to give him a few games. Ideally he is someone who suits the job very well. He can bat and bowl well also. Ideally he is the one, but he needs to do the batting part and bowling part also." IT SOUNDS THAT DHONI HAD FINALLY MADE HIS MIND TO INCLUDE IRFAN NOW ATLEAST,GOOD TO HEAR THIS. IRFAN NEEDS FEW GAMES AS WELL AS FULL PAT ON BACK & TOTAL SUPPORT FROM DHONI HIMSELF,I AM SURE HE WILL RESPOND.HE IS FAR AHEAD AN ALL ROUNDER IN INDIAN TEAM.HE IS COMING AFTER A VERY LONG BREAK,SO HE NEEDS ALL TYPES OF SUPPORT.HE FOR SURE WILL PERFORM. JADEJA KEEPING IRFAN OUT "IS REALLY NOT PROPER.

  • Rahul_78 on February 9, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    I am puzzled with this Irfan euphoria. Jadeja is a batting all rounder if you can call him so this early in his career hence talk of Irfan who is basically a bowling all rounder replacing Jadeja in the team doesn't hold much water. On the current form Jadeja can keep Rohit out of the team on his batting, fielding and bowling ability. Question is can Irfan do the same and keep out a specialist bowler? I was in fact more surprised at the exclusion of young Yadav specially againt Lanka on the fast and bouncy WACA Pitch. He could have been handful early in the innings with new ball instead of Prvaeen who is basically medium pacer swing bowler and Vinay is more or so similar to him. India can not just choose Irfan for the sake of it. He should be able to bowl 10 overs and take wickets and if he scores runs that will be bonus.

  • rahulcricket007 on February 9, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    WHY THE HELL THEY R NOT GIVING CHANCE TO MANOJ TIWARI ? HE SCORED A CENTURY IN HIS LAST ODI IN CHENNAI . DROP RAINA & GIVE CHANCE TO TIWARI . & REPLACE PK WITH IRFAN FOR JUST ONE MATCH .

  • on February 9, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    Let dhoni score few runs and thn comment on other batsmen lik rohit and raina, he hasnt even scored as ashwin in this whole australia trip. better he takes complete rest in all matches outside subcontinent

  • ajithpraveen on February 9, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Hello Dhoni sir u r also an middle order batsmen first blame ur self and then blame others.

  • on February 9, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    "He can bat and bowl well also. Ideally he is the one, but he needs to do the batting part and bowling part also." Can someone translate that in English for me? Please? I mean, its one thing to say that the pitches suit a spinning all rounder and a proper full blown bowler, but a statement like that has me tearing my hair apart! BTW, does Irfy bowl 140 KPH anymore?

  • syedmkr on February 9, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    Better drop/rest Praveen in the next game, give opportunity to Irfan to succeed against Aussies. India need Irfan with both bat & ball!

  • Jai_India on February 9, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    Let me suggest something sensible!!!!! There should be a rotation between Zaheer & Irfan One out of these should play every match. There should be a rotation between Vinay, Praveen & Umesh Yadav. 2 out of 3 should play a match. Should be rotation between Rahul Sharma & Ashwin depending on how many right handers and left handers are there in opposite team. Choice between tiwary, Raina & Jedeja. 2 out of the 3 should play. Of this Tiwary should be given preference to prove himself. Later he can be a sure test slot i feel. Dhoni and saha should make a choice. But Dhoni to play most of the games. In case India qualify to finals early (which is difficult to be honest) Saha should be given a run. Virat and Rohit should be the only sure ones playing all the games. This is because they get some good experience in these conditions out there. Sachin Sewag and Gambhir making the choice 2 out of 3 should play with Gambir given more preference since he is expected to play longer than the other 2

  • ravi-1967 on February 9, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    Need to give Rohit more time. If you see Virat was persisted with in the test series and he has improved with each game. The conditions in Aus are very different and batsman take time to adjust. If Raina and Rohit had played more cricket before the one day series it would have helped.

    It is people like Sewhag who need to be dropped from the team as he is not batting well at all and has a major attitude problem. No rotation of openers persist with Sachin and Gautam. Over the next few days Raina and Rohit should click.

    Ashwin and Jadeja have shown improvement and Dhoni is keeping well (better than in tests). The fast bowling looks ok. It is now a matter of self belief which would help this Indian team to play well in this series.

  • luckysurya on February 9, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    Entirely agree with TRAM here . ROHIT SHARMA has got enough chances - 74 games to prove his mettle . His attitude towards the game is very CASUAL . Talent is not enough if he cant perform and attitude is important than talent . How many talented guys have got these many chances ? And why is Irfan not being given a chance ?

  • mrgupta on February 9, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    @SanjivAwesome: Ok, so based on recent performance a batsmen who scored 48 in last match (Sachin) should be sitting out but all other like Sehwag, Raina, Rohit and Dhoni who combined together scored 48 runs should play? Also as far as i remember on current tour Sachin was the 2nd highest scorer in Tests (just 13 runs behind top scorer Virat). So going by your performance based criteria if the second best scorer should sit out then who shud be playing? Only Virat Kohli? What kind of performance based criteria is that?

  • on February 9, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Why Dhoni does not like Irfan? He should give him few games.

  • on February 9, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    Considering the current scenario,they may try Irfan over Praveen Kumar or Vinay Kumar!!!..My ideal choice wud be Vinay but seeing his performance in d last two ODI's, Irfan should be Included in place of Praveen!!!

  • Fast_Track_Bully on February 9, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    As long as Vinay and Jadeja doing well, there is no place for Irfan now. Only PK seems to be out of form now, but he troubled Aus batsmen in the last ODI series. So, we can expect that in anytime!.

  • n_jraman on February 9, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    i can see only two players who are more motivated to play for india after come back..irfan and uthappa..uthappa was waiting for long time, and then they gave him chance only in one t-20 which is rubbish to determine his form and then drop him..also irfan..he is waiting to atleast get into the side and he says tat he can do waht ever he can ...u need this guys in 11 who are more eager...irfan can be next zaheer if he bowls well...but i dont thing this will hapen..irfan and uthappa can get some aus/eng contracts and can play there..rather than waiting here

  • satish619chandar on February 9, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    Raina should be used for batting powerplay.. His natural game is to hit it out.. Let him be allowed to do his natural thing.. Dhoni should come in at 5 in case of more wickets before 30 overs.. It is the primary responsibility of the main batsmen in Sachin, Gauti, Rohit, Virat to allow the big hitters to come in with no need to play settling game..

  • WishIndiaImprove on February 9, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    spinkingKK.... I agree with you. It is captain's team and he has all rights to select the team members he wants... but he has to answer to the Nation when his team mates are not performing and he has the choice to replace with someone else. In corporate no one can relax stating that they worked hard for last 5 years. He is very good captain and he gave us WC. I have lot of respect for him, but my wish is why can't he be open? His statement will close lot of rumours going on here. Also, as a fan we can raise all our questions to our captain thru media like cricinfo.

  • on February 9, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    rohit sharma needs more chances..the kind of talent he has..other indian batsman are good in managing fast bowlers..rohit sharma is good in hitting fast bowlers..india need more batsman who can hit fast bowlers at will..someone like inzymam ul haq was...

  • Jishnu.v.v on February 9, 2012, 3:08 GMT

    Pathan and Manoj Tiwary should play.... Rest tendulkar and praveen kumar.

    Give Umesh Yadav also a chance and Rahul sharma...

  • Dev9212 on February 9, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    Cant believe that people want Vinay kumar to be dropped, he has been the best bowler for India in both the T20s and the ODIs. The team management can play Irfan in place of Raina or Rohit and promote Ashwin up the order he can easily bat at no.5 he certainly has the technique and the mindset to bat at that number.

  • ultimatewarrior on February 9, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    If we can rotate the proven greats in opening slot, why can't we rotate in middle order between raina, rohit and manoj tiwari........ravindra jadeja is not a wicket taking bowler but always tries to content run rate while irfan pathan is a wicket taking bowler who gives runs fluently, so its captains call to prefer whoever he thinks the better....

  • on February 9, 2012, 1:51 GMT

    look at what pakistan did in in past.making off spin bowlers like shoib malik and mohammed hafeez as a batting allrounder. even srilankan legend jayasurya is himself introduced as an off-spinner before he blazed all the bowlers as an opener. so bring ashwin and groom him as an opening all rounder. he can score more runs than shewag at a considerable strike rate. because ashwin himself introduced to club cricket as ann opening batsman before he came as off-spinner

  • Anand_Nandakumar on February 9, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    Fully agree with TRAM. Badri's case is especially poignant. All the points Dhoni made applies to Badri as well - "scores tons of runs domestically. whenever CSK are 0 for 2, then Dhoni sends Badri in and he always does the job under pressure." Yet, he gets 2 test matches, scores a fifty on debut and is never heard of again. He gets one international T20 match, gets a man of the match award in that, and is never heard of again. he gets only 6-7 ODIs, spread over 3-4 years, and is already deemed not an ODI player. Unfortunately, there is no natural justice in cricket and the Indian team selection.

  • AvidCricFan on February 9, 2012, 1:12 GMT

    All Indian batsmen today got out of poor shot selection, except Kohli who made wrongly judged call for a run. What is ironic is that this happened when there was no need to accelerate run rate or any pressure. This is not excusible. The future of the team is showing very dismal attitude and temperament. I don't understand what is going through Shewag, Raina's and Rohit Sharma's head. Even the master of 450 plus ODI had no need to manufacture the shot that he played. Hope the players sort their game out and commit to better performance.

  • on February 9, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    selection howler!!!! Rahane was sent!!!! asnother selection howler!!!!! the problem is not with the players,it is the managemet and the selection panel!!!!! it was not exposed when india were playing well!!! selection howler

  • Precioustar84 on February 9, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    What about Rahane, Tiwary and Irfan? When will you give chances to these guys Dhoni? Why do you have to pursue with your CSK team all the time? When will Irfan get his due chance and why do you leave him out always for no reason at all? And if people wanna talk about Rohit's contribution after 3 innings, what about Dhoni's own contribution which hasn't been that great either after all the years you've played in Aus, you still can't get it right. First you don't give chance to Aaron in England and now same treatment to Irfan in Aus. Its ok for batsmen to keep getting chances over and over again due to past glories but when do the bowlers get their chances? Get over yourself Dhoni!!

  • Prakshalan on February 9, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    Come on Dhoni no execuses anymore - Remember, middle order means "Dhoni" also included. look at the new Aussie keeper "Wade" and also Srilankan new wicketkeeper "Chandimal" please see them and learn from them. How they are contributing with their batting. when you cannot perform 1 out of 3 games... please step down. you've earned alot... now try to learn something out of it.

  • hisur on February 9, 2012, 0:38 GMT

    I firmly believe that jadeja might be a better fielder than irfan but irfan is a better batsman and bowler than jadeja. Fielders can save runs but batsman can score quickly 20 balls 40 runs or taking 3 wickets for 40 runs will win the match. we want players who will win the match on their own. I don't think jadeja has a match winning potential compare to irfan.

  • back2vg on February 9, 2012, 0:18 GMT

    Dhoni said. "I agree that there were a few shots that we shouldn't have played but mistakes do happen in the game". If mistakes happen once a while thats fine, if it happens in every game, its not a mistake Mr.Captain.

  • Rooboy on February 8, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    Time is coming for Kohli to decide whether he wants to be a cricketer or a drama queen ...

  • SanjivAwesome on February 8, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    I think someone needs to prepare a High Performance Mindset in Dhoni. Instead of Longevity Mindset. Until then our team will keep carrying mediocre performers and off-form performers. Nothing brings form back more than a the fear of the axe. As a fan, I would expect it reasonable to give a batter,say, 3-5 chances to score a target score. The batter should be told that this is expected of him. If he is up to it, he can say yes to playing for India. Once the exited batter has re-gained form, he can be re-selected into the team. As an application of this Performance Based Culture, Tendulkar n Dhoni would have been sitting out current one-dayers. The downside of this Performance Culture is , sure, the players get no certainty about playing for the team. But as fans we will feel that the best team is representing the country based on their recent performance, not past glory or future promise. Other professionals - doctor, engineer - survive only on their recent performances.

  • desi1 on February 8, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    i think there is no point in criticizing dhoni over team selection. It is a captains team and he has the right to select a team. If he is not playing Irfan then that should be it. If he fails then he should be stripped of capaincy but it is not fair if a person is made captain and not allowed to pick the team he wants. He should not be asked for explanations on decisions taken as a captain, it is his right to make a decision that he thinks is best for the team. If it is not the correct decision then sooner or later he will and should be removed. No point in trying to make a player captain a certain way, he is his own individual and will handle the things he wants to otherwise what is the need of a captain.

  • TRAM on February 8, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    oh ya, 74 ODIs and we want to keep giving chance to Rohit, because he is great talent and is the future of India. But we would kick out Badri & Mukund with just 3 chances even if they perform and will never even talk about it.

  • g2311 on February 8, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    For people who have short term memory loss .. questioning Dhoni's performance "HE WAS MAN OF THE SERIES IN BOTH THE ENGLAND SERIES .. AWAY AND HOME .. the last time he played ODIs" ... which also led many .. like Vaughan to declare him the best ODI batsman currently .. which actually he is !!

  • spinkingKK on February 8, 2012, 22:50 GMT

    For those who thinks Raina and Rohit should be replaced, it is wrong to be so critical of their performances this early in their tour. It is not easy to get adjusted to the Australian conditions, especially in an ODI when you are also chasing a score. The shot Raina played to get out was something he usually gets six runs for. It is just that he wasn't getting the timing right. Once he gets the timing right, you will see sixers after sixers flying to the long on. Rohit also should cut down on his pulls and hooks because you can see they were not at all convincing when he played. Once he gets timing right, after playing another 3 matches, he can start using those pulls and hooks. We can see that happening with Ashwin. His pulls were terrible in the test series. But, in this ODI, those pulls looked more assured. Kohli also played the pulls with eyes closed in the test series. But, now he is a fantastic puller.

  • on February 8, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    That means Dhoni will step off from next match? haha :)

  • spinkingKK on February 8, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    The funny thing is, the captain will one day say, "We don't have a pace bowling all-rounder and that is a worry". If you don't nurture, they don't grow!!

  • Nampally on February 8, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    Dhoni will never pick Irfan pathan above Jadeja irrespective of the pitch.These 2 all rounders were selected to give Dhoni a choice of using them on seam friendly & spin friendly wicket. But instead it has become a" Captain friendly" issue! Irfan has a decent average in batting both in Tests & ODI's. Dhoni should go into the profile of Pathan and look up his past. Dhoni should learn to respect the guys who played for India ahead of him such as Irfan.He says "we would like to give him few games".There are just 2 games left & then the Final - if India get there. So I fail to understandthe politics of "few" games. Rohit has talent, of course. Why was he dropped from the first test after his fine batting in the friendly game. Strike the iron when it is hot! When Rohit was in form you drop him. What is the logic? Final XI should be decided by a 5 man panel, NOT by Dhoni. Selection by Dhoni/Fletcher is proving irrational & illogical. Justifications for blunders to the media is even worse.

  • GAKUMAR77 on February 8, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    Rest Raina at least one match in this Series , give chance to manoj k tiwary since he has better technique and in good form too as he recently done maiden century .

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on February 8, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    Dhoni seems to have some problem with Irfan. This has been going for some years now.

  • WishIndiaImprove on February 8, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    I don't know what is our captain thinking about Irfan. His answer is confusing. He can say "I am not confident on him" or "we have better players than him and he will get chance only if some one injured". I am not Irfan fan but would like to see him in the fields for atleast one full series. He can serve India for another 5 years if he is good. We lost many matches and gave too many chances to other batsmen/bowler. What is the big mistake done by Irfan.......

  • pritpalpabla on February 8, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    I want to see Irfan in the next match instead of Parveen....

  • GAKUMAR77 on February 8, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    Nobody can change the Destiny, irfan can get his soonly. and i am sure Jadeja's position is just temporary,this guy can perform one out of 5 games , see the last game he cosumed more than 40 runs and RG Sharma can be a all rounder instead of investing more hyped Jadeja. I am just wondering when these selector open their eyes ? See How the Australian board rotating the players..

  • Unmesh_cric on February 8, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    @Stephen Kiran, you are absolutely right. Sometimes, Dhoni makes really ambiguous statements. The explanation given for not playing Irfan doesn't make any sense. He says all the good things about him and then doesn't pick him. He says he needs to contribute with the ball and bat also. You can not contribue with the ball or bat if you do not play! How is he supposed to take wickets or score runs from the dressing room?

  • Unmesh_cric on February 8, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    I don't understand why there is question mark over Rohit's place in the side. If I remember correctly, he was Man-of-the-series in the recently concluded ODI series against the West Indies. I like Raina; but I think Rohit should always be played ahead of him in overseas conditions. It is very clear that Dhoni likes Raina to be there in the team...so he is not even mentioning his name when it comes to excluding someone from the playing 11. But it should not be a question of likes and dislikes; it should be about what is best for the team for given conditions. Moreover, the team management is responsible for letting Rohit warm the bench while he was in excellent form when he arrived in Australia. First, they spoiled his form by not playing him for a month and now after a couple of failures there is question mark over his place!

  • on February 8, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    Irfan find another career or team buddy. you are way too talented to be kept out by someone like dhoni who himself isnt very talented

  • here2rock on February 8, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Give Ifran a go, by the time he gets the chance it will be too late just like Rohit Sharma. You can not expect a guy to come into the side and start scoring after sitting on a bench for over a month and watching your senior playing like amateurs.

  • on February 8, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    Drop Vinay. Bring in Irfan PERIOD

  • jango_moh on February 8, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    "The last time he played, I wasn't part of the side, I was rested," Dhoni said ... no wonder Irfan got a chance last time!!! lol

  • on February 8, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    Dhoni should not forget that middle order means only Rohit Sharma.. that include Suresh Raina and him self..Raina's last 10 game ave is 24.88 while Rohot 's ave is 43.2..Raina never looks comfortable agianst short ball. and he never score out side of india., so Dhoni should talk about Raina rather than Rohit....

  • on February 8, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    when will irfan get a chance, only if u give a chance, we know what he can?

  • on February 8, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    yes finally india is thinking rigth, see not dropping virat worked in the best interest for team india, look at virat play now, he is playing great shots every game, just been a bit unlucky running beetween the wickets, but thats fine, shows hes aggressive to take singles, and thats good, giving rohit sharma chances, is a great move by team india, he will be that partnership combo in future with virat, but india is making a mistake by not giving irfan pathan a chance, just think about how strong of a team we are, i understand we are losing, but the talent we have found with youngsters, like aswin, he can bowl really well, and shows he can bat, Irfan does the same, and also is a fast bowler, drop either praveen kumar, although i think hes a great bowler or drop a batsman i wud say raina, but he is part of ur future team so dont do that, i wud say drop gambir and sehwag, and let virat and tendulkar open, virat is usually batting in 3rd over because sehwag throws away his wicket often.

  • Babloo3544 on February 8, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    Means he is not pleased with himself -> means he will quit ODI as well -> means reserve all strength and time for the stupid IPL. Cool

  • Akif-Ali on February 8, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    India, perhaps in dire need of 10 more photocopies of Mr. Ashwin... Ashwin should start bowling, should open innings and should captain the side of Ashwin Eleven... Only then india can able to play Test Matches for five days :p

  • wake_up_india on February 8, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    One of the advantages of being captain is that you can speak about the team in the third person. If he is not pleased with the middle order he should be displeased with himself -- the middle order includes him. The question is, what is he doing about it? We don't see any changes in either his performance or the way he is selecting his players and using them on the field. When he first burst upon the stage, he was a dashing, aggressive, long haired maverick. These days he looks and behaves as a conservative, corporate executive. Few players have changed their demeanour duirng their entire playing career as much as Dhoni.

  • Nampally on February 8, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    The middle batting order has been dismal even in the test matches until Kohli coming in at #6 stabilized it somewhat. Now Kohli is the only guy contributing with occasional contibutions from the openers - Gambhir in T-20 & Tendulkar in the ODI vs.SL. Raina is susceptable to the pace bowlers & needs to be replaced with Tiwary or at least try him once. Next match against the Aussies is the ideal chance to do this. Tiwary should go #4. Tiwary has best technique to play the pace bowlers. Ashwin with his sound batting technique deserves to go #5.He batted like an opener right thru' Tests. Rohit #6.This shuffle should help stabilizing the Indian middle order batting.Dhoni needs to produce @#7.Also Irfan can easily get in XI instead of Praveen who is not bowling well at all. Irfan & praveen bowl at the same pace but Irfan is a left hander. ZAK & Vinay could be other 2 seamers with Rahul completing the XI. Spin friendly Adelaide pitch justifies Rahu in XI.Jadeja can rest one game for Irfan.

  • srinisachin on February 8, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    well! Dhoni should be looking to improve his batting technique at first place. His batting outside the India for the past 2 years has been dismal to say the least.Anohther thing that i have noticed about dhoni is that whenever India is chasing a total and if early wickets fall apart and the team is in trouble,we can find the skipper reluctant to come out and thus pushing the youngsters. But on the other hand if we get a great start and in drivers seat you see the captain coming out when there is no pressure what s ever and take the team to victory.

  • wolf777 on February 8, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    Irfan, you are wasting your time buddy. Dhoni will not pick you.

  • Rahulbose on February 8, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Isn't it obvious Jadeja will play for Dhoni's IPL team. He must have known that Chennai were bidding for Jadeja. So Irfan pathan only gets to play when Dhoni is not around.

  • wolf777 on February 8, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Well, first you select players like Raina who have known weakness for short ball to play at WACA and then complain about their performance...let's put it this way, we fans are not happy at all with your team selction.

  • on February 8, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    ha ha ha Mr. MS Dhoni.... is saying abt irfan "I don't ' think he got much opportunity to bat. He has come back and we would like to give him a few games. Ideally he is someone who suits the job very well. He can bat and bowl well also. Ideally he is the one, but he needs to do the batting part and bowling part also."

    though he feel irfan suits.... though he says that as he thinks as irfan didn't get enough opportunity to prove... he will never give chance to pathan.... because if they give enough opportunity like as if they give to jadeja or vinay Kumar.... surely he will cement his place on the national side easily... which will affect the selection of their (Kris sikka and mad's ) own favorite group of players like jadeja, vinay kumar and Co .... so both sikka n msd don't want pathan to b settle in the side..... I bet irfan wont find berth in the team even in the nexct match too....

  • on February 8, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    give irfaan a chance in place of praveen kumar or vinay kumar... he deserves atleast a game...

  • on February 8, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    Dhoni, Replace Vinay Kumar with Irfan Pathan

  • on February 8, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    why dhoni is not pleased about middle order. when he is not doing good howcome he can comment about others

  • kunderanengineer on February 8, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    Thank you Mr. Monga for reminding the readers that there was a time when many of them on cricinfo were asking for Kohli's head. Coincdentally, we don't hear from those readers anymore. This is why I think it's a big mistake to make pre-mature judgements about younger players when a team is going through a rebuilding stage. They need time to settle in and even if they ultimately become a permanent fixture on the team it won't be before having gone through their share of ups and downs. Another case in point: How many readers wanted Ashwin dropped prior to this match? This of course is not to say he won't have another bad game but let's be a little more patient. He's 25 not 35!

  • on February 8, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    Here one more suitable person in one day in middle or lower he can bat and also bowl Mumbai new talent yadev (he can perform like sri lankan Mathews - may be better than Mathews in batting), run a bowl he can score and also handy medium fast bowler too. Zaheer or some body give rest and give both irfan and this yadav same time give chance. Batting line up we can extend and also bowling side.

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 8, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    About poor shot selection - Dhoni - look in the mirror. Raina is a walking wicket on bouncy pitches. Why is he getting so many chances instead of Manoj Tiwary? Totally agree with Dhoni about Rohit Sharma - we should persist with him for some time, just like we did with Virat Kohli in the test series.

  • spathy on February 8, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    Dhoni , you have to think about your position in the team, Captain is not position in any team, Captain has to do something , batting or bowling. You only talke too much.

  • donda on February 8, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    Then give chance to Irfan pathan, what is wrong in that. Also put pressure on Sharma to bat well because it's worthless to talk about replacing old legends with new guns if news guns are not going to fire at the right time.

    thats why i always say give respect to legend players and understand that some times other team play very well at home and you lose all the time.

    England should give respect their legends too , it's very harsh to drop ian bell from the team he averaged 100 in year 2011 but who cares.

    Younas khan plays one good innings after 6 innings every time but pakistan give him respect and keep him in the team because he is legend. Give respect to legends.

  • spathy on February 8, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    Now Dhoni has to rest himself for the next match. He does make enough runs then talked about other people. Shewag another big failior. How do going to rotate the oppeners,. Ghambir /Shewag are useless

  • MaruthuDelft on February 8, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is too slow to react to fast bowling. That is why he got injured in England. His batting in the last South African tour is terrible. In Australia too he is struggling. Raina too is always under pressure to prove against short pitch bowling. India must stop playing to show such batsmen won't be encouraged in future.

  • kauntey_Hareshankar on February 8, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    Interesting reply by Dhoni to the question that jadeja is keeping out Pathan.. Saeed ajmal should learn from Dhoni how to tackel media..... LOL..

  • on February 8, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    With Praveen so far being poor can they not drop him and play Irfan

  • chilled_avenger on February 8, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    First of all,it doesn't matter if Rohit Sharma has such an immense talent or exquisite technique because until and unless he performs at the International level,all this talk of his potential is just empty words! And by performing,I mean playing well against top sides also and not just against Zimbabwe and West Indies. We all saw what happened to him in South Africa last year (He scored 49 runs in 5 innings) and are seeing what's happening with him in Australia now. 74 ODIs are too much chances to be given to an under-performing youngster nowadays! It's better to have someone with a not-so-exquisite technique who can score scrappy hundreds than someone like Rohit who plays two eye-pleasing,gorgeous shots and then get out! Let him display his amazing batting talent in IPLs and select some maybe-less-talented but more-willing-to-perform youngsters in his place!

  • FLIPPER_99 on February 8, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    hes saying middle order isnt up to the challenge.. well he too is in that middle order n dhoni should look upon his own batting and shot selection before commenting on others

  • ccriccfan on February 8, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    The comments from Dhoni in the last paragraph of the article are rubbish! This was a perfect chance for Irfan Pathan to make an impact on a pitch offering assistance but poor chap never got a chance! Dhoni will include him in the team in one match or so especially on a placid pitch where the dude won't have a chance and will be dropped again. Total *Double* standards from the so called Indian Captain!

  • on February 8, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Sometims what Dhoni speaks does not make any sense. he says Irfan can bat and bowl well.. again he says he shd do both the things.. when he knows he's capable of doing those things why not give him a chance.. Rest one seamer.. Maybe Vinay kumar.. rotate the seamers as well..I guess with Irfan in the side we'll have a longer tail.. which ultimately is good considering the fragile nature of our top order batsmen on this tour.. another thing is he mentions the middle order's shot selection.. why about his own shot selection??

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  • on February 8, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Sometims what Dhoni speaks does not make any sense. he says Irfan can bat and bowl well.. again he says he shd do both the things.. when he knows he's capable of doing those things why not give him a chance.. Rest one seamer.. Maybe Vinay kumar.. rotate the seamers as well..I guess with Irfan in the side we'll have a longer tail.. which ultimately is good considering the fragile nature of our top order batsmen on this tour.. another thing is he mentions the middle order's shot selection.. why about his own shot selection??

  • ccriccfan on February 8, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    The comments from Dhoni in the last paragraph of the article are rubbish! This was a perfect chance for Irfan Pathan to make an impact on a pitch offering assistance but poor chap never got a chance! Dhoni will include him in the team in one match or so especially on a placid pitch where the dude won't have a chance and will be dropped again. Total *Double* standards from the so called Indian Captain!

  • FLIPPER_99 on February 8, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    hes saying middle order isnt up to the challenge.. well he too is in that middle order n dhoni should look upon his own batting and shot selection before commenting on others

  • chilled_avenger on February 8, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    First of all,it doesn't matter if Rohit Sharma has such an immense talent or exquisite technique because until and unless he performs at the International level,all this talk of his potential is just empty words! And by performing,I mean playing well against top sides also and not just against Zimbabwe and West Indies. We all saw what happened to him in South Africa last year (He scored 49 runs in 5 innings) and are seeing what's happening with him in Australia now. 74 ODIs are too much chances to be given to an under-performing youngster nowadays! It's better to have someone with a not-so-exquisite technique who can score scrappy hundreds than someone like Rohit who plays two eye-pleasing,gorgeous shots and then get out! Let him display his amazing batting talent in IPLs and select some maybe-less-talented but more-willing-to-perform youngsters in his place!

  • on February 8, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    With Praveen so far being poor can they not drop him and play Irfan

  • kauntey_Hareshankar on February 8, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    Interesting reply by Dhoni to the question that jadeja is keeping out Pathan.. Saeed ajmal should learn from Dhoni how to tackel media..... LOL..

  • MaruthuDelft on February 8, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is too slow to react to fast bowling. That is why he got injured in England. His batting in the last South African tour is terrible. In Australia too he is struggling. Raina too is always under pressure to prove against short pitch bowling. India must stop playing to show such batsmen won't be encouraged in future.

  • spathy on February 8, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    Now Dhoni has to rest himself for the next match. He does make enough runs then talked about other people. Shewag another big failior. How do going to rotate the oppeners,. Ghambir /Shewag are useless

  • donda on February 8, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    Then give chance to Irfan pathan, what is wrong in that. Also put pressure on Sharma to bat well because it's worthless to talk about replacing old legends with new guns if news guns are not going to fire at the right time.

    thats why i always say give respect to legend players and understand that some times other team play very well at home and you lose all the time.

    England should give respect their legends too , it's very harsh to drop ian bell from the team he averaged 100 in year 2011 but who cares.

    Younas khan plays one good innings after 6 innings every time but pakistan give him respect and keep him in the team because he is legend. Give respect to legends.

  • spathy on February 8, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    Dhoni , you have to think about your position in the team, Captain is not position in any team, Captain has to do something , batting or bowling. You only talke too much.