Australia v India, Commonwealth Bank Series, Adelaide February 11, 2012

Rohit has earned right to current one-day XI

If the idea of rotating players is to keep Rohit Sharma away from pressure, singling him out as the reason behind India's openers' rotation policy will only do the contrary
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Two days after Virender Sehwag was left out of the Melbourne ODI, he let a cat out of the bag. When asked why he wasn't played in Melbourne, Sehwag said, "We are giving breaks to top-three batsmen. Maybe tomorrow is somebody else's turn. Either Gautam [Gambhir] or [Sachin] Tendulkar will have a break, and maybe I can play."

The next day, Gambhir was rested, and Sehwag played against Sri Lanka in Perth. In a press conference at the end of the game, MS Dhoni reiterated the rotation policy for the openers. Which, going by the way the captain and a senior player had spoken, suggested Tendulkar would be the next to rest. Now you don't ask Tendulkar to sit out. So the anticipation rose for the press conference before the match against Australia, in Adelaide.

On the day before the match, true to form on this tour, the Indian team sent out R Ashwin to handle another tough press conference. Poor Ashwin's response was to say he was not part of any selectorial decisions. He couldn't have said much more. He was not asked any other questions. The team spokesperson then clarified that the rotation policy was not set in stone, and that the first purpose of the side was to qualify for the finals.

That should put the rotation policy to rest, but it doesn't take away from the ridiculous reason given out for the system in the first place. The captain of the side, Dhoni, had this to say after the second ODI: "We are looking to give Rohit [Sharma] as many games as possible, and we can afford to do that in the first leg of the tournament." He went on to talk about how dropping or, to use a term in vogue, resting Rohit would put extra pressure on him, and that he should not be judged on a short sample.

Rohit should be so grateful for this favour. However, unless the captain has not watched matches that he himself has not played in, he will do well to know that Rohit has been Man of the Series in both of the last two ODI series he has played. Dhoni had been rested for both those series, in the West Indies and against the same opponents at home. During that period, Rohit won India three matches from the brink, and fell just short of another. All of a sudden, though, the team seems to be having to rest legends just to accommodate Rohit.

If the idea of rotating players is to keep Rohit away from pressure, singling out just him will only do the contrary for a batsman who has been made to believe through the summer that he is not good enough to get into a Test side that has been whitewashed twice. Especially when there is another batsman in the middle order who has managed to stay under the radar. Suresh Raina always gives his best on the field, which makes captains like him. He is also the man who seems to be officially given the charge of keeping the team's spirits up when on the field. He does that job well. He also brings value to the side with his part-time offspin. He was even made the captain of the ODI side when India toured the West Indies.

As a batsman, though, Raina doesn't seem to have evolved from the one first seen as an attractive stroke-maker. The same mistakes keep repeating themselves, most grating being the pull shot that more often than not lobs up in the air. To be fair to him, Raina often gets to bat too late in the innings, and has to go for his shots.

Starting with the West Indies tour last year, though, Raina has been anything but a finisher. He kept getting out irresponsibly in the West Indies, and here in Perth, especially when he knew Virat Kohli, the non-striker, had hurt himself during the chase, Raina played that limp pull shot again. At that time neither was the asking-rate was out of control nor were India running out of time. He believes it's only people's perception that he has trouble with the short ball. He possibly felt the need to challenge that "perception" by trying to get on top of the bouncer. He is not managing that at the moment.

If India feel playing Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gambhir is the way to go ahead and realise their first aim, which is to make the finals, that is what they should do. If they feel resting one of them from each game is the way to go, they should not say it is being done for Rohit's sake because with his performance in the ODIs last year he has earned the right to be in the first-choice one-day XI at least for the first few games.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on February 14, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    Why does ashwin get sent out to do press conferences? He is certainly the most articulate and educated of the whole lot, but how can he answer questions about decisions he wasnt a part of. rank escapism this.

  • Bazingaaaaaaaaaa on February 12, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    So what has irfan pathan not done to earn his rights... or that we have to wait for another agarkar clone in vinay kumar to end his career in next 15 years before pathan is considered... what is it that the world does not know about irfan that keeps him out of the team?

  • Mayan005 on February 12, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Hmm..So, doing well against the worst (test playing) team in the world makes him an automatic selection? Brilliant writing..

  • CricKrieg on February 12, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is not a regular fixture in this indian side because he is not a team player. He lives to "rescue" the team from lost positions. That's the only cricket he wishes to play, and he somehow has a knack of making those positions arise by sabotaging the team so that they are dependent on him. He does this by scoring slowly whenever he arrives, letting the required run rate mount and his partners get out trying to take on the burden.

    Don't believe me? I have statistical evidence showing Rohit Sharma's performances to be inversely proportional to the team's chances.

  • Shibananda on February 12, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    why not we play Rohit Sharma at no.5, he seems to be comfortable in batting at this position and stats shows that he has best batting averages while batting at no. 5...

  • thinktank1 on February 12, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    Rohit should be permanent in Indian lineup.. remember T20 WC 2007 ?? If not for Rohit, no way India could have won against SA and Pak.. and CB series.. T20 WC and CB series win brought India so much confidence. He is class.

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on February 12, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    This article's title is MONTHS late. Rohit his right months back. And not just in ODI, but test also.

  • myStraightTalk on February 12, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    Also why not pick IShant Sharma and right an article :) He also have earned right to damage the current loosing team.

  • Iyer on February 12, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    I don't agree with the author. He has the typcial indian mindset. Nobody should take their place granted bei t rohit or sachin or raina. Only the best of the lot should be played. So nobody has earned a place based on performance in India or elsewhere. Only those who are capable of playing in australian conditions against the opponent should find a place.

  • Alexk400 on February 12, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    I will rest Sehwag whole series and next 3 series. SImple as that. I am hardcore sehwag fan. But i am appaled with his stroke selection when his team needs him to control and play few overs initially. He always thinks others can do that job , his job hit out. Yes it is true when others playing well. When others not performing well you may have to play others role of playing as many ball. I think sehwag do not have patience. He needs to be dropped. Simple as that. This is coming from sehwag fan not sachin fan. I don't like sachin but i want sachin play and get his 100 and go away from us. His misery affecting the team morale. But i doubt sachin can score century in australia. I don't mind sachin failing but he is the one world wants to see more , so he should play. Gambhir should not allowed to play. Some other youngster should open with sachin or sehwag if he play. Sachin never abide by team rules. He is selfish and has bombay lobby supporting him. he is elephant in the room.

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on February 14, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    Why does ashwin get sent out to do press conferences? He is certainly the most articulate and educated of the whole lot, but how can he answer questions about decisions he wasnt a part of. rank escapism this.

  • Bazingaaaaaaaaaa on February 12, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    So what has irfan pathan not done to earn his rights... or that we have to wait for another agarkar clone in vinay kumar to end his career in next 15 years before pathan is considered... what is it that the world does not know about irfan that keeps him out of the team?

  • Mayan005 on February 12, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Hmm..So, doing well against the worst (test playing) team in the world makes him an automatic selection? Brilliant writing..

  • CricKrieg on February 12, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is not a regular fixture in this indian side because he is not a team player. He lives to "rescue" the team from lost positions. That's the only cricket he wishes to play, and he somehow has a knack of making those positions arise by sabotaging the team so that they are dependent on him. He does this by scoring slowly whenever he arrives, letting the required run rate mount and his partners get out trying to take on the burden.

    Don't believe me? I have statistical evidence showing Rohit Sharma's performances to be inversely proportional to the team's chances.

  • Shibananda on February 12, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    why not we play Rohit Sharma at no.5, he seems to be comfortable in batting at this position and stats shows that he has best batting averages while batting at no. 5...

  • thinktank1 on February 12, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    Rohit should be permanent in Indian lineup.. remember T20 WC 2007 ?? If not for Rohit, no way India could have won against SA and Pak.. and CB series.. T20 WC and CB series win brought India so much confidence. He is class.

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on February 12, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    This article's title is MONTHS late. Rohit his right months back. And not just in ODI, but test also.

  • myStraightTalk on February 12, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    Also why not pick IShant Sharma and right an article :) He also have earned right to damage the current loosing team.

  • Iyer on February 12, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    I don't agree with the author. He has the typcial indian mindset. Nobody should take their place granted bei t rohit or sachin or raina. Only the best of the lot should be played. So nobody has earned a place based on performance in India or elsewhere. Only those who are capable of playing in australian conditions against the opponent should find a place.

  • Alexk400 on February 12, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    I will rest Sehwag whole series and next 3 series. SImple as that. I am hardcore sehwag fan. But i am appaled with his stroke selection when his team needs him to control and play few overs initially. He always thinks others can do that job , his job hit out. Yes it is true when others playing well. When others not performing well you may have to play others role of playing as many ball. I think sehwag do not have patience. He needs to be dropped. Simple as that. This is coming from sehwag fan not sachin fan. I don't like sachin but i want sachin play and get his 100 and go away from us. His misery affecting the team morale. But i doubt sachin can score century in australia. I don't mind sachin failing but he is the one world wants to see more , so he should play. Gambhir should not allowed to play. Some other youngster should open with sachin or sehwag if he play. Sachin never abide by team rules. He is selfish and has bombay lobby supporting him. he is elephant in the room.

  • on February 12, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    Its simple-drop Raina and give Rohit this series to prove that he is better than Raina.

  • Rahulbose on February 12, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    IPL team loyalties are deciding team selection. Can you please comment on that? Why focus on this non issue of what Dhoni said yesterday? If anything the Irfan pathan is the glaring ommision from the playing XI.

  • on February 12, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    Why didn't he mention Raina's name instead of Rohit? Is he representing CSK or India? Dhoni has to clarify this first.

  • on February 11, 2012, 23:21 GMT

    Dhoni is slowly turning his Chennai Super Kings team into the de facto Indian XI. Both Ashwin and Jadeja are bits and pieces players who will struggle to get into other international teams. Raina has been off form for too long. But, being Dhoni's blue-eyed boy, he has been granted a long stick.

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

    Old Harry was really impressed with Sharma last time India toured here & was thinking that in this bloke, they had someone to lead them in their transition phase and step forward. Four years on and he STILL hasn't played test cricket while the geriatrics have punted India cricket into a swan dive that will take them down towards the bottom of the rankings. Hope you guys have plenty of tissues, you'll be needing them.

  • AvidCricFan on February 11, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    Have a rotation between Tiwari, Raina and Rohit Sharma. That way Tiwari also would get exposure. May be he is better option than either Raina and Sharma.

  • AvidCricFan on February 11, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina both have performed poorly in the two ODIs. So have Dhoni, Shewag and Gambhir. I just don't understand the need for Rohit and Raina to play pull/hook shots when they don't have any control. At the level they are playing, they should be able to sort their weaknesses out. All batsmen against SL got out by playing stupid shots and that includes SRT also. However, SRT made a good contribution and was playing good until his stupid shot.

  • rahulthewall3000 on February 11, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    Two good series against WI does not a good player make. In South Africa before and Australia now (so far) he has been woeful. He has yet to earn the right to the current one-day XI.

  • on February 11, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Indeed. Rohit has the right to be in the team. Raina is bits and pieces. Only good fielding. He can be rested or told to improve. Kohli, Rohit, ashwin are the future and must be playing 11 all the time. After all they have proved themselves that they belong and ahead of suresh raina. Anyone else can be given rest or dropped. Do whatever but let these guys play and win games fir us.

  • on February 11, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    @Debashish Roy , Vinay kumar does not play for CSK. get your facts right...Gambhir is from KKR, with his current form, he should be dropped. why is he even still playing.

  • on February 11, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    @rahulcric and donda : Mates , are you sure you live on earth ? .. I mean you got to be kidding when you say you dont agree with Rohit earning his place .. what more you ask of that poor guy .. ? he did pretty good in WI , scoring two match deciding half centuries under critical condition ,, in one match we were 92/6 if i remember correctly and he scored 86 .. then got injured in Eng , after that again against WI in india , he stood out among rest .. the guy is short of confidence .. he seems to me like Yuvraj of early stages .. give him some chances for God's sake

  • abu316 on February 11, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    This is simply over criticizing everything that dhoni does..rohit is the latest.member in this odi side..that s y he said rohit s name..remember virat n raina were part of the wc squad.. And in any casr he said a positive thing !..appreciate that and get a life guys..i never thot cricinfo writers wud do t old SENSATIONALISM..(i dont include akash chopra among cricinfo writers..he s just another s.manjrekar)

  • on February 11, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Sachin should never be rested. He is the best opener available to India and on his day, he can gift the game to India. And moreover We all are eagerly waiting for his 100th. So resting him will not be a good Idea.

  • kasyapm on February 11, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    This article about rotation makes more sense than the one by Akash Chopra. Very true that Rohit is not the one to be singled out. Raina has not cemented his place and even in the world cup, he got a chance because Yusuf Pathan failed. Guess Dhoni should not have mentioned Rohit and just said 'youngsters'.

  • donda on February 11, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    Who ever wrote this article is living in paradise where every thing is perfect goes to plan. Are you kidding me. Rohit has earned the right to be in odi 11. No body other tendulkar deserve a permanent place in India team , not even a single player other than him.

    Either it is about 100th 100 or playing Sachin, it will be cardinal sin to rest sachin and play youngster in australia.

    I been watching asian teams playing ODI in australia for decades and only senior players can play well there. Rohit will do nothing in this series. I bet on that.

    Well said by rahulcricket007. Rohit - Ghanta.

  • on February 11, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    Yeah, since Raina plays for CSK, Dhoni will not point finger at him. That's why Jadeja, Raina, Vinay Kumar is safe in the team. Is CSK's interest bigger than India?

  • on February 11, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina might have the talent - but Virat Kohli has, on present evidence, pulled far ahead of both purely 'cuz style and attitude have met steel and grit. Not for nothing does he own two world cup winner medals ( U-19 and 2011). Little co-incidence then, that the brash young kid got to play alongside Dravid and Kumble in RCB. He might be argumentative, spiky - but he loves his game, and it shows in the way he's been willing to graft when things don't go swimmingly. Raina n Rohit would do well to pick that leaf out of his book. For India's sake, let's hope they do..

  • on February 11, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    There are lot of has been written nowaday regarding rotation/rohit/team selection and all.. Most important thing is you want to build a team for long time/future but not on the expense of losses. In a real time any project we have milestone, once we achieve milestone then we go for second like.. here each tournament/series is one project with no. of tasks/milestone. here first thing to to secure place in the final and for that we should play best 11 among all the players. looking current form and statistics, I don't think sehvag/gambhir both deserve to be in 11 (The way they played so far). Sachin (not on his reputation) is in good formhe should be in 11. If you see last 10-15 matches form, compare to sehvag/gambhir - tiwari deserve in the 11, irfan pathan deserve in the 11 instead of p.kumar, you can open with pathan and sachin and in case you want to go with reg opener then go with either sehvag or gaambhir.

  • on February 11, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    Rohit Sharma - Averaged more than 76 in the last ODI series India played, was the leading run scorer! Some people are criticizing him without any ground.

  • m_ilind on February 11, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Let's just have opinions based on performances alone. Our Indian team has been plagued by selections that are based on everything but actual form (and performances) on the field. No wonder the results are so disappointing!

  • mjshaheed on February 11, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    Suggestions of dropping Virat in place of Rohit is nothing but a loose talk...just compare these two...they are at par against each other...if anyone has to be dropped from the side it's all those extra baggages that's occupying an yougster's place in the team. As Kohli puts it, "Scoring 8 ODI centuries in 70 odd mathes is no fluke"!!!

  • bharatavarsha on February 11, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    Sid Monga,How can performance on flat decks be considered a criterion for selection? Rather,those who do well on them (jaffer,debang gandhi,kambli) are poor batsmen more often than not.And didnt you watch the first 2 games- where rohit looked anything but international class? If heaving the ball away with planted feet merits selection, perhaps M vijay or jeev milkha singh are better options. In Adelaide(the flattest oz track), a technically better rahane should be eased in.And pathan, he bowls military medium stuff,so save it guys!

  • on February 11, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    Sachin should take an Oath as this is the last International Tour as an ODI batsman. If India make sure of Final Birth then certainly he would be able to play at least 90 percentage of matches in this series.Even after he is not able to knock another Ton,...then Only Bangladeshi tigers are his opponents in indian Soil....... Let Rohit plays and all top 3 should be rested as rotation wise,..meanwhile Raina should get an opportunity in batting order as No 3,or4. He is the one who always becomes " Bali Ka bakra" ...........this all will solved when our Legends comes back to team,....Guess who is ...he?

  • on February 11, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    My pick for todays match would be

    Sachin Shewag Gambhir Kohli Rohit Dhoni Jadeja Ashwin Zaheer Vinay/Praveen Umesh Yadav

  • MaruthuDelft on February 11, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    @ Radhakrishna Rao...no. Did you see Rohit batting when India toured SA last? Rohit doesn't seem to have time to play fast, skidding, bouncing..balls when playing aggressive and able and teams like Australia and SA. He has a lazy approach. He is not switched on most of the time. You remember how he got injured in England? He was slow to react. In his debute series he did well in Australia but since then he has been given so many chances but he has not proved. It is unfair on others. Against ordinary attacks/conditions though he looks very good but definitely he is not a player India should rely on.

  • MN-USA on February 11, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    It appears as Mr. Dhoni's "Team India" is in a big mess. Dhoni has run out of the list of excuses. Whatever, they say in press conferences doesn't make any sense at all. I wonder if it's true that the team has three groups within the team (something is fishy) with different plans. Why Can't the tour management is able to take a few bold steps and give maximum exposure to younsters as quite a few seniors at the brink of retirement age? Why is thet they are trying to play thet "fine line" that is hurting team performance as well as the feeling of millions od fans back home? YOU have to take some definitive steps and probably this is the right to do so if you wanna groom youngsters for a better future....DO IT NOW BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.

  • hemanofindia on February 11, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    WAKE DHONI BHAGWAN SE DARO... "We are looking to give Raina as many games as possible, and we can afford to do even at the cost of being knocked out in the first leg of the tournament." BECAUSE ROHIT SCORED 6 50s in last 15 ODIs while Raina ONLY 2 in the last 22 ODIS....EVEN A STREET BOY CAN PLAY BETTER THAN RAINA...GETTING OUT ON SAME SHOT AGAIN AND AGAIN...

  • on February 11, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Rohit, Raina, Kohli should all play the remaining games irrespective of results. That is future even if we lose this meaningless tri-series. All golden oldies like Sachin, Dhoni and Sehwag can rotate, gyrate, pulsate to their heart's content. Look how the Pakistani team has moved on without having any demi-god in their playing eleven. Let youth have its fling !!!

  • aahahaa on February 11, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    world champions.. aahahaa. the country is obsessed with the 100th 100, who wants to win.

  • on February 11, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    We just cant say about rohit as he hash jjust played

  • tiger9999 on February 11, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Legends in ODI???? Sehwag and Gambhir? Sehwag arguably perhaps! but Gambhir certainly not.. he had just done well enough in the past few years to remain in the squad. . Being a part of any team in any sport in no one's birth right or permanent job. It must be a subject to form, fitness, performance, opposition and conditions...even the Aussies have rested Mr. Cricket!

    At the end of their careers, one can safely predict that Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwari will have a higher combined average, more runs and more centuries than Sehwag and Gambhir. You can not keep good men down for long.

    Raina will be out sooner or later - he does not know how to play the short ball.. the only reason he is in the side is that he is a legend against mediocre medium pace and spin on flat tracks - which is quite frequent in India...

  • VickGower on February 11, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    I am only glad Dhoni doesn't bother reading journalists.

  • Ezhiyl on February 11, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Ok I have this big Q for Sid Monga and all our selectors......... Granted Rohit has played well in Ranji (Ave 63.52), but how much has he earned his place....... He has now played 74 ODIs without much success....... How much time & effort are you planning to invest in him........ Say will 150 ODIs be fair enuf to call it quits......... It is madness, he has to be dropped........ There are more deserving players in the lineup....... His stats are as follows

    Career Ave 34. 09 Ave vs Aus - 22.9 Ave vs SA - 15 Ave vs Eng - 25 Ave vs Pak - 33 Ave vs SL - 31.7

    Ave vs Bottomfeeders (NZ, Zim & WI) - 60+. What has he proven until now, that he is incapable of playing against the big guns.

    BTW he has played abt 48 matches against the Big 5 with no use. Manoj Tiwary with a very similar record in Ranji has been given a shot at SIX matches (just 6), and there are others waiting in the line. Clear Rohit and if possible Raina for better replacements

  • arun_cheers on February 11, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    Captaincy is getting into Dhoni's head now. He has made everything he need to enjoy his entire life by now, and now-a-days after world cup he is just "man-maani kar raha hai". Time for him to exit test cricket captaincy for sure.

    And this is where a captain like Ganguly would have correctly spotted and groomed a talent like Rohit sharma. If Ganguly is the indian captain in the current situation, he would have played Rohit in every international game(tests and ODIs). After-all he was the one who groomed players like Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Sehwag, Zaheer, Dhoni himself and others and got these guys ready for India to fire at the right time and win us the World cup 2011.

  • on February 11, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    instead of kohli, it is rohit sharma who deserves all chances..strangely, virat kohili has been persisted more with since 2009..even in champions trophy...and rohit sharma was used to fill an injured slot...or in a series where second string side of indian team is fielded...in england though, he got injured

  • Naresh28 on February 11, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Definetly slots are not spare in the team. It's a fact that "RESTING" should not be used. None of the non-performers are on the top of their game. DROP should be used. The value of fielding, running should be factors when deciding the 11. Only player to be rested is KHOLI as his game is super at moment. SHEWAG, SACHIN need to be dropped. Seniors need a farewall series at home.

  • rp1106 on February 11, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Most of the batsmen are failing regularly, so what about them? Sehwag is failing non stop, Gambhir too and couple of others too. Where was rotation policy when most of the guys were failing in the test series? Rohit is future. Sehwag and Tendulkar are not. One is 33 and another one is 38.

  • on February 11, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    while shewag was captain he gave chance 2 irfan may b he is from his ipl team or due 2 form but dhoni will nvr gv that opp coz he knw his csk will b in trouble if he get going so kill all pathan skill

  • Nampally on February 11, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    It was a patronizing attitude towards Rohit by Dhoni in saying that they are rotating the top 3" for Rohit's sake"!.Let us face it Gambhir & Sehwag were V. poor in the 8 innings each of 4 test series.Rohit deserved to replace Laxman in the very first test after his fine game at Canberra.He also has a fine record in ODI's. They seem to repeat the same story with Tiwary- who needed the first crack ahead of Raina but is being benched.WHY?. Yadev's absence is a mystery especially when Vinay,Praveen & Zak are all around 130 KPH compared to Yadev's >140 KPH!Even Rahul Sharma's spot in XI is unsafe!.Bowling must have variety - 3 different seamers, legspin + off spin, to avoid Sydney massacre!.Batting needs reliability & consistency shown by Kohli. This is only possible when guys have good footwork & technique as of Sachin, Kohli, Ashwin & Tiwary.As a captain Dhoni needs to have this basic knowledge of Cricket.His team selection is just as bizarre as his footwork.Get right XI to win!.

  • morphean on February 11, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    Whatever Dhoni says, doesnt look like he wants Rohit in the team. No wonder Rohit has not performed well under his captaincy. Its no secret that Dhoni has a strong preference for Raina. But I am not too worried cos nothing will stop Rohit claiming his place in playing XI. If not today then tomorrow.

  • Raj12345 on February 11, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    Hmm. This is best solution. If we remove Shewag, Gambhir, Sachin, Raina & Dhoni from team. Oh my god, there are plenty of places to accommodate RG Sharma.

    Raina had 2 50s in last 22 ODIs, and RG Sharma had 6 50s in last 15 ODIs. This has answer, what else you want.

  • on February 11, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    Those who are questioning the presence of raina in the starting XI must see the team's performance in the field even in the test. He might not be as talented as the fab four or rohit but his determination and commitment makes the obvious selection. This cann't not be said for rohit and others. Dhoni is seems to be partial that's why jadeja is selection of all rounder's slot even when full four bowlers are playing and coditions don't suit his bowling. Resting one of the openers has to done to accomodate sachin in the team. One day team must be left with the young guys and in the test team you have to phase out these seniors one by one.

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 11, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    Rohit deserves as many chances in this ODI series as our Big 3 got in the test series. We persisted with the non-performing Big 3 ( Big 4 if u count Sehwag) even after suffering one humiliating defeat after another. The Big 3 are past their retirement age and don't deserve any chance. They were legends 10 years ago, just like Gavaskar was a legend 30 years ago. Do you think we should still play Gavaskar as an opener?

  • rahulcricket007 on February 11, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    "ROHIT HAS EARNED THE RIGHT TO ODI XI ". GHANTA .

  • Unmesh_cric on February 11, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    You are spot on, Mr. Monga! I had posted a few comments on similar lines on cricinfo. I do not understand why Rohit should be under pressure to keep his place in the ODI side. When picking the playing 11 for the ODIs, his name should be one of the first ones based on his ODI performances in last 6-8 months. Another strange thing I have observed is that whenever Dhoni is not around (rested for a series), Rohit plays amazingly well. However, when Dhoni returns he doesn't play with the same confidence. I wonder, why?

  • on February 11, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    at the end of the day, u cannot play more than 11 players. so every decision dhoni makes to leave anyone out is criticized...so weird

  • AlbertPintoGussaHua on February 11, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Given Raina's irresponsible shot selection lately, it's time for him to sit out and contemplate about it till he comes to his senses.

  • loudmouth on February 11, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    It can't be easy being a selector or a player around the Indian set up right now. No sooner did they win the World Cup and the Number 1 Test did ranking has it all come tumbling down around them. Dhoni has gone from being the 'Coolest Test Captain' going around to being a lazy and uninspired leader. The famed top 5 have become the frailest batting line up in world cricket and even their spin bowling talent seems to have deserted them. Not really sure what it is they've done wrong. Possibly too much focus on the IPL and not enough true desire to be a world class team in every country they play. Is it just me or is world cricket fracturing into too many parts / too many competitions / too many formats? They used to say Indian TV didn't have enough cricket to satisfy the demand. Now it's almost like there's too much cricket and the fans don't care that much about most of it!

  • Vnott on February 11, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Too much is being made of Dhonis statement. He just said he would like to give lots of opportunities to Rohit since he sees him as key to indias success in the later parts of the tournament. if that means resting some more experienced team members, he wud do it. What is the big fuss about it. It is all for the good. Resting or dropping the senior pros shd make them more hungry. Hopefully Rohit will get a big one soon. If the one day results r better, then we wud hv salvaged something from this tour...

  • chilled_avenger on February 11, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Rohit Sharma has mostly played well against the comparatively weaker sides like Zimbabwe and West Indies! Against top sides he has rarely shown any consistency and the one or two good scores he made against sides like Australia or Sri Lanka were preceded and followed by a string of poor scores. His batting average against teams among the Top 6(Aus,SA,SL,Pak,Eng) is 26.67 which is actually quite terrible. I know he is believed to be Super-talented by fans and experts alike but all this talk of his supposed 'Talent' is now turning into empty words since his Talent is not turned into Performances,especially against the Top sides. I also know that he is perhaps the Golden-boy of Indian Cricket and will be given many more chances until Team management is unwillingly forced to drop him. 74 ODIs and he is still learning to adapt to International cricket....

  • playitstraight on February 11, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Rohit has been disappointing in the couple of games he has played, but give him an extended run and I guarantee that he will score runs at some point. The only way is if Sachin, Gambhir, and Sehwag come to an agreement by saying "whoever performs gets a chance in the next game, and whoever does not gets replaced" and they can put a specififc number of runs you have to get in order to keep your place. I feel this is the best way as it motivates the players (especially Gambhir who keeps poking at the ball outside off stump) and shows them the consequences if they do not perform. This way, even the litttle master will take his game more seriously and perform well, and I mean at least a 50 or 70, not a 30 or 40.

  • on February 11, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Rest Sehwag please and keep Rohit. Viru deserves to rest for a while! Although, with a string of 9 or 10 non-performances in a row, he may be due for a good innings one of these days!

  • rahulcricket007 on February 11, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    @SIDDHARTH MONGA . PLEASE WRITE AN ARTICLE FOR GIVING CHANCES TO IRFAN PATHAN TOO . MAYBE THEN DHONI WILL PLAY WITH IRFAN .

  • on February 11, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Hail the so called "Rotation Policy" ! Is the God going to rotate the Rotation Policy on its on axis, and spin it across the ocean, like Lord Vishnu using his Sudarshan Chakra? Anythi ng for the Lord!

  • MandarSathe on February 11, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Well pointed out Monga.. especially last para.. It is clear that Dhoni doesn't like Rohit Sharma.... n more than likes his CSK mate Raina... thats why such unfair statement at end of 2nd ODI from Dhoni...

    Although on current form Gambhir should be dropped not rested... n also Raina must be rested to give Manoj Tiwary a look in...

  • spinkingKK on February 11, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    I disagree with Mr.Monga. Raina is a good player and he is just getting his timing right with the Australian pitches at the moment. Give him two more games and you will see those pull shots going for sixers. I don't see any point in staying at the crease and increasing the required run rate and making it difficult for the late order batsmen. So, Raina did the right thing to up the tempo. If it worked, you wouldn't have been writing this about him. As an ODI batsman, there is not much to improve on if you are a good batsman to start with. He has all kind of skills to be the number 1 ODI player for India. I also agree with Raina that it is people's misperception that he has problems with the short ball. Who hasn't? Nobody likes the short balls bowled at them at 145kph or more. Remember great Lara getting hit by a Shoib bouncer? Raina also got super pull shots to combat the bouncers. People (including the meida and selectors) have to show a bit more patience and give him more chances.

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  • spinkingKK on February 11, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    I disagree with Mr.Monga. Raina is a good player and he is just getting his timing right with the Australian pitches at the moment. Give him two more games and you will see those pull shots going for sixers. I don't see any point in staying at the crease and increasing the required run rate and making it difficult for the late order batsmen. So, Raina did the right thing to up the tempo. If it worked, you wouldn't have been writing this about him. As an ODI batsman, there is not much to improve on if you are a good batsman to start with. He has all kind of skills to be the number 1 ODI player for India. I also agree with Raina that it is people's misperception that he has problems with the short ball. Who hasn't? Nobody likes the short balls bowled at them at 145kph or more. Remember great Lara getting hit by a Shoib bouncer? Raina also got super pull shots to combat the bouncers. People (including the meida and selectors) have to show a bit more patience and give him more chances.

  • MandarSathe on February 11, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Well pointed out Monga.. especially last para.. It is clear that Dhoni doesn't like Rohit Sharma.... n more than likes his CSK mate Raina... thats why such unfair statement at end of 2nd ODI from Dhoni...

    Although on current form Gambhir should be dropped not rested... n also Raina must be rested to give Manoj Tiwary a look in...

  • on February 11, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Hail the so called "Rotation Policy" ! Is the God going to rotate the Rotation Policy on its on axis, and spin it across the ocean, like Lord Vishnu using his Sudarshan Chakra? Anythi ng for the Lord!

  • rahulcricket007 on February 11, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    @SIDDHARTH MONGA . PLEASE WRITE AN ARTICLE FOR GIVING CHANCES TO IRFAN PATHAN TOO . MAYBE THEN DHONI WILL PLAY WITH IRFAN .

  • on February 11, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Rest Sehwag please and keep Rohit. Viru deserves to rest for a while! Although, with a string of 9 or 10 non-performances in a row, he may be due for a good innings one of these days!

  • playitstraight on February 11, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Rohit has been disappointing in the couple of games he has played, but give him an extended run and I guarantee that he will score runs at some point. The only way is if Sachin, Gambhir, and Sehwag come to an agreement by saying "whoever performs gets a chance in the next game, and whoever does not gets replaced" and they can put a specififc number of runs you have to get in order to keep your place. I feel this is the best way as it motivates the players (especially Gambhir who keeps poking at the ball outside off stump) and shows them the consequences if they do not perform. This way, even the litttle master will take his game more seriously and perform well, and I mean at least a 50 or 70, not a 30 or 40.

  • chilled_avenger on February 11, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Rohit Sharma has mostly played well against the comparatively weaker sides like Zimbabwe and West Indies! Against top sides he has rarely shown any consistency and the one or two good scores he made against sides like Australia or Sri Lanka were preceded and followed by a string of poor scores. His batting average against teams among the Top 6(Aus,SA,SL,Pak,Eng) is 26.67 which is actually quite terrible. I know he is believed to be Super-talented by fans and experts alike but all this talk of his supposed 'Talent' is now turning into empty words since his Talent is not turned into Performances,especially against the Top sides. I also know that he is perhaps the Golden-boy of Indian Cricket and will be given many more chances until Team management is unwillingly forced to drop him. 74 ODIs and he is still learning to adapt to International cricket....

  • Vnott on February 11, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Too much is being made of Dhonis statement. He just said he would like to give lots of opportunities to Rohit since he sees him as key to indias success in the later parts of the tournament. if that means resting some more experienced team members, he wud do it. What is the big fuss about it. It is all for the good. Resting or dropping the senior pros shd make them more hungry. Hopefully Rohit will get a big one soon. If the one day results r better, then we wud hv salvaged something from this tour...

  • loudmouth on February 11, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    It can't be easy being a selector or a player around the Indian set up right now. No sooner did they win the World Cup and the Number 1 Test did ranking has it all come tumbling down around them. Dhoni has gone from being the 'Coolest Test Captain' going around to being a lazy and uninspired leader. The famed top 5 have become the frailest batting line up in world cricket and even their spin bowling talent seems to have deserted them. Not really sure what it is they've done wrong. Possibly too much focus on the IPL and not enough true desire to be a world class team in every country they play. Is it just me or is world cricket fracturing into too many parts / too many competitions / too many formats? They used to say Indian TV didn't have enough cricket to satisfy the demand. Now it's almost like there's too much cricket and the fans don't care that much about most of it!

  • AlbertPintoGussaHua on February 11, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Given Raina's irresponsible shot selection lately, it's time for him to sit out and contemplate about it till he comes to his senses.