Northants v Indians, Northampton, 1st day August 5, 2011

Indian batsmen waste opportunity

72

Indians 327 for 7 (Abhinav 113 retd, Laxman 49, Mishra 48*) v Northants
Scorecard

On a tour where India's cup has not exactly run over, a century from Abhinav Mukund in the two-day practice match against Northampton could have been a solution to a problem. All it is now is yet another nagging poser as the third Test at Edgbaston nears.

India ended the day at 327 for seven, after the loss of two quick wickets after tea that took some of the air out of their innings and put Abhinav's century into perspective.

Abhinav is not the stereotypical left-hander whose dip in scores is offset by his flair or style. His first five Tests have been played on demanding wickets in the West Indies and England, fiery baptisms for all batsmen, never mind openers. Today Abhinav saw the first signs of daylight in weeks at No. 3, largely against a second-string county attack, and was alert enough to cash in.

Unfortunately, the other batsmen who could have done with much-needed time in the middle were unable to do so. Gautam Gambhir's elbow put in nearly 90 minutes of work against the new ball and a disciplined Northants attack before falling for 18. The two middle-order men who needed a strong dose of confident batting, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, did not have the day they were hoping for either.

Yet the irony is that Abhinav will not be an instant pick for Birmingham, despite the resolution he showed in his testy second innings in Nottingham and his smart batting today. His runs came at a good pace; the seamers were attacked when their width and length demanded it. He was secure on his backfoot off the quicker men and, nearing his 100, feasted on the spinner. The century came with a single to mid-on and was celebrated fervently, Abhinav driving his arms aloft and pulling off his helmet.

His 132-run third wicket partnership with VVS Laxman came off 26 overs and upped the tempo of the innings. Had Laxman been rested for this game, like Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar were, it would have been understandable, but the crowd would have been deprived of some entertainment. Under a clear, sunny sky, Laxman cut and drove and had the crowd enjoying his private carnival. He had whistled to 49 before a pull so ugly it could have belonged to his nightmare ended up in square leg's hands.

Of the bowling, only medium pacer Lee Daggett has played a considerable amount of first-class cricket this season - nine out of 11 County Championship matches. He was the most economical of the bowlers but it was Luke Evans who picked up the two wickets that put a crimp into India's plans just after tea.

First Dhoni was left indecisively prodding at one that climbed just a bit, sending the Indian captain back for two. Nine balls later it was Raina's turn. In his innings of 33, he had been given a few short-but-not-very-threatening deliveries and had played some attractive strokes against spinner Paul Best. But the four consecutive boundaries off the slow left-armer on loan from Warwickshire were wiped from memory by his dismissal. Just after tea, a loose half-pull, half upper-cut to a short and wide ball was nicked through to the keeper. At 237 for 5, the tail had come into play. The next two wickets did put on 90 but that wasn't the point of today's exercise. The lone benefit - if Amit Mishra, unbeaten on 48, is to play in Birmingham - is that at least he would have had some batting practice.

The most anticipated of the India batsmen today was, of course, Virender Sehwag, who cracked open his season with a rapier cut off his first ball he faced. The crowd, instantly roused, cleared their throats but the shot fetched but a single. Sehwag then spent half an hour in the middle on a wicket, which while fresh and responsive to the new ball, was far from monstrous. He faced 25 balls, leaving plenty judiciously alone.

Beaten twice by the opening bowler Dave Burton, who does not feature in the Northants first XI, he lashed him for his lone boundary through the covers. Burton then got one to jag back and Sehwag was gone, having spent much less time at the crease than he would have liked before he plays his first Test in eight months next week. Yet, no one should be running to the bookmakers sprinkled all over England's high streets to put money on today's innings effecting Sehwag's frame of mind before the game in Edgbaston.

Practice matches are never thought to be the true Test of a team's ability or capacity to raise their game. But after two straight Test defeats, Dhoni's team needed more than what they were able to give on Friday. By this match's singular, somewhat flexible format, India have a maximum of ten overs of batting left on Saturday, though not enough batsmen who could make the most of it.

After play ended, Zaheer Khan took to the field with bowling coach Eric Simons and physio Ashish Kaushik in attendance and bowled off his full run up for the first time since Lord's. By a rough estimate, Zaheer bowled about five overs and did not appear to be in any discomfort either in his run up or delivery. It is his performance tomorrow that will be watched, as Sehwag's was today.

A goodly crowd filled in the small, almost intimate ground ringed by homes whose back gardens may share a wall with the cricket. A spectator with a megaphone blared out Hindi film tunes from his mobile phone, the song snatches going from nostalgia to kitsch. Right at the end they came accompanied by a stern query to the departing captain of India.

"Dhoni, what was that?" It is a question India can ask some of its middle order about their day out with the bat today.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 7, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    So much for the # 1 team (it was like a bucket of water thrown on a hot asphalt highway). A second string india beat a second string west indies and there were such notes of praise. Now they meet "the current best" world team and they are like a first division team. I've always believed that Dravid is the only great in the current indian team. England at present may not boast such, but they are currently the best example of what a well balanced, close knitted test team should be like. Good luck india (u'll need it) I hope for a better performance in the comming matches , esp the ODIs, after all You are World Champions.

  • Champagne_Cricket on August 6, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    @anish123, dude are you really serious in your comments? Sehwag and Gambir couldn't last against a second string county attack. So was Dhoni. When the Northants batted, they piled up a double century opening stand, with both the openers scoring centuries. Zaheer bowled only 3 overs and went for 24 runs and I'm pretty sure that he was taken out of the attack to cover the embarrassment. Still you talk about a big Indian comeback!!!! One thing I have to give to you; You are one hell of an optimist!!!

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on August 6, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    NORTHANTS 2ND XI WIN AGAINST INDIA ON 1ST INNINGS TOTAL!!!!

  • Jay219 on August 6, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    Indian team is making a mockery of Indian cricket.....First playing zaheer khan then bowling him just 3 overs....then again dhoni bowling, gambhir bowling....I mean what's all this!! They are just not in the right frame of mind of being a number 1 team....It's all our prayers which is running the team....and we will keep praying as it's India whom we support....May God Bless Indian Cricket....

  • kumarcoolbuddy on August 6, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    @Bang_La, my question was very simple. There is no use in getting frustrated if India plays good against this second string team. Regardless of how India plays here I don't really consider it as practice. Real practice is if the match is played on typical ENG kind of test picthes which has bounce on it. In ENG conditions more the PRACTICE you get better your performance but looks like ENG is not allowing India to play on such pitches and so I said useless practice matches. By the way why were u talking about Bangladesh match irrelevantly?

  • Kimster27 on August 6, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    12 no-balls in a practice match.....What is going on????

  • chiggers on August 6, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    @ Anish - So the two Messiahs of Indian cricket have shown their wares. Sehwag lbw to a journeyman 2nd XI player for 8, and Zaheer 3-0-24-0. Sleepless nights in the England camp over performances like that...

  • Pritt32 on August 6, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Plenty of work for the Indian cricket team to do in preparation for the big match on Wednesday. The practise match highlights a few issues and a few encouragements. Batting is still a major concern, as Dhoni and Raina failed again. Sehwag and Gambhir failed, but are not match fit. Bowling showed positive signs, as India clawed them into the game as Mishra bowled well. Dhoni is a good captain, but he has to improve his batting and wicket-keeping. Indian team need to recover from this bad patch at present by raising the game a lot higher against England. Khan, Gambhir and Sehwag inclusion will be a huge boost to the game,. India need to put behind the last two dreadful matches and get back into the series

  • Zahidsaltin on August 6, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    All INDIAN fans are extimists. just as its about every other thing. MSD is the best wicketkeeper batsman in world cricket at the moment. Every batsman, even Sachin and Lara went through lean periods. And thats what is happening to MSD too. An extra burdon of an important series and being no. 1 position at stake puts a lot of extra burdon too. So plz shut up those who are always ready to make or break. He gave you worldcup and took you to be no. 1 status. Did you ever had that previlige in last 65 years. Respect the man and support him through thick and thin. Zahid/Lahore

  • on August 6, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    Why has Zaheer only bowled 3 overs? That cannot be a good sign. Can India risk him in a 4 man attack?

  • on August 7, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    So much for the # 1 team (it was like a bucket of water thrown on a hot asphalt highway). A second string india beat a second string west indies and there were such notes of praise. Now they meet "the current best" world team and they are like a first division team. I've always believed that Dravid is the only great in the current indian team. England at present may not boast such, but they are currently the best example of what a well balanced, close knitted test team should be like. Good luck india (u'll need it) I hope for a better performance in the comming matches , esp the ODIs, after all You are World Champions.

  • Champagne_Cricket on August 6, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    @anish123, dude are you really serious in your comments? Sehwag and Gambir couldn't last against a second string county attack. So was Dhoni. When the Northants batted, they piled up a double century opening stand, with both the openers scoring centuries. Zaheer bowled only 3 overs and went for 24 runs and I'm pretty sure that he was taken out of the attack to cover the embarrassment. Still you talk about a big Indian comeback!!!! One thing I have to give to you; You are one hell of an optimist!!!

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on August 6, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    NORTHANTS 2ND XI WIN AGAINST INDIA ON 1ST INNINGS TOTAL!!!!

  • Jay219 on August 6, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    Indian team is making a mockery of Indian cricket.....First playing zaheer khan then bowling him just 3 overs....then again dhoni bowling, gambhir bowling....I mean what's all this!! They are just not in the right frame of mind of being a number 1 team....It's all our prayers which is running the team....and we will keep praying as it's India whom we support....May God Bless Indian Cricket....

  • kumarcoolbuddy on August 6, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    @Bang_La, my question was very simple. There is no use in getting frustrated if India plays good against this second string team. Regardless of how India plays here I don't really consider it as practice. Real practice is if the match is played on typical ENG kind of test picthes which has bounce on it. In ENG conditions more the PRACTICE you get better your performance but looks like ENG is not allowing India to play on such pitches and so I said useless practice matches. By the way why were u talking about Bangladesh match irrelevantly?

  • Kimster27 on August 6, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    12 no-balls in a practice match.....What is going on????

  • chiggers on August 6, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    @ Anish - So the two Messiahs of Indian cricket have shown their wares. Sehwag lbw to a journeyman 2nd XI player for 8, and Zaheer 3-0-24-0. Sleepless nights in the England camp over performances like that...

  • Pritt32 on August 6, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Plenty of work for the Indian cricket team to do in preparation for the big match on Wednesday. The practise match highlights a few issues and a few encouragements. Batting is still a major concern, as Dhoni and Raina failed again. Sehwag and Gambhir failed, but are not match fit. Bowling showed positive signs, as India clawed them into the game as Mishra bowled well. Dhoni is a good captain, but he has to improve his batting and wicket-keeping. Indian team need to recover from this bad patch at present by raising the game a lot higher against England. Khan, Gambhir and Sehwag inclusion will be a huge boost to the game,. India need to put behind the last two dreadful matches and get back into the series

  • Zahidsaltin on August 6, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    All INDIAN fans are extimists. just as its about every other thing. MSD is the best wicketkeeper batsman in world cricket at the moment. Every batsman, even Sachin and Lara went through lean periods. And thats what is happening to MSD too. An extra burdon of an important series and being no. 1 position at stake puts a lot of extra burdon too. So plz shut up those who are always ready to make or break. He gave you worldcup and took you to be no. 1 status. Did you ever had that previlige in last 65 years. Respect the man and support him through thick and thin. Zahid/Lahore

  • on August 6, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    Why has Zaheer only bowled 3 overs? That cannot be a good sign. Can India risk him in a 4 man attack?

  • on August 6, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    congratulations to bowlers on getting at least one Northamptonshire wicket. come on

  • Valavan on August 6, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    oh guys stop this annoying discussion. England is well prepared, England have planned the indian batters very well.

  • on August 6, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    @Craig Burley - Why would Northants want to risk their frontline attack when challenging for championship promotion? In any case, its a great opportunity to give some of the fringe players a chance infront of a decent crowd and against good opposition. The batting line up is not too far off first team, and we are making their bowlers work hard - Loye and O'brien showing them how its done...

  • demon_bowler on August 6, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    I'm sorry to hear Gambhir's elbow only scored 18. Perhaps he should try using his bat, or the writer should try rephrasing the sentence.

  • harshalb on August 6, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    Craig Burley...Northants are doing the right thing by denying india any credible practice and chance of facing good pace bowlers. I would do the same as an England supporter

  • on August 6, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    India is going through a very bad patch right now... It takes quite sometime to get themselves back into serious reckoning...

  • EVH316 on August 6, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    I`m surprised so few Indian fans actually understand Sehwag`s batting - he is never out of form or in form. He bats the same way, all the time, and it works often and it fails often. Match practice is irrelevant, as he doesn`t move his feet, get in line, it is only about seeing and hitting the ball, just like Graeme Pollock said. Zaheer needs practice, and he must be your biggest problem. At least England have picked the useless Bopara so that`ll help.

  • anish123 on August 6, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    India will definitely come back and in a big way. Sehwag and Zaheer's come back will make Indian team look totally different and i believe amit mishra's will definitely be better than harbhajan comparing current forms. Though i admire Raina but my team would be - Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Mukund, Dhoni, Mishra, Praveen, Zaheer, Ishant in this same order.

  • cmnkumar on August 6, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    looks like Dhoni is far from the form...he should consider taking a break to rejuvenate what ever it is. We have fairly good keepers who can bat well. You can't keep him just for the sake of good captaincy. I am saying this being a fan of Dhoni.

  • on August 6, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    I would love to see someone with better batting Technique like Parthiv rather than MSD who lacks the basic tech to be in a test match as a wicket keeper and someone like Zaheer to take the captaining responsibilities as he had already a matured player provided he does takes care of his injuries.

  • vijayshankar2003 on August 6, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    mukund's century has certainly put pressure on the playing eleven selection for captain and coach. if gambir is not 100% fit, then its obvious that mukund will play but when gambir is back, then comes the problem.... raina or mukund? i think raina suits for no.6 than mukund.. and why are they hesitant to go with 4 pace bowlers when we know that spinners wont be that effective??? why not praveen, ishant, sreesanth and zak play in the x1??? we want to take 20 wickets for winning.. batting is not gonna win u all the matches.. we need quality bowling to take 20 wkts of england.. hope india come back strong!!!

  • coffeewithkiran on August 6, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    If both sehwag and gambhir is fit for edgbaston, can we think of Mukund batting at no.6?

  • CricketLoverFromAsia on August 6, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Dhoni again failed. He is not good enough for Test format. He must play only ODIs & T20. Even Harbhajan is a far better batsman than Dhoni in Test Cricket.But Dhoni can state so many excuses after losing in any format. He never admires opponents talents. He is not a good captain or a good batsman in real cricket format TEST.

  • on August 6, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    raina is team man,he will lift the spirit of the team on the field ,which s lacking in indian team,i think gambhir isn't 100% fit,so mukund may get his chance,i bet dhoni will make some runs in 3rd test,as far as bowling dept zak,praveen,ishant,mishra will be the correct combination,lets hope tat our team does well in the 3rd test

  • on August 6, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Raina is right now an ineffective no 6 batman.. he cant play proper pull shots, neither can he leave all the short balls as guys on the other end keep getting out... somehow dhoni, mishra (assuming he is playing), praveen, zaheer, ishant have to stick it out for who no 6 batsman happens to be... Top 5... india needs two big hundreds from you guys....

    I believe this India side has the ability to fight back.. C'mon India jeetna hi hai

  • on August 6, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    @ cricketizgood ... Who is the wicket keeper then in your team?

  • cricketizgood on August 6, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    Dhoni is arguably the best Captain India had. His potentials to hold team together and making decisions is commendable which has lead India to No.1 position so far. India loosing No.1 spot in these series will be the most problem for Dhoni because his only contributing to the team is as a guider and decision maker. He is not a good keeper and batting in live pitches is like a nightmare for him. I think its better to make Dhoni Indian Coach because he can guide the team by standing outside the ring.

    My team: Sehwag, Gambhir, Mukund, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Raina, Zaheer, Munaf, Mishra, P.Kumar.

  • BhushanPheonix on August 6, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    Its really sad that MSD and Suresh Raina didnt make good use of this match, hope and wish the bowlers utlize the match conditions and do better....

  • on August 6, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    I agree the comments the comments posted by kashyap dhar,,,suresh raina will be te future of indian cricket without any doubt

  • NRI- on August 6, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    Raina bowls a bit so giving Mukund a practice game was a waste of time. SRT is getting far too much REST. After his Wimbledon watching rest, he needs to find his SA form again and another two day match would have been useful. Everyone is sacrficed for SRT's sake. He is treated like GOD. VVS can be sent no 3 or opening, Dravid can open, Sehwag forced to open but will anyone ever tell SRT to go at no 3 or 5 even? Enough mollycoddling SRT. His avg of 55 is the same as Kallis, Ponting, Sangakarra. Sehwag at avg 52 is six yards faster than any of those. SRT is excellent but no more than these others and you can add VVS, Trott, KP, M Jayawerdene to the list. At least MSD should declare overnight rather than playing the extra 10 overs for Mishra to get a 50. We need to see how Mishra bowls and how Zaheer bowls and if lasts 90 overs.

  • on August 6, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    i think england will whitewash indians completely.they are mentally and physically tired and now had to recombine themselves within a certain period.

  • harshacc on August 6, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    Can Sehwag come into the team out of the cold with no match practice and deliver? He is always a hit and miss kind of player.I would still like mukund in the team but even Raina made a 100 in the practice match and still looked very unconvincing in the test bar an inning

  • mritunjai on August 6, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    At difficult times, team needs the support of its true fans. The team has not played as they used to play but we must support the team. So today onwards, I once again get behind my favorite team AUSTRALIA. Thank you Australian cricket because you have always provided the best cricket in the world.

  • Kangroos.Proteas.Monkeys.Lions on August 6, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    @MacFry Your long term plan is interesting. With this team they will struggle to take 20 australian wickets. Also, do you still assume that SRT, VVS, RD will have to play in Australiaa as well. When English visit india they will not have any commercial interest that have diverted aussie player attention away from cricket when they tour India. English will only concentrate on winning in the cricket ground and thats where your optimism might heavily be checked.

  • on August 6, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    Everyone here is forgetting the fact that raina scored a ton in the practice game against the somerset and scored a fighting half century in the lords test. it cant be said that he is out of form.Everyone has some weakness. it can be rectified only by playing games not by dropping a player. The same mukund who wasnt sure about his place in the XI two tests earlier as he was drafted in for sehwag cannot replace a player of raina calibre on the back of a single century

  • ratedstfu44 on August 6, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    u can check comments , i always said MUKUND is better player than GambhirSehwag in this conditions. Dont waste this talent by no selecting.... If possible left out dhoni...after all its a matter of number 1 CROWN

  • livethegame on August 6, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Sehwag still have to find touch and Zaheer better dont get in for 3rd test. We dont want to repeat the Lords test again. Great work done by mukund , replicate the similar innnings in coming test and dhoni has to imporve his mental strength and confidence in him. Best of luck indian team.

  • on August 6, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    Hi All i know every indian fan is frustrated so am i .But i believe we need to support team when they are having a bad phase.Believe that indian tam can come back and come back strong.

  • Alexk400 on August 6, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    MY team is Sehwag Gambhir Dravid Sachin VVS laxman Mukund Dhoni Ishant sharma P Kumar Zaheer Sreesanth, I do not like mishra or ojha. Raine weakeness is exposed more than mukund. atleast he is making runs in tour match. Raina good in indian flat picthes.

  • aakkil on August 6, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    feel for abinav, played his first five tests in testing conditions.it is not easy for anybody to come and do well from domestic cricket.they will take time to find their feet ,remember all the recent debues were in subcondinant,murali vijay,goutham gambir,poojara, poojara stands apart with innings in 5th inning.dont compare stroke makers in flat wicket to seeming wickets.feel for abinav, played his first five tests in testing conditions.it is not easy for anybody to come and do well from domestic cricket.they will take time to find their feet ,remember all the recent debues were in subcondinant,murali vijay,goutham gambir,poojara, poojara stands apart with innings in 5th inning.dont compare stroke makers in flat wicket to seeming wickets.

  • ponnu_KKR on August 6, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    why not VIRAT KOHLI in the middle order?? why not dropping GAMBHIR?? AMIT MISHRA is a responsible player than HARBHAJAN. DHONI beware!!! lot of talented players there in the squad to replace you as CAPTAIN of the team.

  • Kangroos.Proteas.Monkeys.Lions on August 6, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    There are more questions than answers in this. India would hae liked to dump Abhinav but it will be a decision to take. Raina has rescued India on numerous occassions during windies tour and also during somerset nightmare and he has to be droppred to make way for Mukund. Also Raina shared load with Bhajji. On the other hand if you take the example of Broad who Indian fans ruled out due his performance against lankans just made it against Indians due to his count 6 wicket haul few days before the test. What to do???? Now Mishra has replaced bhajji with the bat however Ojha the way he is drafted in through off the field efforts was more on the cards. Again, India will take it gleefully if tailenders churn out 100 runs but it has not happened so often in the near past. The main thing main batsmen did not score while laxman was too good for these county guys as he should be.

  • kingcobra85 on August 6, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    sehwag started his career as a middle order batsmen its because of SRT he had to move to open the innings...so it wouldnt be a problem for sehwag to bat down the order..but i dont think abhinav is a good bet given that he has never played there but anything can happen... for gods sake dhoni please improve your technique atleast get behind the ball...

  • anurag4u10 on August 6, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    mukunds ton had added selectn worries 4 dhoni. bt i thnk he would be more concerned of his own poor form as in d scorecard his contribution is d lowest. earlier india was winnin so he used to get way wd his form. bt wd d changed scenario he is now into focus. wont be a bad idea if saha is given chance. i still feel kathik shud hav been there

  • on August 6, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    I really cant realize what is the reason behind testing all the players and not giving them time? The inclusion of Saha in this match means there is a chance for him to replace Dhoni, but if its not then why is the experiment for? The selectors are really playing with the hopes of millions Indian fans around the world by making and selecting illogical and uneffective line ups which results in only FAILURE...

  • TopC on August 6, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    In your dreams MacFry it is just NOT going to happen!!

  • on August 6, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    Of all the people who say dhoni has captained the side well and has helped india stay at number 1 for a long time, how many matches has india won abroad under dhonis captaincy. The side has reached number 1 winning many matches abroad under ganguly's, dravid's and kumble's captaincy. Under dhonis captaincy india has played only in the subcontinent which in any case we are unbeatable from time immemorial. So in a nutshell, dhoni as a test player is a bad captain, wicketkeeper, batsman.

  • rahulcricket007 on August 6, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    @FAIZAL HUSSAN . SORRY BRO. BUT MUKUND WILL NOT PLAY IN 3RD TEST .VIRU & GAMBHIR WILL OPEN THE INNINGS AND RAINA WILL BE IN THE TEAM BECAUSE HE IS THE BEST FIELDER IN INDIAN TEAM . MUKUND FIELDING IS HORRIBLE . WE SAW IN SECOND TEST THAT HE MISFIELDS A LOT . HE WAS TOTALLY FLOP IN MAIN MATCHES .

  • Bang_La on August 6, 2011, 3:00 GMT

    @kumarcoolbuddy, I know why its frustrating for Craig Burley. Because after playing against a second string and third-rate team and scoring some runs would be deafening with your roars. Even though, no indian acknowledges Bangladesh win against second-string WI or the then weak Zimbabwe. Craig Burley is right, india should be truly tested against a far aggressive team.

  • on August 6, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    Even in a practice game Dhoni haven't gone past two digit mark.Abhinav Mukund was given another chance FINE. But he has performed well whom your going to replace him for? Sehwag cannot make any difference in English conditions India can't able to depend only in him.Both Laxman and Raina has got starts thats good sign for India. Why Praveen didn't play is he unfit or Munaf going to replace Praveen. Mishra can able to trouble England's middle order but India should bounce there lower order as quick as possible. 14-08-2011 will there be another struggle. Let us wait and watch

  • MacFry on August 6, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    If 3-0 or 4-0 defeat jolts them up to produce a series win in Australia then I'm all for it. We won here in 2007 and there will be time for revenge when England visits India next year. First series win in Australia and 3-0 victory against England at home and I'm satisfied.

  • KAIRAVA on August 6, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    Abhinav Mukund's performances on the English tour is somewhat similar to Vikram Rathore's performances in the 1996 England tour. Rathore was also an opener who like Mukund failed to going in the tests that he played in that tour but managed to score a few tons during the warm-up matches against the county sides. This clearly shows the difference between international teams with better bowling attacks & domestic teams with ordinary bowling line-up. Horses for courses.

  • Silverbails on August 5, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    It's all right producing performances like this in "mickey - mouse" warm up matches such as these, with very ordinary county players, but against a full- strength and hungry England side, it's a completely different matter. As I've said before, hard really not to see a 3 - 0 or even a 4 - 0 scoreline here, with or without Sehwag and Gambhir, who only seem to be interested in the IPL's riches. I mean, with such a marquee Test series such as this one Vs. England, surely these 2 key players SHOULD have had their respective injuries treated at a much earlier time, so as to be fit and ready for this huge and upcoming battle in England!!

  • Kieran_ on August 5, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    I really believe Dhoni is letting the Indian team down with his performance. There's no argument when saying that he's done a great job as captain, however his keeping and batting are not up to scratch. His batting technique in particular is poor in terms of international standard, and this is reflected in poor performances in countries that have demanding and tricky pitches. For example his averages in Australia (18), England (32) and South Africa (31) are all well below par. Step it up Dhoni!

  • S.N.Singh on August 5, 2011, 23:23 GMT

    MUKUD MUST BE SOMEONE BROTHER-IN-LAW BECAUSE SINCE THE START OF THEIS SERIES HE IS BEING GIVEN A LOT OF "WRITING UP "? AT THIS TIME INDIA WILL NOT SACRIFICE SEHWAG AND GAMBHIR. THEY ARE GREAT BATSMEN. MUKUND WILL HAVE TO WAIT HIS TURN. ALSO INDIA NEED RAINA, HE IS THE WORLDS BEST FIELD-MAN AND HE WILL BE NEED TO TRY HIS OFF-BREAK IN PLACE OF HARBHAJAN. I THINK INDIA SHOULD STOP PLAY"DEFENSIVE" CRICKET AND GO ON THE "OFFENSIVE". SINCE INDIA START TO PLAY DEFENSIVE TO THE SHORT DELIVERY THE ARE NOT SCORING. AND ENGLAND KNOWING THIS THEY ARE BOWLING ALL SHORT BALLS. "SHORT BALLS " A DECADE AGO WAS CONSIDERED A BAD BALL AND WAS SEVERLY PUNISH BY ROHAN KANHAI AND SOBERS ALSO BY VISHWANAUTH. INDIA MUNT PLAY "OFFENSIVE CRICKET". THIS IS THE GAME THEY HAVE TO PLAY TO EVEN THIS SERIES. IF THEY GO ON THE DEFENSIVE, THEY WILL END UP BAD AGAIN. LET THE BATSMEN PLAY " THEIR OWN GAME. S.N. SINGH U.S.A.

  • on August 5, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    drop raina and put mukund in the middle order...

  • HBar on August 5, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    really? should we have to micro analyze even a tour match? what is next? net practice?

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 5, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    I have stated this in many other forums and I will say it again. MS Dhoni is UNFIT to play in India's test team. The guy can neither bat, bowl nor keep wickets. He's OK for the T20 and 50 over variants. A young keeper has to be encouraged by the Indian selectors, preferably Saha who bats BETTER than captain cool. Saha is also a far superior keeper. Virender Sehwag won't make ANY difference here. He's going to be a walking wicket simply cause he ain't had much practice. He's human too and needs a long time to recuperate and regain match form. Amit Mishra looks a CERTAIN pick for me instead of Ojha because 1) he's an attacking legspinner, 2) he's a decent bat at no.8 compared to Ojha who cannot bat. India would do well to draw the next game in Birmingham.

  • Iyer on August 5, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    Why was saha included in the team if he is not going to be given a chance to replace Dhoni?

  • toucheandsuch on August 5, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    I don't think we should jump about Mukund's ton. He was playing a club attack probably below Ranji standards and has too much of a bottom hand to do well outside India against good bowling. I would stay with Raina for one reason - once the normal batting order is restored, Raina can cash in and play his usual game.I agree however that he can't defend (but neither can Mukund). Sehwag never scores against ordinary bowling and so long as he fields and throws well tomorrow, he should be fine for the test. Dhoni must make up his mind to attack. Like Raina, he has no defence against good bowling. Let's see tomorrow if Zaheer is hungry enough!!

  • Iyer on August 5, 2011, 22:49 GMT

    many wudnt like this but if i had the power to select the team for third test i would play the following: sehwag, gambhir dravid, laxman, sachin, mukund saha praveen, sreesanth, munaf, and amit No mercy for ishant and dhoni. Mukund instead of raina to try something different. ishant is dropped for disciplinary action. he is not showing commitment to the country instead chose to rest after lunch on day 4 at lord's and that is the turning point of this series.

  • lin81 on August 5, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    And why isn't the "great" Tendulkar playing? Doesn't he want any match practice? I'm sure that he will go through the entire series without even 1 hundred and with just that 1 fifty made in the 2nd test.

  • Earnest66 on August 5, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    Second new ball? India have barely lasted beyond the first!

  • luvzone662 on August 5, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    @Craig Burley as an England supporter you might or might not stay in England but you should be aware of the fact that Indians won the toss and elected to bat not the Northants...check before posting comments.

  • spinkingKK on August 5, 2011, 22:34 GMT

    Let's have Mukund and Gambhir open and Sehwag coming at 6. That way, Sehwag can be protected from the swinging conditions. He also prefers middle order position anyway. Sehag can also score quickly when Dhoni and rest of the tail comes to bat.

  • lin81 on August 5, 2011, 22:33 GMT

    Sadly that non-performing captain Dhoni needs to be selected. So, the best solution is to be try and be radical.Here's the batting order preferable:1) Abhinav Mukund 2) Gautam Gambhir 3) Rahul Dravid 4) Sachin tendulkar 5) VVS Laxman 6) Virender Sehwag 7) Amit Mishra 8) MS Dhoni 9) Praveen Kumar 10) Zaheer Khan 11) Sreesanth/Ishant The fact is that Sehwag is completely lacking in match practice. Thus, the chances are high that he will get out to the new ball and against fresh bowlers.Mukund has played badly so far, but maybe the century will give him confidence.Gambhir and Mukund should hang in and try to get a 50 run partnership.Then, the big 4 following can take over. Sehwag can try to seize the game against relatively tired bowlers. If pitch has swing pick Sree, otherwise Ishant. If there is no help for spinners go with 4 pace attack.If 1 spinner required,Mishra should be picked.He can bat and bowl better than Bhajji. Anyone can bowl better.And please send Mishra at 7 ahead of Dhoni

  • kumarcoolbuddy on August 5, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    @Craig Burley, why is it frustrating when India is playing with second string and third-rate ENG team?

  • AjaySridharan on August 5, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Drop Raina, put Mukund in teh middle order...India can do with someone that can negotiate the second new ball. If nothing else, he gives confidence in the middle order than Raina is doing currently. We might have to leave Dhoni in the middle though, given he is the captain. His batting technique is very suspect in good bowling conditions. Sehwag is always a hit or miss player...but with the magic he can wield with the willow, he is well worth the gamble. As for Gambhir, I don't think there is anyone in the current touring party that can threaten his place.

  • on August 5, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    that makes intresting now ..for me abhinav should be in and raina should b out.

  • on August 5, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    when dhoni will show his best??? in every match dhoni will get out at 4,5,1,0 etcc.......

  • ssenthil on August 5, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    Abhinav Mukun has struggled in England so far, but found form in Northampton hence Dropped for the 3rd Test.

  • on August 5, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    I am not overly pleased as an England supporter, with Northamptonshire electing to field an attack that is very much second-string and third-rate. Somerset had been brilliant at putting India on the back foot and playing aggressively, Northants are giving the tourists exactly what they want! Frustrating.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on August 5, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    I am not overly pleased as an England supporter, with Northamptonshire electing to field an attack that is very much second-string and third-rate. Somerset had been brilliant at putting India on the back foot and playing aggressively, Northants are giving the tourists exactly what they want! Frustrating.

  • ssenthil on August 5, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    Abhinav Mukun has struggled in England so far, but found form in Northampton hence Dropped for the 3rd Test.

  • on August 5, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    when dhoni will show his best??? in every match dhoni will get out at 4,5,1,0 etcc.......

  • on August 5, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    that makes intresting now ..for me abhinav should be in and raina should b out.

  • AjaySridharan on August 5, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Drop Raina, put Mukund in teh middle order...India can do with someone that can negotiate the second new ball. If nothing else, he gives confidence in the middle order than Raina is doing currently. We might have to leave Dhoni in the middle though, given he is the captain. His batting technique is very suspect in good bowling conditions. Sehwag is always a hit or miss player...but with the magic he can wield with the willow, he is well worth the gamble. As for Gambhir, I don't think there is anyone in the current touring party that can threaten his place.

  • kumarcoolbuddy on August 5, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    @Craig Burley, why is it frustrating when India is playing with second string and third-rate ENG team?

  • lin81 on August 5, 2011, 22:33 GMT

    Sadly that non-performing captain Dhoni needs to be selected. So, the best solution is to be try and be radical.Here's the batting order preferable:1) Abhinav Mukund 2) Gautam Gambhir 3) Rahul Dravid 4) Sachin tendulkar 5) VVS Laxman 6) Virender Sehwag 7) Amit Mishra 8) MS Dhoni 9) Praveen Kumar 10) Zaheer Khan 11) Sreesanth/Ishant The fact is that Sehwag is completely lacking in match practice. Thus, the chances are high that he will get out to the new ball and against fresh bowlers.Mukund has played badly so far, but maybe the century will give him confidence.Gambhir and Mukund should hang in and try to get a 50 run partnership.Then, the big 4 following can take over. Sehwag can try to seize the game against relatively tired bowlers. If pitch has swing pick Sree, otherwise Ishant. If there is no help for spinners go with 4 pace attack.If 1 spinner required,Mishra should be picked.He can bat and bowl better than Bhajji. Anyone can bowl better.And please send Mishra at 7 ahead of Dhoni

  • spinkingKK on August 5, 2011, 22:34 GMT

    Let's have Mukund and Gambhir open and Sehwag coming at 6. That way, Sehwag can be protected from the swinging conditions. He also prefers middle order position anyway. Sehag can also score quickly when Dhoni and rest of the tail comes to bat.

  • luvzone662 on August 5, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    @Craig Burley as an England supporter you might or might not stay in England but you should be aware of the fact that Indians won the toss and elected to bat not the Northants...check before posting comments.

  • Earnest66 on August 5, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    Second new ball? India have barely lasted beyond the first!