England v India, 4th npower Test, The Oval, 1st day August 18, 2011

RP Singh's selection reflects India's tragicomic series

How does a bowler who hasn't played for India for two years, and has had no first-class cricket since January, get in the side ahead of someone who was a big part of India's World Cup-winning campaign?
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If any proof was needed that this England series is turning out to be a tragicomic one for India, it came when RP Singh was told at the very last minute to strip off his training gear, tie his bootlaces and rush onto the field at The Oval to deliver the first over of the final Test. Now remember, this is RP Singh, a man who played his last Test on a flat track at Motera in 2008. The last time he bowled in a first-class match was in the Duleep Trophy for Central Zone versus South Zone, between January 26-29, where he got just three wickets in the 522-run defeat. This was a bowler who India had pulled out of cold storage, once the full extent of Zaheer Khan's injury was revealed, a bowler who was re-entering the Test arena on the back of delivering 50 overs in 14 IPL matches.

As RP Singh sprayed five out of his first six deliveries onto, or sometimes behind, England's openers' pads, at a pace that made it inappropriate to term him a fast bowler, people began to wonder if this was joke. On match-day eve, MS Dhoni said India were not desperate, or thinking about winning or avoiding defeat at any cost. The way they started today, it seemed they were desperate to avoid playing at any cost.

At the end of the day, RP Singh revealed that Praveen Kumar had pulled out of the Test at the last possible minute. There was nothing in the morning warm-up sessions that suggested RP Singh would play; he was seen striding in delicately, delivering harmless punches at VVS Laxman in the nets. In fact, on the scorecards printed by the ECB, P Kumar was listed as No. 9 under the India column.

"This morning after the warm-up when PK [Praveen] said he was not fit for the match, that is when the coach [Duncan Fletcher] came to me and told me I was playing," RP Singh said.

He did not deny that he was "nervous". Fair enough. But then he also said that "gradually I got my line and length back". The two spells he bowled in the little play possible today read: 7-2-19-0 from the Vauxhall End and then 3-1-5-0 from the Pavilion End. Economical, yes, but in conditions that were overcast and with a new ball in hand, he failed to beat the outside edge even once. At the media conference, he said that between his last trip to England in 2007, a series where he kept the England batsmen on their toes in the company of Zaheer Khan, and now he had equipped himself with an additional weapon - swinging the ball in to the left-handers. But today there was not one ball that he could bend in past the defence of Andrew Strauss or Alistair Cook.

Despite his lack of first-class outings in recent times, and looking clearly rust at The Oval, RP Singh said he was match-fit. "I played the IPL and a few club matches. In India, the domestic four-day season is between September and March but I played a few one-day games and the IPL so I am fit for these matches."

RP Singh may come in for some criticism for his insipid performance on the first day, but can you really blame a bowler who has been struggling with form and fitness issues in the last few years for being ineffective? The big question is why and how did he become Zaheer's replacement. Was it more out of hope than belief that the selectors picked him. Were they simply thinking about the fact that RP Singh had done so well during the victorious 2007 series and not about his recent performances? Importantly, why does Munaf Patel, a more permanent member of the India squad in the recent past, and a smart bowler who was a critical part of the World Cup-winning team, continue to warm the bench? What sort of inference does he derive when a bowler who has not featured for India in two years is played ahead of him?

These and many other burning questions will continue to be asked in the coming days and weeks.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 19, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    It is unfortunate and painful that opponent started setting their new records in all aspects against us. What happened to our bowlers? They don't have any impact on them. We don't have any quality bowlers like Broad, Anderson or Bresnan to play in England condition. I don't think we've only Zaheer Khan. We've many and it is the responsibility of the selectors to bring up players to play in any condition. My question - If Munaf Patil is suitable for English condition means why they selected that poor guy and given him hope? It is better to select R.P.Singh at the time of announcement. How long we are going to drag with aged guys? (No doubt, with them we've won lot of series and they've very good batting record) Now what happened? With commanding English team they all failed to prove their ability which they had in the past. Due to much responsibility, not playing their own game. Age is the main factor. We've a huge population with cricket as a passion, No doubt we've enough.

  • LokuMahaththaya on August 19, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    problem is India doesn't have international level quicker pace bowlers. BCCI is producing players for IPL not for international level. IPL is another kind of improved gully cricket, Indian team is used to IPLnow, they dont understand Int Test cricket, so it is very hard to survive over 20 overs for them. Thats the real truth. Also a bowler can not ball more than 4 overs in a good rhythm. That's the truth, you guys have to accept that.

    If this happened continually, international cricket standard will diminish from India little by little. Sorry guys.

  • Rajesh. on August 19, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Seems like India are in for another whipping....... but there is something they can take heart from :- At least no one can say anymore "India hardly looks like the Number One Test Team in the World"

  • LokuMahaththaya on August 19, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    problem is India doesn't have international level quicker pace bowlers. BCCI is producing players for IPL not for international level. IPL is another kind of improved gully cricket, Indian team is used to IPLnow, they dont understand Int Test cricket, so it is very hard to survive over 20 overs for them. Thats the real truth. Also a bowler can not ball more than 4 overs in a good rhythm. That's the truth, you guys have to accept that.

    If this happened continually, international cricket standard will diminish from India little by little. Sorry guys.

  • rsurya on August 19, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    without pace nothing going to be solved, we can hope for some dhoni's lucky wins and no more than that. Winning is Important is a bad attitude and will not stand in a long term. our team is well known for funny gambling like piyush chawla, rp singh, and others. there is some meaning in crying for irfan bcoz atleast he shows some entertainment in batting. BETTER KEEP A WALK-IN INTERVIEW FOR FAST BOWLERS BEFORE BCCI (eligibility 150+ kmph). bcoz no player in India can bowl 150 mark when he plays all the domestic cricket which is a mandatory token.

  • on August 19, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    It doesn't matter who India put in their bowling attack is simply poor. Their bowlers will struggle to get a game in an English county game. Simply too slow. They need someone who can touch 90mph, like Pakistan seem to find on a regular basis.

  • Pritt32 on August 19, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Everything is looking painfully grim for the Indian team. India has the most the mediocre bowling attack in international cricket. Bell and Pietersen scoring big individual hundreds highlights how concerning India's bowling attack is. It cannot go on like this, as it is just plain awful to watch. India needs to urgently to invest in new bowlers and a few batmen, as their batting looking ragged and fragile. The England tour offered so much promise and expectations, but very club level cricket and a one-sided affair. There is a lot of work for the Indian cricket to do, as the team is in very poor shape which is upsetting for Indian fans to watch. I hope the selector realise the seriousness of this and address the issue immediately, otherwise the Australian tour will head the similar painful direction.

  • aa61761 on August 19, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    Everyone missed the point. RP Singh is not the replacement for Zaheer Khan, he is replacing Bhajji. RP is the new fast spinner for India. RP will demolishes some thing in this Test - England or India, and will be remembered as the greatest come back bowler may be in his own dreams or Dhoni will endup in a mental institution for selecting RP.

  • on August 19, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    its was not surprise as per as my oipinon as when Rp came to team i knew he will play in place of munaf other player who will get more chance if he scores 5 runs in next 10 test will raina so that how our teams plays bad luck hope they will not drop to more down in ranking .....com on guys show more proudness of being no 1 test team (x)

  • jsnaurvi on August 19, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    I dont understand the mind set of Selectors, why not they try good pace bowlers like Jaidev, Umesh, Varun and Deepak in Conditions favourable for pacers.. instead they will try them on Indian wickets where there is nothing to perform.. and some of my friends still cry for Irfan, if they watched his performance in IPL i think they should not have supported him and moreover Munaf have same pace as parveen and in first 3 test the result is in front of us, so its better to have alll 3 quick in team and Ishant and Shree should perform like they did in IPL..

  • on August 19, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    It is unfortunate and painful that opponent started setting their new records in all aspects against us. What happened to our bowlers? They don't have any impact on them. We don't have any quality bowlers like Broad, Anderson or Bresnan to play in England condition. I don't think we've only Zaheer Khan. We've many and it is the responsibility of the selectors to bring up players to play in any condition. My question - If Munaf Patil is suitable for English condition means why they selected that poor guy and given him hope? It is better to select R.P.Singh at the time of announcement. How long we are going to drag with aged guys? (No doubt, with them we've won lot of series and they've very good batting record) Now what happened? With commanding English team they all failed to prove their ability which they had in the past. Due to much responsibility, not playing their own game. Age is the main factor. We've a huge population with cricket as a passion, No doubt we've enough.

  • LokuMahaththaya on August 19, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    problem is India doesn't have international level quicker pace bowlers. BCCI is producing players for IPL not for international level. IPL is another kind of improved gully cricket, Indian team is used to IPLnow, they dont understand Int Test cricket, so it is very hard to survive over 20 overs for them. Thats the real truth. Also a bowler can not ball more than 4 overs in a good rhythm. That's the truth, you guys have to accept that.

    If this happened continually, international cricket standard will diminish from India little by little. Sorry guys.

  • Rajesh. on August 19, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Seems like India are in for another whipping....... but there is something they can take heart from :- At least no one can say anymore "India hardly looks like the Number One Test Team in the World"

  • LokuMahaththaya on August 19, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    problem is India doesn't have international level quicker pace bowlers. BCCI is producing players for IPL not for international level. IPL is another kind of improved gully cricket, Indian team is used to IPLnow, they dont understand Int Test cricket, so it is very hard to survive over 20 overs for them. Thats the real truth. Also a bowler can not ball more than 4 overs in a good rhythm. That's the truth, you guys have to accept that.

    If this happened continually, international cricket standard will diminish from India little by little. Sorry guys.

  • rsurya on August 19, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    without pace nothing going to be solved, we can hope for some dhoni's lucky wins and no more than that. Winning is Important is a bad attitude and will not stand in a long term. our team is well known for funny gambling like piyush chawla, rp singh, and others. there is some meaning in crying for irfan bcoz atleast he shows some entertainment in batting. BETTER KEEP A WALK-IN INTERVIEW FOR FAST BOWLERS BEFORE BCCI (eligibility 150+ kmph). bcoz no player in India can bowl 150 mark when he plays all the domestic cricket which is a mandatory token.

  • on August 19, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    It doesn't matter who India put in their bowling attack is simply poor. Their bowlers will struggle to get a game in an English county game. Simply too slow. They need someone who can touch 90mph, like Pakistan seem to find on a regular basis.

  • Pritt32 on August 19, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Everything is looking painfully grim for the Indian team. India has the most the mediocre bowling attack in international cricket. Bell and Pietersen scoring big individual hundreds highlights how concerning India's bowling attack is. It cannot go on like this, as it is just plain awful to watch. India needs to urgently to invest in new bowlers and a few batmen, as their batting looking ragged and fragile. The England tour offered so much promise and expectations, but very club level cricket and a one-sided affair. There is a lot of work for the Indian cricket to do, as the team is in very poor shape which is upsetting for Indian fans to watch. I hope the selector realise the seriousness of this and address the issue immediately, otherwise the Australian tour will head the similar painful direction.

  • aa61761 on August 19, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    Everyone missed the point. RP Singh is not the replacement for Zaheer Khan, he is replacing Bhajji. RP is the new fast spinner for India. RP will demolishes some thing in this Test - England or India, and will be remembered as the greatest come back bowler may be in his own dreams or Dhoni will endup in a mental institution for selecting RP.

  • on August 19, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    its was not surprise as per as my oipinon as when Rp came to team i knew he will play in place of munaf other player who will get more chance if he scores 5 runs in next 10 test will raina so that how our teams plays bad luck hope they will not drop to more down in ranking .....com on guys show more proudness of being no 1 test team (x)

  • jsnaurvi on August 19, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    I dont understand the mind set of Selectors, why not they try good pace bowlers like Jaidev, Umesh, Varun and Deepak in Conditions favourable for pacers.. instead they will try them on Indian wickets where there is nothing to perform.. and some of my friends still cry for Irfan, if they watched his performance in IPL i think they should not have supported him and moreover Munaf have same pace as parveen and in first 3 test the result is in front of us, so its better to have alll 3 quick in team and Ishant and Shree should perform like they did in IPL..

  • JackJak on August 19, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    Lets try this line up for the future 1.Rayudu 2.Pujara 3. Rohit Sharma 4. Manoj Tiwari(part-time leg spin) 5.Paul Valhatty 6.Uthappa 7.Irfan Pathan 8.Rahul Sharma 9.Aaron Varun 10. Ishanth Sharma 11.Deepak Chahar (two wicketkeepers so either Uthappa or Rayudu can keep)...Well are there any real all rounders in India at least we dont know as of now so until then lets try this! (umesh yadav, pankaj singh can be there too in the reserves along with manish pandey, Abhishek Nayaar and Stuart Binny)

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 19, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    England rule world cricket, as is clear by the gulf between them and the rest of the world. The only thing that can prevent them going 4-0 up here is the rain. Looking at England's results over the last few years, opposition's have been spared by the rain on many an occasion - remember Old Trafford 2005, and edgbaston in 2009? The Sri Lanka series recently by all accounts would've been a whitewash, but unfortunately, England have to play the rain as well. Oh well, I'm happy as England are no.1 and by a huge margin too!

  • ecricl on August 19, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    i remember when in WI Andy Roberts was surprised to see the change in pace of Munaf. he was far quicker when he visited last time in WI. I think Roberts commented some thin like that Munaf has turned from a tiger to a cat. he was very surprised at the attitude of indian coaches to cut down pace of bowlers. instead the indian coaches (dont remmeber who) slammed Roberts saying that line and length is what needed not pace..............ha ha ha just in next series they are forced to chew their own theory..........that tactic works in Indian soil wjere a pacer is meant to bowl 5 overs a day but not outside india

  • on August 19, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    It seems like Indians have given up the test series. They do not want their one day bowler to be injured too. So, Play somebody else, keep Munaf for One day series (Praveen also injured). Their only chance of revival on this tour...

  • doors666 on August 19, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    what goes against munaf is his lackluster attitude. He's an extremely lazy character and a showoff. And what the hell has his being a part of the world cup winning squad has got to do with tests. Going by the writers logic, even piyush chawla belongs here.

  • DSUS on August 19, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    I have no idea what has happened to the Ishant Sharma who made Ricky Ponting dance. Also this series highlights the greatness of Kumnble. Bhajji has to elevate to Kumble's level.

  • on August 19, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Lucky days of Dhoni is over. I noticed RPS is not a quality player at all. No pace, no swing, no good athaleticism. 100 % agrred to the column. I think we need to pack Dhoni and Duncan. 0% tacktics from Duncan though he knows english conditions. As Dhoni says " You can't expect to play a player like RP in this occaction , You know .. you are .. dash .dash .you ,, you. Srikanth its high time to resign from Selection committee. Poor captiancy . You cant expect luck always " you need to perform also." This nations poorest defeats ever recorded.

  • Kbeez on August 19, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    I have not the time to read the comments below!

    RP Singh, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth and even Zaheer Khan will not make the starting 11 for South Africa, Australia or England! With Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif considered, the four mentioned Indians may well have to play in the 3rd team if they were Pakistanis!!

    1 billion Indians yet we are cannot produce a single world class bowler!! Why??????

  • raghu2 on August 19, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    In the commentary box not one of our worthies like Shastri and Gavaskar commented about Munaf not playing, when asked by Nasser Hussain. Why was he then selected in the fist place?

  • PTtheAxis on August 19, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    not desperate to win or draw - says dhoni. says it all. only india can allow such folk to represent it.

  • timelord24 on August 19, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    the logic of the indian selectors beggars belief. they say that rp singh was selected because he did so well in england in the 2007 series. but if he had done so well in 2007 , then why didn't he find a place in the original squad? absolute shambles

  • Collegefastbowler on August 19, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    The selection policy followed for this series has shown a total lack of imagination and unwillingness to take any risk. There cannot be much issue with the selection of the batsmen - by and large the best available were sent though one can argue that Rohit Sharma and Virat should have been included but here the lack of high level preparation cost the team. In the case of bowling, the selection of the totally off form and unfit Harbhajan and Zaheer were bad mistakes. The tendency to stick with medium pace trundlers like R.P. Singh and others is also a serious selection error particularly when much better talent is available like Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and others. Two real pace bowlers can change the attitude of a team by their aggression. Its not that we do not have real pace bowlers but they are not encouraged by the selectors and further the coaches try to convert them to line and length instead of sticking to their strengths that they metamorphosis into medium pace trundlers.

  • on August 19, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    Need some variation in bowling attack. Probably a left armer will better suit with other two right armers.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 19, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    @vijay Rao. Yes he IS that bad. I don't see what people see in him. You should examine his record. When you remove Zim and Bang from his performances, you will see he is no better than any of Ishant, Sreesanth and Munaf.

  • Scube on August 19, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    Ideal question should have been why Munaf instead of RP in th first place for the tour!?! Munaf is the most uninspiring character I've ever found in a cricket field! To be fair to him, he is definitely a good bowler, but just that! Not a very good or great bowler in the class of McGrath, Md Asif, etc. that you can have him in the team just for his bowling! Otherwise, he is the worst agricultural batsman and the slowest jogger (I fear to call him a fielder!)! How on earth you can have him play in such an uninspiring series for the team! RP is also a better batsman than both Munaf & Sree that he'll atleast try to play sensibly like Ishanth acc to the situation instead of simply swinging the bat as though it was a crime to expect them to bat! And a better fielder than both! Period.

  • cricket_khan on August 19, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    this is disgusting decision from dhoni.the man who played a very important role in india's world cup winning campaign has been omited.i think its very unfair to munaf patel who is a much better bowler than rp singh,ishant and rp singh

  • on August 19, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    At this point of time, Munaf Patel is bowling really well. He was has good contributions for India winning this World Cup. If you want to verify as Eric Simmons , India's bowling coach. People complain that is pace is gone but he does bowl at 140 km cage at times when he mixes his pace. He is best among India's bowlers who bowls close to the stump and he is has a controlled outswinger. He can reverse the old bowl and he can bowl yorkers when he wants to. Fletcher,Dhoni and company made a mistake selecting rusty RP ahead of Munaf.

  • Notredam on August 19, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    Rp singh deserved the chance...3 yrs he has been waiting...hope he does smthng to prove us right..me and msd

  • on August 19, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    The answer is Simple : -1. RP Singh is left handed, 2. He is got more pace than Munaf,3. He did very well when last time he toured here. India missed the variation in first three games and always bowls badly against left hand batsman. If you remember it was the bowling variation brought some success to the Indian bowling in the past. And for English wicket pace is the key. LOS: he was not playing enough cricket in the recent time. But he can get back to his norm. Selectors could have thought may this is the good time to bring back and give a chance to Irfan Pathan, because of the nature of the English wicket which suits swing bowlers.

  • NaniIndCri on August 19, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    Question should be why Sreesanth is in the team after his pathetic bowling performance.

  • mritunjai on August 19, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    to be true, i feel munaf is also injured. That will explain everything.

  • taju123 on August 19, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    our bowling is not so attacking, just medium pace and spin will not threaten the batsman...two good pace is really need for team india....see how our batsman's are afraid of england bowling attack... For the past two three years we dont have a pace bowler who can bowl above 140 KMPh.....

  • Jaggadaaku on August 19, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    MUNAF IS THE SLOWEST PACE BOWLER. THAT IS THE WHY. BUT SOME TIMES SLOW BOWLERS GET MORE WICKETS THAN FAST BOWLERS.

  • on August 19, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    I think question should be why Sreesanth and why not Munaf? RP will at least fulfill the gap left by Zaheer to some degree.

  • on August 19, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    very good selection by MSD. when compare with RP munaf is not great bowler in Test Matches

  • mrgupta on August 19, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    @easymate: This discussion is about Test match not our T20 team.

  • on August 19, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    He may be lack of practice in past few months but he's a very good left arm swing bowler.

  • ven562 on August 19, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    India should have considered another batsman in place of RP.....who can bowl spin......feel that part time spinners are better than so called front line bowlers.

  • Shahnawajhossain on August 19, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    bad decission..............why RP? why not Munaf? this is not a good example by selection body. barun aron may get a chance.

  • on August 19, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    The series was lost, why bother sticking with Sehwag, what was there to prove (other than justify his original selection)? Why not take out Dravid or Laxman (even both) who have been in the squad since Windies and let Mukund and Kohli have some exposure? Why not rest Ishant and let Munaf in? It makes little difference now (especially with all the weather we are expecting here) as to whether it is 4-0, 3-0 or 3-1. It is less likely to be 4-0 as this is one of the flattest pitches in the country. So more likely 3-0.

  • pom_don on August 19, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    I reckon India have a secret camp where they send their players to rest up & eat pies then when the transformation is complete send them back to the squad as unfit unprepared players.....joking apart it really must be very difficult with RP's lack of preparation & match fitness to be expected to come into this poor bowling line up & make inroads into a confident English batting line up. Ishant really is the only bowler (plus the injured Kumar) worthy of a place in a test side Shreesanth is just about passable but does not inspire. It really does speak volumes when you think of England's bowling riches.....Anderson,Tremlett,Broad,Bresnan,Finn,Onions & a good 6 to 8 more worthy contenders around the county circuit!

  • cricfanraj on August 19, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    @easymate.. Buddy this is test cricket and serious cricket. No place of half bowler and half sloggers. Need experts in one area. The line up will not survive for 30 overs on these seaming conditions and it will take 20 days for Irfan and yuvi to get Cook out.

  • chica on August 19, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Only people have has a neck of criticising at alomost evrything which goes wrong say things like this...R.P was a wise decision...it just dint click...but yes sreesanth cud hace been replaced by ojha or munaf

  • whamsis on August 19, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Why so much fuss about RP's selection. Being a left-armer, will he not bring in the much needed variation to the Indian attack? So what if he was a bit off-colour to start with, which Indian bowler wasn't in this series? Wonder why you guys keep butchering a decision only after it has been made, RP was with the team for the last 10 days, I don't remember a single CricInfo piece which advised against his selection for the final test.

  • on August 19, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    I knew that Ravindra Jadeja is not too good for one Day international.

    But we need him for the test match.....

    He can bowl and can toil the blowers by staying in crease for long time..

    If this reaches selection committe i will be very happy..

  • here2rock on August 19, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Sreesanth is too erratic. Ishan is too inconsistent. RP is too rusty. Munaf has no pace or swing. Praveen Kumar is also too slow but a good bowler. India has no spinner to take a bag of wickets! Can it get any worse for India? Indian fans should just switch to IPL for the time being.

  • SatishT2105 on August 19, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Here, we needed some left arm fast bowler with experience and that was the reason the selectors called RP Singh out of the blue in the middle of the Indian Monsoon when every first class cricketer who is a 'Hasbeen' and an 'AlsoRan' is cooling his heels. There are a few young chaps playing in Australia, but the bext thing is to let them be. Calling RPSingh may be a move more out of hope than logic as many pointed out, because he was instrumental and pivotal in India's success in 2007 against England in England and then in the T20 World Cup in South Africa and the victory at WACA against Australia. The fact that people still believe in him is good, but that brings me to my question: When Zaheer didn't tour West Indies, wasn't it the best time to try out R.P.Singh instead of Abhimanyu Mitthun? That is something I won't be able to fathom. :)

  • gandhala on August 19, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    @ "Supporters of: Irfan pathan " He is an Very very ordinary bowler these days ,Dhoni looks at him from a batsmans mind set .The moment Irfan comes to bowl at dhoni ,he decides to hit him out. Remember last year IPL ?And i agree with Dhoni.He has become a hit me bowler. Ajit Agarkar is also one such bowler in Dhoni's eyes.Thats why he is not been picked in national side. Even he is far better to Pathan @Kohli Supporter :When we have Mukund playing better in english conditions ,who is sitting is the bench,you cant have kohli playing .Raina needs more chance he is the guy for future.He needs that confidence from his team.

    @RP playing ahead of Munaf :i completely agree ,when the team is down . you need a guy like RP , he is fantastic bowler. He is a kind of bowler even after bowling 40 overs in a match , you can still see him with a smile that lifts the team, That is what you need when u r 3-0 down and looking out for of sorts.Munaf is reverse of that , you need other 10 to cheer him

  • anand32026 on August 19, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    RP singh is good bowler than munaf...munaf is lucky so he is in squad....He is not good fielder than RP...one additional point for RP is he is left arm....so MSD give him first choice than munaf...Munaf is type of one day match bowler....so u see munaf is in one day match in ODI series............

  • Trushit on August 19, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    it was may b bcoz india felt a need of change in bowling attack... RP is quick and a left arm bowler where as munaf is a medium pace right arm... Thats the only visible reason to me... but Munaf cud have been in for Sreesanth

  • on August 19, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    horrible selection....raina needed to be replaced by makhund

  • Cricket_Pandits on August 19, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    @Venkatesh: We dont have any problem with RP singh playing. No doubts he is a good bowler. But the sort of selection is wrong. He has not played any match even Ranji since Jan. A bowler without practice and already when team confidence is low. I think not a good selection. Remember his bowling pace is generally 140kph but what happened yesterday. only 124 kph.

  • on August 19, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    find new bowling line up get chance varun aron,umesh yadav,sreenath arvind,ashok dinda,unadkat,and any other bowling allrounder

  • on August 19, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    All Thanks to IPL$$$$$$, when country needs everyone is not fit. so pathetic. India doesn't have one single good Fast Bowler, all Indian bowlers can hardly reach 140km. Being fan of India, i am so tired of finding a single fast bowler. When a new bowler join national team may bowl up to 140kmplus but then once become a national player no more fast.I don't know why. Even I could reach 135plus when I was young, I wasn't a professional cricketer..

  • easymate on August 19, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Guys, Try this line up. 1.Sehwag 2. gamphir. 3. cheteshwar Pujara. 4. Rohit sharma. 5. Virat Kohli. 6. Yuvraj 7.Yusuf Pathan 8.Irfan Pathan.9.Dhoni. 10.Ishant sharma. 11. Munaf Patel.

    Irfan + kohli = 3rd seamer.

    Yusuf + Rohit + yuvraj = One spinner.

  • cricketizgood on August 19, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    Anil Kumble was getting more pace then the current bowlers. How could Indian pace attack get any wicket, there is no swing and there is no speed, even a non test playing team can score big against these bowling. I don't understand why Dhoni kept pace attack from both the ends almost until 2 hrs of play. He should have started spinning options after 12 to 15 overs. Any Indian player can spin.

  • on August 19, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    Stop complaining already.. RP was included because a left arm medium pacer was badly needed.. If he had clicked, no one would be complaining.. The choice was a good one..

  • Cricket_Pandits on August 19, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    I cant understand why indian team is taking so blunder decisions of selecting players. Whats the need of playing RP Singh ahead of Munaf. I think indian selectors believe on past performance not on present...

  • on August 19, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    Well, to me - he played because he is a left handed bowler, so in theory will provide variation to pace attack, where all other three bowlers are right handers.. And I totally back that move..

  • on August 19, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Munaf patel was hammered during the previous warm up watch...may be that prompted Dhoni to pick RP Singh ahead of Munaf...

  • SudharsanVM on August 19, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    India want to save praveen and munaf for ODI series atleast. They don't want to risk in them. I think that is the reason that would have made sreesanth and RP to be played. Eventhough they state that praven is injured, But they want him for ODI series.

  • on August 19, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    India should bring Anil Kumble back into their team. I have strong faith that he would be able to generate more pace than their current line up of 'fast' men.

  • on August 19, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    well said Rakesh B Pilkar..

  • here2rock on August 19, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Munaf would not have made the difference. He bowls at Kumble's pace! He is not a pace bowler but a fast spinner. Only Ishant is capable of bowling quick but he is inexperienced and young. He will be the best in business with time. RP Singh is a better bowler than Munaf and needs a longer run.

  • erasmia on August 19, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    All I can say is strange decision a player who was not first choice and not selected for the tour initially is playing and Munaf who is with the team and watching all the matches so closely is sitting on bench.I think 3 defeats cost Indians so much that they are not able to think even.Cool person like MS was also looking he didn't want to play this test,If England get 3 full days to play will be enough to beat India.Whole of India should play for Rain..........

  • on August 19, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    RP singh was an world class bowler. i think he ll proove it again.

  • spiritwithin on August 19, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    @Elahi1986,what da performance in the world cup has to do with the test series?what d u mean by ''now we all know how did srilanka lost their world cup final'',a team played very well in an odi tournament(WC) and won that event,b4 that they lost a hard fought odi series in SA 2-3 and won asia cup in SL,infact india beat SL in odi most of the time prior to the WC,SL lost their last four of the five ODI series/event to india in SL and they were thrashed 6-1 and 4-1 in their last two odi series in india,so now you u know y SL lost the WC final to india.and most importantly no team is judged by one series,india was in the top3 test teams for the last 5years unlike SL,even after losing so badly india is still at no.2 and that shows how consistent india were for most time unlike SL who'r at no.4 and far away from top3 in rating points which shows how pathetic SL r performing,d u know when was da last time SL won a test series abroad?its in 1999/2000,SL won just 5 test away till now,shame

  • clarencejs on August 19, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    where is the 18 year old tera-away bowler from rajasthan who blew away hyderabad a few months ago? this chap would be better than RP coming out of the cold storage.

  • on August 19, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    R.P Singh is serving as a catalytic agent to help England beat INdia 4-0. All the best to Dhoni and BCCI.

  • on August 19, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    indian bolwers are not as fit as english bowlers. indian bowlers need to play more domestic cricket around the world so they can get use to the conditions and toughen up.

  • nikkam on August 19, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    i think the choice of RP singh was not to play competitive cricket....but to avoid burnout of PK who has bowled really well on this tour for less rewards... in a way RP can also get matchfit for the ODI...in fact india is the only team that uses test matches to get the players matchfit!!! it was quite a listless show by him however, he could have trained better if there was a hint he was the second choice...hope england bats really well and scores 700 such that it can avoid tiring the indian bowlers in the second innings while the batsmen struggle to bat out 90 overs...i think the rain can wash out indias pains..we can look at ODI series afresh

  • Leggie on August 19, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    Let's not get carried away criticizing everything that Team India does just because we're performing badly. This Indian attack was looking very one dimensional with Ishant / Sreesanth & PK all being right arm medium-fast bowlers. The only "variety" that could possibly be brought in was bringing in a left arm variety in the same category. Lets face it.. Whoever the selectors brought in would not had first class match practice with India not playing first class matches at this time of the year. Of the other choices they had - Irfan has not played for over an year and Unandkat seemed too soft and too gentle. Compare this with RP who had a fairly decent IPL, bowled at a decent pace and had a prior English experience. So in more ways than one, RP was a natural choice for the "left arm" seamer that the Indian team was looking for.

  • on August 19, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    Even my 12 year old son said they should play Munaf instead of RP or even Sreesanth!! Y did Fletcher & Dhoni have to choose RP?? Come on guys....at least show the nation that you are playing for pride instead of just turning up because there's a game to be played!!! Pathetic display from Team India!!

  • on August 19, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    There are comments saying if RP Singh had taken 2-3 wickets, the story would have been different. That is a wrong way of looking at it. It is always easier to talk from hindsight.

    The important point is that there does not seem to be a logical, objective thought process behind the selections. Another question which comes to mind is why not Virat Kohli instead of Raina.

    Raina has looked out of sorts in all overseas tours (except some incosequential knocks when the situation had helped him). If not Badri (supposedly old by Indan standards!) why is Kohli not given a chance instead of Raina atleast for the final test when the series is lost and the outcome is almost inconsequential.

  • on August 19, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    Guys don't be so rude at the Indian team, its a total let down by the batters, bowlers and fielders, not because of talent, sure something wrong in the attitude of the payers. In last two years we actually saw how the indian team bouncing back after defeat's in first test of the series, that didn't happen here because of injuries to key players zaheer, harbajan and gautam in first two test that depleted the team, with tendulkar not at his best and dhoni always struggling in this kind of conditions with both batting and keeping the moral of the team has got a beating, which the england batters and bowlers utilized wisely. A lesson learned nevertheless by a humiliating series defeat in the hands of english who replaced us in the top.

  • on August 19, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    why they are not considering irfan pathan or unakdat..why RP ahead of munaf..??

  • on August 19, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    Nuts Nuts and going Nuts.Simply inexplicable why RP and Sreesanth are playing in the Indian XI. Imagine this team without Dravid,Laxman and Tendulkar in the near future. You might even see the likes of Shikar Dhawan, Saurab Tiwary or even Abhishek Nayar playing in the Test team. Gone are the days when you earn your test cap. Players like Rajender singh Goel and Raghuram Bhat found it so hard to earn place in the test team. So did Brijesh Patel & T.E.Srinivasan.

  • on August 19, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    Its simple. India needs a left arm Pace bowler. RP was the right choice but match practice was always going to be a problem.

  • rustyryan on August 19, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Desperate times need desperate measures. Indian think tank is out of ideas. May be India should appoint Ganguly as a consultant, just like Justin Langer for Aussies. You gotta pity RP Singh. Now after this test, this guy would be forgotten just like Chawla or Murali karthik and many other bowlers who have come and gone like a dust. Really they should have nurtured Irfan to become a better all rounder. I'm sure he would have scored more than Raina and also would have bowled lot better in these conditions. Where are your Irfan? Do something and comeback.

  • Thilakh on August 19, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    My only question is why the selectors selected Munaf Patel in the 15-men test team squad if the captain/coach of the Indian team are not interested in putting him in the final playing 11-men test team? RP Singh was not present in the initial 15-men tst squad. So, the normal logic is that Munaf Patel would have got selected over RP Singh. Has Munaf Patel come to England for a vacation or sightseeing? As @dasgar said, Indian selectors are now acting like the Australian selectors playing musical chairs (for spin bowlers in Australian team and for fast bowlers In Indian team).....

  • on August 19, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Just one question: Where is Irfan Pathan? If India are taking so desperate measures like calling on RP Singh, why not give him a chance? Is he that bad?

  • on August 19, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    varun arron better than rp singh....

  • on August 19, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Why don't they pick Irfan Pathan atleast to keep him as a reserved bowler for the series...come on guys he has proved that,he is able to swing the ball,that too particularly in England where it assists pace and swing,I am sure he can succeed and regain his confidence and he is also worthy of a batsman too

  • on August 19, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    RP Singh is not eligible for Test matches .. He 's good for ODI's . irfan should have picked for oval test in place of seesanth . irfan should be given an opportunity to play for ODI's ..

  • on August 19, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    IF RP had taken 2-3 wkts, this article would have been a different story!

  • nzcricket174 on August 19, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    RP Singh would once be bowling 88+mph consistently. Yesterday was a joke.

  • 193leeds on August 19, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    Indian selectors did not show faith in young indan pace bowlers except Praveen,Sreesanth and Ishant.

  • wolf777 on August 19, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    Selectors will give new fast bowlers chance on dead Indian tracks.

  • mohsin9975 on August 19, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    Before the series i thought england will win 2-1 or if india play out of their skin 1-1. Come on fellow indian fans, accept it england r too much even for full strength batting lineup at home. Never thought it wud b 3-0 or possibly 4-0 the way our players nd team management is trying their best to help england complete the white wash. Pathetic selection nd so pathetic performance

  • on August 19, 2011, 2:31 GMT

    Time to go Duncan.... With Munaf in reserve why bowl RP???

  • on August 19, 2011, 2:17 GMT

    agree with @dasgar . indian pace attack is like aus spin attack, specially the pace at which the bowlers deliver.

  • silent_death on August 19, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    India better pray for more rain for the balance of this test. This present attack is impotent.If we get sunshine tomorrow England should bat day2 and day 3.The remaining two days will be more than enough to bowl India out twice.Cook 300 n.o.

  • Dashgar on August 19, 2011, 1:37 GMT

    Indian pace bowling is quickly looking like Australian spin bowling.

  • Alexk400 on August 19, 2011, 1:03 GMT

    I have been watching RP singh from beginning. He is a bowler who gets lucky wickets when batsman throw their wickets. he is not going to get any wicket on his own. He is ideal for ODI where batsman comes after him and throw their wickets. He is absolutely useless in TESTS. India really lacks quality bowlers. Where is deepak chahar? is he slower than RP singh?. India lost the series mainly lack of bowlers and bad selection and not being pro active.

  • aracer on August 19, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    @Jay Ajit - you're being under-ambitious. Why not ask RP and Sreesanth to bowl 150+? That would surely bother the England batsmen. I'm sure it can't be that hard for them - after all, RP managed one ball at 134kph and Sreesanth one at 137 - not too big a step up from there to bowl properly fast if they tried a bit harder.

  • on August 19, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    I actually think this was a good selection. . WHAT ISNT GOOD is the TIMING?? of all the current crop of Indian bowlers RP Singh is probably one a very few with actual success in England. He was fitter and stronger then (as he had played in England in the county) . . . What is absolutely clear is that players in the domestic comps in India DO NOT have any fitness regime. . . and thus when injuries occur to the main stayers like Zaheer. . .the Indian selection committee is forced to select players that are totally unprepared. RP is a great propect who has played well in England in past times, but this is not a question of ability on the part of the player IT IS a failure of team management period.

  • Humdingers on August 19, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    I would have rather seen Ohja instead of Sreeshanth. Go in with two spinners - what else have India got to loose? Fletcher is fast going down the Chappel track... trying to make the team into something it's not. Play to it's strengths - you are not going to find 6' 8" 140KPH bowlers in India!

  • TRAM on August 19, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    Why is this article written AFTER RP failed on the first day? Why not when he was selected as Zaheer's replacement. Anyone can write postmortem analysis on cricket.

  • mensan on August 19, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    Certainly poor decision by the indian team management to play RP Singh ahead of Munaf. Possibly just to add left hand variety but what use of veriety if the bowler is not fully match fit or does not have any recent first class matches under his belt?? Munaf has bowled well in recent time and should have been given the chance.

  • on August 18, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    Nothing wrong with RP - WHAT IS WRONG THOUGH is that selection committee of Team India which is notorious for not letting players settle in. Time and again they have proved to have disasterous selection strategies that affect the team and the individual players who get pushed in the deep end in pressure situations or face-saving situations and expected to perform when even seasoned player with recent experience fail. Point in case - RP Singh, Pujara, Murali Vijay to name a few - the names that come and go. What is unique about them? They are victims of a selection board that is biased and based on favouritism - like it or not. When there is no other choice they get selected as a deperate measure. Sad state of affairs.

  • mensan on August 18, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    I would praise ECB. Well done for making BETTER pitches to get the home advantage. I remember when New Zealand shredded India to pieces in the fateful home series of 2002-03 by making seaming wickets. NZ won both tests (with India making 161, 121, 99 and 154 in the four innings) and one dayers 5-2. BCCI rebuked NZC and threatened of dire consequences. By the time India landed again in NZ after a 6 year absence, NZC had accepted BCCI bullying position in world cricket. They "chose" not to make seaming pitches this time just to please BCCI. The result was NZ tamely losing the 3-test series 1-0 and one day series 3-1 on subcontinent like pitches. ECB deserves credit for not succombing to the bullying BCCI (and so called huge TV market!!) and making pitches which suited the home side more.

  • AussiDesi on August 18, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    It is very painful to watch India go thru motions in this series, IPL has spoiled Indian players including players like Sachin, Sehwag and Dhoni. They absolutely don't seem to have any incentive or motivation to play well and win. They were however smart enough to know World Cup win would elevate their market value but here they don't see any. Very disappointing to Indian fans and probably for England fans as well, I bet they wished for a better fighting team as well.

  • Ramnagars on August 18, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    It is easy to say what Indian team should have done in the series after all these defeats, one can't change the past so team India should look at the future......one basic thing they should do is find an all rounder.I think they should get in Irfan Pathan and give him some confidence ...it's pity that he is not getting chance to prove himself....

  • Mehdi_shah on August 18, 2011, 23:23 GMT

    I blame politics, there has to be some amazing bowlers out of the 1 million who play cricket

  • on August 18, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    RP does not show intensity when running in to bowl. But he has a nice action and can produce unplayable deliveries once in a while. Dhoni should give him 4 over spells and have him bowl 140+ as he did in IPL. Sreesanth also should be given short spells and asked to bowl 140+ and not try to imitate Zaheer or PK. Only Ishant seems to be running in hard. But his wrist position doesn't seem to be as good. Ojha would have been ideal pick to contain the runs while the 3 fast bowlers can be rotated from one end. Mishra seemed to have been selected for his better batting skills. It must have been a toss-up between Munaf and RP. Munaf got his chance in WI and practice matches.

  • demon_bowler on August 18, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    I suppose it's because RP Singh is a left-arm seamer, i.e. the kind of bowler who has troubled Andrew Strauss recently. But he'll never trouble anyone at that pace!

  • on August 18, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    India wins only when everyone has left the stadium

  • CricFan78 on August 18, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Why do people keep crying for Irfan? He was injured last season and hasnt played a first class match for more than year now.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 18, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    @Phillip Katon and AndyZaltsmanns Hair. The initial hype over Ifran is clearly still having an effect. He's a mediocre bowler, just like Sreesanth and RP Singh. He didn't look very quick in the IPL's and his record when you exclude Bangladesh and Zim is quite poor.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 18, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    @Sreejith Pattathanam. Ifran Pathan is mediocre really. If you exclude his stats vs. Bangladesh and Zim, you will see that he really is poor. Its time to move on. RP Singh is a lefty, its called variation and Ind are fooling themselves if they think Munaf would have made much of a difference.

  • hvijay.1985 on August 18, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    Why is India playing with such low intensity? This is definitely not the team that won the world cup. The best that can happen is for it to rain all 5 days and give them a draw, I don't think even a draw is possible if they play all 5 days.

  • on August 18, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    irfan pathan was a better choice abetter batsman they have ruined his career best allrounder we had after kapildev and much equipped batsman under these condtions hope justice is done to him

  • on August 18, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    RP Singh is so influential in Indian Team Especially with Dhoni...He was the one who was with Dhoni when he bought is Hummer and drove all the way from Delhi to Jharkhand...And everybody knows his Friendship with one of the Ambani's...Also Just wondering the country having I billion people dont have enough 11 members to replace these so caled permanent players...:)

  • batnpad on August 18, 2011, 22:19 GMT

    @ montys_muse: If Munaf looked out of sorts in Windies, why was he selected for the England test tour? I agree to your first part of the post.

  • batnpad on August 18, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    A world cup winning team member can not be automatically fit into a test team. But we 've heard explanations that Munaf is not fit to play test games and we clearly saw that he stuggled in the Carribean. Question is why was he part of the touring party if he was not expected to play and if was, on what logic RP.Singh who barely played test cricket this year got ahead of him? Don't know if we ever will get an answer?

  • JohnnyRook on August 18, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    I know why Indian fast bowlers are such scatterguns. Because so are the selectors. Why was Munaf in the squad if India wanted to play RP Singh ahead of him in the 11. Personally I think Munaf is a seriously underrated bowler. He is a great line and length bowler who makes the batsman play the ball a lot more than Sreesanth or RP Singh or Ishant Sharma for that matter. I would any day pick a consistent and disciplined bowler ahead of a prodigous swinger of the ball bowling a yard outside the offstump.

  • Patchmaster on August 18, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    RP wouldn't get picked in any ENG county side - he's overweight and harmless to any half decent batsman. Strauss and Cook must have been giggling all the way to the wicket when they realised RP was playing.

  • on August 18, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    It's very simple stupid. RP is the close buddy of MSD. There's no other merit in him. And oh the author of this column do not know that the criteria these days to qualify to be in Indian Test Team is to perform better in T20 IPL. That's why people are pitching for likes of Rahul Sharma etc.

  • nirmaan on August 18, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    I think RP singh is all right ..but why the hell we have sreesanth in our team ...he is no good at all...they just replaced parveen kumar with RP singh ..they should have replaced RP with Sreesanth ...And india s naver bn dependant on their bowling department....cuz our bowling s never bn our strenght ....we hav bn winning cuz of our batting...but in England our batting has failed n thats why we lost three matches in a row n plus the no.1 ranking..and the biggest failure are Sachin,laxman, raina,and sehwag( in 3rd test).

  • Elahi1986 on August 18, 2011, 21:54 GMT

    what a shame for indian cricket, atleast srilankan drawn the other two test matches but india cant even compare with them now we all know how did srilanka lost their world cup final....what a shame please guys dnt compare srilanka with them....bocoz we are lankan lions....bfr match strt everyone say tht sl is not a good team but now indians will not suit tht no1 position hehehe...wht a shame....dhoni its better for u go and play kabadii....

  • mannan_ma on August 18, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    the writer got it right. but can dhoni realize it?what dhoni is doing to munaf now is exactly what he did to kaif after he was the only century maker in the windies a couple of years back. munaf's contribution to world cup victory is second to none.and yet he is warming the benches.he should have been playing in the english conditions and that would have done a world of good to his confidence. if dhoni wanted a left armer to replace zaheer then he should have gone for a class performer like irfan pathan who is a little low on confidence.a few overs in these overcast conditions would have put irfan back on the track. it will be travesty of justice if irfan and munaf are put to test in the indian conditions on dead pitches while praveen kumar and sreesanth got to play in england.anybody(dhoni) listening?time pays back in its own currency.its great leveller.

  • Collegefastbowler on August 18, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    The main reasons for the poor performance of the current Indian cricket team are poor selection and insufficient preparation. For some reason the selectors are relying on old workhorses or medium pace bowlers who barely hit 135 kmph instead of trying out some of the younger bowlers like Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Deepak Chahar and others who are capable of bowling 140+. Line and length is all fine but you do need bowlers with aggression and raw pace who can unsettle the opposition and create openings for the other bowlers to exploit. The choice of RP Singh is baffling - here is one bowler who has barely played any recent Test level cricket and he is pitchforked into the team to replace Khan only on the strength of his performances during the last tour. The selectors need to be more open to encouraging younger talent and need to balance the team. The lure of IPL money also has meant less time spent preparing for Test series. It should not be all about the money.

  • on August 18, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    Unadkat or RP Singh ... Hmm

    The point is India doesnt have bowlers - period.

    As of now, the three that impress me as belonging at the test level are Zaheer, Ishanth and PK. Sreesanth, RP, Munaf etc are first class level bowlers not test. Sreesanth used to be but has dipped. Spinners - we have none at the test level.

    Now the job for the Indian selectors is to find a fourth young fast bowler (no med pace thank you), a high quality spinner (not one-day variety) and an all rounder (a la the original Irfan).

    Until they shore up their bowling, they will struggle to win test matches anywhere let alone away.

  • hhillbumper on August 18, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    this series would be so much better if we just played 20-20.test cricket is boring watching India lose over five days when they could do it so much quicker.Can they bat long enough? Feel sorry for RP Singh though.They should have played this series in India,not let England play their best team and any toher excuse.Still we would be No1. Does India have any younger batsmen? I don't mean Raina who is obviously holding down his place as a bet.Long live the IPL

  • somu1984 on August 18, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    Certainly Munaf deserved to be in the playing XI ahead of RP. According to me when you travel to places like England, NZ where the ball tends to swing and seam, you need bowlers who can not only bowl swinging deliveries but also at a great speed. PK was a perfect bowler in these conditions but was largely ineffective due to lack of pace. That's why we have lost the matches from winning position. Forget about bowling, look at our batsmen who have never looked to occupy the crease & score runs. We failed to produce score beyond 300. Don't expect something extravagant from bowlers unless batsmen put some runs on the board.

  • on August 18, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    i cant belive... why irfan is not selecting?.... wht happened for irfan...... nobody support him....is any politics going around this?

  • NewYorkCricket on August 18, 2011, 21:05 GMT

    If RP Singh is not ready, then he should have announced that and should not have been in the team. If players don't have the right attitude to play test cricket please don't show up to play test cricket. IPL is there to take care of you. No disrespect to anybody who chooses to do so. Ashish Nehra wanted to play test cricket? why is he not in the team. He is a wicket taking bowler, probably a much better one.

  • montys_muse on August 18, 2011, 20:54 GMT

    Just because Munaf played in the World cup doesnt guarantee that he is a better test bowler. He is making his come back into the test side after 2 years and looked out of sorts against West Indies.

  • sunildjoshi on August 18, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Munaf should have even tried before Sreesanth..Not sure if there is any prejuadice against Munaf by MS and newbie Fletcher

  • Nampally on August 18, 2011, 20:38 GMT

    The selection of RP Singh over Munaf clearly shows poor judgement of Dhoni & Fletcher. Furthermore Dhoni's lack of intensity presents a poor leadership. He does not go for a win as he did in WI tour as well. It is very difficult for anyone coming from India to go straingt into XI with no experience of the English conditions as proven by Sehwag - with a pair in the last test & other good players too. Ashwin is a better off spinner than Harbhajan yet Dhoni dropped him consistently.Similarly Kohli is a better batsmen than Raina but gets dropped regularly. So India is playing with their star pace bowlers - Zaheer & Kumar - both missing due to injuries. If the Indian batting shows up the best India can still win. Admittedly, India has an injury problem but it does not mean that they play with no intensity on the v. first session of a test match.India need to" believe in themselves & their capability & show some gumption".Confidence is half the battle & Dhoni needs to show Leadership.

  • Ahwarraich on August 18, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    I think cricinfo has gone overboard with this article, now that India has lost 3 tests they are criticizing everything, Imagine if this was the first day of first test and same score would have been on the board then they would have not pointed out RP Singh, they would have instead gone with something like "Rain spoiled number one team's chances of getting wickets and we are in for a thrilling contest etc" but now as India as has lost so badly, it is very easy for everyone to criticize. Fair enough RP was not playing recently but has Munaf done wonders ???? And all the people who are criticizing this decision have they ever wondered that MSD and Fletcher might have had some thought behind this decision ? I am sick and tired of the typical behavior by India fans, few weeks ago they were lashing out dooms day predictions for England ( even if India played their best, England had huge edge in home conditions) and now that they've lost they think every thing is wrong with Indian cricket

  • on August 18, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    irfan pathan was the right choice. but i think as long as dhoni is captaining maybe he cant find the place in indian team. no doubt he is better in this swinging english conditions and he even proved it. just ask wasim akram he will tell irfan was his choice. also india would have strengthen the batting line up. am little bit scared of this indian selectors.

  • m_ilind on August 18, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    Senior players in Indian team should be actively looking for talent much like Imran did for Pak, in the form of batsmen and bowlers. It's a shame that no word is mentioned by our so called senior players as to who they think are promising players for the future!

  • ahweak on August 18, 2011, 20:23 GMT

    Dhoni owns a part of the sports management company that represents RP.

  • serious-am-i on August 18, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    ok RP singh taken in for kumar, why do u continue with sreesanth ? Why not Munaf ?

  • loyalIndianfan on August 18, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    Its like England picking Steve Harmison out of the blue! It shows the difference between a well organized team and a DESPERATE one!

  • bumsonseats on August 18, 2011, 20:17 GMT

    at the start of the test series i thought munaf patel would be a cert for selection and as the 4th test starts still wonder why hes not selected. i think hes on a par with mohammad asif, with all his skills. i would put him ahead of all the others except zaheer khan. poor selection policy. dpk

  • on August 18, 2011, 20:13 GMT

    I have never heard of more pathetic and dismal picture of an officially world #2 test team. What is wrong with this scenario? Reporters, bloggers, commentators, pundits and novices (like myself) are all unanimous in having given up on India in this Test match. If one watched the live telecast, it seemed as if Team India has deserted themselves. BCCI is still intact. It has not taken any blame. Shastri, Gavaskar are still praising BCCI. They have proven that "You can fool all the people all the time". Bloggers, Guru's, are all blaming the Team players, nobody is laying the blame on the managers (BCCI). What is wrong with this scenario?. Country is frustrated and venting their Cricket failure anger by siding with Anna Hazare in his Crusade against Corruption. Indian Cricket's problem is BCCI. Nobody would be happier with Anna's campaign than BCCI. Focus has shifted, frustration would be taken out at Ram Lilla Maidan and Oval ground possible debacle would become a secondary subject.

  • Spikelet on August 18, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    Wow, unbelievable selection. Fletcher is doing such a good job. In a couple of series you could be behind Bangladesh never mind Sri Lanka.

  • LordOfCric on August 18, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    Why do i feel like Munaf Patel wrote this article as third person perspective? Every bit of writing in this article is more than true. I don't get it is it really the management of WC winner and a team who was #. 1 in rankings making such decisions.

  • Kaushal_b on August 18, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    The very fact that he feels that playing in the IPL and playing a few one days games is enough to make him match fit for test matches just shows what's wrong with Indian cricket. Everyone keeps saying that all these Indian players are from middle class families and you should not blame them for wanting to make money....that's fair enough. But just remember that these very players got huge bonuses after winning the world cup (Rs. 1 crore each, which by any yardstick, is a really huge amount). I guess that's not enough anymore for these so called "middle class" cricketers.

  • Sharjil.k on August 18, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    because Wasim Akram said so

  • Unmesh_cric on August 18, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    This article asks the question "why RP ahead of Munaf?". I have the answer: RP is Dhoni's close friend, while Munaf is not. "Of course" Dhoni will come up with some explanation..."we needed a left arm bowler.. blah blah blah". But everybody knows that RP's inclusion is not justified ahead of Munaf. Munaf can bowl in the channel outside off and make batsmen play. That's all you need to do in England since the ball would do the rest in helpful conditions. Don't get me wrong...I like RP and I hope he gets a five wicket haul...but given the cirumstances his inclusion is not justified. Munaf really got a bad deal. Anyways, all the best India!!!

  • TestIP on August 18, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    It is the stupidity of the INDIAN selection panel that cost them to lose to ENGLAND. Overall England team is a joke, it is just INDIA picked the wrong bowling line up and if they continue at this rate to hide their best it will be a matter of time before the sink to the bottom. IRFAN, ZAHEER, SHARMA, KUMAR, PATEL and NERHA should be the front of the line. Instead they keep pushing waste like RP singh, Sreesanth and other bowlers who are making no impact on any low class batsman...this is a joke!

  • on August 18, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    it's an open secret that MSD supports RP, no doubt better bowlers like Munaf and Irfan not playing. Specially Munaf since he was selected in the squad ahead of RP.

  • on August 18, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    Irfan WAS/ IS right for English conditions. RP has clearly spent to much time on the sofa eating pies, so is a strange choice. Also, Ohja is superior to Mishra.

  • on August 18, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    munaf should have been in and would have made differant. match fit coz u played IPL ages ago he hehe u having a laugh...india cricket in crisis.

  • Noboundary on August 18, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    Sreesanth's continued presence baffles me... he is ineffective, expensive and is simply canon fodder for opposition batsmen. And an attitude on top of all this!

  • magzrossman on August 18, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    Absolutely perplexing!! Boggling to the mind..the only thing that comes to me is the surprise element - where Fletcher and Dhoni may have thought that England would not have watched any tape of RPSingh so he'd surprise them. Obviously that did not work given the showing pre-lunch....

  • Baundele on August 18, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    Criticizing RP Singh or his selection in this way is unfair. He bowled pretty well on a flat pitch except his first one or two overs. Overcast condition does not always guarantee early wickets. England is batting after winning the toss for some good reason. Neither the recently successful Ishant nor Sreesanth did better than RP. Munaf is a very good limited overs bowlers. But he was a superflop even against the West Indians, you can not assume that he would have done wonders against this inform England line up.

  • Rahulbose on August 18, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    If you are in the squad you should be prepared to play. What is all this talk about not being ready and fit. When you were not even playing in the last test then you have time to work on your fitness and getting ready for when your number is called.

  • on August 18, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    May be Dhoni & Flecther wanted a left arm bowler for a variety in the pace attack & hoping Strauss or other left handers may struggle against a left arm bowler. But its really crazy. Why the hell a player like Munaf is wasted by keeping him in the bench after having 2 warm up games & fully fit.

  • shrastogi on August 18, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    I think RP Singh is played more in hope than in conviction. For once I would have agreed to Munaf Patel in the side though he also hasnt shown any form in practice game or at the last test against WI.

  • on August 18, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    not getting any idea or logic behind not picking up Munaf in a single test?

  • ushakiran on August 18, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    becoz mr.msd like him so much.he doesn't mind even he was out of cricket abt 10 years.this what msd doing to india with his captaincy.if luck favors him he can win matches.otherwise this is happened to us.

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on August 18, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    Where is the legendary Irfan "2 million IPL dollars" Pathan?? His ability to bowl in the high 90mph range is second to none. He swings it like Tarzan, and has the meanest bouncer this side of a NY night club. Coupled with the fact that he is India's 3rd best batsman and an unbelievable fielder, only raises the question; Irfan where fore art thou? Some whisper it in the back streets of Delhi that Irfan has now added a yard of pace, if that was even possible, and bats with a strike rate of over 600...

  • brat7705 on August 18, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    Is it just me or did RP singh put on a few pounds?

  • CricFan78 on August 18, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    I would actually ask why Sree was not dropped in favor of Munaf. He has proven to be ineffective and expensive for the series. May be indian management wanted variety and they went for RP.

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  • CricFan78 on August 18, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    I would actually ask why Sree was not dropped in favor of Munaf. He has proven to be ineffective and expensive for the series. May be indian management wanted variety and they went for RP.

  • brat7705 on August 18, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    Is it just me or did RP singh put on a few pounds?

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on August 18, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    Where is the legendary Irfan "2 million IPL dollars" Pathan?? His ability to bowl in the high 90mph range is second to none. He swings it like Tarzan, and has the meanest bouncer this side of a NY night club. Coupled with the fact that he is India's 3rd best batsman and an unbelievable fielder, only raises the question; Irfan where fore art thou? Some whisper it in the back streets of Delhi that Irfan has now added a yard of pace, if that was even possible, and bats with a strike rate of over 600...

  • ushakiran on August 18, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    becoz mr.msd like him so much.he doesn't mind even he was out of cricket abt 10 years.this what msd doing to india with his captaincy.if luck favors him he can win matches.otherwise this is happened to us.

  • on August 18, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    not getting any idea or logic behind not picking up Munaf in a single test?

  • shrastogi on August 18, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    I think RP Singh is played more in hope than in conviction. For once I would have agreed to Munaf Patel in the side though he also hasnt shown any form in practice game or at the last test against WI.

  • on August 18, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    May be Dhoni & Flecther wanted a left arm bowler for a variety in the pace attack & hoping Strauss or other left handers may struggle against a left arm bowler. But its really crazy. Why the hell a player like Munaf is wasted by keeping him in the bench after having 2 warm up games & fully fit.

  • Rahulbose on August 18, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    If you are in the squad you should be prepared to play. What is all this talk about not being ready and fit. When you were not even playing in the last test then you have time to work on your fitness and getting ready for when your number is called.

  • Baundele on August 18, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    Criticizing RP Singh or his selection in this way is unfair. He bowled pretty well on a flat pitch except his first one or two overs. Overcast condition does not always guarantee early wickets. England is batting after winning the toss for some good reason. Neither the recently successful Ishant nor Sreesanth did better than RP. Munaf is a very good limited overs bowlers. But he was a superflop even against the West Indians, you can not assume that he would have done wonders against this inform England line up.

  • magzrossman on August 18, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    Absolutely perplexing!! Boggling to the mind..the only thing that comes to me is the surprise element - where Fletcher and Dhoni may have thought that England would not have watched any tape of RPSingh so he'd surprise them. Obviously that did not work given the showing pre-lunch....