India tour of England 2014 June 25, 2014

Dravid hopes warm-up games don't lack intensity

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Dravid: Hope warm-ups don't lack intensity

Rahul Dravid, the former India captain, hopes the two warm-up games on India's tour to England will not lack intensity, as has been the case on previous tours. India, who are scheduled to play five Tests against England, play the first of their two warm-up games on Thursday, a three-day match in Leicester.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Dravid said, "When I first started playing, county or first-class teams would put out their best XIs against international teams. That has changed a lot because towards the end of my career, you would almost see second XIs playing against you and that would bring down the intensity of the competition. I hope that doesn't happen."

On their tour of England in 2011, when India were whitewashed 0-4, the visitors played just one warm-up match against Somerset before the first Test and a second warm-up game against Northamptonshire was held after the first two Tests. This year's schedule has been structured differently, with two warm-up games leading into the series but none between the five Tests.

Dravid said these matches will be useful as "a lot of India's young players haven't been on a full tour to England before and haven't played a lot of Test cricket for while now. So just to get into the groove of things, for the bowlers to bowl some long spells, get that 20-over workload in a day, for a batsman to spend a couple of sessions, it will be a really useful exercise."

He was also of the view that the experience of having been on previous 'A' tours to England would be "helpful". India A toured England and Scotland in June-July 2010, and played three- and four-day games against Yorkshire and West Indies A and limited-overs matches against West Indies A, Scotland and England Lions. Of the current Indian side, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha and Ajinkya Rahane had played for India A on that tour.

'It's just nice to get used to the conditions," Dravid said. "[For] someone like an Ishant Sharma, who's played a few IPL games but hasn't played a lot other than that, it will be nice for him to have one or two long bowls in these games."

India have taken the unprecedented step of naming an 18-man squad for the tour, which might make it harder for the management to give every player a go before the Tests. Dravid chuckled at the thought of "fitting 18 guys into a very small dressing room at Leicester!" but said the management would look to try "different combinations" in the two games.

"There are two ways they can go, which is bowling three seamers and one spinner in one combination and actually going with two seamers and two spinners in another," Dravid said. "Maybe two games gives them the opportunity to try out both combinations and see which is the good one."

Having not played any competitive cricket since the IPL, the likes of Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay and MS Dhoni will be keen to get some invaluable match practice ahead of the Tests. Dravid expected the Test certainties to take up most of the spots in warm-ups: "You generally know nine of your players, so you generally like to give them as much batting time as possible. You can rotate the bowlers a little bit more, the batsmen like to bat a lot before a series starts."

Having toured England four times and enjoyed a great amount of success there, Dravid said the tour games could "really get you into the tour". "I really enjoyed them, because they are nice small cities and towns where you really get to chill out and relax at the end of the day. I really looked forward to some of these games."

With nearly 20 days in England and the opportunity to play two warm-up games, India should ideally be better prepared for the Tests than their recent overseas tours. Dravid, however, added a note of caution: "They are (warm-up games) important, it doesn't guarantee you success in the Test matches or the other way around if you don't do well in these games."

Gaurav Kalra is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    The Indian bowlers let you down, Dravid. And, many of us among the Indian fans. The weather joined hands in that let-own. IF intensity was there, I would say that intensity without direction will lead only to frenetic chaos. What a shame!

  • POSTED BY Ascharya on | June 28, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    @ProdigyA

    SL have won Tests in England before, but not Test series. This was their first MULTI-TEST series win in England. They won the one off Test in 1998 but one Test is not a series. If the 1998 Test is counted as a 'series' they've won two Test series in England :D

    Good luck, India :)

  • POSTED BY artificial.intelligence on | June 28, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    why is one of india's best bowlers mohit sharma not in the test squad...his impeccable line and length is made for the longer format

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | June 27, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    @ProdigyA: As long as Srinivasan is in power as the BCCI chief, Dhoni will remain the captain. Also Dhoni's policy is to select his own Favourite XI which he will play consistently- a he did in NZ & SA. Dhoni needs to change this approach. Neither India nor England are used to playing 5 Test matches in such a short span of time & continuously too! Injuries may become a factor! Dhoni will have to rotate his XI especially the pace bowlers to avoid injuries. It also ensures fresh legs for each test. Dhoni & the Selectors clearly ignored this aspect in selection of 18. Kumar & Shami need a break after 3 Tests. Yadev & Mohit or Sandeep Sharma would have been ideal alternates. While England can bring in new guys overnight, India cannot. Dhoni needs to rotate bowlers in XI to get high performance from fresh legs. Are the reserve Pace bowlers good to be in Dhoni's XI? Will Dhoni persist with same pacers for 5 Tests or rotate?

  • POSTED BY chotteguru on | June 27, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    Yes "ProdigyA," Dhoni's suitability both as player and captain has been questioned. However, here is another opportunity for the younger players to rise to the occasion and show not just their cricketing skill but their temperament. As "Statistic Rocks" has pointed out the Lankans - a lot of them young too - showed patience, determination and resolve which led them to victory.

    If the Indian players stop showing off (this is not the IPL), forget their star status at home, concentrate on the task at hand and work as a team, they can win convincingly here in England, despite their "weak" bowling attack.

  • POSTED BY cricketpurist on | June 27, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    Pujara is the only hope in this Indian line up may be a little bit of hope on Gambhir. If " Test cricket" is a game which separates Men from boys where are the Men? its all boys out there in indian team who are only going to rock off the field.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | June 26, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    Many Indian Fans have negative attacks on the Indian team based on Coach Fletcher's comments of inexperienced Indian team. This team may be inexperienced but it is FIT, has plenty of talented guys both in batting & bowling. This combined with an England team which has a group of Old & New players, I expect even advantages to either team. England will rely heavily on Cook & Bell in batting + Broad, Anderson & Plunkett in bowling. The other half of the England team has Ali- a promising all rounder + Balance & Robson- 2 batsmen in-form. India counters with a well established middle order of Pujara, Kohli, Rohit & Dhoni + Dhawan, Gambhir/Vijay as the opener. If the Indian openers give India a good start, this team is capable of scoring over 400. In Bowling India has Kumar- a fine swing bowler, Shami & Pandey/Aaron/Ishant in pace with Jadeja & Ashwin in spin. Because India has gelled as a TEAM, they have better Odds of winning. So Indian FANS, even without Yadev & uthappa it is a good TEAM!

  • POSTED BY JRP100 on | June 26, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    one thing I'm hoping is that ishwar pandey doesn't get picked.. India can play ishant sharma if they want given he performed well in NZ, but even if pandey takes 3 or 4 wickets in the warm up matches i hope he doesnt get picked. He bowls barely 80 mph and from what i saw in ipl his outswinger is his only real weapon (and at 80mph the english batsmen wont even flinch). I hope bhuvi performs well because good swing bowling from him along with shami (if he gets his lines right) is the only chance india have of winning a test. Rahane should be an automatic selection after averaging 60 in NZ and SA. rest of the spots are down to the warm up performances. Dhawan, gambhir/vijay, pujara, kohli, rahane, binny/rohit, Ashwin/jadeja, dhoni, bhuvi, shami, ishant/aaron/pankaj

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    @siltbreeze, Actually most of us Indians are wondering the same (about Umesh). No, he is not so bad as to not figure among the 6 best fast bowlers in India. If I have to take a guess, the selectors have a big role for him in the world cup and do not want him to play test matches, lest a 5 match series , since he is injury prone!

  • POSTED BY gladiatorgannicus on | June 26, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    @statisticsrocks Indians too left the ball outside the offstump very well in South Africa and every commentator was praising them.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    The Indian bowlers let you down, Dravid. And, many of us among the Indian fans. The weather joined hands in that let-own. IF intensity was there, I would say that intensity without direction will lead only to frenetic chaos. What a shame!

  • POSTED BY Ascharya on | June 28, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    @ProdigyA

    SL have won Tests in England before, but not Test series. This was their first MULTI-TEST series win in England. They won the one off Test in 1998 but one Test is not a series. If the 1998 Test is counted as a 'series' they've won two Test series in England :D

    Good luck, India :)

  • POSTED BY artificial.intelligence on | June 28, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    why is one of india's best bowlers mohit sharma not in the test squad...his impeccable line and length is made for the longer format

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | June 27, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    @ProdigyA: As long as Srinivasan is in power as the BCCI chief, Dhoni will remain the captain. Also Dhoni's policy is to select his own Favourite XI which he will play consistently- a he did in NZ & SA. Dhoni needs to change this approach. Neither India nor England are used to playing 5 Test matches in such a short span of time & continuously too! Injuries may become a factor! Dhoni will have to rotate his XI especially the pace bowlers to avoid injuries. It also ensures fresh legs for each test. Dhoni & the Selectors clearly ignored this aspect in selection of 18. Kumar & Shami need a break after 3 Tests. Yadev & Mohit or Sandeep Sharma would have been ideal alternates. While England can bring in new guys overnight, India cannot. Dhoni needs to rotate bowlers in XI to get high performance from fresh legs. Are the reserve Pace bowlers good to be in Dhoni's XI? Will Dhoni persist with same pacers for 5 Tests or rotate?

  • POSTED BY chotteguru on | June 27, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    Yes "ProdigyA," Dhoni's suitability both as player and captain has been questioned. However, here is another opportunity for the younger players to rise to the occasion and show not just their cricketing skill but their temperament. As "Statistic Rocks" has pointed out the Lankans - a lot of them young too - showed patience, determination and resolve which led them to victory.

    If the Indian players stop showing off (this is not the IPL), forget their star status at home, concentrate on the task at hand and work as a team, they can win convincingly here in England, despite their "weak" bowling attack.

  • POSTED BY cricketpurist on | June 27, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    Pujara is the only hope in this Indian line up may be a little bit of hope on Gambhir. If " Test cricket" is a game which separates Men from boys where are the Men? its all boys out there in indian team who are only going to rock off the field.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | June 26, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    Many Indian Fans have negative attacks on the Indian team based on Coach Fletcher's comments of inexperienced Indian team. This team may be inexperienced but it is FIT, has plenty of talented guys both in batting & bowling. This combined with an England team which has a group of Old & New players, I expect even advantages to either team. England will rely heavily on Cook & Bell in batting + Broad, Anderson & Plunkett in bowling. The other half of the England team has Ali- a promising all rounder + Balance & Robson- 2 batsmen in-form. India counters with a well established middle order of Pujara, Kohli, Rohit & Dhoni + Dhawan, Gambhir/Vijay as the opener. If the Indian openers give India a good start, this team is capable of scoring over 400. In Bowling India has Kumar- a fine swing bowler, Shami & Pandey/Aaron/Ishant in pace with Jadeja & Ashwin in spin. Because India has gelled as a TEAM, they have better Odds of winning. So Indian FANS, even without Yadev & uthappa it is a good TEAM!

  • POSTED BY JRP100 on | June 26, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    one thing I'm hoping is that ishwar pandey doesn't get picked.. India can play ishant sharma if they want given he performed well in NZ, but even if pandey takes 3 or 4 wickets in the warm up matches i hope he doesnt get picked. He bowls barely 80 mph and from what i saw in ipl his outswinger is his only real weapon (and at 80mph the english batsmen wont even flinch). I hope bhuvi performs well because good swing bowling from him along with shami (if he gets his lines right) is the only chance india have of winning a test. Rahane should be an automatic selection after averaging 60 in NZ and SA. rest of the spots are down to the warm up performances. Dhawan, gambhir/vijay, pujara, kohli, rahane, binny/rohit, Ashwin/jadeja, dhoni, bhuvi, shami, ishant/aaron/pankaj

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    @siltbreeze, Actually most of us Indians are wondering the same (about Umesh). No, he is not so bad as to not figure among the 6 best fast bowlers in India. If I have to take a guess, the selectors have a big role for him in the world cup and do not want him to play test matches, lest a 5 match series , since he is injury prone!

  • POSTED BY gladiatorgannicus on | June 26, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    @statisticsrocks Indians too left the ball outside the offstump very well in South Africa and every commentator was praising them.

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    India needs to have a formidable top three (Shikhar/Vijay, Gambhir & Pujara) who'd have to deliver consistently throughout the tour if India are to make any impression in the series.The middle order still looks potent enough with batsmen of the likes of Kohli, Rahane and Rohit who can be very stubborn yet stylish on their day. However, the key to winning a series in England in as many as 7 years would be our ability to take 20 wickets per game.As the age old theory goes its your batsmen who set you games while your bowlers who help you win them.On current form and ability Bhuvi, Shami and Ishant should be given a chance for atleast a couple of tests and change with the reserve seamers in case they fail to impress.Lets face it we are yet to win a game on foreign soil in 3-4 years and therefore going in with 5 bowlers (3 seamers along with Ash and Jaddu) could make a lot of sense. My Playing XI wud be : Shikhar, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane,MS Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Ishant,Bhuvi,Shami

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | June 26, 2014, 15:43 GMT

    siltbreeze good catch, whole of india is also rudely shocked about Umesh Yadav definitely among the top 2 bowlers in the country along with Shami..hopefuly shami fires and Aaron/BK come good. Hope Pankaj gets a fair chance.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | June 26, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    5 test series are meaningless. Test cricket is boring as it is and in this day and age, it would have been sufficient to have a 3 test series. This is the world cup preparation year and I would have liked to see more ODIs scheduled instead of meaningless test matches that only a few men and a dog could enjoy.

  • POSTED BY blitzNM on | June 26, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    My XI for 1st test 1. Dhawan 2. Gambhir 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6. Dhoni 7. Binny 8. ashwin/jadeja 9. Shami 10. aaron/pandey (based on warmup performance) 11. I Sharma. Rohit should be the 1st change if anyone of the batsman fails in 1st 2 matches.

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | June 26, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    Playing the same captain with the same tactics and mostly the same set of nonperforming bowlers and expecting a different results is plain stupid.

    If we are losing anyway, why dont we lose with a new captain and a fresh set of ideas.

    I dont want to be too negative as the series has just started, but I think this is best chance to win because the England team is in real shambles and we cannot cannot defeat this team comprehensively, then it will be a terrable performance. Even SL won a Test, i think for the first time.

  • POSTED BY StatisticsRocks on | June 26, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    I hope the Indian batsmen practice leaving the ball outside the off stump and not just go for wild heave. We must take a page or two from the Lankans who showed s much heart and fight in wining a series in ENG. I wish they had played 5 test matches instead of us. I don;t expect us to win this, i only ope that we show the same kind of fight that the Lankans. I expect Cook to come back to form as Indians are known to bring people to form and atleast score 3 centuries. 3-0 ENG

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | June 26, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    Even though Indian squad has 18, it will be only 14 guys who have a real chance of making it into the XI. Critical Challenges facing India is selecting the right pair of opening batsmen followed by selecting a balanced XI based on current Form & ability to adjust their style of play in the English conditions. Dhoni has to abandon the crazy thought of winning any Tests with just 3 "Specialst Bowlers", as he tried to do in SA & NZ, consistently. A 5 day Test match needs 5 capable bowlers. This leaves 5 specialist batsmen + Dhoni + 1 all rounder in batting. This is what a balanced XI looks like & Dhoni has to adapt this approach. Winning with 3 average specialist bowlers is just a fictitious dream! SL beat England with a young & inexperienced Bowlers like Pradeep & Prasad. So England is not the side it was 3 years back & have problems of their own. Indian team although inexperienced has lot of talent in batting & bowling. So winning the Series is a realistic & India should aim for it.

  • POSTED BY siltbreeze on | June 26, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    If India wanted competitive warm-ups, they probably shouldn't have agreed to play the two weakest county sides in the country, made the first one 15-a-side, and scheduled it to start the day after Leicestershire finished a draining County Championship match!

    On another point, as an England supporter who follows other countries' cricket, I simply cannot believe the Indian selectors picked Ishant, Aaron (and others) ahead of Umesh Yadav. Yadav has looked like really rediscovering his form of late, and I was looking forward to seeing him bowl in English conditions. The idea that India has 6 seamers superior to him is ludicrous.

  • POSTED BY ModernUmpiresPlz on | June 26, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    @contrast_swing But he actually is young. Even for a fast bowler. Unless you think 25 is too old for a bowler to still improve. If you invest 7 years into someone with talent why would you drop them when they finally showed some good results as he did in NZ. I think you and many others forget that he started at the ripe old age of 18. Definitely still young.

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    I would like to see a five match biennial series played between India and Pakistan like the Ashes... for that matter even a four test or 3 test series should also be enough... and if BCCI stops its politics of money and concentrate on this concept then this certainly looks like a profitable franchise... there is traditional rivalry between India and Pakistan and no politics should be a hindrance in sports... If only the admins on the both side had understood this we could have rivalled the relevance of the Ashes in all its senses... !!!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 26, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    pls can anyone explain why does bcci doesn't allow our indian players to take part in overseas leagues such as big bash, etc. so that they can get used to fast and bouncy tracks. this is the main difference between why india keeps losing overseas badly compared to the other nations who allow their players to take part in overseas leagues

  • POSTED BY Sir_Ivor on | June 26, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    Ideally this should have been just a 3 Test series. I am not sure why this was made a 5 Test rubber like we used to have in the olden days. Most series nowadays are 2 Tests or even the one offs as they call it. The point is that even if a team has escaped with a draw in one Test and win the next they usually head for the rooftops.The 3 Test series is a fair test of skills for both sides. Looks like this series will be a good one.

  • POSTED BY contrast_swing on | June 26, 2014, 4:34 GMT

    You can give as much practice to Ishant as you like, we all know the results that this still 'youngster' will deliver.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | June 26, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    No more whitewash this time. Especially when England team in a sinking position after the SL victory. No wonder if India won the series this time. Lets wait and see.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 26, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    all of what the Indian players will be thinking is IPL 2015. who will be in which team and how much will they earn. Packed stadium during ipl matches encourages these players even more. it's sad that ishant Sharma still got selected. sad day for Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY OneTipOneHand on | June 26, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    Seriously! Two warm up games for a 5 test series?

    And the Indian's think that'll be 'enough' time to prepare and acclimatise?

    Obviously, they havent learnt from their 4-0 drubbing.

    I guarantee a repeat this time around. Happy bunny-hunting, England!!!

  • POSTED BY RajSma on | June 26, 2014, 2:20 GMT

    @Kalyan & @Naikan......I totally agree with both of u.....India must have to bring in Varun Aaron coz England have a little weakness at quick bowling as we see in Ashes..So, I'll like Bhuvi,Shami,Ishant,Aaron and Ashwin as 5 Bowlers.The reason for Ashwin is we are a Batsmen short and we all know Ashwin is a much better batsmen than Jadeja...If India dint go with 5 Bowlers I dont see them picking 20 wickets at all.....Its Time MS will have to think beyond his Tradition and be aggressive or else it will again be a same story of WHITEWASH.....Fingers Crossed for India......

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2014, 1:55 GMT

    I hope Ishant will play a bigger role and lead the pace attack. Demolished English team won't take this young Indian team lightly.Expecting a good fight from both the teams

  • POSTED BY indianzen on | June 25, 2014, 23:11 GMT

    Competitive cricket has become so cruel that it wants batsmen to bowl and bowlers to bat... Almost every team executed the strategy of 4 bowler 6 batsmen all-rounder can work if the all rounder is genuine swing/Spin option. In India's case, Batsmen Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara, Gambhir, Vijay don't bowl and bowlers Bhuvi, Shami, Ishant, Aaron and Pandey don't bother bat. However, I am expecting good contribution from Ashwin, Jadeja, Binny... finders crossed...

  • POSTED BY Stevebob on | June 25, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    Who choses these warm up games? as Alex Prabaharan said these teams are both having terrible runs of form Leics haven't won a championship game for nearly 2 years and they are some of the smallest grounds in the country. Would be a great opportunity for some up and coming county players to make a name and move to Notts

  • POSTED BY ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP04 on | June 25, 2014, 21:27 GMT

    It was surprising to read Dravid's suggestion of trying out two combinations, 3 seamers plus1 spinner, and 2 seamers plus 2 spinners in the practice matches. It's pretty dissapointing to see even Dravid was thinking abt 4 bowler combination. When do these guys learn that india needs 5 bowlers to take 20 wkts. Even after having 8-0 drubbing and defeats in SA and NZ, if they still think that they can win test match with 4 bowlers is nothing but stupidity. In the just concluded Eng-Srl series,Srilanaka played with 3 seamers, 1 seam bowling all-rounder and 1 spinner. Of course, it's understood that Ind lacked seam bowling all-rounder, but now the team has Binny, though he is not a genuine seam-bowling all-rounder, but he can bowl and bat a bit and could be useful in English conditions with his little bit of swing bowling. The team combination should be 1.Dawan 2.Gambhir/Vijay 3 Pujara 4.Virat 5.Rahane 6. Dhoni 7.Binny 8.Jadeja 9. B.Kumar 10.Shami 11. I.Sharma/Pankaj/I.Pandey .

  • POSTED BY Paul_Somerset on | June 25, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    Somerset CCC were competitive enough in 2011, The Indians were the ones who made no effort (apart from the excellent Suresh Raina and Dravid himself).

    Zaheer Khan managed some 70 mph looseners then failed to reappear for the second innings. Yuvraj Singh sported an expression of utter disdaint for the game and his surroundings as he returned to the pavilion following his duck. Sachin Tendulkar treated those of us who had paid to see him with contempt. He just stood motionless at mid-on as Pete Trego smashed yet another boundary past him, then waited for one of his fellow superstars to retrieve the ball. His look of anger when nobody nobody came to his aid and he was forced to waddle to the boundary himself will be my abiding memory of the man.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    Stuart is a perfect allrounder looking at the condtions he is in good form bowls seamop he should be given a cople of warmup games and then go from there .

  • POSTED BY bestofluckindia on | June 25, 2014, 19:01 GMT

    India needs 5 full-time bowlers. If 6 batsmen can't get u a decent score. Chances are 7th one won't. Also, Ashwin is not a bad batsman @ no.7. Binny can give India the balance that was lacking since Irfan Pathan. Binny was a handful in Bangladesh with swing. Shikhar, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Gambhir, Dhoni, Binny, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Ishant, Shami

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | June 25, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    Both Ashwin and Jadeja should be in the playing XI. Ashwin's batting in test is as good as any other lower order batsmen. When light was a factor, Mahela had to bowl for SL. Two spinners also will give rest to the tired fast bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Naikan on | June 25, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    Agree about the weakness in the 4 bowler concept. Works only if the team has 1 or 2 good all- rounders besides the bowlers. In recent years, Indian team has struggled more with getting the opposition out than with scoring runs. While Ishant had a few good tests recently - it is still too early to rely on him totally as his last 3 years record suggest. So an extra bowler would be a necessity

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | June 25, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    Sometimes it is better to practise against weak teams than losing confidence playing against strong teams before adapting to the conditions. It is going to be 15 a side practice matches. So there will be more emphasis on practice than playing competitively to win the matches. Weather forecast for Leicester is good for Thursday but rain on Friday though.

  • POSTED BY kalyankarunai on | June 25, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    If India go with just 4 bowlers, we can say the game is over before the first ball is bowled. Unless one of the 4 bowlers bowls a spell of his life, India cant win a test match. Dhoni should understand that first. There is a chance for draw and a great chance for losing. The 4 bowlers strategy was brought by WestIndies during their prime time. Stop thinking about 4 bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    Just goes to show hw much that gentlemen's game has been changing over the years. You could expect nothing better than a wry smile from ECB when they hear talk abt making warm up games competitive. ..India are playing two warm ups against the last two teams in the second division standings. Ok,Lets not read too much into points table. Hw abt this...Leics has been having a horrid run for the last two seasons (http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2014/content/story/755315.html) and are just been beaten by surrey today (http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2014/engine/match/692943.html) . So it's going to be India against the fringe players of a second division team which has forgot how to win..But as players say, any match is a lot better than net practice!!

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  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    Just goes to show hw much that gentlemen's game has been changing over the years. You could expect nothing better than a wry smile from ECB when they hear talk abt making warm up games competitive. ..India are playing two warm ups against the last two teams in the second division standings. Ok,Lets not read too much into points table. Hw abt this...Leics has been having a horrid run for the last two seasons (http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2014/content/story/755315.html) and are just been beaten by surrey today (http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2014/engine/match/692943.html) . So it's going to be India against the fringe players of a second division team which has forgot how to win..But as players say, any match is a lot better than net practice!!

  • POSTED BY kalyankarunai on | June 25, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    If India go with just 4 bowlers, we can say the game is over before the first ball is bowled. Unless one of the 4 bowlers bowls a spell of his life, India cant win a test match. Dhoni should understand that first. There is a chance for draw and a great chance for losing. The 4 bowlers strategy was brought by WestIndies during their prime time. Stop thinking about 4 bowlers.

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | June 25, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    Sometimes it is better to practise against weak teams than losing confidence playing against strong teams before adapting to the conditions. It is going to be 15 a side practice matches. So there will be more emphasis on practice than playing competitively to win the matches. Weather forecast for Leicester is good for Thursday but rain on Friday though.

  • POSTED BY Naikan on | June 25, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    Agree about the weakness in the 4 bowler concept. Works only if the team has 1 or 2 good all- rounders besides the bowlers. In recent years, Indian team has struggled more with getting the opposition out than with scoring runs. While Ishant had a few good tests recently - it is still too early to rely on him totally as his last 3 years record suggest. So an extra bowler would be a necessity

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | June 25, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    Both Ashwin and Jadeja should be in the playing XI. Ashwin's batting in test is as good as any other lower order batsmen. When light was a factor, Mahela had to bowl for SL. Two spinners also will give rest to the tired fast bowlers.

  • POSTED BY bestofluckindia on | June 25, 2014, 19:01 GMT

    India needs 5 full-time bowlers. If 6 batsmen can't get u a decent score. Chances are 7th one won't. Also, Ashwin is not a bad batsman @ no.7. Binny can give India the balance that was lacking since Irfan Pathan. Binny was a handful in Bangladesh with swing. Shikhar, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Gambhir, Dhoni, Binny, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Ishant, Shami

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    Stuart is a perfect allrounder looking at the condtions he is in good form bowls seamop he should be given a cople of warmup games and then go from there .

  • POSTED BY Paul_Somerset on | June 25, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    Somerset CCC were competitive enough in 2011, The Indians were the ones who made no effort (apart from the excellent Suresh Raina and Dravid himself).

    Zaheer Khan managed some 70 mph looseners then failed to reappear for the second innings. Yuvraj Singh sported an expression of utter disdaint for the game and his surroundings as he returned to the pavilion following his duck. Sachin Tendulkar treated those of us who had paid to see him with contempt. He just stood motionless at mid-on as Pete Trego smashed yet another boundary past him, then waited for one of his fellow superstars to retrieve the ball. His look of anger when nobody nobody came to his aid and he was forced to waddle to the boundary himself will be my abiding memory of the man.

  • POSTED BY ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP04 on | June 25, 2014, 21:27 GMT

    It was surprising to read Dravid's suggestion of trying out two combinations, 3 seamers plus1 spinner, and 2 seamers plus 2 spinners in the practice matches. It's pretty dissapointing to see even Dravid was thinking abt 4 bowler combination. When do these guys learn that india needs 5 bowlers to take 20 wkts. Even after having 8-0 drubbing and defeats in SA and NZ, if they still think that they can win test match with 4 bowlers is nothing but stupidity. In the just concluded Eng-Srl series,Srilanaka played with 3 seamers, 1 seam bowling all-rounder and 1 spinner. Of course, it's understood that Ind lacked seam bowling all-rounder, but now the team has Binny, though he is not a genuine seam-bowling all-rounder, but he can bowl and bat a bit and could be useful in English conditions with his little bit of swing bowling. The team combination should be 1.Dawan 2.Gambhir/Vijay 3 Pujara 4.Virat 5.Rahane 6. Dhoni 7.Binny 8.Jadeja 9. B.Kumar 10.Shami 11. I.Sharma/Pankaj/I.Pandey .

  • POSTED BY Stevebob on | June 25, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    Who choses these warm up games? as Alex Prabaharan said these teams are both having terrible runs of form Leics haven't won a championship game for nearly 2 years and they are some of the smallest grounds in the country. Would be a great opportunity for some up and coming county players to make a name and move to Notts