India in England 2014

'India were overconfident in SA and NZ' - Fletcher

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 6, 2014

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MS Dhoni has a chat with Duncan Fletcher, Durban, December 7, 2013
Duncan Fletcher: "There is positivity in the camp but the overconfidence has gone." © AFP
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Duncan Fletcher, the India coach, has said that his players were "overconfident" on the tours to South Africa and New Zealand and ended up complicating their games, something he wants them to learn from and avoid in England.

India lost their last two Test series overseas by a 1-0 margin. They set South Africa a target of 458 in the first Test in Johannesburg, before the hosts held on for a thrilling draw, finishing within striking distance of the target. The second Test was claimed by South Africa, who won by 10 wickets, chasing down India's target of 58. In New Zealand, India fell 40 runs short in the first Test and were then thwarted by New Zealand, who saved the second Test after being dismissed for 192 in the first innings.

"With these young boys I felt they could have been a little overconfident when they went to South Africa and New Zealand because they had done so well in India," Fletcher told bcci.tv. "As the series went, it made them realise that playing away from home is very difficult. They believe that they have learnt from those tours and so there is positivity in the camp but the overconfidence has gone. But again, until you actually go out there and play a game, you will never know if you actually have learnt."

The biggest mistake the India players committed, according to Fletcher, was making their games complicated. "The batsmen, for instance, tried to bat a little too differently than they would in India," he said. "The only actual difference was they had to get used to a bit more bounce. Because of this bounce, when it comes to the short ball, you just have to make up your mind whether you're going to play or leave it. In India, you can play it on a consistent basis.

"For the bowlers the length changes a little; you have to bowl a bit fuller when you go overseas. And it's not an easy thing to do, especially for a young bowler. You've been groomed and trained your brain to bowl a certain way and even if the difference is only 6-12 inches, it's not easy to make the change instantly and that too under pressure.

"We see experienced international players' games altering under pressure. Now here is an inexperienced side with players who are still learning their game and they will take time to get used to the varied challenges."

India are without Zaheer Khan in England and though Ishant Sharma has played 55 Tests, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron have a combined 13 Tests between them, and Ishwar Pandey and Pankaj Singh are yet to debut. Fletcher said that while his pace attack was raw, it had a lot of variety.

"The bowlers are pretty inexperienced. We haven't really got anyone to lead the group and we haven't taken 20 wickets in a Test since quite a while now. But for once we have a good variety in our pace attack. They are still pretty inexperienced but experience can also come from learning quickly, and we hope they have done that. It will be so very crucial for them as a unit to stay disciplined and not try too much. It's just about ensuring that we get these young men's minds right."

The BCCI had asked former India captain Rahul Dravid to spend some time with the team ahead of the series on the team management's request. Fletcher said Dravid's presence would help not only the batsmen, but also the bowlers, who the coach wanted to think like batsmen do.

"People would think I have called him to help the batsmen," Fletcher said. "But actually it's as much for the bowlers. What people don't understand is that the bowlers think like bowlers. I want Rahul to talk to them and make them think like batsmen. That way they will know what areas a batsman likes and doesn't like, which will help them a great deal in forming their strategies. The problem is that the Indian bowlers don't bat or practise batting when they're playing domestic cricket. And so, while they understand their bowling, they don't understand batting.

"Rahul can play a role right through. His approach and his character is so good. I've really enjoyed talking cricket with Rahul. I really rated him and wanted him back in the side for some time now. We've had some chats since he got here and discussed various ideas and possibilities. What I also like about him is that he can relate to the players culturally. Also, if a player gets the same message from more than one person, he is going to be more convinced about it."

Dravid was India's most successful batsman on the previous tour of England in 2011 and since then, the team has been in transition since with several experienced players retiring or being dropped. Fletcher said his coaching methods had also changed as he had to deal with young players now.

"Fortunately for me, I went through a similar phase with England where the older players were left out or retired and a whole new generation of cricketers came in. The major difference is that with the older ones you just sit back and let them come to you. No matter how good and experienced one is, bad habits sometimes creep in and you've got to help them get rid of those small bad habits without being too overbearing.

"The younger players are a bit reluctant because they don't understand their game fully. So, you've got to go to them and talk to them. However, you have to make sure you send the message very clearly because otherwise they can get confused and start making their game more difficult. You keep the communication very simple and don't make more than one change at a time, even though some players might require more than one change - technically and mentally. The key is to change only one link of the chain at a time. If you change two, you don't know which one will confuse the player. That's why it takes time. Cricket is not an easy game to improve at in a short time."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (July 8, 2014, 13:19 GMT)

Inexperienced or not, overconfident or not, the question remains is how is India going to take 20 wickets to win a test in England? I don't see it happening at the moment unless India is relying on a number of England batsmen giving a their wickets away as they did against SL. Based on the last few overseas tours, the best India can hope for is a drawn series and even that will take a lot of hard work.

Posted by Kevmanaso on (July 8, 2014, 12:17 GMT)

This is a very good oppurtunity for players like rahane, kohli, pujara to perform and make a mark or establish themselves in test cricket at least for another 10 years. Pujara is rock solid so is kohli and rahane.. so i want them to play well and win the series.as far as bowling unit is concerned i think shami will do good as he is very good with his line and length and also has the ability to reverse the ball which can be very useful for indian team.. fingers crossed.. Go India go and win it..Cheers..!!

Posted by   on (July 8, 2014, 4:45 GMT)

Given the overseas test record.. On what basis were they overconfident? Maybe they didn't know... Thought they were going to play T20! Looks like ignorance is more than bliss!

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 7, 2014, 21:45 GMT)

Another excuse. That said stars favor india winning in england because of buhaveswar and muhammed sami.

Posted by inswing on (July 7, 2014, 20:32 GMT)

While Fletcher is doing his best, there are some things he can't help. The number one reason India doesn't win enough overseas is that their bowling is simply not good enough in those conditions. Outside India, Ashwin rivals Ishant as the world's most ineffective bowler. And when Ishant is your "frontline" bowler, nobody on this planet can help you. You can guarantee that Cook and any other English batsmen struggling for form will come into form and will be praised for their mental toughness and fortitude. It will have nothing to do with any of that, it will be about bad bowling.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

if u have quality bowlers, 4 are enough.. but if the quality is bad... even 8 bowlers are NOT good enough to get 20 wickets... so all India has to do now is to HUNT/develop good quality bowlers.. so at least in the next decade, we might aim at becoming No. 1 test side..

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 7:53 GMT)

What people don't understand is that the bowlers think like bowlers. I want Rahul to talk to them and make them think like batsmen??? Seriously?? First let them think like bowlers atleast and bowl right line and length

Posted by AjayVijayan on (July 7, 2014, 6:20 GMT)

Over confident in South Africa... hehe even in the wildest of dreams, we would never have been confident in SA, let alone being over confident. Even the team of Sehwag, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman , Kumble & Harbhajan wouldn't have been over confident in SA or Aus. !

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

I feel more sympathy for Fletcher now that he is talking out

Posted by tests_the_best on (July 7, 2014, 0:09 GMT)

I don't think the Indian team came across as being overconfident on those tours; quite the contrary, especially in SA. Lot of people in SA and India didn't give the Indian team much chance especially after the hammering in the odis. But Virat Kohli scoring a century and 96 in the first test, Pujara scoring century along with other contributions only highlight the fact that the batting unit surpassed expectations. Such performances are quite the opposite of an overconfident side. The only reason India didn't win in Johannesburg or the 2nd test in NZ is because of the bowling attack which lacked penetration but then again that was not because the bowlers were overconfident, it's simply because of common knowledge in world cricket that Ind has arguably the weakest bowling unit bar Bangladesh and maybe WI.

Posted by CricketFanIndUS on (July 6, 2014, 20:54 GMT)

Two of the several reasons for the 0-4 drubbings in England and Australia have been a deluge of injuries and not having DRS. After those two series, not going with the DRS also was one of the major factors in the home series loss to England (2-1); Remember, Cook was given way too many reprieves. I was so hoping for BCCI going for DRS this year. The last two test series overseas have been close, DRS would have helped there as well. I am very disappointed. :(

Posted by glen1 on (July 6, 2014, 19:46 GMT)

If there was any confidence boost, it was from winning the Champions Trophy as the young team gelled well and probably extrapolated their capabilities to the Test arena. The failure in SA and NZ was due to team selection, unimaginative captaincy, and retaining bowlers beyond due date.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 6, 2014, 19:27 GMT)

I think it goes without saying that MOST teams play overconfidently when they feel they are on top of the opposition. The question is how will the players convert overconfidence into actual results - I mean on a winning note. India have found themselves in winning positions MANY times in the past. YES, even including the disastrous 2011 tours to ENG and AUS where they squandered the opportunities offered by their opposition. Listen to this week's Cricinfo Switch Hit pod cast and you will know what I mean. The problem for India has always been their inept bowling. I cannot see anything different happen on this tour either. I also don't think England are good enough to beat India. So expect a drawn series with England and India winning 1 test each. With all the rumours of flat pitches in store for the series, that would be the most likely outcome.

Posted by ankursil on (July 6, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

If players were overconfident what were u doing Mr. Coach....why didn't u straighten them up after SA tour only....either say u r nt capable of doin that or don't say anything at all....

Posted by jingopack on (July 6, 2014, 17:33 GMT)

actually every good teams goes with 4 bowlers,SA had kallis...from nwonwards they wil also play wit 4bowlers.....but bcoz india bowling weak we need 5

Posted by Anukalp_23 on (July 6, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

@lingaboy : if it's his personal issue he wouldn't even watch matches ... we are cricket loving nation and their is no space for hatred at least not for cricket... by the way u were getting personal with gambhir he helped us win critical matches and given responsibilities he has always performed... go n watch both 2007 and 2011 finals u will get to know ... being finagle and making us feel dhoni is the best captain is not going to work ... salutary decision could be taken in case of captaincy, we have lost enough matches and may be wid t20, oneday captaincy n wicket keeping may be onerous for dhoni ... despite the fact he is a gud tactician in t20 and one day ... but he is not aggressive and goes to shell in critical moments waiting for others to commit mistakes which may not work outside india especially in tests.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

Tim Martin, that is because none of the players who lost 8-0 went to SA and NZ tours barring MS Dhoni. Kohli and Ashwin were part of the team that lost in Australia. For their first overseas tours, Kohli did pretty well scoring a 50 and a 100 while Ashwin was below average and that's the reason he played only 1 test in SA and none in NZ.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

We will win ,though we have an inexperienced bowling side.We have an X factor against the English they are playing our bowler,they can predict anything from us expect to guess.

Posted by Coolcapricorn on (July 6, 2014, 16:09 GMT)

@mshyder couldn't agree more with your sentiments. However our poor performances were also aided by poor selection policies of going in with just four frontline bowlers including two spinners. Remember MSD refusing to take the new ball on the 4th morning of the Durban Test until eventually forced to do by the umpires - throwing away a golden opportunity to win that Test & the series. Unless he changes his mindset, afraid he will remain a poor Test captain - particularly overseas - leading to more embarrassing Tests & series defeats!

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (July 6, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

In 1996, when India was in England many things went wrong, If I am not wrong Navjyot Sidhu walked off from the tour apparently over differences with Azharuddin the captain. Even before the tour began, some people said that Saurav Ganguly should not have been selected.And that he had been picked because of his influence. In the preparatory games, Neither Ganguly nor Dravid did anything to suggest that a great set of batsmen were just around. Then Lords happened and suddenly we had Saurav scoring a hundred on debut and Dravid just fell short by 5 runs to make one.That England side too was quite average.Then in Ahmedabad later that year one Laxman made his debut.The situation now looks similar really.I feel that a very good Indian side could just be grouping their batting seems to be ready, their bowling has been written off, mostly. We could just be witnessing the coming together of a useful set of bowlers as well. If Aaron Yadav,Shami and Bhuvi bowl to expectations it scould be exciting

Posted by social_monster09 on (July 6, 2014, 15:45 GMT)

Cond..Let's compare top 7 test captains (including Dhoni) 1)Misbah>Dhoni only in batting not in skills becoz both are equal cool & defensive. 2)B.McCullum<Dhoni batting wise both are equal becoz both plays aggressively but as captain Dhoni is clever than B.Mac (in home conditions esp.). 3)Amla--Not sure he is new in the line. But as a batsman he is genius. 4)A.Cook>>Dhoni. Batting wise Cook is much much better than Dhoni. But in case of captaincy I m not sure sometime Cook looks aggressive sometime defensive I m confused but Cook is better in every department. 5)A.Mathews<Dhoni Batting wise Mathews is better but as Captain Dhoni is much clever than Mathews becoz Mathews is new & untested. Last 6)Clarke>>>>Dhoni. Without any doubt no comparison is between in both of guys. Clarke is far far better batsmen than Dhoni & I think most aggressive captain in the world right now becoz he is an Australian & aggressiveness is in their blood. That's mine comparison what's your's….

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 15:25 GMT)

If the bulk of the Indian test team were feeling over confident in their last 2 overseas test tours. They certainly have short memories. Seeing India have lost their 8 tests overseas before the Sth Africa tour.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (July 6, 2014, 15:12 GMT)

it's a golden chance for India to clinch a away test series. England top order is too brittle at the moment. I dont expect a 5-0 win like Aussies coz hey Dhawan is no Warner neither Bhuvaneshar is a MJ. But still a 3-1 is possible

Posted by Nampally on (July 6, 2014, 14:43 GMT)

Mr. Fletcher- how can you win a 5 day Test match with just 3 "Specialist" bowlers. It is simply insane! India set a target of 458 in the 4th innings for SA but then had the same 3 pacers- ZAK, Shami & Ishant to bowl & take 10 Wkts, after having bowled nearly 30 overs each in the first innings! To their credit they each bowled nearly 50 overs each but were far too tired to take wkts. So the plain fact is NOT "Over confidence" but poor XI selection. But when you do not learn from it & continue the same policy in NZ, India lost to a Team around 6th in Test standing. Unless this strange selection ends, India will lose in England too! The First task for Dhoni & Fletcher is to understand that they need fresh bowlers to take wkts.- Select a balanced XI. Dravid can only Mentor. It is the job of "Optimal XI" to perform on field. India has a squad of 18. Use them wisely by rotating players to avoid injury.5x5 day Tests in 40 days is tough both physically & mentally. Pick right XI- Fit & Fresh!

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 14:24 GMT)

Dhawan Gahambir Pujara Rahane Kohli Binny Dhoni Jadeja Pankaj Shami Bhuvaneshwar

Posted by linguboy on (July 6, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

@Jose Puliampatta Anyone can express their views in any manner. If Making all accusations against single player or for that matter Captain of a certain team makes one argument mature then I don't want mature arguments. What these user forgot is that there's is strong pitch of support for one player even though he fails to make a mark. But if some others don't perform for a single match they won't even tolerate. EX. Pujara failed to make mark in 5 ODIs he played do far. But some will say its a small sample. But Ashwin failed for 3 tests abroad the same guy will say he is useless. what's the matter??? In all points you made except "Go and post your personal hatred somewhere" is the only point I made which should be avoided. but other points were used regularly by others here. I find it rather amusing that same person didn't even mention those at that time. Why??? I find it rather bemusing that he doesn't even read some posts calling others desperate but point out others flaws.

Posted by social_monster09 on (July 6, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

@ishaan1997: Yes you are absolutely right. But I also agree with Kalyan Budhavarti. In fact Dhoni is a One day specialist he was never be a good test batsman from the start of his test career. He is captaining Indian team becoz team selectors have not any other choice. If we compare other test captain's with Dhoni then we should know what the truth is.

Posted by PomarJagadish on (July 6, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

Siddharth Mane Batting order seems OK..But bowling order ll be 8. Jadeja 9.Bhuvi 10.Shami 11.Pankaj

After couple of tests can alter depending on performances..May be Ash for Jaddu, aaron for Pankaj.Umesh would be a asset based on his form in IPL,but as he is not here nothing can be done...

I dont like Ishant in my squad..But my gut feeling says Ishanth will be in for Pankaj for first 2 tests.If he fails,then dats it he cant think of wearing an Indian Cap again in near future.

For Ishanth and our 3 openers this series will be important one which every one will come to know if they fail....

Posted by jimbond on (July 6, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

Captaincy and leadership were major gaps in the SA and NZ tours. In this, part of the responsibility is with Fletcher himself. As a coach, there is certainly something that he could have done. Dhoni too was not able to provide the initiative in closing off games. Problem is, there aren't too many alternatives to Dhoni. Kohli hasn't shown anything (in captaincy or leadeship) to demonstrate that he is a suitable replacement. Rohit Sharma has shown some good knack of captaincy in the limited overs versions, but he is hardly certain of his place in the test team. Same with Gambhir who is trying to make a comeback with his batting. If Gambhir cements his place, he could be a viable captaincy option for the next three to four years.

Posted by PomarJagadish on (July 6, 2014, 13:40 GMT)

Out of box comment but just asking...wat would be the WC 2015 squad guys as per your views...?? . . . My squad will be:

1 Rohit 2 Dhawan 3 Virat 4 Yuvi 5 Raina 6 Dhoni 7 Binny 8 Ashwin 9 Bhuvi 10 Shami 11 Umesh

12 Robbiee(Opener) 13 Rahane/Pujara(Middle Order) 14 Jadeja(Spin) 15 AAron/Bumrah(Fast bowler)

So Wats Yous say guys...???

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 13:39 GMT)

"Go and post your personal hatred somewhere."

"Stop day dreaming. "

"Find any other excuse"

"Did you read the article or just jumped straight to comments section after reading the title???"

"You didn't watch the match it seems."

"Is it not personal hatred? "

These are a few samples, from a reader's comments. Is this the way we exchange views? Can we not find a bit more mature way of relating with co-cricket fans, even if we don't agree with them?

By the way "hatred" is a strong word. Please don't use it so indiscriminately. Expressing one's negative opinion does not amount to hatred. Same player can be lauded for a positive facet and criticized for a negative one; and in such a case, where does hatred comes into the picture.

It is performance which is commented upon and not the person. For instance: Many who had criticized Jadeja earlier started praising his good work now. In the case of Ashwin, we have seen just the opposite. There was no question of 'hating' either.

Posted by Chaitanyareddy90 on (July 6, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

@linguboy:in west indies we can win the match defnatly but we loose.in new zeland we have chances but we loose and m.cullum became a first newzeland to hit triple ton. Same as in SA. Only reason for all these defeats dhoni defenssive field setting.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 13:27 GMT)

My playing 11 1)gambhir 2)dhawan 3)pujara 4)kohli 5)rahane 6)binny 7)dhoni 8)ashwin 9) kumar 10) Aaron 11)Umesh yadav......sorry the selectors did not include Umesh...not seen Pankaj singh.so not.including...ishant should be given.return.fight.ticket nd Umesh should be given England ticket

Posted by linguboy on (July 6, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

@Kalyan Budhavarti Yeah I am wasting my time arguing all these things. Anyway Dhoni won't be removed from Captaincy until he decides to leave so why this hue and cry??? We can always discuss and mud slug him whatever he had done and not done but the final decision lies with the board. So unless Dhoni resigns I can't see anyone removing him as Captain. So thank you for your reply and good luck.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 12:59 GMT)

my playing xi gautam dawan pujara kohli rohit rahane dhoni kumar jadeja sami pankaj

Posted by linguboy on (July 6, 2014, 12:36 GMT)

@Kalyan Budhavarti But you why can't you compare other player stats???Compare Gambhir with Cook in 2011 tour and 2012 Indian tour??? Sehwag with Strauss and Compton??? Gambhir with Warner??? Pietersen with Sachin in England and India???Dravid batted same as Trott. Bell with Laxman??? Clarke with Sachin last time??? Bresnan and Broad with Sreesanth and praveen kumar??? Zaheer with Siddle/ Harris??? Harbhajan with Swann???where does all these guys stand since 2011??? Any one played well than others in those tours??? Why are you singling out Dhoni??? How can you blame Dhoni for those losses??? When your team can't score 300 runs more than once in 20+ innings then you know where the problem lies. Why can't Clarke the wonderful captain can't win in India??? because he don't have batsmen and bowlers who can win a match in these conditions. Cook with all his negative captaining won a series in India due to 2 spinners who ran through India. simple logic. bowlers win you test matches.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

It doesn't matter who has more experience as this side is very young and has struggled to adapt in overseas conditions. I think Ishant deserves one last chance and if he doesn't click, other talented seamers like Pandey and Varun should be ready to go . Rahane is an asset to this team and he has to perform like Dravid as he resembles him in every aspect. Pankaj has to play and Gambhir too has shown signs of improvement. Ashwin has not made his mark yet and I feel Binny has a good chance of making his debut. Rohit might find it difficult to be a part of the playing XI as his consistency has become a big issue. So my XI for the first game will be :- Gambhir Dhawan/Vijay Pujara Kohli Rahane Binny Dhoni Jadeja Bhuvi Shami Pankaj /Ishant

Posted by pritamdas_circ on (July 6, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

India is perhaps the only cricket playing nation whose home records are often ignored, Australia whitewashed us at their home everybody said; We whitewashed them at our home nobody said. I believe if there is one series for which we truly deserve criticism was our defeat to England in the home test series. Yes we performed terribly in England in 2011 test series but how can one overlook that most of our players injured themselves there and couldn't give to the series what they were capable of giving, RP Singh was completely unprepared and was called to join the squad midway from his vacation, and more than that England had won at their home venues which never favor visiting team (I don't say this, those who call India lions of home do whenever India win/whitewash visitors in a home series) and the same goes for SA & NZ tours, they had also won in home conditions only, otherwise you guys know what the result was when we hosted NZ for a series few years ago.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

And one last thing I wanna add, to Linguboy, I wont post stats here but go do some research. 2011 Eng series, compare the runs Prior scored vs compare the runs Dhoni scored, even in terms of Impact, now compare the impact they had on the series. Do the same with 11-12 Aus series(Haddin and Paine). And then these last 4 tests, ABD vs Dhoni, BJ vs Dhoni. Even someone as young as BJ stood in a match winning partnership. If you look at the runs scored, he is always 2nd on the list, if you look at dropped chances, he is first.Compare and analyze how much that has made a difference to the series. His peers are clearly outshining him and doing a better job. If you know test cricket, you'll know why that No 7 position is so important. Keepers all around the world are playing defining knocks(Haddin in Eng, Prior in NZ,Watling in WI etc). And as a captain he is not winning games either. And this is not just recent, but for a long long time now. Give one reason Dhoni should be there in the team

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 12:03 GMT)

India xi Gauti Dhawan Pujara Virat Rohit Dhoni Binny Jadeja Aswine Bhuvi Pankaj

Posted by ishaan1997 on (July 6, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

@erwin16 And didn't you see Dhoni taking India to Number 1 in tests and then winning the world t20, the world cup and then the champions trophy? I bet you, if he had the likes of johnson, steyn in his armoury, then, he would have handeled them the best. Do you expect him to win matches with such a bowling attack?

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

Fletcher says: "With these young boys I felt they could have been a little overconfident when they went to South Africa and New Zealand ..."

"Could have been" is the operative phrase. Need not be. Dhoni's theory of young boys going through the learning curve seems to be a closer logic.

Posted by erwin16 on (July 6, 2014, 11:01 GMT)

@linguboy..you seems to be rather too desperate fan of dhoni, in lieu of blaming kalyan...are you not watching what dhoni had done in the past 8 test matches abroad..his captaincy and batting seriously need change/shake.He lacks aggresion in captaincy.On the other hand gambhir or kohli relishes responsibilities.Gambhir has a compatively good overseas record than dhoni.As kohli is young so it might not be better idea to make him captain,let him do what he do best i.e smashing hundreds.Gambhir can be a good captain for 4 5 years,he is a very aggressive captain and has a sound batting technique(considering he had resurrected his '3rd man dab' shot ).Dhoni should concentrate on his batting and keeping.And stay calm boy.

Posted by Nero28 on (July 6, 2014, 10:56 GMT)

Ashwin must be played there, don't matter jadeja plays or not . There are 6 left handers in the probable XI of England . There main batsmans Cook, moeen ali, ballance, stoakes along with broad and anderson all are left handers. All we know how broad, anderson ( bresnan too in past) bat against the indian bowlers

Posted by Humdingers on (July 6, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

@linguboy - Wake up mate! Yes he did it for ENG, but this us India. Different dynamic, culture etc. In Eng Fletcher had the power do groom his own team in his way and had the support of the board. In India he is just a puppet for the BCCI. Look at what Moody did for Sri Lanka. His style and personality would not suit Aus (Although Lehman seems to be changing that now). @enigma77543 - sometimes hard decisions need to be made. for the greater good. MSD will go down as the best captain India has had in ODI and T-20. But his Test victories have not come b/c of captaincy, but as he SRT, Dravid, Laxman, Bahji all firing. Have you ever seen Flemming captain with the team he had? Look at what Angelo Matthews did - A Captain can fire up a team and bring it down (Cook as an example recently).

Posted by linguboy on (July 6, 2014, 10:03 GMT)

@ Kalyan Budhavarti What nonsense did you see there??? he spoke of realities not of some dream stuff some of our fans are imagining. Did you read the whole article before posting??? You are Gambhir fan, aren't you?? What exactly did Gambhir did in last 2 overseas tours he played??? How many runs he scored??? What did he do in last test series he played at home??? He even ran out form batsman like Kohli and Pujara at the other end. What exactly did this guy did to be elected as Captain of the team??? Good 5 years left in him?? Tell me you weren't dreaming!!! Why is it so embarrassing to you to lose with Dhoni as captain but its not while some other person as Captain??? Is it not personal hatred??? Lazy captain??? He is 100 times better than a opening batsman whose primary shot for scoring runs is poking the ball to 3rd man. Go and post your personal hatred somewhere.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 9:59 GMT)

And to your question Enigma, 'What is a captain to do when his side just won't perform? '. What a captain should do is perform himself first. Ever heard of things like 'leading from the front' or 'a captain's knock'. Dhoni being the most senior, should have scored the most number of runs, than any other batsman and led from the front with the bat. Thats what he should have done. He should have kept well and inspired the team from behind the stumps. That is what he should have done. Instead, poor team selection, toss selections, and at best, poor captaincy. Forget captaincy, Dhoni should perform as a batsman and a keeper first. You saw what Matthews did for SL the other day, right? Your question in itself is wrong. The team performed, it is the captain who did'nt!

Posted by linguboy on (July 6, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

@JG2704 You didn't watch the match it seems. NZ were all out for 195. India scored 450(Approx). NZ were reeling at 95/5 when Kohli dropped a sitter of B Mac at short mid-on. What next?? He went on to score a triple century. the whole equation changed up side down and India were forced to save the match on final day. India blew their chance to win that test match in the same way they lost it to SA.

Posted by linguboy on (July 6, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

@mshyder Really?? And could you please elaborate on that or you just posting Monga's opinion here???? what kind of aggression are we talking here??? Abuse batsman? sledge them?? With whom??? Where are our bowlers??? Every team goes through a period when wickets will be hard to come by. That is the time when you needed your main bowler to bowl a dream ball or some inspired spell to lift the whole team up. But Zaheer lost that in 2011. Selecting Zaheer for SA tour was a big blunder by selectors. Instead they should have allowed Yadav to take his spot in the bowling lineup. It would have useful for the future. But see what happened now??? Zaheer was injured and we don't have a leader for our bowling attack. You can't seed aggressiveness in a fast bowler. It should come naturally to him. If you are a fast bowler your body language should be aggressive. You can't change that mid time. It should have been injected in to them at a young age. cheers.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

I don't mean to sound harsh but this guy should be the first to go even before Dhoni. What nonsense is this from the coach of the richest cricketing country. Puji, Kohli, Rahane, Dhawan all stood up to the occasion and performed so brilliantly. Even the bowlers to an extent. It is Dhoni and his clones who costed us the series. Dhoni with his poor batting and lazy captaincy. This team has all the potential of playing good cricket and win games. What we don't need is an uninterested/unimproved coach and a lazy, reactive captain. That is a deadly combo. Isn't it simple? Would'nt you rather lose without Dhoni than with him in the team? Wouldn't that be a liitle less embarrassing? Dhoni and Fletcher's age old methods wont simply work. Gambhir has a good 5 years of cricket left in him and he should be made the captain, in tests, and given a good long go. He thinks like these guys and is a bowler's captain. By that time, anyone of Puji, Kohli, Rohit will be more than ready for captaincy.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 6, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

Wow! Overconfidence of youngsters?? How about useless coaching from your goodself and hopeless captaincy from dhoni?

Posted by My-Dear-Watson on (July 6, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

you said it , we heard it. But what would you say about the bowlers ? The so called spearhead of the Indian bowling has a not so inspiring average of 38. As a matter of fact should be called quite awful considering that he has payed 55 matches over a period of 6-7 years. You see matches could only be won if you can take 20 wickets, with this below average bowlers, nobody sees that happening. If you can just barely defend 458, you are below par, period.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

first f all Indian bowlers has to b injected sm sorta poison nd aggression! v can't nywr n d world c ny fast bowling unit Vth so much softness! d av talent nd skill but wt dey lack s d killer instinct vch d think tank shud develop vthin des bowlers

Posted by linguboy on (July 6, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

@ Humdingers Yeah he just took England, a team that was languishing at the bottom of the table, to a team that can win Ashes against mighty Aussies at their prime. He just changed the whole England structure. Kirsten is not coming into full time coaching and he jumped ship at the right time. IF Tom Moody's so good, why do you think Aussies didn't choose him??? Fleming said he will not come into full coach anytime soon. So stop day dreaming. And find any other excuse for team's failures rather than blaming Coaching staff. Its old fashioned now. And for all the 8-0 loss the team was full of old stars and ruled by them and we know what happened to Greg Chappell when he took them on. Everybody is quick to praise players when they win but when the team loses its all coaches fault.

Posted by mshyder on (July 6, 2014, 9:03 GMT)

Overconfident !! Lol. The lack of aggression by the coach and captain was the primary cause of failure. Period.

Posted by linguboy on (July 6, 2014, 9:01 GMT)

@ Varun Saxena: LOL. Did you read the article or just jumped straight to comments section after reading the title??? What did Fletcher say?? He said our batsmen were overconfident because of the 'runs they scored in subcontinent' not otherwise. He also said we were unable to take to take 20 wickets for quite sometime now. What are you implying???...pls publish cricinfo..

Posted by enigma77543 on (July 6, 2014, 8:59 GMT)

Sack Dhoni? Who will captain then? Kohli? Pujara? And kill their budding careers with pressure of captaincy? Or are you going to make Ishant the new captain? I don't know why people whine about Dhoni so much. Firstly, he has the best temperament for the captain, probably one of the best in the world, ever! Yes, India has lost a lot of overseas matches under him over the last couple of years but is it really his fault? What is a captain to do when his side just won't perform? A captain (or even a coach) is as good as his team; a good team can make any captain look brilliant while a poor team can make even the best captain look mediocre. I don't know why people don't get this!

Posted by JG2704 on (July 6, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

Genuinely don't understand how they (or any team) would be overconfident going to SA and surely their own media would be reminding them of their failings on recent travels. Even at home , they thrashed Australia but they also lost to England.

Also I don't understand how it can be worded that NZ saved the 2nd test when it was them who set India a target of 435 when declaring on 8 wickets down. Sure India were on top for a while but after 3 inns I'd say NZ were on top and with India still needing 270ish with 7 wickets down I'd say NZ were on top at the close of the test - even though I would not have ruled out an Indian win.

India can certainly beat England who could react one way or the other to the SL defeat. Last time both sides were vying for the top spot and Eng were on the crest of a wave. This time both are more vulnerable.India's 1st test vs SA was an excellent performance but before 2011's away tours in Eng and Aus they drew their previous tour in SA

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 8:49 GMT)

We need a bower with a talent like Zaheer khan & fitness like rahul dravid,(gave ex of rahul dravid as i couldnt find an example of indian bowler with great fitness) ;)

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

u don't need to worry abt that....

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

Overconfident ? Lolzzz...From where did this overconfidence come from ? From being pummeled 8-0 in their previous Overseas tours. Our bowlers just dont have the skills to take 20 wickets outside subcontinent. Thats it

Posted by Humdingers on (July 6, 2014, 8:32 GMT)

Fletcher is not a Coach. He may be a decent batting coach, but India need someone like a Patil, Kirsten, Moody or Flemming. But bottom line is until Dhoni and Fletcher are gone, this team aint winning nuthin.

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