England v India, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge July 8, 2014

India threaten to shed conservatism

The signs are that Stuart Binny has a very strong chance of making a Test debut at Trent Bridge which would signal a significant change in mindset by India overseas
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Play 04:53
Agarkar: Dhoni reluctant to bat at No. 6

People have by now stopped asking MS Dhoni the question. This team has always been dismissive of the idea when outside Asia. Five bowlers without having the luxury of a genuine allrounder means Dhoni has to bat at No. 6. Outside Asia it is a risk India have not been willing to take. Dhoni has never batted at No. 6 outside Asia, which sums up their reluctance to adventure even though they have consistently struggled to take 20 wickets when the ball is not turning or reverse-swinging.

To be fair to India and Dhoni, though, it is not something they have not thought of. Dhoni is known to have agonised over the lack of even a half-decent allrounder before he left for the South Africa tour. He is known to have conveyed to Irfan Pathan that he is desperate to have him fit for England, but Irfan could not get any first-class cricket under his belt. They have not advertised it, but there have been signs that Dhoni has been preparing for this tour in advance, a change in his leadership style.

Over in South Africa and New Zealand, India got themselves into winning situations twice, but ran out of gas. The quicks were bowling spells longer than they would have liked to, overs after the 40th and before the second new ball would become soft, and the fast bowlers would not be at their most intense when the new ball would be claimed. The team management made a special request for Karnataka allrounder Stuart Binny for the England tour, and Binny furthered his credentials with a six-for in an ODI in Bangladesh.

And now that people have stopped asking India about the possibility of a fifth bowler or a half-allrounder to shore up the bowling, India seem to have shed the conservatism. Binny is highly likely to make his Test debut on Wednesday. Even if he does not and India change their minds at the last moment, it is credit to India's pleasantly surprising boldness that they have systematically tried to explore the option.

Binny had spells of decent lengths in the warm-up game in Derby and batted ahead of Rohit Sharma, scoring 81 not out. Over in Nottingham he has been getting more attention from the team management than Rohit and R Ashwin while getting a few overs in before going in to bat at No. 8.

The feedback from the batsmen in the nets has been that Binny has been bowling well. The pitch here has grass, but it is straw-coloured. The new drainage system means there is not much moisture retained underneath the surface. The team feels confident enough to go in with just five specialist batsmen and Dhoni at No. 6. Dhoni would not say it in as many words, but there were enough indications in his press conference that Binny was good for a debut.

Asked if he was confident of batting at No. 6 outside Asia, Dhoni said: "Well I have to be. That's a crucial phase of the game where you can turn matches."

If India go ahead and play Binny, this will be a welcome move. Sometimes you have to change your methods when the results are refusing to change. Johannesburg and Wellington would have hurt India in the gut. Such glorious opportunities of overseas wins, but they did not have enough left to barge through the door once they had unlocked it. The message to India would have been that they need to get out of their comfort zone if they are to win away Tests.

A lot of India's solidness in Test cricket has been based on their batting, but most of their famous wins outside Asia since 2000 have been sealed by bowlers in low-scoring matches. They have not had that quality - at least not over two innings - since 2011.

It is not that Binny would have got you the wickets of Faf du Plessis and Brendon McCullum when Zaheer Khan could not. Binny is not that good a bowler. He is a steady medium-pacer who becomes effective when conditions are favourable, a bit like his father Roger. When India won at Headingley in 1986, Roger took five wickets in the first innings, and Chandrakant Pandit, playing as a specialist batsman, batted at No. 6. That side, though, had the luxury of Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri. This one doesn't.

Binny is not a big threat as a bowler, but it is his presence with 10 steady overs in the middle that is bound to help the other bowlers. Just telling the bowlers there is someone to bowl those dirty overs when they are recovering in time to take the new ball can make a huge difference. He is of course not the ideal choice. He would not make a Test side as a batsman or a bowler alone. He is neither a top-six batsman nor a frontline bowler. Sometimes you just have to go for the next-best.

"Rather than coming to press conferences and talking about not having a pace bowling all-rounder, it's better to try and utilise what we have," Dhoni said. "Stuart is someone who can bowl a bit and at the same time bat as well. If we can give him enough chances and groom him, then he can be someone who can do that job for us over the next six-eight months. He won't be as good as someone like Jacques Kallis but he can be someone who can bowl that 10 overs and bat a bit, so he has got the talent."

Binny is in the right place and at the right time. India are in the mood to take the risk, and he is fit, willing, eager, and has the potential to surprise. Didn't we ridicule them when Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher set about to turn Ravindra Jadeja into a Test player?

This move could of course bomb. As can any really. What is important here, though, is that India are willing to sacrifice the safety net of a No. 6 batsman in pursuance of a Test win, that Dhoni is ready to step up and take the extra responsibility of batting at No. 6, and that for once they have been planning for a tour well in advance. Under Dhoni India have never started a tour outside Asia with such intent. They might develop cold feet overnight, they might fail at this, and if it works it is not likely to make a huge tangible impact. However, it is better than losing the same old way over and over again.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 9, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Why not take an allrounder who is way ahead of Binny? Bengal's LR Shukla has been a star batsman in green wickts, he is brilliant as fielder. As a bowler Binny is more steadier but Shukla always breaks partnerships

  • DaisonGarvasis on July 9, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    Its the right move to play Binny. We cant have Jack Kallis, lets play who we have. At least Dhoni wouldnt have to remove the wicket keeping gloves and start bolwing. What if Binny surprises everyone! You would never know if you dont give him a chance. Good move, hope he makes the debut. Its ok trying new things to win if old ways are not working.

  • on July 9, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    Sid is right to highlight the issue of playing an all-rounder. The problem, as he himself acknowledges, is that Binny is not good enough to play either as batsman or bowler. He averages 36 in domestic first class cricket with the bat and something just over 1 wicket per match with the ball. If a fast bowling all-rounder was required, as others here have argued, Rishi Dhawan would have been a better choice. Does anyone remember the idea of a balanced bowling attack - 3 quicks and two spinners? India have two spinners who can also bat respectably - Dhoni at 6 with Ashwin 7 and Jadeja 8 would mean a balanced bowling attack and a deep batting order. True Ashwin has not performed overseas but he has only played 4 tests and he has proven he can bat in tests. A spinner can hold an end up while the quickies have a rest before the new ball just as well as a medium pacer - a classy spinner is arguably better than a medium paced trundler. The drier, better-drained English wickets also favour spin

  • young_ind on July 9, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    there are too many myths and shallow views being peddled here.

    That 5 bowlers is daring is itself a dubious assumption.Its neither daring or positive.Its just foolhardy idea based on irrational and false assumptions.

    Attacks don't become more dangerous just because a 5th bowler joins them! leave alone a two bit bowler like binny.

    So many times in the past, the likes of shastri and gavaskar has raised ruckus with this theory. five bowlers have been tried and the bowling attack has remained as ineffective. it has happened so many times in the past that it not funny . India often had 5 bowlers in the 80's. it was one of the worst decades to watch indian bowling!

    And that binny will give a rest and inspire our bowlers to overseas wins is again baseless and laughable to say the least.i could not stop laughing

    It does not address the basic problem-our pacers are either average or cannot develop into better bowlers.they are taking indian supporters time and again with this useless idea!

  • ooper_cut on July 9, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    The English media started this talk and now it's caught the attention of the team management too. They did the same in 2011 when they questioned why R.P.Singh was not in the team and immediately he was flown over as replacement for Zaheer and we all know the rest. Think we should go with the original plan into the first match and then see what happens.

  • rising_phoenix on July 9, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    @Ignatius - Binny is way better than Sanjay Bangar. The stats may not show even after the tour, but still Binny is a much more aggressive player than Bangar.

    I have doubts about three places in the team - Binny, Gambhir, Aaron/Pankaj Singh. I hope both Binny and Jadeja play and Gambhir is considered as one of the openers, i'm not sure why is everyone talking about Vijay and Dhawan opening. Also, all this talk of Ishant being the spearhead....I hope the team management sees the merit on playing Aaron or Pankaj Singh instead of Ishant

  • sweetspot on July 9, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    Gambhir's last seven innings abroad in Tests: 13, 0, 83, 31, 14, 34, 3. Total 178 (With plenty of experience) Vijay's last seven innings abroad in Tests: 39, 97, 6, 26, 13, 2, 7. Total 190 (With much less experience)

    Gambhir's last seven domestic Test innings: 35, 45, 4, 65, 60, 40, 37. Total 286

    Vijay's last seven domestic Test innings: 167, 153, 26, 57, 11, 26, 43. Total 483.

    No reason for self appointed selectors to get so excited about selecting Gambhir over Vijay.

  • on July 9, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    Any daring change would be welcome!! It is time India did something like that.. after years of waiting, lethal fast bowlers haven't ever shown up.. the fact that Ajit Agarkar himself was far better than Ishant ever was shows how bad Ishant has been.. Shami was hailed when he took that 10 wicket haul.. he has been missing as well since.. only discipline and persistence will get these bowlers wickets.. Heart says India but brain says Cook and Bell might just get back to their double tons..

  • mayuresh11 on July 9, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    my team would be gambhir pujara to open rahane kohli dhoni and rohit to follow biny ashwin(5 left handers in england) shami bhuvi ishant sharma/aron

    if india drop gambhir and rohit i think india batting would be ordinary. if vijay and dhawan would open than its sure that we will lose the match.

    so pick 1 of them or no 1 so that our batting and bowling line up would be equally supported in bowling rohit and kohli will ball some overs and in batting binny and aswhin will help.

    rohit is the only one who can bowl some off spin among all other batsman in the team .

    whats your view ?

  • on July 9, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    I'm not sure how many will agree, I see Binny with the likes of Sanjay Bangar. When India toured England in 2001-2002 season he made a real difference with bat when he went in as an opener in headingley test and struck a 68 in a crucial partnership with Dravid and with the ball took 2 crucial wickets to set-up a rare innings victory away from home. No one thought that Sanjay could do it including me. I hope India grooms Binny well and i hope Binny does a Sanjay in any one of those tests. Like Dhoni says - you have to work around with what you have. In for an exiting series. Good luck India, Play well Binny

  • on July 9, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Why not take an allrounder who is way ahead of Binny? Bengal's LR Shukla has been a star batsman in green wickts, he is brilliant as fielder. As a bowler Binny is more steadier but Shukla always breaks partnerships

  • DaisonGarvasis on July 9, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    Its the right move to play Binny. We cant have Jack Kallis, lets play who we have. At least Dhoni wouldnt have to remove the wicket keeping gloves and start bolwing. What if Binny surprises everyone! You would never know if you dont give him a chance. Good move, hope he makes the debut. Its ok trying new things to win if old ways are not working.

  • on July 9, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    Sid is right to highlight the issue of playing an all-rounder. The problem, as he himself acknowledges, is that Binny is not good enough to play either as batsman or bowler. He averages 36 in domestic first class cricket with the bat and something just over 1 wicket per match with the ball. If a fast bowling all-rounder was required, as others here have argued, Rishi Dhawan would have been a better choice. Does anyone remember the idea of a balanced bowling attack - 3 quicks and two spinners? India have two spinners who can also bat respectably - Dhoni at 6 with Ashwin 7 and Jadeja 8 would mean a balanced bowling attack and a deep batting order. True Ashwin has not performed overseas but he has only played 4 tests and he has proven he can bat in tests. A spinner can hold an end up while the quickies have a rest before the new ball just as well as a medium pacer - a classy spinner is arguably better than a medium paced trundler. The drier, better-drained English wickets also favour spin

  • young_ind on July 9, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    there are too many myths and shallow views being peddled here.

    That 5 bowlers is daring is itself a dubious assumption.Its neither daring or positive.Its just foolhardy idea based on irrational and false assumptions.

    Attacks don't become more dangerous just because a 5th bowler joins them! leave alone a two bit bowler like binny.

    So many times in the past, the likes of shastri and gavaskar has raised ruckus with this theory. five bowlers have been tried and the bowling attack has remained as ineffective. it has happened so many times in the past that it not funny . India often had 5 bowlers in the 80's. it was one of the worst decades to watch indian bowling!

    And that binny will give a rest and inspire our bowlers to overseas wins is again baseless and laughable to say the least.i could not stop laughing

    It does not address the basic problem-our pacers are either average or cannot develop into better bowlers.they are taking indian supporters time and again with this useless idea!

  • ooper_cut on July 9, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    The English media started this talk and now it's caught the attention of the team management too. They did the same in 2011 when they questioned why R.P.Singh was not in the team and immediately he was flown over as replacement for Zaheer and we all know the rest. Think we should go with the original plan into the first match and then see what happens.

  • rising_phoenix on July 9, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    @Ignatius - Binny is way better than Sanjay Bangar. The stats may not show even after the tour, but still Binny is a much more aggressive player than Bangar.

    I have doubts about three places in the team - Binny, Gambhir, Aaron/Pankaj Singh. I hope both Binny and Jadeja play and Gambhir is considered as one of the openers, i'm not sure why is everyone talking about Vijay and Dhawan opening. Also, all this talk of Ishant being the spearhead....I hope the team management sees the merit on playing Aaron or Pankaj Singh instead of Ishant

  • sweetspot on July 9, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    Gambhir's last seven innings abroad in Tests: 13, 0, 83, 31, 14, 34, 3. Total 178 (With plenty of experience) Vijay's last seven innings abroad in Tests: 39, 97, 6, 26, 13, 2, 7. Total 190 (With much less experience)

    Gambhir's last seven domestic Test innings: 35, 45, 4, 65, 60, 40, 37. Total 286

    Vijay's last seven domestic Test innings: 167, 153, 26, 57, 11, 26, 43. Total 483.

    No reason for self appointed selectors to get so excited about selecting Gambhir over Vijay.

  • on July 9, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    Any daring change would be welcome!! It is time India did something like that.. after years of waiting, lethal fast bowlers haven't ever shown up.. the fact that Ajit Agarkar himself was far better than Ishant ever was shows how bad Ishant has been.. Shami was hailed when he took that 10 wicket haul.. he has been missing as well since.. only discipline and persistence will get these bowlers wickets.. Heart says India but brain says Cook and Bell might just get back to their double tons..

  • mayuresh11 on July 9, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    my team would be gambhir pujara to open rahane kohli dhoni and rohit to follow biny ashwin(5 left handers in england) shami bhuvi ishant sharma/aron

    if india drop gambhir and rohit i think india batting would be ordinary. if vijay and dhawan would open than its sure that we will lose the match.

    so pick 1 of them or no 1 so that our batting and bowling line up would be equally supported in bowling rohit and kohli will ball some overs and in batting binny and aswhin will help.

    rohit is the only one who can bowl some off spin among all other batsman in the team .

    whats your view ?

  • on July 9, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    I'm not sure how many will agree, I see Binny with the likes of Sanjay Bangar. When India toured England in 2001-2002 season he made a real difference with bat when he went in as an opener in headingley test and struck a 68 in a crucial partnership with Dravid and with the ball took 2 crucial wickets to set-up a rare innings victory away from home. No one thought that Sanjay could do it including me. I hope India grooms Binny well and i hope Binny does a Sanjay in any one of those tests. Like Dhoni says - you have to work around with what you have. In for an exiting series. Good luck India, Play well Binny

  • ravirrs on July 9, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    Well if Stuart makes his debut that will be a positive move from MSD. Similar to what ENG has done - recalling Ben Stokes. If there is slight support from pitch then Binny can pick a wicket or two. Not sure , how he bowls with old ball and pitch not offering much. However, things are uncertain till the TOSS.

  • Sir_Ivor on July 9, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    Stuart Binny was a very promising player when he started out.He was a sound enough batsman from the Karnataka stables which means technically sound and good with the horizontal strokes.As a bowler he seemed similar in his run up and bowling skills like his father who proved his value to the side when there were the likes of Mohinder Amarnath,Madan Lal and Chetan Sharma in the side supporting Kapil Dev.The point is that Roger held his own and did so in a match-winning manner for most of his career.He was a courageous batsman as we saw against the likes of Marshall Holding and co in Kanpur in 1984.Stuart has that pedigree.Unfortunately he lost out because of his part time defection to the ICL.The talent both as a bat and a bowler remains and no one should doubt that.He has double hundreds is a tough zone in domestic cricket and wickets aplenty in winning causes.So even if he has not had the support which some others have had,I think he will make his mark even if it is for a short while.

  • on July 9, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    bowlers is the key. It was evident in SL series also. SL lacked an extra bowler, ideally a spinner. Let's see how dhoni & co pick their team. I'm rooting for India to come good because Eng are just going down after the Ashes n SL Clean Sweep.

  • on July 9, 2014, 1:44 GMT

    An aggressive India could hurt England here. Really hope they can build on SL's good work earlier ;)

  • satchander on July 9, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    Given Dhoni has always been a defensive captain, I would be really surprised but happy if he decides to go with 5 bowlers. India would anyway lose with 4 bowlers, at least let us see if the result can be changed by going with 5 bowlers.

  • TrueFactors on July 9, 2014, 1:13 GMT

    India could have enough all-rounder pool with this batting line-up as per available players. Dhawan (b), Rahane (b), Pujara (b), Kohli (b/mf), Rohit (b/ob), Jadeja (b/sla), Dhoni (wk), Ashwin (lb/b) / Binny (mf/b), R Dhawan (fm/b), Bhuvi (fm/b), Shami (fm/b). Other players such as LR Shukla, Abhishek Nayar are good all-rounders and they could be groom too. Benefit for Bhuvi and R Dhawan is swing bowling experience in suitable windy conditions of Haryana/H Pradesh.

  • sray23 on July 9, 2014, 1:07 GMT

    I hope they go for Binny at Lords. And neither the management or fans should expect Binny to be a Kapil or Kalls. If India is 60/6, we should expect Binny to score a solid 50 of 200 balls, not a blazing Gilchrist style century. Similarly, if India is bowling and the opposition is 150/0, we should expect Binny to bowl some tidy overs and trouble the batsmen - MAYBE pick up 1-2 crucial wickets. Binny should not be expected to perform as a matchwinner himself. He should be expected to give relief to the matchwinners to allow them to perform at their best. BUT, one thing we should expect from Binny is fight. He must be a tough cricketer who fights till the end & never gives in (like Sanjay Bangar in Headingley 2002) and allows other flashy players to play around him.

  • Sexysteven on July 8, 2014, 23:39 GMT

    Let's hope dhoni is more positive and binny plays not that he is that good but trust him to do a job 10 to 15 tight overs with the ball to give the seamers arrest before the new ball is due and a contribution with the bat that's all they need from binny nothing spectacular then the rest should take care of its self and dhonis field placements are more proactive then we should see agood game of cricket I think

  • young_ind on July 8, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    There is no conservatism in having a four bowler strategy.Countries with plenty of bowling firepower have not employed five bowlers.just imagine bichel at number 5 for the ex Australia side! Its a unviable strategy for india which relies on its batsmen to provide the advantage. you are removing a indian batsman ,who is usually a class act and bringing in a bowler ,who is generally average and a liability. and for what? for returns that are never going to come.

    A bowler says "I am number five" and 20 wickets are going to come? binny is supposed to bowl 10 overs and the rest he gives to bowlers changes the face of the indian attack into a menacing force and there we have our overseas wins atlast ! did I just read this???? strategists all over the world, bow at the feet of dhoni and monga...they are better than sun Tzu and Clausewitz...they surely would have not thought of bringing in a mediocre player to give rest to a unit and fortunes of the unit turns around with their genius!

  • on July 8, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    Pankaj Singh and Varun Aaron should be let loose. Forget allrounders who bowl at 120, that ain't going to do it.

  • ofcourse on July 8, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    I think the attempt is to find an Angelo Mathews in Binny, which is not a bad idea. But, why should India be desperate for allrounders, especially in test matches. None of the great teams (be it the great Australian or WI team) or even the good English team that beat Aus and Ind so comfortably at their own turfs relied on allrounders. Kallis is a very rare breed and you would just be lucky to get one. By the way, including Gambhir in the squad when there are so many batting talents coming in is just the opposite of aggression.

  • pritpalpabla on July 8, 2014, 19:15 GMT

    Very well written... India is certainly missing fast bowler all rounder when ever they go overseas... But in present scenario Dhoni don't have any option except Binny. Hopefully in the future they will groom talent like Rishi Dhawan, he is only 24 now.. Better bowler than Binny as his stats shows that...

  • cricket-is-passion on July 8, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    I know lot of people talking a lot about captaincy blah blah but just think about otherside how much pressure is building up on TeamIndia, Dhoni and Binny. Now they have to play under pressure considering their terrible recent performance overseas. It would be nice to have a good allrounder like Kapil, Prabhakar or even shastri I guess the only opion is Binny as Irfan hasn't played any match of recovery. Rishi Dhawan maybe an option I guess but he never payed and I believe wait to see his performance in next 8 months. Any ways good luck TeamIndia and Binny. Hope Binny can produce something that he did in practice matches and in Bangladesh which is just enough to change TeamIndia's overseas fate.

  • Nampally on July 8, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Mr. Monga, India does need a pace bowling all rounder like Kapil Dev, especially overseas. When they had Irfan Pathan, he was discarded even after recovery from injuries. Irfan was the best of this kind in the recent years. Guys like Abhihek Nayar, Rishi Dhawan have done well in Ranji consistently but were never in contention. So there is a need for the Selectors to keep their eyes wide open. Now Binny got a chance in the squad. The Selectors thought he was the best of his kind available in India. I think the Indian selectors may feel that Binny is like Bopara for England. But when you look at the facts Binny is around 120 KPH & an aggressive bat lacking in consistency. No one is sure if he is up to the Test calibre. But Dhoni has to try it, if only to prove it to himself & to Selectors. I would not call it "shedding of Conservatism", as the heading says. Yes it is a huge departure from Dhoni's "Tunnel visioned" approach. He now believes in "Necessity is the Mother of Invention".

  • perl57 on July 8, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    @Cric_Dude that is not a good leadership style. Let us be honest Vijay did decent and Rohit scored decently in the test series that happened in India. I am sure they will be on the chopping block if they fail here. Also Ishant is hopeless. A 7 foot tall fast bowler cannot even bowl at the pace of Jadeja. And those people you spoke of like Karun Nair et al, all of them are splash in the pan. They aint no Sachin or Rahul. The best of the lot Sanju Samson flopped hopelessly on dry Dubai pitches in the UNDER 19 world cup but was exceptional in IPL says it all.

  • chsj on July 8, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    If India were seriously looking for all rounders, why could not consider Laxmi Ratan Shukla. He has been a consistently effective performer in whichever team and format played. With him in, Dhoni could still remain at no. 7.

  • Cric__Dude on July 8, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    Hello Cpt.Meanster, please remove this thinking from your mind. "A format without any innovation, improvisation and a range of other adjectives I could add." Test cricket is beautiful when it is played like this. Set field however you want, bowl however you want, lets test each other for 5 days and see who is better. Is there anything more beautiful than this? This is real beauty. 50 and 20 over cricket has been modified to such an extent that its not a balanced game anymore. Its a batsman's game now. Why do we need to spoil test format as well? This is real cricket. If at all anything needs to be done to this format, its should be to convince people and make it larger. Do whatever you want wrt marketing this format. Do whatever you want to improve facilities to spectators and players. But not a single change to the playing format. Please please please save TEST CRICKET (REAL CRICKET)....

  • on July 8, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    The first step in shedding conservatism would be to drop ishant sharma and murali vijay to let gambhir and any other bowler taking ishants place . A guy who has played over 50 tests doesnt need one more chance to prove his worth .After India's last away test win june 2011, ishant is the only player to have played all 14 tests resulting in 10 losses and 4 draws and his records are too bad even consider him as a part time bowler

  • on July 8, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    There was no need to go in with a half decent batsman who can bowl some military medium as the all-round option. There was young Rishi Dhawan, the top wicket taker of the last Ranji season who has a First Class average of 40. But now that they've selected Binny, lets hope he can score some runs and bowl a few decent overs and perhaps chip in with a wicket or 2 a game.

  • Cric__Dude on July 8, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    As the title says, only thing is selectors/management should be ready to experiment. You need not change the whole 11. See 1/2 players every series. Why do you need to keep players like Vijay/Ishanth/Rohit for so long? If they play 1/2 good matches once in 40/50 matches, you start considering them again. We have lot of talent. Do you want to waste players like Karun Nair, Manish Pandey, Uthappa, KL Rahul, Parthiv Patel, HS Sharath, Ishwar Pandey, Shreyas Gopal, Kedar Jadhav etc. You tried Harbhajan for a long time when Murali Kartik was getting heaps of cricket in county. And you never considered Murali after he was 30-32. Whats the inspiration for youngsters then? Please change your attitude Dhoni, team management and selectors. Be ruthless in your actions, we want to see Team India like the Australian team of late 90s and early 00s, like the great WI team of 70s. Losing should be a rare commodity. Be aggressive.

  • Triple_A on July 8, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    Any reason why Rishi Dhawan isn't getting a serious look at? He is the highest wicket-taker in the 13-14 Ranji series and can bat decently. Why is Dhoni constantly trying to go back to Irfan who bowls at 110 and has lost the ability to bat consistently even in Ranji. India needs to look at Dhawan and Praveen (behavioural issues aside, he is probably the best swing bowler in India, and has batted well in England before), before going back to Irfan, who is a shadow of his previous self.

    It is amazing how India can produce one batsman after another, each more talented than the previous, but cannot muster up a single fast-bowling all-rounder to play nationally. BCCI really needs to address the pitches in India - they seem to be killing any aspirations young kids have in fast bowling. One can literally walk into the Indian National XI by being a half-decent allrounder, but there is no one available for the job.

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 8, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    If there is one thing life has taught me, it is that conservatism NEVER works. Ironically, this is being discussed in relation with test cricket which is still stuck in the past. A format without any innovation, improvisation and a range of other adjectives I could add. Still, speaking about the Indian cricket team, it's only imperative that they think like winners. Stuart Binny has had a good Ranji season. I think it will be a good move to give him a debut. Especially with MS Dhoni's reluctance to bat at no.6 and the fact I cannot see Jadeja playing because India simply cannot afford to play 2 spinners in England. Add to that, Binny is an all-rounder; a rare commodity in Indian cricket. He bowls a healthy medium pace and can swing the ball. All the ingredients are there for his first test cap. I wish him good luck and I am sure every Indian supporter will support his inclusion.

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  • Cpt.Meanster on July 8, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    If there is one thing life has taught me, it is that conservatism NEVER works. Ironically, this is being discussed in relation with test cricket which is still stuck in the past. A format without any innovation, improvisation and a range of other adjectives I could add. Still, speaking about the Indian cricket team, it's only imperative that they think like winners. Stuart Binny has had a good Ranji season. I think it will be a good move to give him a debut. Especially with MS Dhoni's reluctance to bat at no.6 and the fact I cannot see Jadeja playing because India simply cannot afford to play 2 spinners in England. Add to that, Binny is an all-rounder; a rare commodity in Indian cricket. He bowls a healthy medium pace and can swing the ball. All the ingredients are there for his first test cap. I wish him good luck and I am sure every Indian supporter will support his inclusion.

  • Triple_A on July 8, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    Any reason why Rishi Dhawan isn't getting a serious look at? He is the highest wicket-taker in the 13-14 Ranji series and can bat decently. Why is Dhoni constantly trying to go back to Irfan who bowls at 110 and has lost the ability to bat consistently even in Ranji. India needs to look at Dhawan and Praveen (behavioural issues aside, he is probably the best swing bowler in India, and has batted well in England before), before going back to Irfan, who is a shadow of his previous self.

    It is amazing how India can produce one batsman after another, each more talented than the previous, but cannot muster up a single fast-bowling all-rounder to play nationally. BCCI really needs to address the pitches in India - they seem to be killing any aspirations young kids have in fast bowling. One can literally walk into the Indian National XI by being a half-decent allrounder, but there is no one available for the job.

  • Cric__Dude on July 8, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    As the title says, only thing is selectors/management should be ready to experiment. You need not change the whole 11. See 1/2 players every series. Why do you need to keep players like Vijay/Ishanth/Rohit for so long? If they play 1/2 good matches once in 40/50 matches, you start considering them again. We have lot of talent. Do you want to waste players like Karun Nair, Manish Pandey, Uthappa, KL Rahul, Parthiv Patel, HS Sharath, Ishwar Pandey, Shreyas Gopal, Kedar Jadhav etc. You tried Harbhajan for a long time when Murali Kartik was getting heaps of cricket in county. And you never considered Murali after he was 30-32. Whats the inspiration for youngsters then? Please change your attitude Dhoni, team management and selectors. Be ruthless in your actions, we want to see Team India like the Australian team of late 90s and early 00s, like the great WI team of 70s. Losing should be a rare commodity. Be aggressive.

  • on July 8, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    There was no need to go in with a half decent batsman who can bowl some military medium as the all-round option. There was young Rishi Dhawan, the top wicket taker of the last Ranji season who has a First Class average of 40. But now that they've selected Binny, lets hope he can score some runs and bowl a few decent overs and perhaps chip in with a wicket or 2 a game.

  • on July 8, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    The first step in shedding conservatism would be to drop ishant sharma and murali vijay to let gambhir and any other bowler taking ishants place . A guy who has played over 50 tests doesnt need one more chance to prove his worth .After India's last away test win june 2011, ishant is the only player to have played all 14 tests resulting in 10 losses and 4 draws and his records are too bad even consider him as a part time bowler

  • Cric__Dude on July 8, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    Hello Cpt.Meanster, please remove this thinking from your mind. "A format without any innovation, improvisation and a range of other adjectives I could add." Test cricket is beautiful when it is played like this. Set field however you want, bowl however you want, lets test each other for 5 days and see who is better. Is there anything more beautiful than this? This is real beauty. 50 and 20 over cricket has been modified to such an extent that its not a balanced game anymore. Its a batsman's game now. Why do we need to spoil test format as well? This is real cricket. If at all anything needs to be done to this format, its should be to convince people and make it larger. Do whatever you want wrt marketing this format. Do whatever you want to improve facilities to spectators and players. But not a single change to the playing format. Please please please save TEST CRICKET (REAL CRICKET)....

  • chsj on July 8, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    If India were seriously looking for all rounders, why could not consider Laxmi Ratan Shukla. He has been a consistently effective performer in whichever team and format played. With him in, Dhoni could still remain at no. 7.

  • perl57 on July 8, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    @Cric_Dude that is not a good leadership style. Let us be honest Vijay did decent and Rohit scored decently in the test series that happened in India. I am sure they will be on the chopping block if they fail here. Also Ishant is hopeless. A 7 foot tall fast bowler cannot even bowl at the pace of Jadeja. And those people you spoke of like Karun Nair et al, all of them are splash in the pan. They aint no Sachin or Rahul. The best of the lot Sanju Samson flopped hopelessly on dry Dubai pitches in the UNDER 19 world cup but was exceptional in IPL says it all.

  • Nampally on July 8, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Mr. Monga, India does need a pace bowling all rounder like Kapil Dev, especially overseas. When they had Irfan Pathan, he was discarded even after recovery from injuries. Irfan was the best of this kind in the recent years. Guys like Abhihek Nayar, Rishi Dhawan have done well in Ranji consistently but were never in contention. So there is a need for the Selectors to keep their eyes wide open. Now Binny got a chance in the squad. The Selectors thought he was the best of his kind available in India. I think the Indian selectors may feel that Binny is like Bopara for England. But when you look at the facts Binny is around 120 KPH & an aggressive bat lacking in consistency. No one is sure if he is up to the Test calibre. But Dhoni has to try it, if only to prove it to himself & to Selectors. I would not call it "shedding of Conservatism", as the heading says. Yes it is a huge departure from Dhoni's "Tunnel visioned" approach. He now believes in "Necessity is the Mother of Invention".

  • cricket-is-passion on July 8, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    I know lot of people talking a lot about captaincy blah blah but just think about otherside how much pressure is building up on TeamIndia, Dhoni and Binny. Now they have to play under pressure considering their terrible recent performance overseas. It would be nice to have a good allrounder like Kapil, Prabhakar or even shastri I guess the only opion is Binny as Irfan hasn't played any match of recovery. Rishi Dhawan maybe an option I guess but he never payed and I believe wait to see his performance in next 8 months. Any ways good luck TeamIndia and Binny. Hope Binny can produce something that he did in practice matches and in Bangladesh which is just enough to change TeamIndia's overseas fate.