England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 5th day July 21, 2014

Dhoni masterminds bouncer attack

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Ishant Sharma: 'I think all these wickets are not for me, it is only for the captain'
Ishant Sharma: 'I think all these wickets are not for me, it is only for the captain' © Getty Images

He looked the same when he entered the press-conference room. He made familiar jokes. He seemed the same man, not too overjoyed by a big Test win. Still, this MS Dhoni was a new MS Dhoni. Having completed India's second Test win at Lord's, after getting sent in on a green pitch, Dhoni revealed how he had to step in and get his bowlers to execute what seemed like the right plan to him. He also said it was high time he intervened.

Dhoni had to convince Ishant Sharma to bowl bouncers at the England batsmen after they had blunted India's plan A for almost the whole first session. The result was a five-wicket collapse against the short ball in half an hour, three falling to the pull or the hook and two when left-hand batsmen fended rising deliveries.

"To start off with, it was very difficult to convince him [Ishant]," Dhoni said. "When he first came on to bowl, I asked him to bowl short, and he turned the other way. Then I set the field for him so that he couldn't even think of bowling up. So the strategy was to give him a field so he is forced to bowl the length that I wanted him to bowl.

"It worked, and once he got Moeen's wicket [with the last ball before lunch] he was eager enough to try that attack for a consistent period of time. He works really hard on his fitness and on his bowling and doesn't shy away from bowling long spells. Whenever you ask him to bowl, whatever situation, he gives his 100%. There is no reason why he shouldn't test this line of attack. He will have to bowl a high number of overs outside India so he will have to bowl short because he has the height so he can exploit the bounce and put pressure on batsmen. He can add this to his armoury because it is definitely difficult to convince him."

Dhoni spoke about how he had let his bowlers be, but of late he and Duncan Fletcher had begun to more than nudge them in the right direction. "Duncan definitely wants to try everything, and he wants the bowlers to bowl short also. We have been trying to convince our bowlers to bowl a few bouncers. At times we had this problem in South Africa and in New Zealand that we bowled the first 10 overs without bowling a single bouncer. And you go and ask them and they say it was swinging enough to get the batsmen out.

"At times it's not the bouncer that gets you the wicket but what happens after the bouncer that can actually get you wickets. At times it becomes difficult to make them understand even if you are saying it in simple words. Cricket is a complex sport. Ishant never wanted to bowl round the wicket. He was like, 'No it's going that way. So I want to bowl over.' So what happens is when you go through that phase it opens that sector for you. Your armoury increases. We don't want to force ourselves on the bowlers, but now in the past four or five games I definitely think their view to bouncers and short stuff has opened up. Now they are using it quite consistently."

Dhoni's comments may not show the bowlers' intelligence in great light, but it is a welcome change from a captain who has been accused of being too passive in the field.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SudeepSonawane on July 24, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    Does Dhoni want Indian cricket fans and critics to believe that he has to convince and cajole his bowlers? This is insane! He is the captain of the team. As captain he consigns Sutart Binny to do modelling on the boundary line and forget about bowling. So, why could not he tell Ishant and Shami to bowl bouncers? Hogwash! Dhoni is not a Test captain, period. He has struggled to beat this third class England team which looks fourth class because Cook and Bell are out of form. Add to this lot Prior whose wicket-keeping, like Dhoni's is not Test standards. Dhoni is not a Test captainl. If he is not confused, then he is adamant. Can't believe he includes Binny in team and doesn't give him the ball. If this is the case then why the hell is Rohit Sharma warming the bench? And, on seaming pitch is Dhawan better than Gambhir? Selectors must get rid of Dhoni from the Test team - can't bat on seaming pitch, cant keep and makes dumb decisions. Time to hand Kholi the reins.

  • fguy on July 23, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    this illustrates why we've been so poor in away tests (& ishant always) if after playing 50+ tests you need to be forced to try something different when plan A is clearly not working then something is seriously wrong. it also seems that indian bowlers dont have backup plans if things dont go their way india were lucky that eng were intent on harakiri coz even the way that short ball plan was executed was ridiculous. bowling each & every delivery at same length makes it like a bowling machine. a good side would've just left the ball alone & wait for the bowler to tire. the short ball should be used as a surprise once ever 2 overs or so. eng were seriously poor there. i think it was a ego thing there that sharma is not johnson so lets get some quick runs

  • chotteguru on July 22, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    At last, the Indian team is realising how "bowling to a plan" is an important part of the strategy on the field. Though, what works on one day, on one wicket, may be useless on another.

    Therefore I still believe that India should bring Ashwin for Binny in for the next match as he is a different type of spinner from Jadeja and so they will have more variations to choose from.

  • ProdigyA on July 22, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    India had to lose so many matches before Dhoni could finally learn how to captain a Test team.

  • ProdigyA on July 22, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    After so many years, looks like Dhoni is finally learning the art of Test captaincy.

    Even a rock can captain any team, if the players can do whatever they want. Its not called giving freedom to the players but its called not being able to be a leader and command the team. When you have a plan you must ensure it is executed even if the players like it or not, that is captaincy.

  • NP_NY on July 22, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    Ishant being able to bowl so many bouncers with an old ball is commendable. But there is a problem here. No one else could make use of the variable bounce, so no one else could take wickets. Pankaj Singh is a 130 kph swing bowler but he is very tall (6'4) and can get good bounce. He should play in place of Shami/Binny.

  • NalinWikkey on July 22, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    India should focus on getting Ishant stronger so he can be more menacing. It is a shame to waste the height - with more pace he could bowl a mean bouncer

  • on July 22, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    MSD captaincy at its best. Not only did he convince Ishant to do what he wanted him to do, it came off spectacularly. Dhoni has to be more proactive regarding team tactics in the future

  • GRVJPR on July 22, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    @cricmatters, Annderson can't bowl anything. His record avg of 30 plus on tailormade conditions in england is pathetic. Even zaheer khan averages 28 depite bowling on dead wickets for fast bowlers. Anderson is just ordinary bowler.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on July 22, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    For all the talk of India being poor players of short pitched stuff, show me one team that handles them comfortably. South Africa struggled against Johnson earlier this year, as did Australia against Morkel in the second test. Let's not forget the way West Indian quicks harassed Australian batsmen in the late 80s and early 90s. Its simple really: everyone struggles against fast stuff aimed at the body.

  • SudeepSonawane on July 24, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    Does Dhoni want Indian cricket fans and critics to believe that he has to convince and cajole his bowlers? This is insane! He is the captain of the team. As captain he consigns Sutart Binny to do modelling on the boundary line and forget about bowling. So, why could not he tell Ishant and Shami to bowl bouncers? Hogwash! Dhoni is not a Test captain, period. He has struggled to beat this third class England team which looks fourth class because Cook and Bell are out of form. Add to this lot Prior whose wicket-keeping, like Dhoni's is not Test standards. Dhoni is not a Test captainl. If he is not confused, then he is adamant. Can't believe he includes Binny in team and doesn't give him the ball. If this is the case then why the hell is Rohit Sharma warming the bench? And, on seaming pitch is Dhawan better than Gambhir? Selectors must get rid of Dhoni from the Test team - can't bat on seaming pitch, cant keep and makes dumb decisions. Time to hand Kholi the reins.

  • fguy on July 23, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    this illustrates why we've been so poor in away tests (& ishant always) if after playing 50+ tests you need to be forced to try something different when plan A is clearly not working then something is seriously wrong. it also seems that indian bowlers dont have backup plans if things dont go their way india were lucky that eng were intent on harakiri coz even the way that short ball plan was executed was ridiculous. bowling each & every delivery at same length makes it like a bowling machine. a good side would've just left the ball alone & wait for the bowler to tire. the short ball should be used as a surprise once ever 2 overs or so. eng were seriously poor there. i think it was a ego thing there that sharma is not johnson so lets get some quick runs

  • chotteguru on July 22, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    At last, the Indian team is realising how "bowling to a plan" is an important part of the strategy on the field. Though, what works on one day, on one wicket, may be useless on another.

    Therefore I still believe that India should bring Ashwin for Binny in for the next match as he is a different type of spinner from Jadeja and so they will have more variations to choose from.

  • ProdigyA on July 22, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    India had to lose so many matches before Dhoni could finally learn how to captain a Test team.

  • ProdigyA on July 22, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    After so many years, looks like Dhoni is finally learning the art of Test captaincy.

    Even a rock can captain any team, if the players can do whatever they want. Its not called giving freedom to the players but its called not being able to be a leader and command the team. When you have a plan you must ensure it is executed even if the players like it or not, that is captaincy.

  • NP_NY on July 22, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    Ishant being able to bowl so many bouncers with an old ball is commendable. But there is a problem here. No one else could make use of the variable bounce, so no one else could take wickets. Pankaj Singh is a 130 kph swing bowler but he is very tall (6'4) and can get good bounce. He should play in place of Shami/Binny.

  • NalinWikkey on July 22, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    India should focus on getting Ishant stronger so he can be more menacing. It is a shame to waste the height - with more pace he could bowl a mean bouncer

  • on July 22, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    MSD captaincy at its best. Not only did he convince Ishant to do what he wanted him to do, it came off spectacularly. Dhoni has to be more proactive regarding team tactics in the future

  • GRVJPR on July 22, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    @cricmatters, Annderson can't bowl anything. His record avg of 30 plus on tailormade conditions in england is pathetic. Even zaheer khan averages 28 depite bowling on dead wickets for fast bowlers. Anderson is just ordinary bowler.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on July 22, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    For all the talk of India being poor players of short pitched stuff, show me one team that handles them comfortably. South Africa struggled against Johnson earlier this year, as did Australia against Morkel in the second test. Let's not forget the way West Indian quicks harassed Australian batsmen in the late 80s and early 90s. Its simple really: everyone struggles against fast stuff aimed at the body.

  • kurups on July 22, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    So much for all the Other Lads complaining about India's ability to play short pitched stuff!! The fact is that every batsman in the world is bothered by it. It is just that they never got tested with consistently good bouncers from Indian bowlers who certainly are not very adept at that unlike their other counterparts. MSD has to be aggressive in his captaincy, which he has not been until now...so its a welcome change.I hope Jadeja's was not just a flash in the pan and improves as an impact player. It will be a shame if Cook has to leave but I hope it doesnt happen as he is a great player.

  • RAJEESHKUMAR on July 22, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    Good short balls and rising balls will trouble every batsman in the world, not just Indian batsmen. The problem with India is that they don't have the right bowlers to bowl the short stuff consistently. India got some luck yesterday to get moeen ali out and India deserved that luck too. They performed well in SA and NZL but had no luck to win the matches. Dhoni also changed his approach. When McCullum scored the 300 in NZL, Dhoni did not tried any part timers until the match had gone out of hands. Now it is good to see him trying Vijay, Dhavan et al and it proved right when Vijay got Moeen's wicket in the first innings and Dhavan nearly got Moeen in the second.

  • TRAM on July 22, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    So all the short pitched deliveries Ishant bowled over so many years of his career are "by mistake" ?? He didn't bowl them on purpose? OMG !

  • on July 22, 2014, 2:59 GMT

    @McGorium : India are worse players of short ball, but still none.of them got out to short ball even.though England tried bowling short ball...wow what a contrast.... instead England has been bounced by a person whom I have.not seen.bowling short ball...what foes that make about the short ball batting ability of England????

  • an25 on July 22, 2014, 2:33 GMT

    Ishant you have done well and hope you continue to be consistent in the coming months.. Its really frustrating to see you struggling often

  • baskar_guha on July 22, 2014, 2:30 GMT

    Ishant's stubbornness is a bit scary but good that he listens to MSD and DF.

  • JohnSM on July 22, 2014, 2:13 GMT

    9 times out of 10 this strategy would have failed. Why? Ishant is not a fast bowler in the strict sense. He rarely gets his speed above 140. Short balls are menacing if bowled quick. That is the reason Johnson, and sometimes Morkel are devastating. Johnson particularly has the physique for intimidating pace bowling. Ishant doesn't.

    So why did it work?

    England panicked. They panicked after that over just before lunch. Not Moeen Ali's wicket. It was the snorter (an aberration) to Root in the second ball of the over. They decided they had to boss it out and hit sharma out of the attack. Totally unnecessary. With the field spread out, all the had to do was wait for not so high ball and pull it with control to mid wicket. This is not a difficult task when the pace is around 137ks. England were simply in such poor form they couldn't manage this simple task. This wasn't a wicket taking field set, but it forced the batters to do something stupid. It was clever in that sense.

  • Sexysteven on July 22, 2014, 2:00 GMT

    Yea that's what captaincy is about u let things go for awhile but when things ain't changing then u have to put your opinion in and if required force his players to do what he wants dhoni should be applauded for that hope cook saw that the good captains are good judges of that and know when to let things go or to but in and change things that's the best part of test cricket the tactical thinking is so important

  • IndianInnerEdge on July 22, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    Well, better late than never....at least MSD is thinking and putting some thunder up the bowlers pants and getting them out side their confort zones....the shuddering fact is imaging the amount of matches that we could have done better if this realisation had come earlier......imagine...:)

  • IAS2009 on July 22, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    England let India off the hook twice in the test match, their experience batsmen getting out sometimes to very good ball Bell in particular, it has been happening so much since last tour of Australia, I think now the lack of confidence in England camp has lot to do with their performance, on the other hand India has good confidence even their number 11 has the confidence to prize their wicket. The top order did not get out to poor shots, they survived the worst time batting on the green top pitch, England blew it when India are 7 for 150 odd runs and then giving 295 1st inning score. Good performance from Indian team, Ishant really bowled well.

  • voosan on July 22, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    Not sure what Dhoni is trying to say here. It appears he is trying to wash the dirty laundry in Public??

    It doesn't look like he is giving credit to Ishant. He is infact trying to discuss the arguments he and him were having on the field. First of all, is this is the right occasion to say such things? Who cares what happened, you won the game, go on celebrate and plan the next text.

    Second of all, I'm really nervous, if this is how things get communicated within the team, I'm wonder how you can get anything done? If you argue on the field whether to bowl a short ball or not, it is a big reason for concern. Everyone should be following the same plan..

  • Giant-Guru on July 22, 2014, 0:45 GMT

    Indian won the Lord's test and if want to hope of winning other tests then need some positive changes, like resting Dhawan and playing either Rohit or Gambhir, and Binny adds no value to the team, try Arun or Ashwin, the later is better with the bat than even Binny. But the superstitious looking Dhoni may go unchanged for the next test too.

  • cricmatters on July 22, 2014, 0:43 GMT

    What happened to the other tall bowler RP Singh?

  • Giant-Guru on July 22, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    "Krishkingle's" comments rightly sum up what even I had wanted to say. Well its Dhoni not the bowler 'Ishant' who bowled from behind while keeping the wickets, Wow MS you are God!!! The greatness of good players is lies not in their self praise like Dhoni did, but in giving full credit to the bowler Ishant Sharma. And Ishant like an obedient disciple credited it to his captain.

    Had Jadeja, Viyay and Bhuwaneshvar not put in those precious runs India would have lost the test before lunch....Dhoni himself couldn't score any runs, can't blame him either as he lacks proper technique. Stop patting your backs, just remember the white wash a couple of years ago......

  • cricmatters on July 22, 2014, 0:39 GMT

    He still can't bowl a decent yorker.

  • rick333 on July 22, 2014, 0:23 GMT

    @ kriskingle: It may be true that Chappell has sharp cricketing brain. But you may be falsely accusing Dhoni of not crediting Chappell. Here you have assumed that Dhoni had read / listened to Chappell's interview and only because of that he started dictating bowlers. Do you know that most elite sportsperson avoid reading sports column or views (that they play professionally). Off-season they have plenty to catchup and worry about than worrying about Chappells view or any other expert views for that matter.

  • McGorium on July 21, 2014, 23:37 GMT

    @ Ramny: Honestly, England self-destructed. The short-stuff to Moin Ali was a decent ploy, but after that, it was pure stupidity on England's part that ensured they lost this game. I'm sure Ishant knows his game pretty well; he's used bouncers before, like in WI a few years ago. The fuller length is what got wickets on this pitch; England tried it against india in the same game without luck and Indians are worse players of the short stuff. Nevertheless, I'm glad Dhoni's being a bit imaginative, even if England helped. It remains to be seen if this imagination and risk-taking continues, but he's been a defensive and unimaginative captain for as long as he's captained test cricket.

  • JustAnotherCricketFan on July 21, 2014, 23:18 GMT

    @Arun V Lingamariyappa its not a PS3 game, where you press a button and bowl short bowls at will. its takes a lot out of you to bowl yorkers and shorts. thats why u use them to spice things up or get wickets. thats why bowlers like Mitch Johnson only come in short spells, cos if you get an ishant or bhuvi to bowl 6 bouncers for 8 to 10 over spells one day one, then they wouldn't even get out of bed on day 2.

    hats off to Ishant for wantign to keep going.

  • Cobra0077 on July 21, 2014, 22:54 GMT

    I think that what happened in this test was that extra adrenalin was flowing thru the Indian players blood because of the Anderson incident. India needs to prove that it was not that in the next test There are many batsmen who still have to prove that they deserve a spot in the Indian test side or with the long schedules of cricket tournaments they body is not able to be in top shape all the time. Everyone needs some time to take of to recover both mentally & physically.

  • HEARTOUT on July 21, 2014, 22:43 GMT

    Come ON MSD when will you start giving honest comments about your team. Its fluke that India won this test by a bowler who was blamed for every reason less than 6 months back when he helped opponent to win matches from unbelievable situations. India with their all money have tailor made pitches for their mediocre bowling just to draw the series and fortunately with this Eng team have no match winner they have won a test match. Will see in coming days how MSD convince his team mates to loose matches from winning situation and will love to see Dhoni comments.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on July 21, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    Indeed @kriskingle - Ian Chappell certainly did fire a broadside across the bows of Dhoni on 23 February 2013 on cricinfo - for what he saw as Dhoni's defensiveness in allowing New Zealand to escape with a draw in a test India should have won. Chappell, the most articulate and clear-sighted advocate of attacking cricket alive, put it this way - " Instead of placing defensive fields for Ishant Sharma's wayward deliveries he has to challenge him by deploying men designed to aid the bowler, as long as he maintains line and length. If Ishant can't oblige him, he has to find another bowler who can." This is the same Ian Chappell who excoriated the Indian selectors in 2007 when they initially failed to pick Sehwag for the tour to Australia - the man who as captain stood up to Sir Donald Bradman in his pursuit of a fair financial deal for his players, the man who hooked Michael Holding and Andy Roberts out of sight without wearing a helmet in 1975. When he speaks, we should listen and learn!

  • Boycott_Boycott on July 21, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    Vijay reminded me of the openers of old who would bottle ends up an were slow in scoring in tests and wear away the shine. Chetan Chauhan was one like that. he was an excellent counterfoil to Sunil Gavaskar. He ended up with no Test centuries to his name but countered the pacemen of that era. I believe that there were no helmets then. The need of the hour is dictated by the requirements and was aptly displayed. Even Gavaskar praised Vijay and Pujara for the 70-2 on the 1st day. it was high praise. I think the Indians played as a team and hence were able to land blows across the bows of the English team. They have 3 more tests that they have to come through. I do hope that they remember and learn from the lessons. Batting against swing is never easy and it was a pleasure to see the batsmen playing very late. A skill a certain Mr. Dravid amply displayed. Not every test can be won in the same manner. Tactics will win the day. Mishaps will occur and these players can be the bedrock.

  • on July 21, 2014, 21:17 GMT

    Ishant has certainly become better .In england as much I have seen him he is hitting the good areas consistently and is bowling some fine spells .Yes he was a bit lucky in the 7 wicket haul but he bowled beautifully in the morning session a and forced a lot of edges .Even in the first innings he bowled without much luck .Good to see dhoni captaining more aggresively .We missed this aggression on previius tours .Bhuvi was maybe a bit tired by second innings but I saw him bowl and he was not effective when ball was not swinging .Shami 's form has not been the best in the two tests and he needs to support Ishant and bhuvi .Against teams like SA and Aus we need bowlers to be looking for wickets from both ends . This one man taking 6-7 wickets in an innings will not help .Morkel and steyn blew away Sri lanka together .India cannot afford two of their bowlers to go wicketless in an innings as most of the time then India will not be able to take all ten wickets .

  • ElvisKing on July 21, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    @kriskingle It is funny what you write but Dhoni never ever reads any comments by any one and so why should he acknowledge anything ? He stays away from all these columns offer and if he were to follow every one's advice in these columns he would look like a fool. We all have been witness to all the bowlers not bowling bouncers and short pitched stuff at opposition for last so many years and used to get worked up ! Was Chappel as a Good Captain as Dhoni is ? No, Dhoni has proved by far that he is the best Captain in all formats. India almost won in a couple of matches last time around in England and even Called back Ian Bell after he was given out and India lost the Test ! Ian Chappel would not have done that !

  • Nish_US on July 21, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    Sorry did not mean short balls. He is quite good at that, bowling short balls at 82 mph and half-

    volleys at 80.5

    What I meant was bouncers and yorkers.

    ofcorse have to appreciate the way he bent his back in the second innings.

    Someone needs to install a chip that sends the following signals:

    1. Day 1 - pitch it up and try to swing 2. Day 2 - Pitch it on good length with good seam - hit the deck 3. Day 3 - with new ball - mix 1 & 2 - old ball - try reverse swing or bounce 4. Day 4 & 5 - Inline with stumps (not pads) and full, or bounce

    Use bouncers sparingly as a surprise element on Day1, 2 and 3.

    If nothing works talk to Dhoni or check cricinfo.com comments section and search for Nish_US

  • bhushanB on July 21, 2014, 19:05 GMT

    @mahimse

    Spot on with both your observations... On the previous tour of ENG in 2011 itself after couple of failures from Sehwag and Gambhir, I've implored that we need someone like Aakash Chopra, for these away tours... The openers need to hold the end up, until at least 35 overs, tire the main bowlers... and then they can milk runs for the remaining 45 overs, as these teams like ENG, AUS, NZ usually do not have a front line spinner (baring swann in the recent times, warne was forgotten long time ago)... And when your best batsmen in No.3 and No.4 come to bat... they have tired bowlers flattened pitch (from early moisture) to bank on and score freely.....

    This is something that has not happened for a while..

    Attacking openers are good to watch.. but if they are not consistent then you need someone with solid technique to hold the end

  • Nish_US on July 21, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    Ishant took so many years to realize that he is 6'4 tall and he needs to bowl short balls.

    Come on he did not realize it.. yah may be temporarily for an hour or so... trust me he forgot it already.. and will be back to bowling 80.5 dollies that say hit-me hit-me with no control on line or length or bounce...

  • Ramny on July 21, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    Can't believe that Ishant don't listen to the captain's request and don't bowl bouncers, all his career blaming lady luck for his lack of wkts ? What is the role of bowling coach here. If he does it in 1 or 2 tests then it is ok. but when a bowler struggles for wkts for 50 tests, won't he try diff things by his own? Totally surprised that the Captain had to force him to bowl short by setting the field. Now I know why India never won abroad under Dhoni so far, as he let Zaheer khan to be the bowling captain. Hope Dhoni takes stuff in his hand and shows that he is a smart captain. Some times, bowlers like Ishant don't think out of the box. That is where good captaincy comes in.

  • Nish_US on July 21, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    @Dragonboyz

    A batsman is supposed to score runs, a bowler is supposed to take wickets..... when some one does the both, without whose contribution, the match does not go into Day-4, he deserves the MOM. For me that is clearly Bhuvi

  • kriskingle on July 21, 2014, 18:22 GMT

    Encomiums are being heaped upon Dhoni. Ishant praises Dhoni for giving him the confidence to bowl short, but does Dhoni have the grace to acknowledge Ian Chappell, who suggested that Dhoni's biggest shortcoming is his inability to challenge his bowlers in these very columns a few months ago, before the New Zealand tour began, if I recall correctly? Chappell has once again proved why he is such a highly regarded figure in world cricket. His observational nous and tactical acumen have never been second to anyone, Mike Brearley. He has also very astutely refuses to be a part of any one world team, and thus retain his objectivity, presumably. But it would behoove India to heed his observations better in the near future.

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on July 21, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    Ahem, MSD , how about learning to use your feet on lively pitches from Dravid?

  • indianzen on July 21, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    Plunkett, Stokes, Ali, Broad - what a laughable bowling attack with a majority of the part timers... Cook, Bell, Robson, Prior - Laughable batting attack calling themselves as seniors who are out of form since years... Only positives out of this team are Root and Jimmy. With Jimmy's test ban around the corner, England are reduced to a pack of 1 player and 10 jokers...

  • soumyas on July 21, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    It was a good bowling performance from Ishant, but England batsmen made same mistakes at least 5 times, not leaving the bouncers, they went after the bouncers, they were caught on deep mid wicket, deep square leg, It happens in ODIs, those were not the shots to be played in TESTS especially in 4th innings when wickets are most valued.

  • himsez on July 21, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    two inconsistent players have performed and due to them we have won the test. One is Vijay and Other is Ishant Sharma. Vijay had failed so badly in the past but he keeps fending away most deliveries and has managed to save his wicket. Which is good. But we had many such players in the past who were crucified for being slow scorers. Example is Akash Chopra. Bangar, SS Dad, S Ramesh and many more who played exactly like Vijau. Held one end.

    Second ishant. 50+ test and one performance every 10 tests. These players play the worst seasons in domestic cricket or IPL but are automatically chosen and persisted. So now I hope for indian cause that these to players start performing consistently. Especially Ishant. He has done this far too many times. After a record spell he goes wicketless in far too many test matches. for now congratulations to both of them and keep it up. special thanks to b kumar and my real man of the match despite 7 wickets from Ishant. England Lost by 90 runs = bhuvi run

  • on July 21, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    Ishant took so many years to realize that he is 6'4 tall and he needs to bowl short balls.

  • godshand on July 21, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    Who so ever be the MoM, India finally won which is more important. Yes, Binny's selection is a concern. If he is in XI then he should bowl. In India he can never be in XI but atleast here he should be utilised properly if he is selected. Dhwan needs a break and Gambhir deserves one last chance.

  • rationize on July 21, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    Although Ishant's was a match winning but I think Bhuvneshwar Kumar was denied MoM deliberately to demoralize him because he was deserving in the first test match as well. Hope this would make him mentally stronger to perform even better. Dhoni should be more vocal in recognizing his contributions both from bat as well as ball.

  • Dragonboyz on July 21, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    Common Guys there were 5 MOM candidates for India and everyone cant get it. Rahane- Hit a magnificent century in a green top and took to a challenging total Vijay- Negated new ball effect in the 1st innings along with Pujara in 1st Innings and made a 95 reminiscent of Dravid grit and determination and kept his cool even when wickets were tumbling at other end Jadeja- Completely deflated England by his counterattacking 68 and some great spin bowling and kept things quite in one end Bhuvi- Half century in 2nd innings and great ally to rahane in 1st innings and 6 wicket haul in 1st innings Ishant-Bounced out England

    Everyone were impactful at certain stage of time when India was in danger. No one gonna protest that they didnt get MOM because they are already a part of great victory.Get over it

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    KeepitHonest....well said...not thinking on his own on very simple thing...after playing..50 test matches

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    This will give Ishant reprieve for another 10 substandard tests at 120kph average...

  • Raj1969 on July 21, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    Mom in both matches shd have been BHUVI ,what els can one do wickets runs ,still not getting mom .first test total partiality 4 English player getting mom .hope authorities r reading there,,,,,,,

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    Great win by India. It is without doubt that Ishaant and Jadeja deserve the accolades for this win. However, lets not forget Bhuvi's contributions. He has been a revelation in this series. We knew he is a good swing bowler, but his batting has been a big boon for India. Without his 50 in the second innings India would not have such a lead. So when Dhoni is talking about all rounders, he should also give Bhuvi some credit as he can be the seaming all rounder that India is looking for. He is not there yet, but with the backing of his captain and some more solid performances he can get there.

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    Man of the match - what a joke! Up until bowling the short pitched rubbish, Ishant was nothing short of garbage. Of course a 6ft 4 giant is going to cause problems with short pitched deliveries but lets not forget the masses of 4s given away trying to do so.

    Clearly Kumar / Vijay are far more deserving of the award. Kumar has been fantastic in the series and just one of three players ever to reach 50 and take 5 wickets in successive tests is surely an effort / record that deserves rewarding. Vijay has finally found his feet and is showing all the signs of a real test match player.

    On another note, are the selectors going to wake up and do something about Binny, Dawan and possibly Kohli? Binny is a joke - whats the point of selecting an all-rounder if he doesnt bowl? Get him out and put Ashwin in regardless of form. I would give Dawan one or two more chances to sort himself out, he's managed a few starts but no finishes. Kohli deserves a chance IMO he's earnt it.

  • iamgroot on July 21, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    this superb article , please bookmark it. Dhoni has always been a brilliant captain. When his tactics work we win most of the time. Indian team showed this fight and zest to win abroad in last 3 tours. and finally today after 28 years India win their 2nd test at Lords which is a great achievement. All the previous teams failed to win a test here. But Dhoni and his young team achieved something remarkable. Ishanth gave credit where its due. Dhoni was mastermind behind Ishanth's brilliant 7/74. If it was superb thinking from Dhoni to ask Ishanth to bowl short at Eng batsmen then it was Ishanth;s obedience and skill to come up with amazing spell to dismiss 6 batsmen for 50 runs and achieve a deserved victory. Without Dhoni's and Ishanths brilliant tango India would have lost and Eng were in driving seat before that. So give credit where its due. 5th day belong to Dhoni and Ishanth undoubtedly. Whole team played well for the first 4 days. Congratulations India! Good luck

  • myStraightTalk on July 21, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    There is no need to worry much for England. India under Dhoni is not a good test team. England can easily win the test series. Today india won since England gave up wicket easily not because Ishant bowled well. Man of the match to Ishant is a joke when he cannot take a single wicket in the first innings.MAN OF THE MATCH TO ISHANT IS A JOKE WHEN HE IS UNABLE TO TAKE A SINGLE WICKET IN THE FIRST INNINGS.

  • Divinetouch on July 21, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    The sons of BharatMa have done her proud. A great team effort under astute captaincy.

  • KeepitHonest on July 21, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    A bit sad Ishant as the experienced leader of the bowling attack couldn't figure out the boucer strategy himself and had to be told by Dhoni. Yikes!

  • ManoshChowdhury on July 21, 2014, 16:10 GMT

    @Nish_US, not only Bhubi missed out MOM, but also captain's radar too. Dhoni, at times, can be very predictable about his liking.

  • shrastogi on July 21, 2014, 16:10 GMT

    Its good Ishant it worked but mix this with sound judgement and dont get carried away. You still have to bowl in good areas. The same goes for Jadeja also. Till we are playing with 5 batsmen and Dhoni at 6 you need to be responsible also. Staurt Binny also needs to learn this. I think this Moin Ali business is turning out to be like Vivian Richards. Frankly Moin Ali shouldnt get any wickets so dont throw your wickets away.

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Well done Ishant. Finally some good bowling spell. For all those who say Dhoni never gets the credit he deserves (at least in test matches), ask him to stay at crease for at least 50 balls and bat. He's not just in the test side for his captaincy. I mean when a number 10 and number 11 batsman are able to show more application than a proper batsman it is something to worry. Glad to see him attacking as a captain though

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    I too agree with Dolak Babu,MOM should be to Ishant+Bhuvi.

  • vrc2003 on July 21, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    Well done INDIA. Keep going. come back with series win.

    Coming back to Lords test Bhuvi deserves MOM. Giving to somebody else is totally unfair.

  • CricketChat on July 21, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    No point in beating a dead snake, but I think it is high time to bring in Ashwin for useless Binny. I am no fan of Ashwin at all, but anyone is good to replace Binnny. The fact that his own skipper didn't give him a ball in 2nd innings when seamers were running the show is proof enough for me. Ind needs to replace Dhawan also and rest Kohli, who I think needs to calm down a little bit.

  • on July 21, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    Happy for Ishant but I believe MOM beloged to Bhuvi. I am sure others will agree with me.

  • on July 21, 2014, 15:26 GMT

    Dhoni gets the credit for giving the bowlers the confidence. Yet he continues to drop catches, play in the most ungainly way ..

  • zuber21886 on July 21, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    It seems like Ishant never believed in his short length bowling, since so many years this is what the fans were expecting from a tall bowler they have in their team.

  • Nish_US on July 21, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    So a 6 for in the first innings, a 36 in the first innings on such a devlish pitch, and 50 with the bat in the second innings, take those three.. see where the match would have been when Ishant came to bowl. For some reason Bhuvi missed MOM for the straight second time.

    Indians only looks at the last over 6 that won the match, but not what set it up much earlier

  • Nuxxy on July 21, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Well done to Ishant, but this just shows how he will never be an attack leader. He's always performed better when there is a strong personality to tell him what to do.

  • on July 21, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    Kapil Dev saie " We should give MSD 100 marks for giving confidence to Ishant to bowl bouncers "

  • on July 21, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    Ishant confirmed the same, as he received his Man-of-the-Match award. "I think all these wickets are not for me, it is only for the captain," he said. "He told me you are tall enough, you have to try the bouncer."

    ANd some people would still give no credit to Dhoni.

  • Gustus on July 21, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    Let's bring another seamer in for binny. The bowlers must be tired

  • on July 21, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    glory glory india!!! way to go

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 21, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    glory glory india!!! way to go

  • Gustus on July 21, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    Let's bring another seamer in for binny. The bowlers must be tired

  • on July 21, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    Ishant confirmed the same, as he received his Man-of-the-Match award. "I think all these wickets are not for me, it is only for the captain," he said. "He told me you are tall enough, you have to try the bouncer."

    ANd some people would still give no credit to Dhoni.

  • on July 21, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    Kapil Dev saie " We should give MSD 100 marks for giving confidence to Ishant to bowl bouncers "

  • Nuxxy on July 21, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Well done to Ishant, but this just shows how he will never be an attack leader. He's always performed better when there is a strong personality to tell him what to do.

  • Nish_US on July 21, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    So a 6 for in the first innings, a 36 in the first innings on such a devlish pitch, and 50 with the bat in the second innings, take those three.. see where the match would have been when Ishant came to bowl. For some reason Bhuvi missed MOM for the straight second time.

    Indians only looks at the last over 6 that won the match, but not what set it up much earlier

  • zuber21886 on July 21, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    It seems like Ishant never believed in his short length bowling, since so many years this is what the fans were expecting from a tall bowler they have in their team.

  • on July 21, 2014, 15:26 GMT

    Dhoni gets the credit for giving the bowlers the confidence. Yet he continues to drop catches, play in the most ungainly way ..

  • on July 21, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    Happy for Ishant but I believe MOM beloged to Bhuvi. I am sure others will agree with me.

  • CricketChat on July 21, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    No point in beating a dead snake, but I think it is high time to bring in Ashwin for useless Binny. I am no fan of Ashwin at all, but anyone is good to replace Binnny. The fact that his own skipper didn't give him a ball in 2nd innings when seamers were running the show is proof enough for me. Ind needs to replace Dhawan also and rest Kohli, who I think needs to calm down a little bit.