India in England 2014 August 4, 2014

India's return to nets hints at changes

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India's first day on a cricket field since the loss at the Ageas Bowl, and what would have been a demoralising verdict for them in the James Anderson hearing, began with a longish huddle at Old Trafford on Monday afternoon. Arms around each other, regrouping after having taken a beating on the field, in the court, and - they certainly believe - in a corridor at Trent Bridge. At one point, fielding coach Trevor Penney could be seen speaking animatedly in the huddle. Others spoke too. Wonder if someone said, "Boys, how the hell do we take 20 wickets here?"

While what happened between Ravindra Jadeja and Anderson remains an issue, India will know you win Test matches by taking 20 wickets or playing teams led by Garry Sobers or Michael Clarke. India have done so only four times in their last 15 away Tests. On three of those four occasions, those 20 wickets have cost India more than their batsmen were able to score. The other successful instance was on this tour, at Lord's, but the two architects of that win - Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar - were out of action on the first day of India's pre-Test training.

During their customary pre-nets footballs game, both Ishant and Bhuvneshwar took up goalkeeping duties. Ishant has been ruled out of fourth Test, MS Dhoni has already said, but Bhuvneshwar, who had a swelling on his ankle, remains a matter of interest. When the nets began, Ishant took up umpiring duties, ironically because he is guilty of bowling more no-balls than most in the world today. Bhuvneshwar bowled a few deliveries gingerly, off a short run, and pulled out in five minutes or so.

Seen from outside, the signs cannot be good: the Test begins on Thursday. However, seeing how India called up replacement for Wriddhiman Saha but not an extra fast bowler - Umesh Yadav is available, for example - the educated guess would be that they are confident of his being fit in time for Old Trafford. That Ishant is still with the team, and that a replacement has not been called for, would mean they are hopeful of his return in time for the Oval Test. The team, however, will not say what the injuries are.

Even if Bhuvneshwar is fit for Old Trafford, India will need a much-improved performance from Mohammed Shami, who has taken five wickets at 73.20 apiece. His economy rate of 3.81, too, has been the worst among specialist bowlers. No specialist bowler's wickets or overs have cost more per unit in this series. However, Shami looked really good at the nets on Monday, bowling at a good pace, repeatedly beating specialist batsmen. M Vijay was hit high on the thigh pads often, Cheteshwar Pujara had his poles uprooted, and Shikhar Dhawan was squared up and beaten around off.

That might not be the only cause for concern for Dhawan, though. For the first time since India reached Nottingham, Gautam Gambhir had a hit pretty early on in the nets. It was a clear sign that Dhawan - after six failures - cannot take his place for granted. India have left open that option of bringing Gambhir in. Gambhir last played a Test for India in early 2012, in Nagpur against England.

Gambhir is not the only option India seem to have left open. R Ashwin, who in the eyes of the experts and public has become a better spinner with every passing day out of the Test team, was more active in the nets than usual. He had a decent bowl at the start, and also got a longish hit with the bat. If he does come in, as almost everyone has demanded by now, he will do so in place of either Jadeja, who looked ineffective at the Ageas Bowl, or Rohit Sharma. Ashwin's last Test was Johannesburg, where he bowled 42 wicketless overs, 36 of those in the second innings.

India have options, and they could prove you wrong, but in the absence of Ishant, this side does not look like one that will take 20 wickets for fewer runs than what their batsmen score. That is one reason that could make India think of stacking their batting up, and retain Rohit. Unless Dhoni looks to bowl that extra bowler for more than 10-12 overs, he will be better off with that specialist batsman at No. 6.

For the first time in the series, you could not tell from India's nets what combination and players they are looking to play. Gambhir and Dhawan netted next to each other. Ashwin and Jadeja bowled with each other. Rohit and Ashwin batted one after the other. Bhuvneshwar did not bowl. Varun Aaron and Pankaj Singh could not be ruled out. You could tell India were not in a desirable situation when it comes to picking the XI, but at least they were back on the field, and laughing and joking at the end of the session.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 5, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    Indian team be- vijay, dhawan, pujara, kohli, rahane, dhoni, ashwin, bhuvi, Aaron, ishwar pandey, shami.. inclusive of 4 fast bowlers helps the condition of fast pitch ..it's like brisbane pitch having lot of bounce and fast paced pitch with good carry..let bhuvi bowl short and effective spells of good length swing bowling which he has been doing and can be a more than a batsman not making him over bowl. .Aaron and shami hitting deck hard and in good line length with utmost accurate pace, ishwar pandey with his bounce, swingers and ashwin with offspin, topspin , flight and stock deliveries can trouble left handers esp. India with these changes and kohli , pujara, dhawan mind fully getting in form and supporting rahane and vijay and late blows from bhuvi and ashwin India will look decent team in next match playing to their potential looks slightly edged over England ..hope India wins toss this time..

  • on August 5, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    My Selection: 1.Vijay, 2.Pujara, 3.Kohli, 4.Rahane, 5.N.Ojha, 6.Jadeja, 7.Ashwin, 8.Dhoni, 9.Shami, 10.kumar/Pankaj, 11. Pandey/Varun. I prefer Pujara should open along with Vijay. Already i told Rohit not fit for English condition, must sit out Rohit remaining Tests. If India need win, Dhoni handed over to the gloves to ojha and he will concentrate for batting & captaincy.

  • on August 5, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    Whether India wins or not is immaterial, but its about the intent which was definitely lacking when Rohit Sharma was picked over a bowler in the third test. It would have been a decent move if this was a third test and India was trying to draw the same and win the test, but in a 5 test series, with the workload bowlers have been facing, it was definitely not the right move. Dhawan has a great future, but right now it will be prudent to replace him by Gambhir. Rohit needs to make way for Ashwin, an extra bowler and a pretty decent bat, chances are he'll bat better then Rohit who is probably in the team owing to Dhoni backing. If Bhuvi is fit, then he needs to be paired alongwith Pankaj and Aaron. But if he goes out, as much as Shami might not be bowling well at all, don't think India will take the risk of a completely new bowling attack with Pandey in. So the team for the 4th test - Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin, Jadeja, Bhuvi/Shami, Pankaj, Aaron.

  • joebee on August 5, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    How can you drop a young player who has saved you the blushes with a gem of an innings in teh Ist Test and give him a totally raw deal in the next test and drop him like a hot potato . Yes Stewart Binny must be included in the 4th Test . He has been our Lucky charm !

  • on August 5, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    as per dhirubhai's team selection 1.gambhir 2.Vijay 3.pujara 4.rohit 5.rahane 6.ojha 7.dhoni 8.jadeja 9.bhuvi 10.shami 11.ishant

  • on August 5, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    1> Please give some rest to Dhawan, He must be tired of doing NOTHING, 2> I think Rahane should open along with Vijay. 3> and Gambhir can finally come but in middle order to strengthen the middle order as he is gud player of spin. 4> Give Ashwin a chance, there are 5 left handed batsman in England team.

    So team sud be :

    vijay,rahane,pujara,kohali,gambhir,dhoni,ashwin,sir jadeja, shami, bhuvi/pankaj,ishant/varun

  • Sen_San on August 5, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    It's time to think differently folks. Neither Gambhir nor Dhawan will be useful at the top. Open with Ashwin and play Rohit sharma in middle order. Ashwin can bat and he can score 20/30 runs, same as that of Dhawan/Gambhir. If Bhuvi is not fit then Varun Aaron should replace him. Ishwar Pandey's military medium pace is not going to trouble English batsmen. Rahane should bat at No.4, Rohit at 5 and then Kohli at No.6, followed by Dhoni and Jadeja. But I am sure, Indian think tank is not smart enough to think differently and they will go with half-fit Bhuvi and not-fit for swinging conditions Gambhir and lose this test.

  • mahi_b on August 5, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    My playing XI for next Test: Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, dhoni, Binny, Jadeja/Ashwin, Shami, Aron, Pandey

  • Indiaforever on August 5, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Considering Old Trafford is a fast pitch, I would bring in Aaron for Shami. I would also keep Dhawan because he might enjoy the ball coming on to the bat much nicer on this pitch, if he can get past the opening burst then he will have a good chance. Ashwin should come in for Rohit/Jadeja. The only problem I have with India playing 5 bowlers is that Dhoni will have to bat at number 6 and he isn't a number 6 batsman.

  • Nandu_Athadu on August 5, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    By looking at the team selection for tests by Dhoni,especially in away tests, it is clearly evident that he is choosing bits n pieces players over specialist ones. This will work in ODI format but not in tests. Selecting bits n pieces players,where if a player fails in bowling he will cover up in batting, is a clear indication of defensive strategy and when you play defensive in mind then you tend to loose at the end. Make some changes to the team. Get ghambir in place of Dhawan not that he will play better but we need to try different..Play Rahane at 4 and drop Kohli to 5 this will ease some pressure of Kohli and Rahane has better technique of the two and you need to have best player at 4. Choose bowling who can take wickets not who can bat. Cricket is funny game. there are no favorites before the game. Game is played on the 22 yards and whoever plays better wins. All the best team India.

  • on August 5, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    Indian team be- vijay, dhawan, pujara, kohli, rahane, dhoni, ashwin, bhuvi, Aaron, ishwar pandey, shami.. inclusive of 4 fast bowlers helps the condition of fast pitch ..it's like brisbane pitch having lot of bounce and fast paced pitch with good carry..let bhuvi bowl short and effective spells of good length swing bowling which he has been doing and can be a more than a batsman not making him over bowl. .Aaron and shami hitting deck hard and in good line length with utmost accurate pace, ishwar pandey with his bounce, swingers and ashwin with offspin, topspin , flight and stock deliveries can trouble left handers esp. India with these changes and kohli , pujara, dhawan mind fully getting in form and supporting rahane and vijay and late blows from bhuvi and ashwin India will look decent team in next match playing to their potential looks slightly edged over England ..hope India wins toss this time..

  • on August 5, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    My Selection: 1.Vijay, 2.Pujara, 3.Kohli, 4.Rahane, 5.N.Ojha, 6.Jadeja, 7.Ashwin, 8.Dhoni, 9.Shami, 10.kumar/Pankaj, 11. Pandey/Varun. I prefer Pujara should open along with Vijay. Already i told Rohit not fit for English condition, must sit out Rohit remaining Tests. If India need win, Dhoni handed over to the gloves to ojha and he will concentrate for batting & captaincy.

  • on August 5, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    Whether India wins or not is immaterial, but its about the intent which was definitely lacking when Rohit Sharma was picked over a bowler in the third test. It would have been a decent move if this was a third test and India was trying to draw the same and win the test, but in a 5 test series, with the workload bowlers have been facing, it was definitely not the right move. Dhawan has a great future, but right now it will be prudent to replace him by Gambhir. Rohit needs to make way for Ashwin, an extra bowler and a pretty decent bat, chances are he'll bat better then Rohit who is probably in the team owing to Dhoni backing. If Bhuvi is fit, then he needs to be paired alongwith Pankaj and Aaron. But if he goes out, as much as Shami might not be bowling well at all, don't think India will take the risk of a completely new bowling attack with Pandey in. So the team for the 4th test - Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin, Jadeja, Bhuvi/Shami, Pankaj, Aaron.

  • joebee on August 5, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    How can you drop a young player who has saved you the blushes with a gem of an innings in teh Ist Test and give him a totally raw deal in the next test and drop him like a hot potato . Yes Stewart Binny must be included in the 4th Test . He has been our Lucky charm !

  • on August 5, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    as per dhirubhai's team selection 1.gambhir 2.Vijay 3.pujara 4.rohit 5.rahane 6.ojha 7.dhoni 8.jadeja 9.bhuvi 10.shami 11.ishant

  • on August 5, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    1> Please give some rest to Dhawan, He must be tired of doing NOTHING, 2> I think Rahane should open along with Vijay. 3> and Gambhir can finally come but in middle order to strengthen the middle order as he is gud player of spin. 4> Give Ashwin a chance, there are 5 left handed batsman in England team.

    So team sud be :

    vijay,rahane,pujara,kohali,gambhir,dhoni,ashwin,sir jadeja, shami, bhuvi/pankaj,ishant/varun

  • Sen_San on August 5, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    It's time to think differently folks. Neither Gambhir nor Dhawan will be useful at the top. Open with Ashwin and play Rohit sharma in middle order. Ashwin can bat and he can score 20/30 runs, same as that of Dhawan/Gambhir. If Bhuvi is not fit then Varun Aaron should replace him. Ishwar Pandey's military medium pace is not going to trouble English batsmen. Rahane should bat at No.4, Rohit at 5 and then Kohli at No.6, followed by Dhoni and Jadeja. But I am sure, Indian think tank is not smart enough to think differently and they will go with half-fit Bhuvi and not-fit for swinging conditions Gambhir and lose this test.

  • mahi_b on August 5, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    My playing XI for next Test: Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, dhoni, Binny, Jadeja/Ashwin, Shami, Aron, Pandey

  • Indiaforever on August 5, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Considering Old Trafford is a fast pitch, I would bring in Aaron for Shami. I would also keep Dhawan because he might enjoy the ball coming on to the bat much nicer on this pitch, if he can get past the opening burst then he will have a good chance. Ashwin should come in for Rohit/Jadeja. The only problem I have with India playing 5 bowlers is that Dhoni will have to bat at number 6 and he isn't a number 6 batsman.

  • Nandu_Athadu on August 5, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    By looking at the team selection for tests by Dhoni,especially in away tests, it is clearly evident that he is choosing bits n pieces players over specialist ones. This will work in ODI format but not in tests. Selecting bits n pieces players,where if a player fails in bowling he will cover up in batting, is a clear indication of defensive strategy and when you play defensive in mind then you tend to loose at the end. Make some changes to the team. Get ghambir in place of Dhawan not that he will play better but we need to try different..Play Rahane at 4 and drop Kohli to 5 this will ease some pressure of Kohli and Rahane has better technique of the two and you need to have best player at 4. Choose bowling who can take wickets not who can bat. Cricket is funny game. there are no favorites before the game. Game is played on the 22 yards and whoever plays better wins. All the best team India.

  • on August 5, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    Agree with Cibin Nv 1)Vijay 2)Gambhir 3)Pujara 4)Kohli 5)Rohit 6)Rahane 7)Dhoni 8)Ashwin 9)Aaron 10)Shami 11)Pandey

  • Vilander on August 5, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    Just want Gamb to play well and replace Dhoni, Ojha can be WK. Ashwin in place of Rohit. Pankaj,Ishant,Bhuv for pace hopefully.

  • Ajith1985 on August 5, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    Next Indian test captain should be G Gambhir or Rohith Sharma.

  • on August 5, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    India without a shadow of a doubt need some changes .These changes are assuming Ishant isnt fit and Bhuvi is . The changes accoding to me should be Gambhir for Dhawan Ashwin for Jadeja Aaron for Shami and also Ishwar for Pankaj could be considered .

  • ShanNachimuthu on August 5, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    To show aggressive instinct, India should go with 5 bowlers. No matter whether India winning or losing. I would advise MSD to go with popular opinion. This would minimize the pressure of expectation. Even If you loose there will be lesser criticism. My choice of team : Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Virat, Rahane, Jadeja, Dhoni, Ashwin, Bhuvi/Ishwar, Shami, and Pankaj. This would be well balanced team. The fielding must be extra sharp.

  • on August 5, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    vk and pujara must play with confiden. give gambhir to chance.

  • on August 5, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    its time, we start wondering about the batting capabilities of the captain cool dhoni..its been ages that he last performed with the bat in an away series. Sir Jadeja seems to lack the ingredients of a good test bowler and I have absolutely no idea of why the hell on earth is team India persisting with dhawan as an opener, you can never win matches without a good opening combination..the world seems grave for India at the moment..all the best team India!!

  • Absolutelycricket on August 5, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    Terrible selection of Aaron over Umesh Yadav, has anyone looked at his recent Australlia performance, selectors please grow and bring Yadav back Yadav, Ishant, Bhuvi/Pankaj, Ashwin is deadly combination to rattle english batsmans

  • CricketMaan on August 5, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    MSD is a fantastic captain and record speaks for itself. BUT its time for him to give up test captaincy. To not play Ashwin or not even think of playing Varun who has pacy though lack consistency is too defensive. If Varun does not play at Old Traffod its a such a wast and he could have atleast played with India A. Varun may not get you a 5-for but atleast give some pace. With 3 southpaws in top 6 not playing Ashwin is baffling.

  • HarrowXI on August 5, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    1) Rohit 2) Vijay 3) Pujara 4)Kohli 5) Rahane 6) Ashwin 7) Dhoni 8) Jadeja 9) Bhuvi 10) Varun Aaron 11) Shami Ahmed.

    I wish Bhuvi will be okay to bowl. If not i will select Ishwar Pandey instead of Bhuvi. This is ideal team to take 20 wickets. Jadeja and Ashwin can bowl bulk of overs so Dhoni can attack from Aaron & Shami.

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 5, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    Ashwin,bhuvi/aron, pandey,pankaj,shami. If play with this bowling attak their chances of winning the series. If bhuvi is available to this match pandey is good back up for him. I think their is nothing benfit with ashwin in the bowling department only benfit is batting over jadeja .their is no skills for sirji and ashwin in ovreseas conditions. My team 1.gambhir 2.vijay 3.pujara 4.kohli 5.rahana 6.ashwin 7.dhoni 8.pandey 9.bhuvi/aron 10.shami 11.pankaj.

  • on August 5, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    India should rest Bhuvi and it will be good to drop Jadeja shami .and Dhawan . My playing XL : 1. Gambhir , 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4 . Kohli 5. Rahanae 6. Rohit 7 . Dhoni 8 . Aswin 9. Iswar pandey 10 . V.Aaron 11. Pankaj ...

    We can see what these bowlers can do too .. All are good bowlers though who can bowl well ...

  • koolsid80 on August 5, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    @Mervo: Bro, the most grass left in the wicket was at Lords. I am sure England will not make the same mistake. Else, the chances are that they will be history. I am sure England will prepare a hard flat wicket with pace and bounce (as much as is available in England). Indians are mainly swing bowlers and not hit the wicket hard bowlers. That is the reason Finn has been brought in. I hope India do play Aaron. He might not get too many wickets but he will certainly have quite a few English batsmen hopping around and smelling leather.

  • koolsid80 on August 5, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    @Yorkshirepudding: Fine agree with you. Anderson and Bhuvi are parallel in bowling, one has one extra wicket and one's average is better. But consider who is a more impact player. With Bhuvi being the 2nd highest wicket taker and the fourth higher run getter in the series, he will be preferred over Anderson in any team.

    Also, Ballance is very new to Test Cricket. Just like Indians are tested on fast/bouncy/swinging tracks, the English are tested on dry/spinning/slow surfaces. So, I think its too early to draw any comparisons. And someone who has the best of KP and Trott, I think this adjective should be used for the likes of Tendulkar/Lara/Dravid/Kallis. Both KP and Trott are/were bloody good players, just below great. And someone having the best of both will certainly be great.While Ballance has been good/bloody good, I have not seen greatness in him.

  • sergio11 on August 5, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    With Bhuvi,Sharma injured,Finn back in the Eng side,,i dont see IND winning anymore games...Batting still may click..but i cannt see them getting 20 wickets..Aaron was bad selection..Umesh must have been in the side..IND had chance to big Umesh into the side when Saha was injured..with 2 fast bowler struggling with fitness..the replace must have been a fast bowler...Naman Ojha will never play a game..then what was the need of him..god knows....Gambir and Ashwin will play next game for sure..the one thing that is worrying in batting is not the form of Dhawan,instead its Dhoni's lack of skills...so cannt drop Rohit for ashwin..but that is something that gonna happen...if Gambir can play well here..i am sure Dhoni's captancy and spot in test XI will be under huge threat..

  • sachin_ten_fan on August 5, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding, because of that natural instinct of Ballance, he is likely to out LBW. @HarshalPattni, where is Rahane in your team? by far india's best batsman on tour!

  • Gozunder on August 5, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Arun Bose's being optimistic, any die-hard fan would be, I'm not surprised. Never quite know with this Indian team, what they'd bring to a test match, they've been so extreme, either superb as they were in that session at Lords or as woeful as they were all through the 3rd test. Still a close contest, but India need to ring in the changes to stay in the series, i.e. Shami, Jadeja and Dhawan need to be benched for three fitter, hungrier players

  • on August 5, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    I dont expect any positive result for India in remaining games...the bowling looks poor..shami is bowling within himself...bhuvi does'nt have the pace to trouble the english batsmen..he mainly depends on swing..pankaj singh is improving as a bowler...ishant sharma still injured..if eng bat first once again...the result will b the same...

  • smilesankar on August 5, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    4th Investec Test v England at Manchester: India looking for a lead bowler IN ?! 0) As Zaheer Khan & Umesh Yadav dropped out of squad [! No surprise] 1) As Ashwin could not find a place in XI due to his poor overseas record with a bowl-avg of 74.77 2) As in-form I Sharma is already ruled out 3) As lead bowler Bhuvi is likely to be missed out due to injury & can't be risked even if he recovers. 4) As bowling performances of M Sami & R Jadeza in the below series is below-par already 5) As Stuart Binny & Pankaj Singh are yet to pick a Test wicket in the chances given 6) As Varun Aaron did not pick a single wicket in 2 Tour matches played earlier. 7) As Ishwar Pandey himself did not expect a call in Test (& having MS Dhoni iterated the same) 8) As we don't have any other spinners in the squad (say Amit Mishra, P Ohja or H Singh!) 8) As we don't have any fast bowlers in the squad (Praveen Kumar, Umesh Yadav, $ree$anth?! ) ?! ASHWIN ?!

  • YorkshirePudding on August 5, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    @Bhargava Ra, By the way its only 4 other innings once you take out the 167 at Southampton, 4 low scores, with a 23 @109. when forcing the game to get a total to declare on isn't really an issue.

    In terms of relying on JA maybe for wickets, though Ali did a good job in the 4th innings at Southampton. You forget Balance who is the leading run scorer with 402 at an average of 80. Root as you mention 292 runs at 154.

    If we ignore bowlers and buttler, England has 4 players with over 200 runs, and an average over 40.

    On Indias side only 2 batsmen (forgetting bowlers), have more than 200 runs, Vijay is leading with 364 runs @ 60, and Rahane has 270 @54. all the other batsmen are sub 40 averages, and less than 200 runs.

    On paper the England top 6 are out performing the indian top 6.

  • CricketMaan on August 5, 2014, 10:54 GMT

    So lets see, here is my punt: Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kholi, Rahane, MSD, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Shami, Aaron/Pankaj

  • on August 5, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    Dhoni knows he himself is an incapable batsman ...that is why he brings more batsman...But for me dhoni should have been dropped by now ...make somebody else captain and choose 6 batsman not 7...

  • Mervo on August 5, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    India have no chance. This is an away test and no matter how woeful England have been over the last year or so, they will have a nice green grass wicket made available to their medium pacers and the rest will be history ....

  • on August 5, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    @YorkShirePudding... Ok .. I admit 16>15 in every universe..!! Call them even..!! If Bell is hitting form, then I should say..Dhoni and Jadega are also hitting their batting form..!! But frankly speaking they are not...!!What about remaining 5 innings Bell has played this series..? Balance is scoring runs...but luck has been in his favor..to be given not out by umpires before he settles down...!! Root is consistent ..!! All this combined... I don't think England can rely upon on anybody other than JA and root..!! If Cook is hitting form ....? By form .. I mean the way the runs are scored along with the amount of runs..!!

  • Valavan on August 5, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    @TooHyped Fans, Inform Cook, Bell can cook indian curry with Ishan's bowling.

  • Valavan on August 5, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    @BhagvanRam, we can see mate if you hype Ishant Sharma, He clicked one test each in SA and NZ. Was he in hibernation mode when Mccullum scored 300 or why couldnt he stop FAF and win it for India inJohannesburg. His 37 odd average speaks volume about his bowling capacity. Let him prove his consistency and reduce his average to 30, then i shall believe. Sorry mate ishant sharma is nowhere close to Stuart Broad or Morne Mokel and others who average in 30s. You can continue to troll and as cricket fans everyone knows. Other than Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, indian pace cupboard is empty. cricinfo please publish

  • HarshalPattni on August 5, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    My team would be (in batting order) - Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi (if fit), Shami, Pankaj

    I would stick with Pankaj, he bowled well just the luck was not with him. I think this is the best playing XI we have. If we experiment too much with the combination India might go down with the 2-1 and the Oval test will be a survival test. Pujara and Kohli are getting the starts and they are just around the corner with that Daddy hundred, as Martin Crowe said, these two are really good batsmen.

    Wish them the best!

  • on August 5, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    vijay gambhir pujara kohli rahane rohit dhoni jadeja ashwin pankaj umesh

  • on August 5, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    @Valavan- Dude, It's not a dream, It's destiny.. Wait till 19th August 2014, You will see the difference between dream and destiny when you will watch these young Indians jumping on the podium with the Pataudi trophy in front of this English team and spectators.. Thank me later on that day.. If you can.. Can you? Hmm..

  • YorkshirePudding on August 5, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    @sachin_ten_fa, the thing is with Ballance is that he plays his natural game, its not that he doesn't like the full balls he just plays himself in to get a feel for the pitch, then he starts to 'shift up the gears', hes a combinations of the best of Trott, and KP, and reminds me a little of a left handed Ponting. but I need to see him bat in person to make a parallel.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 5, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    @Bhargava Ram, I think you need to check your facts, Kumar 15 wickets @ 23, Anderson 16 wickets @ 24. so I don't think that 15 is greater than 16 in any universe.

    At the moment its game on, Bell tends to hit veins of form, like last years ashes series, Root and Balance have been the most consistent English batsmen, though cook seems to have found a degree of confidence with the bat following the 160 he scored at Southampton.

    Even so its still everything to play for, especially if the BCCI's appeal allowed.

  • Pradeep_Raj on August 5, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    Team Should Be : Vijay, Gambhir, Kohli, Rahane, Pujara, MS Dhoni, Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma/ Ishwar Pandey, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav.

  • on August 5, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    gambhir/vijay/pujara/kohli/rahane/rohit/dhoni/ashwin/bhuvi/Aaron/shami or pankaj

  • sachin_ten_fan on August 5, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    Familiar situation, one we have got accustomed to when India play away. Multiple combinations are possible, what needs to change is the attitude with which we play the game and not just the players. Know where your off stump is and the rest will follow. Keep bowling in that corridor of uncertainty around the off-stump and fuller length. Above all dhoni needs to have a game plan for each and every player. They seemed to have taken care of Robson and Cook to a certain extent. Find out what Ballance's weakness is, he tends to be slow at the start like most others and doesn't like those full balls swinging in to him. But I am no analyst, somebody is paid handsomely for that job. Cook did that very well in Australia, there was a game plan for every single top English player and the tail was handled ruthlessly by short pitch stuff! Dhoni tends to let the game take its own pace rather than changing it. And bring in some pace and aggression in Aaron. Do not carry Bhuvi if he is not fit.

  • on August 5, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    My Team : Shikar, Vijay, Gambhir, Virat, Pujara, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Shami, Umesh, Varun Aaron.

    Ishant and Bhuvi will be badly missed, but if the above combination steps out as playing 11 on Thursday, I will overcome 3rd test loss.

  • subcontinent-expert on August 5, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    Seriously..?? "you win Test matches by taking 20 wickets or playing teams led by Garry Sobers or Michael Clarke" C'mon man.. The kind of fast bowlers India had over the years (each team had only 1 good bowler at max)makes Indian poor test record justified..If captains like Steve waugh, Smith,Ponting,Clark had such poor attack they would have the same record as the Indians.... Just 2-3 bowlers of even 10% talent of Styen/Anderson would make Indian team stronger than it is now...

  • ak928 on August 5, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    Virat kohli has won india so many matches in the past........a number of odis and t20 than india have won in the past 5 years has been triggered by kohli's superb batting performance.....and now when he has failed to score runs in the past few matches.....people have started talking about dropping him??.........its ridicous.......also dhawan should not be dtopped as gambhir is not a man who will "defenetly" score runs......so stick with dhawan...for next few matches......one major change req. is to drop rahot sharma......he is a waste.....play ashwin or even naman ojha in his place....

  • on August 5, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Better to Play with Gambhir, M.Vijay, Pujara, Rahane, R. Sharma N.Ojha , Dhoni , Ashwin, Jadeja, B.kumar & Padey

  • crazytaurean on August 5, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    It is so amusing that one odd good performance by Ishant has left everybody yearning for him to be in the playing XI. Everybody had practically written him off at the beginning of the series. Mr Dhoni should spring some surprises to outgun the opposition. Bring in a Varun Aron or a Ishwar Pandey. Try both Jadeja and Ashwin. Manchester has a history of spin friendly surfaces. I would have loved to have an unknow entity in my bag to unleash and have some surprise element. But at the end of the day the Top 5 need to put the runs on the board. Pujara, Kohli, Rohit and Dhawan have let down India. One of these 4 has to stand up and deliver so that we stop the tournament from slipping out of our hands. Make changes if you want to in these 4 places. Pujara could open and Gambhir could also bat at 3 or maybe 4.

  • on August 5, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    india should play with murali & gambhir in opening. dhawan, kohli should be dropped. if bhuvi is not fit for the match then ishwar pandey should be in.

  • DeSweer on August 5, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    gambhir should open and drop kohli and dhawan

  • cric1965 on August 5, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Until India play with MSD team India will not win. No Shewag, no Gambir, no Harbajan in MSD team.

  • on August 5, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    @Valavan: Ishant Sharma is entirely a different bowler outside of subcontinent. We have seen that in SA, NZ, and now in Eng as well. Ishant might not be Ambrose, but England do not have a batsmen like..Sachin and Lara to handle the to handle any sort of bowling. Cook scored runs, but the way he scored... I dont think even he is satisfied with it. Bell has now scored in thirds test and he now has the license to underperform for next 10 tests. What else..? Moen Ali... Buttler ...none of the remaining are consistent. Broad is not threatening... and anderson... Bhuvi has got more wickets than him in this series..!! I am sure..India will be trying for a win and england will be satisfying with a draw. India has nothing to loose at has lost only series out of subcontinents recently. But England is loosing at home as well..!!Cricinfo Pls publish..!!

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 5, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    Cotinue..playing with 4 1 stragy is good. My team 1.ghambhir 2.vijay 3.pujara 4.kohli 5.rahane 6.ashwin 7.dhoni 8.bhuvi/pandey 9.aron 10.shami 11.pankaj. If india play go with two spinner we can defnately loose the series. Why indian selectors sticking with these ashwin and jaddu. We have lot of spin bowlers mistra,axar,dhruv,oja.... Try these bowlers also.

  • on August 5, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    My team is: Gambhir, vijay, Pujara, Naman Ojha, Rahane, Doni, Jadeja, B. Kumar/Pankaj, Shami, and Varun.

    dhawan, Kohli, should be drop.

  • on August 5, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    replace gambhir with dhawan,kohli out naman in,rohit out ashwin in,pankaj out varun aaron in and if bhuvneshwar unfit take ishwar pandey in the team

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 5, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    Major people intrest to be play with two spinners. Think lively we dont have good spinner at least like ali. Ashwin had poor oveseas bowling avarage copared with jadeja. Now playing jadeja is waste and adding anothe waste sppiner is not good stratagy

  • arup_g on August 5, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Dhawan should not play - it's as simple as that. He is out of form, and does not look capable of scoring anything more than 30. His technique is questionable at the best of times, so against a rapid England attack on seaming wickets he should not be selected. Gambhir is perfect, with his experience and calmness at the wicket, he is the ideal partner for the Mr Cool Vijay.

    I expect the rest of the batting order to the same, but hopefully Pankaj Singh drops out for someone else. While he has the height, he lacks any pace and at Old Trafford, India will need a a bit of it. It is also a turning wicket so I expect Ashwin to play, either instead of Rohit Sharma.

  • on August 5, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Pankaj Singh, has nothing that resembles a fast bowler from his first stride to the delivery one and everything in between, Umesh needs to get in there and be given a chance. With his pace, he could get lucky with the edges... maybe Ashwin ought to be tried instead of SIR Jadeja

  • ramli on August 5, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    @Realistic_cri_fan ... if MSD is a walking wicket what will you say for his 82 and 50 in this series? Everybody other than Vijay and Rahane have been walking wickets in this series ... only the timing varies ... to win the series, we need to take bold decisions like playing 5-bowlers ... otherwise, it could only be a draw utmost, that too if weather intervenes

  • ramli on August 5, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    4-BOWLER THEORY WILL LAND ONE MORE PACER IN THE INJURY LIST BY THE END OF 4TH TEST ... If Moeen Ali can why not Ashwin? MSD must take a bold decision and stick with 5-bowlers whether Binny or Ashwin in place of Rohit Sharma

  • Valavan on August 5, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    @Genuine Indian Fans, England is not the same as in 2011. India still on the tour. in worst case England can help India to draw the series. One can say that any team that tours to England can have 50-50 chance because of the inconsistency and ashes ghost haunting them. @OtherIndianFans, for example, ArunBose. Instead of blowing unwanted trumpet, you can be calm or don't share your dreams, and yes we don't underestimate India, and don't you either. We have handled ashwin in India, So if we take the leaf out of that book, Ashwin is very easy to handle out of india. Ishant Sharma aint an Ambrose to destruct r dismantle English batting even if he plays 5th test. He got 7 wickets in Lords and he have the license now to under perform for the next 10 tests and still hold his place. cricinfo please publish.

  • on August 5, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    its high time that MSD look for changes.. replace dhawan with gambhir, coz gauti can play long innings, if bhuvi is unfit bring in ishwar pandey and shami is just having pace not much swing may be bring in varun aaron to that . In case of rohit bring in ashwin which he will be useful in the 4th or 5th day and top of that english batsmen have to soem extent sstruggled against spin. Pankaj is execellnt with his wobbled seam. its high team that the team focus on catching all the opportuinies in slips. 1st slip gauti 2nd slip rahane 3rd slip vijay gully kohli, point jadeja. more importantly msd should mind the bounce towards 1st slip many chances as such r missed in the 3 test matches. Go india go My team: vijay gambhir pujara kohli rahane jadeja msd rohit/ashwin shami/aaron bhuvi/ishwar pandey pankaj singh

  • on August 5, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    Hi Everyone this is for Mahendra Singh Dhoni dont forget the important contibutions of Gautam Gambhir in both the world Cups T20 2007 and World Cup 2011... He Actually played the best innings in both finals we cannot forgot.. the stats and previous performances shows that india had only two players Virat and gautam can adopt all three formats of the game very well.

  • Aju.Nair on August 5, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    3 changes required badly for India in my opinion..Play Naman Ojha in place of Rohit Sharma..Drop one bowler and bring Aswin....Drop Dhawan and play Gambhir.. 1.Gambhir 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Rahane 5. Kohli 6. Ojha 7. Dhoni 8. Aswin 9. Jadeja 10.Shami 11. Pankaj Singh..

  • AmeyWinXI on August 5, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Let Ashwin open with Vijay..we have tried Sanjay Bangar in England tour previously which worked very well. Similarly Ashwin can see new ball off and then Chepu and Virat can play freely after that. Adv:extra bowler, No change in betting order

  • Rohan0309 on August 5, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    High time Gambhir and Ashwin get a look-in. At the expense of Dhawan and Jadeja. If Bhuvi is not fit, get in Aaron. Will atleast get some raw pace.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 5, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    @CherryWood_Champion, It may have been the case that they were poor against leg spinners, but since the time of Warne passed they haven't played them too badly. Since 2010, the leading leg spinner against England is Tahir with 8 wickets @ 47, and an SR of 87.

    Smith of Australia has 5 @ 60, and an SR of 87.6,

    If anything Slow Left Arm Orthodox spinners are the ones that have cause the most issues.

    Ojha and ashwin have taken more wickets with Jadeja 3rd in the list, all be it that they were taken in India on spin friendly tracks.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?bowling_pacespin=2;class=1;filter=advanced;opposition=1;orderby=wickets;qualmin1=3;qualval1=matches;spanmin1=20+jan+2010;spanval1=span;template=results;type=bowling

  • on August 5, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    I agree that jadeja is a bits and pieces player. But with his excellent filelding, aggressive batting which clicks as often as it doesn't and bowling where he seldom goes wicketless, it is unfair to write him off. He narrowly missed the M.OM. at Lords with Rahane and Bhuvaneswar. Like Rohit Sharma, Pujara too has problems with his technique with the bat not coming parallel to the pads outside the Off stump.

  • koolsid80 on August 5, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    For me the team should be the following: Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Virat, Rahane, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (If he is fit else Pankaj Singh), Shami and Varon Aaron.

    Play 5 bowlers and ask Aaron to bowl as quick as he can and give him 3 to 4 spells of not more than 4 overs each. This wicket is the quickest in England and will have bounce. Australia exposed England's weakness to short quick bowling and for once India have a bowler who can hit speeds of 150+ The question is if Dhoni is ready to experiment or like the past 15 tests, believe that India cannot win and hence try for a draw by playing 7 batsmen

  • Indian_Kari_Pakku on August 5, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    Kohli should not allow to play test matches out side India.

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    If Ashwin fires, the series will be draw, else it will be 3 - 1 to England. But us Indian fans can keep our heads high since we have played brilliantly this series. There are still concerns in our batting ability cause English attack a.k.a Anderson and the wickets/conditions are not even half deadlier than they were in 2011. We need to address our batting skills. As Indian fan I would blame this on the IPL cause if you look at our batting order before RD, SG, Laxman, SRT had played two or three stints of county seasons. Our top order also needs that experience. Playing against the swinging ball will only enrich their techniques. How BCCI accomodates that, given it clashes with IPL I dont know. But so far, it has been a brilliant series for India.

  • yeah_right on August 5, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    @ Abdul Nayeed Ashique: Abdul are you an English fan.. Jadeja and Binny as 3rd and 4th bowlers?? Gambhir,Vijay,Pujara,Kohli,Rahane,Dhoni,Ashwin,Jadeja,Bhuvi,Aaron,Shami/Pankaj

    I believe under the circumstances, Ashwin is a better bet than Rohit..Not a big fan of Ashwin but I would rather watch him bowl any day for Rohit, Dhawan, Vijay, etc...No more part time bowlers in a test match please.......

  • Naresh28 on August 5, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    Rahane needs to open with Vijay. These two are patient players with Pujara at 3. Rohit is too lazy to be a test player - Manoj Tiwari should replace him in the NEXT SERIES. Dhoni as a keeper and batsman needs to be replaced by one of Saha, Ohja or Samson. We get a wicketkeeper who can bat in TEST matches. A wasted slot for sure. Gambhir should take over captaincy and a middle slot depending on if he can perform in the next game as a middle order batsman. The bowling will continue to be India's real CHALLENGE.

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    Why doesnt india pick bowlers based on their strike rate, they are guaranteed to have the most attacking bowling:

    Test,ODI,T20I/T20, FC, LA

    VA: 64, 32, -/20, 64, 27 UY: 46, 41, 18/21, 51, 40 MS: 60, 29, 30/18, 54, 27 ZK: 60, 35, 20/21, 51, 35 IS: 66, 32, 34/25, 59, 32 BK: 57, 47, 16/22, 56, 39 VK: 78, 37.7, 18.9/18.6, 50, 29 MS: -, 39, 21/15, 50, 42 JU: -, 39, -/17, 64, 37

    PS: -,-,-,24, 53, 36 IP: -,-,-/28, 50, 42

    Based on that I would pick:

    for Test 1. Umesh Yadav 2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3. Mohammad Shami 4. Zaheer Khan 5. Varun Aaron 6. Ishant Sharma

    for ODI: 1. Mohammad Shami 2. Varun Aaron 3. Ishant Sharma 4. Zaheer Khan 5. Umesh Yadav

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Go with most attacking combination with best you have

    5 batsmen/1wk/5 bowlers

    1. M Vijay Facer/Opener1 2. G Gambhir Opener2 ------------------- 3. V Kohli 1 down 4. Rahane 2 Down 5. RSharma/Pujara 3 Down ------------------- 6. Dhoni W Keeper/Batsman/Captain ------------------- 7. RJadeja/SBinny/B Kumar A Rounder (Spinner2 AR/Medium AR/Medium-Fast) 8. R Ashwin Spinner (Spinner1) ----------------- 9. M Shami Pacer/Fast Medium (1st Change) 10. U Yadav/PSingh Pacer/Fast (Opening bowler2) 11. V Aaron Pacer/Fast (Facer/Opening bowler1)

  • B.R.K.R on August 5, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    how about this test squad, open batting with rahane who has good technique - 1. vijay 2. rahane 3. pujara 4. kohli 5. rohit 6. dhoni 7. jaddu 8. ashwin 9. bhuvi 10. aaron 11. pankaj

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    I don't care about the outcome of this series, I'm just waiting for Australia tour to start,

  • CherryWood_Champion on August 5, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    Still surprised that we did not take Amit Mishra ... specially when it is a known fact that England batsmen are extremely poor players of leg spin. India missed a big trick there. For the next two tests, we need five bowlers to take 20 wickets. So lets bring in Ashwin for Dhawan and have Rahane open the innings. My XI would be 1) Vijay 2) Rahane 3) Pujara 4) Kohli 5) Rohit Sharma 6) Dhoni 7) Jadeja 8) Ashwin 9) Bhuvaneshwar / Ishwar Pandey 10) Pankaj Singh 11) Varun Aaron

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    Team Should Be - G Gambhir , M Vijay , C Pujara , V Kohli , A Rahane , MS Dhoni , R Aswin , R Jadeja , I Pandey , M Shami , P Singh

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    Not convenience with Mr. rajvir Singh, Ask dhoni to come up the order. There will be no difference. Dhoni is average batsmen in test cricket. he is one of best finisher along with AB devillers but devillers is no.1 batsmen in both formats and in T20 is king of variety shorts. I don't blame dhoni as whole because he is not giving chance to Ashwin as jadeja is failed in all three tests. Take him out and give ashwin a chance. Also take dhawan and rohit out of test squad and bring gambhir and sehwag for their experience.

  • rjt0 on August 5, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    No mention of Naman Ojha for replacing Dhawan! Bizzare, as if guys don't know he's an opener. Probably an even better one than Gambhir, leave alone Dhawan. He'll also help out Che and Chikku and take the pressure off them. Was Naman not having a net yesterday? Has he not yet arrived at Manchester?

  • _-Will-_ on August 5, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    @samvarma: well said, I agree completely. We need wholesale changes but unfortunately even the most optimistic will realise that these things are highly unlikely to happen. We need a whole new regime from top to bottom. We needed it 20 years ago.

    And as usual this thread contains some highly amusing comments...

    @ Arun Bose: When you awake from your dream, kindly provide us with any facts or statistics to support your outrageous statements?! Please state exactly how many times India have emerged victorious against adversities overseas? Then please state how many times we have succumbed to adversity and failed overseas?

    History has enough material on India to keep everyone laughing for a long, long time!! Even if we win this series, our overall record overseas will still be one of the worst among test playing nations who have been at it as long as we have! Given our vast human and financial resources, the situation seems even more pathetic!!

    "One swallow does not a summer make"!!!

  • Realistic_cri_fan on August 5, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    Why on earth people wanting to drop Kohli??There are lot of walking wickets in the team (DHONI,R.Sharma,Dhawan).Kohli has done tremendous job for 3 years.He has earned his right to be in the team even if he was out-of-form.Will you drop Sachin or Dravid if they failed in 3 matches? Give that guy a break.He is a fantastic cricketer and he will demolish the English attack soon.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 5, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    I'm afraid ,India are well short of options. This @ the most crucial phase of the tour going into deciding 2 final tests. What makes it worse is that it comes at a time when all Eng bats men are in a rich vein of form, or those struggling are back in form. The struggling Ind attack are in for a hard grind in the field over next couple of tests.And with Eng settling into a pretty certain bowling unit with replenishment in a couple of fresh quicks, waiting to come hard at a struggling Indian lineup ,its going to take a v special effort,and some weather, to escape defeat in coming 2 tests. 3-1 to Eng.

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    Team should be : Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin, Jadeja, Shami, Bhuvi/Arone , Pankaj Singh

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    Shammi is definitely a pain point , considering the fact that he is considered to be a strike option for us . He is not even performing to half the level Anderson and Broad have for England, and with Bhuvi doubtful for the next match, we have problems galore . Aaron should get a look in IMHO, since he is available for selection -Gambir comes in for Dhawan , Ashwin might have to wait one more match,as Shammi might just get one last chance at Manchester to prove himself .

    My XI - Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Sharma, MSD, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Aaron, Shammi ( Pankaj Singh if Bhuvi is injured )

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    Team Should Be This : Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Rohit, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Aaron, Shami

  • CurrentPresident on August 5, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    I don't see much point in tweaking the Indian batting order, it's only a matter of time before they come good together. You can rotate a player or two but it won't have that big an impact. They all have the similar strengths/weaknesses (partly influenced by IPL).

    The main issue is the bowling and catching.

    India needs one good real fast bowler (Umesh), one workhorse who can be good with the old ball (Ishant/Pandey/Mohit) and one good swing bowler (Bhuvi/Sandeep).

    In addition, they need wicket taking off-spinner(Ashwin/Rasool/Harbhajan) and a leg-spinner (Jadeja/Misra/Chahal/Karn).

    Mediocre bowling will not cut it. There is no 30s or 40s in bowling. Either it is a wicket or it isn't. And you have to take it (not wait aimlessly for the batsman to give it to you). It's just a different state of mind.

  • dganger on August 5, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    Just sack Dhoni as a Test captain, he dosent even deserve a place in the first 11, the most negative captain of the last decade, absolutely stubborn in his mind baffling tactics and selections. I am ok with him be the ODI Cpt, but in Test, give me a break, he is not a test cricketer, forget about him being the captain.

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    Dhoni will never listen to any body . Drop Rohit, jadeja & Bhuvi ( if not 100% fit ). Replace with Aswin, Aaron, Ishwar Pandey .Pandey can swing like Bhuvi & hit the deck harder.

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:43 GMT

    Team should be : Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin, Jadeja, Shami, Arone, Pankaj Singh

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Sidarth Monga is like an average Indian cricket fan. He changes his opinion after every match or innings like us.

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    The best teams are those which in the face of adversities, against all odds perform their best and emerge victorious.. India is and always has been one of those teams, Push them against the wall and they will break that wall and turn it into rubbles.. Those who said and still says that India won't win this series bcz they don't have it in them to turn it around.. Prepare to be proven wrong bcz on 19th August 2014, History will laugh at you.. Along with me! I will literally have the last laugh here at cricinfo on 19th August 2014 ...

  • Hasheem on August 5, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    Just sack Dhawan,Shammi and Pankaj. Bring in Gambhir,Ashwin and Pandey. Aaron is all hype and the guy cant bowl 4 overs in a t20,talking test match cricket here. Expect bounce in Manchester and be prepared Koli will fail again and bowlers will go for plenty.

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    All who are criticizing Dhoni, Just remember that He's always walking in 5 down and it almost always becomes 6/7 down within few overs when he's trying to get going.. He bats under intense pressure.. I believe if he pushes himself to number 3 and plays aggressive cricket he can get big scores overseas.. Just way too much pressure on him IMHO.

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    @ satzzz I don't think the writer is comparing the teams he is comparing the two enterprising captains bold enough to take a risk to win a test.

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    I liike how Siddharth Monga has described Ashwin: it really dees seem that, through his absence in the team, he has become a better bowler! That's what everybody, from critic to public, seem to believe now! Regardless, I'd still opt for him: Jadeja isnt good enough for Test cricket, especially overseas...

  • jmcilhinney on August 5, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    With India having suffered badly with injuries on their last trip to England, it's a shame to see the same thing happening again, although not to nearly the same degree so far. I think that Ishant being out could be being a little over-played. Yes, he was the chief destroyer at Lords (after the England batsmen themselves, of course) but did anyone really expect him to repeat those heroics? Up until that point, many were bemoaning his inclusion in the team. He's a decent bowler but I'm not sure he would have won more games in the same fashion. That said, at least he offers some variety to the India attack, given his height. It will be a greater loss, I think, if Bhuvi is not fit. He's shown himself to be very effective in English conditions and a pretty handy lower-order batsman too.

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:05 GMT

    if kohli needs to be dropped then why not pujara to be dropped if pujara is not dropped then kohli shouldn't be dropped but i think u need some one who can play shots at no 3 not just defend

  • samvarma on August 5, 2014, 5:03 GMT

    I think we need to revamp our structure and priorities. If not, we will remain to be an artificially stimulated wonder in cricket.Currently Indian cricket is being propelled by money spinning BCCI who has created an artifical world for our cricketers where a range of experts from coaches to commentators are ropped in as part of a plan to sustain the economic boom enjoyed by the board over past two decades.But if we are honest about enhancing the skill sets of our talented young pool of players to compete at the highest level, BCCI and indian cricket needs to come out of this. We need to embrace challenge by making our 4 day domestic matches competitive and also by sending the most talented lot to various international domestic circuits. Bring in proven coaches where results decide their future. Let them upskill and flourish outside. Currently our players lack the skill (it could be technical or mental).

  • satishchandar on August 5, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    I would be tempted to do the below changes for sure. gambhir for Dhawan - Not because Gambhir would do wonders but Dhawan didn't do anything to merit place. Ashwin in for Rohit - Ashwin would be far more composed with bat and can be used as spinner. I would even bat Ashwin at 6. Batting order wise, promote Rahane to 4 and make Virat at 5. One simple change might bring more calmness to Virat. In long term, no.4 is Virat's slot but still, better for Virat to stay one slot down to see whether things work in different manner. 3 pace bowlers would be Pankaj, Bhuvi(if fit), Shami.. The department is already short of experience. Varun would be my first choice replacement for any of these 3 either Bhuvi is unfit or if Shami or Pankaj is to be dropped.

  • NOTTVENKAT on August 5, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    Ishant was a no hoper at the beginning of the series. We are now talking of " how do we take 20 wickets without Ishant". Interesting times. If we take our chances ie catches, a bowling attack of Pankaj Singh, Bhuvaneshwar, Shami, Ashwin and Jadeja is not bad and can deliver. If Bhuvi is not fit, that would be a blow. But we ought to go with Ishwar Pandey in his place. He has good control and shd work well. On the batting end, Ashwin and Jadeja at 7 and 8 is not so bad. We shd go with 5 bowlers either way.

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    My team:- Shikhar Dhawan/Gautam Gambhir, Murli Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Anirudh Singh Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron, Pankaj Singh ...

    19th August 2014:- The day Indian cricket, The world and history would never forget ...

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    4th test Squad XI for india against england 1. Gambhir 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Rahane 5. naman ojha 6. MSD 7. Ashwin 8. binny 9.bhuvi 10. pankaj 11 Aaron

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    Just if you can't fix the strategy (i.e., 4 or 5 bowlers) you can select the better player between the two.

  • karthik_ig on August 5, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    My team for the 4th test would be Gambhir, vijay, pujara, kohli, rahane, dhoni, ashwin, jadeja,Bhuvi, shami and Pankaj. I wont bring in Aaron for shami as I he is not a test ready player. Jadeja brings in X factor and is a bit of charcter and he is better bowler if he bowls in tandem with ashwin. I will go for Ishwar pandey if bhuvi is unfit.

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    I am against doing these selections when one series is already going on because if some players who are in the current series do not get selected then it can be disheartening and demotivating factor to such players. I understand there may be some reasons why the next series (ODI series) players need to be selected in the middle of an ongoing series because the new players may need time to travel from india to england (in this instance), but why not just name those players who are not in the current test squad and are currently in india, in otherwords do not name the full squad, mention only those names of the players who have to travel and join the current team in england, and the names of the players in the ongoing test series can be revealed only after the 5th test is over (after the final ball of the 5th test is bowled) - this way those players in the current test series who do not get selected for the ODI series do not feel sad and demotivated.

  • paapam on August 5, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    Two pacers(shami and kumar if fit), two spinners(ashwin and jadeja) and seven batsman. Drop Dhawan and get Binny in as a makeshift opener with a license to hit.

  • din7 on August 5, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    @vinay224 dhoni has a diaml record overseas and evry1 has accepted that, with his shoddy technique no1 expects him to score many runs, thats why no1 is complaining also hes keeper....we no longer ecpect dhoni to play on swing or bouncy tracks, hes ok for flat pitches and most people have accepted that!

  • ofcourse on August 5, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    Selecting Gambhir instead of Dhawan would be the biggest mistake to be made by Indian think tank. He is as much of an offside poker as anyone else in the world and is a walking wicket in English conditions. He didn't even score much in domestic cricket an didn't merit selection in the squad in the first place. His selection in the XI will send a very wrong signal to any aspiring young Indian cricketer. Even more irrational than having Jadeja instead of Ashwin.

  • sray23 on August 5, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    If India go defensive again like last Test and pick 6 batsmen and lose, Dhoni should be sacked. We cannot have such a defeatist captain who is happy to play for a draw and sit on a lead when there is one. I have been a long supporter of Dhoni - but this is the best chance India have to win 2-3 Tests of an away series. Dhoni should have never picked 6 batsmen last Test itself, and look what happened. No matter what he says, it was a complete defensive selection to pick Rohit. If he makes the same mistake again, then I'm afraid there's no room for him. As an Indian supporter I want my team to play for a win at all times - and that means doing everything possible to take 20 wickets all the times. If we play to win and lose, then so be it - I am OK with it. But what I cannot stand is defensive cricket designed to delay declarations (Dhoni's normal method) and continuously losing matches this way! It's high time for a captain who believes in some aggression.

  • crzcric on August 5, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    Icc must bring a new rule.England bowler should bowl only straight deliveries to indian batsman.

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    XI 1. Gambhir 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Rahane 5. Rohit 6. MSD 7. Ashwin 8. Jaddu 9.Pankaj Singh (ask him to bowl more short length ball in correct line) 10. Shami 11 Aaron/Ishwar Pandey.

    Even Kohli should get drop from 4th test. His form is major problem for team India's batting. Lets give some more chance to Rohit & Shami.

    Giving enough chance to the new comers will lead India to perform well in future. This is the time to take some tough decision on selecting the playing XI.

    Lets hope for our bowlers and batsmen will win the series for us.

    All the best to team India......

  • pulkit10 on August 5, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    I don't understand this fascination with a like for like replacement that India (and the journalists) often encourage. Ashwin for Jadeja is not required and puts a lot of pressure on Ashwin to come in and perform a miracle to pick up wickets on such docile surfaces. Ideally, you need 3 decent seamers and two tweakers. Leave Rohit Sharma out. I'm not saying he isn't a talented batsman but he hasn't done anything over the last 12 months to warrant a place in the side. He doesn't contribute a whole lot with the runs and he's not really that good a fielder either...on an average, he contributes around 30-40 runs an innings - Ashwin can do that too.

    India's gotta be aggressive in the next one. Get 4 decent bowlers, a bowling all rounder (Jadeja) and 6 batsmen - use the Aussie model and gun after the English or they'd be leather again. Bring in Aaron for Shami or Pankaj too. And for heaven's sake...take those bloody catches.

  • Vasunigam on August 5, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    All of sudden ISHANT became a hero..this can only happen in India.Any ways if n only if the pitches are helpful (green or dusty or wear n tear) to bowlers only then there is any chance of Indian bowlers taking 20 wkts otherwise just forget it.This is also proved over time - Lords or perth both were bowling friendly pitches. Other teams should know that Indian batsmen can play on green pitches but Indian bowlers can not bowl any team out twice on flat pitches.other distant possibility to win a test match on flat pitch is to bat first & make 550~600 odd runs to bring opposition under pressure. My XI will be - Murli,Gambhir,Pujara,Virat,Rahane,Dhoni,Jadeja/Pankaj(depending on pitch),Ashwin,Bhuwneshwar,Shami,Umesh/Rohit (depending on pitch - if green - Rohit , If flat - Umesh)

  • Sexysteven on August 5, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    If dhoni doesn't try to win the next two tests with better captaincy they will lose anyway just trying to draw games so he might as well be more positive try to win if you lose that way so be it at least there would be intent to win but 1st team selection get that right they shouldn't play kumar cos he's only half fit and will not perform if he plays better to go in with someone fresher to me so I would go vijay gambhir pujara rahane kohli dhoni jadeja ashwin Aaron yadav pankaj three fresh pace bowlers with abit of pace two spinners incase the pitch turns and 6 decent batsmen to score the bulk of the runs with jadeja and ashwin to contribute something with the bat down the order that is agood balanced side for me it covers all bases I think but I bet they won't go with that team known the stubborn dhoni

  • Indian_Kari_Pakku on August 5, 2014, 4:17 GMT

    Rest Kohli. Then send Dhawan home and never call back again.

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Another problem they refuse to acknowledge is that Virat Koli is not scoring the runs he is capable of.This adds to the failures of Dhawan and Rhit Sharma not to mention Dhoni.All of them should raise their game.Gambhir should come in instead of Dhawan.

  • vinay224 on August 5, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    People talk a lot about other players, what about Dhoni's out of form, we saw his dancing footwork in the stuart broad over, his average is falling below 40 and decreasnig day by day. He scores a rare 50 and not more than that.

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:07 GMT

    I would suggest... pick umesh, varun Aaron, shami, ashwin, Jadeja.. add gambir ..remove rohit Sharma.. rest remain as it is..

    Let bh uvi take rest for final test..

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Bering on Ajinkaye Rahane as Opener and bring Ashwin ahead of rohit and also brin on varon aroon instead of bhuvi only if he is injured...

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    i think India should persist with Pankaj Singh ,he was really good in the first test .Shami should be rested atleast for this test match ...bring in Varun aron and ask him to go all out with pace.....go for the head or the toe with pace like sohaib says (they should consider him for the role of Indian bowling coach ) .Bhuvi and aron can work in tandem with aron bowling short pitch stuff and making the batsmen stay in the backfoot and bhuvi testing the front foot technique of the batsmen .Pankaj can come in next change with ishwar pandey and ashwin playing as the 5th bowler all rounder in the team....wish dhawal kulkarni was part of this squad though he has the perfect bowling technique tat is needed for foreign conditions infact he is quite similar to anderson in the way he hits the deck, the height from which he releases and lastly the swing he gets .the selectors have clearly missed a trick here

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    If Indian feilders can grasp to all the catches on offer, India can still win this series, the issue is not our bowlers, the main issue are our sloppy feilders. At Manchester, there is no point playing Jadeja or Ashwin, just to satisfy the commentary team, lets go in with 04 bang bang fast bowlers in Shami, Aaron, Pankaj and Pandey if Bhuvi is not fit. Anyways Ashwin and Jadeja have never helped us getting first innings wickets outside India when the faster guys have not been able to break through. Binny should be preferred over Rohit also. Let us go with a team for which we do not have a game plan, let alone England having one to counter. Also India is not expected to win at Manchester, in fact avoiding a loss, will be a major premium, so lets do something with a difference, and history says, whenever Dhoni does something with a difference, on most occasions he becomes victorious

  • YoPatel on August 5, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    Make sit Dhawan, Open with Rahane & Vijay. Bring in Ashwin for Rohit and Ishwar Pandey should be in for luckless Pankaj Singh.

  • JoshFromJamRock on August 5, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    The players are starting to show a bit of weariness both mentally and physically. I think its best they rest Kohli (form), Bhuvi (fitness), Dhawan (form) and Shami (form) for the next match if not the rest of the series. These four guys have done outstanding things for India in the recent past but rest is probably what would suit them best at the moment.

    Although Dhoni prefers the 4-specialist-bowler strategy, it should be easier for him to rotate 3 seamers around Ashwn and Jadeja, than for him to rotate 4 seamers around one spinner.

    My XI is a bit out-of-the-box but its worth a try at this stage.

    1)Vijay 2)Gambhir 3)Pujara 4)Rahane 5)Rohit 6)Dhoni 7)Jadeja 8)Ashwin 9)Pandley 10)Aaron 11)Pankaj

  • on August 5, 2014, 3:51 GMT

    they also need to tweak the order a bit Rahane, who has looked confident should bat at No. 4 ahead of Kohli who has looked too tentative to bat at 4.

    People are questioning Jadeja's capabilities to pick wickets but I will still pick him for his accuracy. He can build pressure at one end, while Ashwin (if picked) can capitalise on the pressure and pick wickets.

    Also, India may have lost the last Test but the batters showed that they can counter Anderson and Broad, they should continue the same and look to attack Moeen ali

  • mysecretme on August 5, 2014, 3:50 GMT

    India one would say have an abundance of riches- three allrounders, 4 if Bhuvi gets fit.

    My team would be Gambhir,Vijay,Kohli(asked to play positive attacking cricket),Pujara (bat through), Rahane,Dhoni,Stuart,Ashwin,Jadeja,Pankaj,Pandey If bhuvi is not fit.

    In case he is fit, it would be Gambhir,Vijay,Kohli(asked to play positive attacking cricket),Pujara (bat through), Rahane,Dhoni,Ashwin,Jadeja,Bhuvi,Pankaj,Varun

  • on August 5, 2014, 3:48 GMT

    XI: M Viay, G Gambhir, C Pujara, A Rahane,V Kohli,R Sharma, R Ashwin, V Aaron, B Kumar /Shami, Pankaj Singh...................try rahane at four.......kohliis struggling...let him play down the order.If the pitch is definitely going to assist the spinners then look into jadeja for rohit....No matter how many batsmenwe play(6/7)..any two of them have to score big (centuries)....play rahane at four so that he can play with batsmen at the other end instead of tailenders.....

  • on August 5, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    Oh Come On! We have had enough of 'Rohit' and "Shikhar" Gambhir needs to be drafted IN as a specialist opener...he may look clumsy early on against pace and swing...but still he is much better than Dhawan. Ashwin needs to replace Rohit sharma (not jadeja) ... He has a better Defensive technique than rohit, can bag a couple of wickets and d fact that he is a decent slip catcher. Pankaj singh bowled his heart Out without any luck.... this lad deserves one more chance. Ideally shami should have been replaced by Aaron but given the injury to Bhuvi...aaron should come in for Bhuvi

    Ideal XI 1. Gambhir 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Rahane 5. Kohli 6. MSD 7. Ashwin 8. Jaddu 9.Pankaj Singh 10. Shami 11 Aaron

  • _-Will-_ on August 5, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    "how the hell are we going to get 20 wickets?" - lol.

    I doubt anyone in the Indian team, coaching staff or administration actually has such thoughts!! Our entire historical record overseas suggests that nobody ever really addressed this question, and I doubt anyone is wondering about it now!!

    "How the hell do we manage to play for two consecutive draws?" - This is the question being asked at the moment!!!

  • cricket_ahan on August 5, 2014, 3:35 GMT

    Go hard or go home! The teams that have come out on top over the last 5-10 years (namely South Africa and Australia) have done so with this attitude. Ms Dhoni lives this attitude, but it seems only in home series, where he can place a higher reliance on his spinners to take wickets. Granted that India's seam attack is mediocre, but they are the best we have, and if they do have potential, it is times like this when they need to be tested. India need to go for wins, and I'm sure no one will criticise MS for losing a test if it is with such as approach. Wickets, wickets, wickets! Ashwin must play, and India must have 5 bowlers! Rohit to be dropped. Period!

  • _-Will-_ on August 5, 2014, 3:31 GMT

    It really doesn't matter who we play because none of our bowlers are genuine test quality bowlers. Even when fit, none of them have performed consistently over any meaningful length of time.

    Yes, there was a fluke win at Lords. I. Sharma got lucky and B. Kumar proved at the Rose Bowl that he is useless without significant help from the pitch.

    Indian test cricket has not changed in several decades. Decent at home, useless abroad. Simple as that. Nothing more to it. The evidence lies in historical records. Dhoni's selections and tactics over several years of captaincy are evidence that nothing is likely to change anytime soon. This "new" team is just going through the same old motions.

    RIP Team India!!!

  • on August 5, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    @ landl47 on (August 4, 2014, 21:46 GMT)

    Your comments on India's batting performance is absolutely right.

    In fact this had been a topsy-turvy series:

    We expected a lot from Kohli , Pujara, and may be Dhawan; but they didn't deliver.

    We didn't expect much from Vijay & was not sure about Rahane; but they delivered.

    We expected nothing from Ishant, but he gave India one of the best performances of his career.

    We expected Cook & Bell to show the way to the young English batsmen; yet till they broke out of jail in the third test, it was the youngsters like Ballance & Root who showed the way.

    The most ironical part was the mismatch between the pitch & the result. In a typical "English" looking pitch, India won. In a typical "Indian" looking pitch, England won. Absolutely ironical.

    However, there is something positive for both teams. The youngsters in both teams are showing a lot of potential for the future. In a couple of years, we can expect great contests between the two teams.

  • satzzz on August 5, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    Are you kidding me? Comparing Gary Sobers' team with Michael Clarke's team? Clarke's team had just won 2 series, that too one at home after so many disasters. Its too early to call for that. If Johnson is kind of injured or burnt out because of workload(IPL,BBL,CLT20,ODI,T20I and of course test) do they have the same fire power in their bowling? Let us judge them by one year from now. Untill then, they are a very mediocre team, infact below average team because of the legacy that this OZ team post WIndies era.

  • on August 5, 2014, 3:16 GMT

    Three changes: Gambhir for Dhawan. Both are equal tentative in start, but once get in Gautam will not throw it away like Dhawan has done many times now. Ashwin for Rohit. Batting wise Ash is equal if not better than Rohit and give huge advantage against Eng left arm batsmen. I will retain Jadeja as 5th bowler. He gives that control to Dhoni when he wants to dry runs at an end and give rest to pacers. 3rd change would be bringing Varun for Shami. Shami needs a break. And Varun need to go all out an bowl full & fast, but for that he has to be in a 5 man attack. Can't do that from 4 bowlers. Will tire early and put pressure on other 3 too. Good luck compete well.

  • DesaiVijay on August 5, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    Provided Binny is used appropriately, my possible best 11 would be

    Gambhir. Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Binny, Ashwin, Pandey, Aaron, Bhuvi (Sahmi if Bhuvi is not fit).

    ,

  • on August 5, 2014, 3:13 GMT

    My XI for India: Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Shami and Pankaj Singh Dhwan is clearly out of form and Gambhir would be hungry to get back. Pankaj bowled well despite having the worst figures on debut. Rohit Sharma (just like Binny before him) did not really prove a value add in the side. It would be better to replace him with Ashwin who could be trusted to score 30 odd runs and provide a much needed wicket taking option in bowling.

  • on August 5, 2014, 3:12 GMT

    Finally England have found the right combination, winning ways... And nobody could stop this series ending Eng winning 3-1 for sure...

  • OneEyedAussie on August 5, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    Fitness was always going to be an issue for India. The last time they toured Australia they played well in the first test but fell away very quickly after that. I suspect we may see a similar trend here, but I hope for the series sake that I am wrong.

  • on August 5, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    Change the captain MS Dhoni after the England tour. The main issue with Indian team is the lack of an inspirational captain. Certain teams like India, Pakistan, Srilanka and New zealand needs an inspirational - aggressive captain to succeed. The mindset of players from these countries are such that they feel directionless and wont deliver that extra effort that is required to succeed in alien and pressure situations. Take the examples of Clive Loyd, Imran Khan and Sourav Ganguly and the way they made raw, talented but directionless players into a winning combination.

  • on August 5, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    Jadeja is not looking effective so ashwin comes in place of jadeja, enough chances is given to dhawan so gambhir has to come in place of dhawan. Rohit is my favorite batsman and he is great team player he would bat to release team pressure. Dhoni must play rohit. Bhuvi looks tired so varun has to come in and also ishwer pandey is young fast bowler. Play rohit he can open or bat with the tail at number 6 he is great asset in batting and fielding department just because of few failure we should not exclude him

  • on August 5, 2014, 2:45 GMT

    @ landl47 on (August 4, 2014, 21:46 GMT):

    You are right on the dot, when you state why the effective short-format bowlers need not necessarily be effective in test matches.

    Going beyond your point, there is are differences between Jadeja and Ashwin, which forces Dhoni's hands, especially in tests. Jadeja, is a captain's bowler following his instructions, and has slightly better control over line and length, but unfortunately hasn't got much of variety. But Ashwin, often does his own things; knowingly or unknowingly strays from captain's plans and field placements; and indulge in unwanted, excessive, and ineffective experimentation. Really a 'hobson's choice' !

    Yet, in the third test, where India lost, Ashwin would have been far more effective than Jadeja. The latter just didn't have the wares to exploit the pitch-conditions!

  • on August 5, 2014, 2:20 GMT

    If these current net sessions hints at anything than it is this.. Indian team looking determined to turn it around and they will turn it around like Warney's ball of the century.. I will have the last laugh here at cricinfo on 19th August 2014..literally!

  • on August 5, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    Dhawan gets one more chance. It is not as if Gambhir is setting the world on fire right now.

    Bowling is and remains a disaster. Shami is vastly overrated, and adds nothing to the attack.

    The bench is not exactly better.

    So, without Ishant, assuming Bhuvaneshwar is fit,

    Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Rahane (up the order), Kohli, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bhuvaneshwar, Aaron.

    If you can fly in replacements, get Umesh Yadav and Mishra. Otherwise, play Ashwin and Rohit Sharma and try to draw the remaining tests.

  • on August 5, 2014, 1:26 GMT

    Does this Indian quarter pace/spin have the confidence,stamina, upright belief and conviction with passion and commitment to grab 20wickets in 6-8sessions in a row. Answer is NO....

  • on August 5, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    India is preparing to strike back.. And they will! Beware England..

  • Sol09 on August 5, 2014, 1:05 GMT

    Sidharth Monga writes well and makes very good points here. It will be interesting to see which way Indian selection goes. Whatever team they field, I think they're in trouble. But, you never know - cricket is a funny game.

  • on August 5, 2014, 0:58 GMT

    Varun Aaron:

    He appeared to have repaired his non-functioning radar, during his display in the IPL. That (working radar), at his pace was a good sign. Hope: (1) he still has that radar functioning; and (2) He has learnt to adjust the length needed for English conditions.

    If these conditions are met (big if, though), it will be foolish not to try him out in the fourth test. This is relatively the best pitch he can debut on. (Of course the English pitches have dramatically changed over the years. So, one can't be sure about the pitch)

  • on August 5, 2014, 0:51 GMT

    Nice to see that India seem to be at least considering three options: Evidence from Monga's report:

    1. Gambhir and Dhawan netted next to each other.

    2. Ashwin and Jadeja bowled with each other.

    3. Rohit and Ashwin batted one after the other.

    Some signs of the "frozen" thinking is put out to thaw! Good.

  • denmore on August 5, 2014, 0:47 GMT

    I don't understand why and how whats stopping Dhoni and the coach from seeking advice from past players like Dravid, Ganguly, Gavaskar, Shastri etc who are on tour with the commentary team!! Maybe they should seek advice on team combination etc and use that to their advantage on getting a performing team for this test. Surely they would have better results.

  • on August 5, 2014, 0:39 GMT

    "...India will know you win Test matches by taking 20 wickets or playing teams led by Garry Sobers or Michael Clarke...".

    Let us not forget that Gary Sobers and Michael Clark had a far better set of players under their command. Even forgetting the kind of bowlers they had, did we ever see a slip-shod slip cordon in Sober's team or Clarke's team?

  • on August 5, 2014, 0:39 GMT

    India should fire virat kohli and bring in gautam gambhir.because dhawan played better cricket than virat .He has had good starts but has failed to convert them whereas kohli has entered into the thirties just twice and he is showing how poor he bats overseas.The other change will see ashwin coming in for rohit sharma

  • Angry_Bowler on August 5, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    Four bowlers mean back to square one! If India wants to win it needs five bowlers. Otherwise another defeat waiting for them.

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 5, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    India will have a final laugh in this series.....sorry England....also advanced sorry Australia..

  • on August 5, 2014, 0:34 GMT

    Obviously India have to make some changes if they have to win the fourth test match. I think Rohit dharma should be replaced by Ravi Ashwin and the other change should have gambhir replacing virat kohli because kohli is completely out of form and dhawan still can give good starts

  • on August 5, 2014, 0:34 GMT

    @"Boys, how the hell do we take 20 wickets here?"

    It is a bit unfair view. If the catches were taken, and the fielding was better, even in the third test, it was not beyond reason to believe, it could have been perhaps achieved. That is, even with the selection errors.

  • JoshFromJamRock on August 5, 2014, 0:25 GMT

    India should not lose hope in this series.

  • Buckers97 on August 5, 2014, 0:24 GMT

    team should be; Gambhir, Vijay, Pujara, Kholi, Rahane, Dhoni, Binny, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Aaron, Shami

  • indianzen on August 5, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    Ashwin will be playing for sure, but in whose plays remains a question. Aaron may take Bhuvi's place... you will have to wait and watch. Ruling out Umesh is the worst ever selection mistake...

  • CricketChat on August 5, 2014, 0:12 GMT

    Ishant is out, B Kumar is most likely to sit out. Pankaj can't get a wkt if his life depended on it, Shami is out of form (I feel he is not suited to longer format at all) and Jadeja is NOT a test spinner as well. Aaron has not played a cricket match for aeons. Whether it's Dhoni or God himself captains Indian team, I don't see them winning another match on this tour tests/FC. Added to this misery is the utter failure of Dhawan, Pujara and Kohli to make any impact yet with their batting, Ind has no hopes at all. Still better than 2011 result. Ind has a test win with no hopers.

  • CurrentPresident on August 4, 2014, 23:57 GMT

    I hope India play both Ashwin and Jadeja - they are complementary and better together.

    Ishant is lucky he did not play the last test match - he would not have been as successful as Lords. I hope India calls up Umesh and play him with Varun and Bhuvi (if he is fit).

    Well directed short pitched stuff at pace will still get the English. They are too proud to duck and not that skilled to keep hooking.

  • Siva_Bala75 on August 4, 2014, 23:57 GMT

    India need like for like replacements. Md. Shami is out of form. He should be replaced by Varun Aaron. Ishant's place can be only taken by Umesh Yadav. Panjkaj Singh is tall and accurate but does not have pace. If Bhuvi is also unfit, the best replacement is Dhawal Kulkarni followed by Ishwar Pandey. Ashwin should replace Jadeja. Rohit Sharma should play in the XI with a strict instruction that he should get out only through playing a defensive shot, otherwise his test career is over.

  • AvidCricFan on August 4, 2014, 22:22 GMT

    Shami certainly should be given a break. In all three matches, he looked tired, jaded and clueless on how to contain batsmen or bowl wicket taking deliveries. His figures show that. This can happen when one plays non-stop for a while. The bowler gets in the rut of going through motions. Bring in Aaron. With some extra pace, he could cause some damage if maintains good line and length. He had good IPL season where he bowled with some discipline.

  • Reverse_Bat on August 4, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    Dhoni must stop playing fans sentiments, I think its time for him to go, his attitude is not helping the team.

  • B.R.K.R on August 4, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    rohit, dhawan and jaddu are better fit for odis and t20s, it would be better to replace them with gambhir, ashwin and ojha in test matches .. also shami is out of form at the moment and it would be nice to see aaron being given a chance to add spark to bowling, pankaj deserves another go for his unlucky but good spell in last match and seems to be a 3rd good support bowler .. so my team for next test is : 1. vijay 2. gambhir 3. pujara 4. kohli 5. rahane 6. ojha 7. dhoni 8. ashwin 9. bhuvi 10. aaron 11. pankaj

  • wide_gully on August 4, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    India must bring in Aaron and fly Umesh in for the next Test. Giving Gambhir and Ashwin a go will be a good ploy. Team: Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin, Jadeja, Aaron, Umesh, Shami

  • landl47 on August 4, 2014, 21:46 GMT

    Lots of calls for Ashwin, but look at his figures against England in India in 2012. Like Jadeja, he's a decent enough short-format bowler, but just doesn't spin the ball enough for test cricket. Once batsmen got over the 'mystery' aspect of his carrom ball, they just waited for the bad ones. Batsmen can't do that in shorter formats, but in a 5-day test you have to give the ball a rip at pace. Mendis, Narine, Ashwin- all similar bowlers and none of them test matchwinners.

    It will be a pity if Bhuvi isn't playing. He's bowled and batted very well (India wouldn't have won the Lord's test without his runs) and he's fun to watch. Hopefully he'll be fit by Thursday.

    I think nobody would have predicted that after 3 tests Dhawan, Pujara and Kohli would have one 50 between them. Rahane and Vijay, on the other hand, have exceeded expectations. If they all come off India will score enough runs, but can they take 20 wickets? We'll soon see.

  • YoBro on August 4, 2014, 21:46 GMT

    How does one get injured bowling at the pace of B. Kumar, and for Pete's sake, can we get Umesh in the squad?

  • BUCG on August 4, 2014, 21:17 GMT

    If this current Indian team can't beat the current English team, they better start packing their bags!

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    india should now go with ashwin and binny in place of dhawan and pankaj

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    Loved the touch of humor in this article... " after having taken a beating on the field, in the court, and - they certainly believe - in a corridor at Trent Bridge.", " India will know you win Test matches by taking 20 wickets or playing teams led by Garry Sobers or Michael Clarke. ", " R Ashwin, who in the eyes of the experts and public has become a better spinner with every passing day out of the Test team", "When the nets began, Ishant took up umpiring duties, ironically because he is guilty of bowling more no-balls than most in the world today." ... Well written, Monga!!

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    A good combination for this upcoming test would be:

    Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Rohit, Dhoni, Ashwin, Shami, Bhuvi/Aaron, Pankaj.

    For the 5th test if Kohli and Pankaj still fail to perform then the following would be good:

    Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Naman, Rahane, Rohit, Dhoni, Ashwin, Shami, Bhuvi/Aaron,Pandey/Aaron

    I see no point of playing Jadeja, every team needs a pace attack and a front line spinner if they want to perform, at least in England. Jadeja can't qualify as one. Ashwin has more skill and experience. If India played Ashwin from the first test, India would be in the lead through the series.

    And I know BCCI won't show Kohli the boot through all 5 matches but he doesn't perform then Naman, who is in form, should come in. But at the same time I don't blame Kohli, he's in the same form as the last few years, he just needs to learn to be patient and start leaving those deliveries outside off stump. Someone explain to him this is a Test match, not ODI!

  • Sultan2007 on August 4, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    Wow. Having incessantly beaten up on Ishant, we are now saying that we cannot take 20 wickets without him. Did we assess him incorrectly or did he have one good match based on a self destructive english batting side? I still think we would be a better side with Umesh in the side

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    Who would have thought people would be worried if Ishant Sharma is not available :) I still cannot believe it.

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    "if you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got". Dhoni needs to think differently here. He needs to ask himself the question if he is picking up the best 11 for the conditions. If he picks someone who doesn't feature that often in the test side nowadays like Gambhir or Aaron, they will have the urge to prove themselves as worthy players and you will have a potential match winner in them. But instead if Dhoni is comfortable enough to play for a draw or contain the opposition, then he will back back in the same old zone.

  • D.S.A on August 4, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    India's 11 should be: 1. gautam gambhir, 2. murali vijay, 3. cheteshwar pujara, 4. ajinkya rahane, 5. virat kohli, 6. mahendra singh dhoni, 7. ravichandran ashwin, 8. bhuvneshwar kumar / praveen kumar, 9. ishwar pandey, 10. varun aaron, 11. pankaj singh.

  • mzm149 on August 4, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    Come on Engalnd make it 3-1. Grab them while they are down.

  • Vishal63 on August 4, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    India must try something different. We can deduce from the article that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma will not be playing the fourth test match.

    A possible Indian XI:

    India XI: 1. Gautam Gambhir, 2. Murali Vijay, 3. Cheteshwar Pujara, 4. Virat Kohli, 5. Ajinkya Rahane, 6. MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Ravichandran Ashwin, 9. Mohammed Shami, 10. Varun Aaron, 11. Pankaj Singh

    CHANGES: Gautam Gambhir IN-Shikhar Dhawan OUT, Ravichandran Ashwin IN-Rohit Sharma OUT, Varun Aaron IN-Bhuvneshwar Kumar OUT

  • Abbas67 on August 4, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    Don't take to many chances, with Naman Ojha joining the side, let him play instead of Rohit as a Keeper, Gambhir, Aaron will simply replace Dhavan & Bhuvi !

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  • Abbas67 on August 4, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    Don't take to many chances, with Naman Ojha joining the side, let him play instead of Rohit as a Keeper, Gambhir, Aaron will simply replace Dhavan & Bhuvi !

  • Vishal63 on August 4, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    India must try something different. We can deduce from the article that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma will not be playing the fourth test match.

    A possible Indian XI:

    India XI: 1. Gautam Gambhir, 2. Murali Vijay, 3. Cheteshwar Pujara, 4. Virat Kohli, 5. Ajinkya Rahane, 6. MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Ravichandran Ashwin, 9. Mohammed Shami, 10. Varun Aaron, 11. Pankaj Singh

    CHANGES: Gautam Gambhir IN-Shikhar Dhawan OUT, Ravichandran Ashwin IN-Rohit Sharma OUT, Varun Aaron IN-Bhuvneshwar Kumar OUT

  • mzm149 on August 4, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    Come on Engalnd make it 3-1. Grab them while they are down.

  • D.S.A on August 4, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    India's 11 should be: 1. gautam gambhir, 2. murali vijay, 3. cheteshwar pujara, 4. ajinkya rahane, 5. virat kohli, 6. mahendra singh dhoni, 7. ravichandran ashwin, 8. bhuvneshwar kumar / praveen kumar, 9. ishwar pandey, 10. varun aaron, 11. pankaj singh.

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    "if you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got". Dhoni needs to think differently here. He needs to ask himself the question if he is picking up the best 11 for the conditions. If he picks someone who doesn't feature that often in the test side nowadays like Gambhir or Aaron, they will have the urge to prove themselves as worthy players and you will have a potential match winner in them. But instead if Dhoni is comfortable enough to play for a draw or contain the opposition, then he will back back in the same old zone.

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    Who would have thought people would be worried if Ishant Sharma is not available :) I still cannot believe it.

  • Sultan2007 on August 4, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    Wow. Having incessantly beaten up on Ishant, we are now saying that we cannot take 20 wickets without him. Did we assess him incorrectly or did he have one good match based on a self destructive english batting side? I still think we would be a better side with Umesh in the side

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    A good combination for this upcoming test would be:

    Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Rohit, Dhoni, Ashwin, Shami, Bhuvi/Aaron, Pankaj.

    For the 5th test if Kohli and Pankaj still fail to perform then the following would be good:

    Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Naman, Rahane, Rohit, Dhoni, Ashwin, Shami, Bhuvi/Aaron,Pandey/Aaron

    I see no point of playing Jadeja, every team needs a pace attack and a front line spinner if they want to perform, at least in England. Jadeja can't qualify as one. Ashwin has more skill and experience. If India played Ashwin from the first test, India would be in the lead through the series.

    And I know BCCI won't show Kohli the boot through all 5 matches but he doesn't perform then Naman, who is in form, should come in. But at the same time I don't blame Kohli, he's in the same form as the last few years, he just needs to learn to be patient and start leaving those deliveries outside off stump. Someone explain to him this is a Test match, not ODI!

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    Loved the touch of humor in this article... " after having taken a beating on the field, in the court, and - they certainly believe - in a corridor at Trent Bridge.", " India will know you win Test matches by taking 20 wickets or playing teams led by Garry Sobers or Michael Clarke. ", " R Ashwin, who in the eyes of the experts and public has become a better spinner with every passing day out of the Test team", "When the nets began, Ishant took up umpiring duties, ironically because he is guilty of bowling more no-balls than most in the world today." ... Well written, Monga!!

  • on August 4, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    india should now go with ashwin and binny in place of dhawan and pankaj