England v India, 4th Investec Test, Old Trafford, 1st day August 7, 2014

Dhoni the batsman fires, Dhoni the keeper flounders

MS Dhoni made his unique batting methods work for his flailing team at Old Trafford; the same cannot be said of his keeping
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Play 03:35
Highlights: Dhoni braves England onslaught to top-score with 71

MS Dhoni the Test batsman is like a typical small-time Indian business. Most successful businesses in India begin without a blueprint or required expertise or finances, they troubleshoot on the fly, find indigenous solutions and somehow manage to survive no matter how tough it gets. For the longest period of time, Dhoni did not want to get involved in this business of being a batsman outside Asia. On this tour, he took the leap, pushed himself to No. 6, did the unthinkable by playing five bowlers, went back for a match, came back to the original formula, and lo he came in to bat at 8 for 4 on an overcast morning at Old Trafford. His team could have been a bit more grateful.

What followed is not for the weak-hearted. This was Test batting straight from a book never read before. Dhoni stood in his stance with his back foot in front of middle stump, his head in line with off; then he walked at balls, flayed at some, left some alone, let some hit him, pulled and hooked too, and had to show for his efforts a 71 without which India would have struggled to pass 100.

Dhoni loves to talk a lot about processes. "I don't care about results as long as the process is right," he keeps repeating. His runs through third man, mostly edges, will be pointed out in saying how fortunate he had been, but given his technical and aesthetic constraints, Dhoni got the processes right. It was hard to spot, but there was method to his batting.

Dhoni is not the best judge of where his off stump is, as has often been pointed out. That is why you see him walk at bowlers, getting outside the line of off. This, though, was a quicker pitch than any India have played on in recent times, so his walking into balls was not quite advisable. Not early on in his innings at any rate. So he took that guard that had his head on the line of off, so he could leave balls that were even slightly wide. He only began to walk out of his crease when he felt he was set.

Even then Dhoni had to wear a few. He had faced 22 deliveries before he felt he could leave his crease, but James Anderson banged in a shortish inswinger. Dhoni just presented it with his shoulder. No flinching, no rubbing. And he was down the pitch again next ball. This time it saved him as he had got just outside the line to an accurate and full inswinger - it helped that he had got the inside edge as well.

All that is fine, but runs also have to be scored. For runs Dhoni went hard after every ball that seemed too full to him. Line was no criteria for his shot selection; he just drove at anything marginally too full. He did not care if he was close to the line or not, he just went hard after them. Some went through cover, some flew off the edge through or over the slips. It was not pretty, it was not about pleasure - Dhoni himself had his arm and shoulder battered - but it was someone finding ways to score runs when none were coming.

Through this series, at various points, Dhoni has threatened to come out of the shell that his captaincy and batsmanship reside in, but the wicketkeeper has withdrawn further into the shell. Yet again he refused to go for a catch that was going to be difficult for the first slip. He used to do that to VVS Laxman, he carried on doing that to M Vijay, did not spare R Ashwin or Shikhar Dhawan, and now that Vijay is back, the opener would have found nothing has changed at all.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a good outswinger in the fifth over of England's innings, drew an edge from Sam Robson that went a stride and a half to the right of Dhoni, and yet Vijay had to take it on the half-volley. It has happened at least three times in the last three Tests. Earlier in the day, Jos Butler dropped a catch to his right when he dived six inches too far, but at least he went for it. That might not have carried to first slip either.

It does not help when you have to keep changing that man next to you almost every series; you hardly get time to build an understanding around which catches are whose. To see no improvement with Dhoni, though, is a big disappointment. You wonder if Dhoni and the coaching team actually recognise this as an issue at all. You do not see him spend a lot of time working on it. At training he plays his football, takes a few catches, bowls in the nets before it is his turn to bat, and often that is it.

Dhoni the Test cricketer outside Asia keeps his place as captain first, wicketkeeper next and batsman last. The wicketkeeping is lagging behind now, and it is time Dhoni questioned the processes behind it because the results have been ordinary for too long.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 10, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    I do agree with Assistant Editor @ Siddharth Monga. MSD should give up Wicketkeeping Duty. He should play as a Specialist Batman. His Wicketkeeping is lagging.

    Naman Ojha is a talented W/K. Why don't you give him a chance as a Glovesman ? He is technically good keeper. MSD can bat at 5.

  • Lionsareforever on August 9, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    Indian play so much IPL matches that they have forgotton that test matches last 5 days not 2 and bit days! So mightly Indian fans what went wrong? Do you not agree that this was a pathetic performance by your highly paid cricketers? They just dont know how to play test cricket! Too much money, too much fame, too much arrogance! That's what I think. What do you think is the cause of this humiliating defeat? Or do you blame the umpairs?

  • ramli on August 9, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    This series has clearly shown that India is not yet ready for a 5-test series overseas ... our travel should strictly be limited to 2-3 match series to look after our pacers ... I am already fearing what is going to happen in Aus later this year

  • ramli on August 9, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    This piece clearly tells that people lose no time to find fault with MSD no matter what it is ... great tribute to a person who is the best WK-batsman for India at present ... people advocating for Sanju has to understand that he is no SRT to be blooded very early

  • ramli on August 9, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    It's amusing to brand MSD as "unathletic" that too in batting ... MSD had previously taken break from test cricket but nobody was able to step into his shoes and that is not his fault ... it is only very obvious that no-present day wicket-keeper other MSD is capable of hitting a doublw-century in India ... he is certainly the best WK-batsman for India ... it has become a fashion nowadays to find fault with MSD one thing or other ... he will definitely quit or at least take a long-break after WC-2015

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 3:15 GMT

    I don't know if anyone is still reading or responding to this thread but what the hell....

    @dunger.bob and Nutcutlet: I can accept your points to some extent. Dhoni's responsibilities are vast and he has handled them admirably in all formats except test cricket. His fine reputation in one day and T20 formats is well deserved. He often performs rescue missions under intense pressure. When he retires he will be remembered as a pillar of Indian cricket. And for those who like silverware, he has secured more trophies than any other Indian captain. He should be praised for all these efforts.

    However, none of the above are necessarily relevant to test cricket. His fighting 70 the other day was great, but this same man played for a draw from day one at the Ageas Bowl. Unfortunately, the competitive Dhoni is mostly absent during away tests. I agree that we do ask too much of him - maybe its time to ask someone else, just for test matches? It would only be fair to Dhoni and also the team...

  • Zomac on August 8, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    Ppl need to stop blaming dhoni for everything.cmon guys it was his innings comin in at 8for 4 dat india is still in the match otherwise it would hav been even more humiliating.remember this is the same pitch wher the Aussies folded meekly for 47,India wer also on course for such score line.he is a legend,the best test wicket keeper batman of the country n one of the best wckt keeper batman of all time n to add the burden of being the most successful test captain of India(in terms of wins) n not to mention his odi exploits where he is considered the bet ever finisher.ppl would know his value when he retires especially in odis, considering the fact that Apart frm kohli no one seems there seems to be no match winner cos raina with all those odis under his belt is highly inconsistent.india might struggle badly in their favourite format which the play so well post his retirement.

  • on August 8, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    What is this obsession about playing football? Stick to what you are good at and get paid to do..

  • Temuzin on August 8, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    Here is another record of MS: # Dhoni, with his seventh half-century in England, has emulated a record for most fifties by a wicketkeeper against England in Tests in England. South Africa's John Waite had also posted seven against England in England.

  • Temuzin on August 8, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Dhoni's 71 off 133 balls is his 32nd half-century in Tests - his eleventh against England. He has become the first Indian captain to record five fifties in Tests in England, bettering Sourav Ganguly's four.

  • on August 10, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    I do agree with Assistant Editor @ Siddharth Monga. MSD should give up Wicketkeeping Duty. He should play as a Specialist Batman. His Wicketkeeping is lagging.

    Naman Ojha is a talented W/K. Why don't you give him a chance as a Glovesman ? He is technically good keeper. MSD can bat at 5.

  • Lionsareforever on August 9, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    Indian play so much IPL matches that they have forgotton that test matches last 5 days not 2 and bit days! So mightly Indian fans what went wrong? Do you not agree that this was a pathetic performance by your highly paid cricketers? They just dont know how to play test cricket! Too much money, too much fame, too much arrogance! That's what I think. What do you think is the cause of this humiliating defeat? Or do you blame the umpairs?

  • ramli on August 9, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    This series has clearly shown that India is not yet ready for a 5-test series overseas ... our travel should strictly be limited to 2-3 match series to look after our pacers ... I am already fearing what is going to happen in Aus later this year

  • ramli on August 9, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    This piece clearly tells that people lose no time to find fault with MSD no matter what it is ... great tribute to a person who is the best WK-batsman for India at present ... people advocating for Sanju has to understand that he is no SRT to be blooded very early

  • ramli on August 9, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    It's amusing to brand MSD as "unathletic" that too in batting ... MSD had previously taken break from test cricket but nobody was able to step into his shoes and that is not his fault ... it is only very obvious that no-present day wicket-keeper other MSD is capable of hitting a doublw-century in India ... he is certainly the best WK-batsman for India ... it has become a fashion nowadays to find fault with MSD one thing or other ... he will definitely quit or at least take a long-break after WC-2015

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 3:15 GMT

    I don't know if anyone is still reading or responding to this thread but what the hell....

    @dunger.bob and Nutcutlet: I can accept your points to some extent. Dhoni's responsibilities are vast and he has handled them admirably in all formats except test cricket. His fine reputation in one day and T20 formats is well deserved. He often performs rescue missions under intense pressure. When he retires he will be remembered as a pillar of Indian cricket. And for those who like silverware, he has secured more trophies than any other Indian captain. He should be praised for all these efforts.

    However, none of the above are necessarily relevant to test cricket. His fighting 70 the other day was great, but this same man played for a draw from day one at the Ageas Bowl. Unfortunately, the competitive Dhoni is mostly absent during away tests. I agree that we do ask too much of him - maybe its time to ask someone else, just for test matches? It would only be fair to Dhoni and also the team...

  • Zomac on August 8, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    Ppl need to stop blaming dhoni for everything.cmon guys it was his innings comin in at 8for 4 dat india is still in the match otherwise it would hav been even more humiliating.remember this is the same pitch wher the Aussies folded meekly for 47,India wer also on course for such score line.he is a legend,the best test wicket keeper batman of the country n one of the best wckt keeper batman of all time n to add the burden of being the most successful test captain of India(in terms of wins) n not to mention his odi exploits where he is considered the bet ever finisher.ppl would know his value when he retires especially in odis, considering the fact that Apart frm kohli no one seems there seems to be no match winner cos raina with all those odis under his belt is highly inconsistent.india might struggle badly in their favourite format which the play so well post his retirement.

  • on August 8, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    What is this obsession about playing football? Stick to what you are good at and get paid to do..

  • Temuzin on August 8, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    Here is another record of MS: # Dhoni, with his seventh half-century in England, has emulated a record for most fifties by a wicketkeeper against England in Tests in England. South Africa's John Waite had also posted seven against England in England.

  • Temuzin on August 8, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Dhoni's 71 off 133 balls is his 32nd half-century in Tests - his eleventh against England. He has become the first Indian captain to record five fifties in Tests in England, bettering Sourav Ganguly's four.

  • Temuzin on August 8, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    I love some Indian fans comments. They keep throwing names that Dhoni should have selected. For 3 tests they said Gambhir should have been selected, When Gambhir is selected, they say why Naman Ojha is not selected. Priceless. Keep finding faults in MSD.

  • Temuzin on August 8, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    I dont think Dhoni is tired, I think think Indian fans are tired of him. They are unsatisfired no matter what he does. Other wise, how can some one not praise MSD who cam at 4 wickets down for only 8 runs and makes half of the teams total. What happened to Pujara and Kohli and the much wanted gambhir? Where are those critics baying for Dhawan to bring in Gambhir? Where are those fans acting as selectors and criticizing MSD? Indian fans will know MSD's worth only when he retires.

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    Has anyone figured out why this "tired" captain of India never takes a break from either format of the game - coz he is insecure.

    What are the chances of Dhoni retaining his spot in the side, if say India did find a decent wicketkeeper/batsman if Dhoni takes a break and gives someone a decent run at captaining the side. Dhoni diving to collect is now something that has been consigned to the annals of history.

    Extremely un-athletic, has serious shortcomings as batsmen, lets the games drift without a plan, overbowls and burns out his best bowlers, and talks of the so-called "process" as results aren't there to talk about. He was against the "seniors" in the team as they were slow and obstructing the next generation. Will Dhoni now approaching his mid thirties move on, as he isn't a spring chicken himself and hasn't covered himself in glory in the last few years.

    Dhoni should be eased out of the Test setup. He should be encouraged to stay on in the ODI and T20 setups though for a bit

  • ramli on August 8, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    India will put up a better show in the 2nd innings, no doubt ... but whether it will be enough to stop eng from winning is doubtful ... if MSD can fight in a lively pitch, the least expected of top-batters is to show some resolve to compete ... otherwise, it is a no-win situation yet again ...

  • on August 8, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    Selectors please drop dhoni, bring sanju Samson and make him captain atleast till the world cup. guess all Indian fans will agree to this.

  • dunger.bob on August 8, 2014, 10:54 GMT

    @ Nutcutlet: I agree. Completely. .. Dhoni has earned my respect over the years because of his fighting spirit and he's still doing it as far as I can see. He's being carrying the weight of his nation around for god knows how long now. The man's probably just tired.

  • TVRM on August 8, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    That is the way Dhoni plays his cricket. Simplest of simple catches are put down by players described as future of Indian cricket. Kohli. His batting also appears to have taken a nose dive. Let us stop Dhoni bashing. Cricket is a team game. Let us pray players like Kohli concentrates more on the game than off field activities and lift India to a historic series victory.

  • schuyfan on August 8, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    To those talking about Dhoni's decision to bat first, please stop your expert analysis. If you heard Cook's statement post toss or read Jonathan Agnew's column, England would've batted first too. I a Don't get why Dhoni needs to be blamed off poor batting from 3 key top 4 batsmen. Yes, there is a big difference is quality of Anderson and Broad's bowling, but if Dhoni can fight in a pitch which was lively why couldn't two so called future of Indian cricket.

  • HIKAIFI on August 8, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    The dropping of catches is also by law of averages. Please spare him. He is a human being. 1 in 10. 1 in 100. 1 in 1000. But it has to be 1 sometime.

  • deepak_sholapurkar on August 8, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Yesterday Dhoni's innings was one of the best by him and any by any indian recently. Hard fought innings

  • Nutcutlet on August 8, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    India asks a great deal (too much) of Dhoni. Captain in all formats; pivotal counter-attacking bat; keeper, 'political' spokesman... I know he's extremely well rewarded, but has a cricketer - any country, any era - ever been asked to do as much? Mr Monga praises his batting during India's calamitous 1st day at Old Trafford and carps about his keeping. Unfair! This report doesn't praise his batting enough! To come in 4 down for 8; score (no, bludgeon) 50%+ of the side's total from the bat; stand there and take the blows in a manner that reminded me of that fearless warrior, Brian Close; turn round after the bruises have been dressed & find that you are not as sprightly behind the stumps as you might be on a bracing spring morning... Talk about expecting too much! MS's batting was courageous, admirable, easily worth a 150 on a day of friendly bowling in Mumbai (an excellent example of how uncontextualised stats so often lie, btw!). Who else does so much heavy lifting? Who else stands up?

  • on August 8, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    First time one bold article abt the most stubborn captain MSD!! Appreciating from the heart to ur views...from 2008 he has been with this same techinique whether it comes to keep,bat or captaincy..never looks like he learnt..but i see he has got the courage to counter attack his demons..after kumble retirement we cud hv gone for laxman for captaincy and DK or any specialist WK...msd is one of the best odi player of ths decade.. india cud hv used him as odi specialist like yuvi..missed the right way..coming to his captaincy, the biggest flaw is picking the players and assesing the conditions...previous tour 2011 england abinav mukund showed grt resistance nxt to RSD,but MSD dint hv faith in him and lost his place even after a good tour..skill plus character is the test cricket needs.dhoni picking player who hv strong character only..say dhawan, rohit technique only work out in ODI form..they play wit more confidence in that forms..DK has good technique to play tests..bring him on

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

    Dhoni's main criticism should be his inability to read the conditions, and this has happened on numerous occasions now. For the first time this series, India won the toss and the bowlers got an opportunity to bowl under overcast skies. But what does our captain do? Opt to bat first. Cook wouldn't have believed it!!!!! Throughout this series, the English batsmen (nay, batsmen of both sides) have expressed a susceptibility to the moving ball, but our captain failed to notice this. On this pitch, it was imperative to utilise every little help from the conditions and hence, all the more imperative that India bowl first after winning the toss. Aaron's dismissal of Cook, later in the day, showed Dhoni's mistake in playing Shami & Rohit at the Ageas Bowl in place of Aaron & Ashwin.

  • on August 8, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Just a test match ago, articles talked about MSD's genuis for asking Ishant to bowl short that won us a test match. One test match later we are talking about his place in the test side !! MSD is the best thing that happened to Indian cricket in the last decade, as he got smarter Indian cricket conquered all frontiers. We have never been good travellers and that has not changed, is MSD to be blamed for it??? You need to give credit to Eng for a superb spell of bowling yesterday to put us on the mat. Pujara and Virat's poor form continues, opening continues to flounder, bowlers continue to struggle in friendly conditions...so the team is struggling. Instead of nit picking show your support to this young test side.

  • y4yoga on August 8, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    Why do you mind about how you'd got the runs or from which area of the field you've got the runs, At EOD it only the number of runs matters than the way it had come from

  • srikanths on August 8, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Dhoni is great ODI player and captain. Tests he is quite ordinary.As a keeper he was doing quite okay till sometime back.May be this is the time for change but the problem is where is the next captain. Struggle is an understatement for what Kohli is going thru now. For a batsman who is used to dominating bowlers, this is a new phase in Kohli's career.His diffidence is batting will spill over to captaincy and we may end up getting a bad captain and worse batsman. Let him get back to form. He is far too talented to flounder like this for too long. Post that one can look at change.

  • Korg on August 8, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    Dhoni always likes to play aerial shots and that's his strength. England field, most of the time, was up in the circle. He played his natural shots once he was settled. But the field scattered, and got caught. There is no much technique. His poor wicket keeping, he let few chances go (may be they are difficult, but should have attempted).

  • chin-music on August 8, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    Given all his constant babbling about "process" etc --- Dhoni certainly seems to have perfected a novel way to avoid exposing his rapid wicket-keeping decline -- just avoid going for any nick that does not head directly towards his gloves & then nonchalantly pretend it was 1st slip's catch anyway. As Sid Monga points out - atleast Jos Butler went for the snick to his right !!

  • himanshu.team on August 8, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    I think the criticism of Dhoni as a keeper is a bit far fetched. He may not be the greatest keeper around, but the instance pointed in this article was an extremely improbable catch to take for a keeper. It did not go in between the keeper and first slip, but went straight to first slip. I am no keeper and have never experienced bowling of even 120 kmph, but I felt that on may occasions, particularly against Bhuvi the slip cordon should be at least two steps forward. He get a lot of edges that don't carry. Very rarely does he ball fast enough to go too quickly for the slip fielders to react. I also agree with the point that probably the team has not identified slip catching as a big issue and worked hard to resolve it. When you have limited resources, you cannot afford to let go of any chance. But I think its unfair to blame it on Dhoni alone. it is the primary job of the coaches and players standing in slips themselves.

  • on August 8, 2014, 4:44 GMT

    It's the right time. Just change the Wicketkeeper. Dhoni should play as a Specialist Batsman.

  • Darkmanx12155 on August 8, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    DHONI the GOD of cricket who will always perform when the team fails. He will take india over the line this time too. He must be missing isant real bad. ishant was on his way to pick his 200th test wicket this tour and to be the man of the series but injury prevented him ripping through this english line up. Im sure if ishant was palying on this pitch, he would have easily taken 20 wickets for the game bundling out england for less than 150 both innings together and india would have won the game by innings and 2 runs!

  • cnksnk on August 8, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    So the Dhoni bashing continues. Yes he has lost most of the matches overseas in the last 3 + years. With the bowling that he has and has had, it is a wonder that we even drew a few test matches. None of the bowling line up seems capable of taking 20 wickets and these are on some of the faster wickets in Aus, SA, NZ and England. And it is not as if there is serious talent sitting at home waiting for a chance. So some of the critics want to go back to why Viru, Yuvi, Bajji and Zak are not chosen. Zak is injured and one suspects is over the hill. Not sure if he would have been able to play 5 tests at a trot. Viru is beyond his sell by date. Failing hand eye co - ordination and possibly failing eye sight. Yuvi for all the romantic notion that we have of him, is hardly a test player overseas. To any fast bowler of decent pace, he is walking wicket. Bajji is too negative and does not seem to be able to take 3 - 4 wickets forget 5. All in all one must understand challenges Dhoni has faced

  • sandy_bangalore on August 8, 2014, 2:47 GMT

    Indian Flat pitch kings once again exposed completely. Its mystifying how the media and the general public worship them despite failing time and again. Of course they will go back to hammering 100s of mediocre bowlers at Nagpur, rajkot etc on pancake flat pitches. Its high time this adulation stops and sporting pitches created in India for these guys to atleast be competent overseas

  • here2rock on August 8, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    Dhoni's main strength is ability to fight no matter what may come his way, often his lack of technique is covered by his willingness to fight. Unfortunately his batters let him down, yes England bowled well but they lacked fight shown at Lord's. India once again misread the conditions like most, made even bigger mistake by picking Gambhir and Jadeja in the side. I would have played Naman Ojha and Rohit Sharma in the side. This would have given Dhoni a break from keeping.

  • hasil12 on August 8, 2014, 1:31 GMT

    Dhoni showed why he still deserves to lead the team today.

  • glen1 on August 8, 2014, 1:01 GMT

    What about Dhoni the test captain and what about Duncan Fletcher the coach. You win toss with overcast skies, what is your strategy? Don't these guys know that there will be serious swing, and especially on home turf Anderson and Broad can be deadly? Or is it that there will be swing on offer every morning to neutralize this disaster of a start?

  • sammysam on August 8, 2014, 0:03 GMT

    Its high time MSD stood down from test cricket and took jadeja with him!! Both are not test cricket material.

  • dunger.bob on August 7, 2014, 23:43 GMT

    I love a batsman who can make those ugly runs. Being elegant and masterful looking when conditions suite is one thing but the ability to just hang in there and grind it out when the going gets tough is a completely different skill set I think. Dhoni is one of the those guys who seems to do best when he's under the most severe pressure. Players like that are worth their weight in gold imo.

    With his keeping, might it not be that age is catching up to him? A split second here, a tiny hesitation there. It all adds up and makes the hardest job in cricket that much harder. .. If it is simply a general slowing down of the Dhoni machine, it should also start showing up in his batting as well. Keep an eye open for that.

  • on August 7, 2014, 23:41 GMT

    There is no problem with Dhoni. The problem is India's top order. Dhawan never looked settled in all 3 test matches, its good that he is dropped. Will Gambhir grabs this opportunity is yet to be seen. Kohli also didnt look convincing in this series & Pujara got quite a few starts but then threw his wicket cheaply. If these 3 starts getting runs India will be back in the game. I dont think India has any chance of winning this match but they must play positive cricket and look to take wickets. I doubt Dhoni might go defensive if England scores 100 more runs for the loss of 1 wicket!

  • on August 7, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    Before this series begun, India were relying on Pujara and Kohli for scoring runs but they have disappointed and it has been Vijay and Rahane who delivered. I dont think there should be so much talk about Dhoni. Tactics of using jadega defensively in bowling is the only thing he did wrong I suppose, apart from that he is doing a fine job as captain and also as batsman he is getting some runs. Everyone knows his style of batting, dhoni is not typical test batsman, he has his own way of scoring runs! What India is lacking is that there 3 batsmen are not scoring runs. India now desperately need Kohli, Pujara and the opener which is Gambhir now to score runs for their team!

  • on August 7, 2014, 23:20 GMT

    Leave Dhoni alone! He is the only captain to win the work cup, twenty 20 and champions league. He would have had 2 twenty 20 wins if Yuvraj did not have a mental break down. Dhoni is fine as he is.

  • icommoner on August 7, 2014, 22:49 GMT

    Dhoni has now lost all overseas tours! Lost 8-0 Eng, Aus'11, lost at home 2-1 to Eng, Lost to SA, NZ 1-0. Have lost all odi's and t20s in bilateral overseas tours in last 3 years. Haven't score century outside Ind & Pak. Averages below 31 outside India. Have dropped six easy catches so far and 2 stumpings in this series alone. Am i still not fair in asking to sack him from test and t20? What quality does he have to play test cricket? Why does Viru, Gauti, Yuvi, Bhajji, Zak (who are superstars, won matches singlehandedly) are dropped forever now instead not monitored to get back into test and odis asap?

  • ygkd on August 7, 2014, 21:51 GMT

    Was Buttler's keeping any better? Dhoni has way too much to do as captain, bat & keeper (add, possibly, part-time selector). Buttler seems a great young bloke but he hasn't done enough to be a Test keeper. His admiration for Adam Gilchrist is, itself, admirable but Gilchrist started keeping to adults at the age of twelve, by which time he'd already been practising for several years. Yet, at Buttler's age, Gilchrist couldn't nail a FC spot keeping for New South Wales. The bar was set higher then.

  • Nampally on August 7, 2014, 21:23 GMT

    Mr. Monga, you made an excellent summary of Dhoni's lack of correct technique in batting. Kirmani, the former Indian WK, commented on his incorrect technique in WK. We all know his selection "Bloopers" as the Captain. I personally felt that Naman Ojha could have opened the innings instead of eternal failure, Gambhir. Ojha was in terrific form in Australia as a batsman. He is also a spectacular WK who dives to take catches. Dhoni can field. This change would have helped India very much- a good WK who brings batting skills. Gambhir is waste of one spot because he does not deserve a place in XI as an opening bat. That was one progressive move & India would have done lot better than losing top 4 for 8 runs. Dhoni even with his unconventional technique was the top scorer with 71 whilst the more orthodox "designated batsmen Kohli, Pujara & Vijay each got a golden Duck. This was shockingly batting from the top 4 Indian bats! Even Ashwin is a better bat than these 4. It is sad but true!

  • Cricstroke on August 7, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    who said dhoni is a good batsman, today how many ball edges and passed the slip corridor, india had a better lucky today, otherwise team would not pass 50 don't say dhoni is a good batsman, yes in indian conditions he can ok

  • frozeninusa on August 7, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    Why so much talk about Dhoni? What about the top order batsmen who have repeatedly failed. The failure of the top order batsmen is the single biggest reason India is not ahead in this series. It is ridiculous to keep talking about Dhoni"s technique when we all know that is how he plays and still gets the job done more often than not. What we really need to know is what is going on with the top order batsmen who are supposed to be some of the best in the world.

  • on August 7, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    Maybe it's time to replace Jadeja with Naman Ojha & give him the gloves. Dhoni can bat, field competently & bowl a few overs seam-up. Also - with somebody else keeping wickets, Dhoni & his bowlers would get a third point of view in terms of how to progress the game.

  • glen1 on August 7, 2014, 20:16 GMT

    Indian cricketeers from now on will be more like Dhoni, raw talent that can hit or miss, but will definitely entertain. Gone will be the days of more coachable players like Dravid and Laxman who played out of the rule book; welcome to the new world. This new team can play well in short bursts and pull off victories some times, but can also lose winnable moments due to its rawness that can probably never be changed. Dhoni personifies this the most through his gambling ways!

  • on August 7, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    Unbelievably inept captaincy too. Fast seaming/swinging pitch and he opts for two spinners.

  • Kirstenfan on August 7, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    Ingenious solutions Sid, not indigenous! :)

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  • Kirstenfan on August 7, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    Ingenious solutions Sid, not indigenous! :)

  • on August 7, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    Unbelievably inept captaincy too. Fast seaming/swinging pitch and he opts for two spinners.

  • glen1 on August 7, 2014, 20:16 GMT

    Indian cricketeers from now on will be more like Dhoni, raw talent that can hit or miss, but will definitely entertain. Gone will be the days of more coachable players like Dravid and Laxman who played out of the rule book; welcome to the new world. This new team can play well in short bursts and pull off victories some times, but can also lose winnable moments due to its rawness that can probably never be changed. Dhoni personifies this the most through his gambling ways!

  • on August 7, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    Maybe it's time to replace Jadeja with Naman Ojha & give him the gloves. Dhoni can bat, field competently & bowl a few overs seam-up. Also - with somebody else keeping wickets, Dhoni & his bowlers would get a third point of view in terms of how to progress the game.

  • frozeninusa on August 7, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    Why so much talk about Dhoni? What about the top order batsmen who have repeatedly failed. The failure of the top order batsmen is the single biggest reason India is not ahead in this series. It is ridiculous to keep talking about Dhoni"s technique when we all know that is how he plays and still gets the job done more often than not. What we really need to know is what is going on with the top order batsmen who are supposed to be some of the best in the world.

  • Cricstroke on August 7, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    who said dhoni is a good batsman, today how many ball edges and passed the slip corridor, india had a better lucky today, otherwise team would not pass 50 don't say dhoni is a good batsman, yes in indian conditions he can ok

  • Nampally on August 7, 2014, 21:23 GMT

    Mr. Monga, you made an excellent summary of Dhoni's lack of correct technique in batting. Kirmani, the former Indian WK, commented on his incorrect technique in WK. We all know his selection "Bloopers" as the Captain. I personally felt that Naman Ojha could have opened the innings instead of eternal failure, Gambhir. Ojha was in terrific form in Australia as a batsman. He is also a spectacular WK who dives to take catches. Dhoni can field. This change would have helped India very much- a good WK who brings batting skills. Gambhir is waste of one spot because he does not deserve a place in XI as an opening bat. That was one progressive move & India would have done lot better than losing top 4 for 8 runs. Dhoni even with his unconventional technique was the top scorer with 71 whilst the more orthodox "designated batsmen Kohli, Pujara & Vijay each got a golden Duck. This was shockingly batting from the top 4 Indian bats! Even Ashwin is a better bat than these 4. It is sad but true!

  • ygkd on August 7, 2014, 21:51 GMT

    Was Buttler's keeping any better? Dhoni has way too much to do as captain, bat & keeper (add, possibly, part-time selector). Buttler seems a great young bloke but he hasn't done enough to be a Test keeper. His admiration for Adam Gilchrist is, itself, admirable but Gilchrist started keeping to adults at the age of twelve, by which time he'd already been practising for several years. Yet, at Buttler's age, Gilchrist couldn't nail a FC spot keeping for New South Wales. The bar was set higher then.

  • icommoner on August 7, 2014, 22:49 GMT

    Dhoni has now lost all overseas tours! Lost 8-0 Eng, Aus'11, lost at home 2-1 to Eng, Lost to SA, NZ 1-0. Have lost all odi's and t20s in bilateral overseas tours in last 3 years. Haven't score century outside Ind & Pak. Averages below 31 outside India. Have dropped six easy catches so far and 2 stumpings in this series alone. Am i still not fair in asking to sack him from test and t20? What quality does he have to play test cricket? Why does Viru, Gauti, Yuvi, Bhajji, Zak (who are superstars, won matches singlehandedly) are dropped forever now instead not monitored to get back into test and odis asap?

  • on August 7, 2014, 23:20 GMT

    Leave Dhoni alone! He is the only captain to win the work cup, twenty 20 and champions league. He would have had 2 twenty 20 wins if Yuvraj did not have a mental break down. Dhoni is fine as he is.