India v Afghanistan, World Twenty20, Group A, Colombo September 18, 2012

India to start with four bowlers

71

India will begin their World Twenty20 campaign with a four-bowler combination but if that fails, MS Dhoni will include the fifth specialist bowler in the XI. India have had mixed results in their two warm-up games which they played with five bowlers, who defended 147 against Sri Lanka but conceded 186 in 19.1 overs to lose to Pakistan.

"Yes, bowling has always been a bit of a concern for us," Dhoni said after the optional practice session at the Nondescripts Cricket Club in Colombo. "Our bowling line-up is slightly weaker than our batting. But we have experienced bowlers who can do the needful and also the part-timers. We are looking to play with seven batsmen to start off the tournament which means the part-timers will have to do a really good job so that we can sustain with those seven batsmen. Otherwise, as the tournament progresses and [if] we still find that our bowling line-up is a bit too weak, we will have to go with six batters and five bowlers."

Four bowlers or five? Seven batsmen or six? This quandary always looms large before every limited-overs game India play, and is magnified even more on the eve of a global tournament. Various arguments are put forth in support of playing either four or five bowlers. None of them seem convincing enough, and all of them can be argued against.

The overriding perception, not without some evidence, is that India's bowling is so weak that even the fifth bowler will get hit, so you might as well play the extra batsman to score the runs the bowling is anyway going to leak. It is said that India's batting is so strong that the seventh batsman is going to be wasted, so you might as well play the fifth bowler, and, well, hope that he does better than the part-timers.

For the moment, Dhoni will hope his part-timers are able to get in some reasonable overs. Only one of them, Yuvraj Singh, bowled in the warm-up games, that too, just one over. Dhoni, though, was confident his attack would come good during the tournament, despite letting Pakistan achieve the target of 186 from a position of 91 for 5 in the 12th over.

"I think we are going good," Dhoni said. "Overall, it [the warm-up games] gave exposure to our bowlers as to what needs to be done. We have done well in death bowling also but we have not been very consistent with it. It is a bit of a worry. Fast bowlers are putting in a bit more effort to get into the groove. In this format if you have the variation you can go all out and still do well. I think the bowlers will shape up well and we will try different strategies and field placements to complement them."

Dhoni won the 2011 World Cup with the four-bowler strategy and there is no guessing which combination he prefers. "My ideal bowling combination will be three fast bowlers, one spinner and a few part-timers. It depends on the wicket, what kind of part-timers really suit the role and where you are playing. In India, with the slow wickets, the part-timers get into the game really well. It depends on how the wicket is behaving. Even in Sri Lanka, depending on different venues, the attacks will be very different."

Four bowlers will mean seven batsmen in the XI again, and Dhoni reasoned that the aggressiveness of the India line-up required the extra batsman. "It is not as if we are playing with seven batsmen right now. I think for the last 50-55 years we have played seven batsmen, if not more. I think there were instances where we played with six batsmen in 50-over games. There are quite a few of our batsmen who like to express themselves which means they may take the bowlers on right from the very first or second delivery. They would like to have the cushioning of that one more extra batsman. As I said it is something we would like to start off with, and if the batsmen keep putting on scores consistently then we may look at five specialist bowlers and a few part-timers."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ProdigyA on September 19, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    I think people are taking India's bowling as weak a bit too far. Well haters will always do, its their job but the fans too? Agreed the bowlers have not had the best of games of late but India has done well with similar kind of an attack earlier on many occasions (remember Joginder Sharma?) and im confident that we will do well again. Its just about having faith in the team. Bleed BLUE.

  • Juiceoftheapple on September 19, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    Joking aside....Looking forward to watching Dhoni and Kohli this tournament. Kohli looked awesome last year and no surprises regarding his current form.

  • ArunBaskaran on September 19, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    Question is, whether all 7 batsmen gets a chance to play their part in 20 overs? Would be good if India goes with 6 batsmen + Irfan + 4 bowlers. Ashwin can chip in with some runs.. But Dhoni will stick to his plan of 7 batsmen regardless of the pitch!!

  • Juiceoftheapple on September 19, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    I wonder if India could play 10 batsman, with each batsman bowling 2 overs. And try and post 250. Then, when bowling, the player who gets smacked for the most runs gets a stern telling off from Dhoni who tells them the match didn't matter, that he's pretty happy with things, that they have no plans to change anything, that they're not concerned with the rankings and that he can draw positives from the match. Everybodys happy.

  • Bruisers on September 19, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    @Titumir - What's the use of rankings when Bangladesh play all of their matches against teams like Netherlands, Scotland, Afghanistan etc? Those overrated bowlers will be shown their right place once they get to bowl against the likes of Gayle, de Villiers, Kohli, Sehwag, Dilshan, Watson, Warner etc.

  • Bruisers on September 19, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    @TeamIndiaFliesBackHomeBeforeSemis - Good for you. But try posting your comments without excessive exclamatory marks (!!!) and "lol" at the end of every sentence. Thank you.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on September 19, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    @ TeamIndiaFliesBackHomeBeforeSemis. Your name shows how much jealousy you are on India. Normally fans will accept a name which will hail own team. It seems like you donot have faith in ur team..ha ha ha...poor chap

  • Jack_Tka on September 19, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    The bowlers available to Indian team are not world class. If the fifth bowler gives the same amount of runs and cannot take top order batsmen's wkts, then no point in playing the fifth bowler. Run rate can be checked by the usage of part-timers who bowl decently as this is T20. So part-timers EQUIVALENT to fifth bowler for Indian team. I think thats what DHONI believes.

  • baghels.a on September 19, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    Why dosen't the ICC allow subsitutes to take part like in other sports such as football,rugby,Hockey,basketball,volleyball instead of making cosmetic changes like powerplays. In the warm up matches teams are allowed to play wih 13 players but only 11 at a feild, this way a team can specialist batter till no.8 and six reular bowlers and all this debate about 7 batters and part time bowlers problem will vanish, two subsitutes or even is it too radical, i don't think so.....................

  • Waheed-Shirzay on September 19, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    it is the fact that India are weaker in bowling side.. but they are having the strong batting line in the tournament. Afghanistan without Hamid Hassan are looking weak in bowling too but if Afghanistan bat first then the match will be very entertaining. Afghan to beat India? hmmm a very rare chance as we know our team is inexperience but I guarantee we will give them a very good match.

  • ProdigyA on September 19, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    I think people are taking India's bowling as weak a bit too far. Well haters will always do, its their job but the fans too? Agreed the bowlers have not had the best of games of late but India has done well with similar kind of an attack earlier on many occasions (remember Joginder Sharma?) and im confident that we will do well again. Its just about having faith in the team. Bleed BLUE.

  • Juiceoftheapple on September 19, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    Joking aside....Looking forward to watching Dhoni and Kohli this tournament. Kohli looked awesome last year and no surprises regarding his current form.

  • ArunBaskaran on September 19, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    Question is, whether all 7 batsmen gets a chance to play their part in 20 overs? Would be good if India goes with 6 batsmen + Irfan + 4 bowlers. Ashwin can chip in with some runs.. But Dhoni will stick to his plan of 7 batsmen regardless of the pitch!!

  • Juiceoftheapple on September 19, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    I wonder if India could play 10 batsman, with each batsman bowling 2 overs. And try and post 250. Then, when bowling, the player who gets smacked for the most runs gets a stern telling off from Dhoni who tells them the match didn't matter, that he's pretty happy with things, that they have no plans to change anything, that they're not concerned with the rankings and that he can draw positives from the match. Everybodys happy.

  • Bruisers on September 19, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    @Titumir - What's the use of rankings when Bangladesh play all of their matches against teams like Netherlands, Scotland, Afghanistan etc? Those overrated bowlers will be shown their right place once they get to bowl against the likes of Gayle, de Villiers, Kohli, Sehwag, Dilshan, Watson, Warner etc.

  • Bruisers on September 19, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    @TeamIndiaFliesBackHomeBeforeSemis - Good for you. But try posting your comments without excessive exclamatory marks (!!!) and "lol" at the end of every sentence. Thank you.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on September 19, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    @ TeamIndiaFliesBackHomeBeforeSemis. Your name shows how much jealousy you are on India. Normally fans will accept a name which will hail own team. It seems like you donot have faith in ur team..ha ha ha...poor chap

  • Jack_Tka on September 19, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    The bowlers available to Indian team are not world class. If the fifth bowler gives the same amount of runs and cannot take top order batsmen's wkts, then no point in playing the fifth bowler. Run rate can be checked by the usage of part-timers who bowl decently as this is T20. So part-timers EQUIVALENT to fifth bowler for Indian team. I think thats what DHONI believes.

  • baghels.a on September 19, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    Why dosen't the ICC allow subsitutes to take part like in other sports such as football,rugby,Hockey,basketball,volleyball instead of making cosmetic changes like powerplays. In the warm up matches teams are allowed to play wih 13 players but only 11 at a feild, this way a team can specialist batter till no.8 and six reular bowlers and all this debate about 7 batters and part time bowlers problem will vanish, two subsitutes or even is it too radical, i don't think so.....................

  • Waheed-Shirzay on September 19, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    it is the fact that India are weaker in bowling side.. but they are having the strong batting line in the tournament. Afghanistan without Hamid Hassan are looking weak in bowling too but if Afghanistan bat first then the match will be very entertaining. Afghan to beat India? hmmm a very rare chance as we know our team is inexperience but I guarantee we will give them a very good match.

  • KEVINSL on September 19, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    wow indian bowlers.! ! its interesting to see they bowl full tosses at the end stage of the innings. because no one can do that better than them.

  • SuRajvMeNoN on September 19, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    I think india shoul giv chance to tiwary,harbajan and dinda against afganisthan...thy should hv pratice...tiwary,yuvraj,raina & rohit sharma/kohli/sehwag sould bowl 8 overs total....it will giv pratice to part timers...

  • HawksEyeFocused on September 19, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    I prefer to watch India bowling than watching Mr.Bean!!! lol

  • on September 19, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    i think 6-5 formation should be good enough. more over if dhoni has to give a check with a 6-5 formation, it has to be today. well again if Afghanistan is 10 times better than India's bowling unit, i dono y they r still considered to be underdogs.

  • Haleos on September 19, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    @ TeamIndiaFliesBackHomeBeforeSemis - India batting is 10000 times better than afganishtan. Will be fun to see Indian batsman craming Afghans all over the gorund. LOLOLOLOL.

  • HawksEyeFocused on September 19, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    India will lose even to Afghanistan if they bat first and score less than 175!!! Mark my words!!!

  • HawksEyeFocused on September 19, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    Afghanistan's bowling is 10 times better than India bowling! If you are bored and you wanna have some fun just see the way Dinda and Balaji run up!!! lol

  • timohyj on September 19, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    i don't think india need 7 batsmen in a 20 over match. If they wnated seven bastmen they should have put a big hitter like yusuf or uthappa instead of rohit or tiwary. rohit and tiwary take time to get in so yusuf would have been a much better option because with so many batsmen he can just come in the last 2 overs and smash a bit. If tiwary or Rohit come in the last 2 overs, as they probably will with this lineup, they won't be able to do anything

  • niiccckkkk2001 on September 19, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    dhoni has promised to step down from captaibn if we dont win the cup... and also promised to retire from all cricklet if we lose like cheaply as we did againsty pak... he says if we lose against pak again he will retire and donate half of his life earnings to the orphans all over india....jaihind dhoni

  • on September 19, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    I dont know why, just dont know why, Umesh Yadav is not even being mentioned here. I mean, speed can be a great asset to have, especially in a 20 runs in two overs, 3-4 wickets remaining scenario. And for me, this young lad can only improve, as it is very clear that he is not letting his endeavor to bowl quick go...

  • Fast_Track_Bully on September 19, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    @Titumir. My foot...what is the importance of BD in Afg Vs Ind match!!! You can hail ur team in a game report which mention BD. Your bowlers are in top5 your batsmen are in top5 but your team is not in top5, ok?

  • Narbavi on September 19, 2012, 2:54 GMT

    @xylo: Its funny how you don't look at him as an allrounder, clearly shows you haven't been watching cricket for a while

  • satish619chandar on September 19, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    The whole world might have different opinion but Dhoni has always been the same. In fact, even Ganguly. The Indian captains have this view - "We are a batting centric team and will play to our strengths". Personally, i believe we are a batsman too much if we play 7 batters considering almost everyone can play through the innings on their day. And, with Zak and the third seamer not at best, we will be having further dependency on the part timers to pull through in case if any of the bowlers have an off day. Most importantly, our part timers Kohli, Yuvi and Raina are the best fielders in the side and it will have impact on the fielding too. But Dhoni s Dhoni and he will go by his instincts.

  • on September 19, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    my team is dhoni,gambhir, sehvag, yuvraj kohli, raina, , ashwin, irfan, zaheer, dinda balaji batting and bowling both department is equal. five bowler give us extra bowling option irfan and ashwin can bat well 20 overs game we dont need 7 batsmen rarely our team getting all out in match so 7 specialist and 2 allrounder batsmen cant use

  • BCCI007 on September 19, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    Many are saying this is weakest bowling lineup. This is the best line up we have at the moment.And in t20 what we need ability to bowl variations which these so called new gen never do..Once they get thrashing they become wayward.

  • Titumir on September 19, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    bangladesh bowling is 10 times better than india. 3 bowlers in the top 10 list: shakib, razzaq and elias sunny and mashrafe is also top 20 bowler plus have part timer like mahmudullah and rubel hossain.

  • AMAZINGFAN on September 19, 2012, 1:48 GMT

    dhoni doesn't see irfan as an all-rounder because he don't irfan's bowling to be affected.when irfan played as an all-rounder his bowling became weak and he wasn't swinging the ball.so dhoni is right.i wud say drop yuvraj and play extra bowler....

  • on September 19, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    Still should be interesting, if India bat first they will just have to go hell for leather because they will really need serious runs on the board.

  • CrICkeeet on September 19, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    Totally WRONG decision...bcz bowlng strenth depends majority on bowlers quality not d nmbrs...if ind play 11 bowlers even still that cant make a diffrnc, their strenth is battng, wid this decision they'll lose it & WC isnt a place 4 XPERIMENT, in d BILETRL SERIES DEY CAN XPERIMENT THESE!

  • on September 19, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    Irrespective of playing 4 bowlers or 5 bowlers, i think Dhoni needs to manage the bowlers better. He tends to give one over spells to his bowlers which does not give the bowlers confidence and things to try. If he is playing Dinda or Balaji, he should not keep them for the slog overs and that should be handled by Irfan/Zaheer and Ashwin. My ideal team would be 1. Gambhir 2. Sehwag 3. Raina 4. Kohli 5. Zaheer 6. Dhoni 7. Irfan 8. Ashwin 9. Harbhajan 10. Zaheer 11. Balaji/Dinda (Dinda has not played the last 3 games, Afghan could be a good practice for him)

  • TRAM on September 19, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    I said this before but need to say again. Dear Dhoni: Please drop all the non-fielders and out-of-forms. Ind bowling unit is already weak. So if you dont have good fielding 11, every team is going to score 200 runs against Ind and sorry I dont think Ind batsmen have the capacity to score 200 runs (this is not IPL). Hence I will drop Zak, Sehwag, Gambhir & Harbajan. The remaining 11 out of 15, IS the team. KEEP the good fielders Kholi, Tiwary, RSharma, Raina ALWAYS. Keep Yuvi since he is not yet a bad fielder and has shown signs of some batting form. More importantly he is the only left arm spinner in the team. In Dhoni, Ashwin, Pathan we have 3 already certainties who can also bat. The remaining would be Balaji, Dinda and Chawla. Thats my playing 11 based on best fielding and in-form approach. Not that this 11 is great. But this is the best we can get of the available 15. **** Good fielders inspire others. Bad fielders do the opposite.******

  • Badgerofdoom on September 18, 2012, 23:35 GMT

    So in the last warm up game India did not even use Raina or Dhoni and then failed to defend 184, the answer? More batsmen! Not sure what the thinking is there.

  • AnoMaLy on September 18, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    Team Ind is missing PK, Munaf Patel, Yadav & maybe Rahul sharma. Can't understand why they haven't been selected.

  • Angry_Bowler on September 18, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    Openers are in bad form, Sehwag and Yuvraj are not fit and the bowling is weaker than Afghanistan's attack. But I am not stopping dreaming for the big win and so are the fans.

  • Fayss on September 18, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    7 batsmen? That means you expect that your first 5 batsmen will feel pressure if not 7th player is a batsman??? Its a t20 game not a test cricket. And even Irfan, ashwin and BALAJI can slog around the ground. why why why do you need an extra batsman? i would reckon bring in OJHA if he is available. Ashwin may be good but Ojha deserves more respect in Indian team. By the way I support Pakistan.

  • on September 18, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    Indian Bowling barring Ashwin all Indian bowlers in SriLanka hve struggled..even seniors...so we ned 5 Bowlers, this 7-4 equation has cost us many matches previously. Irfan shd be a fixture in team needs to be backed now as he can bat competently enough and bowl well whn conditions suit.

  • klapka on September 18, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    I hope Dhoni knows something that I don't. Like Raina bowling really well in the nets or Gambhir finally learned how to bowl medium pace outside the off-stump length that he always gets out on. But I guess since our group matches are in premadasa stadium having an extra bowler in the side automatically translates to zero extra sixes and more 40 runs in the negative.

  • on September 18, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    Otherwise, as the tournament progresses and [if] we are still in tournament and [if] we still find that our bowling line-up is a bit too weak

  • on September 18, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    India needed at least three lethal bowlers in their attack if they were to dominate world cricket,,, unfortunately they had none,, after Kapil Dev retired.. Presently they have a very padesterian, inconsistent bowling options which are reflected every time they play outside home..

  • on September 18, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    looking at the squad we dont have the world class bowlers. Harbhajan is experienced but he is not the one we knew, in my view if we choose to pick four bowlers then dropped ifran(im a very big fan of irfan) and pick either dnda or harbhajan. And score big we can't rely on scoring just par score atleast 30 runs more. Their is no point having 8 world class batsmen and nt taking risk gotto take risk.

  • xylo on September 18, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    It is funny how Irfan Pathan is being termed an all-rounder.

  • on September 18, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    All, Don't forget how good bowlers Yuvi, Raina and Sewagh is. In-fact in this conditions these are the bowlers who can make lots of difference. I will go with 7 + 4.

  • IndianROCKstars_2011_ODIchamps on September 18, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    As an Indian, I expect us to win but Afghan team is progressing by leaps and bounds and do pose threat to India. We willl probably win but Dhoni should not take them lightly and and ask team to score 180+ in every match.Our weak bowling will always need a cushion of 25 runs above par score but we did that exactly that and chased against Aus/Pak/SL in World cup 2011 and managed to win it so its quite possible here as well.Our bowlers are also known to suddenly turn up and exceed expectations in crunch games so that's a good sign but hopefully that part will not be needed with the talented Afghans. As for Indian fans making tall claims,I request lay low and do not comment till we win the cup.Let others mock our team and on Oct 7,2012 we can repay them with interest ;) and paint all websites including our neighbors chat forum BLUE

  • street_smart on September 18, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    Zaheer Khan is pathtic.... & Balaji is very slow.... Dinda should be in... but Dhonu doesn't like players from Bengal.... Thats why he always benches Dinda, Tiwary & goes on playing... Raina..Jadeja...Rohit...Yadav, Balaji....Ishant...

  • Bruisers on September 18, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    The team throughout the tournament should be 1) Gambhir 2) Sehwag 3) Kohli 4) Raina 5) Yuvraj 6) Dhoni 7) Pathan 8) Harbhajan 9) Ashwin 10) Zaheer 11) Dinda....... This team has enough firepower in their batting lineup to score/chase down any total. Harbhajan and Ashwin both have Test centuries to their name, so there's no lack of batting depth. Harbhajan needs to transform himself into a genuine all-rounder (by improving his batting) in order to cement his place in the team. Dinda is better than both Balaji and Zaheer in the death overs and can be relied on in crunch situations. So most bases are covered.

  • on September 18, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    people irfan pathan has been is good form with the bowl ,we can trust him ,he just had a bad against pak ,and dhoni has won the wt20 and wc 2011 as captain so trust his ideas atleast before a bowl is bowled

  • on September 18, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    people irfan pathan has been is good form with the bowl ,we can trust him ,he just had a bad against pak ,and dhoni has won the wt20 and wc 2011 as captain so trust his ideas atleast before a bowl is bowled

  • on September 18, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    even if Dhoni has 4 bowler theory he should pick the best. but keeping yadav out is really a mess. he could have helped us with his really good 20 over exp. and harbhajan cant really be in team. his spin is getting weak.

  • Naresh28 on September 18, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    DHONI does not have the luxary of putting a bowling combination together. Most teams have two good, strong, fast pacers - India desperately needs one. Ishant and Sreesanth were the hopes, but failed. Zaks is on the decline which makes it worse.

  • on September 18, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    The problem with India is all the pacers are similar in terms of speed and lack variations. So once the batsmen sets it will be like playing against a single bowler for 12 overs. Zaheer & Pathan are effective when there is swing. Put them on a flat deck and they become sitting ducks. The biggest selection blunder is not having a genuine pacer like Yadav. If you are playing against ENG,AUS,SA - 6 batsmen + irfan + 1 pacers + 3 spinners. If its PAK/SL - 6 batsmen + Irfan + 2 pacers + 2 spinners(Ashwin & Chawla).

  • srirangam12 on September 18, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    Well I am not too sure that I agree with this strategy of 7 batsmen/5 bowlers. I think 6 should be able to do the job with Ashwin & / or Harbhajan and Irfan thrown in as late order batters. Considering how weak Indian bowling has been of late, it would do no harm to have one more bowler in the starting line up. May be if one of the part timers consistently do well, India may even think about dropping one non performing bowler and add anonther batter tinkering with the opening combination which is not exactly firing on all cylinders.

  • on September 18, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    i always agree with Dhoni's ways, but this time i strongly disagree, does he not realize we have irfan pathan in the team, and the fact that its a 20 over match, and we have people like kohli who dont throw away there wicket, it would make a lot of sense to throw in an extra over, i really doubt india will loose 7-8 wickets until last couple overs, so why not score with the 6 batman plus pathan as an allrounder, and throw in an extra bowler.

  • on September 18, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    Starting with 4 bowler will work for team like Afganistan but its not going to work with England or other top countries..7+4 combination is good for ODI but T20 two or three bad over can change everything and cost us game..anyway if we play with 5 specialist bowler, thats not going to make much difference..In the warm-up match against Pak we had 5 specialist bowler and all failed except Ashwin...bowling is seriously weak and vulnerable..If Dhoni stick with 7+4 then better look for chase the target which is also bit difficult in SL condition where pitch will get slow in the 2nd inning..all we can is hope for the best

  • krishindian on September 18, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    this looks ridiculous how can we play 7 batsman and keep a bowler out against a minnow if we play 5 batsman 1 wicket keeper 1 (only left) all rounder 2 pacers and 2 spinners then it will be a good practice for all the players i say play the above method against afghan they are not going to make us to choke in world cup like bangla in 2007 world cup

  • NasimBaten on September 18, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    The Afgans will give indian bowling attack hard time. If India can't post a huge total in excess of 180, they will be in trouble against any side.

  • Munafis810 on September 18, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    Dhoni is right. He is more experienced than most of us even though we played (atleast I did) club level professional cricket. Dhoni has experience of winning T20 2007 Worldcup and ODI 2011 Wcup. His strategy usually work fine. Agreed bowling is weak but he manages them properly.

  • US_Indian on September 18, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    I can definitely agree with both Narbavi & Pant- if 5 pure batsmen cant do it then how do u expect others to do the job designated for the batsman? It is surprising that on many occasions Dhoni has downplayed Irfan's position as an allrounder-but why? Dhoni, Irfan, are both allrounders, and add Bhaji or Ashwin, we have 3/4 allrounders who can bat apart from doing their job as a specialist bowler or WK. That leaves 7/8 place to be filled. take pure 5 batsmen,3 pure bowlers which will give the right combination of 5 bowlers , 1 wk, 5 batsman. among the bowlers depending upon who is playing you can have 2/3 bowling allrounders, wk/allrounder, and 2/3 batting allrounders. which will even out and give the best permutations and combinations for a perfect blend of balance. If the captain himself speaks loud about our weakness or i would say so-called weakness then how do you expect opposition to give respect our bowlers and how bowlers will give the best when captain doesnt have faith in them

  • on September 18, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    is he stupid? our batting is clearly our strength. and what does he do? load the team with batsmen. god only save him.

  • CricketMaan on September 18, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    The 7-4 Syndrome has stuck with almost all teams in India..look at the India A vs NZ A match that was abandoned..we had 7-4 team..ridiculous on fast NZ pitches..its become THE mantra for Indian skippers..if 6 no good what can the 7th do..Got to be bold..Zak should make way for Dinda and Irfan at 7 and 5 bowlers is the need of the hour.

  • on September 18, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    As this time bowling need to be sharpen because the bastman are in prime form so Bowlers are the big concern part for Indian Victory to T20 World cup this time

  • joseyesu on September 18, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    When Irfan is there, he can be considered as a fifth bowler, Can't he bowl even 2 overs to support yuvraj/sehwag/kohli/raina and moreover he is a dependable finisher. I would bank on with bajji, Ashwin, Zak,Dinda/Balaji. Sure india is not going to be in scarce for wickets in batting. Irfan still doesn't get the confidence of Dhoni

  • ujju9 on September 18, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Dhoni is in big Dilemma to pick six batsmen including himself. Bcoz, Shehwag(a hard hitter), Gambhir(Highest run in T20), Kohli(Best bat in the team), Sharma(got back to form & best stats in IPL), Yuvraj(Champion-for both T20 + ODI world cup win), Raina & Dhoni(can with the match alone, best for T20 format)...so in bowling department none of the bowler is much impressive besides capabilities of Pathan, Ashwin and Zahir so only rotation can happened among the bowlers only. So logically 7 batsmen strategy fits ti Indian combo! If there are way i would suggest BCCI to include Praveen Kumar somehow.

  • cyberstudent on September 18, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    7 batsman? their batting lineup is so strong that even dhoni will hardly get 10 balls to play with. 7th batsman will be wasted. IRFAN will get thrashed as usual in death overs.

  • RISHI2016 on September 18, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Q.E.D No bhajji ..would have played for the fighter he is... sadly he does not play for CSK

  • Nampally on September 18, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    You may have the strongest batting line up in the world but the fact is most of the time only 2 batsmen get set & produce a big total. After that at least 5 bowlers have to perform to complete the 20 overs & all XI fielders have to do their part with ground fielding, run outs & catches. So batting is only one important parts of T-20. T-20 is similar to a Triple jump. You have to do hop, step & Jump equally well to win the triple jump championship. Dhoni may like to field 7 batsmen but his bowlers have to be accurate & bowl to the field to minimize 4's & 6's. Irfan & Ashwin are both all rounders used as bowlers. So basically only 2 specialist bowlers are being used - ZAK & Dinda/Balaji. ZAK has past reputation but his present form is questionable. Balaji has sprayed the ball all over @10 to 12 runs/over. Dinda never tried !. That is how poor the specialist bowlers are. Munaf, Kumar & Kulkarni with proven T-20 records are not in the squad. India can HOP & STEP - Can they JUMP to WiN?

  • dakshpratapcric on September 18, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    dhoni is a nic capt. either he goes with 7 or 6 batsman, ind gonna win the cup

  • ejsiddiqui on September 18, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    One thing I never understood about Indian team, Do they not trust six batsmen? Is their batting not strong thats why they need extra batsman? or Their bowling is too strong thats why they don't need five bowlers. Are Irfan and Ashwin useless in batting? My Opinion is that Indian team has a very strong batting lineup they don't need extra batsman and yes bowling need five specialist bowlers to defend that score. Even you make team of 11 specialist batsmen, on average 4-6 batsmen would get the chance to bat. So, there is no use of extra batsmen.

  • Narbavi on September 18, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    If 6 batsmen aren't gonna do a job well in a t20 game then what is the 7th one gonna do?? Irfan bhajji and ashwin at 7,8 and 9 make a great lower order to rely upon in this format!!

  • India-The-ultimate-winner on September 18, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    No one can beat India.....

  • spant on September 18, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    It implies that Irfan Pathan is not considered an all-rounder!In my opinion, his batting abilities are good enough for No.7 batsman. We should also consider that Ashwin is more than good for No.8, even piyush chawla is good for No.7/8. In case he is not a good enough bowler, then why he is selected in the team???

  • on September 18, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    No problem boss... Just win all games will do..

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  • on September 18, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    No problem boss... Just win all games will do..

  • spant on September 18, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    It implies that Irfan Pathan is not considered an all-rounder!In my opinion, his batting abilities are good enough for No.7 batsman. We should also consider that Ashwin is more than good for No.8, even piyush chawla is good for No.7/8. In case he is not a good enough bowler, then why he is selected in the team???

  • India-The-ultimate-winner on September 18, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    No one can beat India.....

  • Narbavi on September 18, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    If 6 batsmen aren't gonna do a job well in a t20 game then what is the 7th one gonna do?? Irfan bhajji and ashwin at 7,8 and 9 make a great lower order to rely upon in this format!!

  • ejsiddiqui on September 18, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    One thing I never understood about Indian team, Do they not trust six batsmen? Is their batting not strong thats why they need extra batsman? or Their bowling is too strong thats why they don't need five bowlers. Are Irfan and Ashwin useless in batting? My Opinion is that Indian team has a very strong batting lineup they don't need extra batsman and yes bowling need five specialist bowlers to defend that score. Even you make team of 11 specialist batsmen, on average 4-6 batsmen would get the chance to bat. So, there is no use of extra batsmen.

  • dakshpratapcric on September 18, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    dhoni is a nic capt. either he goes with 7 or 6 batsman, ind gonna win the cup

  • Nampally on September 18, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    You may have the strongest batting line up in the world but the fact is most of the time only 2 batsmen get set & produce a big total. After that at least 5 bowlers have to perform to complete the 20 overs & all XI fielders have to do their part with ground fielding, run outs & catches. So batting is only one important parts of T-20. T-20 is similar to a Triple jump. You have to do hop, step & Jump equally well to win the triple jump championship. Dhoni may like to field 7 batsmen but his bowlers have to be accurate & bowl to the field to minimize 4's & 6's. Irfan & Ashwin are both all rounders used as bowlers. So basically only 2 specialist bowlers are being used - ZAK & Dinda/Balaji. ZAK has past reputation but his present form is questionable. Balaji has sprayed the ball all over @10 to 12 runs/over. Dinda never tried !. That is how poor the specialist bowlers are. Munaf, Kumar & Kulkarni with proven T-20 records are not in the squad. India can HOP & STEP - Can they JUMP to WiN?

  • RISHI2016 on September 18, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Q.E.D No bhajji ..would have played for the fighter he is... sadly he does not play for CSK

  • cyberstudent on September 18, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    7 batsman? their batting lineup is so strong that even dhoni will hardly get 10 balls to play with. 7th batsman will be wasted. IRFAN will get thrashed as usual in death overs.

  • ujju9 on September 18, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Dhoni is in big Dilemma to pick six batsmen including himself. Bcoz, Shehwag(a hard hitter), Gambhir(Highest run in T20), Kohli(Best bat in the team), Sharma(got back to form & best stats in IPL), Yuvraj(Champion-for both T20 + ODI world cup win), Raina & Dhoni(can with the match alone, best for T20 format)...so in bowling department none of the bowler is much impressive besides capabilities of Pathan, Ashwin and Zahir so only rotation can happened among the bowlers only. So logically 7 batsmen strategy fits ti Indian combo! If there are way i would suggest BCCI to include Praveen Kumar somehow.