World Twenty20 2012 September 21, 2012

Sehwag, Gambhir need to cut out the big risks

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When Twenty20 cricket first came around, everyone thought that it was just going to be a slog-fest. To be fair, such expectations weren't without reason, because the same batsmen who could easily bat 50 overs in an ODI were asked to finish their job in 120 balls. The new playing conditions also meant that it was absolutely fine to lose a wicket every two overs. In Tests and ODIs, the price-tag on every wicket would match high-street prices, but in T20, wickets are on discount sales.

But as the format evolved, a few patterns have emerged, quite similar to the patterns in 50-overs cricket. For instance, the first six overs of Powerplay and the last six overs - the death overs - yield the most runs and, even with the frantic pace of T20 cricket, there's a relatively quiet period from overs seven to 14. The patterns also show that the teams which lose more than two wickets in the Powerplay end up losing more games. So, while it's imperative to score at a fair clip in the first six, it's equally important to not lose too many wickets. Hence, both the opening and the death overs make the difference between winning and losing.

Though the talk around India always concerns the lack of teeth in their bowling, it seems their shortcomings in that department have become an accepted fact and the team has made peace with it. MS Dhoni has made it very clear that he believes that it's their depth and strength in batting that is likely to win them the World T20, and hence it's better to play an extra batsman. But at the moment, India's strength is also India's weakness, for the openers haven't been firing for quite some time. While India's batting line-up boasts of many match-winners, it's invariably Virat Kohli who's saving the day for the team these days. The law of averages is likely to catch up with him soon, and hence it's imperative that the openers find some form by then.

Gautam Gambhir, irrespective of the format, has been guilty of poking at everything that is outside the off-stump. Even though he plays every stroke in the book to all parts of the ground (except, perhaps, the hook or sweep), for some strange reason, recently, he has been looking to dab everything down to the third-man region. The moment you get into such a mindset, the bat comes down at an angle and then either you nick the ball to the wicketkeeper or drag the ball back onto the stumps.

Another problem with looking to score in the third-man region is that you stop getting to the pitch of the ball, which spells doom. He, or someone else, needs to remind him that he's a much better player when he's looking to hit the ball in front of the wickets. It may not be a bad idea for Gambhir to go back to the basics, mark his scoring areas (in front of the stumps) and try to be around till the seventh over; he's too good a player to not make up for lost time later.

For the last one year, [Sehwag's] consistency has dropped alarmingly. This can happen to players who back their eye and quick hands to work the ball away without using their feet. The moment the eyes lose a bit of sharpness or the hands slow down a fraction, the movements go out of sync

The same is the case with Virender Sehwag, who's also playing a shot-a-ball right from the beginning. There was a time, about three to four years ago, when he could do it successfully, innings after innings. But for the last one year, that consistency has dropped alarmingly. This can happen to players who back their eye and quick hands to work the ball away without using their feet. The moment the eyes lose a bit of sharpness or the hands slow down a fraction, the movements go out of sync. Sehwag's prolonged below-par performances should encourage him to discover a new method of operating.

Just like Gambhir, it may not be a bad idea for Sehwag to cut down on high-risk shots for the first few overs and, more importantly, he must also try to make it count when he gets in. Chris Gayle does it very well in T20. He bides his time initially, and more than makes up for it once he gets set. Sehwag also has the potential to do the same, provided he allows himself a quiet start. All good batsmen, at some stage of their career, need to rethink and rediscover their modus operandi. Since India is in the middle of a transitional phase, it's imperative that Sehwag delivers.

However, it's a lot easier said than done, for unlike 50-overs cricket, the paucity of time in T20 cricket doesn't give you the luxury of finding form by biding your time. You must look for other ways of achieving the same goal. But if India are to make a real attempt at reclaiming the trophy they lifted in 2007, both openers need to start firing more often, or Dhoni must find an opening combination that does.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

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  • POSTED BY on | September 23, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Well. Intresting observation of us, the Indian fans. Lets start from our last Englad tour where we lost 4/0. In England Suresh Raina was on radar, after England in Australia in first two tests Virat Kohli was on radar, After Aussie in Sri Lanka Rohit Sharma was on radar, After Lanka against New Zeland Sachin Tendulkar was on radae. Andnow in T20 World Cup our three big names Virendra Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir & Zahir Khan are facing heat................. We Indians are like that. We want our heros to perform each and every match. We always forget the efforts they took to reach these levels. Number of years and series they performed to reach the place. But we remove them frim our heart after mere one failure. It is only we to decide it wheather its correct or wrong.

  • POSTED BY ragin269 on | September 23, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    with this bowling attack we fetched two 50 over world cups and one twenty twenty world cup

  • POSTED BY on | September 23, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    @Muhammad Nabil Khan : Well said , Well said....This type of bowler r there on ur street... N from d street they directly go to jail...(Aamir,Asif)....

  • POSTED BY on | September 23, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    drop shewag and take in tiwary.....Kohli and Gambhir should open

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | September 23, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    NO! Absolutely no conservation at the top for India! What is the point of having 7 batsmen who can hit sixers if the top two have to score less in order to conserve their wickets? India can and should afford to go after every ball, no question about that. Doesn't mean they should play stupid shots at the top, but it definitely doesn't mean Gambhir and Sehwag should play safe in order to play a longer innings. They should go at 140 strike rate.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | September 23, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    The two most overrated teams in World cricket. Miles behind the likes of South Africa and Australia when it comes to cricketing success.

  • POSTED BY street_smart on | September 22, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    Drop Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer & bring in Tiwary, Bhajji & Dinda. I would send Yuvraj or Tiwary to open with Kohli.

  • POSTED BY Cric_info_pak on | September 22, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    india and bangladesh are over rated team india got only batting blowers are as average as bangladesh team only perform once in 2 years , only by luck not with talent , while on other hand indian batting is good but they can't win every time with batting.....

  • POSTED BY click4pram on | September 22, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    I feel indian bowling is concern ..i have never seen any indian side which has atleast decent attack , kapil and amarnath to some extent ,the last best bowling fast medium pair was J srinath and venkatesh prasad spinners palyed theit bit but thats not good enough too!!! in T20's indian team doesnot have somebody like saeed ajmal who is consistent and clever ....i am not moaning about only T20 here ,India's bowling has never been great in any format .with the current bowling line up no chance ,as somebody said street bowlers are much better than indian bowlers currently .India has been winning mathces cuz of their batting , its better they concentrate on their strength(batting) rather than on weakness specially after entering the tournament.

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Cut out risk in a 20-20 game? Even Amla is playing cross bat shots.

  • POSTED BY on | September 23, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Well. Intresting observation of us, the Indian fans. Lets start from our last Englad tour where we lost 4/0. In England Suresh Raina was on radar, after England in Australia in first two tests Virat Kohli was on radar, After Aussie in Sri Lanka Rohit Sharma was on radar, After Lanka against New Zeland Sachin Tendulkar was on radae. Andnow in T20 World Cup our three big names Virendra Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir & Zahir Khan are facing heat................. We Indians are like that. We want our heros to perform each and every match. We always forget the efforts they took to reach these levels. Number of years and series they performed to reach the place. But we remove them frim our heart after mere one failure. It is only we to decide it wheather its correct or wrong.

  • POSTED BY ragin269 on | September 23, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    with this bowling attack we fetched two 50 over world cups and one twenty twenty world cup

  • POSTED BY on | September 23, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    @Muhammad Nabil Khan : Well said , Well said....This type of bowler r there on ur street... N from d street they directly go to jail...(Aamir,Asif)....

  • POSTED BY on | September 23, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    drop shewag and take in tiwary.....Kohli and Gambhir should open

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | September 23, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    NO! Absolutely no conservation at the top for India! What is the point of having 7 batsmen who can hit sixers if the top two have to score less in order to conserve their wickets? India can and should afford to go after every ball, no question about that. Doesn't mean they should play stupid shots at the top, but it definitely doesn't mean Gambhir and Sehwag should play safe in order to play a longer innings. They should go at 140 strike rate.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | September 23, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    The two most overrated teams in World cricket. Miles behind the likes of South Africa and Australia when it comes to cricketing success.

  • POSTED BY street_smart on | September 22, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    Drop Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer & bring in Tiwary, Bhajji & Dinda. I would send Yuvraj or Tiwary to open with Kohli.

  • POSTED BY Cric_info_pak on | September 22, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    india and bangladesh are over rated team india got only batting blowers are as average as bangladesh team only perform once in 2 years , only by luck not with talent , while on other hand indian batting is good but they can't win every time with batting.....

  • POSTED BY click4pram on | September 22, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    I feel indian bowling is concern ..i have never seen any indian side which has atleast decent attack , kapil and amarnath to some extent ,the last best bowling fast medium pair was J srinath and venkatesh prasad spinners palyed theit bit but thats not good enough too!!! in T20's indian team doesnot have somebody like saeed ajmal who is consistent and clever ....i am not moaning about only T20 here ,India's bowling has never been great in any format .with the current bowling line up no chance ,as somebody said street bowlers are much better than indian bowlers currently .India has been winning mathces cuz of their batting , its better they concentrate on their strength(batting) rather than on weakness specially after entering the tournament.

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Cut out risk in a 20-20 game? Even Amla is playing cross bat shots.

  • POSTED BY dariuscorny on | September 22, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    i also endorse the idea of either Dropping Sehwag or giving him a wake up call,Gambhir too needs step up,as the current state of their bowling,it will not matter whether India bowls first or bat first,the batsmen will have their job cut out,coz even if IND bowls first i can see opponents giving them a target 170-180(on an average),to overhaul those targets openers need to fire(specially)

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | September 22, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    I think that the main problem for Sehwag is that he relies on hand/eye coordination in all forms of cricket, not just T20. If you're the type of batsman who gets to the pitch of the ball in the longer forms then you can fall back on that technique if required in the shorter, but Sehwag barely moves his feet even in Test crciket. That means that overhauling his technique in T20 is going to be all but impossible. The way he was swinging at everything with his feet rooted to the spot during the Test series in Australia does not bode well for his ability to get his feet moving in T20. I don't think that he's ever tried, because he's never really needed to, and it's rather late in his career to be learning such a fundamental part of batting.

  • POSTED BY rajaviswa on | September 22, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    @muhammad nabhil khan-- ohh..!! really..??? Irfan is that kind of bowler??!! ask u top 3 batsman what kind of bowler he is.. hu had given him a hattrick...

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    India needs at least 250 runs to win a match in T 20 World cup with this bowling attack ... In Pakistan anyone can find these types of bowlers (Irfan, balaji, dinda) in every street... even i could bowl better than balaji... He is just a very very fast spin bowler... no swing no seam no bounce no good yorkers no bouncers..

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    guys............ give viru n GG time....they will do what they are capable of doing. All Indians hv d habit to produce d best after d worse.....

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    here are no perm openers in T20's dude Chopra. Who ever is in form shud come up, rock the hell out. Who ever is out of sorts shud drop reasona

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | September 22, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    Ok now my solution. Dropping zaheer and sehwag not happening. You don't mess up the your horse that carried you here. if there is better alternative i will be the first one to say drop them. I do not see alternative what i see is more loq quality bowlers. T20 is always about smart cunning bowlers. My Team is 1. Sehwag 2. Rotating spot ( 1. rahane 2 Tiwari ) 3. Kohli 4. Yuvi 5. Raina 6. Dhoni 7. Rohit 8. Pathan 9. Ashwin 10. Zaheer Khan 11. Dinda/Yadav ( we need one real fast bowler...do we have one?). I never liked Irfan pathan because i feel he always wants to think he is not good enough to be better than what he is , a bit player. I would have picked yusuf pathan over irfan anyday. Simply because Irafn can only bowl at beginning. He is very hittable bowler. Dinda and Balaji are club bowlers. Lucky once in blue moon rest below average. in T20 you need smart cunning bowlers. India lacks that type of bowlers so i am 100% sure india will not be able to win this t20. I blame selectors.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | September 22, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    I am again astonished why these people even say Irfan pathan as opener? When did he even have 100% strike rate? Below 100% strike rate you should not be allowed to play T20. I am hardcore sehwag fan because its very difficult to find a player who can hit 180 strike rate that too opening the inning. The problem with sehwag is not skill or form , its his mental status. if he is happy , he will destroy. he needs audience. He needs to be cajoled more of than than others. The problem is sehwag needs wake up call but not by replacing him but by replacing gambhir with rahane. Because you never drop your franchise (x factor) player but change player around him to give new atmosphere. if new guy comes and hit century it gives wake up call to sehwag. Dropping a player is last step in that sense player need a break. With bad indian bowling , india should keep any player who have strike rate above 160. Its like diamond in T20 game. What india lacks is smart t20 bowlers. Only ashwin is good.

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Mr Chopra, there is no time in a T20 for settling in than launching big shots, see the BMccullum innings yesterday, hitting right from the word go or L wright too

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | September 22, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    T20 is about strike rate. Nothing else. Need only 1 or 2 grinders (100% strike rate) required. Rest should be able to hit above 140. Rahane or Tiwari can never had strike rate above 120. It is really wrong to suggest these youngster to replace sehwag who has 160-180 strike rate. I strongly believe Chopra view is biased not neutral. The problem with india is not its openers. Its bowling. Chopra needs to find something else to write about except writing bad about delhi pairs.

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    I Pathan and Kohli shud open the inn

  • POSTED BY akbaassu on | September 22, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    with this bowling line up v wont be able to win a single match in super 8

  • POSTED BY neerajprasher on | September 22, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Thats Right this is not a wining team performance.why They always stick with the senior players if they are not permforming kick them out.this is only way to teach them.Sehwag batting is hopeless he doesnt move his feet at all.put kohli with gambhir n sehwag can play in the middle order lets try this.come on India its not that hard we had won the world cup.we can win this too.please do something about bowling aswell.Good luck Team India..

  • POSTED BY coppyshoppy on | September 22, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    So far India is the only team that suffered some butterflies in first round matches. There is no chance of winning this cup if India plays like this. For me India is over rated team. Look other teams play minnows and India plays against Afganistan.

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    I cant understand is there no talk or discussion between the coach and the batsmen. Gambhir in the recent past has done this poking many a times and got out irritates everyone including himself. But what is the Coach doing, is he not telling anything to Gambhir regarding his batting? I can understand in the middle of the game coach cannot come and interfere but what are these practice sessions for? To play football? Manoj is warming the bench for long time, its time to give him a chance. Sehwag can be moved down the order or give him a break as his shot selection outside off stump is horrible. Afghanistan was bundled yesterday by England won by huge margin but our bowlers struggled and struggled and won by only 23 runs. Bowlers has to step up and do their job of controlling the runs and taking wickets in regular intervals to head to finals. Opening pair has to fire if not fire them.

  • POSTED BY omanakuttan.p.j on | September 22, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    In an important tournaments, team which throws surprises will be successful. India doesn't have much surprises with this squad. may be let Irfan or Ashwin to open the innings and throw their bat at everything and get maximum runs . other thing when india won the cup in 2007, it was all young legs. look at now more tired legs (nose diving). this is a land there are plenty of talents, let them play and get experience and perform well...

  • POSTED BY Elvis on | September 22, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    There are no perm openers in T20's dude Chopra. Who ever is in form shud come up, rock the hell out. Who ever is out of sorts shud drop reasonably. IN our casr Gambir and Shewag shud come at 5 and 6 till they improve the form. I Pathan and Kohli shud open.

  • POSTED BY cooljack_143 on | September 22, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    CRICKET IS A VERY TOUGH SPORT TO PLAY.FANS DONT UNDERSTAND THE PAIN & THE STRESS, that PLAYERS GO THROUGH WHEN REPRESENTING COUNTRIES.Fully support team India in these bad days.They have done so much for the country and yet FANS arent satisfied a single part.SIDES cant be in their best form forever.FANS should support them when needed.Lets just hope India does good and makes country proud.What ever happens Indians are with them :-) God bless.Very happy for Yuvi. SURE VIRU & Gambhir will be back in the coming games.We MUST SUPPORT THEM..FOR ALL THEY HAVE DONE FOR US IN THE PAST IN THE TEST,2011 WC& RECENT SL SERIES.Without GAMBHIR Ind wouldn't have won WC,that's fact.Lets face it.THINK POSITIVE.PLEASE DONT SEND NEGATIVE MESSAGES TO THE PLAYERS.CHEER THEM UP..MAKE THEM WIN MATCHES WITH YOUR WISHES...else please stop commenting..

  • POSTED BY YoJoMoJo on | September 22, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    I think Akash Chopra's points are sensible enough in the sense that if India doesnt get off to good starts, we are not gonna make it far in this competition considering the bowling lineup we have. Currently gambhir isnt in great form, and sehwag over the last 2 years has become quite unreliable. Picking rahane in the squad made logical sense. Another big problem I have with our 11 is the inclusion of Yuvraj Singh as the no.4 or no. 5 batsman. I am sorry, but he is in no way ready to be playing for India yet. I am extremely happy he has recovered and he shud be selected in our squad after he gets back into the groove. And knowing Dhoni, he will send Yuvraj up the order. I believe he can contribute with the ball and if India persists with the 7 batsman, he can feature in our team and contribute as an all rounder, but i feel he is not fluent and will not be able to have a break out innings yet. I think Raina, Dhoni and Rohit shud bat ahead of Yuvraj right now.

  • POSTED BY Smithie on | September 22, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    Relax- no doubt the word will come from Chennai to the SL/ICC controlled ground staff to take the pace and carry out of the piches for the Super Eights. Stomach bugs for Raina,Gambir, Sewag will immediately clear up and all will be well- simple really !

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    settled or not settled is the point. India needs runs and these guys should get them haning been around in international circuit so far they ought to know by now as to how to go about it.C'mon guys wake up and play your game.

  • POSTED BY indiabadri on | September 22, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    I will go with Mr. Viswanathan Sankaranarayanan who has given his comment on dropping Gambhir and bringing in Manoj Tiwary. Manoj not only bats once he settles, he can also bowl some slow leg spinners which lot of england players will struggle except Morgan who is left handed and Manoj is good fielder than Gambhir. Also My suggestion would be to keep Zaheer khan out of the 11 and bring in Ashok Dinda who is much faster than zaheer and also a good fielder. Harbhajan should be in bench only for all matches because the way he fielded against Pakistan in warm up match has not only made inda loose but also shows his class in fielding. My 11 against England will be 1. Sehwag 2. Manoj Tiwary 3. virat Kohli 4. Yuvraj Singh 5. Suresh Raina 6. M S Dhoni 7. Rohit Sharma 8. Irfan Pathan 9. Ashwin 10. Dinda 11. Balaji. Hope india fields this 11 to win against England as they are strong in all the 3 fields.

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Akash is an intelligent person, always good articles.

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    not settle just hit 4 & 6 infirst 6 overs

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    I totally disagree... India is playing T20 format 1day style... In one-day if wicket falls upcoming batsman has to be cautious at the start...T20 is just about going after bowlers no matter wicket falls ...there's no need to settle bcos till bowling team get all batsmen out 20 overs get over.... Indian players have immense potential and specially in case of Indian batting line up which has so much depth and strength, why you wait to settle and get score like 160/2 instead take risk and make something like 190/6.... Every batsmen needs to play as if he doesn't care what others doing except for very critical situations...the tags of top order middle orde and their so called roles doesn't apply for t20..... see england team their batting line up is combination of hitters who just come one by one and take bowling apart noone cares if he plays on no.3 or no.5...role is same..go and hit...and if you get out v have enugh behind you to continue your job...

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | September 22, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    I want Gambir, to play with calm head just as jayawerdene when he opens the batting. Never advice to sehwag....

  • POSTED BY HarishVS on | September 22, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    I really enjoyed reading many of the comments here. Logical and quite correct too. Comments are quite sensible and brighter than Akash' views here! It is too early to write off Sehwag. But Gambhir needs a break. He has playing been in all forms of cricket and in every single match in every series. That has affected his shot selection and temperament and it is showing up as weakness in technique which is not true. We dont have any bright opener in bench to immediately replace him or Sehwag and it is insane to ask Kohli to come in as an opener and damage the balance of the team that is so nicely held up by Kohli at No.3.

  • POSTED BY ajeeshferdin10 on | September 22, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    it is irritating to see gambhir doin this for the last one year...

  • POSTED BY Procter on | September 22, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    Aakash Chopra has the best cricketing mind in the country. His analysis has depth of observation and analysis like no one else's. While Kanitkar rightly deserves the credit for taking Rajasthan to successive Ranji wins, I'm sure Aakash was the mastermind on stratergy and planning. His leaving Rajasthan because petty officials did not want pay equal prize money to professionals is going to show in Rajasthan's performance this year. India will be well served to hire him as a coach once he retires from playing cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    I beleive gambir needs a break to change his mindset.. Feel viru will b at his best against england. India must play tiwary instead of Gambir... Tiwary is u gud player who cn score big after he settles. This is how batting order should be 1.viru 2.tiwary 3.kholi 4. raina 5.yuvi 6.dhoni 7.rohit 8.pathan 9.ashwin 10. zaheer 11. balaji....

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    Dropping and Viru? common guys don't make fool of your self. His 30+ runs can win more matches because of his high strike rate. Sure he is in lean patch and he will regain his form and fire for us in the remaining matches.

  • POSTED BY on | September 22, 2012, 1:12 GMT

    Very funny to state settle first, where are the overs for settling .It is go from the start. It may be good in test cricket or even 50/50 format not in 20/20. with so called experience of these openers they should know what shot has to be played not catch practice to keeper and slip fielders.It is awful to look at these two guys who play bat away from the body. with two slips and third man still they want to play the glide to the thirdman ending with catch.It is more of mental apptitude which now lacking with them.Now these guys will try to settle down and consume 6-7 overs scoring 30 runs and pressure will build up for the rest who will cave in like pack of cards.Hit out or get out that is 20/20 format.

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | September 22, 2012, 0:21 GMT

    Mr. Aakash Chopra, so, if certain batsmen keep failing, ask them to change their usual scoring rate? What logic is that? You want to preserve the batsmen in the 11? Why cant we accept (1) they have technical weaknesses and those weaknesses have been successfully exploited by the opponents? (Sehwag was served short, short, short and then pitched up and GG was served consistently good length outside off leaving deliveries). Why do you want to improve their techniques at this stage/age in their life? You are better off trying to improve the techniques of youngsters. If according to your suggestion, Sehwag & Gambhir score 24 for no loss after 6 overs, do you think India will win? Absolutely not. Check the T20 stats. If a team can not score near 50 runs at first 6 overs it will lose for certain. There may be rare exceptions. But exceptions are not examples. Completely incorrect & illogical suggestion for the problem. The correct solution is to replace the non-performers with youngsters.

  • POSTED BY bvnathan on | September 21, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    India can unearth pace bowlers of raw with height and good physique from the regions of Punjab, Haryana, J&K etc. It is the question of putting in that effort to unearth those talent, who can be groomed with proper guidance. If Afghanistan, Pakistan can unearth raw talent, I don't see any reason why India can't do that. There is also nothing wrong in importing the bowlers from other countries where pace bowling is available at abudance

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | September 21, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Agree on Gambhir, disagree on Sehwag. Sehwag can play conservative, but once he starts playing his shots he can get out any ball. Having his eye in has never helped improve his chances of staying on the crease. With him its more about shot selection and fitness.

  • POSTED BY Darshi007 on | September 21, 2012, 22:21 GMT

    Why has no back up opener been selected? What is the point in picking 3 spinners in the squad of 15 when the team management never wants to play more than 4 specialist bowlers. Anyhow 3 seamers will always play and Ashwin will play all the games. So why select Piyush Chawla? Rather we could have selected Rahane/Dhawan as a back-up opener. Kohli is best suited to No 3 and shouldn't be asked to open. Selecting Dinda ahead of Umesh Yadav is a shocker according to me.

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    I would slightly disagree..if they are circumspect then what is the point of going with 7 batsman.India's strength has always been batting .Sehwag & Gambhir should continue their style of play. One thing I would like to know..when are we going to see an express pace bowler in a blue indian shirt..Let the shackles go and import-like England imports batsmen!

  • POSTED BY Darshi007 on | September 21, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    I don't agree to this. Considering the fact that India is playing 7 batsmen+Irfan +Ashwin who are more than capable batsmen, it is imperative to look for a run rate of at least 9 rpo in the first 6 overs.It doesn't matter if you lose 2 or even 3 wickets in the process. In the next 8 overs we can go at about 8 runs an over and then accelerate at about 10 rpo in the final 6 overs. Then only we would be able to reach 180 which is the bare minimum we need with the bowlers we have. I don't see any value of playing Rohit at No 7.But knowing Dhoni,I guess he will continue playing 7 batsmen.Bhajji in place of Rohit will lend a nice balance to the team as in any case in the last few T20's India has played,the 7th batsman(Rohit) has done nothing.Pathan at 7,Bhajji at 8 and Ashwin at 9 doesn't weaken our batting.It doesn't matter even if you have 11 batsmen in your team as when you are asked to chase more than200,9 out of 10 times you would lose. Hope some sense prevails in selecting the team now

  • POSTED BY desiboy454 on | September 21, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    Drop Viru and Zaheerr.. Zaheer should rest now instead of playing t20 cuz now hes gonna play champions league and then Eng and Aus tests, hes gonna break down. Viru just needs to get his head together and figure out what he wants to do. This is my 11 in playing order.. 1. Gambhir 2. Rohit 3 Kohli 4. Yuvi 5. Raina. 6. MSD 7. Irfan 8 Ashiwn 9 Bhajji 10. Dinda 11. Balaji

    This gives you 5 regular bowlers with Irfan at 7.. hes better than jadeja and yusuf. And yuvi rohit raina to put in afew overs if one of the bowlers have an off day.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | September 21, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    One off these two must be dropped to accommodate a spinner, preferably Harbhajan. 3 pacers(1 all rounder Irfan) and 2 spinners will be the way to go. Yuvi can also chip in with a few overs so can Kohli. They cannot just keep throwing their wicket away so cheaply. Both off them were dismissed before 6 overs in the three games so far.

  • POSTED BY nitsdcricketlover on | September 21, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    I agree to d article of both gambhir and viru shuld take tym..if we go back to world t20 in 2007 wen ind won..we find dat we did nt score to many in d 1st few ovrs..remember d austraila game d eng game..we had wickets in hand nd den we launched d attack..I think if viru plays d 1st 6 ovrs givn himslef tym nd evn scoring run a ball or else he has d capability to just double it within mattr of balls..nd gauti is d highest run getter in world t20 histry d only prbm he is having is dat poking habit which brought doom 4 him throught d australian tour..d moment he stopped doing it he scored 2 ninties in d odi's..

  • POSTED BY Raj12345 on | September 21, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    Shewag, Gambhir - Just remembering last 8 home away tests RG - remembering his last 10 ODI apperances

    Kohli - remember word run machine Raina - remembering word luck

    Ask kohli to take rest, the rest of the result for india will be ????

  • POSTED BY Anandsadvice on | September 21, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    I have a feeling Gambhir will fire in the next match and Viru should take some time to settledown first. I think England has got a very good bowling attack and they should play on the merit of the ball keeping in mind the run rate as well. India has to play like world champs to beat England as they are a very good side to beat at the moment. There will be lots of ups and downs in the next match the team who will hold their nerve will win.

    However advantage India as far as the pitches are concerned. India should attack England weeklink which is spin I hope there is turn in the pitch for this match. Indian batting should fire all the way to the last over if batting first keeping a target of 190+ to be on the safe side.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | September 21, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    I am usually very patient and do not like to change team composition but I now feel that the time for Sehwag and Zaheer Khan is up. Zaheer esp has not much left to offer. He is an awful fielder, has a pathetic attitude when he bats and his bowling has fallen away a lot. He gets injured at the very beginning of a tour and seems to be over weight and disinterested. Time for him to go. Sehwag too has very little time left. His good days are becoming rarer and rarer and I think Rahane can do as good a job as he plus he is a good fielder too. If we drop these two NPAs then our team's quality will go up by several degrees. Gambhir is merely having rough days and that he is actually in good form, just a matter of time before he finds his color. The diff between Zaheer's and Sachin's attitude is like the two eyes of a hammer head. Sachin was seen sliding to stop a boundary in the recent test series vs NZ even at the age of 39 while Zaheer hardly ever fields with interest. Good bye Zak, tata.

  • POSTED BY kunalx on | September 21, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    I'm happy that India played bad in last two games. If you go through history you will find that in every tournament where India reached final or won the tournament, they played really bad in first 1 or 2 games. 2003 WC - Lost to australia in first game ina lowest total then reached final winning 11 consecutive games. 2007 T20 WC - N/A against Scotland then lost New Zealand but still won the cup/

  • POSTED BY vish2020 on | September 21, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    arre yaar why fix something when it isn't broken?? Don't even think about moving Kohli from no. 3 because that could lead problems with kohli and can we really afford that? These two especially Gautam are fading away and there isn't a Sachin-like rejuvenation left in them and u say why?? because they are not Sachin!! Let them play their style and if we don't go far and sit their butts down..end of story!

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    Gambhir. OK. But its useless to comment on Sehwag's style of batting. Period.

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    The Indian team looks like the slowest/oldest team in the tournament. I cannot imagine how much effort the selectors had to put in to come up with this combination. It will be a miracle for India to win a single game in the Super Eights.

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    We should open with Harbhajan and Zaheer Khan for a change...They both love to swing their bats...

  • POSTED BY Mindfreak786 on | September 21, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    I think Rohit shud Open along with sehwag and gambhir shud be left out :| bcoz he is not in touch at all :| one down kohli 2nd down yuvi 3rd down raina and so on

  • POSTED BY DaGameChanger on | September 21, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    Agreed. Gambhir is the class class batsman..seen cricket enough my lifetime to say that. He always scores when needed. He should play the anchor role and Sehwag can play his natural game. Since game against England would be dead rubber..Sehwag can also relax and spend some time on crease. Also I think India's bowling is much decent this time around..especially if Zak or Irfan either have a good day, Balaji seems to be street smart cricketer and obviously Ashwin is playing his role as well.

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    Aakash, if you want Sehwag to cut out risks - you might as well ask Dhoni to drop him. Maybe, opening with Kohli & Irfan might be an option. Depending on which over wickets fall, Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvaraj, Raina....could follow.

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    Irfan pathan should be promoted as opner

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | September 21, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    At this stage of the tournament, i dont think its wise to drop any or one of them and only hope that they fire. More than Viru, i have more confidence in GG to play a match-winning innings but atleast hope Viru gives us the quick fire 30-40 start. The bigger concern i think is the form of Zak who just does not seem to be a good fit for T20. I think it would not be a bad idea to drop him for Dinda.

  • POSTED BY yezdi70 on | September 21, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Yeah right. This happens to be T20 match and not a test match where you must take time to settle down. Problem with Gambhir is that he is out of form and thats why he keeps edging the ball onto his stumps or to men behind him. Sehwag too appears to be out of form. When you are out of form it isnt possible to settle down first and then launch an attack...this isnt test cricket.

  • POSTED BY cimrsimg on | September 21, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Let Sehwag drop down to 4. Kohli & Gambhir should open, followed by Raina, Sehwag, Yuvi & Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY sloggingintheinnercircle on | September 21, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    The England game will be a good game to experiment with Kohli and Irfan further up the order, maybe give Tiwary a chance and see what he can do. I would play Sehwag in the middle order when likely spinners will be on. On the other hand, keep Sehwag for middle order for the next stage and surprise some teams. To be honest, Sehwag and Gambhir have been asking to be dropped totally or down the order for a while now - based on performances.

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    I would say drop sehwag and zaheer and let rohit open the innings, let bhajji and dinda do the bowling with other three

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    hey doood, have u forgot IPL, where was strike rate of shewag, and consistency with gambhir, both play top quality bowler very fist as opener

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    i think the curious case of Virender Sehwag is true.............. And Gambhir should go out of the team and get his flaws ironed out...else he will be out of the team

  • POSTED BY MysticMan on | September 21, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    Try Gambhir and Sehwag one more time and if they fail, try Kohli and Pathan. GG at 3, Yuvraj at 4 (if GG goes) and/or Sehwag at 4 (if Kohli goes) to maintain Left-Right combination at all times through the batting lineup. We certainly need 5 bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    y dont they try rohit sharma as opener with sehwag. gambhir, kohli, yuvraj, dhoni, raina irfan, ashwin, zaheer, balaji/bajji to follow.

  • POSTED BY siddheshsawant on | September 21, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    India is playing with 7 recognized batsmen, it does not matter if they loose early wickets, they bank on people like Kohli, Rohit, Raina and Yuvraj. Too much inconsistency is definitely a problem. Its high time they learn to value their wickets, there are playes of the likes of Rahane & Puja knocking at the door.

  • POSTED BY prats25 on | September 21, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Yes..Kohli should open with Sehwag..Gambhir should come as a No 3 batsman...

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  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Yes..Kohli should open with Sehwag..Gambhir should come as a No 3 batsman...

  • POSTED BY prats25 on | September 21, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • POSTED BY siddheshsawant on | September 21, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    India is playing with 7 recognized batsmen, it does not matter if they loose early wickets, they bank on people like Kohli, Rohit, Raina and Yuvraj. Too much inconsistency is definitely a problem. Its high time they learn to value their wickets, there are playes of the likes of Rahane & Puja knocking at the door.

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    y dont they try rohit sharma as opener with sehwag. gambhir, kohli, yuvraj, dhoni, raina irfan, ashwin, zaheer, balaji/bajji to follow.

  • POSTED BY MysticMan on | September 21, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    Try Gambhir and Sehwag one more time and if they fail, try Kohli and Pathan. GG at 3, Yuvraj at 4 (if GG goes) and/or Sehwag at 4 (if Kohli goes) to maintain Left-Right combination at all times through the batting lineup. We certainly need 5 bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    i think the curious case of Virender Sehwag is true.............. And Gambhir should go out of the team and get his flaws ironed out...else he will be out of the team

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    hey doood, have u forgot IPL, where was strike rate of shewag, and consistency with gambhir, both play top quality bowler very fist as opener

  • POSTED BY on | September 21, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    I would say drop sehwag and zaheer and let rohit open the innings, let bhajji and dinda do the bowling with other three

  • POSTED BY sloggingintheinnercircle on | September 21, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    The England game will be a good game to experiment with Kohli and Irfan further up the order, maybe give Tiwary a chance and see what he can do. I would play Sehwag in the middle order when likely spinners will be on. On the other hand, keep Sehwag for middle order for the next stage and surprise some teams. To be honest, Sehwag and Gambhir have been asking to be dropped totally or down the order for a while now - based on performances.

  • POSTED BY cimrsimg on | September 21, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Let Sehwag drop down to 4. Kohli & Gambhir should open, followed by Raina, Sehwag, Yuvi & Dhoni.