England v India, World T20, Group A, Colombo September 23, 2012

Harbhajan bounces back after tough year

109

Harbhajan Singh: the solution to India's World Twenty20 bowling problems, or just a spin bowler enjoying the simplest of comebacks against a hapless England side? Even in the aftermath of such a comprehensive victory, MS Dhoni was not about to become carried away.

India thrashed England by 90 runs and Harbhajan, in his first international for more than a year, finished with 4 for 12, the best bowling performance by an Indian bowler in Twenty20 internationals, and the Man-of-the-Match award.

"Without playing for India, I don't know what else I could do," he said. "It's been a hard year for me. I've been out of the side due to injuries and whatnot, and the other boys have been doing really well. So for me it was an important game. Getting a wicket with the second ball gives you confidence. This award was for my Mom and for the people who have stuck with me in difficult times."

Solution found then: The pitches will wear and they will doubtless be kept dry assuming the onrushing north-west monsoon can be countered somehow. All India have to do is pair the spin duo of R Ashwin and Harbhajan, maintain Irfan Pathan as an opening batsman to turn four bowlers into five and the job is as done as done?

But the evidence of India's potential masterplan was provided by England, a side traditionally so fallible that Harbhajan could have taken all 10, re-enacted every line in a Bollywood movie mid-pitch and held an impromptu wedding ceremony on the edge of the outfield and still the suggestion that his time was nigh would have been doubted.

Dhoni's more cautious assessment made sense to most observers. "I think I have seen Bhajji bowl better but his performance, if you read the circumstances, coming back after a period of time, getting a chance where he has to prove himself that he is very good, has a certain amount of pressure. It can be his expectation level only, but that desperation level is there.

"It was important that he did well in this particular game - I don't mean he had to take four wickets - but I think he is someone who can do better than this but if you go by the circumstances it was a brilliant performance by him.

"I don't know who will play. We have a problem of plenty right now but I am quite happy with a problem of plenty than to look for who is our fifth bowler and who will bowl. The selection will depend on the wicket. If it is a hard wicket the spinners may not be that effective."

Harbhajan did not have to work overly hard to conquer England; his achievement was to conquer himself. He returned to India's side not as the purveyor of pessimistic leg-side darts, but throwing the ball high with confidence again. It helps your confidence when a run of top-order dismissals reads 0, 6, 2 ,1 , 11, 1, 3.

England planned well by sending their exciting crop of young one-day batsmen on a Lions tour of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka earlier this year but none of them did particularly well. In Harbhajan's first over, Eoin Morgan, more experienced than most, was bowled attempting to cut his top-spinner, a dismissal far from unique to him. Instantly, the strut returned and from then on it was a matter of rack 'em up, knock 'em back, line 'em up, put 'em down, have a little taste, as Razorlight sang about something completely different.

"It is a bit new to them," Dhoni said about Harbhajan's victims. "Even when the ball spins in England, still there is a bit of pace and you can play your big strokes the way you want to play. But in the sub-continent when it starts turning the ball really stops so you have to be careful when you are playing those drives. But they are a very good side so slowly you will see them adapt to the conditions."

"For me it was an important game," Harbhajan said. "I hadn't played international cricket for a full year. Getting a wicket first or second ball gives you a lot of confidence. In T20 cricket, it's important to just read the game. I have tried to cut down my run-up a bit. I was running in too fast, and struggling to find my areas. So I was consciously coming in off a short run, and slowly."

Harbhajan was dropped by India after the Trent Bridge Test last year, one of the few victims of a 4-0 whitewash. He led Mumbai Indians to the Champions League trophy, proof of his ability to perform in T20, but developed an injury around the time he was omitted from India's squad for Australia. He then went to Essex, played steadily if not spectacularly (13 first-class wickets at 33), and then developed another injury about the time India picked him again.

Even after this performance the doubters will remain, but T20 - as more and more people are beginning to realise - is just as much about outwitting an opponent as Test cricket, not by a carefully-designed plan, evolving over hours, but by an instinctive decision that can take less than a second. Harbhajan seems well equipped for such mindgames.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • srisharma_12 on September 26, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Harbhajan should open as a opener in the last match.Dhoni didn't find his hard hitting.

  • Al_Bundy1 on September 26, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    When Bhajji was dropped from the Indian team, he worked hard on his bowling, performed in County cricket, and came back as a better bowler. Why can't BCCI do the same thing to Sehwag and 10dulkar? Drop Sehwag and 10dulkar - if they are really interested in playing cricket for India - let them prove themselves in Ranji Trophy or County cricket. By taking their place for granted, they have become complacent and lazy.

  • DINESHCC on September 26, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    CYRUS AHMED: I really regret for your present state of affairs. My sincere message is GET WELL SOON.

  • on September 26, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    yes bhajji tok 4 wickets but on the basis of this performance, you should not start rating him highly. All the batsmen (except Morgan) are inexperienced and they havnt played against quality spinners. How could you forget bhajji figures (40 runs in 4 overs with no wicket) against experienced pakistani players in the warmup match. Few days ago, Ganguly said that he would prefer bhajji over ashwin and will definitely pick sehwag for the playing 11. Sehwag clicks once in a year & he has already made 96 runs in one inning against SL in this year, so we have to wait till 2013 to see sehwag thrashing opposition bowlers (bowlers of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & New Zealand not Australian, Pakistan & South Africa). Sehwag's ODI average is around 23 against Australia and SA and still cricket pandits says WHEN HE CLICKS HE WILL WIN A MATCH AT HIS OWN. Could any one let me know when that WHEN will come (I am damn sure that this WHEN will never come against SA & Australia)

  • prestosa on September 26, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    can someone tell me why India is playing at one venue till the final? ESPN???

  • on September 26, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    india will loose against aussie they should play with nepal bhutan maldives malaysia they are only gud once in a blue moon in there backyard ICC should strip of there Test status play with associate team like scotland netherland and one thing Play IPL all year long thats what they deserve........

  • cricket-is-best on September 26, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    ashwin shud open with pathan in bowling.zaheer shud cm 1st change(really missing praveen here as an impact opening bowler).middle overs to be shared by yuvi,bhajji n piyush.occasional sehwag or kohli. In batting,gambhir n rohit play with similar strike rates.we dnt require both.either one along with kohli wil play out 10 overs with decent strike rate.so i wud drop gambhir.sehwag as gamble shud stay,spcly against pak.n finaly we cn play a trick by letting ashwin open d batting.he seriously has sound technique.

  • Vikum72 on September 26, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    When Harbhajan first broke in to the seen, some people were quick to compare him with the great Muralitharan. I'm glad he's making a comeback but I don't think anyone in their right mind will now think Harbhajan would go on to accomplish what Murali did. People used to think Ajantha Mendis will do it and the latest in line are Ajmal and Narin. Can you really predict what a player would achieve or is only time can tell? What makes Murali and Warn different from all others? Years past their prime these two can still make it in to some of the current test sides!

  • wolf777 on September 26, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    Let's retire Manmohan Singh...

  • ProdigyA on September 25, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Bhajji performing well in one match is good news but i think he still has a long way to go to be termed as "He is back". Ashwin is always first choice but if we have to play two spinners then i think the leggie Chawla would not be a bad option specially for Aus and SA. For pace, if we have to pick only two pacers then i really dont think Zak should be included specially with Irfan, cause both are left-arm and almost same so i think Balaji would be better choice than Zak.

  • srisharma_12 on September 26, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Harbhajan should open as a opener in the last match.Dhoni didn't find his hard hitting.

  • Al_Bundy1 on September 26, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    When Bhajji was dropped from the Indian team, he worked hard on his bowling, performed in County cricket, and came back as a better bowler. Why can't BCCI do the same thing to Sehwag and 10dulkar? Drop Sehwag and 10dulkar - if they are really interested in playing cricket for India - let them prove themselves in Ranji Trophy or County cricket. By taking their place for granted, they have become complacent and lazy.

  • DINESHCC on September 26, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    CYRUS AHMED: I really regret for your present state of affairs. My sincere message is GET WELL SOON.

  • on September 26, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    yes bhajji tok 4 wickets but on the basis of this performance, you should not start rating him highly. All the batsmen (except Morgan) are inexperienced and they havnt played against quality spinners. How could you forget bhajji figures (40 runs in 4 overs with no wicket) against experienced pakistani players in the warmup match. Few days ago, Ganguly said that he would prefer bhajji over ashwin and will definitely pick sehwag for the playing 11. Sehwag clicks once in a year & he has already made 96 runs in one inning against SL in this year, so we have to wait till 2013 to see sehwag thrashing opposition bowlers (bowlers of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & New Zealand not Australian, Pakistan & South Africa). Sehwag's ODI average is around 23 against Australia and SA and still cricket pandits says WHEN HE CLICKS HE WILL WIN A MATCH AT HIS OWN. Could any one let me know when that WHEN will come (I am damn sure that this WHEN will never come against SA & Australia)

  • prestosa on September 26, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    can someone tell me why India is playing at one venue till the final? ESPN???

  • on September 26, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    india will loose against aussie they should play with nepal bhutan maldives malaysia they are only gud once in a blue moon in there backyard ICC should strip of there Test status play with associate team like scotland netherland and one thing Play IPL all year long thats what they deserve........

  • cricket-is-best on September 26, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    ashwin shud open with pathan in bowling.zaheer shud cm 1st change(really missing praveen here as an impact opening bowler).middle overs to be shared by yuvi,bhajji n piyush.occasional sehwag or kohli. In batting,gambhir n rohit play with similar strike rates.we dnt require both.either one along with kohli wil play out 10 overs with decent strike rate.so i wud drop gambhir.sehwag as gamble shud stay,spcly against pak.n finaly we cn play a trick by letting ashwin open d batting.he seriously has sound technique.

  • Vikum72 on September 26, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    When Harbhajan first broke in to the seen, some people were quick to compare him with the great Muralitharan. I'm glad he's making a comeback but I don't think anyone in their right mind will now think Harbhajan would go on to accomplish what Murali did. People used to think Ajantha Mendis will do it and the latest in line are Ajmal and Narin. Can you really predict what a player would achieve or is only time can tell? What makes Murali and Warn different from all others? Years past their prime these two can still make it in to some of the current test sides!

  • wolf777 on September 26, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    Let's retire Manmohan Singh...

  • ProdigyA on September 25, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Bhajji performing well in one match is good news but i think he still has a long way to go to be termed as "He is back". Ashwin is always first choice but if we have to play two spinners then i think the leggie Chawla would not be a bad option specially for Aus and SA. For pace, if we have to pick only two pacers then i really dont think Zak should be included specially with Irfan, cause both are left-arm and almost same so i think Balaji would be better choice than Zak.

  • on September 25, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    i would rather have praveen kumar then ashok dinda dinda gets smashed all over the park zaheer,pathan,bhajji,ashwin plus we have yuvi and kohli for part timers balaji can be used also

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on September 25, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    oh that's right , few wickets against a team clueless against spin bowling on a friendly pitch and 'bhajji i back' , i say nonsense , he is overrated anyway , ashwin and ojha is good enough for India , harbhajan is ok in t20 but that's it.. and its time somebody explain how sehwag keeps getting selected in playing xi

  • on September 25, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    India should play 5 bowlers against Aus and S.A ,becuase they are not good against spin, so both ashwin, bhaji and chawla should be in the eleven. My team against Aus and S.A is Gambir/sewag,kohli, rohit, yuvi, dhoni, raina, pathan, aswin, bhaji, chawla, zaheer.And aginst pakistan avoid one spinner, chawla and take one more pacer balaji .Dinda is waste bowler. And if gambir not play well against Aus, take sewag to open with kohli.India can win this tournament only by spin bowling.

  • satish619chandar on September 25, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    Bhajji should now look to play a role which he played decently in 2011 WC. Though it is a different format, still, the economy rate does matter. May be, if he can provide the tight spell which mighthelp his partner. Yuvi is bowling beautifully. I would be tempted to use Ashwin with new ball against Aussies to attack Warner and Watson and Bhajji in the middle order with Yuvi. Though is always prefer 6+5 for India, with the kind of form the Aussie bowlers showed, it is better to go with 7+4 against them. Prefer Zak to be sidelined and have Dinda and Irfan as pace bowlers. Bhajji, Ashwin and Yuvi can certainly share the workload. Selecting teams as per opponents need to be done. I would bank the team to play with 6+5 against everyone except Australia and SA. As i see, they are the teams who carry the attack to trouble Indian batting. Against others, we have to make sure the bowling is not the negative.

  • CricketMaan on September 25, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    Bhajji will paly along with Ashwin, while Dinda, Chawla and Balaji could miss out against Aussies.

  • sweetspot on September 25, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Bhajji is not yet back with a bang. He has created a bang that might help him come back, that's all. Ashwin has been right on the money so far, and he is a fierce and intelligent competitor. If Bhajji has found his mojo, great for India. But we don't know that yet. India has plenty to celebrate if the old Bhajji or a new reinvented Bhajji can support Ashwin. The Ashwin Ojha combo is pretty solid I must say for the longer format.

  • on September 25, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    I cant understand why indian cricket fans are praising Bhajji so much. Yes, he bowled good against England but we cant ignore the fact that these England's inexperienced young crops are not good against Spinners. IN the practice match against Pakistan, he gave away 40 runs in 4 overs. Also, sehwag should be dropped, people say that sehwag is a kind of batsman who when clicks can win a match at his own, but when this WHEN will come. he performs once in a year & in this year he has already scored 96 runs in a match against Lanka, so we need to wait till 2013 to see sehwag scoring runs. If you compare his limited over records of last one year with other international openers, then he will be right there at the bottom. He is the most irresponsible batsman in the world (plz dont consider afridi)

  • crindex on September 25, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    Ashwin is a far more intelligent and less chest thumping swashbuckling than Bajji. Bajji is an emotional bowler. He is driven by passion than strategic attack. He had to prove himself when pushed against the wall and he did. Will he be consistent ?

  • g.narsimha on September 25, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    SAMARSINGH - Thats the irony of INDIAN cricket, we always feel pround in demeaning our players we dont need others , this job is effectively being done by so called experts , agreed he is average vrs ASIAN teams & on non spinning tracks in AUS, ENG is higher side but its same to all spinners from our region , every one hails WARNEE as the best but what about his performance vrs IND just pathetic with 50+ ave , he was treated as club level bowler by our batsmen where ever encountered same with QADIR , even MURALI baring in or two occasions never been a threat to us , see the present day so called best spinner AJMAL - he is taking wichets on truck loads in this region where as he was just humiliated in AUS , his ave-111 in aus, 50 in eng but even not a threat to ind yet to win a match of his own aganst us , but no pak will insult him as u r doing our BHAJJI , .

  • on September 25, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    As being an unbiased Indian Cricket follower, I feel Ashwin,Ojha,Chawla are better then Harbhajan singh in Limited Over games

    In test matches he or Irfan Phatan can fill up all rounder's place providing an edge to indian week bowling and power packed Batting.

  • sachinisawesome on September 25, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    I have always liked Bhajji. He is a true match winner but somehow I felt that Chawla bowled equally good maybe better than him and was looking unplayable. I wish India could play all three of them but it is kind of not possible as we would would need fast bowlers for death overs. I hope Dhoni makes a right decision by picking one of them. And what about Sehwag he is needed I believe, as he can really destroy and win a match on his own. So it is really messed up.

  • DINESHCC on September 25, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    After Pathan made things easier, he took some wickets which cannot be considered as a great comeback.

  • on September 25, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    It is too early to say Bhajji is to be given a chance ahead of Ashwin. Ashwin has been providing excellent support in the spin department. Let us give few more chances to Bhajji along with Ashwin and see how it goes. We prefer to have better options available than nothing available. It is a good scenario Dhoni is in.

  • RandyOZ on September 25, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Harbhajan is back? Huge blow for India.

  • Thyagu5432 on September 25, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Give me a break! It is just one match and it is just a T20 match where batsmen take their chances and here we have the supposedly great offie saying he doesn't know what else to do. Bajji, for ages, hasn't done anything worthwhile even on Indian dusty pitches. There is some drama being staged and I wont be surprised if he gets back soon playing all the 3 formats of the game at the expense of Ashwin and/or Ojha.

  • on September 25, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    Pity Ashwin.. Loosing out on an opportunity to get a five for against england in a turner..

  • sony_sr on September 25, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    good to see harbajan amoungst wickets even if it is against newbies from eng for whom spin is greek and latin. even in his worst form bhaji was an economical bowler. only his wicket taking capabilities were a problem. now that he has started taking wickets, india has a better chance of winning this tournament.

  • EX-EY on September 25, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    I must say it was a good and moral boosting performance from Bhajji. But we have to agree that the next challenge i.e. Super8 will tell the real story. If he will click any 2 of other three teams (i.e. AUS, RSA, PAK (probably)), only then the first line will have some value other wise... its just like ever.

  • bipulkumar on September 25, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Chawla did equally well in that match. Why no news on Chawla's bounce back?

  • Jack_Tka on September 25, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    I would say Bhajji was supported well by the naive batting display by the Englishmen. Also, its only one match and that too a T20. His bowling in the practise match against PAK was as pathetic as it was 2 years ago. But 4 wkts in a WC cup deserves applause. So well done Bhajji.

  • veerakannadiga on September 25, 2012, 5:48 GMT

    An inform Bajji with his natural aggressive attitude should do wonders to the team. Dhoni has already won two WC's, so he is the best judge to pick his playing XI.C'mon India you can do it.

  • Samar_Singh on September 25, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    Bhajji, simply over rated bowler..he is just an average bowler... Just check his stats outside India its horrible .. test bowling average in Aus= 73 , In Eng = 49, IN SL = 47 , Versus BD :48, versus Pak=52 .. overall strike rate of 68 ball per wicket.. Groom a younger lad ...

  • on September 25, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    I jus dont understand why people are so much against Harbhajan.....He performed well, watever the team is....and can u guarantee he cant do the same against a spin playing team? And to remind u all, bhajji was always an economical bowler, his only prob when he was out-of-form was lack of ability to take wickets, which he is doing now.

  • on September 25, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Agreed with all there is hype from media , It's a fluke if Ashwin was plaing he was going to get may be 6

  • g.narsimha on September 25, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    YAAWAID- COMPARED to our overall performance in & out side agaiinst these teams like AUS, SA, WI , ENG is better than u r team , dhony is blunt enough in his feelings on his teams weaknesses it is better than selF boosting in falshood dreams that we are the best but in reality cant reach 3 figures in most of the time so think of u r team u r still living in the celebration mode of our 2 away bad loses in AUS, ENG where u r also worse than IND could not win any thing VRS AUS for decades even as recently in u r FOTRESS in UAE , so think of u r team mate what will happen with this team once u go out side the uae just one bowler, but will not be effective as we all seen what happened to him last time u visited AUS send to cleaners all parts of AUS WITH 111 , AVE.

  • Joby_George on September 25, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    The Most Over Rated Player, Harbhajan Singh. I am very much happy about Indias comprehensive win over england same time its tough to think about the fact that Harbhajan will be in Test,one-day and T20 side for another one year on the basis of this performance. If ashwin could have played, he could have easily taken a 5 for or 6 for. Anway, all the best Team India

  • christened on September 25, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    @TRAM .... Ur more than just a analyst.....So if Virat Kohli scores 20 next match would you say give chance to Manoj Tiwary??????Funny just give 2 overs to bolwer if he got slammed, fired from team...... Ur funny mate... seriously,.....Use some sense before post ......

  • indiabadri on September 25, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    Why so many people are praising for Harbhajan's performance against a weak England line up who dont know to play spin bowling. Coming to super 8's if he proves against Australia, Southafrica and westindies then we can say that he has changed and proving to get back to national side. He is a real Head weight guy and will come to his old form of conceding runs and not taking wickets.

  • WishW on September 25, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    I don't know how anyone can be satisfied with getting 4 wickets against a young team who has never played spin bowling before...4 wickets against SL or Pak would've meant much more...

  • on September 25, 2012, 3:11 GMT

    Delighted to see Bhajji make a comeback ! But one message to Dhoni and co. "Every day is not a sunday". England miserable mindset after losing early wickets was a key factor behind inida's glory. But teams like SA , AUS , PAK have made a tougher comeback after losing early wickets! Beware-

  • AVRAJAN on September 25, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    Bhajji bowled at the right areas but the wickets he got were due to the over confidence or lack of application on the part of the English players. While the Indians carefully negotiated Swann the English attempted to cut by leaving stumps against an experienced bowler. Actually Piyush only bowled excellently and many balls including the wicket taking ones were really unplayable. The very same Bhajji could not take any wicket against Pak when Ashwin took 4 wickets. We often laud bowlers when they take many wickets. But the pressure a bowler creates by bowling tight like Ashwin does at present is also to be borne in mind. The TV expert commentators also fail to analyse critical points and take it as an opportunity to revive their friendship with established players. They must be neutral or the commentators should be posted such that they do not belong to the countries playing on that day.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 25, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    @yavaid: I think you have got your head in the wrong place. This discussion is about T20 cricket. I truly believe MS has an abundance of plenty, at least in the spin department now that Bhajji and Chawla have bowled superbly against England. India will need them at some point in the tournament. I can also see India play 3 spinners and 2 quicks in the coming games. Ashwin, Bhajji and Chawla can all bat so India won't lose out in the batting department by any means. I certainly cannot see Ashok Dinda get another game. He's a 'hit the deck' kind of bowler and the pitches are no where as quick as SA or AUS for him to play a part. More over he's just 130 Km on the speed gun. So it will be Bhajji, Ashwin, Irfan, Zaheer and Balaji in the bowling department for India in the super 8s. Dhoni WILL play 6 batsmen here on in.

  • gabrialgihan on September 25, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    This is the problem with asian cricket when someones dropped they need to show a massive improvement to comeback which is not the case with Harbajan,and them one good performance will keep him rolling for another two years.. he is a good bowler never the less but he is not in a age to make a comeback considering his age when there's plenty of talent around...i wish he will play for the world cup and retire so youngsters will get a go...

  • Mr_Anonymous on September 24, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    "Without playing for India, I don't know what else I could do,"

    Absolutely and I am glad that you are back Bhajji. It would have been a tremendous waste of talent if you would have just faded away. Having said that, here are a couple of things that you can do now that you have proved that you have the will to fight back. 1. Work on your consistency and make sure that you don't disappoint in terms of effort. There will be days when you won't be as successful as you were here and that's OK as long as the effort was there. 2. I don't want to focus on this issue and this is a minor issue in the large scheme of things especially when you seem to be working on your line/length/guile which are much more important. However, I do want to say that it seems like you have put on weight and that perhaps this may affect your performance at some point. So, continue working on your fitness as well.

    Best of luck.

  • kc69 on September 24, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Agree mate...don't know why Harbhajan is given way too much hype.

  • on September 24, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    @Sakthiivel/@sobersfan/@Syed Ashfaq Ali/@Srinivas Mummadi: You guys are so cute!!!

  • on September 24, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    with such an impressive batting line up as this, I don't see why they can't play a fifth bowler with MSD at 6, Irfan at 7, followed by 4 specialist bowlers Also, why didn't India take Yadav and Ojha? They are 2 of the best options for India at the moment

  • vj3478 on September 24, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    I m happy for Bhajji but more happy to see Ifran opening battng/bowling (doesnt need to open batting all the time). Hope he remains fit and shows how good a all rounder he is

  • on September 24, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day;

  • TrueFactors on September 24, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    Sounds like, India got bowling solution now. Maintain 4 bowlers. Pathan, Zaheer, Ashwin and Bhajji. Pathan starts with Ashwin, since they both are good new-ball bowler. Pathan bowl out 3 overs in first 10 overs. Ashwin bowl 2 overs in first spell, like Hafiz does. Bhajji comes in 6th over. Shuffle bowlers like Yuvraj's spin or Kohli's medium pace & accuracy between overs 7 and 15. Zaheer starts after 10 overs. If spin helps, then bring Sehwag in attack at over 6 or 8. He got a really vicious off-spins. If bounce is uneven then Bhajji and Kohli are bowlers to go. Ask Zaheer to dart reverse swings and yorkers at will and try with intelligent bowling. Ashwin bowl in 3 spells of 2-1-1, but Bhajji should be used in straight 4 over spells. Keep Bhajji and Ashwin on separate cahrt. For Pak batting, bring Chawla in and keep Bhajji out. Try others like Rohit and Raina as required as filler. I am sure this will work, as this is already working for Pakistan.

  • Vijay_P_S on September 24, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    I am not sure if it matters in T20 but I think having both Ashwin and Bhajji in the team makes the spin department one dimensional as both are offspinners.

  • TRAM on September 24, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    Dear Dhoni: The key is that Harbajan DID CHANGE his bowling -runup, speed of delivery and most importantly the line he was bowling. For years he keep firing negative balls on the legs & now he has LEARNT only after he was dropped. If you want non-performing Indian players to start performing, you MUST DROP them. So please drop the non-performing Zak and Sehwag, without who we proved we are winners. Bring Tiwary in place of Sehwag. Dont be dreaming of India pace attack picking 4 wkts, its never going to happen. We have to play to our strengths. If Piyush Chawla had continued with his spell like Bajji did, he would have maintained his rythm and finished the Eng team at 60 all out. But I do understand it is fair Dinda gets one more over. Now since Dinda leaks runs even against the tail-enders, I will stick with YPathan & Balaji. Ashwin, Piyush and Harbajan all should play. Please give freedom to Chawla. Dont change the field if batsman scores one boundary. Thanks.

  • roh_82 on September 24, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    @saintsinister - the result of India vs England game had no bearing on who plays who in the SuperEights. That is decided depending on the team rankings prior to the tournament. So England would have played the same opponents in the SuperEights even if they would have won

  • on September 24, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    @sakthivel,, well said just hype for nothing,he didnot performed in IPL on full spin pitches,yuvi also took 3 wickets in 1st match, the first choice spinner should be Ashwin than Chawla

  • saintsinister on September 24, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    gj india on beating england.. but then again.. i am suspicious England threw the game away just to get to the easier group.. this group now will have Aus, SA, India and hopefully Pakistan(barring a dramatic loss to BG). mmmm very interesting.. good tactics i must say from England.

  • Sakthiivel on September 24, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    I dont know why this much hype, Last Match Harbhajan (pakistan) stat show 4 overs 40 runs with no wickets. Now he become super hero just beating Inexperience England players. This is crazy.

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

    Harbajan needs variety in his bowling today u cant go with same six deliveries he has to think about it, he can do it m telling u. u cant give preference Ashwin and Chawla on Bhajji there is no alternative of experience. We should back bowlers if we need a good bowling attack. Today Pak has top T20 bowling attack even leading wkt takers know why? because they have a culture of bowlers in every era if we talking about spin then Saqlain Mushtaq youngsters watch him and try to copy him then they become spinners in the form S.Ajmal, Afridi, Rehman, Malik and Hafeez. Likewise Murali and Razzak of BD so plz don't degrade Bhajji back him now he's performing well. Good Luck Pak Ind Sri ..........Asian fan

  • recycle-bin-is-empty on September 24, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    Harbhajan and Ashwin are going to turn the fortunes of Indian spin bowling. Bhajji, bhai i m very proud of you, i hope you will keep performing like this consistently

  • on September 24, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    since teams topping each group are clubbed together is it possible that england just threw it away. Now we will be placed with Pak, Aus and SA whereas England will have lower ranked team. easy for them to reach the semis now...

  • tests_the_best on September 24, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    "Harbhajan could have taken all 10, re-enacted every line in a Bollywood movie mid-pitch and held an impromptu wedding ceremony on the edge of the outfield..." something one can't fail to notice - David Hopps sure knows how to bring dramatism to cricket writing!

  • JustIPL on September 24, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    English have superior batting but were already under tremendous pressure of spin. May be after damage to their number one test ranking by Pakistani spin brigade. They were taken by spin despite were little spinner support from the pitch and this game is played more in mind as wel all know.

  • AMAZINGFAN on September 24, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    harbhajan wasn't great,he is still not turning the ball as he shud,it was poor batting from eng that made him look as a great bowler.... ashwin has been the best bowler for india and he shud be in playing xi.....we saw how harbhajan performed against pak,he was smashed for runs..ashwin and chawla shud play together and dhoni shud go with the combination of 3fast bowlers with 2 spinners....

  • SimplyHK on September 24, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    Harbajan needs variety in his bowling today u cant go with same six deliveries he has to think about it, he can do it m telling u. u cant give preference Ashwin and Chawla on Bhajji there is no alternative of experience. We should back bowlers if we need a good bowling attack. Today Pak has top T20 bowling attack even leading wkt takers know why? because they have a culture of bowlers in every era if we talking about spin then Saqlain Mushtaq youngsters watch him and try to copy him then they become spinners in the form S.Ajmal, Afridi, Rehman, Malik and Hafeez. Likewise Murali and Razzak of BD so plz don't degrade Bhajji back him now he's performing well. Good Luck Pak Ind Sri ..........Asian fan

  • Nampally on September 24, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    I would much rather take Dhoni's cautious approach towards Harbhajan's one match 4 innings performance. He bowled well to get 4 wkts. albeit against the batsmen who had no experience against spinners on Indian sub continent wkts. My preference for balanced combo would still be 3 seamers + 2 spinners. The rules of the competition do not allow any new pacemen to replace the present seamers. Hence Dhoni has to choose the best from what he has. With extremely poor bowling of all pacemen except Irfan Pathan, it is logical to include a spinner in place of 3rd seamer.The likely choice of 4 "Regular" bowlers will be ZAK, Irfan, Ashwin & Harbhajan with Yuvraj/Sehwag serving as the 5th bowler.It was so disappointing to see Dinda bowling consistently short balls even after being"creamed'! What was he thinking? Ishant Sharma even in his "recovery from surgery mode" would still be a better choice @ 140+ KPH. So temporarily Harbhajan may have got in XI but needs to prove his 4 wkts. was No Fluke!

  • SamRoy on September 24, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    Truth is Harbhajan bowled with guile and control and English batting was pathetic. It definitely wasn't the spell of the tournament. He got his wickets via top-spinners and variations of pace. He spun only one ball out of 24 (one to Swann when he first came in). Against SL and Pakistan he definitely will not take 4-12 with that kind of bowling but will do well if he can bowl with similar control and change of pace.

  • couchpundit on September 24, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    @ Indian supporters...beating a hapless English team in friendly condition doesnt give any subcontinent team "HEADACHE OF PLENTY" if you really beleive that then your head is not in right place.

    If dhoni says he likes headache of plenty with bunch of poor bowlers...well we need to wonder how disheartened he has been with his bowling strength.

    Oh BTW...I would like to see Sehwag/Gambhir bat fluently... and the wuss Raina play pace bowlers properly. Then Mr.Dhoni can talk about Headache of Plenty...BTW this is only for T20 games and none of these plenties goodenough to draw a Test match outside India/Srilanka.

  • pritpalpabla on September 24, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    Well Done bhaji.. You surely did some change in ur bowling... slow than before which allow the ball to spin and more flight... before u tried hard to get wickets by which u lost ur line,length... that's what u need to do when u r in struggling phase, just stick to the basics.... India's main weapon is spin, so i think India should go for Ashwin and bhaji both in the remaining matches....

  • Munafis810 on September 24, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    Indians (me included) excited by bowling performance should not forget some facts and should not celebrate wildly before we win on Oct 7th 2012 . Facts 1) English batters against spin is like ducks in a shooting range so judging Chawla/Bhaji on one performance (against POMS) can be misleading. Positive out that performance was Bhaji was actually turning the ball and not just darting.

    But then question arises - Was it bhaji or was it pitch and if we get mislead by this performance we may pay up a heavy price in cruical knockout stage,so some tough decisions will need to be taken.

    Hopefully Dhoni knows all thr right answers. But considering we will be playing on same ground our 3 super 8 matches I am sure this team will be best -

    Sehwag,GG,VK,Nohit,UV,Dhoni,Raina,ILpathan,Bhaji,Ashwin,Zak. - In short 2 seamers(Zak,Bhaji) , 2 pinners (Ash,Bhaji ) Rest all part timers becos if it spins or no spins - Indian bowling backup reserve is poor which may be a blessing in disguise.

  • androyuvi on September 24, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Even after all this, If Dhoni has to pick only one spinner for a match, its going to be Ashwin, and we all know the reason for it. Harbajan may have one odd game, but if he gets to play any other team he will leak plenty of runs. Ashwin is any day better than the deadly-duo :D

  • Sakthiivel on September 24, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    We Indian fans need to be some what quite, Comments are like we won the WT20. Pls guys be on ground, we have beaten the young and inexperience English team. We will meet good form pakistan, Australia and SA. Save some comment for that. Where pakistan send all our bowlers out of park in the warmups main victim is bhaji.

  • s382412 on September 24, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    There is nothing great about his performance. First it was all lower order wicket which also falls under pressure. secondly one of performance does indicate anything............. let him play few more match.. Actually BCCI did a mistake by bringing him back into squad. Ashish is the main spinner and can try out other new options..........

  • joseyesu on September 24, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Had Pieterson and Bell been there, it would not like 4-12-4. Eoin Morgan is no good with the spin bowling. Atleast players like Bopara, Patel should have been there.

  • on September 24, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    its time up for u bhajji... if we keep on backing up then it will be unfair for other spinners... you are off-course not the best... there are plenty better than u... so stop dreaming that u will be back... same on BCCI for taking him back... he must have given some money... and bhajji if you were so keen to play for Indian Team then you wouldn't have taken up hosting job for wrestling... same on you bhajji... please leave Indian cricket team... we dont want you anymore...

  • sensible-indian-fan on September 24, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    Guys, let's NOT get carried away. Yes, Harbhajan bowled well but it needs to be seen how he performs when the opposition batmen are in rampaging mode. By the way, all those people who are commenting about Harbhajan being far better than Ashwin - let's not joke around. As of now, Ashwin is without a doubt India's premier T20 bowler. Even Dhoni talked about his ability in these conditions in the presentation ceremony. Honestly speaking, T20 stats can be highly misleading. One bowler may bowl poorly and take many wickets and another bowler may bowl brilliantly and take only 1 wicket. Its NOT about wickets or even economy rate in T20. Its all about the SITUATION. Taking nothing away from Harbhajan, my point is that its too early to judge him. Let's hope for the best.

  • Virat_123 on September 24, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Wel don bhaji! Great work best of luck for upcoming matches..... Hope you will done better than that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Baber_Baloch on September 24, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    once again in super 8 if bhajji do same then you can say ...he is back ..other why bye bye

  • Rajeshj on September 24, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Its one of those days when one match resurrects a career.. Harbhajan did nothing great on the domestic circuit (did he play at all??) and a very moderate performance in county cricket (in one match I saw his bowling being taken apart by lesser experienced guys in a county match).. bowled some good overs against an inexperienced English batsmen in SL and then media pictures him as if the conqueror is back.. common guys... give us a break... let him prove his consistency with other teams in Super Eight and then say that Turbanator is back.. but its too early to say now.. but he has really helped Zaheer now... People have forgotten Zaheer's spineless performances of the recent time.. After all his consistent performances, I think Ashwin might be sidelined soon to make way for Bhajji and Dhoni's favourite (Piyush Chawla)..

  • Baber_Baloch on September 24, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    once again in super 8 if bhajji do same then you can say ...he is back ..other why bye bye

  • ultimatehawk on September 24, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    Seriously? how many more articles on Bhajji after a dead rubber performance. Ashwin got the man of the series for the NZ test series and there was no article on him. How much more biased you could be? Bhajji didnt perform for almost 2 years on the trot before he was dropped. I still dont think he is going to make it into the international side. His time is over. Get over it already

  • 100_rabh on September 24, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    i hope Bhajji remains on ground after this. To be honest, any spinner worth his salt would have done this against THIS english side. Real test will be SA tour next year where i expect a repeat of Eng and Aus tour results

  • satish619chandar on September 24, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    He is not just yet back as best but certainly back. This 4 wickets moght give him enough confidence to pickup his intensity but certainly he need to buck up more. His pace was ok and the lengths were good against England but at the same time, we need to look into his bowling against Pakistan too on a placid track against far superior batters pf spin. He failed there and as of now, he is with 1-1 good-bad ratio. We can be happy that he rose from -1 to 0. Good way left to raise to the positive bowler.

  • lunarmount on September 24, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    @havericobras group rankings will not affect on super eight groups. India will play against Australia, South Africa and Pakistan.

  • on September 24, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    @HaveriCobras , Number assigned to each team are fixed irrespective of where they finish in the group. So India will play Aus, SA and Pakistan.

  • harmske on September 24, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Indian XI - Raina, Kohli, Gambhir, Dhoni, Rohit, Yuvraj, Pathan, Ashwin, Harbhajan/PC, Zak, Balaji/Dinda.

    Raina & Kohli to get us off to a fast start, Gambhir & MS to rotate strike during middle overs and Rohit, Yuvi & Pathan to accelerate during last 6.

  • DravidLaxmanGangulyKumbleSehwag on September 24, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    there was no significant performance from Bhajji since he was out of Indian team (even in IPL,Ranji & English County). Depending on one performance (which is delivered against underpressure,inexperienced(spin) and yound batsmen of English, after starting wickets taken by Irfan) we can not judge him. It is good that we are having good bench strenght before big matches. But, including Bhajji against Pak,Aus will definitely cost us the semi-final spot.

  • HaveriCobras on September 24, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    Great win for India, but who are they going to play in Super 8. India is 1st in Group A, Australia 1st in Group B, South Africa 1st in Group C and Group D currently New Zealand are 1st and they will be overtaken by Pakistan. Who will India play with, they are definitely not playing Australia because India matches as per schedule are

    A1(India) vs B2(West Indies/Ireland) A1(India) vs D1(Pakistan/New Zealand) A1(India) vs C1(South Africa) website mentions India will take on Australia,South Africa,And another Team. Is there error in schedule

  • on September 24, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    well bhajji. thogh you have won the game againest england, your best time is clearly over and gone.It is better to plan your future at this very right time otherwise you know better...........................

  • CRVN on September 24, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    You need Best Indian XI . Here we go !! 1.Shewag. 2. Gambhir. 3.Kholi. 4.Raina. 5. Youvraj. 6. Rohit. 7.Dhoni.8.Harbhajan 9.Ashwin. 10.Zaheer. 11.Balaji / Irfan Pathan. In any way, we only go with 4 Bowlers. Let it be 2 spinners and 2 medium pacers in subcontinental pitches.

  • baghels.a on September 24, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    Well bowled Bhajji, but i will reserve my judgement after he bowls well against other big sides in the competition, but i take offence to his statement"Without playing for India, I don't know what else I could do ", for sttarters please play in all Ranji matches for Punjab,do your bit in high visibility, high profile IPL and play county season and your season will be full, i don't get this -if i am not in Team India then it is not worth playing Cricket only attitude, for this comment i might get lot of flak from overzealous patriots ...............

  • on September 24, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    @kingcobra85: - Cricket is easy in commentary box and tough when played on ground. The ones you are calling young has scored tons of runs in their county league and one of them has replaced KP so try to appreciate what he did for India, if not try to avoid such comments ... simply don't read them

  • rjt00 on September 24, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    Sorry to say this but it wasn't any great performance as you are making this up. Yes, comebacks are very painful and difficult but then this performance is no means to measure his new abilities, so as to say. The Englishmen were so pathetic yesterday that it amplified plaha's performance. Say for ex, the dart that clean bowled Morgan. Was it a good ball for a spinner? NO. Was it a bad shot attempted from their so-called best t20 batsmen or rather their best bet against spinner? Yes. So Plaha was the same 2 years back. Darting and all...

  • on September 24, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    You are missed Dearly Bhajju bhai .... make us proud once again .... do well and bring the crown back

  • ArunBaskaran on September 24, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Good to see Bhajji back with bang!! He has got the agression that any team need n T20. My XI would be 1. Kohli 2.Gambir 3. Raina 4.Yuvraj 5.Sharma 6.Dhoni 7.Irfan 8.Ashwin 9.Harbhajan 10.Zaheer 11.Balaji/Piyush (Based on pitch).

  • kingcobra85 on September 24, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Seriously we are already having Harbhajan is back articles after 4 wickets in a T20 against a young English batting lineup in a dead rubber! Popularism will destroy merit here is proof.

  • Siva-The-Human on September 24, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    Congrats Bhaaji and good luck for your return to indian side.

  • on September 24, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    correctly said Sanjay. Harbajan with his vast experience will prove all the doubters wrong as he is still young. It is good to have many experienced spinners to choose from. With a crowded international calendar, it may be a good idea to rotate the spinners. Those days we had Ventakata Raghavan, Prassanna, Bedi, and Chandrasekar to choose from and all of them played regularly for India. Spin was our strength and I wish we could have all these players like Harbajan, Aswin, Chawla and Prayagan to fall upon where overworked and tired spinners could get a break. As we are unable to produce world class pace bowlers, spin still could play a potent weapon for us in test as well as in other formats.

  • Atifkhan3489 on September 24, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    I think bhajji is better bowler than ashwin.ind lost to eng 4-0 in england and ind lost to australia 4-0 in australia.both bhajji and ashwin failed to perform in abroad conditions.if we compare performance of bhajji in england and ashwin in australia.both are similar.i think bhajji should have given chance in tests in home conditions he would have performed better than ashwin.bhajji is more experienced bowler than ashwin.he should be given chance againest england.i think he should justify his performance.

  • YogifromNY on September 24, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    So - this experiment of dropping Harbhajan for a year seems to have produced a hungrier, more determined cricketer. When are the selectors going to give Sehwag the same treatment? He is sorely crying out for it. If you are not ruthless about form and performance being the only criterion for being in the team, you are going to produce passengers like Sehwag. Time he got dropped even in this WC T20, so that he feels the need to actually work on his cricket, not just rest on past laurels!

  • Aadipriya on September 24, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    Welcome back bhajji...Congratulations...But i agree with Dhoni....U r much better than this.... hope u r back in tests too with similar intensity of past... All the best.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on September 24, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Good work Bhaji. But interestingly, Dhoni is in trouble now. What will be the combination now? 2 spinners + 2 fast bowlers+ Irfan ? Who will be the spinners? Both Aswin and Bhaji? Zak or Dinda? Sewag in or out? Lot of headache for Dhoni. But good for Team India.

  • Narbavi on September 24, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Like u said, it was just a matter of spinning the ball against these hapless players who cannot handle spin, bhajji did nothing great to be honest, don't pull the trigger yet!!

  • Great_Chucker on September 24, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    Its pity to see some SL fans with english flags painted on their faces in a Eng vs Ind ..you didn't find indian fans painted like that during last world cup....if you have some much hate why don't u tell ur players to skip the IPL

  • Great_Chucker on September 24, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    Its pity to see some SL fans with english flags painted on their faces in a Eng vs Ind ..you didn't find indian fans painted like that during last world cup....if you have some much hate why don't u tell ur players to skip the IPL

  • Rick777 on September 24, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    Great come back Baji. You are way ahead of Ashwin. You are class. MSD seems to have forgotten that.

  • satish619chandar on September 24, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    Should we term it as "He is back?" I don't think exactly so. But still, he is a decent try for the fifth bowler slot. If you look at Indian team, the 6 batters have in it to play the 20 overs without losing much wickets unless track aids fast bowling too much and the opponents are very deadly. The likes of Virat, Yuvi and Dhoni can play till the end and the back to form of Rohit is a welcome sign. The batsman to be dropped now comes to one among Gambhir, Sehwag and Raina. Gambhir - Steady and can tackle spin better, Viru - The whole world knows, Raina -Finishing role and fielding. Very tough decision to make for Mr.Dhoni. But as usual, i presume him to go with 7+4 combo.

  • SanjivAwesome on September 24, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    While I am happy and applaude Bhaji, I am afraid he simply got lucky. Every non-spinning spinner gets lucky at some time. He has played his big innings at the start of this tournament. It is over from here on.

  • Daveptee on September 24, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    Bhajji is a class act.India need his experience and guile to win the competition.Hoping he grows in confidence with every game

  • Sakthiivel on September 24, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    Nothing going to change, Any team should go with two spinners that too having a leg spinner then we should go with ashwin and chawla. Now in super 8 no testing. Bhaji may go for plenty as ausiee and pakistan players play spin well.

  • balajik1968 on September 24, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    It's just one match. Harbhajan needs to play domestic cricket and bowl a lot of overs, before he gets back in the groove. Part of his problem in the recent years was that he had become a defensive bowler, and was firing them in fast, looking to contain. He needs to keep looking for wickets, which is when he will get back his mojo.

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  • balajik1968 on September 24, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    It's just one match. Harbhajan needs to play domestic cricket and bowl a lot of overs, before he gets back in the groove. Part of his problem in the recent years was that he had become a defensive bowler, and was firing them in fast, looking to contain. He needs to keep looking for wickets, which is when he will get back his mojo.

  • Sakthiivel on September 24, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    Nothing going to change, Any team should go with two spinners that too having a leg spinner then we should go with ashwin and chawla. Now in super 8 no testing. Bhaji may go for plenty as ausiee and pakistan players play spin well.

  • Daveptee on September 24, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    Bhajji is a class act.India need his experience and guile to win the competition.Hoping he grows in confidence with every game

  • SanjivAwesome on September 24, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    While I am happy and applaude Bhaji, I am afraid he simply got lucky. Every non-spinning spinner gets lucky at some time. He has played his big innings at the start of this tournament. It is over from here on.

  • satish619chandar on September 24, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    Should we term it as "He is back?" I don't think exactly so. But still, he is a decent try for the fifth bowler slot. If you look at Indian team, the 6 batters have in it to play the 20 overs without losing much wickets unless track aids fast bowling too much and the opponents are very deadly. The likes of Virat, Yuvi and Dhoni can play till the end and the back to form of Rohit is a welcome sign. The batsman to be dropped now comes to one among Gambhir, Sehwag and Raina. Gambhir - Steady and can tackle spin better, Viru - The whole world knows, Raina -Finishing role and fielding. Very tough decision to make for Mr.Dhoni. But as usual, i presume him to go with 7+4 combo.

  • Rick777 on September 24, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    Great come back Baji. You are way ahead of Ashwin. You are class. MSD seems to have forgotten that.

  • Great_Chucker on September 24, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    Its pity to see some SL fans with english flags painted on their faces in a Eng vs Ind ..you didn't find indian fans painted like that during last world cup....if you have some much hate why don't u tell ur players to skip the IPL

  • Great_Chucker on September 24, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    Its pity to see some SL fans with english flags painted on their faces in a Eng vs Ind ..you didn't find indian fans painted like that during last world cup....if you have some much hate why don't u tell ur players to skip the IPL

  • Narbavi on September 24, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Like u said, it was just a matter of spinning the ball against these hapless players who cannot handle spin, bhajji did nothing great to be honest, don't pull the trigger yet!!

  • Fast_Track_Bully on September 24, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Good work Bhaji. But interestingly, Dhoni is in trouble now. What will be the combination now? 2 spinners + 2 fast bowlers+ Irfan ? Who will be the spinners? Both Aswin and Bhaji? Zak or Dinda? Sewag in or out? Lot of headache for Dhoni. But good for Team India.