ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, Chennai

Ashwin, Raina likely to play West Indies

Sharda Ugra in Chennai

March 19, 2011

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

The reception given to MS Dhoni at his pre-match media briefing before India's final group match at the World Cup reflected none of the heated arguments on in print or television, or even outside the media conference room at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Rather than a barrage of unpleasant questions about captaincy, the Indian team's batting performance in Nagpur, Ashish Nehra's 50th over or R Ashwin's debut, the treatement could be described as cordial. "Happy Holi, Mahi," a reporter said, referring to the famous festival of colours that will spread across most of India over the weekend. Dhoni wished the reporter back warmly. When the question about the batting did turn up, Dhoni decided to leave the colourful quotes behind and tried splashing some whitewash over Nagpur.

Dhoni was asked whether there had been a thorough debrief after India lost their last nine wickets for 29 runs in their defeat to South Africa. He replied: "The beauty of our batting side is that you don't need to always pinpoint what went wrong or what needs to be done. The amount of experience we have got, the moment you commit a mistake you realise, okay, this is what exactly went wrong." What happened in Nagpur, he said did not "need to be addressed in a big way. Most of us have played over 100 games. But the better sides are the ones who do not repeat their mistakes in short intervals."

India's biggest mistakes in its two matches against top-flight teams - England and South Africa - he said, had been to take their foot off the pedal after the best of starts. "It's not only about how well you have started the game and how long you have dominated, you can't say you have won a game till it's over. It is a big learning and hopefully we won't repeat the same mistakes that have happened so far. We are human beings; we are always supposed to commit mistakes. Hopefully the interval between two will be long." All of India will be wishing that the interval would at least be longer than the next two weeks.

R Ashwin cools off in front of a vapouriser during India's training session, Chennai, March 16, 2011
R Ashwin is likely to get a game after cooling his heels for the previous group-stage matches © Associated Press

After being pretty tight-lipped about team selection through the tournament so far, Dhoni stuck his neck out this time, and said "everyone" on his team "would have played at least one game before the knockout stage." Translated that means that the two men who have not had a match so far, Suresh Raina and R Ashwin, will be in the XI on Sunday.

Dented reputation or not, what India still has is belief within the batting and the fact that the unit as a whole is "due". Their captain said so with emphasis. "Our seven batsmen have not fired at their best. If we get a really good day on the field with the batting department, we have the capabilities of putting huge totals on the board and it will definitely be a par plus score."

The question that produced the response was one about the batting. But, as if on autopilot, Dhoni produced a spontaneous, unsolicited comment on India's fielding, just in case anyone would slip the question in. "I do not see plenty of improvement in the fielding department. We are definitely not as good as some of the teams in the present World Cup but on our own we have shown that we are improving. Our good fielders are doing better every game and our safer fielders are getting better in each and every game."

Sunday's match would be the last game for India with a safety net of any kind - Bangladesh's loss on Saturday has guaranteed their path to the quarter-finals - yet an unconvincing performance against West Indies is, unlike one of India's practice sessions, not an option.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 46 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 13:53 GMT)

Ashwin good start very economical and got a wicket early.

Posted by Subramanian on (March 20, 2011, 8:38 GMT)

Isnt it a sham that Ashwin & Raina are in the team not because they deserve but more so cos it is Ashwin's home ground and Raina is from Chennai Super Kings and ,well , all the 15 get to play at least a match in the league stage . My respect for Dhoni has all but gone . Dhoni should treat his teammates with respect .Ashwin & Raina playing this game somehow leaves a sour taste due to his shenanigans

Posted by Rickey on (March 20, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

Looking at the opponent in the second round, Team India will like to lose the match. Because no one would like to face Australia in the KO Stage.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 7:29 GMT)

Well what MAHI told i agree to that when our batting will explode to the fullest we can put a total above par on score board. Also i feel that excluding Yusuf out of XI will put down his morale and he will stop playing openly as he is doing now. Batsman like Yusuf, Afridi dont perform consistently but they can blast off any moment for that purpose they are included in Squad. I will give 8/10 to Mahi Capatancy. Actually So called cricket expert in India are making thing worse for India. Altering the mindset of the team and influencing morale of Players..Its time for Cheers not for Pulling up their legs

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 6:26 GMT)

drop singh and bring in ashwin....H Singh is not taking the wickets we need

Posted by Clara on (March 20, 2011, 6:05 GMT)

Hope Mr. Dhoni takes R Ashwin, Suresh Raina and Sreeshanth in the team and make them play in the interest of millions of fans and the country. I think Mr. Dhoni has lost his cool head.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 6:03 GMT)

hahah! check out the pic of r ashwin! epic cooler! :D

Posted by Shriyan on (March 20, 2011, 6:01 GMT)

The mental condition of the team is very important. Are they prepared to play Australia by beating West Indies or Are they more prepared to play Sri Lanka after losing to West Indies.

Winning needs effort.

Your guess as good as mine.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 5:58 GMT)

The overhyped batting line up will be exposed.. and then dhoni can go back to shooting more ads.

Posted by Lalith on (March 20, 2011, 5:57 GMT)

India should win to avoid SL in QF. It is easy to beat Aussies in QF in India in front of home crowd. It is very tricky to face SL as SL is as good as SA.

Posted by Vignesh on (March 20, 2011, 5:52 GMT)

what will happen if our openers dont fire? indian middle order is too fragile:-(

Posted by sanju on (March 20, 2011, 4:59 GMT)

Dhoni missed the chance to play all his team members at least two match each. Sachin, Viru & Gambhir found most sure at the wicket. Give Kholi to bat high; he is in good touch & shown it the first game. Things bothers are latter middle oder is not showing any patients, respect the deliveries, show your anchor on bad balls. Nehra can carry drinks only with current form. Rest Zaheer & Bhajji. Bowlers must understand the value of being calm & focusing on pitching the ball in the right spots again & again.

Posted by raja on (March 20, 2011, 4:12 GMT)

If Sehwag can't play today, the ideal team will be : Sachin, Gambheer, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina, Pathan,Aswin, Harbhajan, Zahir & Nehra. When Sehwag comes back in QF, keep either Kohli orGambheer or Yuvraj out,depending on theirform in today's Match.Plz don't put Raina, Pathan or Aswin out of the squad. Under the prevailing conditions, they are the best options.

Posted by s on (March 20, 2011, 3:59 GMT)

I am getting tension thinking of facing aus so early in QF

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 3:50 GMT)

India has pretty starts in first but the middle oder batsman doesn't take the equal responsibilities and another great weakness is balling line has not work well. To overcome this it has to work hard with their ballers.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 3:44 GMT)

India should Yusuf Patan/Yuvaraj as run stopper , Bowl only one line may be negative what jayasurya did for srilanka in worldcup.Right now india does not have run stopper in middle overs.India should use one of the parttimer to bowl specific line and field.Now every bowler bowles all over the place and dhoni sets a ordinary field too.Nice to see Aswin Back so india will have one more attacking bowler.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 2:09 GMT)

Bravoo... what ever happened is good that India gone with Kohli and Pathan in the League Stage and they have failed.. Now its Raina 's turn... and he doesnt lose his place in the playing XI for the later stage of the World Cup...

Posted by Pratik on (March 20, 2011, 1:55 GMT)

India, please lose badly tomorrow. Let the bench play the game tomorrow and rest the seniors! I don't like IND's chances against our kryptonite (AUS) in the QFs. We should lose with enough margin to end up at B4.

Posted by Mandar on (March 20, 2011, 1:11 GMT)

Raina, short deliveries and west indies - do the math Dhoni!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 0:35 GMT)

Ashwin had performed well as an off spinner in 20 -20 very economical and could open the bowling .Not a rabbit with the bat too.

Suresh Raina should be a regular player for India he would get a place in the Australian side if Greg Chappel has a say. Suresh is a pure all rounder his fieding is second to none an attacking batter and an off spinner who had broken partnerships. What more you expect from a player in this format.? Kohli is another dynamic player and he too should play.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 23:15 GMT)

Its about time that Ashwin gets a game with Raina. To me unless Pathan is in as a bowler who is going to bowl 10 overs, Raina is a much more valuable player than Pathan. Yes Pathan can hit bigger but if anyone has followed the Chennai Superkings... not much better than Raina and Raina can go on to score 50s and 100s that are rare in Pathan's case.

Posted by Raju on (March 19, 2011, 23:14 GMT)

Nothing would give me greater pleasure than seeing India knock out defending champions Australia in the QFs and then, surely there is no stopping them.. Go India, go; our best wishes are with you. De Ghuma Ke!

Posted by Abhimanyu on (March 19, 2011, 20:57 GMT)

India need to win this game handsomely. Suresh Raina needs to play - Ashwin as well. Also, it is important for middle and lower order to focus and play each ball on merit. No uncalled for fireworks should be attempted - the player who does that should be dropped from the next game.

Posted by Mansoor on (March 19, 2011, 20:56 GMT)

Dhoni is a very smart capain. Teams who are favourites in various tournaments run the risk of peaking too early, We started this WC as one of the favourites but India has never worn the favourites tag well in past tounaments. You have seen a very laid back Dhoni in this WC but Now that the We have reached the knockout stages we will see a more aggressive captain on field, making bold moves & taking calculated risks and put the right kind of pressure on the team at the right time. Remember this is the leader who has won as captain one T20 WC, LEd his team to 3IPL SF's winning once & being runner up once not to forget the Champions league win. Lets get all behind him now as one & cheer India.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 20:28 GMT)

Sachin,Gambir,Virat,Dhoni,Yuvi,Raina,Yousaf,Aswin,Harbhajan,Zaheer,Sreeshanth If sewag is not playing...

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 20:03 GMT)

Hope Dhoni opens his eyes atleast now by replacing chawla with Ashwin... Chawla doesnt deserve another chance in this worldcup......Dhoni should understand that what Inda need is a GOOD spinner.. not a LEG spinner...!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 19:10 GMT)


Posted by Mantra on (March 19, 2011, 18:51 GMT)

"Our seven batsmen have not fired at their best." When will they fire ?????? after the world cup ????

" If we get a really good day on the field with the batting department, we have the capabilities of putting huge totals on the board and it will definitely be a par plus score." .... only IF we get a REALLY good day on the field....

These guys keep saying this after every match, with no improvement whatsoever...

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 18:39 GMT)

best of luck INDIA come on you can do it

Posted by Stud on (March 19, 2011, 18:08 GMT)

India needs 5 specialist bowlers either 3 seamers and 2 spinners or 2 seamers and 3 spinners. There is no point is scoring 300+ runs if the team can't defend it and the same time failing to chase 300+ scores. Pathan is talented but is of little use so far. He has not bowled a lot and not scored a lot. He should be repalced by a specialist bowler. current india XI has only 8 members 1. bowler (NN), 2. bowler (NN), 3. bowler (NN), 4. Zaheer, 5. Harbhajan, 6. Dhoni, 7. Yuvraj, 8. Kohli, 9. Gambhir, 10. Sachin, 11. Sehwag. Need, 1. Munaf, 2. Ashwin, 3. Sreesanth to complete the XI. Sehwag can be temporarily replaced by Raina.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 17:54 GMT)

what happened if the tigers lost, we the bangali support you guys, go india go blaze up yusyf pathan...

Posted by eddo on (March 19, 2011, 17:40 GMT)

Look at what is going to happen in this match - both India and Windies are going to TRY to loose. I mean the winner get to play AUSTRALIA while the looser will play the mercurial Pakistan. i am betting both these teams will take there chances against Pakistan rather than Australia especially now the Aussies have gotten that "lost" and that stupid" record" out of the way.

Posted by Abhimanyu on (March 19, 2011, 17:15 GMT)

India will do good by winning handsomely against West Indies and taking on "downbeat" Australia in QF. If they lose game against West Indies, they will take on "upbeat" Sri Lanka in QF. It is not clear if facing Australia or Sri Lanka is a better choice. Australia will be very mad at themseelves and rethinking and rethinking their strategy and will go all out against their QF opponent - they have a lot of real firwpower to work with. Sri Lanka could be in a somewhat cocky mood after their big win against NZ. But, Sri Lanka's bowlers and batsmen are already firing on all cylinders. India should however win their game solidly against West Indies with all round batting and bowling performance. There is no short cut around it.

Posted by Amahl on (March 19, 2011, 17:01 GMT)

Ashwin's inclusion is long overdue, he is a better limited overs bowler than Chawla any day and adds more value than the predictable, lethargic Munaf Patel and the erratic Sreesanth. He has the capability to bowl at any stage during the innings, famously during powerplays where his ability to contain and get wickets has gained a lot of attention in the IPL. He definitely adds a better batting option down the order than the others, something, as the last game showed, India still have use for. Yusuf has underachieved during the tournament and has been used strangely to be honest. I have never thought of him as someone who can just start hitting straight away. He needs time to get in at the crease before he can let loose. Dhoni needs to utilise himself better in this regard. I do think though that Yusuf has had his opportunities and Raina deserves his chance. India definitely have substantial spin options even without Yusuf in Tendulkar, Sehwag, Yuvraj and Raina himself.

Posted by Abhijeet Anand on (March 19, 2011, 16:56 GMT)

india vs australia in quarterfinal if they won ... and if they lose india vs sri lanka .. i woud prefer australia ... wat do u say guys

Posted by Mohan on (March 19, 2011, 16:34 GMT)

Resting Sehwag is the best move India had taken at this juncture because team combination can be tested only when one of the seniors(Sehwag, Sachin,Yuvraj)might take a rest.Since Sehwag is not 100% fit from the match against England,he has been struggling and Raina has to be a full substitute in the last game against South Africa,Raina can be taken.Nehra has also not improved his fitness;His bowling spells costs at least 10-15 minutes.So Ashwin in place of Nehra apt

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 16:18 GMT)

what abt the seamers?????????????????????????????

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 16:17 GMT)

It is a pity that R Ashwin has not got a game until now. I hope Dhoni doesn't discover any new reason to again play Piyush Chawla ( who certainly doesn't deserve to be Indian Squad ) and not to give R Ashwin a chance. I also think S Sreesanth should be given one more game. I still feel batting is fine but the shots played have been irresponsible. We shouldn't be too harsh on Virat Kohli. He has been in fantastic form throughout the year, I believe he would deliver soon.

Posted by Krishna on (March 19, 2011, 14:36 GMT)

"yet an unconvincing performance against West Indies is, unlike one of India's practice sessions, not an option" - Bad omen Sharda !

Posted by Sanjay on (March 19, 2011, 14:30 GMT)

Wish India the best *AND* no injuries to any of our players. We need everyone fighting fit for the quarters in Abad.

Good luck to Windies too, I'm looking forward to seeing Bravo, Russell, Bishoo and Pollard. And a message to Benn: Stay calm, maan!

Posted by Abbas on (March 19, 2011, 14:28 GMT)

Dhoni & india will inshallah put all the debate in the media behind them and play like potential world champs. WI is so inconsistent that it's not even funny. Let's go India and carry the momentum from tommorrow's game into the QF and beyond. Jai Ho!

Posted by ntokozo on (March 19, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

Oh no! Plz don't play the hopeless slogger Raina as he will be exposed by Roach's bouncers once more. And what's all this hype about Ashwin or whatever his name is. His much hyped "karoom ball" or whatever its called will get thrashed for sixes by Gayle. If India pick Ashwin and Raina and still win the game, I will buy myself a cow:)

Posted by Amit on (March 19, 2011, 14:20 GMT)

There is no problem with team India. Sure there are some changes that must be done such as bringing in another seamer that can support Z.Khan, have another spinner in like Ashwin to support H.Singh, and lastly replace Yusuf Pathan with Suresh Raina, because Yusuf Pathan has not batted well or bowled well, and raina hopefully can bat well and he can also get some overs in witht he ball. Other then that team india have batted well, bowling hasn't been a disastour, they are bowling on flat tracks and are bowlers arent even the best, so please stop critisizing them. This is just the group matches relax everyone, I understand Indian fans love Cricket, but your negative comments on the captainship and players is only making it worst. Think about it, if you were one person and a billion ppl were making negative comments about you, how would you and your team feel. Look at team pakistan, they are just playing cricket, no media or fans are insulting them and they are playing great cricket.

Posted by mm on (March 19, 2011, 14:12 GMT)

India better play their best team out there. Since batting is India's strength they should play 5 bowlers and 6 batsmen. If 6 batsmen fail then their sixth batsmen is not going to save the game. But play batsmen who are solid batsmen not bowlers, this isn't 20/20. You need batsmen who can bat over 10 overs. Play Sehwag, Sachin, Gambhir, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Sreesanth, Ashvin and Munaf. And if I want to take a bowler off I would take Munaf off. He is a liability on the field and can't even hold a bat and also can't run between wickets. He bowls with no passion or spirit or ambition. Not a seemer or a wicket taker at any stage. He will just bowl 6 or 8 overs with out getting injured if he is lucky he will get 1 wicket.

Posted by Bijo on (March 19, 2011, 13:57 GMT)

good luck ..team india...hope will not repeat the same mistakes

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 13:54 GMT)

Sometimes the media can be really annoying .. what's with all the pressure on Dhoni? Doesn't anyone ever wake up and realize that it's the local pressure .. the praise one day, abuse the next attitude is the costliest effect on our team? Leave 'em alone and u'll see the results!

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