Australia in India 2013-14 October 28, 2013

Yuvraj, Raina face Johnson test

Australia's plan against left-hand batsmen in this series has been simple - Unleash Mitchell Johnson and pepper them with short deliveries
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He might bowl to the left, he might bowl to the right, but in limited-overs cricket, especially against slightly suspect left-hand batsmen, Mitchell Johnson's bowling is definitely not shite.

Ask Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh, who have been hounded by him in this otherwise high scoring one-day series.

Australia's plan has been clear: let Johnson loose the moment Raina and Yuvraj come out to bat, even if it means bowling him for fewer overs with the new ball. Johnson to Yuvraj this series: five balls, one run, and two wickets. Johnson to Raina: 16 balls, 15 runs, and one wicket. These stats are consistent with the two batsmen's overall record against Johnson. Yuvraj struggles against him: 76 runs off 129 balls for five dismissals. Raina hits out, but gets out: 51 runs off 47 balls, but he has got out every 12 balls.

Before the ODI in Cuttack was washed out, leaving Australia a win away from taking the series, Shane Watson had spoken about getting these one-on-one contests right. "It's important to get our match-ups right," he had said. "When we are bowling against their batsmen, we have got our match-ups right. Mitch Johnson certainly provides a big x-factor for us. There are a couple of guys who aren't as comfortable against the short ball when compared to some of their other batsmen."

The identities of these batsmen are no secret. Yuvraj's first dismissal to Johnson was to a short ball outside off at searing pace. He fended and edged it, not dissimilarly to how he has done throughout his career. In the next, the ball wasn't that short, but Yuvraj was caught on the back foot and just pushed at it away from the body. Raina just went for a big pull, and edged it.

The bouncer works against these batsmen and it is a precise art. For one, it has to have Johnson's pace. Then, he has to be fresh and ready when these batsmen come in. And then Johnson has to execute the plan with precision. George Bailey has astutely kept him ready, bowling him for only three overs at the top. Watson said it was a deliberate ploy.

"It certainly has been [a plan]," Watson said. "No doubt. After seeing what happened in the Twenty20 in Rajkot, especially [with] Yuvi, when we didn't get our plans exactly right to him … he is an extremely talented player. If we give him a chance to get away, he certainly hits the ball very sweet.

"And also Suresh Raina, he is a high-quality, world-class player as well so we are very lucky to have Mitch bowling with the pace and the control that he has got at this point in time. Certainly a huge weapon for us. We know how important their middle order is for their success. You have seen it work so far throughout this series. Hopefully it can continue to work for a little bit longer."

For a team with two main batsmen suspect against high pace and bounce, India's overall batting results haven't been that bad. They even chased 360 successfully. Except in that game, in Jaipur, Raina and Yuvraj were not even required to bat. Watson can laugh about that. "We need to try to get to that stage," he said. "Even in Jaipur, we didn't get a chance to get to that middle order because the top order batted so well."

Struggling against Johnson in ODI cricket, if you are a left-hand batsman, is nothing to be ashamed of. Since he made his debut, Johnson has statistically been the best bowler to left-hand batsmen in one-day cricket. He is up there with the best overall too, but against left-hand batsmen, his 82 wickets at 17.24 are a cut above the rest.

The two remaining games, with India needing to win both to win the series, are a big test for Yuvraj and Raina. Unless they come in to bat after the 35th over or so, they will have Johnson fresh and waiting for them. How they counter him might even have repercussions on how they are used in the World Cup in Australia.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY CherryWood_Champion on | October 29, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    We should keep rotating players and keep Pujara, Rahane and Rayudu in the mix ... I have nothing against Yuvi or Raina ... but the fact is their overseas record is pathetic .. specially on seaming conditions. Lets not forget we have to defend the World Cup in Australia where the ball is most likely to talk more than the willow and all three will definitely play a lot better than Yuvi or Raina. Play horses for courses ... but again for that we need to rotate our playing-XI to include the young talent we have.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 28, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    A good short ball can torment any batsman. Even a Sachin has got out many times against short pitch stuff. It's how the batsmen spent their early years. And every RSA, ENG and AUS batsman struggles against spin on Indian conditions. what matters is how these batsmen perform when it really matters to the team. Yuvi and Raina have done wonders for team India over the years. They will no bounce back in the last 2 games. of course if Rohit, Shikhar, Virat ans Rain give a chance

  • POSTED BY on | October 30, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    This is how it goes.....well played India...Hard Luck Australia nice try !!! A few noted pointers !!! a) Flat pitch b) Bad bowling from both sides c) Brilliant batting from all the batsmen

    The better team won on the day which was India :) This is how it should have been but what we have now is a whole bunch of blame game. Since I see a lot of Australians , SAF, English people blaming a whole lot of things for the win , I would love to draw the attention to a few things....

    AUS Frankly speaking lets just put it straight they are a shadow of what they used to be... gone downhill completely.

    ENG - They simply don't have any idea about ODI/T20 cricket pls no excuses of pitches or conditions , you just need to be better in this forms...dnt even remember last time seeing you people win a championship

    SAF- They simply cannot handle the pressure of limited overs cricket.

    In a sport played in 8 nations if 3 are struggling, then for sure one will standout which in this case is INDIA !!

  • POSTED BY AjitDJ on | October 30, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    Dhoni is messing up both Raina and Yuvi's batting by playing them in the wrong positions. Yuvi is a good no. 4 player and Raina is a good finisher. So he should get this and put an end to the failed experiment now.

  • POSTED BY prashadguruge on | October 30, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    respect for england ,south afrika, australiya and sri lanka cricket and newzealend,,,,,,classy teams

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | October 30, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    @dunger.bob:

    ---"Australia played poorly because they didn't play well"--- What a roundabout way of explaining things !!!

    So now we have dust bowls of a few kinds. Quite imaginative. Before that Perth2008 test we heard that Some guy called Taitty or something will bowl at 170kmph & will blow us away. Afterwards, India won that test and that guy retired from tests altogether. Also thrown in was the excuse that Perth was not the usual fast at that time. Did you guys not know this before the test?

    We hear the same excuse for Eng during CT13 now. Why do these excuses come in later?

    Still, if the wickets were some new kind of English dust bowls, both Aus & Eng lost to India, in two different poor ways. Does it cause a tongue sprain if you were to say India played well to win CT13?

    You use a similar tactic for CB08 too, that Aus were not interested in it. So it can't be that India played well. It is either the change in the wicket or the other side was not into it.

    'Piles' of Excuses.

  • POSTED BY Batmanindallas on | October 30, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Time to try Rahane and Rayadu....

  • POSTED BY on | October 30, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    And both FAILED :( everyone of us was scared of the same!

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | October 30, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    @Naresh28. I currently still play cricket & all 3 forms and let me reassure you, it isn't all the same. India has still to win a series in both South Africa & Australia & haven't won a test series in Sri Lanka since 1995. I would suggest your results last time you toured England & Australia sort of disproves your statements.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | October 30, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    @ sidh78: Dear sid, I'm pretty sure hhillbumper is an Englishman. I'm not 100% about that, but fairly sure.

    I remember the 2008 series. You had a young leggie who looked a million bucks. Started with C. .. Chawla or similar I think. .. yeah, anyway whatever happened to him?

    My main memory of that series is that the hosts didn't really look interested in the contest. They looked like they would rather be anywhere on earth but there. .. I've no idea why.

  • POSTED BY CherryWood_Champion on | October 29, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    We should keep rotating players and keep Pujara, Rahane and Rayudu in the mix ... I have nothing against Yuvi or Raina ... but the fact is their overseas record is pathetic .. specially on seaming conditions. Lets not forget we have to defend the World Cup in Australia where the ball is most likely to talk more than the willow and all three will definitely play a lot better than Yuvi or Raina. Play horses for courses ... but again for that we need to rotate our playing-XI to include the young talent we have.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 28, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    A good short ball can torment any batsman. Even a Sachin has got out many times against short pitch stuff. It's how the batsmen spent their early years. And every RSA, ENG and AUS batsman struggles against spin on Indian conditions. what matters is how these batsmen perform when it really matters to the team. Yuvi and Raina have done wonders for team India over the years. They will no bounce back in the last 2 games. of course if Rohit, Shikhar, Virat ans Rain give a chance

  • POSTED BY on | October 30, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    This is how it goes.....well played India...Hard Luck Australia nice try !!! A few noted pointers !!! a) Flat pitch b) Bad bowling from both sides c) Brilliant batting from all the batsmen

    The better team won on the day which was India :) This is how it should have been but what we have now is a whole bunch of blame game. Since I see a lot of Australians , SAF, English people blaming a whole lot of things for the win , I would love to draw the attention to a few things....

    AUS Frankly speaking lets just put it straight they are a shadow of what they used to be... gone downhill completely.

    ENG - They simply don't have any idea about ODI/T20 cricket pls no excuses of pitches or conditions , you just need to be better in this forms...dnt even remember last time seeing you people win a championship

    SAF- They simply cannot handle the pressure of limited overs cricket.

    In a sport played in 8 nations if 3 are struggling, then for sure one will standout which in this case is INDIA !!

  • POSTED BY AjitDJ on | October 30, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    Dhoni is messing up both Raina and Yuvi's batting by playing them in the wrong positions. Yuvi is a good no. 4 player and Raina is a good finisher. So he should get this and put an end to the failed experiment now.

  • POSTED BY prashadguruge on | October 30, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    respect for england ,south afrika, australiya and sri lanka cricket and newzealend,,,,,,classy teams

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | October 30, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    @dunger.bob:

    ---"Australia played poorly because they didn't play well"--- What a roundabout way of explaining things !!!

    So now we have dust bowls of a few kinds. Quite imaginative. Before that Perth2008 test we heard that Some guy called Taitty or something will bowl at 170kmph & will blow us away. Afterwards, India won that test and that guy retired from tests altogether. Also thrown in was the excuse that Perth was not the usual fast at that time. Did you guys not know this before the test?

    We hear the same excuse for Eng during CT13 now. Why do these excuses come in later?

    Still, if the wickets were some new kind of English dust bowls, both Aus & Eng lost to India, in two different poor ways. Does it cause a tongue sprain if you were to say India played well to win CT13?

    You use a similar tactic for CB08 too, that Aus were not interested in it. So it can't be that India played well. It is either the change in the wicket or the other side was not into it.

    'Piles' of Excuses.

  • POSTED BY Batmanindallas on | October 30, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Time to try Rahane and Rayadu....

  • POSTED BY on | October 30, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    And both FAILED :( everyone of us was scared of the same!

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | October 30, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    @Naresh28. I currently still play cricket & all 3 forms and let me reassure you, it isn't all the same. India has still to win a series in both South Africa & Australia & haven't won a test series in Sri Lanka since 1995. I would suggest your results last time you toured England & Australia sort of disproves your statements.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | October 30, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    @ sidh78: Dear sid, I'm pretty sure hhillbumper is an Englishman. I'm not 100% about that, but fairly sure.

    I remember the 2008 series. You had a young leggie who looked a million bucks. Started with C. .. Chawla or similar I think. .. yeah, anyway whatever happened to him?

    My main memory of that series is that the hosts didn't really look interested in the contest. They looked like they would rather be anywhere on earth but there. .. I've no idea why.

  • POSTED BY sidh78 on | October 30, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    @dear hhillbumper last time india go to sa in 2011 and india draw the series 1-1. actually india nearly won the series.in draw match india dominate in total match but due kallis inininga sa escape from defeat but india totally dominate that match.and dear india won the test serieses in eng nz wi.if umpire not given many wrong desicion,india had drew series 2-2 in aus in 2008.fyi india won 3 wc on fast bouncy pitches in1983 & 2007 in eng sa.finalist in 2003 wc in sa.recentally won CT in eng.AND AND Thrashed u r great aus team on u r home fast and bouncy pitches in CB series in 2008 in straight two final matches.that aus team had u r great players like ponting hayden clarke symond.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | October 30, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    @hhillbumper - NO WONDER YUVI THRASHED BROAD FOR 6 sixes in ONE OVER in SA PITCH!!!! Did you ever play cricket in your life, your crictism is misplaced most of the time? Whether you play TEST, ODI, T20 it is still cricket? The fact that we had Dravid, Tendulkar, LAXMAN, Shewag, Ganguly, Gavaskar, Vishwanath, DHAWAN, KOHLI, even young CHAND etc scores 100's in all parts of the world shows we can play what you give us - really you go overboard. Learn to make sense sometimes - INDIA went to No1 in tests, ODI and T20 not long ago.

  • POSTED BY TheMil on | October 30, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    This title should have read: Johnson - Slippery When Wet.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | October 30, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Our domestic one day competition has been run and own and we have this tour still going? I am speechless. Does this series amount to one of the biggest wasted efforts in recent memory? No one, and I mean no-one back home is even slightly interested in this meaningless one day series that will and should have zero impact to the coming Ashes. Great timing CA!

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | October 30, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    @Harmony111 : Umm, by normal English standards the pitches were dust bowls, though they were not Indian style dust bowls, if you know what I mean. It was a long, dry summer in England and soil that is used to lots of rain doesn't do well in drought.

    Australia played poorly because they didn't play well. We are erratic and yo-yo like. We have moments of brilliance usually followed by something really dumb. The pitches didn't matter that much, we were just down and out and played badly. Still, we're somehow hanging in there and you do realise that sooner or later we will be back. As an Aussie I'm hoping for sooner rather than later but we'll all just have to wait and see.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | October 29, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    @ Shrikant Manjrekar; Not sure how my post can be construed as anti-India it is the scoreline isn't it. Where do I start picking holes in your argument Firstly,you say how poor Johnson was in the one-day series in the Ashes - Seriously did you watch 3 out of 4 games he went under 4 runs per over, his whole series average was pretty well spot on 4 runs an over an in the current game that is exceptional. 2) We never played India in the champions trophy, that was in a warm-up game that counted for nothing. THis series counts. 3) Didn't want to make pitches unsuitable for visitors as if the BCCI is that generous we have been winning one-day series in India for years now. India make roads of one-day tracks because they think there batting is superior and runs add to the entertainment, like the IPL is always played on roads. India history have only changed the face of there pitches for one-day series. I posted nothing anti-Indian yet you personally attack Australia. Can you see the hypocrisy

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | October 29, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Harmony111. You got lucky because England choked. But once India have finished their love in of the little God then they can tour South Africa then you can play us next year.of course short form cricket suits you because of lack of short balls but come test cricket and we all know what happens. Your modern day batsman have no courage.Must make some of the past batsman wonder. Your current line up on a bouncy pitch are a joke. But not to worry you can console yourself with how well you play at home

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | October 29, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    @shrikant manjrekar, hehe understrength English side, great joke, you are gonna face them for 5 tests, then you will understand

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | October 29, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    @hhillbumper:

    ---" Also the pitches in England this summer were never fast or bouncy."---

    Awwwww, in that pls explain Australia getting all out for 65 in reply to India's 300+ which, as you say, must have come on a pitch that was not fast or bouncy.

    Pls also explain the failure of Aus to chase Eng's mere 250+ target in the league matches. Aus can't score even 250 on a slow-low pitch?

    Also explain how could India limit Pak & SL to <200 scores in the tournament.

    Also explain the failure of Eng to chase a paltry 130 in 20 uninterrupted overs on a slow-low pitch.

    Kidz these days….

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | October 29, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    So much analysis for a game of ODI cricket in a meaningless and boringly long bilateral series. I read a few lines and thought, I don't care. And everybody knows Raina and Yuvraj are suspect against short stuff. And throw in Jadeja as well. Jadeja can't handle any good fast bowler if he is not bowling gun-barrel-straight and same goes for Yuvraj as well.

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    2nd_Slip on (October 29, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

    So called best bowling unit struggled to bowl out dismal PAK batting line up in UAE, used ball tempering tactics. Enough to see your poor imagination but fans can't wait how good they are. No more excuses on pitch or BCCI if your imagination failed.

    @Valavan; Shaggy076; hhillbumper & Indianbashers

    We fans believe that Cricket is a team game; its not about individuals. If India pulled up best performances / winning the championships even with these so called weaknesses, your team with so many quality outfits like Johnson & co can do better. But we had seen how Poor Johnson was against under strength Englishmen in recently concluded ASHES Limited overs series. The pitches are made suitable for visitors now so that fans won't have to see repeat of AUS performances in Feb 2013 & CT 2013(65 All out).

  • POSTED BY wolf777 on | October 29, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    Yuvraj is a suspect against a good spin bowling as well. With Sachin's retirement coming up next month, hope these tried and failed prospects are not considered as replacement. The need is to look beyond the current occasional performer and give some fresh talent a chance.

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | October 29, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    "Yuvraj, Raina face Johnson test" that too on the indian batting paradises. Johnson has accounted Yuvi and Raina only couple of times. He got jadeja as well but he has not been in good batting form. Also, Raina scored 39/232 in the first ODI, so, the aussie plan agaisnt lefties does not seem to be a reality. Only Yuvi has been at odds agaisnt johnson may be trying to repeat T20 performance and coming under his own pressrue.

  • POSTED BY kahvas on | October 29, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    I agree Raina has big problems with the short ball. Hence Dhoni's idea of promoting him at #4 was ridiculous. While Yuvi is struggling with some short deliveries outside off, in all fairness they were very good deliveries. Rarely seen yuvi struggle against short pitch stuff. Yuvi plays the hook shot regularly and shouldn't be placed with Raina as weak against short stuff. If pace and bounce are good, even aussies who so called play quicks very well struggle. Look at how they struggled against shami. Yuvi will hit back soon and will put an end to this short ball weakness talk.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | October 29, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Seeing Indian batsmen struggle against good old aggressive fast bowling one can only imagine how pathetic they will be against a much better fast bowling unit of SA. Cant wait for Steyn and co. to mop the floor with this so called best batting unit.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | October 29, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    I reckon every second post is about how mighty India are and how poor Australia is. I had to go back and check the status of the series and my recollection is correct Australia are up 2 to 1. If you read these posts you would never know it.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | October 29, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    @GRVJPR, when did Lara, Ponting get out of shortballs, any stats do you have, btw even if they got out, bowlers never targeted them with shortballs, believe me. when Raina/jadeja/yuvraj comes immediately bowlers start targeting them with shortballs. Please provide Statistics when LARA and PONTING got out in short balls. Justify your statement here. cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | October 29, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    @IndianFans, before questioning about johnson, Indian lefties always have problems with well directed shortpitched deliveries. The question is here about how johnson targets Indian lefties in Indian pitches, that does not require johnson to be a Malcolm marshall, Ambrose or mcGrath. Ambrose or McGrath can just feast on any great batting lineup doesnt matter just lefties. I believe the technically correct LHB from India is Ganguly, he had problems with short pitched deliveries, others either ODI specialists or just started their careers. RAINA, 3 years in test circle, if he is considered a professional he should've addressed his weaknesses and work on them. The topic here is how Johnson exploits Indian lefties weaknesses rather than trumpeted as a great bowler. cricinfo please publish

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | October 29, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    @ hhillbumper: you can say whatever you like the pitch is not bouncy, the pitch is batting paradise, the pitch is doctored made only to Indians or whatever...at the end of the day we have three major trophies,T20 world cup, world cup 2011 and champions trophy under Dhoni's captaincy that itself is an achievement...

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | October 29, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    @ black_bird : You forgot to add the "this is sarcasm" tag to the end of your post. Most people seem to have missed it I'm sorry to say.

    Johnson has a very good One Day record and could legitimately claim to be one of the best in the business. So, as some of the better judges have been saying, MJ gets lots of batsmen out in the shorter game. It's no shame to get blasted out by him. It happens to the best of them at times.

    There's been some mention of Australia's erratic performances in the last few years. All out 70 has been mentioned a few times as well as a few of our other world class stuff ups. .. Sure, that's all true and unfortunately typical of our cricket these days. .. Yet, here we, riding on your bumper for the top spot. After all our trials and tribulations, all our humiliations and epic failures, here we are, just a few points adrift. .. Kinda makes me wonder what's going to happen if we ever get our act truly back together again.

  • POSTED BY Vishal63 on | October 29, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    The selectors just simply did not have to change a the winning Champions Trophy squad even if only eleven featured out of the fifteen-man squad.

  • POSTED BY GRVJPR on | October 29, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    Mr. Siddharth Mohga, If Johnson is so great, Why he hasn't been regular in Aussies Squad. Jus bowling couple of good bouncers won't make anybody a Great. He is just like another Shoaib Akhtar, an ordinary bowler who always crumble under pressure. Also I have seen ponting. lara getting out on short balls, so by your cricketing logic they are ORDINARY!

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    ssshhhhh Dont talk up Mitch's bowling or else he'll start getting nervous and then wont be able to find the pitch anymore!

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | October 29, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    I suppose there might be something to the fact that India have only developed since the restriction of short pitched bowling.I would pay to see test matches played under the old rules against this Indian batting line up.They would crumble in a short time.No decent technique in test cricket which might be why India do alright in short form.Also the pitches in England this summer were never fast or bouncy.

  • POSTED BY DickCam on | October 29, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    Would like to see Mitch bowl some good short stuff at one AlistairCook.

  • POSTED BY DJROCKS_347 on | October 29, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I think both yuvraj and raina matured players 2 understand by themselves what their weaknesses are..but there are times when they have dealt the short-pitch ball quite well an they have succeeded..what Raina has to do is try 2 stay at the wicket an score some big runs...his 30s 40s r certainly not helping the teams cause.Yuvi should try 2 leave short pitch balls outside off stump..he has a habbit of pokin at deliveries.

    Raina should try 2 keep the hook or the pull down when he tries 2 deal with short pitch stuff.

    I think leaving Dhoni..looking at the current Indian team i feel most players do struggle when it comes 2 short pitch stuff. They need 2 focus on this stuff if they want 2 win the worldcup in 2 years time.coz there wud b a lot of short pitch stuff fired at all of them an not just Yuvi or Raina.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 29, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    raina has some tough times ahead of him as india would be touring sa,nz & later aus.even next year will not be in india.so either he will have to improve a lot or perish.

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | October 29, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    @Partha Goswami: Am an Indian too and yet your comments makes me laugh :)....

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    Pace matters................................ but requires correct filed placements i.e fine third man, short mid wicket short mid off & rest of the fielders at the edge of in circle

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    India has been a better side than South Africa anywhere for the last couple of years. It just takes one Inning for our batsman to shine. Ashwin is enough to get the wicket of Graeme Smith. Scoring 237 that too against Pakistan won't make him the best Player in the world. He will definitely struggle against the Indian Bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Yuvi and Raina were always suspect against seam and swing bowling. The same reason they could not excel in the longer format of the game. I think we should give Rahane a good run in place of Yuvi. He had good temperament and plays with soft hands.

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    popcorn on (October 29, 2013, 3:32 GMT)

    "India does not deserve Number One ODI Ranking.........They cannot handle Mitchell Johnson's pace,that too on doctored spin friendly docile pitches."

    Tell me more about "doctored", "spin friendly" and "docile pitches".

    If I make no mistake spinners are struggling in the current ODI series. Or you mean to say AUS are better prepared while batting against spin department now. Same AUS were struggling in ASHES some time ago.

    I can understand under prepared pitches but ........"Doctored????" Where this word coming from???? IND,PAK,SL,BD,KEN,UAE,Sharjah have similar kind of soil & similar kind of wickets.

    Yuvi hit 6 consecutive sixes against Broad. Who was Broad??? Spinner??? Seamer?? Which was the famous venue?? INDIA????

    One genuine delivery can be vital to lose wicket for batsmen. It happened to any batsmen but that doesn't question the ability of a batsman. Your comments show frustrations more about rank no.1 INDIA.....understandable

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | October 29, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    There were four batsmen who got out to short balls in that one game - Rohit, Raina, Yuvi and Jadeja. None were done in by the bowling. They just got out playing wrong shots. Being done in by a short ball is what happened to Kallis facing Sreesanth in SA. A good short ball can get any batsman out. Even Laxman, a very good puller, was set up for fine leg catches a few times. To be fair to Yuvi and Raina, both have always been called up to attack the bowling, given the batting positions they have played in for most of their lives. They are used to going for shots, and it is their method to deal with bowlers. Mitchell Johnson is all crap when he gets hit and he's not Michael Holding. So, this is not some major threat for India's batting line up. Indian batsmen should go after him and upset him, but perhaps with the others who can give 300+ in 40 overs, they can take it easy a little!

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | October 29, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    popcorn: buddy we chased 359 with 6 overs to spare with the loss of one wicket do you think 300 would have been a daunting task in this pitch? we can also claim that we would have won the rain affected matches...what do you mean by second string aus team?..this is the same Aus team which was sent to champions trophy buddy...the fact is there are not players like Gilchrist, Hayden in Aus team anymore accept the fact...did we whign abt Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Zak left the team...eventhough we came to number one by just a bunch of youngsters and a mediocre bowling attack...

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | October 29, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    @ popcorn: The series is not yet over buddy...we can also claim that we would have won the rain affected matches....what do you mean by second string aus team?..this is the same team which was sent to champions trophy buddy..we won the world cup and champions trophy....the fact is there are not players like Gilchrist, Hayden in your current team anymore accept the fact...did we whign abt Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Zak left the team...eventhough we came to number one by just a bunch of youngsters and a mediocre bowling attack...

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | October 29, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Not sure if your srs @black_bird. Smith just made 237 and ab a big hundred and is rated the best test batsmen in the world. It will be a Minor miracle if India don't Lose by an innings

  • POSTED BY sidh78 on | October 29, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    @dear popcorn this indian team won the champions trophy in engaland without loosing a SINGLE match.team india defets all the teams very easily.and for u r information india bowled out australia for something 65 odd runs on FAST BOUNCI AND SEAMING TRACKS IN EGLANAD.What about 360 in just 43 overs against u r so called fast bowlers including the great johnasan

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | October 29, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    blackbird; Can you please give me the year India whitewashed South Africa in South Africa, I am having trouble finding it. ALso noticed Smith last score was a double century hate to see what he does when in form.

  • POSTED BY black_bird on | October 29, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Just wait, india will whitewash saffers at bouncy tracks, like they do always. jack kallis is done,ab,g. smith is not in great form. and morkel is too much overrated.

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    Yuvraj & Raina the champs of One dayers are actually terrible suspects against true fast bowling the likes of which are presently on the wane except a only a handful -Dale Steyn, Stuart Broad and the 'erratic Mitch' . I have very good memories of Yuvi the champ who weaved winced against the quartet of broad, Anderson , bresnan, Finn et al in that horrifying summer of '2011!!! we also had one such batsman in the late seventies -Ashok Mankad who was a Domestic champ and used to score hundreds by the dozen in RANJI & Duleep matches only to horrifically stutter & fail in tests against John snow, Price et al . Yet by some strange reasons of the then Vijay Merchant controlled Cricket control Board he was persisted with umpteen times !!! So persisting with Yuvi & Raina is nothing new

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | October 29, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    I learn with dismay that India has retained the Number One ODI Ranking.India does not deserve it after their poor showing against what THEY call the Second String Australian Team. They cannot handle Mitchell Johnson's pace,that too on doctored spin friendly docile pitches. In three out of 4 ODIs played, Australia have notched up 300+ scores,and in the fourth, which was rained out,they scored 295. And Australia are leading 2 - 1, and would have swawamped India 6 -1. Even now, is likely that Australia will beat India 4 -1. So who deserves the ODI ranking? Australia,of course!

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Johnson and company realised their quality of short pitch in Jaipur..... 359 in 42 overs...

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Raina does not want to leave a shortball even when the ball rises to inconvenient heights. He should learn to duck so that short balls are not used as a sure weapon against him. If he does not learn to duck he can never get into the test side since good bowlers can bowl any number of times in tests. Yuvaraj has a high backlift which may be handicap against very fast balls.It should be possible to make the necessary adjustment for a batsmen at this level.

  • POSTED BY FNS18 on | October 29, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    If Raina & Yuvi cannot face Johnson on flat Indian wickets then how they are going to survive overseas? Raina No 4 & Yuvi No 5??? Next World Cup is in Australia & New Zealand and India needs strong middle order. They need to have batsman with strong batting technique such as Rahane or Raydu at number 4.

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    @ Dravid_Gravitas_Atheist..

    the article is just an observation. the job of a reporter is to report. and that is what has happened. cant understand why you take the article personally. the article is purely technical. it doesnt say yuvraj or raina are average batsmen or johnson is a great bowler.

  • POSTED BY rogues13 on | October 28, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    @ tumbarumbar....although i dont agree with prabahakar that a bouncer made ponting cry (he is a pretty tough bloke), Srinath has been officially clocked at 149.6 kmph..that is pretty quick..I am not saying srinath was a express bowler, but he was pretty quick and nippy.....the link below can help u get a few facts right

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/95065.html

  • POSTED BY adichats on | October 28, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    In reference to some of the comments above. It is not as much about getting out to short pitched bowling as the manner in which Yuvi and Raina get out. May be good batsmen have got out to good short pitched bowling, but with these two the discomfort and cluelessness is palpable and one gets the distinct feeling that it's only a matter of time. And as for Australians being uncomfortable on spinning track, that's hardly an argument.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    @Biggest_Cricket_Fan: No doubt that Raina is NOT THE Best, but in that aspect no players in the world is perfect on all the surfaces.Ponting struggled on "every" Indian tour.Good players will try and find a way out, ordinary players perish. For all others who are questioning the logic of Raina for 2015 World cup, Its a simple equation here : If Raina can hold his form, he will be crucial in the playing 11, if not some one else will take his place. Remember that in 2011 WC, Yusuf Pathan failed, but Raina clicked with the opportunities he got and played from knock out matches till the finals .. So I'd appreciate Dhoni to atleast trying to inflict confidence in the players

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    Give it a break gentlemen - Yuvraj is more than capable of getting over these issues. Mitch on the other side, will also remember how easily Dhawan and Rohit had taken him to cleaners..

  • POSTED BY cricpanther on | October 28, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    Two Ways to Deal with Any Shot Ball: 1st: Duck or Leave it like Gavaskar! 2nd: Dont' afraid to hit Six on that with Power Pack Hook Shot!!

  • POSTED BY gauravm5 on | October 28, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    Apart from Sangakkara and AB De Villiers, all batsmen playing currently have problems against some kind of deliveries. Any of the England, South Arfican & Australian batsmen CANT bat against Saeed Ajmal and Sunil Narine. Australian Aaron Finch struggled against 2nd string English bowling attack in the recently concluded 5 ODIs bilateral series in England. Shane Watson looked susceptible in Ashes and also in the 4 tests series against India. Throughout Ashes, Cook & Trott didnt look comfortable while batting against Australian bowlers specially Ryan Harris. Even World's number 1 batsman Michael Clarke also admitted his problems against Ajmal & Narine.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    I agree with Mr. BigFan. How can u claim to be among the best when one bowler makes u his bunny at will. Rohit and Raina have been give opportunities aplenty. They do well sometimes; fail often. In the meantime promising young lads grow old and discouraged. Rohit and Raina are definitely not among the best. Just look at their very ordinary stats away from the dustbowls of India.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | October 28, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    The reason Johnson is more successful in ODIs than tests is that in tests the batsmen can simply leave the short ball and wait until the bowler gets tired. In ODIs the batsmen don't have that luxury, as Johnson would bowl 6 short balls an over and finish with a lot of maidens.

    What Raina and Yuvi should be thankful for is that Ryan Harris doesn't play ODIs. Now there's a bowler who can really make life uncomfortable for a batsman who doesn't like the short stuff.

  • POSTED BY cooljack_143 on | October 28, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    Its time to ADOPT SHAUN TAIT (as he's engaged to Indian now)& give him green card to team India:-), just the way Tahir got into SA team. But will Tait let go OZ citizenship for the sake of his Love like TAHIR ?????

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    What happened to Dhawan and Jadeja? You talk so much about Yuvi and Raina and you forget Dhawan? Jadeja hasn't had a great series, bu you can't leave him out of the equation. Raina has not been in great shape and Yuvi needs to find form. He is still recovering from CANCER!!!!!!!!!! Give them a break!

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | October 28, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas_Atheist, just because the opponents have their weaknesses does not mean we dont have to improve. The article is addressing one area of Ind weakness. More importantly these 2 players are holding on to their positions at the expense of better players. Apart from lesser quality & performance it is tantamount to unfair treatment by the selectors and Dhoni (to Pujara, DK, Rahane).

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | October 28, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    Looks like the Aussies have the measure of Indians in this series. Most of their players have played with and against many of the Ind players in the last 6 months starting with IPL and knows how to deal with each player.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    I see so many selectors here :-) but I expect few changes in bowling for god's sake, Ishant, Vinay and Unadkat should be out and Zaheer, Mohit and IC Pandey should be in ASAP.

    Because we need time to prepare a good bowling unit for WC

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    We have Dravid in Past ..we need Pujara Now..

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | October 28, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas_Atheist: yep ur right...Aussies top order failed when they face some good overs from Shami and not so long ago they lost the test series against India 4-0...and allout for 70 runs in champions trophy chasing 300...the thing is they have not faced some quality spin bowling yet if that happens we will read about an article talking about Aussies face spin test...if that should happen Ashwin should be removed and Mishra should be in the team...but thats never gonna happen

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    Yet Australia have won 5 test series in India and India have failed to in a single test series .Australia have won 3 testseries in SRL since 93 once whitewashing them in 2004 and India havent on a single test series in SRL during same time.Also regarding Kalis wicket ,the ball reared off the length than it was a short ball. Plus Kallis doesnt think a short ball is around the corner althe while so his footwork i all mesed up .See Raina's innings in Edgbaston 1st inns and both innings in Oval where he bagged a pair and you would come to Know.

  • POSTED BY gyanesh.dan on | October 28, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    Yuvraj, Raina needs Pre-Johnson-Ball-Planning and Preparations.... !!!

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | October 28, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    Yuvraj, Raina face Johnson test and the entire Aussie top-order faces Shami test; Phil Hughes faces pitched-up on and around off-stump test. So, what's the fuss is all about? Did I say, most Aussies have historically failed the spin test? So, what's the fuss about Raina and Yuvraj?

  • POSTED BY SeamingWicket on | October 28, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    We rarely see high quality short pitched bowling in recent years It was something that the West Indies and Australia used in the 1970 and 80s. Akhtar and Lee had some lethal ones post 2000, but tended to be wayward alot of the time.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    India won world cup and champion trophy with steady batting line up.especially no 3 & 4. In world cup 2011, first four is sachin/sewag/gambir/kohli.and in champions trophy Dhawan/rohit/kohli/DK.IF India play raina at 4 & yuvi At 5 only help to loss wickets in middle overs.Both are not good against quality off spin attack and quality bouncers and shot ball attack.as per the new rules first 4 players are important to get steady startand keep wickets in hand important to attack last 15 overs.India should open with dhawan/rohitt then kohli &Poojara 3 &4 , this will help to make partnership. in middle , yuvi or Raina at 5(depends their foam), dhoni 6 and jadeja 7.if rohit fails in opening then poojara open with dhawan and rohit bat at 4. bowling option bhuvi/umesh/shami/karan sharma/aswin

  • POSTED BY bbnn on | October 28, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    All class batsmen will struggle against good pace short balls , remember Jack Kallis "C" shape jump to Sreeshanth bouncer at Jo'burg , the media is just hyping Yuvi and Raina they are always trying to dominating bowling that is why they are getting out to those deliveries. They are real match winners in their days and don't forget what happened to SA against india in the opening match in the CT 2013 they were trying to bowl short against indian openers and they scored century stand

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | October 28, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    The test of a quality batsman is how he bats when he or the team is under pressure. The same applies to bowlers too. Put Johnson under pressure and see how he sprays all over the place. Haven't we seen enough of him over the years? He is just a below average bowler who bowls fast. Hit him for a couple of fours, he will start spraying all over the pitch and will be just his natural self - below average, erratic bowler.

  • POSTED BY Batmanindallas on | October 28, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    Yuvraj and more likely Raina will fail overseas-so why are Indians not trying out a Rahane or Rayadu

  • POSTED BY keerthitommy on | October 28, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    India should try pujara for odis.He is a very solid batsmen.he has got piles of runs in first class ,list a

  • POSTED BY cricket_lover1 on | October 28, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    Raina and Yuvraj should learn to leave the short pitch deliveries outside off and middle and off stumps..they will murder the short pitch deliveries around the leg stump...so just that and they will be fine..

  • POSTED BY Biggest_Cricket_Fan on | October 28, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    This is all for "Flat Track bullies..." Wait till Rohit goes to SA and I just hope he goes to SA so the debate of him being the best will finally be put to rest and we would know his weaknesses. About Raina, he is in International cricket for at least good 13 years(debut on Jul 26-30, 2010) in Test and around 8 years(Jul 30, 2005) in ODI. If he can not rectify one of his weakness for so long, is there any reason for him to be even included in any team, rest assured call him as the "Best". Come on guys grow up!

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | October 28, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    2011 was not Dhoni's doing, but Ganguly's doing in disguise. Ganguly built the winning team during his era (Yuvraj, Gambhir, Sehwag, zaheer, etc). It seems that Dhoni really relies on personal reasons (Ishant, Ashwin, Raina, Vinay, etc). 2015 will definitely be a huge test for his captaincy. Personally, I am not in awe of Dhoni's captaincy (his fielding settings and random bowling changes do not amuse me), but I can not deny that Dhoni is THE best ODI finisher in history (even better than Bevan). People usually get his cricketing skills mixed up with his captaincy. Its not his captaincy that wins matches, it's his batting skills that end up saving India

  • POSTED BY vrkp on | October 28, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    Not sure about Rahane. But Pujara should be tried and given long rope so is Dinesh karthik. Only two out of three (Jadeja, Yuvraj and Raina) should be in playing XI.

    This will be my 16 member squad for the WC 2015 based on current form:

    Openers: Dhawan Karthik Rohit

    Middle order: Kohli Pujara Dhoni Yuvraj Raina

    Allrounders:

    Jadeja Irfan

    Spinners:

    Ashwin Mishra

    Pacers:

    Bhuvi Shami Zaheer Yadav

  • POSTED BY vakkaraju on | October 28, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    I do not think the problem is ability. It is attitude. Raina and Yuvraj start with an irrational attack mode when confronted with short bowling. They could settle down and play soberly for the first few balls like Dhoni does. They seemed to be predetermined to have a go at these bowlers.

  • POSTED BY cooljack_143 on | October 28, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    IND's spin strength is becoming their weakness now.when MSD doesn't have faith in Ashwin no more,he is turning towards part timers, its time to bring Mishra in & try his X factor. Mishra is a better player than Ashwin at least when things aren't going his stride ,he will not experiment like Ashwin. He keeps his cool and maintains wicket to wicket delivery.

  • POSTED BY IT13 on | October 28, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    yea i think Dhawan plays Johnson best, I mean for all the indian left handed bastmen, Dhawan plays fast bowlers with much ease. As far as Raina and UV are concerned,yea they have weakness against pace and bounce. I also feel Rohit is an extremely overrated player. Just because he is from Mumbai, doesnt means he will replace the great SRT.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    Except Dhoni, Kohli, & Bhuvi I am not 100% sure about anyone else. Even Bhuvi has to develop an effective yorker; otherwise he is good only for the early overs! Everyone is carrying a weak underbelly; even Dhawan! Of course, the weaknesses for each are in different areas in different ways; but they are there. I don't think, we Indian fans should elaborate on those weaknesses. If OZ team identify and exploit those weaknesses, we can't help it!

    Would like to see Shami for a few more matches. He could be the fourth one!

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    If Dhoni Has said that Raina is confirmed No 4 in WC, that means he has belief on him. No one can judge Mr. Captain Cool's inner thought. Cheers

  • POSTED BY sumit1982 on | October 28, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    I love to see remaining two match Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar , instead of raina and vinay kumar.

  • POSTED BY ShanNachimuthu on | October 28, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    Yuvi and Raina can take leaf out of Dhawan.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    This write-up convinces me that it is high time for Dhoni to realize that Pujara need to be tried out, in ODIs too. I am saying that Dhoni is the one who should realize it, because he benched Pujara for all five ODI's against England! Even after India won the series convincingly! So, what is the use if Selectors chose him, if Dhoni is going to ignore him, in ODIs.

    I am almost sure that both Pujara and Rehane could provide solidity to the Indian ODI batting line-up. Sooner, we develop that stability, the better. Otherwise our batting fragility will be exposed very badly in the Australian conditions, during the next World Cup!

  • POSTED BY perl57 on | October 28, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    Yuvraj is not weak against short pitched but Raina is. But who in the world is so equipped to handle the short ball so well except Sachin? Johnson gives so many runs away with his pace has no control at all. So rather than saying someone is facing Johnson test, or flipping it and saying Johnson will face discipline test, just mark out the fact that the most exciting cricket is played. Gavaskar rightly pointed out that everyone in this world is potentially vulnerable to short ball.

  • POSTED BY Raj12345 on | October 28, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    @dailycric. I agree 100% with you.

    Yes. Pujara & Ranahe, Tiwary, Dk are always sidelined to include three pople; RG, Raina, Yuvi. There are so many affected because these three. I am not denying these three are good, but they don't bat like Dhoni or Kohli.

    Why Dhoni has to say Raina already earned a place in WC 2015 squad as a 4th place batsman. It is unknown secret. If that is true, then no one should be playing till 2015 WC.

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | October 28, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    We all know these guys are suspect against a good bouncer, even Bresnan who bowls 5mph slower than MJ had them both itching to get back in the pavilion a couple of years back.

  • POSTED BY dailycric on | October 28, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    how about "whether they are used in the 2015 world cup" rather than how? we have technically solid batsmen like pujara and rahane being made to sit out because of these two, both in top form - pujara fresh from yet another triple hundred, rahane the top-scorer in the champions league. at least yuvraj has shown the calibre to overcome technical shortcomings in the past - raina's average outside the sub-continent after 8 years of international cricket is 25. why then is he constantly guaranteed his place in the side? give me at least one *cricketing* reason - this is not even a long rope, it seems more like a full time position with pension and benefits without any requirements to perform or show ability at the job.

  • POSTED BY dhonimen on | October 28, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    It is very sad that most readers forgot some of the extraordinary innings played by Yuvraj Singh on the bouncy tracks.I have seen the most commenting him as a flat track bulley.But he has played some quality innings in odis at West Indies,South Africa,England and NewZealand,all of these countries tend to have the so called bouncy tracks.Even the attack he faced in debut was consisting of McGrath,Brettlee,Gillespie and it was the most quality fast bowling unit of that time.The most remarkable innings that came in Natwest final was in England.A match winning knock of 61 in 2002 ct semifinal came against the likes of pollock,Alandonald and makhyaNtini.His best score came in Australia when Brett lee and co. removed the top in quick succesion.The crucial 50 against Pakistan in 2003 wc came against worlds best bowling line up of that time.That innings was so important because it helped us not to lose the match .And finally,the innings in QF of cwc 2013 came against 3 genuine fast bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | October 28, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Johnson has a weakness we have to exploit that..when he is under pressure he bowls awkward deliveries we have seen that in so many matches..I think we have to target him and attack him from the word go that is the best way to approach him..and will see how he is bowling under pressure...am sure he will bowl lot of wides and and alter his length...this is what we did to Malinga, he was lethal once but after targeting him look at him now..

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    can any body say me if india loose one more game then it loss it 1st position or not

  • POSTED BY wolf777 on | October 28, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is another one Australia can target with pace and bounce outside off. Here is a mentally weak make-shift opener. Keep bowling him outside the off in the channel. Either he will attempt some exotic shot or will take a poke. Mix in a sharp inwinger and you may even get him bowled though the gate or LBW.

  • POSTED BY AB_DeVilliers on | October 28, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Personally, I feel Raina is an overrated player. I feel Pujara should take his place at no.4. You can't have someone who doesn't fancy the short ball at no.4 when the next world cup is in Aus.

    In addition, his struggles against the short ball hasn't started yesterday, it's been there for a long time. I remember Kohli having the same problem, but he has rectified it to a large extent. The fact that Raina can't gives more evidence that he is overrated.

  • POSTED BY Tumbarumbar on | October 28, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    Prabhakar, you have made Javagal Srinath's day, not to mention had me rolling around the floor laughing, by calling one of his deliveries a thunderbolt. With a strong tailwind, running downhill Javagal may have touched the mid 130s but I don't think thunderbolts arrive until the 150 mark. As far as your other comment goes, get someone to hit you in the face with the force of a cricket ball and I'll bet your eyes water, it won't mean you're crying, it'll be an involuntary body defensive mechanism. Cheers

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | October 28, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    @pull_shot, Dhoni is a great in pullshot, but not hookshots and seen his discomfort zone when the ball comes in lightning quick, sometimes his helicopter shots become sitters only because of the pace in pacy wickets. Dhawan surely i cannot comment due to his rich form currently. cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY wolf777 on | October 28, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Oh well. . As good as he is otherwise, Suresh Raina has failed the pace and bounce test every time. Nothing new. Ideally, you would think that lack of pace and bounce in the wicket means very good day for Raina; however, pace bowlers somehow manage to extract pace and bounce from the wicket as soon as Raina arrives on the crease.

  • POSTED BY itsthewayuplay on | October 28, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    There are certainly some Indian batsman that are uncomfortable against the short ball but the positive thing about Raina is that he has worked on it seen since the last England tour, and whilst it's still a work in progress, the difference can be clearly see. Yuvraj on the other hand is a flat track bully and it looks like the very mention of the short ball gets him quaking in his boots. But my word, when is full flow, he is good to watch. In fairness, most batsmen will struggle against Johnson's short ball when he's bowling like this. I will be interested to see how England's batsmen cope in the Ashes, particularly their main left-hander Cook, if Johnson is fit, in this form and selected albeit it he will be bowling on more bowler friendly conditions than in India.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    In order to fix it, first you have to admit you have a problem. It seems like Raina and Yuvi and indeed many posters here just do not want to admit that they do have a problem, and it is very evident. Raina just needs to learn to sway or duck against short balls. His problem is that the only way he wants to play bouncers is by attacking. That is not always possible. The bowler is only allowed 2 bouncers per over. If you play these out, even by defending/ducking you have other balls to attack. I am so surprised no senior has gone and told him this. Or maybe he just does not want to listen, and admit ghat there is an issue.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    The 3 lefthanders--Yuvi, Raina and Jadeja are bakras against raw pace, but not Dhawan. But @Mike_Tyson is absolutely right. Against serious pace & bounce even Michael Clarke struggles. What happens is that India often have no bowlers to dish it back out. That said, Yuvraj has always failed overseas except Pakistan which has slow pitches. Raina at 6 is okay if he also bowls 4-5 good overs and is an electric fielder. Pujara and Dinesh Karthik bat very well against pace, as do Dhawan, Kohli and even Rohit. Yuvraj is too much of a flat track batsman, he can't be on the plane to Australia in 2015.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Yuvraj is a spent force. He should be dropped.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    It is for the Indian team's think tank to address the entire issue. Not too many sides will come into matches with 2 genuinely fast bowlers who have a good bouncer...typically, there will be only 1. It is for Dhawan, Sharma & Kohli therefore to start taking a higher toll of other bowlers as the quick shock bowler goes off after his spell of 3 overs, making it necessary for the genuine quick to come back & bowl more overs at them. If these 3 who are better at playing the genuine quicks allow the genuine quick a break by not taking a toll of the other bowlers, the genuine quick can come back fresh. Hit one / two of the other 4 bowlers so much that the genuine quick has to come back earlier... taking the batting power-play earlier would be one option. Dhoni at 5, between Raina & Yuvi would be a 2nd. Bottomline, try to ensure that the genuine quick has bowled at least 7 overs before Yuvaraj comes in to bat.

  • POSTED BY Vishal63 on | October 28, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    Playing XI that will guarantee a victory in the sixth ODI: 1. Rohit Sharma, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Virat Kohli, 4. Suresh Raina, 5. Yuvraj Singh, 6. MS Dhoni, 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Amit Mishra, 9. Mohammed Shami, 10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11. Jaydev Unadkat.

    Maybe if the team management decide to leave Yuvraj Singj and Suresh Raina both out, they can try this squad: 1. Rohit Sharma, 2, Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Virat Kohli, 4. Ambati Rayudu, 5. MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Amit Mishra, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Mohammed Shami, 10. Jaydev Unadkat. 11. Ravichandran Ashwin

  • POSTED BY Vishal63 on | October 28, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Playing XI that will guarantee a victory in the sixth ODI: 1. Rohit Sharma, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Virat Kohli, 4. Suresh Raina, 5. Yuvraj Singh, 6. MS Dhoni, 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Amit Mishra, 9. Mohammed Shami, 10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11. Jaydev Unadkat.

    With that squad you have the Jadeja, Mishra, Shami, Bhuvi and Unadkat to bowl 10 over each. In case any of them is having an off-day, you have Rohit, Shikhar, Virat, Raina, Yuvi or in the worst case even Dhoni to put in a few overs. Shikhar should be tried as he bowled very well a few months ago in an India A game which I think was also against the Aussies. This Nagpur pitch also does favour spinners at times and so maybe the third seamer will not be used fully.

    My predictions for the amount of overs bowled by each bowler:

    1.) Bhuvneshwar Kumar = 10 overs 2.) Mohammed Shami = 10 overs 3.) Jaydev Unadkat = 5 overs 4.) Amit Mishra = 10 overs 5.) Ravindra Jadeja = 10 overs 6.) Yuvraj Singh = 3 overs 7.) Suresh Raina = 2 overs

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    @Xavier Hutson- " I am yet to see a subcontinent player who looks comfortable playing good fast bowling"- you must either from another planet or have watched no significant amount of cricket. How you forget players like Sunny Gavaskar, Sachin, Mohinder Amarnath, Dilip Vengsarkar, Dravid, VVS , Inzi, etc. Moreover, against good fast bowling ,everyone struggles, not necessary the sub continent players. A good example is the present day Aussie team, and its struggles in England against good sustained fast bowling. Ricky Ponting during the 2001 India tour was consistently roughed up by Javagal Srinath - he almost cried in the famous Kolkata test match when his face was rearranged by a Srinath thunderbolt. Similarly, Lara, ironically never found Indian fast bowling tough and could not score a single century in India. More than the spinners it was the faster bowlers who troubled him in India.

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | October 28, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    I am very happy that cricinfo puts the stats to quantify the weakness. Whether it opens selectors eyes and Dhoni's eyes or not, it educates the readers better. Let there be scientific approach for selections and exclusions as well as media articles and reader's comments !

    What some readers seem to forget is that MJ worked up Yuvi & Raina in **Indian pitches**! Now THAT is a serious problem. There are sure better players than those who get out in 4 overs & 2 overs! (in Indian pitches).

    On a different note, is this thing called "bowling plan" only meant for Aussies? Will the India selectors please ask the "India bowling coach" to train India bowlers as well to have plans as well? Or has he given up? If he has given up, I would like him to say it openly so that fans like us will stop having hopes (on India bowling).

  • POSTED BY rog123 on | October 28, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    I pity all these people who want dk or rahane in for raina or yuvraj.very recently there was an A trip to south africa and the only ones who posted a hundred in 5 day matches against the likes of de lange and kleinveldt were pujara, raina and rohit. all your rayudu, rahane and dk failed miserably. in the match where raina and rohit didnt play india lost by an innings. one or two failures dont make raina or yuvraj bad. they have the ability to counter these. one or two failures dont count.rahane was given 4 consecutive chances against england in which he failed before rohit was made to open.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    first i must say that good fast short bowling is a weakness to all batsmen presently playing international cricket.the subcontinet players are more suspect that others.i am yet to see a subcontinet player in my lifetime who looks comfortable playing good fast bowling.this present crop of players are no different.on the batting paradises of the subcontinet,they look good but are found wanting on more balanced playing surfaces.

  • POSTED BY pull_shot on | October 28, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    @ Valavan Dhoni is unacceptable to short pitch bowling no way he is poor driver but exceptional puller but dhawan is good on backfoot but his strength is frontfoot i have seen him pull 150kmph with comfort but d thing is he was so aggressive he goes for it when he is set at that time he may hit hit it straight to deep square leg throat or to fine leg.

  • POSTED BY ramli on | October 28, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    If short-pitched bowling can win matches against India, then why Aussie choose spinners at all? How did India win CT-2013 in England? So, even short-pitched bowling should be targeted to yield results, that too not always ... So, as Watson admits, one has to get to the middle order if at all MJ wants to have a go at ... India is ready to defend the WC in 2015 in Australia ... a lot of water would have flown under the bridge for Aus by then (read Ashes humiliation and further more)

  • POSTED BY RajeshNaik on | October 28, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    We will have to accept the fact that despite their best efforts both Yuvraj and Raina have not mastered the art of playing the short delivery. On slow pitches they manage to hang on but on faster pitches they falter. It is not easy to change one's way of playing. It needs tremendous dedication, hard work and hours and hours in nets playing short pitch delivery. Are these guys game enough to spend so many hours to master playing only one type of delivery? Unfortunately they are not. Bouncy pitches were a rarity in the initial years of their category. So they never felt the need to master this art. Being on the other side of 30, Yuvraj probably has no time to learn now and India will have to manage with him as he is. Whereas Raina, though has the time, but has no patience nor willingness to learn. Great Rahul Dravid himself spent lot of time with Raina on this aspect and he has not learned yet. I guess, India will have to do with them as they are.

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | October 28, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Steve Waugh and Tendulkar doesn't play bouncers. Hook shot is a high risk shot. So many times even Pujara got out to hook shots. Raina should avoid playing bouncers.

  • POSTED BY Mike_Tyson on | October 28, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    I would say most batsman would struggle against genuine pace. MJ has been bowling 150kph+ most of this series and I reckon many would struggle. I have seen Kevin Pieterson being worked over by genuine pace, even Ponting struggled against the short ball later in his career, hell even Lara was worked over by Donad on a WI tour to SA in the mid 90's which SA one 5-0. This is nothing new and I think sometimes the Indian batsman get an unfair rap on short pitched bowling.

  • POSTED BY vasanth6868 on | October 28, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    definitely cannot have two players with similar weaknesses...yuvi and raina in australia and NZ against decent pace attack looks worrying for india...raina still should be in the eleven palying at 5 or 6..raina makes his presense felt in the field...very enthusiastic and lively...cheering up his fellow mates etc..yuvi these days looks very lethargic and disinterested in the field whatever the reason might be. I was wondering if anyone thought of playing PUJARA at 4 . Not sure even if pujara has given it a thought. More in the dravid mould , he could be tried n see how he takes to the ODIs , after all he has played only 2 games n opened twice.We have so many flashy players , our team will be better served to have one like Pujara at 4. Just a thought !

  • POSTED BY sandy_bangalore on | October 28, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    This article confirms what we all know..that all Indian batsmen(with exception of kohli and Dhoni) are kings when batting on flat wickets. Yuvraj cant play the short ball, and when it swings. He is also suspect against quality spin, whcih atleast Raina can handle. Shikar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are not really tested in challenging conditions, except for a couple of occasions. But it really dosent matter, since the moment the players have a bad series against quality bowling, the next series/match is invariably at either Rajkot/indore/gwalior/kochi, where even a mediocre batsman can thrive. That will ensure that their averages and adulation are intact as well. Though its a question mark how this line up will perform in Australia in 2015!

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    india going to win this seriesss

  • POSTED BY henchart on | October 28, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Raina and Yuvraj are awesome on flat tracks and sitting ducks on bouncy pitches.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | October 28, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @Naresh28, Dhawan is having a purple patch, but he is a suspect when it comes to real pace bowling. Mohali dismissal is classic example, he is a terrific front foot player, as #Ajay_999 says, not just Raina, even dhawan does the same, when the ball bounces and nips back in sharply, he just fishes for a shot over point, which often sits to the keeper's gloves. Kohli, Rohit seems to more technically correct, but Rohit obviously have the name for slow scoring but in Australia, England, that sort of play usually get rewards, as you must get your eye in instead of pure slogging. More than Yuvraj, i feel Dhawan, Raina, jadeja and to some extent Captain Dhoni are suspects on short pitched bowling. cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | October 28, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    @Naresh28, mm, that pitch was probably one of the biggest roads I've seen in years, just imagine if our MJ was bowling to your batsmen at the WACA. Gives me thrills. It was good enough when Siddle, Hilfy, Harris and Starc got you lads out for 161 and 171 in 2011, but the thought of that being MJ bowling to you on that pitch... Greatness!

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | October 28, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    If Dhoni is building the team for 2015 WC then I dont how he is considering Raina and Yuvraj that too in Australian pitches.....our team has no chance of retaining the WC if he include Raina and Yuvraj in the playing 11...there are lots of youngsters waiting to get a chance both in batting and bowling..what are the selectors doing about it???why the fans are getting suffered because of the selectors stupidity?

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    I would reckon its no bouncers that is making struggle its rather slinging action of johnson...!!

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | October 28, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    These two guys are ruining the credibility of Indian team...Dhoni knows well Raina and Yuvraj cant handle pace but he still persist with them...Dinesh Karthik is an excellent choice he plays pace and spin very well than Yuvraj and yet DK was not selected..before Youvraj Raina was the only one who was succectible to pace and he somehow managed to hide behind all the good performance of Dhawan, Rohit etc..now he cant hide anymore with Yuvraj in the lineup..both have a weakness..DK should be in the team..either yuvraj or Raina should sit out...

  • POSTED BY Ajay_999 on | October 28, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    What I hav noticed by seeing raina play, when he sees the short ball coming, instead of standing tall and playing it of the backfoot, he bends his head, positioning it in front of his chest.The ball that was directed to his chest during his stance, now comes straight towards his head, due to which he places the bat in front, lacking confidence, and the ball takes the edge of the bat and heads towards a fielder.Either he shud crouch fully or play of the backfoot. This 2 me is the reason raina is suspectible against the short ball

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | October 28, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    hhilbumper , i guess Indian batsmen played bouncers like professionals when they defeated England in England on their way to way to champions trophy 2013 win. u might have forgotten that . try to recall while u r lying down.

  • POSTED BY orangtan on | October 28, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Yes, Rahane must be given a chance and maybe Rayudu too although the latter's temperament is in question and could be exploited by the canny Aussies. With all due respect, Yuvraj is no longer international material nothwithstanding the match winning knock in the T-20, and Raina too is good for IPL and little else, he has the talent but apparently not the resolve to work on his shortcomings.

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | October 28, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    What a revelation !!! Indians are susceptible to pace bowling. Oh..wait..Haven't we known this for like..forever ??

  • POSTED BY MohammedPadela on | October 28, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    There is no chance Yuvraj and Raina will get a chance in the longer format. These two players have been in and out of the Indian team in the recent past. I dont see them in the side for the 2015 wc in Australia (Bouncy Pithes). India needs to start selecting players who are likely to play the 2015 wc.

  • POSTED BY satishchandar on | October 28, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    I don't think one should be ashamed about getting out to Mitch.. He is right there among one of the bests when it goes to shorter formats and as dangerous as anyone when he gets it right.. Very often bowls in high 140s and if he can get his line and length right, any pace bowler can be great asset to the team.. With his skiddy bowling style, he would trouble lefties more than right..

  • POSTED BY pull_shot on | October 28, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    What d fuss about it everybody know both yuvaraj and raina r aggresive and power players and anybody will find difficult with a guy bowling over 150 kmph see at australia batting they dominated indian bowling until india get a bowler bowling >140 the only problem india doesn't have fast bowlers that can exploit opposition weakness i would love see these aussie batsman go from here play likes of steyn,morkel,malinga etc

  • POSTED BY vatsap on | October 28, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    ... and former greats and recently retired former captains will continue to clamor for Yuvraj and Raina for tests. Yuvraj and Raina are good for flat wickets with predictable bounce and no fast bowler in the opposite team. They have won matches for India, yes but world class no way. We continue to delude ourself, thanks to former greats writing column and some good cricketers like Rahane, Pandey, Tiwary, Badrinath miss out on chances, where they have to succeed every chance given.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | October 28, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @hhillbumper - So in that 360 that day there were no bouncers? Why brand all Indian batsman , Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli put them in their place that day.

  • POSTED BY humi_cric on | October 28, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    With all due respect to these wonderful players (Yuvi & Raina), but this is technical flaw which can be corrected. Shekhar Dhawan is a very good player of fast short pitch ball. Why not wear chest guard, arm guard -- etc, because both look nervous while facing short ball.

  • POSTED BY latecut_04 on | October 28, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    Raina's struggles are documented and I am really against giving him all these chances 'keeping an eye on 2015 WC'.He has never played the combination of pace and bounce/swing well and there is no reason to think he will do come 2015.He is a stroke maker suited for short formats on flat tracks.Period.But Yuvi's case is very disappointing.One would have thought he could counter pace and bounce atleast in ODIs.(leave T20s they are jsut for fun).It is unfortunate and disappointing to see him failing to read the line and atleast survive against short stuff aimed at/above the rib cage IN INDIA especially.Aus tarcks have x times more bounce and this is aserious warning.Really the likes of Rahane and Pujara(anchor role will be needed down under.)need to be tried out if these performances are any inidication.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Being dismissed by a particular bowler is due to the lack of technique in fact. It will be difficult to improve their techniques now. So better include some right handed players like rahane and rayudu in the playing eleven instead of these two left handers.

  • POSTED BY Edassery on | October 28, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    That's why these two southpaws should never ever play test cricket for India. Poor technique!

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | October 28, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Shock horror shock.Indian batsman fallible against bouncers.I am going to lie down for a while to get over the shock

  • POSTED BY ssshNevo on | October 28, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    raina has no hope in test cricket , we have 13 overseas matches coming up. It's time to move on

  • POSTED BY ssshNevo on | October 28, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    raina has no hope in test cricket , we have 13 overseas matches coming up. It's time to move on

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | October 28, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Shock horror shock.Indian batsman fallible against bouncers.I am going to lie down for a while to get over the shock

  • POSTED BY Edassery on | October 28, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    That's why these two southpaws should never ever play test cricket for India. Poor technique!

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Being dismissed by a particular bowler is due to the lack of technique in fact. It will be difficult to improve their techniques now. So better include some right handed players like rahane and rayudu in the playing eleven instead of these two left handers.

  • POSTED BY latecut_04 on | October 28, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    Raina's struggles are documented and I am really against giving him all these chances 'keeping an eye on 2015 WC'.He has never played the combination of pace and bounce/swing well and there is no reason to think he will do come 2015.He is a stroke maker suited for short formats on flat tracks.Period.But Yuvi's case is very disappointing.One would have thought he could counter pace and bounce atleast in ODIs.(leave T20s they are jsut for fun).It is unfortunate and disappointing to see him failing to read the line and atleast survive against short stuff aimed at/above the rib cage IN INDIA especially.Aus tarcks have x times more bounce and this is aserious warning.Really the likes of Rahane and Pujara(anchor role will be needed down under.)need to be tried out if these performances are any inidication.

  • POSTED BY humi_cric on | October 28, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    With all due respect to these wonderful players (Yuvi & Raina), but this is technical flaw which can be corrected. Shekhar Dhawan is a very good player of fast short pitch ball. Why not wear chest guard, arm guard -- etc, because both look nervous while facing short ball.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | October 28, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @hhillbumper - So in that 360 that day there were no bouncers? Why brand all Indian batsman , Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli put them in their place that day.

  • POSTED BY vatsap on | October 28, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    ... and former greats and recently retired former captains will continue to clamor for Yuvraj and Raina for tests. Yuvraj and Raina are good for flat wickets with predictable bounce and no fast bowler in the opposite team. They have won matches for India, yes but world class no way. We continue to delude ourself, thanks to former greats writing column and some good cricketers like Rahane, Pandey, Tiwary, Badrinath miss out on chances, where they have to succeed every chance given.

  • POSTED BY pull_shot on | October 28, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    What d fuss about it everybody know both yuvaraj and raina r aggresive and power players and anybody will find difficult with a guy bowling over 150 kmph see at australia batting they dominated indian bowling until india get a bowler bowling >140 the only problem india doesn't have fast bowlers that can exploit opposition weakness i would love see these aussie batsman go from here play likes of steyn,morkel,malinga etc

  • POSTED BY satishchandar on | October 28, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    I don't think one should be ashamed about getting out to Mitch.. He is right there among one of the bests when it goes to shorter formats and as dangerous as anyone when he gets it right.. Very often bowls in high 140s and if he can get his line and length right, any pace bowler can be great asset to the team.. With his skiddy bowling style, he would trouble lefties more than right..