India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day

India have found a settled combination - Dhoni

Sharda Ugra

February 26, 2013

Comments: 192 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni has said India have found a "settled batting and bowling combination" for the remaining three Tests in the series against Australia. It is every indicator that India will go ahead with playing five bowlers, including Ravindra Jadeja as the third spinner, for the remainder of the Test series.

Under Dhoni, India have rarely gone in with five bowlers, even if including an allrounder, but the last two Tests - against England in Nagpur and Australia in Chennai - have been different. Dhoni said that playing at home had made the five-bowler choice "a big plan". Due to the conditions at work, he said, they can perfect the combination at home.

Playing overseas with Dhoni as the sixth batsman makes the batting look "weak." At home, though, including Jadeja in XI has worked, Dhoni said. "With three Tests to come this looks like a very settled batting and bowling combination."

The three spinners put into use on the way to India's eight-wicket win over Australia in Chennai did not include left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who had taken 20 wickets in the last series against England. The closer the Hyderabad pitch resembles the one in Chennai, the greater the chances of Ojha sitting out of a match on his home ground. Jadeja, who bowls left-arm spin and has far greater batting credentials than Ojha, Dhoni said, had made it into the team as a third spinning option.

The choice of Jadeja over Ojha, Dhoni said, had worked for two reasons. Offspinners R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh had been brought in because Australia had four left-hand batsmen in their top six. "They had lots of left-handers and we assumed the wicket will turn and often it is said the away-going spinner is quite difficult to play," Dhoni said. The inclusion of Jadeja came about due to his batting abilities over Ojha's and because he could "bowl long spells and can be conservative in that he can bowl tight".

"That was one of the reasons we said let's go with two offspinners and one left-arm with Jadeja doing the job."

Jadeja's presence in the XI, Dhoni said, had automatically meant the captain would come in to bat at No.6, one spot up from his otherwise established slot at No. 7. "Till Jadeja is playing I will have to bat at No. 6 and till he gets comfortable and used to international Test cricket," Dhoni said. "If he really starts to do really well according to the amount of talent he has, we will think about it [where Jadeja should bat] later."

Dhoni's elevation to the No.6 spot for the second Test in succession produced his maiden Test double-century, 224 scored at a strike rate of over 84. He was run out in the Nagpur Test for 99. The two innings are different due to the demands of the game, but his approach to batting has stayed the same.

"This game was evenly poised and Nathan (Lyon) was bowling well," Dhoni said. "It was important that you get rid of that extra catching fielder that is around you. So that if you misread a flighted delivery or you go back to a ball that is pitched slightly up, you don't have that one extra catching fielder to take that inside edge or that bad pat. And it worked well."

Dhoni said the rest of the batting line-up too had played its role even though neither Cheteshwar Pujara got to 50 nor Sachin Tendulkar hundred. "They played for a considerable period of time and the humidity over here, we all know Chennai gets quite humid and bowlers get quiet tired… we were able to bat for more than four sessions, so overall it was a very good effort both by the bowlers and the batsmen."

 
 
"You can't make three or four spinners bowl the exact number of overs. You don't see the number of overs bowled by them before you make a bowling change, you see who looks effective and make a bowling change." MS Dhoni
 

India's two medium-pacers in the Chennai Test, Ishant Sharma and debutant Bhuvneshwar Kumar, may have bowled between them only 33 of India's 226 overs in the Test but have given their team, Dhoni said, the options and variety it needed, which as good as ruled out the idea of packing another spinner in Ojha in the XI in Hyderabad. "You have to be sure the wicket will turn," Dhoni said. "On the first day most of us assumed it will be a turning track. There will be plenty for the spinners. But we saw it was a decent wicket. That's why you want to be prepared in a situation where you think this is what may happen, but it goes the other way around."

Dhoni said Bhuvneshwar's ability with the bat had given India another lower-order option and that the extra spinner would have made it difficult to juggle him around the other three. "You can't make three or four spinners bowl the exact number of overs," Dhoni said. "You don't see the number of overs bowled by them before you make a bowling change, you see who looks effective and make a bowling change."


Bhuvneshwar Kumar and MS Dhoni were in a century stand, India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 3rd day, February 24, 2013
MS Dhoni could likely retain the winning combination for the upcoming games © BCCI
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If there was an element of the Indian batting that appeared weak in Chennai it was the opening combination of Virender Sehwag and M Vijay, but Dhoni said he would wait before drawing conclusions. "You need to give them a fair amount of time," he said. "So let's hope for the best… Let's continue with him (Vijay) and give him some time and that comfort of saying he is wanted over here."

When asked whether the memory of the Nagpur 99 had played on his mind, Dhoni said, "I've got five 90s so it doesn't weigh any more - I personally believe it's the top six batsmen who worry about the 100s. I've never thought a lot about hundreds."

Dhoni said he was asked by Dilip Vengsarkar after he had scored 92 at The Oval whether he would have done something different with reference to his dismissal. "I said no, I would bat the same way if I get a chance to hit, I'll hit. So nothing much has changed… what's your speciality remains your speciality."

This has been the shakiest period in Dhoni's captaincy following a home series defeat to England and he said he dealt with the pressure by not reading the newspapers or watching television. "It's not like I don't read newspapers," he said. "But third page from the behind is the sports page, so you try to get rid of it. Because otherwise you don't know what's happening in India.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 28, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

I still have some time for Sehwag.Yes, he's been abysmal for the last 2 yrs both home and away.But to be fair,he's been more than subtle in the last 2 yrs about his preference.. in middle order.If Dhoni can hide himself at 7 and makes younger players take the heat always and Sachin won't move from 4,why cant Sehwag get his own spot? Get someone else to open!

There has to be consistency on being flexible too.Who knows Sehwag might have been a solid middle order batsman by now with his ability to destroy spinners and old ball.In fact if he has to be in the team,middle order is the only place for him to fit in.Selectors cant drop him just because Dhoni doesn't like him..same happened to Gambhir.If they have to drop anyone merely on performances,it is Dhoni himself who's been pathetic with bat and glove except that 100.But then he's all the immunity as a captain and the biggest bane of Ind cricket.

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 28, 2013, 19:28 GMT)

@Nampally 100% Agree with you..well said and nicely articulated.Yes I do expect idiot Dhoni to repeat the 1st test combo..Imagine even for a WC at home he ignored critics on Ashwin etc but only got him later when pressure was unbearable.So contrary to what he proffers he does buckle under media pressure but now,alas there is no expert outside to objectively criticize his policies.But as you rightly said,I feel its curtains for Rahane,Ojha as long as his useless CSK bunch of Vijay,Jadeja stay in the 15.The selectors need to show some gumption and drop them after 2nd test if they fail again.Otherwise I see no chance for deserving players under Dhoni who looks set to destroy the Indian test team with atrocious & illogical selections.

Posted by Nish_US on (February 28, 2013, 17:47 GMT)

Dhavan for Murali (not sure if Dhavan is more capable, but that is the only option) Ojha for Bajji Rahane/Tiwari for Jadeja (Tiwari can try his leggies to compensate for Jadeja's bowling if needed)

Then I and many of the IND fans on CRICINFO and worldwide will be happy, I guess

Posted by Nish_US on (February 28, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

@VJ_Cricket I hope you are RIGHT..... But Dhoni has proved many a time in the past that he preferes to be arrogant than strategic.....

Posted by VJ_Cricket on (February 26, 2013, 14:33 GMT) Guys... & Gals, pls relax. Still have few days before next match. Clearly he will not do the same mistake as aussies, revealing any changes on the of the win or this early. #mindgames?

my guess is Dhawan for Murali and Ohja for Bhajji for next game.

still think Viru shud move to middle order!

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 15:52 GMT)

I just can't believe, that Bhajji is more suitable for Hyderabad than Ojha! I can't believe that either of the two opening batsmen showed any semblance of form ... it is more galling to accept, when the team chosen by the selectors (which itself ignored many worthy contenders) has two youngsters warming the bench, both of whom can be developed into decent openers -- Dhawan & Rahane.

Any way, Dhoni has repeatedly said that he thinks of ONLY the test in hand; not beyond that! Alas, who cares for the future? (Pl don't read more than what I say. I am not saying that Dhoni is not a worthy captain. He is the best to lead India at the moment. But some of his playing XI choices are highly questionable)

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

Funny how a winning team has a settled batting line-up and a losing team calls for changes. Tend,kohli and dhoni were poor against england and not against aust...thats all thats changed. As for the openers...vijay and sehwag should stick to t20 cricket..indian selectors seem to use ipl as the basis for test team selection...lets not disappoint the public!

Posted by rosh280 on (February 28, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

I really dont know why pankaj singh is not getting chance in indian test team he had been given only one chance in oneday team against srilanka. he is a great fast bowler he had 4 times 10 wicket hauls and 17 times 5 wicket hauls and he is capable of getting wickets in international level. similarly ishwar pandey and sidharth kaul performed well in some of the matches still they are not picked and played at international level. sreesanth should be given chance if ishant is not playing well. dhoni is a good captain he really reciprocates with selection committee.selection committe could have selected ambati rayudu and c m gowtham for shikhar dawan that could have been the good choice. they are the great players to get the nod in indian team. i really feel murali vijay, jiwan joth singh, v a jagadeesh, ian dev singh, abhinav mukund, ravi inder singh, dinesh karthik are the real choices for the opening pairs. right now i will stick with virendar sehwag and murali vijay in next 3 tests.

Posted by dariuscorny on (February 28, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

drop Vijay ASAP.what kind of affection do they hv with Vijay,its beyond me,a puzzle which cannot be solved.in past Chairman of selectors Srikant also persisted with Vijay,which was a huge flop.now with Patil ,Vijay continues to enjoy the same support he had earlier.i ask everyone here on this thread,do you guys find any class in his batting,1% of it,do you?even if 1 person comes up jstifying his place in the team,i 'll quit criticizing Vijay frm there on.....

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 28, 2013, 2:27 GMT)

Sehwag and Bhajji are begging to be dropped. They are way past their use-by dates. On current form, Jaffer is a better opener than Sehwag, and Rasool is a better off spinner than Bhajji. Vijay and Jadeja are not test class players. Let them play in IPL. Please try Dhawan and Ojha in tests. Ishant sharma is a mediocre pacer. Indian Selectors need to do their job and select a youngster like Shami Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, or Sandeep Warrier.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (February 28, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

Lets not get carried away by assuming all is fine with this line up. We all know the outcome of the recent England series after India had won the first test. No way this line up is settled with so many non performers. Murali Vijay should be given more chances. His basic technique is not wrong. He is losing out on playing poor shots. He needs to sort out his game. May be play safe shots initially until he is settled and then open up to play more risky shots. Shewag will not get any better. He is once in 10 innings wonder now. SRT should hang boots even if he can play. Bhajji is a spent force.

Posted by LoveTeamIndia on (February 28, 2013, 0:15 GMT)

One wrong argument after another, the worst of which has to be the mention of the "talent" of Jadeja! So Jadeja is to our Test team what Rohit "talented" Sharma is to our One-day team. The journalists do not ask any tough questions back and most of the commentators and so-called experts praise Dhoni. Some are scared after Mohinder Amarnath lost his selector' position after criticizing Dhoni. Some others like Rahul Dravid and Ravi Shastri are very poor as commentators--so they are trying to make Srini+Dhoni happy to keep their jobs. All of this can happen only in India! I feel really sorry for players like Rahane, Tiwary, and Ojha, who are suffering because of this disfunctional system. God save Indian cricket!

Posted by Nampally on (February 27, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

@nyc_missile:After watching Dhoni's moves for last couple of years you must understand how he selects the team. I will bet my bottom dollar that he would go with an unchanged XI from the first Test.That has been the trouble with Captain Dhoni. He has tunnel vision & his rationale for team selection, if he has any, defies logic !. He firmly believes that he has a "settled" XI, as announced at the press conference. Cricket Fans are aghast that Harbhajan not only got in the squad but he played in XI. He had 3 wkts for 142 giving him a huge average of about 47 runs/Wkt. That was on a spinners wkt. where a real spinner like Ashwin averaged about 16 runs/wkt.MSD will play Harbhajan in 2nd Test, irrespective of logic or what others think. Also Jadeja will play at the expense of Ojha & Vijay will open even after his 2 failures. Dhawan & Rahane would have been better off playing in Hazare Tourney.I suppose 7 Lakhs/Test as match fee, is enough to silence these guys. Money always speaks in India!

Posted by Nish_US on (February 27, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

After repeated goading got GAUTI out of the team... but the replacement was no better....

Posted by umangsagar on (February 27, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

jadeja has been preferred over the best spinner we had in last series for his batting skills....good....only 2 problems i have 1. He never scores 2. You seriously need not to play your best spinner for some runs from an average player who seldom scores? and then you still need so many world class batsmen in your team?

amazing.

Posted by bmoizuddin on (February 27, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

surly vijay will be give chance after chance coz hs is from CSK and dont forget they have CSK's captain as indian captain and he is doing his best by fielding as many as CSK team mates.. had sachin not scored dhoni might have included raina in playing XI - surprise and shocked!!! you will see that happen on day for sure.. and may be bhadrinath too.. who knows..;)

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 27, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

For the 2nd test,dead-wood in this team Ishant, Jadeja & Vijay would have been dispensable if it was any other country.Not in Ind where the captain fool doesn't think what he does and does what he feels.Now that he scored a 100 after eons he feels he can convert this team into a full-fledged CSK unit even if its against national interests.

Even from CSK he always picks the wrong players.I wouldn't have minded if he'd backed say a Badrinath or Shadab Jakati even.So the basic issue is he lacks the acumen & instinct to select the right players for the right format.He picks Yuvraj,Raina,Vijay & Jadeja who are deemed limited overs specialists for tests and eventually will ruin their career in that format.OTOH he sidelines all touch players made for tests :Rahane,Tiwary,Rohit and Rayudu. This is hardly a settled side..

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 27, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

For the 2nd test,dead-wood in this team Ishant, Jadeja & Vijay would have been dispensable if it was any other country.Not in Ind where the captain fool doesn't think what he does and does what he feels.Now that he scored a 100 after eons he feels he can convert this team into a full-fledged CSK unit even if its against national interests.

Even from CSK he always picks the wrong players.I wouldn't have minded if he'd backed say a Badrinath or Shadab Jakati even.So the basic issue is he lacks the acumen & instinct to select the right players for the right format.He picks Yuvraj,Raina,Vijay & Jadeja who are deemed limited overs specialists for tests and eventually will ruin their career in that format.OTOH he sidelines all touch players made for tests :Rahane,Tiwary,Rohit and Rayudu. This is hardly a settled side..

Posted by rosh280 on (February 27, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

As dhoni pointed out indian opening pairs are not the worry right now. we got very good opening pair murali vijay and virendar sehwag in this spot. murali vijay and virendar sehwag can take india too long still we have good choices in the opening spot. we have ravi inder singh he is a talented technically strong batsman, similarly jiwanjoth singh, ian dev singh of jammu, v a jagadeesh of kerala, c m gowtham of karnataka, ganesh satish of karnataka, abhinav mukund of tamil nadu are the great batsmen really look for their selection but murali vijay and virendar sehwag are really far ahead than these players. still we could have tried ravi inder singh and c m gowtham , v a jagadeesh in test side. I still prefer dinesh karthik and murali vijay open indian test side. it will be a great pair other than sehwag and murali vijay. jiwan joth and ravi inder is another choice.

Posted by satchander on (February 27, 2013, 18:43 GMT)

In recent couple of of years Dhoni has clearly shown signs of lack of learning which has cost us the no.1 ranking and its quite evident from his recent statement "we have found a settled combination" that he is not willing to learn. As a Indian supported, I find quite a few chinks in the combination we selected for 1st test despite the fact we beat Aus by 8 wickets. I just hate Dhoni for the fact that he believe Jadeja will become a super allrounder - Jadeja's limited talent is evident to everyone except Dhoni. Again with Bhajji, it is quite clear he is a spent force. On this same turning and spitting wicket abt 12 years back Bhajji took 15 wickets whereas now he took only 3 wickets - does anyone need any further reason beyond this to know Bhajji needs to retire. Again with Sehwag he still feels Sehwag needs time - after 100 test matches if a player still needs time, seriously something is wrong with the captain !!!

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (February 27, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

Was Jadeja the missing link in the the team?

Posted by rosh280 on (February 27, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

It is a great time to think about indian fast bowling. sreenath, kapil, robin singh, manoj prabhakar, venkatesh used to get wickets in chennai wicket. I really feel our indian fast bowling needs some change in test side. we need to bring sreesanth now and also revamp out with pankaj singh, sidharth kaul, ishwar pandey. they are the wicket taking bowlers with variations that is what needed in test bowling. sreesanth, pankaj singh, sidharth kaul, ishwar pandey all had some variations in their bowling. bhuvanesh kumar, ishant sharma can be good bowlers for oneday side and twenty matches. jadeja, aswin both can bat and bowl well. jadeja and ashwin should bat at the 6 and 5 spots. they are capable of hitting centuries and technically outstanding batsmen. we really need some players with wrist shots i really feel for azharuddin; he was a great batsman. we need to have players with hook, wrist and sweep shots. we really lack now these skills.

Posted by rosh280 on (February 27, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

I really agree with the views of dhoni.Let me first congratulate dhoni for his awesome performances in chennai.It is the right time for india to look for the players performances graph. we had test series with pakistan, england now with australia. India emerged as the good test cricket team. dhoni is right in saying it is not the right time to talk about opening pairs. sehwag and vijay are the players capable of playing long innings, they can change the situations. they perform well when they are inform.I feel indian selectors have found good opening pairs for now. ravindra jadeja is a good alrounder. he can score centuries technically superb, shows nerve and use his brain and heart when play for india. he is a great spinner too. I feel india should try vishal joshi, rakesh dhruv, parveen rasool also in the place of harbhajan singh. indian fast bowling is really a worry now we need to include sreesanth, pankaj singh and sidharth kaul for test side. even ishwar pandey too.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

I must congratulate Dhoni on the best test innings i have seen, over to opening combo for indian batting. Shevag--His days are long gone, he batting is shaky, we cannot rely on him to score a hundred every 10 Test, i will take a guy who scores 35 most of the games, he must be removed imediatly also considering limited feilding options and the fact that his batting of late looks hopeless. MVJAY: Good limited over bad, still needs to prove Test caliber, throws his vicket almost every time, need to learn from mistakes, i would not play him either. Jadeja: Why to people think he can bat, when i see him bat he looks far worse then Kumar, why do people dont get it that he is not a batting talent in test but a disaster--Remove thim to put real spinner in place. My Choice: Jafer\Dhavan or Jafer\Rehane. Harbhajan: Is well past his prime and needs to bowl lot better, not sure why he got chosen, past sucess does not mean a thing, i would have given chance to atlest one newcomer spinner.

Posted by jay_vkjay on (February 27, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

What will Dhoni do at Mohali, where the 3rd test is scheduled to play. Its probably the only Indian pitch that has something for the pacers. Ishanth Sharma is becoming worse from bad. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar can't generate enough swing with the red ball, as he has been doing with white ball. Coming into Harbhajan Singh, I feel sorry for him. I think he lost himself as a test bowler. He is delivering quick most of the times, not tossing the ball up....... Even Jadeja did well than him. India's top 6 batsmen are all right-handers. Considering this factor, Dhawan will be more suitable than Vijay.

Posted by myStraightTalk on (February 27, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

After 1 win its now settled combination. What a joke.. if he loose/draw this series like he did with England he should be asked to take a walk and focus on 1 day captainship.

Posted by Nish_US on (February 27, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

Can someone please explain how SIR JADEJA warrants his place in Indian Test team?

Posted by Nish_US on (February 27, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

Dhoni will play at 6, until JADEJA gains enough exposure to play at 6.

We need someone to replace Laxman at 6, and JADEJA is DHONI's choice....

Posted by Kohli--The_Messi_of_Cricket on (February 27, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

@Sathish.Velu - Rohit is a world-class batsman but he is more suited for Test matches than ODIs. He should be dropped from the limited-overs team and get a brief run in Tests. The Indian selectors have this habit of picking players for the wrong format like, Vijay and Raina should be playing T20s and not Test cricket. Dhawan is a wonderful limited-overs batsman but he is in the Test squad. Awana can be a brilliant bowler in Tests but they played him in T20s and dropped him. Rahane and Tiwary too are more the longer-version batsmen but they are always judged by their ODI/T20 performances.

Posted by Pathiyal on (February 27, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

we have not seen a combination of seamers, not even talking about it. a total of 223 overs bowled in this first test, the seamers bowled just a paltry 31 overs with absolutely no effect for the team. it's surprising to see the young & tall ishant sharma not able to generate either pace or swing or even to make use of his height. what MS did in this test was bailing out the team of its short comings which can't work everytime.

Posted by Anil.Yadav on (February 27, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

It is too early to say that "a good combination" has been found. The same spinners were nicely handled by England batsmen.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (February 27, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

@ CricketMaan on (February 27, 2013, 9:36 GMT):You have summed up the story of all the players around available for selection.Can't agree more with you.

Posted by DINESHCC on (February 27, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

With just one win, that too a hard fought win Dhoni come to a conclusion that bowling combination is settled. The so called settled combination could not separate Aus last wicker pair for about two hours. Ashwin took 12 wickets but leaked more runs like Lyon. With our settled bowling combination Aus scored 300 plus runs on the very 1st day itself. Normally Hyerabad pitch is a batting paradise for the 1st 3 days. If we field the same bowling combination for Hyderabad test, Aus is going to level the series 1-1

Posted by CricketMaan on (February 27, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

Tiwary wont make debut until SRT hangs his boots, Rahane possibly if he rethinks to open batting in Tests, I read that he is more keen in middle order. GG will come back for Mohali and Delhi, while Viru will chug along. Vijay will soon be known as 'Former test opener' while Jadeja could be next Yuvi in Tests . Dhawan, Mukund needs more India A games on green tops, Jiwanjot must not be just 1 season wonder rather repeat his feet again. Unmukt still seems like he is playin for U19. Unfortunately Umesh, Varun are injury prone, Ishant the biggest gainer from thier injuries, Zak may play a series or two, Dinda is untested, BK is next PK in tests, Sree and Bhajji are twitter stars. Ashwin needs to pick wikcets in SA, NZ, Eng and Aus before he will gain respect from one and all. Ohja will play in India and even open bowling as long as Dhoni is captain. Only CP and VK seems like a permanent fixtrue for some years to come. Hail BCCI

Posted by himanshu.team on (February 27, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

I agree with Dhoni on all aspects except two. 1 - If you have two equally good bowlers (or batsmen), then you may say we want a right or a left hander. However, if performance of one is significantly better than the other, I feel this criteria should not be applied. Ojha, has been bowling well consistently. He was the ONLY good bowler for India in the England series. Now he is dropped becuase he bowls left arm? That is ridiculous. 2 - I agree that we should not dismiss Vijay based on just one match, but Sehwag is a different case. He has got far too many opportunities already and deadline be set (and communicated) to him. He must perform NOW if he has to continue or we must look at replacement options seriously.

Posted by viji69 on (February 27, 2013, 7:50 GMT)

it is high time, one should stop poking nose into others areas. commentators talking about the selection policy, past bowlers current commentators - taking about how to bat etc., and viceversa. weeks ago, almost the entire fraternity called for the head of the captain, Regional under currents, politicizing and polarizing cricket (for commercial gains) were blatant. B we should be within the limits, not to overstep in to someone's role, which is assigned after, much deliberation and consensus, by appropriate people who matters.

Posted by CurrentPresident on (February 27, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

Look at the past greats of the Indian team - Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar... and then look at the age at which they were brought into the test team. That's how greats are discovered and nurtured. Really young.

Now look at the current team and see if there is any exciting young talent in there brought there in time. Every country is discovering young talent by being bold and imaginative and giving unproven youngsters a chance based on the captain's instinct. We have fallen prey to the bureaucracy of "prove in ipl, prove in Ranji" for a couple of seasons and so on...

What are the talent scouts and seniors doing? Why aren't they finding talented youngsters and fast-tracking them? Why is Sandeep Singh not in the team? What about Unmukt Chand? Why did Virat Kohli take so long to make it in the test team from the U-19?

Posted by soumyas on (February 27, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

his stubbornness in keeping personal interests hurting real fans of Indian cricket...he shud realize he is no greater than cricket itself... many of my fnds kept on telling me that indian team is full of personal interests but i never agreed to them, always backed dhoni except choices like Jadeja in TESTS. but now i'm realizing the real fact...

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

If the third and 4th partnership of Indian innings were different the result of the match could be different. Then what is being told settled now, could be term as unsettled. With the bad memories of recent past, this is too early to call it settle. Let's see at least another 5/6 test or two series.

Posted by shrastogi on (February 27, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

There is nothing called settled combination as it breeds complacency. What you need is aperforming combination. In the present line up Vijay's place is up for grabs. You simply cant have a opening partnership which fails to deliver time and again. I would like to give Harbhajan another test inspite of his modest performance at Chennai so Ojha may have to wait. Chennai pitch was difficult but runs were there for taking if one settled down and got his eye in. As much as 289 runs came on 4th day on apitch responsive to spin from day 1. India was lucky that Lyon couldnt do a Kreza in terms of wickets though in terms of runs conceded he was as costly.If India goes with 5 bowlers Jadeja would have to show more competancy with bat.

Posted by TheGamerX on (February 27, 2013, 7:05 GMT)

M. Vijay has played 22 test innings in his career and averages below 30 with 1 hundred and 2 fifties. That is a good enough number of chances for a player to prove himself and the stats are a good enough yardstick that he is not upto the mark especially for an opener. Not that Rahane or Dhawan would be better than him, but they deserve the equal amount of chances that Vijay has already got!

Posted by joseyesu on (February 27, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

I too prefer with hanging on with the openers as it provides a descent opportunity. May be India can go with Ojha and Ashwin in Hyderabad.

Posted by Samar_Singh on (February 27, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

That means out of form Bhajji will be playing his 101st test.. What disgrace.. Sorry Ojha..

Posted by dariuscorny on (February 27, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

Dhoni thinks if he's in form or contributing with the bat,he can take whatever decisions he wants even if it costs India a match or for that matter the test series.I mean giving time to Vijay to settle in team means frustrating players like Dhawan,Tiwary,Rahane sitting in the bench,therefore unsetteling the whole combination.Vijay has to be one of the worst players around has got ample oppurtunities at home and abroad to cement his place,i think Dhoni wants to field a CSK team,my prediction Ind will loose second test match as Aus will play to their best ability and will be well prepared coz it seems Dhoni doesnt want to improve teams performance by filling the huge gaps of weaknesses(Vijay,Harbhajan etc)

Posted by bluebloodripper on (February 27, 2013, 5:23 GMT)

Dhawan and Rahane in for sehwag and vijay. Bhajji needs to be given a clear signal to go back and get wickets at the domestic lvl or there's no coming back. Ojha will be in the playing 11. If its a track similar to last one then we could go in with 3 spinners and 1 seamer i.e. only one from ishant/bhuvi. Really hoping Jaffer gets a call up after the 2nd test...Selectors need a basic lesson on selection before they get the job..The team needs to be picked on 1 criteria only..FORM!

Posted by sanh on (February 27, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

Far from it...this victory has been achieved despite rather than due to certain players. 3 changes are a must for the next test... Rahane instead of Vijay. Ojha instead of Harbhajan... Amit Misra instead of Jadeja. (replacements are from the 15 selected)

Posted by PANKAJ_GOGIYA on (February 27, 2013, 4:53 GMT)

most of the teams have right hander does at that time captain thinks of a left arm spinner....it doesnt make sense ojha deserves a place in side...if jadeja cannot be dropped then drop harbhajan....

Posted by TRAM on (February 27, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

What makes the selectors think a good cricket player (=Dhoni or Kholi ..) would be a good selector of the playing 11 ??? I dont understand/agree with that aspect. IMO the playing 11 should NOT be decided by the captain at all, however good captain or player he is. Being a good captain/player has nothing to do with 1. viewing a team from birds-eye-view, 2. evaluating the pitch 3. Evaluating the talent of other players 4. psychological aspects of individuals... etc. Being "cool", unemotional is a good quality of a captain. But that has nothing to do with above points and team selection.

Posted by NP_NY on (February 27, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

Settled? I think not. The opening combination needs to be changed. Atleast, drop one of them and bring Rahane in. A more gutsy option would be to drop both of them and bring in Dhawan as well.The lower order is strong in terms of batting. Between Jadeja and Ashwin they can make for an effective seventh batsman. Bhajji and Kumar can bat too (if Kumar hadn't shown application, India would have ended up with a 40 run lead instead of 190). Well done on the first test win!

Posted by WC2011Champs on (February 27, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

Let's take two days rest and come back leaving emotions behind. It is Ojha's home ground and he must be in XI instead of Bhajji. And Rahane with 62 average (highest first class by far) should replace Vijay. Bhajji is not going to take many wickets nor Vijay is going to get past Pattinson's opening spell. Not deciding Bhajji or Vijay's long term future just strategizing for the next game. There won't be Ashwin's 10 wickets haul (and do not overexpose and make him ineffective) and a double century from Dhoni in second test. So plan accordingly.

Posted by Simoc on (February 27, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

Dhoni may well end up one of the greats in the game. He is certainly on track. I'de expect Ojha to come in for Singh as it loosely appeared as if Singh was not wanted by the way he was used. 380 was an ok score for Oz but they flopped second time out. There is far to much reliance on Clarke which is going to come unstuck. Unfortunately only Watson and Clarke (henriques) look like test batsmen at this stage. Test cricket is about learning quickly so we'll soon know if these guys are up to it. They are the best we have so there can be no excuses.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

I find this left handers argument pretty amusing.. 4 left handers? Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Starc? They doesn't have either the experience or the merit to play proper spin. A left arm spinner especially Ojha who was proved effective with both attack and defense would have troubled the experienced and 'talented' players of spin - Michael Clarke and Shane Watson, who are right handers. May be after this match you have to welcome the fact that there is another good right hander in Moises Henriques. Harbhajan was reckless with the bat, so it doesn't matter if Ojha can't bat as Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is an able tail ender and he hardly gets to bowl in this series esp. in 3rd or 4th innings. If Clarke takes on Ashwin on a not so spinning track, India will be left without any wicket taking options. Ishant Sharma is no Pattinson and do not under estimate Mitchell Starc. Siddle and Bhuvi can be called batting allrounders now?

Posted by PTtheAxis on (February 27, 2013, 3:57 GMT)

@womenlovecricket - instead of firing 2 potential matchwinners why not just fire dhoni as captain instead who has lost 2 series 4-0 and a home series to england ?

Posted by cricket2Monkey on (February 27, 2013, 3:46 GMT)

Really disappointed in Dhoni's approach to selection. Agreed Australia has 4 lefthanded batsman in their lineup, but the major threat in this Team are Clarke, Watson and now Henriques who are all right handed. Dhoni is masking the fact Australia reached 380 in the 1st innings is because of Harbhajan not giving enough support to Ashwin. Whatever happened to fielding your best bowler instead of looking at number of lefties.

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 27, 2013, 3:44 GMT)

My guess is that Dhoni will persist with Bhajji and drop Ojha again to secure Jadeja's spot as a left arm spinner because lets face it,Ojha will out bowl Jadeja and also get more wickets than him! People who think this is just a conspiracy..wait for the next test and let me know :D

Posted by Subhojit62 on (February 27, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

You must be kidding me Mr. Dhoni. Unstable opening combination, non existent opening bowlers and no one at No. 6 (assuming you are only playing that role for tests in India) - settled line up. You guys need to play on good cricket pitches as most of the time you will be encountering them world wide with a few exceptions though. Ashwin, Ojha and others need to learn how to bowl on them and yet be succeessful.

Posted by CandidIndian on (February 27, 2013, 2:05 GMT)

Sehwag ,Jadeja and Vijay are sitting ducks.If openers will be Sehwag and Vijay then we will see scores like 12 for 2 in every innings for the rest of the series.If Starc starts bowling with same passion and aggression like Pattinson then this settled combination will struggle to cross 300.These kinds of decisions has led to 8-0 loss overseas and 2-1 embarrassment at home.Rohit,Raina , Jadeja, Chawla,Vijay ,all of them will always get special preferences and backing for obvious reasons.Vijay and Sehwag opening against SA later this year will be a big LOL ,it would remind us of opening combination of India's tour of Aus in 99 when Debang Gandhi used to open and Aussies used to shake their heads when he managed to get a single somehow.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 1:52 GMT)

@ itsthewayyouplay: agree with your comments. If the England series is anything to go by, Dhoni should not take the emphatic first test victory as a given that Australia will struggle in the rest of the series. Any pitch which will provide even the smallest bit of assistance to Australia's pace attack will mean toucher conditions for India's batsmen. One thing that was different in this 1st test relative to the England tests was Dhoni's attacking captaincy, something which we been missing for some time and was a hallmark of his earlier days in the role. India have a team which can win in home conditions, but Dhoni will need to keep testing the Aussies, and that means maintaining the attacking mindset and not allowing them to settle. Looking fwd to an amazing series ahead.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

@nyc_missile: First of look at ODI games where because of Dhoni only Rohit sharma gets so many chances even with consistent failure.. Secondly, see the performance of Rohit in Domestic Test matches..

@Slp Srinivas: Don't Compare Laxman with Dhoni.. Dhoni is a wicket keeper also and Laxman was not. Check the past Record and find was there any Keeper in past whose record was as good as Dhoni in terms of batting..

Posted by Teej_onlycricket on (February 27, 2013, 0:05 GMT)

Dhoni always talks in 'detail' after a win, I don't think this Indian line up is anywhere close to settled. Bhajji is not even 60% good that he used to be(lost his mojo like Sarvan of W.I), Jadeja is not a test player but a good gamble, M.Vijay is not consistent but skilled. It needs lot of hard-work, discipline and consistency before making any such statement. I love the fact we won the match based on skill, this should give us the confidence to win this series.

On the other hand Aussies got a very positive leader in M.Clarke and inspiring knock from Moises will help the team to aspire for more. They are in a mess when handling Nathan Lyon and their bowling combinations, Siddle does not look like the leader of the pack and Starc or Johnson's sling not working on slow wickets. I predict they will get the combinations correct by the 3rd test to give us a great series.

p.s: "Chennai crowd has been awesome and test cricket lives on"

Posted by cheatsdontprosper on (February 26, 2013, 23:53 GMT)

I totally agree India have a good team of bowlers to suit the pitches, to really make the Aussie's JOB of winning any games very difficult. The problem that needs to be addressed is the opening batsmen not getting enough runs , Sehwag seems either tired or not on his usual top form lately, Vijay needs to take this chance to get a solid grip on his place in the team.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (February 26, 2013, 23:27 GMT)

While this is a good statement to boost confidence of players, the team composition is anything but settled for the Indian team. It should be treated as such. The Indian team has consistently failing opening batsmen. While Jadeja should be given some rope to gel as a batting all rounder who can bowl decent. If he works on adding loop and few variations, he can be very effective as a bowler. Harbhajjan Singh is doubtful and so are pace bowlers. If Yadav is fit, he should walk into the team.

Posted by pr3m on (February 26, 2013, 23:22 GMT)

Leave the cricketing aspects, the last line left quite an impression on me. This guy is so down to earth, and that shows in his interviews. Really fantastic presence in our side.

Posted by landl47 on (February 26, 2013, 23:15 GMT)

If Dhoni continues to make rapid double hundreds for the rest of the series, I guess it doesn't much matter who the rest of the players are.

In the faint chance that he doesn't, then some of the side didn't look all that great. The opening partnership failed both innings, the seamers didn't look at all dangerous and if Kumar hadn't stuck around the first innings might have been over without a big lead for India.

I think there are still some major question marks over the Indian team and calling it a 'settled combination' is more a hope than a reality. India will be favourites as long as the pitches are turners, but don't underestimate Australia's ability to learn and improve.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 26, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

Dhoni is going to pay for his folly. Every player needs to contribute. You can't have openers scoring in single digits all the time. Same thing goes with bowlers like Harbhajan and Ishant Sharma. We have better bowlers in Rasool and Shami Ahmed/Sandeep Sharma. We also have better openers in Dhawan and Jaffer. Dhoni thinks he can hit a double century and Ashwin can bag 12 wickets in every match. You 2 are never ever ever getting back together for such a freak performance.

Posted by kadampan on (February 26, 2013, 22:05 GMT)

Settled combination?!?!?! those days are gone for India. Now every series it should be different team. No one is invincible like Gambir Sewag and big 4 Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly and Laksman. That was past. Like Australia after retirement of best team, India is struggling to find good team.

One win and we are forgetting whitewash in England and Australia. Then England kicked us in our backyard. Aswin's test batting average is just 10 less than Dhoni's test batting average. (Difference was even less if we exclude the last double hundred). This is no where close to the combination that made India number one. No one can replace in form Gambir and Sewag (Not today's Sewag). No3 may have found Pujara. 4 Sachin hmmmm. 5 Ganguly may have found Kohli. 6. No one can replace Laksman(Dhoni?!?! don't make me laugh). 7. Aswin may have replaced Dhoni

nyc_missile has mentioned right. Dhoni was able to stay in long time since there was no better wicket keeper then because he is beeb caption.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 21:59 GMT)

Okey guys lets just not jump out of the ground after winning this test only. Don't Forget That's how they started against England as well. Australia will bounce back as well and win the series i think.

Posted by Nish_US on (February 26, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

@VJ_Cricket I hope you are RIGHT..... But Dhoni has proved many a time in the past that he preferes to be arrogant than strategic.....

Posted by VJ_Cricket on (February 26, 2013, 14:33 GMT) Guys... & Gals, pls relax. Still have few days before next match. Clearly he will not do the same mistake as aussies, revealing any changes on the of the win or this early. #mindgames?

my guess is Dhawan for Murali and Ohja for Bhajji for next game.

still think Viru shud move to middle order!

Posted by johnmcdonald on (February 26, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

why not go with all 5 spinners? We already have 3, add 2 leggy in it. Let's make AUS life even more miserable...

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 26, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

With a win finally, as rare as Oasis Dhoni probably thinks he can slip in some of his favorites in the team permanently so the superior replacements don't get a foot-hold in the team.So unfortunately,I think its curtains for Ojha and Rahane.How many more players is Dhoni intending to destroy?? Lot of them around..Rayudu,Tiwary,even Rohit for tests! When he sees a player with potential,leadership qualities,Dhoni says phew this guy is a threat to me so lets invent ways to shatter his confidence,complain to his board like a little kid and eventually drop him on some pretext.This is the modus-operandi of our hopeless skipper.

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 26, 2013, 20:09 GMT)

Take powers away from Dhoni and impose a team that is in overall team interests.Dump him as captain.Otherwise this team has no chances abroad or even against quality spin at home.

Posted by Nampally on (February 26, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

When everything goes your way, you Win. Dhoni's Double century is a rarity.How often do we see Ashwin capturing 12 for 198 for the match? The pitch & inexperienced batsmen favoured this tally besides his skills.MSD & Ashwin turned the tables on the Aussies. Just because it all worked out Dhoni says the "Team is settled". India needs to make changes to keep their winning streak otherwise the 3 defeats following first test win vs. England may be repeated.Vijay & Harbhajan must be replaced with Dhawan & Ojha. If a second RH off spinner is needed use Sehwag or get Rasool/Saxena from outside the squad.Bhaji had 3 for 142 on a "spinners wkt" will be a disaster on a batting wkt. @Hyderabad. Ashwin, Ojha should be the spinners + 2 seamers (or 1 seamer + Jadeja). Don't let one win turn your heads. The Aussies are much better team than they showed in First test & they will come back strongly with 2 spinners +Johnson.Watson & Clarke are still the 2 top batsmen in the World. Learn from Past!.

Posted by Nish_US on (February 26, 2013, 19:57 GMT)

@CurrentPresident Cannot agree more!

Bits & pieces cricketers fit the bill in the shorter formats... but for test cricket we need specialists of the trade and as a captain you need to trust in those specialists... If Aswin is a bowling alrounder, then there is absolutely no place for Jadeja in the team.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 19:54 GMT)

Expecting atleast a change in the top order: Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara, Sachin, Kohli, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar, Ishant and Ojha... What's so great in playing a below average off spinner(Bhajji) instead of World No. 7 bowler( Ojha) saying the opposition had 4 left handers out of top 6. Umesh Yadav, where r u??? Plz recover from ur injury... Can't find a good combination without u...

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

Dhoni is the not the best batsmen to play at number 6. I even cannot imagine him as a replacement of Laxman. Every one knows what Laxman did playing at no.6. Dhoni may be successful in subcontinent, but every one know what kind of player he is overseas. His figures speak for itself.

Posted by Raki99 on (February 26, 2013, 19:46 GMT)

Now this is what you call Arrogance from your skipper. Lets atleast wait till the series is over before calling this side as settle side.

Posted by CurrentPresident on (February 26, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

With Dhoni's approach, Indian test team will end up like New Zealand - full of bits and pieces players. While that' great for ODIs, it does not work in test cricket.

You cannot have more than one or two allrounders. Batsmen have to be picked for their batting abilities and bowlers have to be picked on their wicket taking abilities alone. That's it. One all rounder is enough (and I think Ashwin fills that role).

Everybody from no. 8 - 11 should be picked on their wicket taking ability alone. You cannot succeed with an approach that plans for "what if the designated batsmen (or bowlers) do not do their job". That already starts you with a disadvantage. Test cricket is for people who are masters are their chosen trade and not jack of all trades.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 19:29 GMT)

Team is good, but if vijay and sehwag do not perform they should be dropped for shikar and ajinka. Bowling wise, having irfan pathan in place of ishant sharma will add more all round expirence. Ashwin has performed well, but will always be the last person you drop, he can bat and bowl we have seen that.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

inclusion of jadeja is good but irfan pathan will be more benificial

Posted by s_v_krishnan on (February 26, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

Congrats Mr.Dhoni for your double century. Are you not reading new paper? No problem but please read people's comment here. People are shouting at you that It is not settled team. Yes, they are right. No:1 team has Steyn and Philander both are right hand bowlers why only spinners are considered different combinations? I hope you include Ojha in next test and this statement is not to demoralize Harbajan. Hope for the best!!!

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

I don't know how Dhoni says this is a settled combination. Ojha IMHO deserves a place in the team. How can one forget his performance against England? He is an ideal fit in these turning conditions and like SK5983 has said he will pose a challenge to the right-handed Clarke and Henriques who were the best batsmen for Australia in this match...Drop either Harbhajan and get him in. We have honoured Bhajji by letting him play his 100th Test, now no need for him. He is way past his prime as Nish_US pointed out.Ishant was a mere spectator in this Test and is nothing without the raw pace he had earlier before the lure of money in form of the IPL ruined his motivation to perform better.He needs to go to England and play country cricket. Get Umesh Yadav in place of him. and finally Murali Vijay has been given enough chances. He is just another Rohit Sharma. If the Chennai crowd can't inspire him to perform then nothing can. Its time to give a chance to Rahane or Dhawan.

Posted by TrueFactors on (February 26, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

Sehwag is valuable. Use him as all-rounder, he is more than capable off-spinner (like Yuvi's left-arm option). Use Jadeja as all-rounder, but replace bhajji with Ojha as specialist spinner. So, we will have two off-spinners and two left-arm spinners. Bring Dhawan in team, that will provide lefty-righty opening pair. Replace Ishant Sharma with Irfan Pathan when possible. This move will provide left-right opening bowling combination along with one more all-rounder option. Team will be Dhawan, Sehwag, Pujara, Sachin, Virat, Dhoni, Jadeja, Pathan, Ashwin, B.Kumar, Ojha. This will provide team a perfect balance with left-right combination in tandem. If team need more batsmen, then bring Rohit Sharma in middle order.

Posted by TRAM on (February 26, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

Settled Team... Pray god that he didn't mean the 11 selected players. If he did mean that lets hope it is just a bluff ! Otherwise, any amount of deep analysis is not going to see any rationale in what he says. It is pretty clear Oldies such as Sehwag, Harbajan and Ishant need to go. These 3 non-performers are also ALSO WORST FIELDERS. Vijay and Jadeja got too many chances. But I have soft corner for them as one is opener (difficult job and not many alternatives) and the other is a great fielder. Ohja, Rahane must come in, obvious. Ever cricinfo fan says it. Just get some fast bowler in place of Ishant please. Just anybody will work better.

Posted by inswing on (February 26, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

Ojha needs to come in place of Harbhajan, not in place of Jadeja. Harbhajan is over the hill, and is very ineffective and the weakest Indian bowler. But he will continue to be in the team for sentimental reasons.

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 26, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

In a way its good.Let Dhoni shoot himself in the foot with his atrocious selections.I will very much like Dhoni to make fool of himself and his decisions and then face the wrath of media.Time will expose this mediocre test player Dhoni for what he is.An awful spotter of talent and even worse selector of it.

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 26, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

@Nish_US completely with you.This shows that Dhoni as a selector is an utter disgrace and danger to team's interests.Mediocre players like Vijay, Jadeja ahead of Rahane & Ojha simply enrages and baffles me.There is also a case for Harbhajan to be removed if he so wants his favorite Jadeja to stay.Let him blunder along and if we lose the series,then at least he will have no excuses or people to pick on.

Posted by Nish_US on (February 26, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

@SK5983 SPOT on - If Ojha was in the team, I am sure he would not have let Clarke & Henrique get those big runs... not on this pitch for SURE.... We could have easily won by innings on day 4.

Posted by Nish_US on (February 26, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

@laxmanrules

Completely agree with you...... You can make the horses for courses approach with bits and peices of cricketers people like Jadeja (ODI alrounder at home, if no Yuvi), or people with a speciality that suits a particular surface like Praveen Kumar in Eng....

but with your best spinner who ranks in the top 10 of the world... DHONI once again proved that he can first do what ever he wants.. and then say whatever he wants in the face....

Posted by suryasxn on (February 26, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

Not including left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who had taken 20 wickets in the last series against England was a mistake ,result of this test could have been much better but for Hyderabad Test Ojha should replace Harbajhan . Micheal Clark will be the most priced wicket in this series and we need bowlers like OJHA & Ashwin to bowl gem of a delivery to get his wicket early. "settled batting and bowling combination" simply means Dhawan , Rahane will be warming the bench for rest of the series and indicating almost willing to stick with the same squard for upcoming 3 tests (or Ghabhir could replace Vijay if he fails again )

Posted by Nish_US on (February 26, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

May bes in the team -

Viru - (Cannot drop both the openers at the same time, will completely open up the batting lineup... should adapt or lose his place very soon)............................ Bhuvanesh - (too early to say... interesting to see in ENG, SA, NZ and AUS.. good prospect.. should manage the workload... can be rotated with Praveen Kumar).............................

Posted by zohair00 on (February 26, 2013, 17:37 GMT)

Did he forget how we lost 3 tests to England after winning the 1st one? Dhoni needs to "settle" down and re-think this strategy. Murali Vijay is a misfit against top quality bowlers, Jaffer is by far the better choice. And please say goodbye to Bajji and bring back Ojha. Just because of 4 left handers in the opposition doesnt meant you play a has-been bowler. We should have won this match by lunch on day 4, so this is not a good performance. Dhoni is not hungry, you need the Aussie mentality of CRUSHING the opposition when there's an opening. Bajji's 50+ overs for 3 wkts including 2 non-batsmen is a poor return on a spin-friendly pitch. Looks like Dhoni will not learn his lesson. He's a poor Test captain, but great player for India. Aussie bowlers can shake this batting line-up very quickly, so be careful Dhoni.

Posted by TRAM on (February 26, 2013, 17:37 GMT)

Did Sewag play one shot of the middle of the bat in this pace-unfriendly pitch? Did Harbajan make the batsman struggle in this spin-friendly pitch? Shall we talk about the fielding of these two? Please bring Rahane and Ohja in place of these two. IMO, its ok to give one more chance for Vijay and Jadeja, both being good fielders. Then Dhawan and another new young spinner must be given chance. Please also apply your policy for the team selection also: "you see who looks effective and make a *team* change." I am also waiting for Umesh Yadav replacing decade old Ishant.

Posted by Nish_US on (February 26, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

People that should never have been in the test team

1. Vijay (Except for the way he left the first ball in the second innings, nothing that would warrant his place) ............................ 2. Jadeja (His bowling is pedestrain by TEST standards, we want wicket taking spinners, not containers..since we do not have wicket taking pacement... Unfit for TEST alrounder role) ............................ .. 3. Ishant (Get your foot/body in shape, go back to domestic circuit, show some promise and try later.. for now a complete waste) ............................ 4. Harbhajan ( way past his prime - did nothing in the time away to gain the place...good to honor him by letting him play his 100th, that too as it is on a turning pitch... but good bye for now) ............................

Posted by QingdaoXI on (February 26, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

How come a captain can drop a player who is the best bowler(Ojha) in this conditions for Indian side and ranks 6th in world Ranking. Dhoni Clarke and Henriques both are Right handed batsmen and we know that Bhajji as well as Ashwin are poor against right handers that was the reason they both score well and add to that we had Jadeja who didnt troublw them as it was the primary job of Jadeja to take those wiks, if Ojha would have been there he would have trouble them and Indian would have finished this match on Day four itself and I think Irfan is fit and practising at NCA , if we need fast bolwer too bowl just 15 overs in match than Irfan is a big bait for that as he can play at no 7 instead of Jadeja and we can play Ojha. So team Should Be Sehwag, Rahane, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Dhoni, Irfan, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Harbhajan, and Ojha.

Posted by Nish_US on (February 26, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

The people that deserve to be in the team

1. Pujara - (for now in home conditions, still untested abroad) 2. Kohli - (Still finding his feet in Tests, gives up as soon as he reaches a personal landmark) 3. Sachin - (The legend, but by age cannot continue much longer) 4. Dhoni - ( the wicket keeper batsman - captain for lack of options) 5. Ashwin - ( for the lack of options and slowly curbing his experimentation & finding his groove)

Posted by Nish_US on (February 26, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

How dare you say its a settled combination after a single Win... after those horrendous white washes away and series losses at home....

Posted by Nish_US on (February 26, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Completely disagree with Dhoni's statement that India has found a settled combination...

May be for a rank turner, for a team with all lefty batsmen with no genuine spinner...

By saying so, Dhoni is just stating that his friends that he got into the team and going to remain in the team, lot longer they deserve.. while people like Ojha, Tiwari, Rayudu wait....and eventually give up...

My heart burns to include Ojha's name in the above list, especially after that tremendous performance against ENG, at least the other two did not get a chance to showcase their talent and temperament.

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 26, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

Just because he scored a big 100 after ages,doesn't mean he can talk utter rubbish on a settled squad already.Dhoni should realize that giving innumerable chances to mediocre players won't get the team anywhere.Vijay looks every bit a club class cricketer.Why not try Rahane there? Drop Bhajji and bring in Ojha who's been the best bowler especially at home where he's been preferred.He should in fact leave one fast bowler out if he doesn't want to leave Jadeja out who is an average bowler but an,in-assuring batsman.His plan is to give his favorites so long a rope that they might click once in 10 matches thereby denying others a fair chance.I have observed that he comes up ridiculous excuses to deny Rahane or Tiwary a debut because he knows once they click it will be very difficult then to remove them.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

I think Sehwag should be maintainedm, but Shikar Dhawan should be given a chance in the series, since he is so good, and he is also a left hander. If India are up 3-0, it may be also a good time to "rest" Sehwag, and put in Wasim Jaffer (is that sitll possibel?). I agree with putting in Sreesanth instead of one of the medium pacers we have now, probably Ishant.

Posted by laxmanrules on (February 26, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

How are we a settled side without a good opening pair of batsmen, a consistent no.7 and poor medium pace bowlers? We won this test because Dhoni played a great test innings for the first time in his life and Ashwin found his form with the ball again. Most other things were still even. I felt this good after India won against England too but then Monty/Swann happened.

Fact is that Harbhajan was clearly outbowled by the left-arm-off-spinner Jadeja in both the innings. I suppose CSK is going to buy Harbhajan in the next auction. That is the only reason I can see him playing in the Indian team. Ojha has to be brought in. You are not giving your best spinner a chance for being a left hander! This is utter nonsense. Having both Ashwin and Harbhajan did not help us against Cook and Ojha got Morgan out more often than Ashwin. The kind of excuses that Dhoni makes to justify his selections are just bizarre.

Posted by phunny_game on (February 26, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

Nice sense of humour from dhoni... Especially the openers' part...

I mean cmon, he cant be serious... no place for ojha, the best spinner in India at the moment... And that too for harbhajan or jadeja... Please!!!!

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

Hey MSD, i agree with ur opinions. Now both batiing and bowling line up has been settled. Our team nw has many part time bowlers including vijay who can bowl off breaks and too in batting line up is upto B Kumar. U can still see the abilities of Vijay in the next match. So far the opening combination is good as both can clear the fence with so ease. Lets hope the opening pair will fire up in the upcoming match. For future opening combo it should be Vijay and Rahane. U can even include ifran in the bowing lineup instead of ishant or jaddu.

Posted by srisri on (February 26, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

If u take out that Double Century, there r lotta questions about our performance, especially, Bhajji and openers! Noway, we r settled Mr. Captain!

Posted by QingdaoXI on (February 26, 2013, 16:47 GMT)

Time to add Rayudu and Sreesanth in squad and drop Vijay and Ishant, if possible before 2nd test and in playing xi also drop Jadeja and Harbhajan. Team should be Sehwag, Rahane, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Rayudu, Dhoni, Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar, Ojha and Sreesanth. we not need more spinners, if there are more spinners it looks like crowded, Ojha is our best spinner and he should be in the team first may be before Ashwin. Ojha and Ashwin bowls well in tandem we have seen that in 3 tests vs WI, 2 tests vs NZ and 1 test vs Eng, but from second test vs England Dhoni is playing 3-4 spinners in the squad and that is hampering the team, Becuase the competition starts in the team and to perform good they go in bad way. Let them free of pressure Ojha and Ashwin can do tricks, with Sreesanth and Bhuvi.

Posted by GoCho on (February 26, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

Settled combination? - This would be hilarious if it were not sad. Does he even know the meaning of that term! Openers are on notice, fast bowlers are only contributing as tailend batsmen and the lead spinner has had one good match after back to back miserable series home and away. And to top it all, we have a South African tour looming with the prospect of technically inept batsmen at positions 1,2,6,7,8,9,10,11 squaring up against steyn and philander! God save us!

Posted by Nampally on (February 26, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

Calling it a "settled Team" is a Joke!. India was lucky to win the First Test because of a series of unexpected events. When Pattinson with his 150 KPH suddenly had India 12 for 2, it reminded me of Junaid's show. Fortunately Pujara & Tendulkar rescued India. So openers are a big problem & must be addressed first. Ojha being replaced with Harbhajan is second joke.Joke confirmed when Bhaji got 3 wkts. in 2 innings at a huge cost. Typically Ojha & Ashwin get about the same number of Wkts. Dropping Ojha is like cutting off one arm.If a second off spinner is needed Sehwag is better than Bhaji or bring in Rasool/Saxena. Jadeja may play as a "Bowling" all rounder. Despite his 2 triple centuries in Ranji, he is an average batsman. Can India go in with 5 specialist batsmen, incl. problematic openers + Dhoni? Lastly, Ishant has been "iffy" all the time yet he gets chances. Even Agarkar at 35 is better than him. I would try young Sandeep Sharma or Shami with a view on future.Complacency is Bad!

Posted by mrmonty on (February 26, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

You just won one game and you have a settled combination!! Vijay/Sehwag/Harbhajan don't look settled by any stretch of the imagination.

Posted by kir.vas on (February 26, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

A good win for India. Now VVS will criticize Dhoni for winning the match with two sessions lleft because he missed the chance for Harbhajan to bowl more overs.

Posted by Raki99 on (February 26, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

This team is horrible< andf would probebly lose to australia in Mohali where there is more bounce and pace for fast bowlers, Jadeja at no-6 wow are you kidding me he is just a one day and 20-20 guy also Vijay as a opener is a joke. Another guy who is becoming a waste and is past is prime is sehwag And liability in the field. Bowlers ishant and harbhajan singh are waste. This team instead of building for SA are still content with winning at home. I atleast hope they fire the coach after this season.

Posted by pistolpete0903 on (February 26, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

C'mon man!!! The pitch was a spinner's heaven. Will definitely not work in Mohali (and probably Delhi as well, but hopefully the series should be India's by then) What's baffles me are the experts. Jadeja is a good ODI player (along the lines of Raina and Yuvraj), but not a Test player. If Vijay doesn't click in the next test, Rahane should be in (not a knee jerk reaction, but Vijay has clearly run out of chances.......it's not as if he got out to unplayable deliveries, his technique is suspect). As much as a fan I am of Viru, he is running on last legs. Might have to start grooming another opener (or hoping Gambhir finds his mojo)

Posted by Chaitanyareddy90 on (February 26, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

Now india struggles for test players.now their are few test players like rayudu,tiwary,D.karthik,va jagadeesh we have. But our captain just concentrate about superkings players and spoil few test metirials like above. Dhoni please give the chance to at least u r state players ishank jaggi or sourab tiwari instad of vijay.

Posted by Nampally on (February 26, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

Contrary to what Dhoni says, I don't accept that this is the settled batting or bowling combo for India.To start with Vijay at the top of the order is incapable of playing pace even if he got into the XI with poor Ranji performance. He must be replaced. India was fortunate at 3 stages: 1.When Pujara & Sachin pulled India to safety from 12 for 2 with a century partnership. Had either got out early, Kohli was in danger of early dismissal - Junaid Khan, all over again!. 2. When Dhoni came after SRT's dismissal & got going. Had Dhoni got out early, India were staring at a defeat.3. Dhoni-Kumar century partnership put India into winning score >500. Typically India struggle to score >300! Aussie total of 380 would have been a winning total but for Dhoni's double ton.It was lucky that Ashwin got 12 Wkts. haul.Typically Ojha takes as many wkts. as Ashwin. Ojha's absence led the Aussie to a huge 380 total. Surely,Harbhajan with 3 wkts. in 2 innings, must make way for the 2nd wkt. taker, Ojha.

Posted by CivilGaurav on (February 26, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

Don't understand Dhoni's selection logic at all. India won because of Dhoni's exceptional innings. Without that would have got less than 300 in the first innings and lost the match. Not playing Ohja, the best spinner of the previous series was a big blunder. Playing two fast bowlers on this track was foolishness - what is the wisdom of being prepared for a very remote situation? Jadeja, the batsman looks pathetic against good bowling in tests, it looks really remote that he will ever become comfortable in test cricket. Murli is a proven failure against good fast bowlers - its a scam that he can be picked over Gambhir and Jaffar. How can Dhoni be so illogical and stubborn? Does no one in the team or BCCI put some sense into him?

Posted by umeshnike on (February 26, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Why Ajinkya Rahane is not playing? Vijay over Rahane?? Why?? We need to find the right combination for future. Rahane has good technic, he should be played.

Posted by anuajm on (February 26, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

India had won the first test match against England also and then we all know what happened. I expect a fight back from Australia though their spin bowling attack looks pretty weak. I agree with Dhoni that chances should be given to players consistently before drawing conclusions but the problem is that the team chosen is incorrect. Ishant, Vijay, Jadeja, Harbhajan are not just good enough. Sehwag has played well for India over the years thats why he buys sometime. Always the best players should be slected irrespective of the no. of left handers opposition has, pitch etc. Here i think its a big mistake to leave out Ojha.You look at conditions and decide on a combination if all players are of equal callibre. That's not the case here. I don't want to say this but sometime i feel some bias for CSK players who get a lot of opportunities( Raina, Vijay,Jjadeja except Badri). Good that India won, but half of the team is just not good enough and we;ll find out soon.Hope better sense prevails..

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Im a great fan of MSD, but as a cricket lover i dont agree with dhonis comments here, I think we need to look players outside CSK and give chance to Rahane and Ambati Rayudu. Surprising that why not OJHA ???? Com'n MSD wts running in your mind ? Ojha and Ashwin the best combination these days in Test. Get back Ojha instead of Harbhajan.

Posted by binu.emiliya on (February 26, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

What makes a player like Jadeja becomes the darling of the skipper and so many fans hating him ? Still i am not getting the answer technically the person fits at number 7 is Ambatty Raydu.But the balance and agility bringing by Jadeja is great for the skipper not for the fans sitting infront of the TV sets and commenting like this.Ohja s a doo option over Bhaji because their two best players are Clarke and Henreques and they may add Maxwell insted of Huges all are right handers So I prefer Ohja over Bhaji

Posted by InsideHedge on (February 26, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

By all accounts, Jadeja looks a very ordinary cricketer but both Dhoni and Shane Warne continue to sing his praises. Time for Jadeja to repay the faith, he is good in the field and surely a better bat than Ojha, and overseas will add better balance to the team but in India he'll need to dramatically bowl better to justify his inclusion.

Problems are compounded when you see Bhajji's lack of wickets. People can bang on about his career so far but the fact remains that for the last 2-3 yrs, his returns have been not good enough. Ashwin may have bowled well in this Test but he was shockingly poor against England. Expect the Aussies to come back stronger in the 2nd Test, India will need Jadeja, Bhajji, Sehwag and Vijay to step it up, the latter two are poor fielders too. One can't help feeling this victory is a 1-off.

Posted by Temuzin on (February 26, 2013, 15:52 GMT)

I guess when Dhoni said we have found a settled combo, he meant 6 batsman, 4 bowler and one allrounder will make the team. personnel depending upon their form will be inducted in this combination. But i guess other fans know better.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

There is Hyd in between but Mr Dhoni, are you seriously gonna play 3 spinners in Mohali??? Get Sreesanth as he looks like the only bowler with some pace in India and is fit...

Posted by binu.emiliya on (February 26, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

I agree dhoni in all points except harbhajan he should be replaced with ojha

Posted by GrindAR on (February 26, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

Open with Ashwin and Vijay as they played opening roles for the state quiet consistently. I know Sehwag will be disappointed, but his role down the order will be very useful as he would have the pulse of the pitch before he land in the crease. Think about a formidable 4/5/6/7, it would be great team. I would see Sehwag as capable but he need some pulse of the pitch before he start to bat. So, it is better for him to find a good spot after 3rd down. He wont disappoint, if he mentally dont loose anything to go downthe order.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 26, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

@AMAZINGFAN This (Chennai) pitch had loads of turn but he did not get 80% of his deliveries to turn at all. Bowling darts doesn't make you deadly. He is no Panesar. Panesar actually turned the ball. This guy (Jadeja) bowls a good line at Panesar's pace but doesn't turn any ball (except the one's from the rough).

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

One win after so many defeats, suddenly the team looks very settled for the captain. What a joke. Lets take the case of Bhaji. He got a grand total of 3 wkts after bowling almost 50 overs and gave away runs at more than 3.5 an over. In batting also, he played a irresponsible shot to get out. Just bcos the aus team has many lefties does not mean that we need to have two offies even if one of them is average at best. The problem with Vijay is that after started playing for T20, he become an average player. When he first came into the team, he was hailed as the good no.3 for test team. The second test should be his last chance to shine otherwise drop him. Rahane hasn't done great when he got chances in ODI team as opener. So, lets not have very high hope on him. Also, Ishant should be dropped & replaced by Dinda who is bit more smart in bowling (slow ball & reverse swing) My XI for the next match is: Vijay, Viru, Pujara, SRT, Kohli, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi,Dinda,Ohja

Posted by thegreatkeeper on (February 26, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

We have to start planning for the Tour of SA later this year.To begin with,I think Sachin should give way for Rahane.I still feel Gambhir is much more reliable than Sehwag.Umesh and Zaheer should return ASAP as our pace 'attack' looks very friendly at the moment.My X1 for the Johannesburg Test in november is: 1.Gambhir2.Vijay3.Pujara4.Rahane5.Kohli6.Dhoni7.Jadeja8.Zaheer9.Umesh10.Sreesanth11.Ishant

Posted by cricket-india on (February 26, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

settled combo, my left foot; the ahmedabad result against england was followed by we-all-know-what. so hold off on those celebrations, india fans, and hold off on writing those obituaries you're writing for the aussies. clarke, watson, warner and now henriques are together capable of doing a cook-kp in the remaining tests. the indian team has too many crakcs right now, only because the chennai pitch had more did they manage to cover them up. ishant and kumar were ineffective, bhajji still hasn't got his mojo back and doesn't look like he will, and MSD still prefers this combo instead of bringing in ojha. and the less said abt SRT the better...the man is intent on prolonging the agony and there's no guarantee he'll travel to SA after all these home tests. so we'll have a rookie up against steyn and co if SRT doesn't go (what if he gets injured before the SA tour?), and whoever it is-rahane, badri or rohit-his career will be finished!!

Posted by womenlovecricket on (February 26, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

@ Posted by PTtheAxis on (February 26, 2013, 14:41 GMT) and those asking for dhawan should explain what he has done to show he will be a success at international level ... gambhir and sehwag have been doing badly because of their friction with dhoni. change the captain and the opening will be fine once again. dhoni can play as wicketkeeper/batsman but he is surely no captain....

If Gambhir and Shewag have been playing bad because they have problems with Dhoni as captain - then they don't deserve to be on the national team at all. As a player you should be proud to wear the national shirt and give your 100% every single time you play. If Gambhir and Shewag have become so selfish that they want to be captains and spoil things for the Indian team - then fire them and never let them play again.

Posted by Sathish.Velu on (February 26, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

People asking for rahane, please. Tell me what rahane did in england series when given 2 odi's, so stop shouting for rahane, I itself like rahane, but why cant you people understand rahane is not a opening batsman, so stop the complaints, rahane is the backup middle order batsman, @maroon1, do you rohit is a world class batsman, what a joke?, do u know how many odi's rohit played and what's his average??, some people still critising jadeja, he is a young kid with loads of talent, just playing his 2 nd test, and he even bowled better than bhajji, agree he didnt performed with bat, but people cant disagree that he has become a better odi/t20 allrounder given his time, and he has a better defensive technique than raina/yuvi, which is needed for test, give him chances and he will become a better test batsman, 3 triple hundreds is not a joke, and people will say he scored against mediocre ranji bowlers, the same applies to rahane jaffer rayudu too, they too got runs from the sme bowlers

Posted by Prajith4j on (February 26, 2013, 15:16 GMT)

Y not push viru down d order-jus wer he started his test career. open wid vijay & dhawan/rahane so dat the middle order gets some stability. throw out jadeja & play 4 quality bowlers. virat & viru can roll their arms a bit though myt b effective at tyms.

Posted by SnowSnake on (February 26, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

India needs to replace Shewag, Vijay and Jadeja pronto. Austalia needs to bring in Mitchell Johnson in place of either Siddle or Starc. This match was entirely saved by Dhoni's innings.

Posted by AMAZINGFAN on (February 26, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

there is no reason to drop jadeja after he performed better than our greatest spinner of all time harbhajan.....many people don't acknowledge the fact that jadeja just brings the balance to this indian team,u need some bowlers who can chip in when the regular bowler has an off day,jadeja don't give many runs,bowls at stumps and when pitch offers some spin he can be deadly(as he turns the ball with pace).......but he need to improve his batting.

Posted by Rags57 on (February 26, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

If he is not reading newspapers or watching TV, Dhoni is unlikely to read these posts. He seems to be his own man so no input from the coach or the seniors (or the selectors for that matter) will influence his thinking on the playing XI. So why should everyone waste their time giving inputs on the playing composition to Dhoni? We just need to sit back and pray and hope that whatever he does succeeds. His double century more than made up for his selection and captaincy issues so may be that is what we can hope for. Good luck, Dhoni!!

Posted by Arrow011 on (February 26, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

I would still say remove Ishant & Vijay first. Ojha & Dhawan should play. Ravinder Jadeja is going to settle very well in Indian test 11, he should always play even in South Africa. I dont know why people are against Ravinder, he has taken 5 wickets in this match & also never gives easy runs. He is way better than Ojha also. I think Sehwag really wants to play lower down the order, maybe Ravinder should be asked to open & Sehwag at 7 can be tried too.

Posted by agarkarno1 on (February 26, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

Its against justice if Shikar Dhawan or Rahane doesnt play in the next match. First of all , Vijay doesnt deserve to be in the team for his Ranji performances and the other two have piled up runs and with better career average. Vijay has failed in this match too, and Dhoni backing him for the next match would shatter the other two and they would be really really frustated. I couldnt imagine myself in their shoes ... I havent seen this kind of discrimination in the team over the last 15-20 years. Yes Dhoni is favourable to players from CSK. and I too am from Chennai. But for me India comes first than IPL the joke.

Posted by tests_the_best on (February 26, 2013, 14:56 GMT)

Another thing the captain/selectors should keep in mind that new players need some time. e.g. Kohli didn't immediately come good on the tour to Aus but they persisted with him for all 4 tests and he finally got a century and now he's a stable part of the team. It would be unfortunate if any of Dhawan, Rahane, Tiwary are brought in only the 3rd or 4th test and then discarded if they fail. One could give an extended run to Vijay/Jadeja as well but they have played before and Jadeja from what little has been seen is not a good test match batsman, seems to be more of an odi/t20 player.

Posted by Texmex on (February 26, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

This is ridiculous. Ojha needs to play. He is the No. 1 spinner in India. If 2 off spinners are ok why not 2 left arm spinners?

Posted by SamRoy on (February 26, 2013, 14:48 GMT)

@Srinivasan S. Iyer Agreed but Kohli is the second best batsman after Pujara in the country.

Posted by V.R on (February 26, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

"Settled Combination"... really?? Send this team to SA and lets see what Magic they do there. Let me Guess.... 3 test Match Series - 3 Inning defeats..!! take this. Give him (M Vijay ) tons of chances and he will FAIL in each of them. And Sir Ravindra Jadeja can only score against below average indian domestic bowlers. No doubt Dhoni played well.

Posted by PTtheAxis on (February 26, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

and those asking for dhawan should explain what he has done to show he will be a success at international level ... gambhir and sehwag have been doing badly because of their friction with dhoni. change the captain and the opening will be fine once again. dhoni can play as wicketkeeper/batsman but he is surely no captain.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 26, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

Well if India plays next match with same combination and Bhajji doesn't bowl much better India will not win in Hyderabad. Jadeja bowls darts (though has control). This is why India needs somebody apart from Dhoni to be captain. This guy is too defensive and not test captaincy material. But he is irreplaceable as a test wicket-keeper batsman in sub-continent and WI conditions. I have already said many, many times before in this forum that I like everything about Dhoni except his test captaincy (which includes team selection as well). So many passengers in team like Vijay, Sehwag, Tendulkar (has been except this test at his favourite venue), Jadeja, Ishant, Harbhajan. 6 passengers in an 11 member team. How do you expect to win?

Posted by class9ryan on (February 26, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

I pretty much agree with MS Dhoni's plans as as we go up north in India, the pitches will favour the batsmen ( except for Kotla ) and going with 4 bowlers and a bowling all rounder gives a lot of flexibility. But I would rather love Jadeja to score at atleast an average of 35-40 as even Ashwin has a excellent average in test matches.

The opening slot is still wide open and hope india finds somebody before the tour to South Africa

Posted by 777aditya on (February 26, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

@ VVS_a_class_act - never include Kumble and everyday logic in same sentence - Kumble was a spinner, yet hardly turned the ball, was accurate than most spinners, was as tall as a fast bowler, and bagged 600 plus wickets - Kumble was a man who defied all logic! As regards Dhoni, cut the man some slack, he has just scored a double, chill maar yaar!

Posted by wake_up_india on (February 26, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

The only thing settled is that Dhoni and Ashwin should be in the team. Not sure, though, if he should be the captain.

Posted by VJ_Cricket on (February 26, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

Guys... & Gals, pls relax. Still have few days before next match. Clearly he will not do the same mistake as aussies, revealing any changes on the of the win or this early. #mindgames?

my guess is Dhawan for Murali and Ohja for Bhajji for next game.

still think Viru shud move to middle order!

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Unfortunately our opening combination is not working. Vijay has shown that ODI and IPL has influenced his batting and in both innings. Even Shikar Dhawan will have th3e same mind set. We need Gambhir back and Rahane to be tried. I feel, Sehwag with due respect to his past performances ( two 300s) is past his sale by date. Kohli was really good but he too throws away his wicket as he did in this innings. He should take a fresh guard after 100 as Gavaskar would do and play on for his team!

Posted by tests_the_best on (February 26, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

I agree with most of the comments here and would be pretty disappointed if the same team is selected for the next test. The objective of this home season of 10 tests was not just to win these games but also to blood new talent for future tours, especially overseas ones. Does anyone think Jadeja is capable of performing in SA or other overseas venues either with bat or ball? If they try out dhawan, rahane, tiwary, who knows they might come through as good batsmen. Vijay could still be given one more chance. Most disappointing would be if both Kumar and Ishant play. Neither of them opened the bowling in the 2nd innings and if the hyderabad pitch is similar to this one, selecting both would be a mistake.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 26, 2013, 14:21 GMT)

So Ojha won't play. Jadeja will play and so will Ishant. Pretty terrible strategy.

Posted by karpurapu_kalyan on (February 26, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

SETTLED Team? He is just kidding man. He always finds resons to justify his weird selections...out of form openers......HOPE every one AGREE with me that Hbajan dont deserve place ok, then play Bajji insted of Jadeja becuz Bajji can also score on par with Jadeja and bowl better than Jadeja. I dont know if any body in the world have seen any spark in Jadeje he is just AVG cricketer for matter of fact play Yuvu as alrounder making him bowl regularly atleast world knows on his day what YUVI is capable of

Posted by VVS_a_class_act on (February 26, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

According to Dhoni's logic, Kumble shouldn't have played against Windis because of most Lefthanders.

Posted by bipulkumar on (February 26, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

Dhoni is far too defensive as far as team selection goes. There are obvious problems with this playing XI but he thinks it's a settled team. Nonsense. Get rid of Sehwag, Bhajji, Murali and Ishant ASAP.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

still too many boundary bowls especially ashwin, etc.

Posted by VVS_a_class_act on (February 26, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

@Posted by din7 on (February 26, 2013, 13:17 GMT) Spot on Mate.

Posted by SpaMaster on (February 26, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

Harbhajan over Ojha because Australia has left handers? Jadeja over Ojha because Jadeja can bat? Non-sense. India has already suffered in this Test because of the two bad selections. It could have been much better with Ojha playing instead of Harbhajan. Really strange selection and not merited at all!

Posted by Rudrajit on (February 26, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

Manoj Tiwari has scored 90 up against England and 110 up against Aussies, but yet not even a mention. Oh, wait, i forgot this is the CSK 11 we are talking about.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

Lol that is a funny statement "India have found a 'settled combination' - Dhoni", Im sure this settle combination with three spinners and Incerdible only first Inning fast bowlers can justify this statement. This will be a dream combination is Aus and SA conditions i hope.

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (February 26, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

I am worried, if Dhoni says the team as Settled Team....Seam department is still a concern...No spearhead in pace & sir Ishant Sharma will not learn even if it is a decade.....Opening slot is a concern..looking like sehwag is no more getting involved in the team

Posted by Prakmca on (February 26, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

Though Jadeja picked 5 wicktes, what is the special talent he has which Dhoni is mentioning? Really god only knows. I bet, he cannot bat against seaming deliveries... We have seen his potential earlier.

As per Dhoni's statete Harbajan also plays in the next Match????

Just remember, we won the first game against England and later we lost the series. Dhoni wants the same result here????

Posted by maruthikunnuru on (February 26, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

This is the problem with Dhoni. He does so many things right. Bats responsibly, keeps very well, gets his tactics right. But then, he does some blunders. Ideally, Vijay, Sehwag and Harbhajan should be out. Rahane, Dhawan and Ojha should be in.

Posted by PTtheAxis on (February 26, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

no Ishant please - his stats are the worst of any bowler in the world ... yes even lyon ... but dhoni has always been brainless so nothing new there. funny how many people are after sehwag's head who can at least be dangerous but ishant sharma is seen a viable option

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

I have to disagree with Dhoni. Neither Vijay or Jadeja are test class and India have got away with it because Australia in Indian conditions are a poor side. Its the old CSK connection or in other words Srinivasen running the show. Lets not forget that Jadeja is replacing Laxman at number six without having one tenth of Laxman's ability. Better to bring back Gambhir in place of Vijay and Ojha in place of Ishant.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

Now that SRT is amongst runs again, I guess MSD is right in persisting with the same team for next test. BK, Ashwin and Bhajji can bat a bit along with Jadeja and hence we dont need the extra batsman. Give Bhajji and Vijay 1 more test to prove themselves, else knock them off for the next 2 tests. If only Sehwag can bowl his off-spin, we can dispense with Bhajji and bring back Ojha. I would not say this team is settled, rather you need to give Bhajji, Jadeja, Vijay and Sehwag 1 more chance. Ojha certainly deserves place in the team, but fitment is an issue and he should be in instead of Bhajji or Jadeja, whoever fails in the next test

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

How about this Dhoni: drop Harbhajan for Ojha (why do I even need to be saying this?) and drop Jadeja for Rahane. There we go. Batting AND bowling improved just like that. I should be an Indian selector...

Posted by realfan on (February 26, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

by stating this is dhoni trying to say that VIJAY, HARBAJAN, SEHWAG, ISHANT will continue to play in the next match???? if so then i think the result may be opposite to india......soory but that true....pujara, sachin, kohli, dhoni wont be in rescue act always.... you need a goo start for a batting......

Posted by din7 on (February 26, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

settled combination? hahahah this guy is quite funny, when loses comes up with 100s of excuses and when wins say we have got the perfect combination..dhoni needs to learn 100s of things from clarke....given the lack of spin bowler and the batting options..clarke deserved to give excuses, but still he didnt, he said we were outplayed which isnt true! well if this is settled combination, then mark my words leave SA even pak will beat india in india easily! Face the Truth Man

Posted by realfan on (February 26, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

@CricketMaan sorry but , vijay doesnt reseve the title of all talent neve result.... he is no talent no result.....

Posted by realfan on (February 26, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

no you dont have settle combination mahi, unless you get rid of sehwag, vijay, harbajan, ishant....

Posted by shaolinfist on (February 26, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

Look, Ganguly was a captain who built up the Indian team from scratch to a near world beater. But he couldn't push it over the line i.e. India lost the 2003 wc final and didn't take the opportunity to win the 2003 tests in Australia. Now while Dhoni cannot build a team like ganguly, he took Ganguly's team when it had 90% of India 2003 team's potential and pushed them to the No.1 status for a while. But now the team has suffered from loss of form / retirement of key players and whilst this situation doesn't suit Dhoni's captaincy, there is no 1 to replace him . Plus Dhoni in full form bats like the old Sehwag. Anyway when the Indian team was winning, Dhoni would end up being right despite fan's doubts. Hence I am sure despite the poor results in 2011-12 Dhoni has good intentions but he is more of a one-day captain rather than test. Hence, at the end of the day even I disagree with his "settled combination" statement. We are simply not preparing for the South Africa tour later this year

Posted by QingdaoXI on (February 26, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

Dhoni dont forget that this is the last chance for you to make a perfect batting combination for foreign tours as next 4 assignments are supposed to be played in SA, NZ, ENG, AUS. So try to get a settled combination. My batting squad with Tendulkarin team willl be Jaffer(He can play for atleast 2-3 years, till Unmukt Chand is ready) and Rahane as opener, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Rayudu, Dhoni if Tendulkar decides to quiet soon after this series than Jaffer, Mukund, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Rayudu, Dhoni. I doubt the credential of Dhawan as he has never perform outside Ind well in Ind A tours in long format and compare to him Mukund is Young and has the exp too in WI and Eng, he will definately come good if he gets chance. When U.Chand is ready than our batting should Be Mukund, Chand, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Rayudu, with Dhoni (If he keeps welll and bats well lin all conditions). This lot is better than Raina, Jadeja, Vijay, Gambhir, Shewag, Yuvraj and may be untested test player Rohit.

Posted by NCP1 on (February 26, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

Dhoni sounds very confident now that he has one good victory in India against AUS. This is the same batting line up that failed recently. The side with three spinners is good in India not anywhere else. Sachin will leave soon so a big hole there. He is finally getting the equation right and learning what test cricket is all about but needs to bring new talents. Wish him well, hope his batting form continues and may rub off on others. Virat and Pujara should score big to replace people like Rahul, Saurav, Laxman. Bowling still weak but bowlers like Bhuvneshwar who can bat & field are needed.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 26, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Agree with @Vivek_Singh3089 - Mr. Dhoni..u must be joking..the team which have openers like Vijay & Sehwag...& with bowlers like Ishant & Harbhajan..u call it as a settled combination..come on man. Indian Selectors need to do their job and discard those 4 flop shows. Please replace Bhajji with Rasool, Sehwag with Jaffer, try Dhawan instead of Vijay, and replace Ishant with Shami Ahmed. Selector's job is to select the best current players, not best former players.

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 26, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

Is the pitch curator part of that so-called settled combination ?

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

SETTLED? There are 5 non-performers in the eleven. Ishant, Bhajji, BK, Sehwag & Vijay. Jadeja has only had two test innings so far, but his batting does not look good enough for no 7, not yet anyway. Jadeja can have one more test to prove his batting because he has been getting wickets, but the other 5 should go now. Vijay had not only failed against WI & even Zimbabwe, he hasn't even performed at Ranji level to get more chances. Perhaps Rasool could replace Jadeja, or Irfan Pathan if fit could and that saves having to take a specialist seamer who only bowls 3 overs and bats at 10 or 11.

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (February 26, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

This is why Indian cricket is down in the dumps. We need Ojha's loopy bowling to right handers. Jadeja will NOT make an impact unless the pitch is spinning and the less said about his batting, the better. Harbhajan was ok but I don't think he will make much impact if the pitch is less responsive.

Dhoni is back to his usual crazy self. Nothing new here.

We indian fans are sick of these crazy selection policies. Sure, one must not chop and change but this is getting ridiculous.

When was the last time, we fielded a playing 11 that majority would accept as the best 11 in the country?

Posted by here2rock on (February 26, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

It is interesting to listen to Dhoni that India needs to give the openers a good run, how long is a good run for Shewag?

Posted by nnaresh on (February 26, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

If Murali vijay was selected based on Irani cup match(one match) performance then why can't we drop him based on one match(chennai test) performance. He had a poor ranji trophy. Meanwhile rahane was selected based on his domestic performance( acg 60+ in ranji). Rahane can be given a fair amount of time bcoz he has played fair amount of matches consistently in the domestic matches. I am referring to consistency of success not the consistency of failure(high score of 42 in the entire ranji season). Ohja is No 6 in the world rankings. I think it's only possible in India(or with Dhoni) to support dropping your NO:1 bowler & world's sixth best

Posted by CricketMaan on (February 26, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

Vijay if plays the next test, which i think he will, has to score at least 50+ if not he too will be known to public as 'Former Test opener' like Vikram Rathore, SS Das, WV Raman, S Ramesh and Aakash Chopra..all talent no results!!

Posted by DEV_ME on (February 26, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

The settled-combination is quite unsettling. Moreso if the selectors are also thinking on the same lines. Clearly, Harbhajan, Sehwag, Jadeja and Ishant do not belong here. Ashwin is still an iffy player, banking on him the way we used ot bank on Kumble is not fair to the team and not fair to Ashwin. Thats not the most 'valuable' 11 that India can present. The notion that this test team is a world beater is fallacy being nurtured by the team management and selectors. In this match, if we remove Dhonis double, the picture is unsettling. I know, as many minds - that many opinions ... but calling this team as settled combination is nothing short of the biggest bluff.

Posted by usernames on (February 26, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

You know what? I disagree. He seems a bit too stubborn here, which I can understand why, but the fact of the matter is that this is a far from solid combination. We were 408 for 8 or something, with a lead of 30. It took one hell of an innings from Dhoni, something that won't happen every other day. We need to strengthen our batting a bit, and considering the fact that Ishant has taken 16 wickets in his last 12 tests at an astonishing 80 runs per wicket, I think it's time for him to go. He doesn't fancy cleaning up the tail... sheesh.

Here's a *much* more balanced team for the Indian conditions -

Sehwag, Vijay/Dhawan, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin, Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar, Ojha. The bowling looks a little one-sided but I'd never, ever have Harbhajan in the team on current form. Ojha has been superb, and it's not like they don't have any right handers on their team. Two of their best batsmen are RH; Henriques is RH, too! The batting is very, very, very, very solid.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 26, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

Oh well, that means settled for the moment then! I know that the Ozzies were outplayed in Chennai, but I do expect them to be on a learning curve & are likely to come up with an improved performance in Hyderabad. Now MSD thinks he's got the XI for the remainder of the series. It's possible he may be right, but if people look more closely, the Indian openers didn't perform & having two offies + Jedeja as a largely non-spinning left armer means that the class act (Ojha) is sidelined. Once again, the trap is to pick the allrounder ahead of the specialist bowler. MSD is India's all rounder; there really shouldn't be the need for two, esp. as Ashwin bats well. It all looks fine to MS & Duncan Fletcher perhaps, but my bet is that one side is likely to move forward in the upcoming matches, whilst the other one will stand still.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Well said @indianpunter & @Anujit, our seam bowling, Second Spin option, Batting of so called alrouder, openers there number of grey area for India.

Posted by arvin on (February 26, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

one win and dhoni has found winning combination... it means non-performers like vijay and sehwag and bhajji will continue to play and jadeja will be preffered over better spinner ojha (as jadeja happens to be csk player owned by bcci boss srinivasan otherwise he will have no chance to be in the team)... dhoni is going to destroy whatever little left of indian test cricket with his biased and arrogant attitude...

Posted by lansiya on (February 26, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

India did well but Sehwag should be given his marching orders. OK he caught one catch I think but generally his fielding was pretty poor. Maybe it is time for Harbhajan to sign off as well. Congrats to Dhoni who batted very well as well as Kumar who stuck around when his skipper needed him. Couldnt say the same for Bhaji. I still think there is room for improvement in the Indian team. However this is the usual form - the skipper wants certain members in the team and they stay there for a long time.

Posted by Vivek_Singh3089 on (February 26, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

Mr. Dhoni..u must be joking..the team which have openers like Vijay & Sehwag...& with bowlers like Ishant & Harbhajan..u call it as a settled combination..comeon man..we all know that Rahane is a much better batsman than Vijay & since u already have selected Jadeja for no. 6 better to given a chance to Rahane in opening slot in place of Sehwag...while IMO Dhawan can be a better bet than Vijay...drop Ishant for god sake..he's just pathetic with no brains...replace him with Dinda (who's also bad but still better) while Ojha should replace Bhajji...that will be the best of the squad...

Posted by Anwar-Lara on (February 26, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

well i have a lot of respect for Dhoni and he is doing a fantastic job.. but i dun think think he has found a settled combination yet.. its settled only on a given pitch...and conditions. what if they dun have similar pitch next game? that will be a real test since his two fast bowlers hardly bowled in the 1st game..

Posted by Kohli--The_Messi_of_Cricket on (February 26, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

This kind of thinking has made well-deserving batsmen like Dhawan, Rahane, Rohit, Rayudu & Tiwary wait for their Test debuts. Murali Vijay will play the next game too? Come on! He is best for T20 cricket only. 13 Tests and no signs of improvement in his performance.

Posted by zuber21886 on (February 26, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

take jadeja out of the team

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

It is very good to see the confidence Dhoni is showing...in his batting, the captaincy and his interview! Good to see the aggressiveness from Indian team in general in this test match-especially when batting. It would be great to see viru play down the order, at number 5 or 6.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

Giving some more time to the opening combination will allow Sehwag to move his average below 45 (it has now dipped below 50). On the other hand, giving more time to Ishant, in this settled combination, will allow him to move his bowling average over 40 (it is over 38 now, steadily increasing). There may also be similar advantages coming from this settled combination, we may have to analyze a little more (Harbhajan may average > 35 by the end of the series with the ball?).

Posted by SajidC on (February 26, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Well done MS and all the best in future test series....

Posted by indianpunter on (February 26, 2013, 11:53 GMT)

Dhoni played a superlative innings, but his obstinacy comes thru in this interview. It was there for everyone to see how badly Jadeja was found out by Pattinson in his lone innings at Chennai. He was completely at sea. I dont think he is good enough to bat at 6 or to be the 2nd spinner. The indian team for the 2nd test can be improved by bringing on Ojha for Harbhajan and Rahane for Jadeja. Sehwag should be on his last legs. If he does not perform it hyderabad, it should be curtains for him too.

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