Australia in India 2012-13 March 25, 2013

Era of aggressive Test fields over - Dhoni

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MS Dhoni has said that while fielding strategies and placements on India's slow, low turners have re-written the conventional textbook around attack and defence, the assessment of pitches and tactics appeared somewhat slanted.

Sixteen wickets fell on day three and four innings were completed over three days at the Kotla as India finished its 4-0 creaming of Australia. When asked whether surfaces like those in Delhi were right for Test cricket, Dhoni's reply was sardonic and also contained his response to past criticism of his captaincy. "Well, you'll have to answer what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' because your opinion really counts ... When four fast bowlers play, it becomes strategy, when three spinners or four spinners play, it becomes a bad wicket."

He went on to give an example of how the interpretation of the same deep-field placements were different for different captains: "For Virender Sehwag, if you have a deep point and a deep-third man and a deep-square leg, it's a strategy. If MS Dhoni has a deep point and a deep-square leg for David Warner, it's a defensive field set. You have to see the mindset [of the batsman] and accordingly go ahead."

Dhoni also stated that the era of aggressive cricket, wherein having a mid-on up was common, has gone. Dhoni said: "The kind of cricket that we play has entirely changed … The era of seeing aggressive cricket, where you had to have a mid-on up, has gone." The in-out field, used in plenty by the Indians, has become the norm with positions distributed between fieldsmen in catching positions and the boundary riders.

In the Delhi Test, Dhoni described the offspinner's conventional field: "You have a short leg, a backward, and a slip. And you have three fielders - deep midwicket, long-on and deep-square leg." The latter three may have been conventionally considered boundary-saving, defensive fielders, but Dhoni said today's field placements had much to do with studying the comfort zone and mindset of individual batsmen. Whether to employ a mid-on or long-on fielder was a decision that had to be made through a flexible reading of different batsmen, he said, and not on whether to stop the single or the boundary against all batsmen or the scoreboard situation.

"You read the batsmen to see if he is in the mindset of rotating singles, if there's a mid-on, deep midwicket and four catching fielders, and if he can rotate every ball. If he's not having any problems, then you try to bring in the mid-on fielder or deep-midwicket fielder to build up the pressure."

If a batsman has more confidence going over the infield, "especially on wickets like these, it's important that you don't concede runs in a bunch". The aim of the deep fielders was, he said, to deny the batsman the boundaries and check the opposition scoreboard from racing ahead. At a time like that, Dhoni said, he was fine with the batsmen taking singles because it created more chances. "If you rotate [the strike] four times, you get four runs and [on] those four runs, you can get them out as many times."

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 26, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Dhoni has achieved the status of a zen master with his post match comments...amazing in their wisdom and underlying humour,its almost like him saying,when it comes together it comes together,what you and I see maybe different things but the result is permanent,hilarious,over the past 22 years now Australia lead India by only one test its 16-15 Australia if you start with the 4-0 drubbing India got in 91-92. India showed hunger again after a long time...the same hunger we saw in the 07 - 11 phase, good to see, although our wins at home are fantastic, people dont fear you unless you win abroad...thats when home teams dont know what to do to the pitches, they think the visitors will exploit them as much and that wins half the battle....Looking forward if India get some good swing bowlers they'll be handy in SA and Jadeja as a somewhat allrounder adds a lot of value at his spot. June is a bit too soon for Australia to regroup, there are no clear conclusions to draw and too many problems...

  • maidenshazza on March 27, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Sameer-hbk - Are you planning to read the whole article, where Dhoni was talking about changing his field to suit different batsmen? The easier route is to pick a line out and criticise.

  • ladycricfan on March 26, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Tennis is played in varied surfaces. There is grass court (wimbledon), there is clay court (French open - cricket's equivalent to spinning dust bowls of India) there is hard court (US open) and other artificial courts.Don't Ivan lendl's French open wins count and he was less of a champion because he didn't win Wimbledon. Cricket is the same. Different countries different conditions. Who is good and who is not, ICC rankings are there to decide. No need to mock Indian spinning tracts. Learn to play spin bowling.

  • Sameer-hbk on March 26, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    "If you rotate [the strike] four times, you get four runs and [on] those four runs, you can get them out as many times." I am pretty sure no top quality bowler in the world will agree with this. Bowlers work on a batsman and from all I have heard from likes of Wasim Akram or Shane Warne is that they do not like it when batsmen rotate strike. Dhoni's statement probably talks volumes about kind of bowlers India have- Just keep bowling without planning a batsman's dismissal and either they will make a mistake or the pitch will do something unusual. it is a lottery and someone will get themselves out; unless they are Cook, of course!

  • satish_XI on March 26, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @ Drifting : In that case you also have to consider the conditions available there as well as the fast bowling unit available to Mccullum to impose such field ..!! Don't just say, think !!

  • Hindh on March 26, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    No Asian team has won a series by a 4-0 margin against eng, SA or Aus and India is the first team to do it and that makes every INDIAN proud.... All the other analysis can go to the dogs but this a big achievement for a team from the Sub-Continent....

  • Drifting on March 26, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    Wow, is he watching Brendon Mccullum's feld settings?!! It now looks like England will just about survive New Zealand's stirring gauntlet. But the audacity of New Zealand's sustained gambit throughout this series has been orchestrated by the Black Caps Captain's fearless ingenuity, and is what makes test cricket so very, very special!

  • MAYURESHmagic on March 25, 2013, 21:50 GMT

    Ishwar Pandey and Shami Ahmed have tobe tested before naming squad for SA. Both can be deadly for SA as Stayne and Philander for India.

  • lebigfella on March 25, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    I watched the India v. Australia series as an English neutral and loved every single session of it (what I saw live & the highlights). MSD & India out thought, out fielded, out bowled, out batted and out played a clueless group of very very disappointing Australians. The home team used their fair advantage to the maximum & trounced a team unable to adapt to the subcontinent conditions India were brilliant in all areas and set fields (as you would expect) to exploit any of the batsman's weaknesses and it paid off. Australia are obviously going through a similar period last experienced in the '80s and the current players cannot bully their way with class & quality as they once could. There also seems a lack of comradeship. India won fair & square and to watch their mesmeric bowlers was a real treat... the Australians seem to have a battery of bowlers but chop and change so none knows where they stand AND they are lacking in any quality batsman... The times they are a changing...

  • on March 25, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    It really depends on the conditions. Ian Chappell once said that early on in his career, he was in danger of becoming an "Adelaide Oval" captain. Dhoni is a good captain in Indian conditions because he knows how to manipulate the field here. Overseas, you need to keep things simple, have slips/gullies and attack most of the time. The pace bowlers will create enough chances, but the pressure must be kept on batsmen at all times. Dhoni was terrible at this when we went abroad, but he can always learn.

  • on March 26, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Dhoni has achieved the status of a zen master with his post match comments...amazing in their wisdom and underlying humour,its almost like him saying,when it comes together it comes together,what you and I see maybe different things but the result is permanent,hilarious,over the past 22 years now Australia lead India by only one test its 16-15 Australia if you start with the 4-0 drubbing India got in 91-92. India showed hunger again after a long time...the same hunger we saw in the 07 - 11 phase, good to see, although our wins at home are fantastic, people dont fear you unless you win abroad...thats when home teams dont know what to do to the pitches, they think the visitors will exploit them as much and that wins half the battle....Looking forward if India get some good swing bowlers they'll be handy in SA and Jadeja as a somewhat allrounder adds a lot of value at his spot. June is a bit too soon for Australia to regroup, there are no clear conclusions to draw and too many problems...

  • maidenshazza on March 27, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Sameer-hbk - Are you planning to read the whole article, where Dhoni was talking about changing his field to suit different batsmen? The easier route is to pick a line out and criticise.

  • ladycricfan on March 26, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Tennis is played in varied surfaces. There is grass court (wimbledon), there is clay court (French open - cricket's equivalent to spinning dust bowls of India) there is hard court (US open) and other artificial courts.Don't Ivan lendl's French open wins count and he was less of a champion because he didn't win Wimbledon. Cricket is the same. Different countries different conditions. Who is good and who is not, ICC rankings are there to decide. No need to mock Indian spinning tracts. Learn to play spin bowling.

  • Sameer-hbk on March 26, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    "If you rotate [the strike] four times, you get four runs and [on] those four runs, you can get them out as many times." I am pretty sure no top quality bowler in the world will agree with this. Bowlers work on a batsman and from all I have heard from likes of Wasim Akram or Shane Warne is that they do not like it when batsmen rotate strike. Dhoni's statement probably talks volumes about kind of bowlers India have- Just keep bowling without planning a batsman's dismissal and either they will make a mistake or the pitch will do something unusual. it is a lottery and someone will get themselves out; unless they are Cook, of course!

  • satish_XI on March 26, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @ Drifting : In that case you also have to consider the conditions available there as well as the fast bowling unit available to Mccullum to impose such field ..!! Don't just say, think !!

  • Hindh on March 26, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    No Asian team has won a series by a 4-0 margin against eng, SA or Aus and India is the first team to do it and that makes every INDIAN proud.... All the other analysis can go to the dogs but this a big achievement for a team from the Sub-Continent....

  • Drifting on March 26, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    Wow, is he watching Brendon Mccullum's feld settings?!! It now looks like England will just about survive New Zealand's stirring gauntlet. But the audacity of New Zealand's sustained gambit throughout this series has been orchestrated by the Black Caps Captain's fearless ingenuity, and is what makes test cricket so very, very special!

  • MAYURESHmagic on March 25, 2013, 21:50 GMT

    Ishwar Pandey and Shami Ahmed have tobe tested before naming squad for SA. Both can be deadly for SA as Stayne and Philander for India.

  • lebigfella on March 25, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    I watched the India v. Australia series as an English neutral and loved every single session of it (what I saw live & the highlights). MSD & India out thought, out fielded, out bowled, out batted and out played a clueless group of very very disappointing Australians. The home team used their fair advantage to the maximum & trounced a team unable to adapt to the subcontinent conditions India were brilliant in all areas and set fields (as you would expect) to exploit any of the batsman's weaknesses and it paid off. Australia are obviously going through a similar period last experienced in the '80s and the current players cannot bully their way with class & quality as they once could. There also seems a lack of comradeship. India won fair & square and to watch their mesmeric bowlers was a real treat... the Australians seem to have a battery of bowlers but chop and change so none knows where they stand AND they are lacking in any quality batsman... The times they are a changing...

  • on March 25, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    It really depends on the conditions. Ian Chappell once said that early on in his career, he was in danger of becoming an "Adelaide Oval" captain. Dhoni is a good captain in Indian conditions because he knows how to manipulate the field here. Overseas, you need to keep things simple, have slips/gullies and attack most of the time. The pace bowlers will create enough chances, but the pressure must be kept on batsmen at all times. Dhoni was terrible at this when we went abroad, but he can always learn.

  • MSDMoorthy on March 25, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    @ Murali Krishna -

    If you have the inconsistent bowlers like ishant sharma in your team, even your aggressive captains like clarke, smith cannot set fields for any batsmen.

  • on March 25, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    It's really great that India have found winning ways again. But I think that if they were to play in Australia again, while they probably not be white-washed or lose in such embarrssing a fashion as last time, they may not win. And there's South Africa to come, and that will not be easy. Remember how frustrating Dhoni was overseas against England and Australia, with his batting, captaincy and off-field comments. Let's see how he does there...

  • on March 25, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Agree with everyone saying there should be an A tour to SA before the tour of SA in NOV/DEC... After the Champions league in September. We (India) host AUS for 7 ODIs and 1 T20. Honestly since we are playing in India, we have a great chance of winning with a strong 2nd string team. So I think at that time there should be a full A tour to SA.

    MY 13 players going to SA for an A-tour: 1. Vijay 2. Dhawan 3. Pujara (Captian) 4. SRT (get some practice) 5. Virat 6. Saha/ Dinesh Karthik 7. Jajeda 8. Ashwin 9. Bhuvi 10. Sreesanth 11. Yadav 12. Ishant 13. Rahane/Fast bowler

    MY XI playing the ODIs in India against Australia 1. Rohit Sharma 2. Gambhir 3. Manoj Tiwari 4. Yuvi 5. MSD 6. Raina 7. Irfan Pathan 8. Shami Ahmed 9. Dinda 10. Ojha 11. Right arm off spinner (rasool)?

    What this does, Most of the test team except MSD gets practice, and the ODI series against Australia will be a equal contest. This way the youngsters get their exposure to SA. Hope the BCCI is smart! LETS GO TEAM INDIA!

  • Harmony111 on March 25, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    If a team, say India, lose to Eng/Aus IN Eng/Aus then it is NOT cos --- India are a weak team OR Eng/Aus played in HOME CONDITIONS.

    Rather, it means that Eng/Aus won cos --- Eng/Aus are REALLY STRONG teams + Eng/Aus played in FAIR CONDITIONS + India don't respect Test Cricket.

    Conclusion: India's HOME record does not count while Eng/Aus's HOME record does (Implicitly, India are a weak team in reality ;-p).

    If a team esp Eng/Aus, lose to India IN India then it is NOT cos --- India are a good team OR Eng/Aus played in FAIR CONDITIONS.

    Rather, it means that Ind won only cos --- Eng/Aus were WEAK/INEXP teams at that time + Wickets were UNFAIR/Doctored (& so Ind don't respect Test Cricket).

    Conclusion: India's HOME record STILL does not count while Eng/Aus's HOME record STILL does. Explicitly, India are a weak team in reality :-p

  • win_it on March 25, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Dhoni is spot on, straight n as practical as he always been about his comments. N look the overseas team will always complain about pitches here n its not a new thing. it happened before and will always happen whenever an overseas team come no matter they win or lose. In my view the world test cricket will give results like this frequently in recent future, you can see the records book n u wl get home teams are dominating the series. the results like england wining in australia and in India, south africa wining in australia are adoration. Dhoni is right about saying the era of conventional n agresive field setting is over cus the conventional shots are being out of fashion now. In test its getting hard now to find a batsman like Rahul Dravid,Jack Kallis, Chandrapaul who play on bowlers patience and wait for lose deliveries. This is the time of sehwags, dhawans, gayles and dilshans. and dont forget about the bats players are using these days. its truly justified to hv in n out field.

  • Temuzin on March 25, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Posted by Great_Chucker on (March 25, 2013, 5:18 GMT) let's see whether this big talk remains with him when he tours SA...Dhoni,Jadeja,Ashwin and thereby Fletcher will all be exposed in pace tracks..

    Till then dhoni and fans must savor this white wash. A few doomsayers had predicted even this series will be 4-0 Australia. So Relax. India will beat SA this time and you have heard it first here from me on Cricinfo. Chill out.

  • on March 25, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Era of agressive fields are over...in Indian conditions..When the ball is bouncing in Australia and South Africa and swinging in England, three slips, gully and short leg is the norm..maybe not for Dhoni..

  • Temuzin on March 25, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    I think BCCI and those selectors who stood for Dhoni during 0-8 debacle must be congratulated. Those selectors stood by Dhoni seems to have some cricketing sense and vision. They were right in not putting all blames on Dhoni's door steps. They knew if your batsmen (great ones) are not scoring and if your bowlers are tired and stale and not taking wickets, then a captain can do only as much. Hats off to those selectors and management for this vision. Dhoni on his part took team India to 4-0 sweep the moment all youngsters started contributing. A job well done. Now BCCI and selectors should keep team fresh and should not burn them with over dose of cricket. India under Dhoni has bright future.

  • on March 25, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    @AbhishekBanerjee: Spot on mate!! I am sure we will do well in SA. Well in the sense not winning the series. It's very very difficult. But we sure won't go down like in England or Australia. We will fight it out and losing is not sour always. In a good game of cricket there are no losers except for the records. And people who say Sachin is past by his sell by date and shouldn't be in SA tour squad. The series will be lost even before it will begin. There's no doubt given the current batting line up, Sachin is the only name which Steyn and co will ponder upon. Not taking away anything from the others. They are talented but in alien conditions you need time to settle down. My XI for SA series: Vijay, Gauti, Pujara, Sachin, Kohli, Dhoni, Jaddu, Ashwin, Ishant, Bhuvanesh, Sreesanth. Gauti - You can't have two inexperienced openers in SA, at any cost. Jaddu - Will give very little runs and is sure to take couple of wickets every innings. Sreesanth - No better place to make a comeback.

  • samincolumbia on March 25, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Mickey Arthur has a rotational policy for the over rated aussie fast bowlers...He needs to employ a shrink as well, not only for the players, but also for their fans.

  • VickGower on March 25, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Let me be the one to congratulate BCCI for sticking with Dhoni despite plenty criticism, and near revolt within the rank of selectors. No one likes a 0-8 scoreline, and India is bound to go through a rough patch later this year. But it was quite evident that the rules of accountability/performance are different for a team in transition. When a team is rebuilding you have to look beyond the scorelines to assess the captain/coach. And those who stood by Dhoni/Fletcher were right to determine that they needed an unusually longer rope because they had to rebuild every aspect of the team: batting and bowling. Would India not have been denied this outstanding moment if Dhoni had been scapegoated? Thank God he is still around. Hope to see him as long as possible. Love the way he conducts himself on and off the field. Love to hear his insights.

  • CricFan_I on March 25, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    @Jose Pulliampata - You are spot on. I am a great believer of send an India A team to a touring country ahead of the actual Test series. This gives a lot of very important advantage to us. 1) The players get adequate exposure and acclimatisation 2) The fringe players may show how they can excel the "usual" contracted players in the land abroad 3) This India A team should come back only with the Team India. The reason is - Consider what happened in the disastrous series in England. The pacemen and batsmen were incapacitated one after the other and eventually it was indeed difficult to pick a decent X1. So this forms a reserve team from which a player could be upgraded straight away - instead of waiting for visa clearance, acclimatisation etc. After all BCCI can afford this extra cost now a days?

    Umesh Yadav, Ishant, Bhuvaneshwar, Shami Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma and Sreesanth would need to be considered given than SA grounds will offer pace, bounce and perhaps less swing than England.

  • vijay.n81 on March 25, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    if all the pitches were same then there would be no difference in where you played. then tours would make no sense. you could as well have matches in one venue. like pace bowling, spin bowling is a facet of cricket. it brings its own dimensions to the game. will australia have all spin pitches when india tours there? the answer would be no. in fact all home teams will like advantages to be on their side.

  • on March 25, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    For SA tour,Yusuf pathan must be selected for ODIs and t20s as liast time he performed exceptionaly well.Pujara,vijay,unmukt,dhawan must be the openers for India.Virat can handle swing ,pace and bounce well. Karthik performed well in champions league.Even dhoni can play in bouncy tracks. We have perfect pace battery..consisting of yadav and bhuvaneshwar.Either ishwar pandey or up guyz like imtiaz ahmed or ankit rajpoot may be given chance.Rajpoot has pace and he is quite tall and can bowl outswingers very well.

  • SRIDWI on March 25, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Very well said MSD! Captains need to think through out the innings and set the field in accordance with the pitch conditions and also the batsman's ability to rotate the strike or go for power hitting.

  • concerned_cricketer on March 25, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I really loved reading Dhoni's pitch about the interpretation of a good pitch and a bad pitch! He really has good sense of humour. I have often wondered where people get this interpretation of good pitch and bad pitch. Is there anything mentioned in the rules books? The whole concept of home and away matches was formed taking into account the fact that countries/teams find playing in home conditions easier than in someone else's home conditions. A bit like an Englishman bron and brought up in England would find it easier to speak English than Arabic and a Saudi national vice versa.

  • himohan007 on March 25, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    @ TheBigBoodha Can u pls explain How Ind vs Aus in Aus will be neutral condition. How do u say that ur pitch is fair. Remember u doctored picth to batting paradise when SA arrived there. Now that is call unfair. Even those paradaise cant save form ur inevitable loss to them. Deal with ur team is absolute medicore. To prove it play against BD there lol.

  • realfan on March 25, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha ok then leave the worries to india and their players as to how to perform away... if have some time please give your so called world class bowlers how to avaoid the back to back whitewashes in ashes.... as i can see, there is not even a single person who can handle the attck of england and there is not even a single bowler who can take england wicket even on those so called pathetic fair pitches...... you should be sorried if aus will have a record of 14-0 by the end of ashes.....

  • on March 25, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    I cant understand why everyone is making such a big deal out of Ind-SA series. Last time Ind-SA series ended in 1-1 and in the last game Kallis had to display some heroics to barely draw and save the game for SA.

    To those SL, Pak (and BD) supporters, I pose the question: have you guys ever even drawn a series with Steve Waugh's Australia? We have drawn Steve Waugh in Australia and beaten him at home!

    And of course, dear SL supporters, how does it feel to concede 600 runs to Bangladesh.......at home?

    To those England supporters I ask: when do you plan to win your first World Cup or is that beneath your notice? And of course, when do you plan to start your "10 year domination of cricket"? Your #1 status ended in just 11 months, i.e., HALF the duration of India's 22 months at the top.

    To Aussie fans I say: your team is rebuilding and so is ours. Lets take the cricket in the right spirit.

  • GreenBeastHunter on March 25, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    Moreover if you take England and Australia series out of the equation Dhoni's record as test captain in away games is 5 wins, 5 draws and 1 loss. At home you may look for the stats yourself. My point is simple, if one thinks that the defeats in England and Australia were really Shameful then the win in India is an equally "Proud" moment. Moreover if somebody criticizes a captain based on one or two series he also needs to learn to appreciate based on the same thing. Now if you are biased in favor or against somebody you can not think clearly about the person. Dhoni has been a great asset to indian cricket. He has offered a lot with his bat, as a wicket keeper and as a captain and all at the same time. Even after contributing so much for Indian cricket if we can not see it, it is a shame.

  • on March 25, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Almost the entire Indian team who played this series, except Sachin, Dhoni, & Harbhajan should be sent on an "A" Tour to South Africa, a few months before the official tour.

    At leat in that team, we should try out batsmen like Rahane, Raina, & Tiwari along with Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, & Kohli.

    For spinners, add Rasool / Jalaj along with Ashwin, Ojha, & Jadeja. Same is the case with pace bowlers: I don't know who to add to the pace bowling group along with Bhuvi & Ishant, since no one seems to know who is fit and who is not. If fit, Yadav & Irfan should be added.

    For wicket keeping two out of the three- Parthiv, Karthick & Saha can be chosen. Kohli could be the Captain of that "A" Team

    Selectors should choose the touring national team to play SA, ONLY after seeing, who can adapt and who can not. BCCI has the money. SA is a friendly with BCCI to accommodate such a request. To find a window, if any existing tournament is to be dropped, the first candidate is the Champians Trophy!

  • game_mayank on March 25, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Aggressive fields are not a fad ... saying "era of aggressive fields is over" is like saying that batsmen shouldn't be cautious when they come to crease initially, or bowlers should not stick to 'corridor of uncertainty', or fielders should be not be fit. These are proven facts, and will win you more matches than lose them...

  • Juniorklassy on March 25, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Completely agree with Dhoni.. what a mastermind he is.... simply just Admire him for his coolness & maturity.. havent seen any cricketer , matured so early & fast in his career.... when he made his debut he was just known as a HITTER , but now he is India's Greatest Captain...... Hats Off to Mahi....

    About Sporting Pitches : the typical mentality of Teams out of Sub- Continent ... when they cant perform here they start blaming the wickets here.... n what about when the matches used to get over in 3 days @ Perth , Druban , in WI etc ???? then why arent those pitches termed as Unsporty pitches ?? Each n Every Home team should have the Home Condition advantages.... even in football the pitches differ from place to place , team to team, country to country.... then why not in Cricket ??? My msg to all who those say Pitches in this series were not sporty : then please get a life guys.... Grow Up :-)

  • himohan007 on March 25, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha Even 4-0 drubbing in India could n't convince you that your team is medicore at best. Blaming the pitch mate as you live in denial. This current OZ can't win a single match in ENG. Then which thing will u blame.May be toss or DRS lol. But we have new hungur players in line so we will do well in next 3 series. Remember we lost 4-0 twice and home series agianst ENG senior players hanging in team like Shewag,Gambir,Zk,Harbi for no good.

  • half_blood-prince on March 25, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    No no SA are not true no.1 if we apply similar logic...where did they win..?? SA?. AUS.? ENG.? these are the pitches they are used to..they havent won in sub-continent. its like india beating pak,sl and bang on their pitches..they dont have a world class spinner like aus dont have..bt they can draw a match in sub continent otherwise no win..they are just a bit above eng and india

  • BBrianBlair on March 25, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    @ Vijay Singh

    Pitches are doctored in Australia, NZ and SA too. In 2004 series against India, Aus doctored the Sydney wicket, in 2002-03 NZ doctored their wickets against India and SA will make sure to prepare wickets that suit their bowlers when India tours them. You are quick to understand that their pitches behave like that ''naturally'' but ignore the same fact for Indian grounds. India has won tests in their previous two tours of SA, won in Perth in 2007-08 and beat England in their backyard the same season regardless of the pitches condition. Stop overhyping pitches, conditions, fast bowlers etc. When India are at their best they can beat any team anywhere. Just ask Aussies who have now lost 13 tests to India since 2001, that's their worst record against any team in the same time period. The so called SA with all their pacers have won only 6 tests against Aus since 2001. Please give India the respect they deserve.

  • Fan1969 on March 25, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Challange you @Sharjeel77 to produce any home wickets of your choice and let the country you belong to (Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka I guess) win a series against Australia 4-0 or even 3-0.

    India has had great players in the past and has had spin friendly pitches for many years but still never managed to give a 3-0 or 4-0 drubbing to Australia including the weak Aussie teams in 60s, 70s and 80s.

  • Selassie-I on March 25, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    No problem at all here with turning pitches. In the sub-continent the pitches should test your spin credentials, be it the bowling of or the playing of spin.

    I have always enjoyed watching the battles between bat and ball in the sub-continent, regardless of who's playing. That's the way it should be, just as you'll get your ablility to bowl quick or play the short ball tested in Aus and playing seam and swing in England.

    This is the beauty of our game - different pitches test different facets of your game.

  • Fan1969 on March 25, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Dear Dhoni,

    You are a great leader and now 12th in terms of aggregate runs scored by all batsmen for India in Tests. All this at an enviable average of 40. The fact you also keep wickets and captain is not accounted for.

    Only 22 players out of 278 Indian test players in history average higher than you and all were pure batsmen (Incl Kohli and Pujara).

    Just believe in yourself and keep encouraging the youngsters. I am of the Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Ganguly, Kumble era but it is time to give way to the youngsters....

    All credit to you for giving youngsters a chance and letting them perform without pressure. Vijay, Jadeja, Dhawan were stunning while Pujara, Ashwin and Kohli are not allowing people like me to miss Dravid, Harbhajan, Kumble or Laxman.

    Go to SA without fear. All of us think India will lose 3-0 but I think you can do better. Good luck and ask all players to keep fit for TESTS. That is REAL cricket while please enjoy IPL and ODIs.

    Warm Regards

  • on March 25, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Personally i always use a tennis comparison. The Sub continent is like a clay surface, and players that do well on hard court and grass court have a very difficult time being successful on clay, and usually, the same applies vice versa. It is up to the australians to learn how to handle spin, because the opposition is always going to exploit any weakness no matter what. It is easy to say India doctored their pitches, but visiting teams and fans should know what to expect when the tour dates are announced. If every country had the same pitches, test matches would be boring, part of the appeal of test match cricket is seeing champions born from conditions that they are not used to (Hayden, VVS, Amla, Cook, Dean Jones to name a few) - Australia is a team that plays aggressive, it could when they had the players to do so, but this lot are trying to emulate that, and all Dhoni needed to do was to block the boundaries to force a stupid shot, which happened many times.

  • on March 25, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    England played well on the same spinning tracks and won the series ...stop complaining about the pitches and start performing ...As dravid rightly pointed out, you need skills and not just aggression to win test cricket in this part of the world .... fast bowling weakness can be improved with bowling machines and coaches throwing n number of deliveries at you .... Playing spin bowling is an art and it takes years of practice to master it ...When Brian lara toured SL, he dominated muralitharan like anything and proved that he was the best player of spin bowling in the world .....

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on March 25, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    He is right in most of his arguments..I don't understand why pitches assisting fast bowlers is best and why pitches which are helpful for spin and batting are bad. What if it spins from first day, why is it bad. I think the talk about pitches is pathetic in any case. Yes home conditions are important and the fight is mainly to show fight and triumph in alien conditions. That is why it is said in India ki "ghar me to har koi sher hai, jo dushman ko uske ghar me ghuskar mare wahi asli sher hai". When India goes to South Africa, Asutralia or New Zealand, we as Indians enjoy the fight given by our players. When Indian went to tour to NZ before 2003 world cup, the pitches were unsuitable for Indian Players and almost all failed except Sehwag. This was where he became a great player. When India went to England in 2002, the help available to fast bowlers was not that much and hence it was a boring tour. Bowelrs should have favourable pitch though -spinner/fast bowler.

  • InsideHedge on March 25, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    No surprises that the majority of fans mocking India's latest victory against Australia come from fans of SL and Pak. Do remind me how many Tests you've won against Australia home and away. For all the boasting of owning great bowlers (and mocking India's bowlers at the same time), pray tell me when you won a Test series in West Indies for starters? India achieved that feat as far back as 1971 and in England just a few months later. That was a seminal year for India.

    It does amuse me to read comments from folks who conveniently forget embarrassing stats such as 16 consecutive losses against Australia, I wonder if some of these countries have even won 4 Tests against Oz in their entire history.

  • on March 25, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    well played india! that should be it. nothing 2 boast abt this win. auusies too trashed us 4-0. real rejoice when india replicate this overseas. at d moment only SA r d real champions.

  • GreenBeastHunter on March 25, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Before the England series India did try to create pitches which gave assistance to pacers. The trend actually began when Ganguly was the captain. What did it result in...Flat Pitches..on which often the result is a DRAW. I am not saying the idea was bad. It is just that the idea was not successful. So there is no point creating fast pitches in India. Now In England series there was a complete assistance for fast bowlers. Although the conditions favor the pacer by nature, in that series England did docter it for greater assistance to their pacers. Moreover home conditions can always be well utilized by the home team than the touring side, it doesn't matter if it is india, England or Australia. Now if a touring side wins over the home team then we can definetly say that the touring side is really good. When England came to India England was playing better than India and the major reason for failure in that series was the Top order collapse, which is what Dhoni always said.

  • on March 25, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    "Well, you'll have to answer what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' because your opinion really counts ... When four fast bowlers play, it becomes strategy, when three spinners or four spinners play, it becomes a bad wicket." I completely agree with MSD. Its our mindset not to accept or congratulate the team that won 4-0. When we lost 4-0 everyone blamed us. THOSE PEOPLE WHO BLAME US WHEN WE LOSE, NEVER WAS THERE TO CONGRATULATE WHEN WE WIN. I must say one thing, if teams can not play on spin tracks, its their fault. When we win, people say, we are Tigers at home only. Well to my friends who say this, I say most teams are like that only. Australia are also Home Tigers.

  • TheUltimateTruth on March 25, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha did you even read the article? One of the main points is about what is a fair track and what is not. It's embarrassing when people comment without thinking. You can criticize India for not winning abroad and for allowing England to win in India -- but to criticize India for winning in India on Indian tracks? That's bizarre.

  • on March 25, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Its amazing the denial that some of the aussie fans here have. They think by denying the aweful performance of their first line team and blaming 'poor wickets' will help their team. Well, for the ignorants, England beat India on similar wickets! Lol. Besides this same denial has cost India when after defeats abroad in england and australia they contd to deny anytihng was wrong. If India had played with its 'old' team - Viru, Gauti, Zaheer, Harbajan, Raina, etc, they may hve lost this series as well. India beat the first line aussie team with their new brigage, albeit that australian first line team is pretty green.

  • Majorraki on March 25, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Not a fan of dhoni but he got one thing right.It has become customary for english/Aus/Sa fans to blame Indian pitches for their inability to play spin.How is a green top an ideal pitch and a dustbowl in contrast a lame one?It takes as muchcraft/patience to play spin as swing bowling yet the art of spin bowling is very seldom appreciated.

  • Markus971 on March 25, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Well played India...Too Good!

  • on March 25, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Aussies doesnt have monty panesar to assist nathan lyon, secondly nathan lyon is of no such quality as of swann, here indian batsmen is always vulnerable when the pitch assist to quality bowlers, and also ashwin is assisted by jadeja, ojha again failed this time too, Aussie didnt played well, thats why they lost, only one thing is impressive which is quality batting of pujara, the way he used his feet to play spinners is remarkable, he is not coming on the front foot while defending the ball, as the pitch is slow he is going on backfoot, watson play spin well on backfoot, here he attacked the ball on frontfoot thats the reason he failed.

  • Sharjeel77 on March 25, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    It is just pathetic how India can be proud at winning a test on such sub test standard home wickets!

  • on March 25, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    All this series proves is that India can beat a fairly inept Australian side playing in extremely unfamiliar conditions. This is not the first time that pitches have been doctored in India to help the home team win.

    Those who draw a parallel between these pitches and the ones prepared in Australia, SA and UK are dead wrong. Those pitches have been that way forever and no special instructions are given to the curators of the pitch. The fact that Indian batsmen can't generally handle those playing conditions does not mean that those are doctored pitches.

    I personally believe that having a perfect 4-0 record at home and exactly the reverse abroad against good teams is bad for the sport and definitely bad for Indian cricket. That a country of 1.2 bn people and a very rich BCCI cannot produce a team that can win in alien conditions is not something that we should be proud of.

  • AB_DeVilliers on March 25, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Ah, the defensive mindset. Remind me again, how many series have you won away from home as captain in Eng, Aus and SA? Exactly. And don't forget, you beat a very poor Aus side and were beaten by an above average Eng team just a few months ago. So don't praise your approach too much, you're still a pretty average captain. This won't change until you prove yourself by winning overseas consistently, like Ponting previously and Smith now. Cheers.

  • on March 25, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    lol on everyone who is criticising dhoni... He just won the test series against AUSTRALIA and that too 4-0... everything he did was just awesome, if not perfect... What would you want to see, all 10 fielders inside the circle and letting them score the boundaries on their willl.. go to hell... :LOL...

  • on March 25, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    "The kind of cricket that we play has entirely changed … The era of seeing aggressive cricket, where you had to have a mid-on up, has gone." He obviously didn't see any of the NZ vs England test today, when the kiwis had nine men crowded around the bat - keeper, two slips, leg slip, bat-pad, pad-bat, short mid off and short mid on, leaving just the bowler and one lonely-looking deep long on...

  • KK47 on March 25, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    There are innumerable instances of matches finishing in 3 days on fast pitches like Perth and most of those times Asian teams have been in the receiving end. Nobody talked about pitch being bad for test-cricket then. Teams like WI came prepared with great fast bowlers and beat Aus in there own backyard similar to what Eng did by beating Ind last winter. They used the conditions better than Indian spinners and got the results. Wicket which spins from day-1 should not be treated any differently from a pitch which seams/swings and bounces all five days. The flavour of test cricket is in playing under difficult and foreign conditions and coming out on top. Remember Dean Jones @Chennai? Coming to comments on Dhoni being defensive captain, I don't agree fully. It's true that he could have attacked more but times have changed now. Blocking boundaries against a team like Aus also can induce rash shots, which worked for him.

  • satishchandar on March 25, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha : Oh.. Isi t? Did Australia play against SL in spinning tracks so that they can play well in India? Every track has its own specialty. If India had to practice for away tour, then they can do it in nets preparing grassy tracks.. Have spicy tracks and play among themselves and decide the squad.. No one will serve the opponents a feather bed to feast on..

  • TheBigBoodha on March 25, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    RG2008, given the difference in the quality of the sides? You are still living in Dhoni's dream. Australia would beat this Indian team in neutral conditions, as they did easily on fair tracks in Australia. I can't believe people actually think India won this series because they have better players. India won't win a single game in its next three series. Dhoni's soft option myopia has prevailed here, but he has not addressed the systemic problems in the team. Doctoring pitches massively has done nothing but create a feel- good nationalist illusion. How is India going to take 20 wickets with this attack overseas? It's not going to happen.

  • ravi_hari on March 25, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Who Dhoni is targeting? What happened to this aggressive talk when he kept loosing? Winning against the weakest team ever on doctored pitches isn't great captaincy. Do the same against the best in the world like SA, Eng & Pak. You lost to all the three at home itself, what happened then? Dhoni is getting carried away by this success. This success is not because of Dhoni, It is because of the youngsters performing to their potential and Aussies's wholesale flopping. The same Dhoni could not win against England. Even on Day 2 in Delhi India could not negotiate the friendly spin of Lyon. No captain fixes field positions. He goes by the situation, batsman and the bowler's strengths. Being a wicketkeeper it should come naturally for Dhoni. So big deal if he changes field looking at batsman's foot movement. The fact remains that Dhoni is afraid of purchasing wickets because he has no confidence in his batsmen. This is the first test series when he performed well both as batsman and skipper.

  • austentayshus on March 25, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    such a useless cricketer let us see how he plays in saffa and NZ ..

  • jagdish07 on March 25, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Whatever Dhoni is talking was also applied by past captain, I ask simple question how many batsmen we got out by catching at Mid-on, Long on or deep field positions ....hardly 3-4 out of 80 wickets in 4 tests. He is just making a statement.

  • venkatesh018 on March 25, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    Here is what Dhoni would describe a wicket that has decent bounce and where edges from both pacemen and spinners carry to the keeper and the slips: ANTI-INDIA(May be ANTI CRICKET might be a diplomatic word, MS).

  • Professor.Biscuit.Khan on March 25, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I second him.

    If a player like Watson is playing and you are not putting Long-on in place, you are Not a Good Captain.

    Many would say this is defensive fielding but it actually is a Strategy.

  • nair248 on March 25, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    ha ha ha..old dhoni bck..his thing of losing tosses and winning matches is also back.all these critics about him made him improve his batting a lot. Already he is the best cricket mind around and one of the quickest behind the wicket. He is already a big force in limited overs . Now in test also. Go dhoni

  • venkatesh018 on March 25, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Is the era of good cricket pitches which don't turn square on the first morning are also over MSD ?

  • on March 25, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    When india wins dhoni's usual diplomatic tone, which he blabbers always, becomes aggressive!

  • RG2008 on March 25, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Dhoni's comments make sense if that is what he is really doing in practice. As someone who watched a lot of this series, in which Australia were absolutely thrashed, there were too many times to mention that someone would hit one boundary and the field would get pushed back immiediately. At one point I think there were 6 men on the boundary for Starc - ridiculous given the quality of the bowling and the state of the match. With this defensive mindset India will not challenge SA, who now have a new found ruthlessness in finishing sides off. India absolutely belted Australia but given the difference in quality of the sides they could have done it even quicker with better captaincy. Dhoni is a brilliant player but a fairly average test captain.

  • RG2008 on March 25, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Dhoni's comments make sense if that is what he is really doing in practice. As someone who watched a lot of this series, in which Australia were absolutely thrashed, there were too many times to mention that someone would hit one boundary and the field would get pushed back immiediately. At one point I think there were 6 men on the boundary for Starc - ridiculous given the quality of the bowling and the state of the match. With this defensive mindset India will not challenge SA, who now have a new found ruthlessness in finishing sides off. India absolutely belted Australia but given the difference in quality of the sides they could have done it even quicker with better captaincy. Dhoni is a brilliant player but a fairly average test captain.

  • ramli on March 25, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    The field placements necessarily have to undergo a transformation to keep in tune with the changes that have taken place in approaching test cricket over time by batsmen, bowlers and even fielders ... as a result, we see more result oriented test matches now in comparison to the past, even in India ... lofted shots are no more considered as bad shots ... bowlers and batsmen are less patient nowadays ... to keep a few fielders on the boundary line is not always a negative strategy ... it is the consequence of match situation, skills of bowling, class of batsman, etc

  • SamRoy on March 25, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    That is by far the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Every batsman takes time to settle. Once he is settled it is fine to set defensive fields. But before that is he not vulnerable? Anyway, Dhoni didn't explain why he set defensive fields to tailenders. Best example was Mitch Starc's 99. Dhoni set defensive field and Starc was good enough to milk the spinners for singles and punished the odd loose ball. Finally with Starc on 99 MSD brought the field in and Starc lost his his wicket under pressure.

  • SL_BiggestJoke on March 25, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Shame on the media for giving Dhoni a tough time when he was having no support and losing matches due to the esteemed hangers on in the Indian team. These journos were calling for his head after losing series and now can't seem to stop talking about how great he is!

  • on March 25, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Again Dhoni shows why he has been the most successful captain India has ever seen..This sort of understanding of players and conditions is required when you want to be successful and a cool head to boot..Well Done MS Dhoni..

  • pun_eat on March 25, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    All strategies seem correct when they work. I like the part where he said fields need to be set up by reading batsman's instincts. i Guess he can do that because he is very close to batsman to observe his feet movement and all. But a strategy cannot be completely based on instincts of batsman. The batsman might also be making strategies based on the fielding team's instincts. You have to put the need of the hour at the top priority. If by stopping single one can ad pressure, field should be brought in. If you are allowing easy singles the batsman who was not looking good in the beginning would settle down and score fluently. This fortunately dint happen in this series. Aussies showed glimpses that the can use their feet. But it was limited to big shots and not taking singles or playing drives. You have to optimise it with the need of the hour. Opinions may differ.I like flexible mindsets. The same strategy which really troubled watson may not trouble AB or amla at all.

  • on March 25, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Dhoni, Mr.Cool, as his wont, replied volley of questions in his own sytle. No doubt he's lost England series at Home. But his never-say-die spirit brought good results in this historic servies victory with Aussies. And it has to be accepted that this Aussies team is not a great team with a weeklink bowling. And there were no great partnerships and a lone century by Clarke. And Dhoni set the fielding according to the situation and batsmen's mood. As I watched the Chennai Test at Chepauk, i was able to see his field setting. And we have to accept the fact, test matches are not dying in India, especially when you have result oriented pitches. May be Kotla ground may be spinners mine, but other pitches were alright and the Aussie batsmen are to be blamed for batting failures. And also we have to play to our strength.

  • on March 25, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Me totally agree with DHoni when he said """""He went on to give an example of how the interpretation of the same deep-field placements were different for different captains: "For Virender Sehwag, if you have a deep point and a deep-third man and a deep-square leg, it's a strategy. If MS Dhoni has a deep point and a deep-square leg for David Warner, it's a defensive field set. You have to see the mindset [of the batsman] and accordingly go ahead.""""

    I felt it on many occasions that Asian captains were subject to undue criticism and cricket analyst are not impartial towards them. Cook and Andy Flower were not that much criticized for not selecting Panesar in first test against Pakistan and India. While Misbah and whatamore had already been criticized enough for dropping Irfan from Ist ODI squad. So is the case with Dhoni.

    Cook set most defending field against India in first test when Sehwag was on song, no body criticise him over that. that then called a good strategy

  • Romenevans on March 25, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Couldn't agree with him more! The whole fuss about sub-continent wicket and whining of Aussie fans is nothing but sour grapes. When India was on the receiving end in Australia and lost 4-0, we slammed our players and because of that non-performers like Sehwag, Gambhir, Bhajji and Zaheer are forced to be left out and we are seeing the result of that. But look at Aussie fans, they are blaming the pitches and coming up with ridiculous excuses instead of slamming their players who are not good enough to adapt. If England can come, adapt and win then any team can do that. But sour grapes are sour, always!

  • CSpiers on March 25, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Oh dear, Dhoni really has no idea what he's talking about. Pitches outside of the subcontinent will always be 'better' wickets because at some they give ALL crafts a good chance in the game. Pace for the first three with a bit of spin, and spin with a bit of pace/variable bounce for the final two, batsman sometimes have it easier at the start, others towards the end. That's what a sporting wicket is Mr Dhoni. Not a dusty track that looks like the surface of mars day one.

  • true_point on March 25, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    For MS, it was a brilliant effort in the first test at Chennai to have come up with that double century in double quick time. the manner he hit the Aussie bowlers - both fast and spin bowlers, just must have demoralized them. The century stands put in by the openers helped the team cause to have big totals which in turn boosted the team morale. When the openers go out cheaply, more often than not, others follow suit. MS ringed in the most telling bowling changes where every change he made worked. It must be observed that both Vijay and Dhawan were not flirting outside the off stump and we did not see any such loose shots. That is a welcome change from the days of Shewag & Gambhir, the most celebrated opening pair in Indian cricket. One thing that baffles me is that Vijay has been praised by one and all for curbing his aggressive natural instincts whereas Shewag was praised for playing his natural game with a justification for his methods.- double standards.

  • Rokingrishav on March 25, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    I think dhoni will see what egressive fielding is at SA with 4 slips,two gully, short leg only leaving u to drive which they are vunerable of.

  • on March 25, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    This guy has a huge wealth of knowledge and a good thinking cricketer. You have got to agree with him.

  • on March 25, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Very good answer to those who were always criticizes India or sub-continental pitches when the visitors Team fail to make any impact on the series or fail to win the series. When India fail to Win the series when they tour abroad never complains about the Pitches because we know we knows that every Team who plays in their backyard are bound to use the Conditions which best suited to them than the visitors, then why these blame game suddenly started when India do the same.

  • TheBigBoodha on March 25, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Just sad. Bishen Bedi is sooooo right. Dhoni and the Indian team are slowly but surely destroying test cricket by taking repeated soft, myopic options. Instead of using this series against Australia to produce fair tracks which would allow both Indian batsmen and bowlers to be exposed to normal conditions, he went for short term glory. He got it, too. Too bad about what is going to happen next. It's so predictable you could put your house on it. If you don't know what I am talking about, just rewind the DVD and watch the last series vs ENG/AUS.

  • on March 25, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    I love you dhoni!! CSK will win IPL <3

  • vatsap on March 25, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    Let us make hay, till SAF 2013. The 4-0 win was good. Let us recognize that we have a long way to go, before we compete internationally. The strategy and mindset was still negative at times, but who cares as long as we win. It is good to see some fresh faces in the mix and paying off. Hope Unmesh/Zaheer/Aaron are fit soon. Let us celebrate for now.

  • PTtheAxis on March 25, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    so how did india get wickets ? without having any men around the bat ? what crazy logic. you get a batsman out by keeping them on strike not giving them singles. to batsmen who were into a complete zone of defending he did not have 4 close in fielders and fielders on the boundary. no wonder india has such a hard time getting out tailenders. there is no agression or pressure. dhoni needs to be taken out of captaincy if india has to avoid more humiliations abroad in tests.

  • moBlue on March 25, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    dhoni is right in his criticism of the so-called pundits - mostly from other countries - who say that a wicket that assists *only* pace bowlers is a "good" pitch and that one that assists spin in the subcontinent is a "terrible" pitch! the latter despite the fact that IND batters have no problems putting up 400-plus on the board in the first inning (both because IND are good players of spin and because the opposition, ENG honorably excepted, lacks quality spin bowlers) and the fact that most matches extend into the 5th day and produce a result!!! the only reason i can attribute to this opinion of the pundits is that they are biased in favor of the home team.

    it is noteworthy in this regard that when IND got creamed in ENG and AUS, we IND fans did not blame the pitch but blamed our batters for lacking the ability to handle pace and bounce. yet the pundits and the oz fans blame the pitches in IND as "dust bowls", despite the fact that IND batters were scoring many tons in the first inn.

  • on March 25, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    He is right. The objectives and strategies have changed. The Gavaskar era where everything was preserved to the end is gone.We need to think right and on our feet to execute clearly. I agree with MSD

  • satishchandar on March 25, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    I remember Nasser Hussain captaining in India with a plan of fast bowlers bowl it on and around or even outside off stump and make the batsmen play off side. What he did was, have 7-2 field with one at mid on and one fine leg and a packed off side field. Leaving the entire leg side open. If a bowler is not capable of bowling to the field, then so be it and there will be lots of runs against his name and he eventually loses his spot in the team. Run in and bowl to the field. If the point is inside circle, the bowler should not give width to cut. You decide a field after long hours of analysis and frame a field and all the bowler need is, to bowl on that particular line and length which was already discussed in the meetings. Why not the bowler pay for it if he is not good enough to put it on that place? A tight captain will not flutter every delivery and change field but work on the bowler to get him back to the plan.

  • Ankur_cricinfo on March 25, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    I Think Dhoni has a valid point here. a) we call our pitches bad because they are producing results in 3 -4 days, if that is the case, so are the pickets in S.Africa. b) about fielding placements, yes the strategy is fine in India, where spinners are effective and will inevitably get wickets. But we cant be sure of same abroad. The game is evolving fast... we see more fast paced innings, pacers bowling to contain, in-n-out fields, reviews, results, etc. Darwin was a smart man, so is Dhoni.

  • satishchandar on March 25, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Personally believe it is not yet over.. The captain's are fearing too much when not to. One boundary doesn't merit a field change.. A bowler bowls with width abd is cut fiercely to cover point. If that is so, then it is either Poor planning by the think tank or Bad execution of plan by the bowler. By putting in a deep point immediately, you are allowing your bowler to bowl with lots of width.. It shouldn't go that way.. If the plan is to allow the batsman to cut and give u a chance of edge, leave the deep point open. Like Watson did yesterday by leaving entire point to third man region open and making Vijay to go for reverse paddle and earned a wicket. It backfired when Pujara and Kohli were just dabbing ball to that area and had easy couples many times. But it is more a poor bowling to allow batsmen to dab it than bad captaincy. If bowler can't bowl consistently enough not to be cut and flicked, it is his mistake. And remove him from team for incapability.

  • ashok16 on March 25, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    I hope MSD will take to coaching when he retires. He will do well.

  • Harmony111 on March 25, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    What a fabulous thinker this man is. No wonder he is the best captain in the world. He has the ability of giving short crisp answers and he gives us a rare peep into his fertile mind. I absolutely absolutely agree with what he is saying here. His is a great mix of conventional wisdom optimized and tweaked with improvisations and clever tricks. I am sure some people will still have issues with him for whatever reasons and will comment here by picking up some issue for eg letting Aus score 100+ with last 3 wickets in Kotla. Someone here will come up and take credit for Pujara's success and blame MSD for Rahane's failure but will say nothing for what SIR Jadeja has achieved. Some will dilute this 4-0 win by saying it came at home but will forget that 0-4 in Aus was its mirror image. Some will say Pujara & Ashwin won us this series but will still blanket-blame MSD for our away losses.

    Trust me, some people are born-haters and they grudge to even grudge.

  • on March 25, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Indian team must not think they have been benefited by winning this series.We have learned nothing from our 8-0 losses.Apart from vijay & pujara the batting failed as usual & the Indian pace bowlers performed less than Aussie fast bowlers.We have to keep in mind that in AUS,SA,ENG conditions neither Ashwin nor jadeja nor ojha would get to take 29,24 wickets nor vijay or pujara would provide us a 370 run partnership.Last nd not the least SACHIN SHOULD NOW "RETIRE FROM TESTS & COULD RETURN TO ODI CRICKET" if he wants to EARN MORE.

  • KishorKumar25 on March 25, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    I dont understand his mindset, but as long as he produces results, I am OK with that.

  • mak102480 on March 25, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    Absolutely agree with Dhoni here. I haven't always been a fan of his captaincy, but i believe the era of having only one (or sometimes none) boundary fielder is a thing of the past on MOST pitches and grounds due to to many factors: quality of bats, T20 and ODI cricket, mindset of present day batsmen vs. the ones in the 80s and before, quality of the overall bowling in world cricket, etc.

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    On an unrelated note - Ashwin really needs to put more revs on the ball.. he did that in the 1st couple of tests, but kinda relapsed to his England series mode where he was just "letting the ball go".. While he has started to vary his flight and pace pretty well, he really needs to use more of his shoulder/back muscles and swivel thru about his front leg to impart more side spin.. will do good to watch Swann's bowling action. Its not easy considering his big frame, but hard work will take him there..

  • Sachit1979 on March 25, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    Good to see India whitewashing Australia. It was very pleasant to see Vijay, Pujara and Bhuvneshwar (in short stits) shining. All of them are definitely future of India but there stern test would be in later part of this year when India travels South Africa. Indian performance in this series can't be undermined but still I believe its more Aussies gifted this series to India than India winning it.

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Well said MSD. Really well replied. This is something mist people do not understand. If the pitch has a grass covering and the ball is bouncing and seaming, or if it is a belter, then the pitch are very good. And if there is a pitch assisting spinners, then it is termed as a bad wicket, which is extremely wrong. Well pointed our MSD.

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    100% agree with dhoni and its perfect when someone else do its strategy and Indians do its bad wicket, BCCI power , out of spirit of cricket and many more. This is way ICC Has home and away test series where both team has equal chance to play on condition they like . Now days all team are better in home condition , even South Africans choke outside home. The era of world champion lead by Steve waugh and ponting , they won everywhere apart form India but still they were best in terms of home and away series. If current Indian batting line UP clicks out side subcontinent then i think they will do goo din terms of competition, After pakistan India has better spin attack and yes fast bowling is problem but the way kumar swinging ball he will be deadly on any green top.

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    MSD has a super computer as his brain.

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    nobody can comment about dhoni. in the present circumstances if u comment about dhoni u might be a fool as everything is going dhoni's way. anyway he is a perfect captain for india who might be praised more than sachin tendulkar in the future. one day indians might forget sachin as they forgot ganguly and make dhoni the god of cricket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • GRVJPR on March 25, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Indian Critcis is amazing. If Foreign team looses in India it is called a "Learning curve for their youngsters". If Indian team struggle is south africa next no such excuse would be given even though many young players will be on tour for first time. Yet again, If foreign youngster fails 'It is his first tour" and if Virat kohli struggle in first in australia on his first tour in first two games critics said "He has no technique for test cricket", Unbelievable. Critics should seriously look at themselves.

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    It is truly correct that we are criticized because we have turning tracks.But we never criticize the bouncy pitches all over the world.Even when we lose outside the subcontinent only the players are blamed,not those pitches.But they never criticse their player,they blame our pitiches . Let me remind all of you that alaistair cook ,ian bell,jonathan trott,matt prior,graeme swann,monty panesar had lead their team to victory by defeating us on our soil.

  • Great_Chucker on March 25, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    let's see whether this big talk remains with him when he tours SA...Dhoni,Jadeja,Ashwin and thereby Fletcher will all be exposed in pace tracks...let dhoni enjoy his dreams before the big catastrophe awaiting team India

  • JBSA on March 25, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    MSD is proving to be not only best at man managing skills but also an acute analyser of the game Since being a keeper, he analyses the batsmen very well. But it takes a great mind to be a strategist. Earlier Stephen Waugh and Stephen Fleming excelled in it. And currently only MSD does it. May be Andrew Flower and Gary Kirsten does from off the field. Also the understanding between a MSD and quick witted Ashwin helps along. But currently MSD has to groom the Pace dept to win over in Overseas. We do have the talent but all we need is the proper guidance and strategy

  • Ahamed_Dammy on March 25, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    As far as India's opposition is concerned.. This era is over with the sacking of Sehwag.. Shikar Dhawan has a lot to prove to replace Viru's aggressive approach at the top.. To be honest, Sehwag like player is irreplacable..

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Playing a spin is an art and you can't learn over night . And that is the reason why Aussies have a nightmare in India . In last 11 matches India won 9 and drew 2 and India earned that record . And every country plays with their strength ( Like SA world no 1 had played on the seaming track against Pakistan otherwise we all know about great Saeed Ajmal and his destruction on Spin friendly pitches ) . So if you are a true champion you should win on any kinda surface and in any country .

  • GRVJPR on March 25, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    MSD is absolutely right. Theories are good to here but you have to be practical. Almost everyone riticizes jadeja that he bowls faster than normal and hence won't be effective. Yet he and monty in last series showed that bowling quickish spin not only creates pressure it also can get you wickets. It's all about bowling well and not about those old retired theories. Another example is England VS New Zealand series. Evryone says that england are best against swing bowling. New zealand have not only out bowled them with swing but also out batted them easily. It was poor wickets of India that allowed overrated england to win a lottery series.

  • GRVJPR on March 25, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    MSD is absolutely right. Theories are good to here but you have to be practical. Almost everyone riticizes jadeja that he bowls faster than normal and hence won't be effective. Yet he and monty in last series showed that bowling quickish spin not only creates pressure it also can get you wickets. It's all about bowling well and not about those old retired theories. Another example is England VS New Zealand series. Evryone says that england are best against swing bowling. New zealand have not only out bowled them with swing but also out batted them easily. It was poor wickets of India that allowed overrated england to win a lottery series.

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Playing a spin is an art and you can't learn over night . And that is the reason why Aussies have a nightmare in India . In last 11 matches India won 9 and drew 2 and India earned that record . And every country plays with their strength ( Like SA world no 1 had played on the seaming track against Pakistan otherwise we all know about great Saeed Ajmal and his destruction on Spin friendly pitches ) . So if you are a true champion you should win on any kinda surface and in any country .

  • Ahamed_Dammy on March 25, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    As far as India's opposition is concerned.. This era is over with the sacking of Sehwag.. Shikar Dhawan has a lot to prove to replace Viru's aggressive approach at the top.. To be honest, Sehwag like player is irreplacable..

  • JBSA on March 25, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    MSD is proving to be not only best at man managing skills but also an acute analyser of the game Since being a keeper, he analyses the batsmen very well. But it takes a great mind to be a strategist. Earlier Stephen Waugh and Stephen Fleming excelled in it. And currently only MSD does it. May be Andrew Flower and Gary Kirsten does from off the field. Also the understanding between a MSD and quick witted Ashwin helps along. But currently MSD has to groom the Pace dept to win over in Overseas. We do have the talent but all we need is the proper guidance and strategy

  • Great_Chucker on March 25, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    let's see whether this big talk remains with him when he tours SA...Dhoni,Jadeja,Ashwin and thereby Fletcher will all be exposed in pace tracks...let dhoni enjoy his dreams before the big catastrophe awaiting team India

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    It is truly correct that we are criticized because we have turning tracks.But we never criticize the bouncy pitches all over the world.Even when we lose outside the subcontinent only the players are blamed,not those pitches.But they never criticse their player,they blame our pitiches . Let me remind all of you that alaistair cook ,ian bell,jonathan trott,matt prior,graeme swann,monty panesar had lead their team to victory by defeating us on our soil.

  • GRVJPR on March 25, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Indian Critcis is amazing. If Foreign team looses in India it is called a "Learning curve for their youngsters". If Indian team struggle is south africa next no such excuse would be given even though many young players will be on tour for first time. Yet again, If foreign youngster fails 'It is his first tour" and if Virat kohli struggle in first in australia on his first tour in first two games critics said "He has no technique for test cricket", Unbelievable. Critics should seriously look at themselves.

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    nobody can comment about dhoni. in the present circumstances if u comment about dhoni u might be a fool as everything is going dhoni's way. anyway he is a perfect captain for india who might be praised more than sachin tendulkar in the future. one day indians might forget sachin as they forgot ganguly and make dhoni the god of cricket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    MSD has a super computer as his brain.

  • on March 25, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    100% agree with dhoni and its perfect when someone else do its strategy and Indians do its bad wicket, BCCI power , out of spirit of cricket and many more. This is way ICC Has home and away test series where both team has equal chance to play on condition they like . Now days all team are better in home condition , even South Africans choke outside home. The era of world champion lead by Steve waugh and ponting , they won everywhere apart form India but still they were best in terms of home and away series. If current Indian batting line UP clicks out side subcontinent then i think they will do goo din terms of competition, After pakistan India has better spin attack and yes fast bowling is problem but the way kumar swinging ball he will be deadly on any green top.