India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 4th day

Panesar the difference - Dhoni

Sidharth Monga

November 26, 2012

Comments: 100 | Text size: A | A


Monty Panesar gets congratulations after removing Virender Sehwag, India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 2nd day, November 25, 2012
MS Dhoni said the pace that Monty Panesar bowled at proved key © BCCI
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MS Dhoni has admitted to being disappointed "to an extent" with his own spinners, but he insisted Monty Panesar was a touch above everyone else, making the big difference. India finally got the square turner they wanted, played three spinners, won the toss, posted a first-innings total that many thought was surplus in these conditions, but squandered it through some ordinary spin bowling.

In helpful conditions, Panesar and Graeme Swann took 19 wickets between them in 121.2 overs. India's three specialist bowlers bowled 113.1 overs for just nine wickets. To say the Indian spinners were outplayed will be an understatement. This is one of the most disappointing performances by an Indian spin unit in favourable home conditions.

It can be granted that Panesar's natural pace is more suited to bowling on such pitches, but Swann adjusted well too, unlike the Indian bowlers. R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh were especially friendly on a surface where spinners had no business being friendly. Especially disappointing was their tendency to bowl short, not making the batsmen drive, which was where most of the mistakes happened. That is what, according to Dhoni, was the bigger flaw than not being able to adjust to the pace required on the surface.

"There is a particular style of bowling," Dhoni said. "We also tried to bowl fast. We didn't get the same purchase. It's the same as two different batsmen. Some conditions suit you, some don't. I felt the only thing we could have done better is make them drive more than we did. If you bowl short on a wicket that has a bit of bounce, you give them time. Especially the fact that we were getting more purchase when we were bowling a little slow."

However, Dhoni was fulsome in his praise of Panesar. "The way Monty bowled, he was different from other bowlers," Dhoni said. "All the other bowlers were getting bounce and turn, but Monty bowled at real pace. He bowled at 90-95kph and even above that, and still he got real turn. He had a big impact on the game.

"The other spinners got the bounce, but they never looked to trouble the batsmen as much a Monty did. Big credit goes to him. If you get performances like this, margin of defeat can be big. Credit also goes to Pujara from our side, who batted really well. Pietersen and Cook batted really well. They batted off the back foot really well. I wish we were a bit fuller, and made them drive more."

However, Dhoni stood by his demand for exactly the kind of pitch this Test was played on. "I think this was a very good wicket," he said. "Tests in the subcontinent should be played on such wickets. The toss wasn't that vital. It started turning from the first day."

Dhoni insisted he would love to get such pitches more often, regardless of the result here. "Of course I will want a similar wicket," he said. "That's what our speciality is. What's the point of playing on a flat track and winning the toss and batting for three or four days over the Test? You want to face challenges in test cricket. These are the kinds of wickets that push you. Definitely all the wickets should be like this."

However, Dhoni's reasoning for such pitches calls for a much better show from the players in Kolkata. "The best thing about these conditions is, no side is guaranteed a win," Dhoni said. "You have to play well to win." If India do get another turner, they will "have to play well to win."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by JustIPL on (November 29, 2012, 0:34 GMT)

I dont agree with Dhoni's notion as there is world of difference b/w a 2nd rated test team and the one in the lower order. Yes, India can give fight but with the resources that England have they can outclass India regardless of wicket. Same is the case that on seaming wicket stronger team is always more likely to dominate and weaker teams have only chance to survive otherwise ZIM, BD, WI, NZ will win everything on their home soil.

Posted by   on (November 28, 2012, 22:01 GMT)

It is high time India look for young blood with all respect to the older guys please bring young players they have played enough and earned enough.

Posted by sharidas on (November 28, 2012, 21:25 GMT)

Leaving aside the current series, I wonder what India's team composition will be on the tour to South Africa. With the existing pool, it looks like it is going to be a one-sided affair in SA. Frankly, let alone the playing eleven, we do not have any bench strength either. It's high time we brought in some young talent who believe in grinding it out, not the superstars of the IPL, which is a bane on Cricket in India.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 27, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

@Nutcutlet on (November 27 2012, 09:24 AM GMT) Fair analysis there. So you're saying Finn if sufficiently fit or Meaker if not. To me the 1st test selection/2nd test selection and the impact Monty had was UAE deja vu. Fortunately this time the batsmen (mainly Cook/KP) didn't undo the bowlers good work

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

In last T20 world cup, India defeated England by a big margin on back of India's spin bowlers. However that English team did not have following players: 1. Panesar 2. Cook 3. Peiterson. These three players were the main reason, England defeated India in India on a spinning track.

1. Captain Cook is in awesome batting form. India has not figured out a way to get him out. It seems he gets out only after he gets tired of batting and running.

2. India's spin resources are seriously lacking. We keep recycling same 5-6 players - Harbhajan, Ashwin, Ojha, Misra and Chawla. None of them are top class (bhaji was in past). Time to pay serious attention and to appoint a spin coach. Time also to nurture new talent such as Nadeep from Jharkhand .

3. With Darvid and Laxman retired and Sachin, Harbhajan and Zaheer far from their peak, Indian team is far weaker. Time to take bold decisions. Rest seniors for a test or two.

4. Peiterson, like Sehwag, can make any bowling look bad on his day.

Posted by Secunderabadi on (November 27, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Dhoni and team are definitely not the top ranking team. They will eventually get there. The bowlers have to bring variety in their bowling on a turning wicket.

Posted by joseyesu on (November 27, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

Is it just Panesar, What about IRON MAN COOK and GAME CHANGER PIETERSON? To me Ind are no good, just Pujara's and Ojha's performance make it look like a team win. Congrats to Eng, for showing that they can win in overseas.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 27, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

It seems that Eng is at last on the right path & reversing the loss in Ahmedabad with the crushing victory in Mumbai might suggest that the tide has turned. But in truth Eng's win was down to extraordinary performances from four players, with Matt Prior also making a worthy contribution. Good & getting better, but Eng's traditional strong suit has yet to make its contribution. Wondering what should be done with Kolkata next up, I've glanced in Wisden for the report of the last Test there, v WI last November. Let's assume that the pitch will play in a similar way & the season's the cool one still. The pitch was 'utterly placid' & Ind won the toss, racked up 631-7d (Dravid, VVS, MSD all 100s) bowled WI out for 153 & 463. But what I found interesting was who were the most effective bowlers. In the Ind inns, quicks took 5/7; for India, Yadav took 7/103; Ojha 6/168; Ashwin 4/186 & I Sharma 2/109. Conclusion? Spinners toiled in K, & GENUINE pace got results. Lesson for Eng? Finn or Meaker!

Posted by VinodkumarVC on (November 27, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

Its really FUNNY!!!.. MSD knew that his bowlers were bowling a bit short and not inducing the batsmen to drive - ONLY AFTER THE MATCH!!!! does it take more than 130 overs (to be precice-788 balls (131.2 overs)), to understand that. Another excuse from Our Great Captain..

Posted by himanshu.team on (November 27, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

There are several reasons for Indias defeat: - 1. No bowler except Ojha bowled well in conditions that suited them 2. Regardless of the condition this batting line up failed miserably in second innings. even in the first, only Pujara showed some character and fight (and Ashwin) 3. Dhoni himself has to take the blame for his own batting. (His keeping was very good as he did not give any byes on such tracks and such poor bowling) 4. Fletcher is not adding any value to this side. He is the only un-common factor before and after the world cup. He has to go!!!

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

Why did not Dhoni speak about his lack of runs? High time he make runs in test cricket under trying situation.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

Dhoni is an asset for India. Victory and defeat are part of the game but to me he is still the best choice to lead.

Posted by sheenu on (November 27, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

If anyone has noticed, Monty has the BEST strike rates in both batting and bowling from both sides put together.. Great going Monty!! We all Indian fans can take pride that a person of Indian origin has been the best!! (even though he plays for England :-( )

Posted by Sujii on (November 27, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

Dhoni is a good player,captain and a match winner. the defeat was mainly due to some lazy fieldings. please accept the defeat and dont blame each other and INDIAN TEAM please concentrate on future matches and try to win. defeat is defeat and win is win no point in blaming but point is in finding the root cause which is AGEING OF SOME PLAYERS WHO ARE NOT READY TO GIVE UP THEIR JOB

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

better dhoni took a better look at some of the defunct batsmen in the team, including himself. monty and swann made the difference so did cook and pietersen. let us not forget this. dhoni should correct his statement as "cook and pietersen made indian bowlers look pretty ordinary".

Posted by Solid_Snake on (November 27, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

I am glad to see how Indian team got thrashed :P Monty came & teared everyone :P Just pray that Monty gets an injury or else get ready for another defeat :P

Posted by .Raina on (November 27, 2012, 3:18 GMT)

MSD is 'disappointed'....It is a joke!!! How many times does the Indian Team needs to go through the same pattern before something starts changing. Earlier it was foreign conditions / older players, and now it is Spinner's Speed!! Come On Guys.....you need to change your 'attitude' before anything else. You cannot play defensively and expect to win. And why do you need to lose a game before you start analysing (& even then nothing is expected to change for the next test). You, as a captain, + all the support staff including Coaches & Technical Analysts + sundry, couldn't figure out what length / speed to bowl at even in your home conditions, for 4 days??? How can you allow easy singles on a Turning Track, and allow 200+ partnership. Just change your 'attitude'....& pick the right team; I don't think there is any shortage of 'skill'.

Posted by KarachiKid on (November 27, 2012, 2:59 GMT)

I think in these conditions Dhoni should have used Yuvraj a bit more in bowling. He would have been far more effective than Ashwin and Harbajan on this track. His bowling is somwhat similar to Panesar.

Posted by IAS2009 on (November 27, 2012, 1:34 GMT)

i think Dhoni does not have spot in the test team, he is liability in batting and some pretty ordinary captaincy, when likes of Dravid, Laxman and very soon Tendulkar and Sehwag it will be very tough days ahead for Indian Cricket at least in test matches, I don't see them getting 20 wickets outside India to win a test match, the field placing was very poor for many over there were 4-5 singles given away to Cook and KP there was no pressure at all on them. India have to invest in youth and in new Captain, I think Kohli will be very good Captain, they have to patient with who ever will be new captain because India will loosing quite a few test matches overseas with new players. People will realize how good Laxaman, Dravid and Sachin were, look at Aussies and West Indies. It will take time to replace the class of Dravid, Laxman Sehwag and Tendulkar, I think Harbajan Sing should also be out as he lacks any bite with his bowling.

Posted by tejrules2012 on (November 27, 2012, 1:30 GMT)

MS Dhoni is kidding himself when he says 2 of the beast teams. India is no longer one of the best test teams in the world. You cannot be whitwashed 4-0 by Eng and Australia and also manage to loose patheticlly at home and call yourself one of the best. Indian Cricket needs to wake up and smell the coffee. It is time to rebuild like we did in the 90s If we cling on to the age old mistake of thinking we are still the best we are in for more disappointment. MSD also is suffering from Captain's Decay and we need to look at a succession plan. Kohli should be groomed from now.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (November 27, 2012, 0:50 GMT)

India has many issues with the team selection and skills of players for test matches. Tendulkar is well past his self life. He has not failed to perform in 3 series, let alone 3 test matches. Shewag can only perform when the batting conditions suit him, that is he needs real flat wickets. Give me bouncy/seaming tracks or spinning tracks, he fails miserably. Yuvi is specialist of nothing for the test cricket. Bhajji is a gone case now. He can't put his experience together on a spinning track. India could have been served well picking Rahul Sharma who could have bowled fast wrist leg spin.

Posted by cricmatters on (November 27, 2012, 0:35 GMT)

There are still lot of talented players in the country who don't get a chance. If Dravid has not retired, we won't be seeing Pujara playing for India. Sachin, Zahir Khan and Harbhajan Singh should retire immediately from Test Cricket and move to the shorter more lucrative format. Not sure if Dhoni enjoys playing Tests either. He should also consider moving to shorter format. For Test matches, we should give an opportunity to our younger, fitter, aspiring and talented cricketers to stake their claim to greatness instead of playing these oldies who are past their use by date.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 0:29 GMT)

Also the statistics of 2 other Indian batsmen played last 15 tests: Gambhir: runs scored - 807, 100s - 0, 50s - 6, average - 29.89. Dhoni: runs scored - 784, 100s - 1, 50s - 6, average - 35.64.

Posted by spinkingKK on (November 27, 2012, 0:24 GMT)

@smjr, your team had Ajmal, arguably one of the 3 best spinners in the world at the moment. India haven't got one in that quality. Also, Pakisthan didn't have Inzamam and Javed Miandad still playing for them.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 0:07 GMT)

The Indian batsmen more than bowlers let it down. just look at the statistics of last 15 tests played by Indian batsmen: Dravid: runs scored -1261, 100s - 5 50s - 4. average - 48.50. Laxman: runs scored - 925, 100s - 1. 50s - 7, average - 37.00. Tendulkar: runs scored - 884, 100s - 0, 50s - 6, average - 32.74. Sehwag: runs scored - 874, 100s - 2, 50s - 5, average - 31.21. Now see who's playing and who's retired, should have been the otherway.

Posted by TAPOREE on (November 27, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

It is one game which India lost and not the end of world. You win some and you lose some. At least you have to praise Dhoni for asking a spinner wicket which gave both teams equal opportunity to win this match. How many captains will do this? None. I think asking for a tailor made wicket was a wise decision by Dhoni and Fletcher. Yes the decision backfired but not because of the pitch but because of different reasons.

1. Most of Indian batsmen were over confident or were under the impression that they are the best player of spin bowling. Obviously they were not in this match.

2. Dhoni's over reliance on Ashwin and Ohja.

3. Both Ashwin and Ohja did not have a plan B when KP and Cook started taking them.

4. Preferring Ashwin or Ojha over Harbhajan was a tactical mistake.

5. Persisting with Kohli and Yuvraj in the playing eleven. Yes both of them are gem of players but when it comes to test cricket they do not have the credentials to prove their automatic selection.

Posted by spinkingKK on (November 27, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

I predicted before the series began that the series to be won by England by 1 test margin. It looks like it could end up that way. I predicted the result in favor or England because a)England got arguably the best spinner in the world, Swann. b)India can not drop Tendulkar, Sehwag or Dhoni. c)India can not look beyond Ashwin and Ojha. Even if they did, they are unlikely to find any better. Indian selectors and the cricket officials should understand that they have to keep all the players concentrating on performing all the time. You just can't make someone a vice-captian, just because he had a terrific 1 year. There are senior players like Gambhir in the team and what kind of message are they giving out to them by making Kohli the vice-captain. It doesn't help Kohli either. Because, now he thinks that he has done it all and can relax. Even Yuvraj seems to be relaxing after performing well in the first test. In the next test, Manoj Tiwary should come in to the team in place of Sachin.

Posted by Naresh28 on (November 26, 2012, 22:48 GMT)

India needs to bring in Murali Karthik immediately as a spin option. Tiwari, Chand, Rahane - need to be in the 11. Drop Gambhir, Sachin, Yuvi, Dhoni, Bhajji. A better wicky/batsman is Dinesh Karthik.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 26, 2012, 21:58 GMT)

@ landl47 - I recall you saying that it was our middle order which failed in the 1st test more than the bowlers. I did say in response that I felt our bowling balance was wrong purely because of how effective Swann was and how ineffective any of the pacers were. I'm sure batting second after spending a longer time in the field and chasing 200 more runs must have it's effects and this is just my opinion but I'm not sure KP could have played such an inns if India had 500 on the board. Regardless , You're not going to win many matches when your opponents have 500 on the board. I think Broad should/will be dropped but I wouldn't expect too much impact from any of our pacers if the pitches are similar. If we had a 3rd spinner in the squad I'd be tempted to go 5/1/5 inc 3 spinners or even go 3 spinners in a 6/1/4 like Ind did in this game. Our batting is still a worry. KP played a wonder inns ,Cook and Prior have looked good thoughout and Nick is showing good signs. Not sure re the rest

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 21:54 GMT)

Kohli is not yet test material as he lack patience and the temperament required to bat long periods.Yuvraj has never been test material at all.MSD's batting technique is again not suited for test cricket.So IMO Kohli,yuvraj should be dropped immediately and instead Rahane and Tiwari need to be brought in.MSD will stay on as there is no alternative.And of course the great little master who has served Indian cricket so well over the last 23 years needs to seriously think about the contributions he has been making for the team over the past few test matches and do what is best for Indian cricket from a retirement perspective.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 26, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

@mikey76 on (November 26 2012, 07:21 AM GMT) Sorry bud but re "I said Michael Clarke is the best batsman in the world right now, we'll KP had just usurped him with an innings of genius that nobody else in world cricket could have played" - You aren't being serious here are you? It was an immense innings but there are a number of players who on their day can play such an innings and Clarke's done it all year and often come in with Australia 3 or 4 down for 100 or less.

Posted by perl57 on (November 26, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

Great changes needs small tweaks. Indian batting was worse than its bowling. Because Monty was nothing short of being legend, this performance is stand and applaud from Monty and KP. But does lightning strike twice? So ask for the same pitch in Kolkata too. the changes would be: Chawla in place of Bhajji and Pathan in place of Yuvraj. I really want to drop an out of sorts Kohli and Viru and go for Ajinkya and Tiwari but that can wait. If kohli fails again, time for him to go back and play for local sides. And if Viru fails, retire from tests please.

Posted by sk12 on (November 26, 2012, 19:21 GMT)

When he asked for turnign wickets, he probaly just wanted early finish games.. nevermind result in his favour or otherwise.. he can have 2 days extra rest now.. AFter all he said playing in the Ahmedabad pitch was a "waste of time", inspite of Indian victory there.

Posted by AjaySridharan on (November 26, 2012, 19:14 GMT)

I like that Dhoni stuck to his guns for demanding pitches like this. It did make for an interesting test match, though India put up an abysmal batting display in both innings, barring Pujara and Ashwin! Dhoni's captaincy and team selection is dubious. He could have tried Sachin's leg spin. Sachin would have got more purchase out of the wicket than Harbhajan. KP and Cook batted us out of the game, and Dhoni is not acknowledging the failures of his famed batting line up, which includes himself

Posted by Rolling_in_The_Deep on (November 26, 2012, 18:59 GMT)

The blame lays on IPL - which has made Bhajji and Ashwin such toothless bowlers that they have forgotten the art of bowling in Test Match.. I am a huge Bhajji fan from that eventful test series against Ozzies in 2000-01.. Its sad to see him bowling so badly..

Posted by PPD123 on (November 26, 2012, 18:57 GMT)

I still believe that India's best chance of winning is on turning tracks... Eng played well, especially KP. He was outstanding. Even though Monty bowled well, I thought KP made the difference due to his big hundred. Thats what gave Eng the lead in the 1st Inngs and thats what eventually proved to be the difference.

Posted by vathabivaranan on (November 26, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

1] why did not dhoni try 2 or 3 overs by sewag or rendulkar or yuvaraj who bowls faster than the exixting indian bowlers. 2) murali karthik would be more suitable than ojha. 3) every forgot the ipl matches which took the patience of indian batsmen to play rash strokes. What the selectors are going to do?

Posted by Rahulbose on (November 26, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

This is the worst home defeat that I have seen in India. Never before has a visiting team so easily outplayed India both in batting against spin and bowling spin. This is fruit of the IPL seeds that BCCI has sowed. It is significant to note that the only Indian to play proper cricket was Pujara, who also does not feature too prominently in IPL.

Posted by kitten on (November 26, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

@Naikan...fully agree with your comments, and also those of Lillian Thompson to some extent. Dhoni is blaming the bowlers, when in fact the batsmen, bar Pujara, failed abysmally. If one compares the batting of England, Cook and KP were outstanding, and to be honest, they alongwith Panesar and Swann stole the show. India will now have to sit down and take note of what to do, and immediate, and corrective action taken. Firstly, ST should be dropped, he has run his course, and no amount of sentiment should play a role. India is losing tests because of him, and others as well. Bhajji, also should go back to the drawing board, or ask Monty for some training lessons! Kohli needs more time to adjust to Test cricket, and Yuvi maybe should be given one more test, perhaps. Zaheer should be allowed to continue for this series, and then shown the door. Rahane, Tiwari, Yadav, and other youngsters should be picked, lets face it, they can't fare any worse than this present lot!!

Posted by drei on (November 26, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

It is somewhat strange for me to see all of those who normally are happy to drone on about the quality of test cricket, flat pitches, how terrible the IPL is etc failing to appreciate what we've seen from Dhoni. Some show of character isn't it, asking for a different sort of a pitch to what resulted in a 9 wicket victory for your team. In order to provide for more exciting cricket. Sure, he thought his team would win, but he wouldn't be much of a sportsman if he didn't. Now that his team was thrashed, he still shoots for similar competitive pitches that would test his star batsmen. But provide thrilling cricket for spectators. As a fan of the Indian team and ALL forms of cricket starting from Test cricket, I'm happy with skipper.

Posted by balajeev on (November 26, 2012, 17:16 GMT)

So, will Harbhajan be picked for the next test? Is there absolutely no other spinner in India who could replace him ?

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

The fact is the only pitch where we have a chance of winning is pitches like the one in Ahmedabad, slow low turners. That too only if we win the toss and bat first. Mr Dhoni, please understand that you dont have bowlers like Kumble to exploit such pitches like when we used to do in the 90's. Regarding the batsmen, apart from Pujara, i dont think any of the batsman are of Test class.

Posted by nag1234 on (November 26, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

Why is Dhoni blaming the Indian spinners by comparing them to England spinners. Why not compare the Indian batsman to england batsman (Cook and Pietersen) and take the blame on batsman themselves. The team could not score above 150 in an innings and are blaming the spinners for not taking wickets. This team cant play fast bowling as well as spin bowling. Dhoni should request flat track (not spinning track) so that they could atleast draw the match. With due respect to sachin, its time for him to retire and let some other player play and he will achieve the greatness you did some day. This year should have been Sachin's 5th year as coach or commentator or match referee or ICC commitee member. Instead he is trying to prove something (great batsman) which he achieved 10-15 years ago and struggling at it.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

England be aware of Tendulkar.. He will comeback with a bang and that is for sure... even if he is going to retire he will play some great innings...

Posted by drei on (November 26, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

Any cricket fan would be happy with this test. It was a skills exhibition from the good players from both sides and there were more of them from England. Honestly the innings we saw from KP was incredible. It would've been a shame if that hadn't won the match for England! I think the shellshocked Indian commentators have completely missed the one thing that really made the difference given KP and Panesar performed so well. Laxman was forced into retirement prematurely. Tough pitches helping spin, and India with their backs to the wall. I can't think of another Indian cricket capable of turning it around from that point. Not in this squad.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

dhoni is completely off the mark here... batting first, india should got more than they did.... and then they followed it up with a reckless performance in the second knock....

other than the pieterson - cook innings there was hardly nything tht separated the two sides....

this indian side needs to do a lot of soul-searching.... only pujara and ojha have done their job in this series..... nd even those two need to show their mettle in overseas games to prove tht they have it in them to play at this level....

Posted by binojpeter on (November 26, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

I wish India had set attacking fields than defensive fields. But then your bowlers has to right length consistently for the captain to set such fields.

Posted by RK.Chandru on (November 26, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

Funny it is really.... There's an effort to protect our "GREAT", highly rated batsmen by shifting all the blame on the inadequacies of the bowling unit. First innings lead was meagre. Had the bowlers been given around 200 runs or so (which is not big ask and which only means scoring less than even 300 runs in the second innings) to defend, there's a point in blaming them. Barring Gauty and Ashwin, none has even scored in double digit. it's a collective batting failure that has let the team down and do not shift the blame completely on the bowlers. Their batsmen played spin better and our legendary, star studded, over rated batting line up only made their bowling look great. It's time for a complete overhaul. Let us get to see young openers opening the innings, Let selectors make Sachin realise he has had it enough, Let inconsistency of Virat, MSD, Yuvi not be tolerated. There's enough talent. But, alas! the selectors are only blind...

Posted by tinogeorge on (November 26, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

India needs to drop Tendulkar,Ghambir,Zaheer,harbhajan and Dhoni.Ghambir can be replaced by Rahane,and remaining slots I dont know who can fill it.But India can buld a better team for future

Posted by Nampally on (November 26, 2012, 15:46 GMT)

Rahul Sharma is a right arm leg spinner with high action.He is quicker than Panesar.Yet Dhoni benched him at least 15 times before the Selectors removed him from the squad. LH spinner M.Kartik is quicker than Ojha & turns the ball a lot more. He bundled the Aussies in a Test match few years back. Since then he has been banished by the Selectors for unknown reason. These 2 spinners would have been handful on the Mumbai pitch.So before Dhoni comes out with more excuses & starts moaning again, he must consider his own role in banishing these 2 guys!. India always had world class leg spinners like S.Gupte, Chandra & Kumble. They had equally great LH spinners like Mankad, Durrani,Nadkarni, Bedi. Great off spinners dating back to Ghulam Ahmad, J.Patel to Prasanna, Venkat & Bhaji 2 years ago, were also developed. You cannot create great bowlers unless you develop & nurture them. As a Captain it is Dhoni's job to develop them & not expect them to land from heaven.Dhoni failed badly on this!

Posted by anilkp on (November 26, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

Dhoni, Gambhir et al asked for turning pitches because they thought they could play on such pitches to foreign spinners, and this confidence was based on their birth right to play spin. Also, the Indians are conceived holder of the birth right to be the best spinners. It was somewhat true a decade ago; not now. The stock of quality spinners in Indian domestic arena is close to non-existent. Thus, the batsmen do not get to play quality spin bowling, and are truly short of experience. When they face a quality bowler like Monty or Swann, that's it. Also, since the spinning bench stock is so filmsy, there is no wonder that the current bowlers will falter in a crucial stage. The way forward is to make serious plans to restructure and revitalize the domestic cricket (players, pitches, administration, coaching) so that in another decade true champions will emerge: quality batsmen, fast bowlers and spinners. With the old crop bowing out, this is the right time to do so.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

we need to chnge our team and introduce new players like Rahane ,rahul sharma and manoj tiwari or robin bisht. Sachin shud retire period. selfishness of our player is the main reason we lost this test. Zaheer shud also consider the same .

Posted by arvsingh on (November 26, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

Fear the beard ... Indians are fearful how they will handle Monty in Kolkatta. And then there is Swann .. wow. Monty looked the best of all five spinners used. Fowler showed class by admitting that he made a mistake by keeping Monty out of Ahmedabad test. Indian spinners look mediocre in comparison. Dhoni underbowled Harbhajan, the top Indian spinner with 400+ test wickets in 99 tests. Why? Harbhajan needs his captain's confidence and should have been India's main attack bowler on turning pitches. Ojha looked the best of the three. Ashwin is highly overrated and overwritten on articles by an army of Indian writers. At his best, he can be used as third spare bowler. He needs to go ... and I almost forgot, what happened to his "Mystery Ball"?

Posted by kadampan on (November 26, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

Had Panesar played the first test, I wonder what would have been the result? Swan took most of the wickets. Pansear is 2 times better than Swan and any Indian spinner. I believe it is Indian batting makes it look like Panesar is better.

Posted by kadampan on (November 26, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

Why only bowlers?, why not batsmen? India used to win/draw tests always due to their strong batting. Gambir and Sewag mostly gave good starts and then good performances by Dravid, Tendulkar, Laksman and Dhoni. Now every one are failing. Except Pujara there is no batsmen reliable to save matces. The second test the difference is Panesar. That is not the only difference what about Cook and Pieterson batting excellent in spinner friendly conditions. When Aswin can bat why not specialist batsmen? Instead of blaming spinners Dhoni should look into batting including his own. Except Pujara, Sewag, Aswin and Gambir every one else are dismal. Except Pujara every one else did not perform good.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Why shift the entire blame on Spinners. What is that our famed batting line up has done? And that too they are supposed to be specialist in playing spinning tracks. Praising Panesar was to escape admitting that our batsmen were not as committed as Cook or Pertersen.

Posted by premendrasinghal on (November 26, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

I think Fletcher's time is over now. In his coaching India has learned how to get defeated in your home ground and how to get white washed outside. What else we want from him. There is no body trying to find out weaknesses of opponent performers such as Cook, Crompton, Prior and KP. In both matched COOK and Crompton opening has put big impact on England's performance and well backed by their bowler's Monty and Swann If you compare it with Indian Opening and Indian bowling support to the score. When Cook and KP was batting Dhoni's bowling selection looked totally puzzled. India should open with new opening pair by dropping sehwag to lower order. Pujara/Rahane should open with Gambhir and Yuvi/Kohli should be dropped for next match. We should play with at least two seamers in Kolkata.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

Dhoni should take responsiblity of this failure and QUIT Captaincy!!! He humself is a non performing Keeper and needlesa to say about his captainxy..pure Waste

Posted by Kashi0127 on (November 26, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

ASKING turning pitches from day one is ridiculous! Its not as if India still has Prasanna, Venkat, Chandra and Bedi nor for that mater we have even a Kumble. Both Ashwin and Ojha are young and new and Bhajji would not get selected even by a non test playing nation

Posted by Naikan on (November 26, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

I have a lot of respect for Dhoni for his achievements as a captain. However he is wrong in assessment. More than the bowling, it was the batting of KP and Cook that made the difference. Please note that the rest of the England batsmen hardly contributed. While Panesar was good, our batting - which is supposed to be good against Spin bowling - was far below the required quality. By laying the blame on our spinners, Dhoni is dodging the issue - - it is time some of our batsmen stepped aside and allow some new faces to come in. They live too long on past glories. A true assessment of the past 10-15 matches would show that many of our batsmen fail against quality bowling - no matter the kind of type of pitch surface. Two teams were in a similar position yesterday. But South Africa survived by fighting to the last man, where as India did not.

Posted by smjr on (November 26, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

I am Pak fan and has to say that India suffered what other teams suffered when its key players are either retired. Kumble, Dravid, Laxman all are retired and players like Zaheer, Harbajjan, Tendulkar are at the end of their distinguished test carriers. Indian team is under transition phase now. So one test match loss is not a havoc. Teams do lost test match but that is not the end of the world. Criticizing india team is not logical. India is a good team and is still in the top four in my opinion. The difference maker is Monty Panesar who bowled with lot of variety and control. I still remember Monty troubling Pak batsman in 2nd test in UAE this year, but fortunately for Pakistan England could not chase down 134 in the fourth inning and bowled out for 74. Eng also fought hard in 3rd test and narrowly losing it. The Bombay wicket remind me of Dubai and Abu Dhabi where ball skid and also turn. The last two tests at Calcutta and Nagpur will be interesting and both teams has equal chance.

Posted by Sanawana on (November 26, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

I think India got it wrong when they went with just one fast bowler and three spinners; that way they made sure variety was offered in their bowling attack. Variety in attack prevent big scores from indivisual.

Posted by krish_5883 on (November 26, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

Hats of to england players. Good Caption ship A.cook and conglts. India players play for money but england players play for country. I want England series win. All the best MR. COOK

Posted by challagalla on (November 26, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

One thing in favour of the pitch. It certainly was an interesting game. Even on the fourth day morning it still was anybody match, though the odds were heavily in favour of England. Chasing any score over 100 would have been challenging. All it needed was some sensible batting by Gambhir to initially keep the strike and protect the tail enders.

Posted by LillianThomson on (November 26, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

The simple fact is that Monty learned from Abdur Rehman in the UAE, and is now a better practitioner of fast spin in the subcontinent than Rehman himself or any of the Indians. I struggle to see how India can avoid defeat in this series now, other than by forcing two draws by serving up dead wickets. They know now that England's spin bowlers are just as superior as their fast bowlers. And Sachin is finally exposed as a has-been who should already have been dropped, while Kohli is horribly out-of-form and Yuvraj has never been a Test class batsman.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 26, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

This is end of DHONI's Captaincy and Duncan fletcher. Never hire technical coach for india. I still think india need foreign coach but we need more non technical coach. I blame loss on duncan fletcher more than dhoni.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

Its a very vital point brought out that India s spin attack performed well below par. And the main reason is not about their ability to spin the ball or the pace, for which they might still be excused, main fact was the length. As accurately pointed out, on such turners, or rather for that matter any wicket, bowling slow short balls in never going to yield wickets. I m disappointed that none of our three spinners could learn that during the game (Yes Ojha was bowling a lot fuller, but he faltered in line, this although got the wickets, was pretty darn expensive), and Bhajji needs to buck up if he wants any hopes to make a comeback. On a positive note, Gauti should be more confident being back among runs, Pujara should continue his form and lets hope for a cracker of a test in Kolkata, with a much better showing from our famed spin attack.

Posted by here2rock on (November 26, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

Sick and tired of same under performing star Indian players. There is no business of Gambhir, Shewag, Tendulkar, Ashwin, Harbhjan, Yuvraj and Zaheer to be in the side. Their best is way behind them, always hoping for them to perform is a foolish notion.

Posted by Cricketfan08 on (November 26, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Disappointing performance from Indian spinners indeed. They need to find a bowler of Ajmal's calibre to trouble top teams consistently. Ajmal was all over England like a plague in the UAE. I hoped Ashwin and Ohja will do same. Ohja has been so-so but Ashwin the big dissappointment. I think Ashwin is over-rated as a test bowler. He is great for ODIs though.

Posted by george204 on (November 26, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

I agree with Dhoni's comments about the wicket. It wasn't that the tactic backfired, rather than India simply didn't play very well. Hopefully the rest of the series will have pitches like this as I'm tired of flat pitches where 550 plays 500 with just enough time on the 5th day to start the 3rd innings...

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

" When two of the best sides are playing you want the series to be close"

But match should be close too. You are loosing by ten wickets and that too on home ground. How can you rank yours a good side. Main difference is not Monty but players who are not fit for tests. Yuvraj is never a test player, Sachin's era is over, Bhajji is no way near what he was and Zaheer is just a filler.

Posted by ultimatewarrior on (November 26, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Dhoni's love to get such result oriented pitches even after defeat is appreciable and gracious too...On the other hand England's performance is also well appreciable....

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

England players play for England, Indian players play for their survival and main difference between us and them is IPL only

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

@ landl47 - You are 100% correct !!! .... If Monty would hv played the first match then India would have lost that too!! ..... The quality of Indian Test Cricket has surely deteriorated in the past 2-2.5 years :-(

Posted by Playfair on (November 26, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

Dhoni is a poor captain, period! He relies in luck and if things are going his way he looks good and when they dont he looks clueless! His batting and technique is poor against quality bowlers. How does he blame his spinners, I saw no imagination in his captaincy skills to suggest otherwise ..

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

Not A Dhoni fault at all, Its just a bad spin by Harbhajan and Ashwin of which india suffered , My team for next game bring in Irfan Pathan. He just tremendously swing the ball and get bhajji out for now. Ashwin you need to improve much more as you expect.

I know now revenge is incomplete but still Win the next 2 Games now ..

Posted by Sultan2007 on (November 26, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

Whats the fuss all about. Swan and Panesar have far more experience than Ashwin and Ojha. And proven performance to boot! It is no surprise they did better. Plus they have Mushi in their coaching camp working closely with them over several years. Its no surpirse that they did better. The disappointment for me was Bhajji. With his experience and the overspin he bowls with, he should have had a far greater impact. Ultimately it was KP who made the difference. He was magnificent!

Posted by teju666 on (November 26, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

I agree with the comment made in the Cricinfo commentary of the match when play ended today. India has used its last excuse of losing overseas due to green tracks. They were beaten at home at their own game. Yes, with tracks like these in the future tests, India might get one back. But that does not hide what this loss has revealed convincingly. Not that it was under any doubt though

Posted by Prats6 on (November 26, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

No Indian batsman except Pujara looks to be in form. And when he failed, it was only a matter of time. It laughable as well that Indians are 'supposed' to be the best players of spin in the world. This should now be changed to Indians can play mediocre spin bowling on flat tracks.

Posted by cricketpurist on (November 26, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

Only Bowler who can spin and produce some pace was Anilkumble... so Dhoni your replacement options are nil.

Posted by SamRoy on (November 26, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

First India has Dhoni and Sachin two absolute non-performers. Sachin must retire and Dhoni needs to be dropped (or if Sachin is not retiring he must be dropped). Harbhajan is only good against tail-enders. Ashwin bowled poorly especially in this match. He was over-pitching just to much whereas Swann and especially Panesar never did allow the batsman to reach the pitch of the ball. H needs just by flighting you are not going to get wickets. Even Ojha was guilty at times of over-pitching. But biggest disappointment was as usual Dhoni's captaincy. His field setting was abysmal with no fielders to save singles and fielders employed to save boundaries. Allowing England score 400 was about 150 too many. Indian spinners don't have much common sense.

Posted by SICHO on (November 26, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

@landl47- couldn't agree more, Swann dried up one end and quicks leaked runs all over the park. Had Monty been there it would've been a different story indeed. Anyway, what is Samit Patel's role in the team? Honestly, I don't know.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

So is the strength of India ? Once upon a time India use to start bowling attack with spinners. Now when you are provided the track which supports your main strength, it helps the opposite team bowler and you surrender. Lets hope we do not call Anil Kumble back for remaining matches. But before that heartily congratulations to Monty and Cook. Why and where was Bhajji these 4 days. He was found roaming and sometimes bowling in the match ground. Did he played the match ? I think the spirit of Cricket should be higher then the personal Ego.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

to counter monty in 3rd test india needs a good player of spin and that too a left hander, i would opt for shikhar dhawan based on his past performance and his hunger for runs.....also monty is not so lethal against left handed batsmen.... lets c hw it goes from here......

Posted by ListenToMe on (November 26, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

Dhoni is right in a way that pitches turning from day 1 will nullify the effect of toss. But to take the test match till day 5, the teams should have really good batsmen. England have proved that they are a very good side. But India now should understand that they are not at all even close being a best side.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

The difference was not just Monty but the way the premier batsmen of both teams shaped up. Cook and Pietersen showed the famed Indian batsmen how to play spin bowling on such pitches. The way Cook and Pietersen played, I think they would have played Monty and Swann with ease on this very same wicket! Sachin's time is up. No point in hanging around waiting for one great innings.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

I think dhoni is correct... it was one of those test... too much need to chop and change. no... just bring in a solid middle order batsman replacing yuvi... may be rahane, badri, who knows how to play on this wicket and has no reputation to lose. only things to gain... i think if we are really honest then we are lucky to take the match in the fourth day coz on first day itself we were in trouble... we seriously need to find somebody like VVS...

Posted by Solid_Snake on (November 26, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

Can India repeat what Pakistan did to England ie 72 all out.. I doubt about it..It takes Class of Ajmal & Rehman to achieve something like that. England would be home soon with all wickets in hand :P Indian batsmen lions only at their home.But in this match something different happened.Lions got thrashed on their own home ground.

Posted by challagalla on (November 26, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

Last night Gambhir was complaining that our spinners bowled too fast and today Dhoni was complementing Panesar for bowling fast. Who is right. I think Panesar was faster then all , the difference being we probably did not land the ball in the right areas. Incredible as it sounds since we bowled about 100 overs of spin. I think Cook and KP batted so well they made our bowlers look ordinary. Gavaskar wrote an interseting article in todays Times of India. He commented that Indians cannot play on seaming or spinning tracks as they are so used to playing the local tournaments on dry pitches of low bounce. I think thats the plain unvarnished truth. We lost to Pakistan 2 or 3 tests on spinning tracks in India and one match to Australia in Mumbai 2000-2001. Gilchrist played a blinder and stole the match from us. Dhoni for sure will rethink his strategy of spinning pitches from the first ball. Lets not get ensnared in our trap again.

Posted by sachislife2310 on (November 26, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

Okay Folks!! Once in a blue moon win for any outside country (Outside Asia). I will stop watching cricket if india dont win this series!!. Any Country whoever plays, they will try hard to win the matches and England did their job fantastically.. they crushed india like anything!! But india will surely plan and bounce back.. Well played England!!

Sachin!!! What happened.. You had a chance to prove the critics wrong, but you missed it.. Dont go to shell. Clear the front foot. Loft the ball to long on and long off..

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

When one side losses in the other's den by a 4-0 margin, and then again by 10 wickets in their own home ground, one of them is certainly worse than the other. Being an Indian fan, I must admit England has already shown much more character in India than India shown during the entire series at England last time.

Posted by oldagefanatic on (November 26, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

I agree entirely with Dhoni and would like to compliment England for a superb performance showing grit and determination. I know there will be lot of finger pointing especially over Dhoni's call but I think we should sometimes accept that another team can play great cricket and beat us as well in India. Pietersen was brilliant and so were the English bowlers. They played great cricket and were deserving winners.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 26, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

Onwards and upwards for England now. Get Finn back in the side and let's go to Calcutta and polish this series off. The ascent back to No. 1 can begin in earnest. I said Michael Clarke is the best batsman in the world right now, we'll KP had just usurped him with an innings of genius that nobody else in world cricket could have played. Cook is immense too and must feel he can get another ton.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

sometimes u fall in the hole u dig for others......same goes for Dhoni....he wanted a spinning subcontinent track....he got it but he forget its not the pitches that win u matches its the character ability and skills of the team that wins u matches.... England have shown that they have skills that can outclass even an Indian team at their back yard

Posted by Chris_P on (November 26, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

Where does this put Indian cricket with respect to Pakistan cricket?

Posted by Mel-waas on (November 26, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

What happened to India's revenge for 4-0 drubbing in England. India got caught in their own spin trap.

Posted by Nuxxy on (November 26, 2012, 7:09 GMT)

When Dhoni says he was disappointed "to some extent", what he means is he would like 3 Ohja's. Ohja was good, but the duo of Swann + Monty beat the trio of Bhaji + Ashwin + Ohja comprehensively.

It's what people have been saying for a while - forget about India not having pace bowlers - they have never had pace bowlers. The sad part is that they don't even have spinners anymore.

Posted by Naresh28 on (November 26, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

When you talk of test of character - ask the question how much has Dhoni the captain contributed? We have too many passengers in the team. Even Gambhir scored this time around but most of the time he is a passenger. Some of these senior players have no fight left in them. Young guys will at least put up some show. Look at what India u19 team did in Oz under Chand.

Posted by landl47 on (November 26, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

So if Monty was the difference, then if he'd been playing in the first test, India would be 2-0 down by now. England has made over 400 twice on turning wickets. In the first test, Swann had to toil away on his own; with Monty at the other end, it would have been a very different story.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (November 26, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

" When two of the best sides are playing you want the series to be close"

He was Joking. Wasn't he?

Comments have now been closed for this article

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