India v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 5th day November 16, 2010

Dhoni happy with four-pronged attack

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Despite the loss of Zaheer Khan to injury and another fruitless outing for the bowling, MS Dhoni appeared reluctant to meddle with the four-bowler strategy that has worked for the team in recent times. Harbhajan Singh's recent heroics with the bat do give Dhoni the luxury of dropping a specialist batsman, but India are unlikely to go down that route in Nagpur.

"It's a tough call to make," said Dhoni. "We're happy to play with four bowlers. That's what we've done more often than not. To put pressure on Bhajji by saying he's an allrounder might be harsh on him. But it is an option."

When the day began with New Zealand just 115 ahead, an Indian win was still very much a possibility. But once Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson started with wonderfully positive intent and saw off the new ball, there was only going to be one result. "We thought the first one or one-and-a-half hours would be crucial," said Dhoni. "At the time, Zaheer was also fit to bowl, in the sense that he felt he could give it a go.

"But after a couple of overs with the new ball, he decided he's not really fit enough to continue. So we just had Sreesanth left as a medium-pacer. And we had two spinners who had already bowled a good number of overs."

Though Harbhajan's strike-rate with the ball this year is an unflattering 97.4, his batting form has meant that it's Pragyan Ojha who's under scrutiny after two draws against a side ranked No. 8 in the world. "I think Ojha's done a really good job in the games he's played," said Dhoni when it was suggested that Ishant Sharma or Amit Mishra might have been a better choice. "He's taken wickets and is one bowler who can contain and bowl long spells. Even on the flattest of tracks on the first day, he has managed to keep the opposition quiet."

Most of Dhoni's comments dealt with the pitch, which he reckoned wasn't conducive to a result. "I think both teams did well," he said. "I think the wicket supported the batsmen throughout. We've seen less grass on the wicket on the first day of both Test matches. But on the fifth day, you've seen a track with much more grass. It looked much greener compared to the first day. There wasn't much for the bowlers.

"Before the start of the Test, we all knew that Hyderabad was known for being batsmen-friendly. To change the nature of the wicket in a short period of time is difficult."

While frustrated at another stalemate, Dhoni also gave credit to New Zealand, whose top-order batsmen have played with a composure and skill that eluded most of Australia's batsmen on their recent tour of India. "They batted really well," he said. "They waited for the loose deliveries.

"When you're not getting assistance from the pitch, you sometimes try too much to get wickets. And if you look at the last 20-22 games we've played, the bowlers have bowled more than 4000 overs. That's a concern because it's mostly the same bowlers who have featured in those games."

He's taken wickets and is one bowler who can contain and bowl long spells. Even on the flattest of tracks on the first day, he has managed to keep the opposition quiet
MS Dhoni on Prgayan Ojha

That fatigue will definitely be a factor in Nagpur, and all eyes will once again be on the curator with the series up for grabs. There are anecdotes, true or not, from the old days of Indian captains slipping the groundsman a symbolic razor to suggest that not a blade of grass should remain come the first morning. But times have changed and Dhoni admitted that his job is tougher as a result.

"As a foreign team coming to India, you think of how you're going to play the fourth and fifth days," he said. "But when there's no assistance for the bowlers, things change. I don't think they're under the same pressure when handling spinners that they were in the past. You used to see them practise throw-downs on scuffed surfaces with rough areas. I don't think it's like that any more.

"Of the Test matches we've played lately, very few have been on turners. I can remember Ahmedabad against Sri Lanka (2005). After that, Kanpur (2008, against South Africa) to some extent. The CCI wicket in Mumbai (Sri Lanka, 2009) also gave a bit of assistance in the morning."

With his best bowler out of the series and the spinners outbowled by Daniel Vettori, a lot of things will need to fall into place for Dhoni and India to avoid embarrassment in a series that they were expected to win comfortably. A livelier pitch aside, it's time for the other bowlers to prove that this isn't a one-Zaheer team.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Nagpur-nationalist on | November 19, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Once again, what ABOUT MURALI KARTIK? He keeps taking wickets in England's seaming conditions, En glish counties like Middlesex sign him up, English commentators like Nasser Hussain, David Gower, Nick Knight wonder why he is not in the Indian team, he shines in the IPLs- 2009 and 2010- but is NOT EVEN MENTIONED as an option while talking about India's WEAK BOWLING. Also, the stadium is too far away to play Test cricket in Nagpur. Let someone demand that the cricket association arrange buses to take people so far and come back. Dont go screaming off tomorrow that 'Another poor turnout'. People want to come.

  • POSTED BY PTtheAxis on | November 19, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    dhoni takes out one catching fielder per shot from opposition batsman. so four shots and all catching fielders are gone. india won matches with spin having catching fielders no matter what the situation. dhoni is hyperdefensive. waiting for some luck to strike like lightning. no catching fielders - no pressure - no chance of wickets. get in a aggressive captain and teh same bowlers will do better - can't see one on the horizon though

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | November 19, 2010, 1:11 GMT

    @Nampally. Sorry I don't buy NZ bowlers are any better than India. The math does not hold up. In first innings, NZ lasted only 118 overs against Indian bowling at a scoring rate of below 3rpo. Whereas, India batted around 135 overs at a scoring rate of around 3.2. If India cannot take 20 wickets then neither can NZ. The problem is people don't look at performances from math point of view and ICC ranking does. Human's have a tendency to weigh certain innings by certain players higher and shape their perceptions. Going by perceptions, Indian bowling looks bad than what it is.

  • POSTED BY anonymousfan on | November 18, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Would be interesting to see how Gambhir, Dhoni and Raina perform in SA. Also i believe they will have series in Eng and Aus after the WC. Should be fun.

  • POSTED BY on | November 18, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    Mr KALPSSS needs to refrain from being shortsighted; just 2 draws ( not even losses) are now seen with criticism.... Dhoni has been instrumental in many victories for India even in Test cricket... Everyone goes through bad patches. Even Sachin did several times..

  • POSTED BY on | November 18, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    Harbhajan and Ishant's batting did what Dhoni and Raina cannot do (saving Test matches with their batting). So MS needs them (atleast for a draw). I don understand why Indians are waiting for Dravid, Lax, Sachin to retire so that they can bring in TEST focussed youngsters in the squad. Look at the Australians, they bought in new comers only at Raina's position and then once they are experienced, they promote them above the order. People get carried away with Gilly's success... He is a legend.... Forget him and focus we can bring in a Bell (i.e Pujara, who is consistent and can score quick) in Raina's position... One last thing. India will not stay long in No.1. It is not a stab against anyone... It is because the HOME pitches are not good enough to bring results. If you look at history, nations which have dominated the rankings for longer periods of time, have WON more test matches for continuous periods of time. Draw is not good enough, Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY InMyBl00d on | November 18, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    @allenthomson: Considering you live in NZ how about refreshing the outcome of last Indian last tour of NZ. India won the 3 test series 1-0. Rain on the last day of the 3rd test saved kiwis the humiliation of a 2-0 series loss.

    In reg to your other comment, NZ didnt loose the game as they were not overtly aggressive and smartly managed to salvage a draw.On the other hand, Aus, by far the most aggressive team, play hard and aggressive to get a result out of the game. This modus operandii more often than not, against a quality opposition, puts them in a spot of bother.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 18, 2010, 0:52 GMT

    @kiwiRocker: NZ is playing good cricket because the Indian bowlers are allowing them to. If India had put a fresh lot of bowlers like Ashwin, Unadkat, Ishant and Chawla, the 2 tests might have turned in favour of India.India is still #1 test team because they have better record than all other teams including Australia and England.Your comments are irelevant. NZ are #7 and will likely remain there even after losing to B/Desh.If India fields a new lot of physically fit bowlers on the field, NZ's deficiencies will be exposed. So KiwiRocker, thank the Indian Selectors for keeping NZ still in the series. India still has the best batting line up in the world, let no one forget this.. Hopefully it will click in the next test to get over 600 on the board. It will be left up to bowlers to perform then. Hopefully this is a wake up call for the Indian Selectors.

  • POSTED BY bhaloniaz on | November 17, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    80s WI had 5 or 6 bowlers who had better strike rate than ZAK or Harbhajan. 90s AUS always had some all-rounders,but McGrath and Warne were so good they hardly needed a fifth bowler. If you have one world class spinner and three pacers with averages nr or below 30, you would not miss the fifth bowler. (Most teams now have 2 all-rounders in the ODI team,india use none). For tests Zak is fine, Bhaji will be ok. Sree can be erratic. Among Sree/Ishanth/PK india might find a somewhat decent no 2 pacer. With that india needs a 3rd seamer. Irfan fits the role very well. Statistically he is a better bowler than any current seamers [may be except Zak]. He bats really well against quality attack, where sometimes indian batting greats occasionally fail. My indian 11 would be: Shewag, Ghamvir/Murali, Dravid/Pujara, Tendulker, Laxman, Dhoni, IKPathan, Harbhajan, PK/Sre, Zak, Ashwin. There is enough batting in the team. Bowling is weak, but better than the current team.

  • POSTED BY on | November 17, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Where is Irfan and Munaf????

  • POSTED BY Nagpur-nationalist on | November 19, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Once again, what ABOUT MURALI KARTIK? He keeps taking wickets in England's seaming conditions, En glish counties like Middlesex sign him up, English commentators like Nasser Hussain, David Gower, Nick Knight wonder why he is not in the Indian team, he shines in the IPLs- 2009 and 2010- but is NOT EVEN MENTIONED as an option while talking about India's WEAK BOWLING. Also, the stadium is too far away to play Test cricket in Nagpur. Let someone demand that the cricket association arrange buses to take people so far and come back. Dont go screaming off tomorrow that 'Another poor turnout'. People want to come.

  • POSTED BY PTtheAxis on | November 19, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    dhoni takes out one catching fielder per shot from opposition batsman. so four shots and all catching fielders are gone. india won matches with spin having catching fielders no matter what the situation. dhoni is hyperdefensive. waiting for some luck to strike like lightning. no catching fielders - no pressure - no chance of wickets. get in a aggressive captain and teh same bowlers will do better - can't see one on the horizon though

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | November 19, 2010, 1:11 GMT

    @Nampally. Sorry I don't buy NZ bowlers are any better than India. The math does not hold up. In first innings, NZ lasted only 118 overs against Indian bowling at a scoring rate of below 3rpo. Whereas, India batted around 135 overs at a scoring rate of around 3.2. If India cannot take 20 wickets then neither can NZ. The problem is people don't look at performances from math point of view and ICC ranking does. Human's have a tendency to weigh certain innings by certain players higher and shape their perceptions. Going by perceptions, Indian bowling looks bad than what it is.

  • POSTED BY anonymousfan on | November 18, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Would be interesting to see how Gambhir, Dhoni and Raina perform in SA. Also i believe they will have series in Eng and Aus after the WC. Should be fun.

  • POSTED BY on | November 18, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    Mr KALPSSS needs to refrain from being shortsighted; just 2 draws ( not even losses) are now seen with criticism.... Dhoni has been instrumental in many victories for India even in Test cricket... Everyone goes through bad patches. Even Sachin did several times..

  • POSTED BY on | November 18, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    Harbhajan and Ishant's batting did what Dhoni and Raina cannot do (saving Test matches with their batting). So MS needs them (atleast for a draw). I don understand why Indians are waiting for Dravid, Lax, Sachin to retire so that they can bring in TEST focussed youngsters in the squad. Look at the Australians, they bought in new comers only at Raina's position and then once they are experienced, they promote them above the order. People get carried away with Gilly's success... He is a legend.... Forget him and focus we can bring in a Bell (i.e Pujara, who is consistent and can score quick) in Raina's position... One last thing. India will not stay long in No.1. It is not a stab against anyone... It is because the HOME pitches are not good enough to bring results. If you look at history, nations which have dominated the rankings for longer periods of time, have WON more test matches for continuous periods of time. Draw is not good enough, Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY InMyBl00d on | November 18, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    @allenthomson: Considering you live in NZ how about refreshing the outcome of last Indian last tour of NZ. India won the 3 test series 1-0. Rain on the last day of the 3rd test saved kiwis the humiliation of a 2-0 series loss.

    In reg to your other comment, NZ didnt loose the game as they were not overtly aggressive and smartly managed to salvage a draw.On the other hand, Aus, by far the most aggressive team, play hard and aggressive to get a result out of the game. This modus operandii more often than not, against a quality opposition, puts them in a spot of bother.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 18, 2010, 0:52 GMT

    @kiwiRocker: NZ is playing good cricket because the Indian bowlers are allowing them to. If India had put a fresh lot of bowlers like Ashwin, Unadkat, Ishant and Chawla, the 2 tests might have turned in favour of India.India is still #1 test team because they have better record than all other teams including Australia and England.Your comments are irelevant. NZ are #7 and will likely remain there even after losing to B/Desh.If India fields a new lot of physically fit bowlers on the field, NZ's deficiencies will be exposed. So KiwiRocker, thank the Indian Selectors for keeping NZ still in the series. India still has the best batting line up in the world, let no one forget this.. Hopefully it will click in the next test to get over 600 on the board. It will be left up to bowlers to perform then. Hopefully this is a wake up call for the Indian Selectors.

  • POSTED BY bhaloniaz on | November 17, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    80s WI had 5 or 6 bowlers who had better strike rate than ZAK or Harbhajan. 90s AUS always had some all-rounders,but McGrath and Warne were so good they hardly needed a fifth bowler. If you have one world class spinner and three pacers with averages nr or below 30, you would not miss the fifth bowler. (Most teams now have 2 all-rounders in the ODI team,india use none). For tests Zak is fine, Bhaji will be ok. Sree can be erratic. Among Sree/Ishanth/PK india might find a somewhat decent no 2 pacer. With that india needs a 3rd seamer. Irfan fits the role very well. Statistically he is a better bowler than any current seamers [may be except Zak]. He bats really well against quality attack, where sometimes indian batting greats occasionally fail. My indian 11 would be: Shewag, Ghamvir/Murali, Dravid/Pujara, Tendulker, Laxman, Dhoni, IKPathan, Harbhajan, PK/Sre, Zak, Ashwin. There is enough batting in the team. Bowling is weak, but better than the current team.

  • POSTED BY on | November 17, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Where is Irfan and Munaf????

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 17, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    @Snowsnake: Thanks for sharing your ICC bowler ratings with the readers.My experience is that ICC ratings are often flawed and do not represents the real ratings. You say NZ has no one in the top ten but India has 2 bowlers. Vettori has been the best left hand spinners during the last decade. How can he be onitted.He again demonstrated that by his 6 wickets in the recent second test on the same pitch where Ojha & Harbhajan struggled.Also Martin sent the cream of indian batting tumbling with his 5 wickets. I presume Zaheer & Harbhajan are the 2 Indian bowlers in the ICC top 10. Harbhajan is hopelessly out of form. So ICC rating is a moot issue. Can India get 20 wickets with these 4 bowlers? Answer is NO. Indian bowling is weak especially with out off foem Bhaiji. Either rest him or play him as a batsmen.Let Ashwin do the off spin, Unadkat & Ishant the pace with Ojha & Mithun alternate bowlers.This will make India stronger in bowling , This is the Issue - 5 fit & in form bowlers,

  • POSTED BY crikkfan on | November 17, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    @keralite .."I don't think India are the true number one.... We are number one because all others are playing worse than us. " is it just me or anyone else see a contradiction here mathematically speaking? If b,c and d and less than a, then a is #1 - truly or otherwise! the ranking does not have a mind and heart of its own, its just a number! what ppl may be trying to say is that india is not a dominant #1 like WI of 80s or Aus of 90s. But then why argue about something no one is disputing?

  • POSTED BY diri on | November 17, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    allenthomson very intresting theory

  • POSTED BY BabishMohan on | November 17, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    Sreesanth is not popular among masses and he himself need to be blamed for this.If you analyse his near 70 dismissals in test cricket most of them are frontline batsmen and even in this series he has had issues with no ball wickets,edges flying over the slip and dropped catches.One positive noticed is he still he maintains that excellent seam position and more or less speed ranging between 135-40.He needs to be persisted with some more time as Indian team will be travelling abroad over the next few months as those conditions will naturally assist him.

  • POSTED BY KALPANA. on | November 17, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    FIRST OF ALL, MS DHONI WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PLAYING TEST CRICKET IF HE WASN'T THE CAPTAIN. HE HAS NO TECHNIQUE WHATSOEVER TO EVEN BE A CANDIDATE FOR A TEST TEAM. THEY MUST PLAY SEHWAG, GAMBHIR, LAXMAN, SACHIN, DRAVID, DHONI, IRFAN PATHAN, HARBHAJAN,OJHA/MISHRA/ASHWIN ZAHEER, ISHANT, SHREESANTH. THIS WILL MAKE THEM WIN IN SA. IF THEY DON'T HAVE THE CONFIDENCE IN PLAYING 5 BATSMEN ONLY..THEN DRAVID AND SACHIN SHOULD RETIRE AND LET YOUNGSTERS PLAY FOR INDIA IN TESTS.

  • POSTED BY Retire on | November 17, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    Even in these flat tracks, dhoni is not able to score runs. But he says that it require 10 days to get result in these kind of tracks. If he is not able to score runs in these tracks, can he score in SA???????? Even raina doesn't have the talent to play test cricket. he is only good for ODIs and T20.

  • POSTED BY Retire on | November 17, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Mishra should replace Ojha in 3rd test. Ojha is bowling more overs than anybody in the team and he is not good in taking wickets. Eventhough his economic rate is good, that doesn't help to win test matches. We have to notice one point in india's batting: If dravid bats for more time, the scoring rate comes down and this results in draw. If we take recent results, we won matches whenever dravid gets out cheaply. As long as Sachin, Sehwag and Laxman play test cricket, India can have their rankings within top 3. Once they retire from test cricket, India will become like current west indian team.

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | November 17, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    What else do you want Dhoni to say? He is milking the cash rich BCCI Like greedy Tendulkar and Dravid. Lets admit, India has no talent and diet theory has some validity..Pakistan lost their top two fast bowlers and Umer Gul and Wahab Riaz show up who are definitely 10 times better than Indian bowlers..Pakistan has like 10 bowlers waiting in the waings..What does India has? Is it time to ask Kapil to come back and bowl his military medium so called swing bowling that got him 400 wickets in 500 test matches.? Current Indian bowling is toothless and they do not even have a single quality bowler..Harbhajan was in tear when Afridi hit him 5 sixes in an over..Harbhajan averages like 65 against teams like Sri lanka and Pakistan..India's best bowler right now is Sehwag...India should not even be in top three teams in world that are England, SA and Australia. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are also on rise...Where is Kirsten? Is he dreaming about world cup again? Hold on..NZ is hammering India!

  • POSTED BY nikita_karthick on | November 17, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    murali kartik is far better than ojha!! bhajji failed to replace kumble and we need to look for options...

  • POSTED BY allenthomson on | November 17, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    This is what I think. India toured NZ a few years ago and were absoltely pummeled with green wickets. They lost - India hate to lose with big names in their side. Next tour to NZ - India say " we will only come and support you with TV rights worth US 26million, IF - you prepare nice batting wickets for us. Result - India win the series in NZ. I live in NZ and I have never ever seen such batting wickets - we still dont have them on the very same grounds they played on? Next - India informs Nz that when they tour India - we will reciprocate, you will not lose the series as we will also prepare batting tracks. Its a series that India-NZ have conjured up as they are the good neighbours and support each other in cricket. 1. Does any cricketing fan think that Australia seriously would have lost the series 2-0 on such wickets as the NZ'ers played on? and 2. Did any one see the amount of friendly chat going around on the field its as if all the boys are IPL buddies now? Thats my opinion.

  • POSTED BY on | November 17, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    indian bowlers will try to hard work for 3rd test and wii win the match

  • POSTED BY on | November 17, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    If they knew Hyderabad was going to be a batsman friendly wicket, why in Lodry Lord's name didn't they go in with an extra bowler to have more chance of taking 20 wickets?

  • POSTED BY nikita_karthick on | November 17, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    if MSD and harbajan(?) are the alrounders what is the hestitation to go with 5 bowlers? you have sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid, laxman and as well as reputed MSD what is the need to go with 2 and half of bowlers...

    Simple concept

    if Harbajan is playing as a bowler replace him with Aswin

    if Harbajan is an alrounder go with 5 bowlers

    Thanks Dhoni.... this msg shows ur confidence in batting !!!! four batsmen in All time india XI primarily!!! still no guts!!!

    you are still depending on individual performance!!!

  • POSTED BY guruprasadmuralidharan on | November 17, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    it s not fair tat v shld play with four bowlers... it would b suitable for one day but not for test.... incase u go with tat then any one of ur seven shld b an all rounderwho s capable of bowling fast medium.... then ur plan 'll b good of playing a balanced side... if india hav to maintain thr spot in no.1 they hav to need a guy lik shane watson....

  • POSTED BY mahi678 on | November 17, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    I see every saying that the tests drawn cause of flat pitches. Its just lame excuse. See how chris martin bowled in the first innings. How zaheer and bhajji shared 4 wickets each. How can dhoni blame the pitch.

    If the pitch is so flat, they could make runs bit faster! Dravid and Gambhir are so low in confidence, they could not play positively even on flat tracks. Same attitude if they maintain surely they cant make it count in SA. Better they are dropped in first test.

  • POSTED BY diri on | November 17, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    3-0 to SA

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | November 17, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    @lananad ICC rankings were fair until Aus was at the top. LOL

  • POSTED BY Hariraj on | November 17, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    Harbhajan is becoming another IRFAN PATHAN - Not deleivering what he is expected to do - TAKING WICKETS...Very bad for indian cricket loosing another bowler for the sake of batting..

  • POSTED BY CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on | November 17, 2010, 4:05 GMT

    need 5 bowlers whats the use of 7 batsmen in home series remove raina and play three spinners and two quicks as far useless SL LANANAD you better give credit to gayle and stop worrying about indians not winning against nz instead worry that u have not won a test match in india australia and south africa

  • POSTED BY PTtheAxis on | November 17, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    how india won matches with spinners was by having 4 men around the bat no matter what ... with dhoni it just takes one hsot by a batsman to remove one catching fielder ... 4 shots and they are all gone. dhoni is only captain becuase there is no one else in this indian team who can do the job ... some aggressive bowler who would demand the catchers like kumble is required otherwise same story will repeat itself ... draws everywhere coz there are no good captains ... its not the bowlers ... same bowler can look good if given men around the bat

  • POSTED BY kr_kinshuk on | November 17, 2010, 3:38 GMT

    india's performances at home have weakened over the years... they still don't get beaten @ home... but they r no longer the same indomitable force at home that they were earlier....

    at the same time they r not as bad away from home as compared to say, 15 years back....

    my money would be on an indian win in the 3rd test and a close test series in south africa...

  • POSTED BY radsiyer on | November 17, 2010, 2:48 GMT

    Dhoni, you need to show some of your guts and instincts in choosing the playing 11 for the 3rd test.Go with 5 bowlers depending on the track choosing 3 spinners or fast bowlers.In case of a batting collapse, you have enough batsmen like Gambhir and Dravid to shut shop and just hang on to draw if the situation demands.I think the worry and frustration of not able to get NZ team out showed in the field placement ( too defensive) and the bowling.They played to draw the game and with a not so good bowling without Zak,nothing could have been done. Get your instinctive cap out and go for it in the Nagpur test... If test cricket is to survive BCCI needs to relook at the pitches committee and get good test pitches a la Bangalore and Mohali.Let us hope Nagpur plays well and gives a result similar to the one against Australia...

  • POSTED BY on_the_level on | November 17, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    The curator of the Hyderabad pitch should be put in charge of the highways division of PWD. The pitch had fewer cracks than our national highways.

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | November 17, 2010, 2:13 GMT

    @_Neutral_Fan: Fair enough. I never said India would be favorites to win the series for I really don't care about who wins what series. While Steyn points will likely decline after this series against Pak., I did say that bowling differences are significant, but not that much. My statement about Sreesant and Morkel was before I saw the rankings, so I take it back. I do stand by my statement that Indian poor bowling is slightly overrated.

  • POSTED BY rvfrano on | November 17, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    India is my favourite team but i am really disappointed that they are drawing with New Zealand dispite the flat pitches. The probably need to give themselves more option with another bowler. The legspinner Chawla comes to mind and he can bat a bit

  • POSTED BY on | November 17, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    With all due respect, we must give NewZealand the credit. They batted well. That is what frustration can do to you(especially when you lose to Bangladesh). It will make you push the limits(Remember World T20 after India lost to Bangaldesh in 2007 WC?). Bravo to those with indomitable spirit!

  • POSTED BY on | November 17, 2010, 0:10 GMT

    India are no 1 side and indisputable strong lead over rank 2 teams. If pakistan feels its wrong, they should win matches and prove their mettle. Another thing is why people cry when they see turner I fail to understand. Is it written that a good wicket is one that helps only fast bowlers? I would say prepare turner in nagpur and get result perhaps in 3 or 4 days. Whats wrong with it

  • POSTED BY Bytheway on | November 16, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    Hey Dhoni, bowlers who keep batsmen quiet don't win matches for you. You need a bowler who attacks and takes wickets. Zaheer can do this, but not Harbajan or Ojha, unless they bowl on a very spin-friendly track. Get Ashwin. He is the most attacking spinner in India today. As things stand your bowlers are the most toothless in world cricket. On a different note, you need to do a bit more with the bat. Best wishes.

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | November 16, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    @Snowsnake. Morkel is no Mc Grath BUT he is no Sreesanth. That is the statement I have a huge prob with. I never said that there was a huge difference in the bowling I said a "bit." SA do start as "favorites" for their home series, its obvious and there is no denying that. Anyting could happen of course, especially if conditions turn out to be batting friendly but is it such a surprise that people thing SA will win? You are living in a dream if you think Ind are favorites to win it. Also go deeper in your rankings. Steyn is #1 by some way and its better to take in the top 20 and not just the top 10 since the teams are so close.

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | November 16, 2010, 22:45 GMT

    Ok, I looked at ICC players rankings for bowlers. Of top 10 rankings. Australia has 2 bowlers, India has two bowlers, Pak. has two bowlers, SA has two bowlers and England has two bowlers. So differences in bowlers betwween these teams, while significant, is not that much. According to the numbers, WI, SL, NZ really have bad bowling as they don't have any bowler in top 10. While India has some work to do, Indian poor bashing is way overstated.

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | November 16, 2010, 22:33 GMT

    @_neutral_fan. Morkel is no McGrath and Botha is no Warne. Sure SA has a slight edge over Indian bowling, but they are not drastically better. Dale Steyn is averaging over 30 runs/wicket in 1st test against Pak. So, if India does not does well against NZ, it is not like SA is doing much better against Pak. I am disappointed with comments like India's bowling is bad as if other teams have very superior bowling. Chris Gayle scored a 300+ score against SL. What about SL bowling? Sorry guys, not to deny Indian bowling is bad. I think test bowling all over the world sucks. I don't give a damn if India wins anything or SA or Australia. I am just against people making future series outcome predictions with certainty--like SA will win against India-- and challanging #1 ranking rules. Especially, when people barely understand ranking math.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 16, 2010, 21:47 GMT

    @anikbrad: If there are 4 top class bowlers who can take wickets and are physically fit, it is marginal to go with it. But with ZAK, Sreesanth and Harbhajan all coming back with recent injuries, the Indian bowling is reduced to ojha the only fit guy.Even Sehwag who can bowl useful Off spinners was not available with shoulder problem.You cannot clap with one hand - thas what India was reduced to with out of form Harbhajan, wayward Sreesanth and injured Zaheer.India needs 3 pacemen who are fit and in form + 2 spinners who can take wickets. Ishant, Unadkat and Sreesanth are in the squad now plus Ojha & preferably Ashwin (not in the squad). Harbhajan can fit in as an all rounder at #7 based on his excellent centuries in both the tests. Indian batting is OK but it must click. You are talking about all rounders of the calibre of Imran, Kapil, Sobers & Miller who were all fantastic bowlers more than batsmen.Give me Sobers who is 3 bowlers in one & a fantastic bat. Has India got a Sobers?

  • POSTED BY altaaf on | November 16, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    sachin_vvsfan: Yes not only srilankan and Pakistani supporters, its all the other supporters will agree you Indians think you are better or equal to Wi 70's & 80's and Aus 90's 2000's and trying to convince yourself that India is next in line, so pitty, dream on 1st win the world cup rather than getting knocked out in the QTR's and group stages. plus FYI Srilanka is playing WI one Rank higher than NZ and Pakistan is playing SA 2nd ranked test team and better team than India. These days Indian fans only concern is test ranking and don't forget your team is looking up in other formats of the game.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    India need to play Pujara and M Vijay and drop Raina and Gambhir. I would be happy if Pujara bats at no. 3 too. I am in favour of trying new batsmans at no. 3. Ganguly and Dravid made debut at 2 and 3. There is no harm in giving opportunity to other 4/15. It sad to see new spinners are not coming up. Mishra and Ojha are very ordinary. Did anyone notice how brilliantly Vettori bowled and beaten Sehwag twice and one Dravid. Finally, day 5 pitch in subcontinent otherwise we will hardly see any result on flat pitches.

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | November 16, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    @Snowsnake. Morkel of the PAST was as bad as Sreesanth, Morkel now? Much better and you know it. Don't get bitter at other teams because weaknesses are being pointed out in the ind team. Pak batting in actuality is probably no worse than NZ once Younis Khan plays and Younis Khan was dropped twice, which means SA at least created chances that their fielders failed to take, which is an area SA SHOULD be able to address. In other words Ind has a bit more work to do with their bowling than do SA.

  • POSTED BY anikbrad on | November 16, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    WHAT ALL BOGUS ALL TOP EX CRICKETERS AND COMENTATORS ARE SPEAKING. IT SEEMS THE EX CRICKETERS NEVER SEEN TEST CRICKET THE AUS DOMINATED 1990 -2008 with 4 bowlers, WI IN THE 1970-90 HAD 4 BOWLER. ONLY TIME ANY TEAM PLAYED WITH 5 BOWLERS WHEN THEY HAD ALROUNDERS LIKE KALIS, BOTHAM, KAPIL IMRAN, SOVERS, MILLER. EVEN PAK WITH AKRAM AND WI WITH MARSHAL AND SA BEFORE KALIS PLAYED WITH 4 BOWLERS. NAME A SINGLE TEAM THAT PLAYED WITH 5 BOWLERS, MOST OF THE TIME. EVEN ENG A GOOD TEAM NOW PLAYS WITH 4 BOWLERS . UNLESS U SAY COLLINWOOD IS PLYED AS BOWLER. WHEN PEOPLE SAY IF 6 BATSMAN CANT DO 7TH CANNOT. I SAY THE SAME IF 4 BOWLERS CANT DO 5TH CANNOT. IF IN IND NO ONE IS PICKING 20 WKTS REGULARLY TO WIN ENOUGH MATCHES IT BECAUSE OF THE PITCH AND POOR BOWLERSAS THEY PLAY WITH 1 (ZAK) AND HALF BOW (ALL OTHER) OF IND NOT 5 BOWLERS THEORY. BOGUS TO SAY THE LIST. I CHALLANGE ANY ONE TO PLEASE NAME A TEAM THAT HAS PLAYED WITH 5 BOWLERS CONSTANTLY WITH ALL AVARAGING BELOW 15 WITH BAT (EXP PROBABLY ZIM).

  • POSTED BY ste13 on | November 16, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    both tests would be more likely to get result if not extraordinary batting from Harbhajan - that means that it was India more likely to lose, which is really surprising I also think that India is now too cautious, not adventurous enough to win, they should really refresh their bowling department

  • POSTED BY sachin_vvsfan on | November 16, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    These SL and PAK(klobania) fans keep crying till we loose the No 1 Ranking. Agreed we are not as strong as WI of 80s or AUS if 90's. But we have become num1 because others are playing much worse. Home advantage? why dont u use the same? Btw your own team is getting thrashed at home by the lower ranking WI side. You and your captain cry about rankings as if india has forcibly taken the Num 1 Ranking away from you.Look after your own teams first and then cry about rankings.

  • POSTED BY mits6 on | November 16, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    @ rathan raj ....mate do u thnk dhoni with his finger injury worth as a keeper ? he fails to hold every second delivery cleanly.

  • POSTED BY lethal_yorker on | November 16, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    The slow deterioration brought about by the absence of Prasad is becoming evident now. it's still a mystery why he and Robin Singh were axed but we have gone downhill in both those departments since the duo's exit. Is there absolutely no accountability that BCCI is obliged to?

  • POSTED BY mits6 on | November 16, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    @Analytical_Sathya I agree you on first two points.Even I don't think raina any better than yuvraj , but dhoni's favour kept him in team .Even i can't understand if dhoni's finger is injured why to KEEP go & take rest , neither he is scoring runs nor he is good at wicket keeping .

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    Its high time India gets a new seamer... and how many matches has Zaheer missed out due to injuries?????

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    4000 overs bowled by Indian bowlers in the last 20 tests. We probably need 10 new bowlers as each Indian bowler is going have his shoulder replaced pretty soon.

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | November 16, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    @lananad:

    To claim Indian bowling is weak is a misnomer because if Australia or NZ bowling was any better then they would have won in India. Fast bowling for all teams suck. SA could only take 1 Pak. wicket on the final day. How bad is that? Given that Pak. batting is not that great. SA-Ind. series will be a lot of fun. I don't know where do people get an idea that SA will win the series? Morkel is as bad as Sreesanth.

  • POSTED BY sumedh_w on | November 16, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    There's no doubt that Harbhajan's bowling has been woeful of late. There's a general lack of sting in the attack, barring Zak who is a very "thinking" and smart bowler. But, there's no denying that the wickets have been utterly disappointing. I am a bowler myself and I feel for these bowlers when you make them bowl on wickets that don't show any wear and tear on even the 5th day.. No spinner and that includes even Vettori was able to turn the ball.. That says something about the pitch.. If BCCI wants to make TV rights money and that is all they care for then it would be better to have a bowling machine bowl at varying speeds for 5 days.. At least some good people won't get injured unnecessarily!

  • POSTED BY keralite on | November 16, 2010, 17:01 GMT

    I am wondering why India could not bowl the opposition out for a score 100 runs less... India won the two tests against the Aussies. New Zealand is no where near the Australians..... I don't think India are the true number one.... We are number one because all others are playing worse than us. India will not win in Australia or South Africa. All those who are saying the same ranking system existed When Australia was No. 1, please bear in mind that they where winning everywhere except in India.India won most of the series in Bangladesh and at home. I am an Indian by the way.. I think with Zaheer missing the next test, India may lose the series. Is harbhajan spending more time for batting practise?

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    Sometimes, too much emphasis is put on statistics like matches won, wickets taken & runs scored.. As a cricket fan, the most important thing in cricket for me is to see a side give its 100% at all times..That is where I feel India lacked in this test series.. They were not 100%.. Anyone watching the game could see that team was not really worried of not winning the tests.. This mentality has to change and they owe much better to the millions of cricket fans..

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    @Analytical_Sathya - I disagree with you.. Currently, there is no one better than Dhoni to lead the country.. His record of 12 wins & 2 losses proves this fact..As a captain, there are areas where he can improve but again nobody is born with all captaincy credentials..He will improve with more experience..It is his temperament which makes him stand out from the rest..And his primary responsibility is of a WK and not a batsman.. He can be competent enough to retain his place in the side based on his WK alone.. His batting is an added advantage..It is not uncommon for Indian fans to be harsh on the team / players with a single bad outing.. and be full of praise with a single good showing.. A very sad fact!!

  • POSTED BY kalyanbk on | November 16, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    I think there is a case for resting Harbhajan and trying some other bowlers. Sometimes when a bowler bowls for too long on flat pitches, they can start becoming mechanical and stop thinking about getting batsmen out. The batsmen could also get used to the bowler. India could try Ashwin or Amit Mishra. Ishant would come in for the injured Zaheer. Gambhir and Raina need to pick up their performances. Having said that Kudos to the Kiwis for playing really well. Their bowlers and fielders were very disciplined. Vettori once again outbowled Indian spinners in India.

  • POSTED BY royalg on | November 16, 2010, 15:56 GMT

    india defo need a 5th bowler according to the conditions if its in india u defo need ASHWIN without any doubt the beste spinner in india currently, and well if india need to pick 3 seamers u hav the choice between, sreesanth, mithun, undakat, munaf, pradeep sangawan and varuun aaron. if ur looking for fast bowling allrounders there is vinay kumar, praveen kumar, irfan pathan and spinners defo chawla, murali karthik or even vikas mishra who plays for delhi little left arm chinaman, decent little player, but indian bowlers luk physcially very tired and need rest and on these tracks 4 bowlers r nt going to get u 20 wickets unless if batsman jus throw it away, and bhajji doesnt luk like a wicketaker at all and ojha is mre a control the run rate type bowler, defoo need sumone with a bit of MAGIC ( ASHWIN). hpe selectors think about adding another bowler cause 7 batsman r a waste no point having 7 batsman and only making 450 shud be making well mre than tat with the batsman we hav.

  • POSTED BY viralh on | November 16, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    To make test cricket more fun, they should restrict teams to just score 450 runs and declare no matter how many wickets they lost. Let the teams compete for victory with restrictions. What's the point for anyone to go on batting after scoring 450 and let other team do the same?? These kind of matches are pointless to watch. Indian pitches always help batsman, then might as well restrict batsman's from scoring more then 450 total score for the team. This will test matches more competitive and teams will look for victory.

  • POSTED BY vickyrIND on | November 16, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    Its a well known fact that the Test matches are won because of bowlers and are saved because of batsmans. If india need to win more test matches they need to have 5 good bowlers not 4. Recent tests shows that if 6 of the batsmans are not able to make runs then 7 doesnt make a difference at all. Thanks to Harbhajan for his exceptional batting otherwise the results would have certainly in NZ favour. Dhoni is a smart captain but now it feels that the indian team in too much confident and content with their Test ranking that they are taking it for granted. No doubt that its one of the best side but to maintain the status they need to play like champions. In none of the recent matches they looked to play for win. A champion team is one who can make condition favourable for themself and produce result on any of the wickets not the one who keep on blaming wickets. If the pitch was so flat why didnt India scored 700 runs. They need to look at themself and pull up the socks to win the next

  • POSTED BY crikkfan on | November 16, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    lananad dont be fooled by 1 or 2 matches and talk nonsense! everyone and their aunt were talking about this bowling attack being poor before zaheer and sreesanth-less attack beat SL in SL to draw the series. if the pitch has no assistance there is only so much that can be done. granted this attack is not top-notch but is good enough to win when conditions are right and more importantly better than the competition out there - look at #2 and #3 teams trying to force a win in Galle and Dubai respectively. It is not ICC that has to think abt the rankings, it is ppl like you. and please share with us your alternative ranking method!

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | November 16, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    Ashwin should play next Test.

  • POSTED BY Razor88 on | November 16, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    Ranking Is to show which team had Won more matches than the others... To all losers who are Commenting on India,It shows that India have Been playing consistent and better Cricket than Other Teams(Over Course of Time). Clearly Cricket Gurus come and Tell anything they wish.. Doesn't matter where u win.It will still go down as a win in the Rankings.It has Nothing to do abt where they Played and how they play it.An Own Goal in a Football Is a Goal and is Counted to the Opposite Team,Nobody reduces goal count.Lot of Flat Pitches is Because i guess the BCCI wants to create more Legends like Sachin and Not Give Good Pitches.India has its own Home condition(Spin).If it had been the Turners like the Early ages.I bet No team Would have crossed 200.Except for the Pak,SL,Ind(Have the ability to Negotiate Spin).Ppl Consider it bad if a player dose not play shot balls,But Spin is not Respected as much as Pace. Modernday Cricket is all abt choking the flow of runs,Which only the spinners are capble

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    As Zaheer, the one-man army, has been ruled out of the next test hence, India should play all batsmen for Nagpur. Surely, likes of Sehwag, Sachin, Laxman et all won't be bowling more rubbish than the so called 4-pronged attack will dish out.

  • POSTED BY Crazy_Cricket_Fan on | November 16, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    @Analytical_Sathya@ well said..MSD doesn't deserve a spot in team...and he is captain...and as long he is captain, Harbhajan(MSD's business partner and they bought a property in mumbai worth 23 crores..irrelevent but gives some background information on why MSD backsup HSingh all the times) will be there in the team irrespective of his WORST bowling performances...how can one say Hsingh as main spinner when his average is 35+ in his entire career except 4 years in tests...

  • POSTED BY boris6491 on | November 16, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    I don't think the amount or even type of bowlers in the team matter. If these sorts of surfaces that we have seen in Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East persist, cricket will definitely lose its charm. I am a mad cricket fan but I find matches played in these circumstances monotonous, worthless and meaningless. It is no fun just to watch teams batter the other with the bat, score 500 each and finish the match with a draw. We talk about test cricket fading away. Here's a simple solution: start fashioning more competitive surfaces to lead to more competitive and evenly contested matches. I am getting really sick and tired of such games. I don't think it would make a difference with 11 bowlers in the team. Hopefully Nagpur, a surface renowned to be very untraditional as far as subcontinent surfaces go, can offer an interesting absorbing contest with a definite result.

  • POSTED BY Analytical_Sathya on | November 16, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    I've tried to give here some specific reasons for India's performance which will for sure develop into a step for declining if not corrected. (All of these indicate the actual lack of cricketing reasoning among the cricket administrators and selectors) 1.M.S.Dhoni for some strange reasons was appointed captain when he didn't deserve a permanent place in the side.As a person too he is mediocore, biased against some players and persists with some bowlers who are as good as his batting and thinking skills.

    2.Sreeshanth (in particular) and Ishanth straight away get selected for the national team just for some fluke performance some years back without showing their performance in domestic cricket. Sreeshanth absolutely lacks athleticism which shows in his lack of control. By doing this selectors are sending a bad signal for the rest of the bowlers.

    3.Why is Munaf Patel gets sidelined time and again despite having bowled well whenever he got the opportunities?

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | November 16, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    Why doesn't Dhoni have trust in Ashwin? (He always favours rest of all his CSK buddies except him.. when Ashwin has much more talent than Raina or Vijay .. I can strongly say this and mark my words .. neither .. YES.. i say NEITHER Vijay nor Raina will be world class TEST cricketers as they don't have the talent (and in Raina's case also lack of temperament. Vijay isn't strong on the cut or pull or hook) but Ashwin can genuinely be a world class spinner (cum lower order hard hitting bowling allrounder) though we still don't know about his temperament. At least he looks better than Ojha who bowls the same delivery ball after ball without any changes in spin or pace of delivery or length. I don't mind even if he replaces Bhajji as Bhajji has been bowling a lot of rubbish since the last Eden test (never mind his Bradmanesque series!) but at least try something new! It's worth giving a shot, isn't it!

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 16, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    If Dhoni thinks that the current Indian bowling attack is good, he is in dreamland. Indian bowling is in tatters and needs wholesale change. Zaheer and Harbhajan were the wicket takers for India in the past. Zaheer is a physical wreck and Harbhajan a shadoe of himself in bowling- totally out of form. Ojha is the only bowler who has kept one end closed. India needs to go in always with 3 pace bowlers and 2 spinners.India has to choose 3 pacemen from Ishant, Mithun, Unadkat, Balaji,Yadev & Co.Zaheer, Nehra and Sreesanth are liabilities due to lack of physical fitness. From the spinners India needs to include Ashwin as an off spinner to support Ojha.Harbhajan can fight for an all rounder with Raina, the best India fielder who can also bowl off spin. Typical test team: Gambhir/Vijay, Sehwag, Dravid/Pujara, Tendulkar,Laxman,Dhoni. Raina/Harbhajan, Ashwin, Mithun, Ojha,Ishant & Unadkat or alternate.Both Ashwin & Mithun are good batsmen too.This should be a Wake up call for the Selectors.

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | November 16, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    pfft whatever. Sreesanth as I've been saying is a joke, Ojha too green to assess and Harbhajan has been found out over time and Dhoni thinks there is no need for a 5th bowler?lol India has been winning games because their batsmen score fast enough to provide loads of time to take 10 wkts + reverse swing. The moment that fails, they can't even bowl out NZ. The truth is a painful thing.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Good show kiwis. To counter India on their home ground is truly an up hill task. Well impressive performance from Harbajan again. I think Raina is not fit in this line. india should try sum other nice option. I am from pakistan , but I am huge fan of dravid. To me, he is more competent player then Sachin

  • POSTED BY lananad on | November 16, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    I can't imagine how India became no1 test team with this bowling attack.Rediculous!!!!. ICC will have to really think of how this ranking works. Anyway all these weeknesses will be exposed in SA next month. Will see how they play on bouncy wickets as well. India is vertually unbeatable at home but it does'nt qualify to be no 1.

  • POSTED BY lananad on | November 16, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    I can't imagine how India became no1 test team with this bowling attack.Rediculous!!!!. ICC will have to really think of how this ranking works. Anyway all these weeknesses will be exposed in SA next month. Will see how they play on bouncy wickets as well. India is vertually unbeatable at home but it does'nt qualify to be no 1.

  • POSTED BY sarathy_m2 on | November 16, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    Flat pitches-More ads for TVs. Good plot to kill the game.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY sarathy_m2 on | November 16, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    Flat pitches-More ads for TVs. Good plot to kill the game.

  • POSTED BY lananad on | November 16, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    I can't imagine how India became no1 test team with this bowling attack.Rediculous!!!!. ICC will have to really think of how this ranking works. Anyway all these weeknesses will be exposed in SA next month. Will see how they play on bouncy wickets as well. India is vertually unbeatable at home but it does'nt qualify to be no 1.

  • POSTED BY lananad on | November 16, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    I can't imagine how India became no1 test team with this bowling attack.Rediculous!!!!. ICC will have to really think of how this ranking works. Anyway all these weeknesses will be exposed in SA next month. Will see how they play on bouncy wickets as well. India is vertually unbeatable at home but it does'nt qualify to be no 1.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Good show kiwis. To counter India on their home ground is truly an up hill task. Well impressive performance from Harbajan again. I think Raina is not fit in this line. india should try sum other nice option. I am from pakistan , but I am huge fan of dravid. To me, he is more competent player then Sachin

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | November 16, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    pfft whatever. Sreesanth as I've been saying is a joke, Ojha too green to assess and Harbhajan has been found out over time and Dhoni thinks there is no need for a 5th bowler?lol India has been winning games because their batsmen score fast enough to provide loads of time to take 10 wkts + reverse swing. The moment that fails, they can't even bowl out NZ. The truth is a painful thing.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 16, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    If Dhoni thinks that the current Indian bowling attack is good, he is in dreamland. Indian bowling is in tatters and needs wholesale change. Zaheer and Harbhajan were the wicket takers for India in the past. Zaheer is a physical wreck and Harbhajan a shadoe of himself in bowling- totally out of form. Ojha is the only bowler who has kept one end closed. India needs to go in always with 3 pace bowlers and 2 spinners.India has to choose 3 pacemen from Ishant, Mithun, Unadkat, Balaji,Yadev & Co.Zaheer, Nehra and Sreesanth are liabilities due to lack of physical fitness. From the spinners India needs to include Ashwin as an off spinner to support Ojha.Harbhajan can fight for an all rounder with Raina, the best India fielder who can also bowl off spin. Typical test team: Gambhir/Vijay, Sehwag, Dravid/Pujara, Tendulkar,Laxman,Dhoni. Raina/Harbhajan, Ashwin, Mithun, Ojha,Ishant & Unadkat or alternate.Both Ashwin & Mithun are good batsmen too.This should be a Wake up call for the Selectors.

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | November 16, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    Why doesn't Dhoni have trust in Ashwin? (He always favours rest of all his CSK buddies except him.. when Ashwin has much more talent than Raina or Vijay .. I can strongly say this and mark my words .. neither .. YES.. i say NEITHER Vijay nor Raina will be world class TEST cricketers as they don't have the talent (and in Raina's case also lack of temperament. Vijay isn't strong on the cut or pull or hook) but Ashwin can genuinely be a world class spinner (cum lower order hard hitting bowling allrounder) though we still don't know about his temperament. At least he looks better than Ojha who bowls the same delivery ball after ball without any changes in spin or pace of delivery or length. I don't mind even if he replaces Bhajji as Bhajji has been bowling a lot of rubbish since the last Eden test (never mind his Bradmanesque series!) but at least try something new! It's worth giving a shot, isn't it!

  • POSTED BY Analytical_Sathya on | November 16, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    I've tried to give here some specific reasons for India's performance which will for sure develop into a step for declining if not corrected. (All of these indicate the actual lack of cricketing reasoning among the cricket administrators and selectors) 1.M.S.Dhoni for some strange reasons was appointed captain when he didn't deserve a permanent place in the side.As a person too he is mediocore, biased against some players and persists with some bowlers who are as good as his batting and thinking skills.

    2.Sreeshanth (in particular) and Ishanth straight away get selected for the national team just for some fluke performance some years back without showing their performance in domestic cricket. Sreeshanth absolutely lacks athleticism which shows in his lack of control. By doing this selectors are sending a bad signal for the rest of the bowlers.

    3.Why is Munaf Patel gets sidelined time and again despite having bowled well whenever he got the opportunities?

  • POSTED BY boris6491 on | November 16, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    I don't think the amount or even type of bowlers in the team matter. If these sorts of surfaces that we have seen in Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East persist, cricket will definitely lose its charm. I am a mad cricket fan but I find matches played in these circumstances monotonous, worthless and meaningless. It is no fun just to watch teams batter the other with the bat, score 500 each and finish the match with a draw. We talk about test cricket fading away. Here's a simple solution: start fashioning more competitive surfaces to lead to more competitive and evenly contested matches. I am getting really sick and tired of such games. I don't think it would make a difference with 11 bowlers in the team. Hopefully Nagpur, a surface renowned to be very untraditional as far as subcontinent surfaces go, can offer an interesting absorbing contest with a definite result.

  • POSTED BY Crazy_Cricket_Fan on | November 16, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    @Analytical_Sathya@ well said..MSD doesn't deserve a spot in team...and he is captain...and as long he is captain, Harbhajan(MSD's business partner and they bought a property in mumbai worth 23 crores..irrelevent but gives some background information on why MSD backsup HSingh all the times) will be there in the team irrespective of his WORST bowling performances...how can one say Hsingh as main spinner when his average is 35+ in his entire career except 4 years in tests...