India v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 4th day

Batting remains a worry for India

The new-look Indian batting line-up struggled in the easiest assignment this season, a sign that it may not be ready yet for the English and Australian challenge ahead

Siddarth Ravindran in Bangalore

September 3, 2012

Comments: 177 | Text size: A | A

Suresh Raina guides one towards the off-side, India v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 2nd day, September 1, 2012
Suresh Raina's batting travails have left the No. 6 spot open for contention © Associated Press
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With a slogged six over midwicket on a murky evening in Bangalore, MS Dhoni sealed a 2-0 Test series victory over New Zealand. For a team in transition, in their first series without two of their greatest middle-order batsmen, and after one of their worst-ever Test performances last season, you'd think it was a satisfactory result. You can't do better than 2-0 in a two-Test contest, but the batting remains a worry after another tight home win for India.

India's formidable home record - just one series loss in the past decade, and that to the mighty Australians at their peak - has been built upon a powerful batting line-up rather than a world-class bowling attack. However, the struggle to match a lightweight New Zealand batting, which has been dismissed below 200 ten times in the last two years, on a fairly easy-paced track at the Chinnaswamy Stadium doesn't bode well.

Gautam Gambhir seemed to have put a fallow spell behind him when he began India's chase of 261 with a confident bunch of boundaries. Unlike the first innings, there were no wobbles against the new ball, and the steer to third man which has cost him his wicket so often in recent Tests seemed to have been wisely mothballed. It re-appeared though in the 18th over, and again led to his downfall as he tamely steered Trent Boult to first slip. It extended a worrying trend of Gambhir being caught either by the wicketkeeper or in the slip cordon.

MS Dhoni wasn't too concerned by Gambhir's struggles, sticking to an oft-repeated mantra about out-of-form batsmen. "I think Gautam is batting really well in the nets and it's just a matter of time that he does the same in matches too," Dhoni said after the match. "Today also he was batting really well. He started off really well. So we're hoping he would come good in the coming games."

The only specialist middle-order batsman to emerge with his reputation enhanced from the Bangalore Test was Man of the Match Virat Kohli. Cheteshwar Pujara looked composed in the early part of his second innings in a high-pressure situation but was beaten outside off too many times after lunch by the gentle offspin of Jeetan Patel. The last remaining member of India's famed middle-order quartet, Sachin Tendulkar, also didn't have a series to remember, getting bowled in all three innings. His unparalleled career is winding down, and the team management need to get a clear idea of his future plans, especially whether he intends to be a part of the tour of South Africa next year. "The good thing is that whenever people talk about Tendulkar's form, he comes up with a brilliant performance and I'm waiting for that," Dhoni said. "I don't really get worried about that."

The biggest concern remains the troublesome No. 6 spot, with Suresh Raina undoing the goodwill earned by his crucial first-innings half-century with a wild swipe that his critics will remind him of for a long time. With India having lost both set batsmen, Tendulkar and Pujara, in the space of six runs, the match was in the balance, and a cool head was required. Instead, after Patel tied him down with some tidy bowling, Raina went charging down the track for a high-risk heave. He missed, and was bowled for a duck, boosting New Zealand's chances of a dream victory.

The first-innings heroics and the subsequent failure in the second was a microcosm of Raina's Test career - highs quickly followed by confidence-sapping lows. He began with a debut century against Sri Lanka, and was a vital part of a successful big chase in his second. When it was time to secure his place, he bafflingly failed against a workmanlike New Zealand attack in the 2010 home series and was soon dropped. Half-centuries in each of the three Tests in the tricky batting conditions of the Caribbean again seemed to bring him close to a permanent spot last year, before England's high-quality bowling worked him out, with a pair at The Oval leading to his exclusion. This series was his third coming, and that too could be shortlived, given the number of contenders for the berth, and the new selectors will certainly take a dim view of his Bangalore brain-fade.

Dhoni defended Raina, highlighting his Test inexperience and his naturally adventurous brand of batting. "There are two ways of fighting pressure - one is to take the fight on and look for big shots," Dhoni said. "In the first innings, he went out there and played his shots. Then he could've nicked one and then the same question would have been asked. Otherwise, people say it was brilliant batting, it was counter attack and all. I still remember me playing against England a long time back in Wankhede, I played a similar kind of shot. You learn from your experience."

Dhoni pointed out another reason to persist with Raina. "It's important to have a left-hander at six or seven. This series [Daniel] Vettori wasn't playing but if a left-hander is there, the mix becomes ideal. Gambhir is at the top of the tree and then you have a fair number of right-handers. Then it's useful if you have a left-hander at six if the wicket is turning. But that doesn't guarantee anyone a place in the Test side."

The in-form Kohli and the ice-cool Dhoni ensured New Zealand didn't pull off an upset victory, but this was the easiest of the assignments this home season and the batting hasn't yet convinced that it is ready for the English and Australian challenge.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

I feel Dhoni should try Raina for a few more tests. Test cricket is all in the mind. He needs good mentoring. He needs to be very patient and cool and must keep defending and leaving until he gets used to the wicket. And mind you Suresh Raina has scored a century on debut in Sri Lanka and also made a huge contribution when australia toured India averaging round 40 with a high score of 86. he even scored many runs in west indies where he was just the 3rd highest run scorer behind Laxman and Dravid. Agreed that he doesent have a very good technique against short ball but dat can be corrected. Dhoni should take Raina in the team because a left hander at no 5 and 6 is imp. Raina even plays well in pressure situations

Posted by Pavan_15 on (September 5, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

I Think We need to accept the fact that Bowlers from NZ, Oz,Eng are much more taller than the Indian bowlers & Batsmen. So they naturally will get bounce on any wickets......Our batsmen can counter attack them but they just cannot eliminate the natural advantage they have. One or the other ball they need to face that drawback!! You cannot expect our batsmen to completely dominate the bowlers not giving them even a penny of a chance!! I would say New Zealand bowlers have done veryy much well rather than pointing it as a Indian batsmen weakness!! Why we cannot say that Indian Pace bowlers failed to put up the performance or failed to live up to their expectations when compared to NZ's pacers!!!!

Posted by mtalhas on (September 5, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

batting remains a worry?? what abt bowling??

Posted by Rafelgibt on (September 5, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Come on except RAINA INd is no longer to worry so much..........Its just the beginning of new ERA from IND part....So, whats this fuzz all about???Just leave alone TENDULKAR........Hope IND will do well in the upcoming test series against AUS and SA......All the best from a die hard BAN fan>>>>>

Posted by shanky_cricwiz on (September 5, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

Even i feel that Sachin should call it a day.....however the way people have been reacting on news channels and websites is not fair...it kinda takes away all the hardwork he has done for the indian team or the fame he has got for the country. Lets be a little more respectful to the most reverred ambassador to the game of cricket.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

We can't miss Sachin in important matches. Sachin's presence will always give the boost to india team...Let us won't force sachin to leave the cricket. I hope he will take wise decision in right time....

We can try with Badrinath for tests, He is a good test player. We can miss Raina for the tests.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

Rainas technique against the offspinners is bit suspect (exposing the stumps and playing inside out). He tries to attack them and get them to bowl in his areas. Thats ok for one-dayers, but for tests.... His technique against fast bowling also was pathetic (too may times he was caught at the crease for fuller balls). He needs to play a couple of Ranji seasons before he plays another test. But rest of the batsman were ok, few looked rusty (Tendulkar, Gambhir), but not out of depth...

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

Tendulkar is only going through a bad patch & can soon come back to top form like he went through similar form dip from 2003 to 2006 then came back & remained at top form from 2007 to 2011 WC ...He is facing technical issue & when you have a proven career then u shouldn't look at coaching manual to corect it, instead u should look at full videos (not mere highlights) of your fluent innings......In Sachin's case the main difference is that whenever he has played fluent long inn 1). At short execution point he would have been upright with head slightly to leg side as opposed to off 2). He played face on 3). He played with open face for even leg stump aimed deliveries ..4).Further he should play with bat in front of pads with face open to fully eradicate lbw & bold for ever ..With this successful technique of his he had minor weakness of playing too often towards gully but it is fine trade off bcz few will carry to gully & even fewer will be caught as opposed to getting bold & lbw

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

Even masters need daily practice this is a sport where no one call himself immortal, no one live on past glories every match is a new begining,, its require constent imrpovement till one goes off..I am referring to Sacins's dismisal in last two test where he was bowled three times, yes age is not in his side and altough he is out of action for almost 6 months..I am sure he will come back..he is a a master of his own fate, there is only thing he needs to he must play more matches..his form will come...

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

Raina looked awkward and uncomfortable duting his first innings' fifty. He seems to have both technical and metal problems while playing test cricket. Even if he succeeds in the tests against England and Australia, he would be toroughly exposed in SA if he continues with the same weaknesses. He is a mighty fine player in the limited overs format, no doubt, but I get a feeling he is in the same mould as Yuvraj Singh.

Posted by mrgupta on (September 5, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

Strange to see Unmukt Chand in contention when he hasn't even played much of Ranji competetion. His only good knock in WC was in the finals and that too against Aus under 19 bowling and that too in a One day game! Don't push him yet for International Cricket he is not ready. It could dent his confidence if he fails immediately. How many players have you seen failing because they were hurried onto international scene. Let Unmukt play a complete Ranji season and score some Tons.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

team for eng and australia: 1.Sehwag 2.Rahane 3.Pujara 4.Badrinath 5.Kohli 6.R Sharma 7.Dhoni 8.Ashwin 9.Ishant 10.Ojha 11.Yadav

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 5:22 GMT)

rahane should open instead of gambhir or sehwag if anyone of them is out of form, 1/2 down options with khli, pujara, 3 down badrinath, raina should be out of test team, followed by dhoni and rest!! Tendulkar should be out of team with immediate effect!!

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

Rahane should be in for Gambhir(who is out of form currently) or Sehwag, kohli should be 1 down, 2 down pujara, (kohli or pujara vice-versa) badrinath should be 3 down.. raina should be out of team!!! followed by dhoni and rest.. this is give balance in TEST team in terms of consistency, defense, temperament, patience, experience !!!

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

I am a fan of Badrinath.He is probably good test match player than Raina.Will I see him play in test match again? I request Dhoni and selectors not to drop him from the squad in next test series without giving oppurtunity of atleast one match

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

I read some comments and wonder on what basis we are suggesting Rohit sharma, Irfan Pathan, Ravinder Jadeja & Kaif for Indian test Cricket.

Posted by WishW on (September 5, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

if this series was played away...at NZ that is...India would've lost 0-2...even on flat Indian tracks the Indian batsman showed considerable weakness agaisnt pace...pujara,ghambir,kholi gettin hit on the helmet etc etc...just a thought...

Posted by MinusZero on (September 5, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

Kohli is the new Sachin. Be interesting to see Kohli's final career figures compared to Sachin

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 3:48 GMT)

With players like Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwari and Badrinath in the wings, it is time for Sachin to make way for new blood. He was and will undoubtedly remain the greatest ever for a long time to come, but we need to look to the future. Raina has a long way to go before one can even think of including him in a test side, it's time for Dhoni to put aside his personal preferences for the national good.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

Its time to think about somebody else instead of playing Sachin , he has failed numerous times during past few seasons . This is the best opportunity to nurture youngsters . They persisted with Virat Kohli and see what a player he has turned out to be now . The BCCI should take bold decisions to help this side to regain the number one position .

Posted by cricketfannik on (September 5, 2012, 2:49 GMT)

ppl still talking about Sachin tendulkar getting bowled. problem lies within us. As we can't see this little master scoring 40s -80s we want him to score 90s or100 for sure which is pathetic there is always an exception in academic, office and everywhere a person who is god gifted does his work and can perform well as well. Sachin has given so much to Indians and splcy we got our name in top teams and top batsman from us. ppl forget old gifts when they get new(Kohli)sachin has this liberty to chose which series to play and even BCCI agress with him coz they want to presevr him as long as they can, no one can question his attitude, dedication and performances. doesnt matter if he failed ind won right?? when Rahul and VVS failed india lost so question came from Dhoni and Selec whetehr to play with same guys or not.even if sachin wants he can skip nets and practise still no one will ask him to go out but he doesnt do coz he is playing for country and india as given him everything. so stop

Posted by cricket_fan_1 on (September 5, 2012, 2:35 GMT)

No need to panic. Gambhir and Sehwag need a break and Raina needs to be dropped (tests). Indian Bowlers need to take more responsiblity, similar to the bowlers of other countries for the results and not depend on batsmen to always have a big total in order to claim 20 wickets.

Posted by Ashok_Rajendran on (September 5, 2012, 2:18 GMT)

my future test 11 would be; shewag, gambir, Pujara, Unmukt, Virat, Badri or Tiwary, Dhoni, Ashwin, Umesh, Ishant, Ojha or Sreesanth.. my odi 11: Unmukt, Gambir, virat, shewag, Tiwary, Raina, Dhoni, Irfan or B Aparajith, Ashwin, Umesh, Sandeep Sharma...my T20 : Gambir, Unmukt, Shewag, Virat, Raina, Dhoni, yusuf, B Aparajith, Ashwin, umesh, balaji.

Posted by terrifyingwarriors on (September 5, 2012, 2:11 GMT)

This would be my first XI for team India 1) A.Rahane 2) G.Gambhir 3) C.Pujara 4) V.Kholi 5) S.Tendulkar 6)S. Badrinath 7)M.S. Dhoni 8) R.Ashwin 9) I.Pathan 10) P.Ojha/I.Sharma (if seamer friendly conditions) 11) Z.Khan. If S.Tendulkar retires we can replace him with Rohit Sharma, yes R.Sharma he is a pure test player. If not badrinath( cuz he's old 'lame' excuse), we should have MK. Tiwary. This way be have a strong batting and bowling line up. Hope to see this team in action atleast once.

Posted by golgoal on (September 5, 2012, 0:37 GMT)

@Sathish Chandran -- Why do you want to include the 'future' in the 'present' ??

Posted by Dessimunda777 on (September 5, 2012, 0:12 GMT)

priya azami. mohmmad kaif? lol. in the team? you must be thinking about galli cricket.how many 50s or 100s he scored in dommestic cricket? he is the past of indian cricket.he was olny one day player that time. not very good at the short ball.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 23:30 GMT)

include Unmukt chand in place of gambhir or sehwag ...He is the future of Indian cricket :) ..

Posted by Cricfan_99 on (September 4, 2012, 21:26 GMT)

LOL - cant stop laughing at comments here giving batting tips to SRT !!!! its funny coming from people who've not even stepped on an international cricket pitch... Guys stop moaning- cut some slack - its Sachin afterall!!

Posted by secondopinion on (September 4, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

Sachin as we all know is not getting younger and some day soon, he will retire. India should be more concerned with their opening pair. Sehwag's important knocks seem to get farther and farther away. if his hand-eye coordination goes, he will become a batsman only for flat pitches against steady bowlers because his foot movement was always non-existent. Gautam has to quickly learn to cut out those dabs in test and ODIs where there would be slip fielders. He is too good a player to need such nudges and nicks. Raina doesn't belong to the test arena.

Posted by JerryV on (September 4, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

It looks like that Dhoni is missing a trick by continuing to insist on including Raina in the team. Its quite clear that the fellow does not belong at the Test level.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

OUR PLAYERS know the pain of loss in there ,they(eng&aus) will fell the same in here....... players have different theme in different series ,so it would be a revenge series for aus and eng,dont need to worry about we will make it............

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

My 11 will be

G Gambhir A Rahane C Pujara S Badrinath V Kohli V Sehwag M S Dhoni (C) R Ashwin I Sharma Z Khan P Ojha

For more flexibility can replace Rahane or badri with Irfan or Ravindra Jadeja and move Shewag back on top.

Posted by pvr726 on (September 4, 2012, 18:11 GMT)

With all due respects and his personal achivevment of overcoming cancer, Yuvi is not a player meant for tests. We have fewer these days, who can withstand and bat in the longer form, it was a pleasure watching Kohli rise up to the task.

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (September 4, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

Columb's law: (In tests) YUVRAJ SINGH is directly proportional to RAINA and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between DRAVID and VVS.....:))

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

We should try either Irfan or Ravindra jadeja at no 6

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

i think no 6 mohmmad kaif is good

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

Whenever I read this block of comment I feel like laughing. whenever player gets 50 or 100 everyone lauds with good comments. I am not sure why evryone is back of Tendulkar/Raina/Dhoni/Sehwag. Tendulkar is class batsmen / Raina is young talent give time to settledown and feel international test feeling / Dhoni is successful captain of India. Agree Tendulkar/Raina/Sehwag has not scored in this home series. But wait and watch in the coming days not only these guys but the complete bunch will come out with flying colors.

Agree Harmeet/Unmukth has performed exceptionally well U-19 and won the world cup to India. But facing Aus/Eng at international level is different. But they will also get there chances in coming days that sure.

Agree with Naeem hussain comments, selectors gave chance to Irfan Pathan in Srilanka then why not in Test cricket. Keep faith and give him a chance definitely he will be handy alrounder.

Yuvi will definitely come back

Chilly Guys..................

Posted by akashchandran on (September 4, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

Dhoni somehow wants to keep Raina in the Test team. He will find any sort of excuse for it. Badrinath played 2 Tests against the best pace attack of South Africa and scored a fighting 56 in one innings failed in the other two out of 3 innings and he was not picked since. Raina plays in his 12th and 13th after getting an undeserving chance after averaging under 30 in his last 11 Tests and gets two 0s and a 51(made as if he was playing an ODI). Sachin had a poor series last time also against New Zealand. He followed it up with 2 centuries in South Africa. Players like him possibly need a better challenge than New Zealand in India to get motivated. 4 Tests against England would give a better indication of his loss of form or ageing if any.

Posted by rsurya on (September 4, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

This is usual in India, when they were humiliated in away series suddenly a home series win will turn everything positive. But everything is still the same, with Ashwin and Ohja 31 wickets is possible only in India. Yadav is wayward in his line and length, zaheer is not reliable with fitness. So with this bowling you can't win a single match outside. When Dhoni and Kohli can play both defensive and attacking roles there is no need of only aggressive Raina at 6. Instead bring in a test specialist and give him a long run. In away tests India largely depends on sehwag's bristling start to gain some confidence in middle order, so switchoff the idea of playing sehwag in middle order. We can't expect more from a team which is depleted of bowlers.

Posted by Agila on (September 4, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

Come on Indian fans! Savor the win! Stop "glass is half empty" talk..Indian wins you guys complain..they loose again complain! India has enough resources and they need to be used well..Its barely couple of tests that India played without two of their legendary batsmen and they "did" win them.its .winning that matters..not how someone plays a short ball or not how someone plays his defence..cricket is a team game!

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (September 4, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

No kidding! Batting remains a worry for India! With batsmen like 10dulkar and Raina, opposing teams have 2 walking wickets. Gambhir and Sehwag are not much behind. We need to get rid of 10dulkar and Raina. Replace them with Badri and Pathan. Give notice to Gambhir and Sehwag - perform or perish. With the like of Chand and Rahane waiting in the wings, we have no shortage of talent.

Posted by cricket_lover1 on (September 4, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

Why everybody is focussing on the batting failures..can anybody see how weak is Indian bowling attack..specially fast bowling department. Umesh Yadav seems promising but now he is like UNGUIDED MISSILE, he needs a guidance on what length he should bowl on certain piches..Also he definately needs to learn how to bowl yorkers. Zaheer seems to be fading away...I would recommend three good fast bowlers....Ishant,Yadav,Aron playing test cricket regularly.

Posted by the_blue_android on (September 4, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

@nyc_missile - you gotta be kidding!! Gambhir as the captain? First he needs to learn enough self control to not poke a ball outside offstump orstop guiding the ball to the third man.

Posted by raj_24 on (September 4, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

@ mihir

You seem to remember 2000 series but not after ???

AUS crushed India 2-1 in India in 2004 1st 3rd test were crushing wins and Mumbai test (4th) aus chased 107 and were all out for 93.

Posted by cricket_lover1 on (September 4, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

India Needs a FAST BOWLING ALLROUNDER AT NO. 6 both in home and away conditions.

Posted by kkk999 on (September 4, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

i think tendulkar is waiting to retire after his 200th test match which will probably played during the tour of south africa if he is fit

Posted by sourav619 on (September 4, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

@mihir khakurel - australians won test series in india last was 2004-05 where damien martyn played brilliantly in that series aus won 4 match series 2-1 and india won the last test at wankhede with marali kartik taking 5 wickets aus cud'nt chase 100 odd runs in the final innings.But in the whole series kasprowicz and gillespie displayed very gud reverse swing..india could have won the chennai test but rain resulted in draw india was hunting down target of moddest 220 oddruns with sehwag and yuvraj in the crease if i remember correctly and an ammazing thing was yuvi came to open along with viru.coz india was having trouble finding perfect oppening comb.gambhir made his entry in the last test at wankhede which india won.

Posted by nyc_missile on (September 4, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

@mihir 2004 the dreadful return series at home..where all 4 Ganguly,Dravid,Laxman&Sachin failed miserably.If only the Chennai match would not have been washed out,we could still have leveled the series,Sehwag was in sizzling form then.

Posted by cricisme on (September 4, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

What happened to Badrinath? I thought he was the replacement for Laxman. Poor guy hasn't got the chance to showcase himself. I hope Sachin retires soon so the others have chance at success. I haven't seen anyone more selfish. Actually SRT is in the leauge of other superstars like Amitabh and Shah Rukh K - they are all obsessed with themselves.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

Yes, batting, except for Kohli and to some extent Pujara, is a worry. Equally worrisome is the pace attack. The way Yadav was handled was not alright. If the Captain doesn't have confidence in Yadav, why can't we try more youngsters? by the way, anyone knows, what is happening to Unadgat? As a teenager he had a "7-for", that too against WI "A" team, in WI. Wasim Akram had identified him as "future India material". Many saw the same kind of potential with Sandeep Sharma, in the just concluded World U-19. Will Sharma go the Unadgat way? Zak is not getting any younger. We need to have a 3-member pace attack for the senior team on a fairly consistent basis, from which the tour selectors can pick ANY two, depending on the conditions on that day / in that match. When are we going to see that?

Posted by Riderstorm on (September 4, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

I'm happy with the way youngsters stepped up and performed to their best (even raina, he has a long way to go to have a test spot reserved for him). What bothers me is the lack of inspiration to try something different from the regular against a side who were struggling in the test format (India were no better but at least they have experienced players and the series was at home). I was disappointed with gambhir especially who was coming off from a reasonable performances in the limited formats, should've performed better. Sehwag seems to be in a cold war with dhoni over his choice of batting down the order. Dhoni, please understand that raina is technically not yet ready for tests (he is quite talented but lacks technique for tests). To all those who are gunning for sachin's retirement, have to say this. LEAVE HIM ALONE. He knows better than everybody else, when to retire.

Posted by SushantSrivastava on (September 4, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

The biggest problems I see is: 1) The way Gautam Gambhir is getting out as if he is into a jinx to fall in that manner. I clearly see the IPL effect there. 2) Tendulkar's foot work for getting bowled 3 times in a row is shocking, which I'm sure he will get right well in time. 3) Suresh Raina for me is completely out of place except for his fielding off-course,he has not played a big innings in a long time, neither seems to have the temperament and technique for it. Badrinath is a better option to try for.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

The hero of Indian world cups, Yuvi will be back to no.6 slot.. no worries.. he ll be back in indain test team against england..

Posted by WC96QF on (September 4, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

@naveen : agree with you. Guys, just calm down a bit. this is the first series without two of India's greatest ever batsmen. this and the next 2 series are the best launchapd for Pujara, Kohli and Raina. give them time, they may come good. even if they dont, we are not likely to find adequate replacements anytime soon. at least they deserve enough of an opportunity.

Posted by sourav619 on (September 4, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

i knew after the match even if india wins everybody will start finding flaws in the batting department .Lets start with gambhir,don't forget during his innings he was timing the ball so beautifully that it looked he is going to make a big one its all in mind,i am sure he will perform against england because he is more hungry than ever.and secondly sachin should call his day basing on his will,not basing on looser's comments he needs to be there atleast in test for some more time coz if india has to do well in SAfrica then he should be there in the dressing room i also don't understand why sanjay manjrekar commments on sachin he himself struggled a lot during his playing days.oh..i forgot about raina yes he has got more chances but he deserved it he scord 100 in his 1st match against lankans in lankan where the likes of murali and mendis bowled in spin friendly pitch.

Posted by East_West on (September 4, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

Siddarth: I wish you would have said "Batting of SACHIN" remains worry....". Let us talk about Sachin Selfishkar". The guy has been bowled 51 times - another world record - most boweld by new deubtants = another world recored--sneaks into the team after taking periodic breaks = another world record..the list goes on! when is BADRI going to get a chance? Doesn't Sachin feel for the young generation like Rahul, Laxman...yes, Sachin is taking advantage of the BCCI and drops hiself and squeezes in to the team whenever he wants --and people comment that wow! he still plays good and better than this guy and that guy..well, if this is the case even Wasim Akram can still bowl better than others - EVEN NOW!!

Posted by TrueFactors on (September 4, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

My team will be: Gambhir, Sehwag, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Rahane / Mukund, Dhoni, Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, Ashwin / Harbhajan, Yadav/PK/Varun/Ishant Sharma..... Check if Mukund is ready to go down order...... After Tendulkar retires, team should be: Gambhir / Mukund, Rahane, Pujara, Sehwag, Kohli, Mukund / Gambhir, Dhoni, Jadeja, Pathan, Ashwin / Harbhajan, Yadav/PK/Ishant Sharma..... This will be a wonderful left-right combination.

Posted by perl57 on (September 4, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

There are rants from people that BCCI should include Harmeet and Chand. How can one destroy the team can be learnt from Chappel Brothers. If Greg's history is exemplary, then so is Ian's. He kind of suggests the strength of Oz as their weak points. Ian said bowl short to Ricky and he would get out. Yeah, right. We cannot chop and change at will. These kids need more time, especially with Sachin and Viru and Zak.

Posted by TrueFactors on (September 4, 2012, 15:14 GMT)

If Dhoni wants Raina only because he is left-hand batsman then Selectors should try Mukund, an opener to place there. On arrival of No 6 batsman is around 80-90 overs, to play with new-ball. So, Mukund can play a role more like an opener. Dhoni can bring Pathan and Jadeja as an all-rounders, since Pathan is a good swing bowler and a left-hand batsman and Jadeja has always been good at domestic level in longer format of game compare to One-day or 20-20. Mukund can build good partnerships with Kohli, Dhoni, Pathan, Jadeja and Ashwin and they all are better batsman. It will make a strong batting that can go up to No 9. Jadeja and Pathan are smart bowlers, and they are energy savers too. They will stay fit for 5-days and work like a machine. If India want to see 500 runs on board regularly, then this looks like a solution.

Posted by Rajavel-cricket on (September 4, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

hey dhoni if u need left hander at no-6 bring gambir to that position and open with Rahane,Seems like gambir cant new bal in teats anymore, if sehwag goes out bring mukund as a opener, Dont play with sachin spot, he knows when to retire, if he retires try with rohit sharma or unmukt chand(after two years)., When it comes to abroad the first person should go out from the team is you dhoni.. pls retire from test cricket in 2013 ,, it will be great great help for indian cricket..

Posted by Kapil_Lara on (September 4, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

Not scoring much in a two test series is not too much of a problem. Let us not blame Sachin for that. BUT, wanting to play at the age of nearly 40 and after not scoring even a single century for last 25 innings is certainly a problem. That too after having said "it is selfish to retire when you are on top". If he thinks he is still at the top of his game, the problem is related more to sanity than just to cricket.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

When did the Australians win a series in India?? I remember the South Africans doing so in 2000 though!!

Posted by naeemhussain on (September 4, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

India needs to give Irfan Pathan another opportunity to play at no;6 and at the same time bowl for the team too. I wonder what is the reason to ignore him especially after his performance in Sri Lanka.

Posted by Nampally on (September 4, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

The "new look Indian batting Line up" is one of the Selectors' choices. There are alternate & betterline ups, which need to be finalized before the England & Australian test matches. In addition Yadev needs to sharpen up his control on length &direction a full step fold. Ishant Sharma needs to get fit too. Irfan Pathan is the other guy who needs to be ready. In the batting line up U.Chand as an opener with Sehwag will be an excellent addition. Then Gambhir can bat #6 where Dhoni wants a left hander. Then he will have a choice of both Irfan Pathan or Gambhir at #6. The spin duo of Ashwin & Ojha are good. Indian batting coach needs to prohibit the chasing of the balls outside the off stump especially with the new ball. By instilling some discipline & ground rules for both batsmen & bowlers this team can become a better one. Tendulkar needs to preactice against the pace bowlers to sharpen his reflexes. I still feel that Indian team can be good if they focus on the job ahead.

Posted by screamingeagle on (September 4, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Rahane, Gambhir, Pujara, Sachin, Kohli, Sehwag,Dhoni, Ashwin, Zaheer, Ishant/Umesh/Aaron, Ojha/Harbhajan/Harmeet. The selectors should think of Sachin and Sehwag really. Both look awfully close to end of term. Try out new faces like Harmeet in spin, batters Badri and others as well. Ideally should have been this series, but ah well.

Posted by AMAZINGFAN on (September 4, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

i feel raina shud be persisted.he is an attacking batsman and he is a left hander.he just need to learn some defesive shots.give him some time he is the future of indian cricket.ghambir's form is bit of a worry.he will clearly struggle in bouncy pitches like sa,aus and eng as he has the tendency of running the ball to 3rd man.sehwag should be dropped.he is scoring only 30s and 40s and but u expect more from ur opening batsman.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

So Raina has done well in the majority of his tryst with test cricket except the recent past. What he needs right now is for someone to sit with him and ask him to become a tad more defensive rather than unleashing at full throttle and also think about his test scores. When you select a young player like Raina due to the obvious promise he has shown,you need to give him a longer rope. I personally don't want to see Badrinath come in(maybe when Tendulkar calls it quits) since it's about grooming younger players rather than giving 30+ olds chances. Don't point towards Hussey since the domestic cricket system in Australia is very different from the Indian set up. Everybody cannot do well at all times. I'm extremely baffled at the way these people forget how Raina has performed well against much better teams in tougher conditions than a Kohli has faced and after a failure, everyone is calling for Raina's exit though the kind of shot he played was bound to get people after him.

Posted by amazing_ankur on (September 4, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

I can't understand why we are giving that much of an imp. to this series. We went to England and Australia and we lost 8 in a row. These are the teams to test your skills and we lost. Westindies, New Zealand and Srilanka are not the teams to test Indian Test Team. Wait for the Big giants and we will see what Mr. Dhoni has to say for our dull Indian Batting. (Forget about Bowling alltogether.)

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (September 4, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

Only 2 changes needed in this team right now - Replace SRT with Badri, and replace Raina with Pathan. Irfan can bat and bowl better than Raina. Tendulkar has become a liability - he's gotta go. It's not like he's a youngster who deserves time to settle down!

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

I think everyone is being way too harsh on Suresh Raina. Come on, when you people keep saying that he's been given 17 tests and not too many players get that much opportunity, it's not as if he has dissapointed in every test he has played. I'm a staunch supporter of Raina since i do believe he has got immense talent,character and technique(which people keep on under rating despite him showing otherwise) ,but i do agree that the shot he played in the last innings was erratic. It was a brain freeze, rightfully said. Btw, 17 tests isn't that much of a long rope. He has done far better in tougher conditions against better bowling attacks. Forgetting his profilic scores in SL against SL, he did score 86 on a far tougher mohali track against Aus. The 78 he made at Lords(that was the first time Raina has been on a tour to England in any format of the game)was the only thing standing between England and a thumping victory. This was when all the other experienced bats failed to resist.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (September 4, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

I am pretty sure half of the people here would be asking for SRT to quit but i have a few points to make, not bringing in his records,

1.Sehwag and Gambhir haven't scored a 100 since early 2010. 2.Zaheer Khan has been a complete flop since his comeback in australia. 3..People like Raina who avg's 20 runs per inngs less than Rahane in domestic cricket gets prefered as he's MSD's friend.

Its high time people asked these guys who haven't been anywhere near SRT's greatness to go first.

Posted by ovzdatta151 on (September 4, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

@sweetspot: I can u'stand ur soft spot 4 Raina. I m not doubting his batting talent. He has proven his worth in ODI and T20. His credential as a player comes into doubt when he steps into test arena. One can easily able to view his high confidence level when he plays ODI and T20 format. But when he comes down to bat in test cricket he simply looks like an oobly doobly batsman. You can argue when Kohli played his first test match even he seemed to be like that. I agree, but you must also agree to the fact that Kohli has really worked upon his drawbacks which is really visible in his batting. Unfortunately Raina hasn;t worked upon that short coming. I hope you will recall a player called Michael Bevan from Australia.Awesome of a player in ODIs and averaging more then 50. But sadly he could not able to equate his ODI performances in test cricket.To be honest Raina's forte is T20 and ODI. Datz the reason many of us believe he is not meant for test cricket. I hope Raina prove us wrong.. :)

Posted by arup_g on (September 4, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

Suresh Raina is not a test player, it's as simple as that. What he does add to the team is a fantastic fielder who will guarantee to save you 20-30 runs per innings, however if he does not score 50+ in each innings, is he really profitable? I don't think so. Secondly, he is not going to score big runs overseas in seaming conditions. The number 6 slot should be given to someone like Manoj Tiwary. He is also a fine fielder and can bowl decent leg spin. The ideal situation would be a fit again and in form Yuvraj Singh to take on the spinners and bolster the run rate. He has the experience, however his test form is one that lacks. If Dhoni continues to score consistent runs, another option is Irfan Pathan at 7, allowing India to play 2 spinners at all times, and gives them 5 bowlers when playing better teams.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

You are either a test player or you are not. Sadly Raina is not one. Raina as limited over batsman is fantastic. Nobody should replace him there. but he lacks the temperament required for a test player. Example is his last inning. He came in to play in most crucial phase of the match. He should have taken the responsibility. But instead he chose to attack. Attacking is not a bad strategy. But heaving, stepping out like you are slogging for matching required run rate of 10 or so is not for test cricket. Dhoni does the same but again Dhoni is not known for his test playing abilities. He again might succeed in India but will never succeed in seeming and swinging conditions. NEVER.

Posted by ovzdatta151 on (September 4, 2012, 11:46 GMT)

@Swapnil Gharat: Why you want to shift Gambhir from the role of an opener to a mid-order batsman? Aaron is injured for this entire season. So he can't be picked. I agree with your point of view about Raina and Zaheer. Even Rahane is good player of spin. Its better Rahane be placed in middle order rather then as an opener. Left and Right hand combintion between Sehwag and Gambhir is good. Sehwag and Gambhir are still the main key for Indian team success in coming years..

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 4, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

The most funniest thing is, Gambhir was routed to be the next Test captain of the team before the start of the series(I am not saying he wouldn't be a good one) but now, people are calling for his head and looking into his last couple of years test stats. Why so much inconsistency in reporting? If he is bad after two tests, he should have been before it too. Either today is wrong or yesterday is wrong. Time for us to keep looking at the bigger picture rather than changing the opinion day to day.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

Virat Kohli's emergence as a top class batsman has saved India the blushes at Bangalore.. utter stupidity by Raina.. Also, Gambhir's bad patch means we've got to look at other options. Mukund ? Rahane ? They are waiting eagerly in the wings.. Gauti needs to rediscover his touch soon

Posted by mlkt on (September 4, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

@ aditya dhand....an allroundr at this position is a very good option....but this will never be tried because the mindset in our nation is only about looking for batting heroes...the team combination and bowling doesnt matter...thats why we worship tendulkar...but easily forget that an allrounder like KALLIS has got better test average and also has taken so many wickets....SL play Mathews in all forms......the treatment we give to allrounders is best examplified by ajit agarkar...he came into india team as an allrounder...took a lot of odi wickets and suddenly he was turned into our no 1 bowler..so when he flopped in bowling...he was dropped....same with irfan...ie we start expecting them to be our strike bowlers instead of taking thwm as allrounders.....so if we can change that mindset, even RAVINDRA JADEJA is an option for no.6

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Tendulkar is only going through a bad form & can soon come back to top form like he had bad form from 2003 to 2006 then came back & remained at top from 2007 to 2011 WC .........He is facing technical issue & when you have a proven career then u shouldn't look at coaching manual to coorect it, instead u should look at full videos (not mere highlights) of your fluent innings......In Sachin's case the main difference is that whenever he has played fluent long inn 1). At short execution point he would have been upright with head slightly to leg side as opposed to off 2). He played face on 3). He played with open face even for leg stump aimed deliveries ..4).Further he should play with bat in front of pads with face open to fully eradicate lbw & bold for ever .....With this successful technique of his he had minor weakness of playing too often towards gully but it is fine trade off bcz few will carry to gully & even fewer will be caught as opposed to getting bold & lbw.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

@sweetspot: Raina has played 17 and not 13 tests. Not many people get to play those many with the numbers he has got. As for the comparison with Sehwag, he has scored two triple hundreds with that attitude. Raina only has a hundred to show for himself, that too on a featherbed flat track!!!

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

I think people need to chill down. It is the first series without big three and they did well. I feel it might take few more years to have good platform. You also need to remember that those big three who left the team are argubaly some of the finest Indian batsmen. So it will take few years to get things sorter and we need to be patient and give time to kids to get things done.

Posted by sweetspot on (September 4, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

I wonder why so many people are baying for Raina's blood. He has played about 150 ODIs and has done enough to be a regular feature there. But he's played only 13 Tests, and that too one of them on a tour when all the big guns failed. Sure it seems like a rush of blood going for that shot yesterday, but if we can accept Sehwag's adventurism at the top with a shrug and "that's the way he plays", then why not young Raina? If he had connected instead of being foxed by a ball that kept low, it would have sailed into the stands and who knows, he might have crunched India home. The way he got out to Southee in the first innings too was a bit unlucky. Like anybody else he's got to improve some areas, as much as Gambhir needs to stop poking outside the off stump, and Pujara needs to stop his hooks in the air that don't go for six. Raina is the perfect attacking option at 6 and being left handed is an advantage. Stop berating Dhoni for using his judgment. That is how he is successful!

Posted by o-bomb on (September 4, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Personally I'd love to see Raina batting at 6 over the coming months as it'd give us a better chance of winning in India for the first time in far too long. Seriously though the guy averages 28 after 17 test matches - that's rubbish! India surely have batters who can do much better than that. Kohli and Pujara have come into the team and proved that. Dhoni can't claim Raina's inexperienced for much longer. He's simply not good enough for test cricket at the moment and somebody else should be given a chance. I will be surprised if Raina lines up against us in the first test.

Posted by nyc_missile on (September 4, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

If I were the Chairman of Selectors this would be my squad(15) for upcoming home Test series:

Gambhir(C)|Rahane|Pujara|Rohit|Kohli|Sehwag|Dhoni|Ashwin|Zaheer|Umesh|Ojha|Tiwari|Harmeet Singh|Unmukt|Irfan

If I were Gambhir,I will pick the first 11 from above.Since I value Ian Chappell's talent spotting the most,will go for Harmeet and Unmukt for the home series just to gain experience and feel of Intl cricket.Drop Raina,Sachin,Ishant&Chawla from the current squad and replace Dhoni with Gambhir as captain.Most problems are automatically solved.I know most of us feel frustrated with Gambhir's batting for some time now,but still believe given the leadership role,he'll improve his focus on batting with added responsibility.And definitely will be more aggressive and innovative than Dhoni.Sehwag deserves 1 last chance down the order and if he fails again,time for Tiwari.Indian batting is rich with talents,just need some right & bold selections.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (September 4, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

contd.. The other three have definitely evolved with exposure. Kohli has really done some finishing with his eminent RCB colleagues and the Australian tour. He looks the complete batsman and plays the ball late which makes him a good prospect for England as well.He has certainly got over his short ball doubts. I am sure he will improve further. Ashwin has probably realised that in the IPL he does not have to expose himself as long as he is restrictive. He has evolved greatly I feel with some self analysis after the Australian tour. I am sure he will improve further with the England and Australian tours coming up. Ojha has come on a lot and will do so in the future. As long as both of them flight the ball they will be matchwinners all the way. The worrying thing is the No 6 slot. Raina just does not have that temperament for it. Rohit Sharma could come in and tried. If he becomes the big success story he should be moved up to No 4 if Sachin calls stumps.Rahane could come in at No 1.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (September 4, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

Pujara,Kohli, Ashwin and Ojha definitely look the part of the future men in blue for sometime to come. What is most encouraging about Cheteshwar is that he has a sound defence of either foot and has all the strokes befitting the tradition of Surashtra. The author seems to have mentioned his hook shot as being an area he needs to work on.The striking fact here is that to be a good hooker you need to be an early judge of the length of the ball as being good for hooking. That Pujara is very good at considering that he seems an instinctive hook shot player.That is very good because he is a thinking cricketer and will realise soon that he cannot hook in the air uness it goes for six.Thus he has to either practice this shot for hours and hours to ensure that he rolls his wrist and keeps the ball on the ground,or gets enough power in the stroke that it goes for six. Knowing the pseson he is,I am sure he will make necessary adjustments and be ready before the first against England on 15th Nov.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

Who are Indias next selectors ????? tell them not to take into consideration t20/odi perfomance for test selection. Take Varun Aaron and Darekar in reserves in place of Unfit Ishant and Dhoni buddy Chawla.If Dhoni Want left hander at 6 play Gambhir there as he is best player of spin in India.Open with Rahane. Raina should be dropped as he cant hook/duck to pacers and cant defend Gally spinner like Jiten Patel.Cant imagine scoring a run against Swann.Bring Rohit in reserves. did anybody will believe that Zaheer Khan will be fit for 8 consecutive tests ???? not me

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

please try Irfan at 6...

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

it will be better if Mr Tendulkar retires respectively.. May God give him the wisdom and serenity to decide on his time...its kind of bad to see his misery at the crease.

Posted by Slater1 on (September 4, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

Irresponsible Comments coming from the Indian Captain. 'Left hander needed at Number 7' means that if there is a Talented Right handed batsman who has performed well, he wont be given a chance at Number 6 just because our Captain wants a Left hander at that position.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

Though the senior batsmen like Sehwag, Gambhir and Sachin failed to get big score, but it was good to see the two youngsters Pujara and Kohli did well. This should give everyone including the seniors and juniors a practice for the tougher series ahead.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

IMO the only factor which goes against Badri is the age. When he was around 25, if the current batting scenario would have been there, then surely he would have cemented his place in the team. But unfortunately he was young, then there was no space in the heavily packed Indian batting lineup.

My humble request to MSD is to give Badri at least one series (comprising 3-4 matches) and I am sure he will fare better than Raina.

Posted by Anvith21 on (September 4, 2012, 6:28 GMT)

Test cricket is all together a different ball game when you compare with ODI or 20/20. You can not have a player like Raina for this format. I personally feel Manoj Tiwary or Irfan should fit the bill as both are good at batting and can bowl depending on the situation. My team for this format at this moment is: Gambhir, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Yuvraj/Rohit, Dhoni, Irfan/Manoj, Ashwin, Ishanth, Praveen/Ohja, Yadav.

Posted by Rahul_Acharya on (September 4, 2012, 6:10 GMT)

Dhoni should stop giving excuses. If Dhoni wants left hander at six or seven, then Irfan is a good choice. He is definitely better test bat than Raina. He can also bowl.

Posted by Iyer on (September 4, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

Please rotate a pool of batsmen in easy batting conditions. Do not stick with the same X1. Give chance to Rahane, Mukund, Badri, Manoj Tiwari, Rohit Sharma in addition to Raina, Sachin, Gambhir, Sehwag, Pujara, Kohli. Only the best 6 of the lot should find a place in the playing X1. Do not care about past records, look at their current form. If you give 6 to 8 innings, then obviously one of those innings the guy would score a 100 or 75. But that is not useful as he would have failed in 7 out of 8 innings. We want guys who could perform in at least 5 out of 8 innings.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

if india can manage to win all the matches from now (matches against OZ and Eng) the will get the no 1 ranking once again

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

Irfan, Manoj tiwari, yuvraj, rahane and bhadri can be looked into. Atlease 3 of these can be in. Though the allround abilities of irfan will be a bit doubtful against fiery pace of english and aussies.

Posted by jay_vkjay on (September 4, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

If Dhoni badly need a Left-hander at no.6 or No.7, he could have brought in Irfan Pathan. This will provide a luxury of having 5 bowlers and 7 batsmen. Also Irfan as we all know, deals the short balls pretty well than some of the top order batsmen in this team. Irfan should play home series Vs England and Australia, before going to South Africa, next year. What have Suresh Raina done to earn a recall to the test side? In this series 31 out of 40 wickets were shared by Spin duo of Ashwin and Ojha, only because of home advantage. Think hard before selecting the team for England series.....

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

I think alot of people criticizing Team India for 'winning 2-0' needs to take a hike. Please bear in mind that this is a team that have 5(Virat, Pujara, Ojha, Ashwin and Umesh) rookies in the playing XI. How many other teams can boast of clean sweeps with some many rookies playing ? I believe all these negative sentiments come in because India are not usually troubled in Indian conditions. To be fair to NZ, I think they bowled quite well. Yes India could have played better but this is the start of the season. Hyderabad was more like an Indian pitch and we were just fine there. Now I would not consider banglore like a Kiwi pitch or English pitch but still definitely not typical Indian pitch. So bottom line is on a partial alien conditions, against a spirited opposition with 5 young players India won the match by 5 wickets. I think I ll accept that. more over I think its good practice for tougher assignments and we saw what Kohli is capable off.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Rightly said. The way Gambhir and Raina bat, sure they don't fit the bill for test matches. Mr. Dhoni we don't need players who bat well at nets. We need real time big players or at least promising ones. These 2 men don't have the wherewithal to survive test cricket. Indeed batting is the main problem, not to speak of bowling. Take the case of Sachin, bowled out 3 times in this series. Dravid was bowled out countless times in Australia and opted out wisely. It is the way they get out. Sachin's time has come. If he is adamant, then it's the selectors call. Do they have the guts? Hope many fans will support if a decision is taken. At least he should be told to leave ODIs.

Posted by ramli on (September 4, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

Why all this pessimism? Can't we learn to appreciate success? For a team in transition, especially in batting, the results are satisfactory. All new members of the team had a decent score in either or both tests. Let us hope that they will raise the level with the level of opposition.

Posted by PcDadda on (September 4, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

One can criticize the new-look Indian batting as much as one wants - and of course till they perform overseas against tops sides these wins in India will not count for much - but to argue that the Indian batting struggled on an EASY-PACED track at Chinnaswamy tells me that the writer (Ravindran) has not watched the match carefully. Day 4 was played under overcast conditions with lot of seam movement on offer and the young batters came of well under the pressure of a 4th innings chase - Siddharth Ravindran - please give credit where it is due.

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 4, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

Concerns for India.. Apart from Virat Kohli, Dhoni(in home)and the spinners(in home), everything is a concern. Experienced openers not putting value on wickets, Sachin not at his best, No.6 slot still vacant, Detoriating Zak, Only fast and no swing or setup Umesh are all concerns for the team. Pujara is in middle category and he is upcoming.

Posted by ramli on (September 4, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

When we are pleased to see Dhoni batting sensibly and bailing out India out of tight situations in both tests, it is ridiculous of people to keep harping on 8-0 loss. Is he the only one to be blamed? It was a collective failure: bowling/batting; seniors/juniors, etc. Just enjoy the success now

Posted by jasonpete on (September 4, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

Its really amazing to see many Indian fans criticising this performance by youngsters?When the series started,being an outsider I thought India won't win this series with dravid and laxman.Both these players gave stability and mental strength to this Indian team for a decade yrs.I doubted this Indian team won't perform without these two,but they won by 2-0 against a spirited NZ team.First of all they won the series without their seniors contribution the likes of gambhir,sehwag ,tendulkar and zaheer.Five noted contribution came from kohli,pujara,dhoni,ashwin and Ojha.So fans should appreciate this performance instead overly criticinsing them doesn't do good.But seniors need to perform when they face England by next test series.Gambhir and sehwag,what can you say,careless attitude not doing good for the team.Yuvraj may fit in no.6 if he is completely match fit for test series and I feel he is anytime better than Raina.But main concern for India is openers and tendulkar form.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (September 4, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

Right call, Siddarth. If the batting can look this vulnerable against an honest but not (yet) great NZ bowling side, there is real cause for worry against England and Australia who both have outstanding pace attacks.

Posted by Suganth.T on (September 4, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

Now Yuvaraj Singh is the only competitor for that spot.

Posted by chaitukash79 on (September 4, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

Though I am the first to admit that the Indian test batting line up is nowhere near its peak, this article is needlessly critical. India won the first test by an innings and won the second with half the side left intact. So where did the batting fail?! We managed to score at least 300 runs on every outing. Please give the opposition some credit. New Zealand may be a depleted side but they are still a very good side that has given India a fight every time they toured. They bowled very well in the final innings of the 2nd test. The scores we put up and the exaggerated "struggle" that the columnist talks about is a result of that rather than poor batting.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

The test was won within 4 days...I dont think the batting was stretched..I dont know why people start sharpening the machette for a couple of low scores from a bat...Give them their space...AND JUSST ENJOY THE VICTORY...

Posted by nkoch on (September 4, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

Suresh Raina is no good for Test matches. He should give way to other deserving candidates with patience, Rahane, Tiwari, Rohit Sharma, Badrinath. Dhoni has to let his DOST go.

Posted by theswami on (September 4, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

Gambhir, Rahane, Pujara, Badrinath, Sehwag, Kohli, Dhoni, Ashwin, Khan, Yadav, Ojha/Balaji (dep on whether a pacer/spinnr is reqd)

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 4:08 GMT)

my best india test xi-sehwag,rehane,pujara,kohli,rohit/badrinath,yuvaraj,dhoni,ashwin,ojha,zaheer,umesh

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

I don't understand why we are saying Indian batting is a concern? Are we expecting every Indian Top order batsman to score loads of Runs in the series. We are forgetting Indian test cricket is still trying to recover from the 8-0 loss at overseas. Come on guys the series was interesting and we won the series 2-0. The way I look at the series with + ve points is we had 3 batsman who showed consistency in batting (Kohli, Pujara & Dhoni). 2 Reliable Spinners on Indian Pitches (Ojha & Ashwin), Good all-round performance by Ashwin. The only concern area I look at is Indian Pace bowling. When NZ can get 9 wkts in the 1st innings of second test due to fast and swing bowling why cant our fast bowlers can do the same. Our Fast bowling is the one which really worries me for the future series with England and SA. Our openers should improve and get into form but again when ever our openers click the matches are more or less one-sided.

Posted by ultimatewarrior on (September 4, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

I am not saying remove suresh raina permanently from indian test team but just demanding equal opportunities for badrinath/rahane/rohit sharma in test team becoz all these have 125% more than first class average than that of raina, even if stats doesn't mean these 3 are better than raina...on what basis u can say raina is so much deserve 17 tests and badrinath just 2 and rohit/rahane ZERO tests, i agree rohit is not performing in ODI but why the hell nobody is understanding that he is a lot better player in longer form than in short form...................further who are bashing tendulkar constantly to drop him first before raina, plz note tendulkar has gone through bad patch just 3-4 times in his 23 yrs career but each time he has come back more strongly as well as he is unofficial coach to young indian cricket team unlike raina..................Mr Dhoni u r continuously backing half performers one after another - (in test)ishant sharma,raina, yuvraj(in odi)jadeja, rohit, pravin kumar

Posted by aravabalaji on (September 4, 2012, 2:58 GMT)

If you want a left handed batsman, we have Ravindra Jadeja. Of course, he is also Dhoni's pet, just like Raina.

Posted by aravabalaji on (September 4, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

What answer we have for country's best domestic run machine, Badrinath? He is much senior to Pujara, Kohli, Raina, Rahane, Rohit, Vijay, Mukund, etc., and much superior in terms of test batsmanship. His career has been handled in an atrocious manner. Everybody else is FAVOURED with chances after chances but Badri's talent has never been REWARDED.

Posted by ProdigyA on (September 4, 2012, 2:41 GMT)

@crinfo77- absolutely spot on n very well put my friend. No doubt MS is a great ODI & T20 player but just does not deserve a place in Tests. His selfishness n bizarre excuses are going to cost India in Tests. I still can't believe he is not questioned for the 8-0 debacle.

Posted by popcorn on (September 4, 2012, 2:19 GMT)

What is Sachin Tendulkar sticking around for? He is past his prime,just occupying a newcomer's position.He should know for himself that nobody dares throw him out. So he should be unselfish and retire.Typical of Dhoni to cover up for someone batting well a the nets - the game is on the 22 yard strip in the middle,mate.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 2:19 GMT)

If we look at a pool of cricketers for our test team - then Openers - Gambhir (still has a few years and has the experience), Abhinav Mukund, Ajinkya Rahane One Drop - Cheteshwar Pujara (Selectors should persist unless he really flops over a lengthy period) #4 ~ 6 - SRT, Virat, Rohit (dont write him off yet), Manoj (Good Temperament and never been given a chance), Yuvi (lets not write him off yet), Raina (ok - he's struggling but we also admire his nerveless batting at times) #7 / WK - Dhoni, Kartik, Saha Spin - Ashwin, Ojha, WE NEED A LEGGIE!!! Pace - Zaheer, Ishant, Mithun, Yadav, Arun, Sreesanth (if he gets his head right), Irfan (shud be in the team should we play a batsman less and should do the holding job) Above guys should form a decent test squad. Its about giving confidence to the blokes. Can our selectors manage it?

Posted by timohyj on (September 4, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

The reason that Raina was picked instead of rahane is because he is a left hander. If you replace him with a right hander then there are 6 RH batsmen and only 1 LH. You have to have more than just 1 LH in the lineup. But that doesn't leave India with too many options. Yuvraj and Abhinav Mukund are the only other decent LH batsmen I can think of

Posted by Patrick_ on (September 4, 2012, 1:58 GMT)

@ IndnCrktfan. I agree with you. With Dravid and Laxman retiring batting should have been a concern before the series. So this should be considered a good series win considering the fact that this would probably be the least experienced batting lineup, in terms of number of matches played, that India have had in a decade.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

As regards Sachin - I definitely believe that a technical flaw has crept in. He needs to work on that in the nets. The selectors also need to talk to him about his long term plan and not make the same mistake as they did with Laxman and Dravid. Frankly, I think we should have Sachin in the team for the next three series (if his form holds). Even if his run scoring is not up to the mark, his presence in the team is a great inspiration for the youngsters and they will get to learn a lot from him. In addition, the middle order becomes very brittle with Pujara, new number four and Kohli all coming in back to back. The next three series will give Kohli and Pujara a chance to cement their places and we can then phase in a new number four. The right thing to do would be to bring Sehwag down to # four and give Ajinkya Rahane a chance to open with Gambhir.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 1:39 GMT)

Suresh Raina is not cut out for test cricket. His technique and temperament are both suited for the shorter versions of the game. I seriously think we should consider a good allrounder for that spot and Irfan Pathan can do what James Franklin does for New Zealand. He can easily give you 30/40 runs (which Raina struggles to do) and be a great first change bowler anywhere in the world. Dhoni and India are obsessed with playing 7 batsmen and that will not help you win matches overseas as we saw in the disastrous tours of England and Australia. Irfan should be inducted into the Test team immediately for the upcoming tours and see how he performs. He will be a handful, if he has built up his confidence, in SA 2013.

Posted by Raj12345 on (September 4, 2012, 0:59 GMT)

Some people ask Rohit, this is enough, his last 10 ODI appearances doesn't make any sense to include him in test. How about Tiwary, since he is not from Mumbai, we can easily forget him or hide his chance.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (September 4, 2012, 0:48 GMT)

How I wish MSD was equally accommodating with RD and VVS. Eight to ten failures followed by a century seems good enough from SRT, but not for RD and VVS. This is sheer hypocrisy. MSD and his insipid captaincy are going to be exposed by the English and Aussies.

Posted by Cricketcraze912 on (September 4, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

1) gambhir 2) rahane 3) pujara 4) kohli 5) sachin or badri ( depending on sachin's form) 6) dhoni 7) ashwin 8) zaheer 9) ojha 10) Praveen Kumar 11) I sharma or U Yadav or V aaron. This should be the line up, having good stability in the the 3,4, and 5 positions. 6 and 7 should be more aggresive. For subcontinent series, 2-3 spinners and 2 fast bowlers. For bouncy and fast pitches, 1-2 spinners and 3 fast bowlers. This should be good against most teams. Sehwag should not be in team until he proves he is worthy of it.

Posted by jango_moh on (September 4, 2012, 0:37 GMT)

@Fine_Legs.... i agree with you... the ppl shud give this new team a break, it was a really good win, highest winning total in blore.... and im pretty sure most of the bandwagoners here didnt watch the entire match(maybe even the author), NZ bowling was pretty good in the second innings as well, and conditions were good for seam bowling as well as spin, so this article is not written in context!!! NZ seamers were exceptional and it was a real test for the batsmen!!!! im a big raina supporter, but that shot from him in the context of the situation was horrible, and he's seriously running out of chances...

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

Raina has got too many chances. Rohit S and Rahane have got zero chances in test cricket so far but Rahane is not an opener, Unmukt Chand is. Perhaps Jadeja at 6 is an option since he gives them yet another spinner for the dust bowls. If Zaheer will only bowl 5 overs because the wicket is a raging turner, might as well Irfan gets a chance at 8, for 5 overs with the new ball he can bowl almost as well as Zak. If SRT does not play well against England, he should retire.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 22:44 GMT)

So this series was sort of practice series and a chance to get some good game time to prep for big season ahead in tests. India needs Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer, Umesh and the two spinners to get some form and practice. Now they can go back and work on improvements which are needed before the England and Australia series. Sachin uses some of these types of series and ODIs as practice, as there is no first class season anymore like in 1980s or 1990s where folks built up their form gradually before important series. One should read these series like that. No more, no less. So not too worried about Sachin and Zaheer. As Zaheer has himself said before, the more he plays, the better he becomes. One worry is Gambhir and another is absence of support pacer for Umesh and Zak. As for no.6, we are missing the left hander like Ganguly and its a worry. Sachin should perform in Eng and Aus else just admit the fact that he is no longer good and pass th baton to Kohli who should bat at no. 4 in SA tour.

Posted by crindo77 on (September 3, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

Dhoni is the unquestionable BIG BOSS of Indian cricket; from his deliberately spoken media spiel, to his t20 styled Test innings which look good on Indian pitches, to his surreptitious introduction of limited over cricket strategies that has eroded India's Test standing, and making sure he tips his hat to SRT, he has the nation and selectors almost under a spell. The only victor in India's 0-8 absolute spanking abroad was MSD, who emerged stronger, and their declining batting fortunes have made his adversaries beholden to him, rather than challenge him. To have a left hander (read pal Raina) at no 6 is apparently a real strategic asset; even when the said player had his reputation and confidence literally handed to him in tatters in England, and continues to be every bit mentally frail as before, even in the cosy confines of a home series, with an indulgent captain. No one doubts his prowess in the limited overs cricket, but maybe MSD's presence should also be limited to that format.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (September 3, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

@Siddarth: you title of this article makes me laugh. When was India's bowling not a conern ? LOL Now both batting and bowling are major concerns and I worry about our test future.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 21:07 GMT)

your writing remains a worry for me .. so please stop would u? its become a fashion to critique one or the other. We have won 2-0 I should say rather convincingly and we had two stalwarts retire. huge gaps to fill . done well by kohli and pujara. if this is the result I am getting considering the hige losess of these legends. I will take it anyday. look for the positives and not for space to create something out of nothing. raina I agree is still on iffy land but he played a crcial knock of 55 which helped us get close .

Posted by couchpundit on (September 3, 2012, 21:07 GMT)

@rpatel6 - how about this line up -- 1)Gambhir 2)Mukund 3)Pujara 4) Sehwag 5)Kohli 6)Rahane 7) Dhoni 8)Ashwin 9) Zaheer 10) Ishant Sharma 11) Yadav .

Time to let sehwag play in middle order where he wants to play for a decade.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

Oh, & if Dhoni says they need a left hander @ number 6, I know who I'd rather have.....Yuvraj King!

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

Raina has to be dropped , his shot selection not only here but in previous tests has been appalling. He was lucky to ne chosen in first place & has done nothing to justify such faith. And to think that one of the gripes held against Rohit is his'shot selection'! Well the evidence was there to see today, he can hardly do worse

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 3, 2012, 20:44 GMT)

According to many news sources, the commentators and MS Dhoni, the pitches for the England series in all likelihood WILL BE rank turners. No mercy will be shown to the English who are poor at playing spin. Out of the 4 venues, perhaps Mumbai would be a sporting wicket that could have a result favouring either team. The other 3 venues will be TRUE Indian wickets with spin from early on. It will be ridiculous if India don't prepare dust bowls to crush England. But from what I been hearing, it's 99.9 % likely that India will prepare spinning tracks for our English friends. This is why England need 2 spinners to play in every test. One is Swann, who is the other ?

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 3, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

@Snick_To_Backward_Point: No.7 or not, NZ showed a lot of guts. I am sure they will be a handful to England next year and given them a run for their money. 3 solid quicks in Southee, Boult, and Bracewell. In fact a VERY good bowling attack along with a handy spinner in Jeetan Patel. India didn't take them lightly, hence this 2-0 victory. I am sure they won't be easy pushovers in more helpful conditions.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 3, 2012, 20:35 GMT)

I don't think India's batting is worrisome. It's STRONG in fact. The only problem is Suresh Raina. He needs a good ear-pinching from Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher. The shot he got out to was ugly. Even in T20 that shot shouldn't be played unless the situation demands it. His carelessness almost cost the match for India. Ajinkya Rahane or Badrinath would be the ideal replacement for him. I personally believe Raina should be dropped for the England series. He's gotten enough chances and time for Rahane to prove what he's capable of. India's batting future is BRIGHT and GLORIOUS as Rahul Dravid said on commentary. The same views are shared by Anil Kumble as well. However, Sehwag's attitude is a bit troubling. He gives a good start and gets out. Somebody needs to talk to him. You just CANNOT throw away good starts !!

Posted by drpramit on (September 3, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

Under Indian condition batting is not a matter of much concern especially with kohli in his life time form & pujara in vintage touch. I would love to watch Rahane playing at no. 6 against England instead of Raina, still there is a place for tendulkar, he is probably not the best batsman in the team but still he is better than gambhir or raina, instead of asking Rahane to open it will be better if selectors choose any accomplished opener in the squad ,for first test my playing XI will be :- sehwag,gambhir,pujara,tendulkar,kohli,rahane,dhoni,ashwin,zak,ojha,umesh

Posted by ravikiran.bits on (September 3, 2012, 20:25 GMT)

@rpatel6 Rohit is useless and rahane you are batting him there :P.

Sachin will retire soon in an year or so then rahne will get his chance at top of the order shewag will move down as he intends to and the remaining batting order remains the same.

In one year span yuvi will be roaring to go and he can make his comaback instead of raina. as Dhoni mentioned left hand batsmen so he will get a nod against rohit again.

and unless rohit proves in ODI's he should not even think of a place in Indian test team

Posted by Nathan74 on (September 3, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

What about Sehwag. Do you think he did well or is it his performance is something it is not worth talking about. Is it time he is mothballed.

Posted by lee_man on (September 3, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

I think the criticism thus far is not warranted. The Indian team is one in transition and therefore vulnerable. The advantage that Indian cricket has over the other teams in transition is the sheer number of players from which to pick a team. My view is that it boils down to selection and selection policies. SRT, we all love him but I think its time to let go...age is merciless. He will produce the odd classy innings but I doubt if it is ever going to be with any consistency.

And those who are saying that Zaheer is the only Indian bowler are insulting Umesh Yadav who has the potential to become a really fine fast bowler if managed properly. He is seriously quick with a nice clean action and has a very good build for a fast bowler.

Posted by rpatel6 on (September 3, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

My ideal India test line up for India now would be: 1)Gambhir 2)Sehwag 3)Pujara 4) Rohit Sharma 5)Kohli 6)Rahane 7) Dhoni 8)Ashwin 9) Zaheer 10) Ishant Sharma 11) Yadav NB: Ojha replaces Yadav for Test matches in India Tendulkar's time is up now unfortunately. Raina is technically inept for Test Cricket. Rahane and Rohit Sharma deserve a chance.

Posted by uncore on (September 3, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

@DeepakSarathy. For what it is worth, Dhoni has the best win/loss ratio ever among the captains of the home team (14:1), better than Ponting and Steve Waugh. Give him a break, maybe, just maybe, he knows more about cricket than you do.

Posted by opinion66 on (September 3, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

We cannot expect Indian batsmen to score more than 250 to 300 in any innings outside the country (even West Indies) like the last few years have shown. But the bowling is even worse. I remember, even no 9 and no 10 English batsmen consistently scored century partnerships against India whenever India managed to take out the top order cheaply. Ashwin was completely ineffective in Australia. Other than Zaheer , India is in very bad shape in bowling unless they are spin friendly tracks. The new comers are not promising . There is no competition for bowling spots either. The pipeline of Indian bowlers performing well to stake a claim in the squad is non-existent. India historically favored batsmen thus discouraging bowlers to develop and it is getting worse.

Posted by Raj12345 on (September 3, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

Drop Raina, Dhoni's support to Raina is baseless. Not sure what is going on in Cricket. If you need left hand, there r many. Being left hand and scoring ZERO is not a positive sign.

Posted by Nampally on (September 3, 2012, 18:57 GMT)

The trouble with the Indian batsmen is their defence. They have forgotten straight bat defence with head over the ball. Rohit Sharma & Raina both fall in this category. When a batsman gets in, he gets thru' early part of the innings via sound defence. Rohit keeps turning the face of the bat or has slant bat defence. Raina plays straight most of the time but tries his t-20 shots out of no where! . Both have the talent but lack discipline & concentration. Even SRT was bowled third time in a row!. If one has sound defence an experienced veteran does not get out this way. Gambhir, as you wisely pointed out, falls in the slips or to the WK, playing the slant bat shot!. So lack of discipline is the cause for failure of all batsmen. Kohli & Pujara succeed because of their discipline. India need to replace Gambhir at the opening spot with U.Chand to instil discipline. Amla combines defence with offense in a desciplined manner & is the run scoring machine - A model for Indian batsmen!

Posted by pawaramol22 on (September 3, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

I am sure 99% of people criticizing win have played CRICKET at any level above college level tournaments.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (September 3, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

@Match refree. Many swans came and got smashed by Indian batsman. Swan will forget to bowl after Indian series

Posted by buntyj on (September 3, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

finn will be the main threat from eng; like southee he will exploit any hint of uneven bounce and doesnt need too much uneven bounce.interestingly india's best batsmen in the series apart from experienced msd were pujara (more a possible vengsarkar than a dravid, but if he retires with vengsarkars record it would be perfectly acceptable) and kohli and not experienced seniors like sachin, gauti and sachin. in case of openers if they had moved to middle order a year ago in place of first vvs then dravid it mayve worked n extended their careers. such a move now would have less prospects of success or extending their careers beyond south africa next year. unlikely too since in order of preference msd n bcci appear to want raina, badri, yuvi n rohit n tiwari before they would give a chance to more promising mandeep or s yadav in the middle or to current openers similarly i wouldnt be surprised if vijay or even mukund is given a chance before rahane and not more than 2 tests if he is

Posted by simpleadmin on (September 3, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

@match referree,,it will happen only in ur dream,,,,u know what happened to swann in england against sa,,,still worst is gonna happen,,,remember wat happened to warne and murali in india

Posted by passionate_cricket_follower on (September 3, 2012, 18:29 GMT)

What is Praveen Kumar doing? He was the standout performer in England. Is he injured? I don't think he'd have bowled worse than Umesh. He also might be a very handy lower order bat.

Posted by gnshah on (September 3, 2012, 18:29 GMT)

I think it's time to say GOODBYE to Sachin Tendulkar. he is a legend and he should retire while people are still respecting himaas a legend. he should stop playing cricket now and give youngsters opportunity. Ajinkya rahane deserves a chance to play Test for india. As for Raine, I think he should get 2 more chances in test, and if he cant' delivery something substantial, then it's time for him to go too. As per rohit sharma, i am stil not sure he is capable for playing in tests. instead of him, i think they should get some new comer from under 19 in tests.

Posted by NLS1 on (September 3, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

The selectors, TV commentators/"experts" and the captain are just refusing to see the writing on the wall. Tendulkar is rapidly sliding into ordinariness due to slowing reflexes. Gambhir has an incurable affliction outside his off stump - plays 20/20 shots which he cannot seem to resist in any form of cricket on any kind of pitch against any opposition. Raina, essentially a limited overs player is bandied as a test cricket material. Zaheer Khan has hardly stretched himself in the 2 tests that just concluded and has not provided any indication that he can handle the workload of one of the two fast bowlers in the rest of the season. And worse, we (Indians) are not learning from the way other cricket boards are handling the issue of transition (of aging stars). Unless the next set of selectors show self confidence and make bold, pragmatic decisions, this team will slide further in performance and lose more supporters.

Posted by Snehaa on (September 3, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

Dhoni, irfan Pathan is a better bet at number 7 than raina. He is a very good test batsman and will be a fifth bowling option

Posted by dicky_boy on (September 3, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

Match referee , I don't know which matches you are refereeing , but your team lost at home, something we never do, Anyway the second test pitch was like a England wicket, u saw what happens with a DUSTBOWL, leave thrashing England will have an innings defeat In all

Posted by Fine_Legs on (September 3, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

This is difficult to stomach. On a fourth day pitch, batting last, chasing 250-odd, how is achievement of the target for the loss of five wickets a worrying result? Kohli got a half century, Dhoni would probably have got one, Pujara came fairly close to one, and the openers put on 77. Siddharth, exactly what sort of score were you expecting - 248 for no loss? New Zealand weren't exactly just turning up today - give them some credit, surely, for competing just a bit?

Posted by ashok16 on (September 3, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

I think there needs to be a radical overhauling. The aim should be to win both at home AND abroad. The four bowler model isnt working abroad and is also increasing the stress on our fast bowlers. Ashwin is the ideal number 7. Dhoni has to come in at 6. Both are too good to be wasted one spot lower than those. Tendulkar and Sehwag are better not playing. Sehwag is playing cattle class cricket at the moment. Tendulkar's spot is best given to Rahane or Badrinath, and the second openers choice should be between Vineet Saxena (yes the Rajasthan opener) or Abhinav Mukund. The five bowler model is ideal because then the 5th bowler can be either a spinner or a fast bowler depending on opponent and the pitch. India, please have ambition.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

Too much assumptions regarding the Indian batting I would say. Just 3 innings and he has scored one good fifty and we are talking about axing Raina. Same for Tendulkar. i feel we have to wait till the end of England series to pass any judgement. My opinion is India should stick on to the same team for full England series and take it from there. That should give us a real picture of indian batting without any assumptions.

Posted by Criketanand on (September 3, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

Why are we trying to spoil the career of rahane by suggesting he open the innings. Even experts are saying this. He is a middle order batsman even in Ranjhi trophy. Just because he started his Indian team career in T20 as an opener doesn't mean he is good opener. He is young and should be groomed for his normal batting position of middle order rather than forcing him to open

Posted by torsha on (September 3, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

I am not sure who should drop and who shouldn't but it's time to give Rahane and Badri go in tests. There should be selection according to sub-continent and foreign conditions. Aaron, Ishant and Bhajji should be back in the team. Raina according to me should be saved for ODIs and T20s. Viru's batting position should be changed. If you look up for these two tests, Kohli and Dhoni are the two batsmen who have done well. So, the top order selection is vital for now.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (September 3, 2012, 17:21 GMT)

Raina has to be dropped - be looked all at sea on bouncy pitches in Australia and he just has not got the right technique for Tests. Persisting with him further may also affect his confidence and form in the shorter versions to which he ideally suited. I am a big fan of SRT but the time has come for him to either step down or bat at 5 and let Kohli bat at 4. Also India needs to find some 'pace bowlers' quickly. It's alright winning the U19 etc BUT I still haven't seen any good Indian pace bowlers....in fact, the best 'Indian' pace bowler, Sandhu, was playing for Australia!!

Posted by Johnny_129 on (September 3, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Raina has to be dropped - be looked all at sea on bouncy pitches in Australia and he just has not got the right technique for Tests. Persisting with him further may also affect his confidence and form in the shorter versions to which he ideally suited. I am a big fan of SRT but the time has come for him to either step down or bat at 5 and let Kohli bat at 4. Also India needs to find some 'pace bowlers' quickly. It's alright winning the U19 etc BUT I still haven't seen any good Indian pace bowlers....in fact, the best 'Indian' pace bowler, Sandhu, was playing for Australia!!

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

I would look to replace Raina & Sachin, but unlike what a lot of others are suggesting, my replacements would be Rahane & Irfan Pathan. The lineup would read - Gambhir, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Sehwag, Pathan, Dhoni, Ashwin, Zaheer, Ojha, Yadav On a spinners' / crumbling track, I would replace Zaheer with Manoj Tiwary. Irfan & Yadav could open the bowling, Ashwin, Ojha, Sehwag & Manoj would be the spinning options. Much as I like Rohit Sharma's batting, he has not applied himself enough to be on the playing 11. Yuvaraj's fitness is currently suspect. Once that is addressed, the selectors would have a challenge....unless one of the top 6 starts flopping & makes life easy for the selectors.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

To more questionable marks are on Raina and Sehwag? Tendulkar will sort himself out.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (September 3, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

India have Rohit Sharma,Manoj Tiwary,Abhinav Mukund & Ajinkya Rahane waiting to get into the test team,each possess first class records that are far superior to that of Suresh Raina.Raina has a very limited range of cricketing strokes which will results in failiure at this level.If Dhoni wants a left hander,why not select Ravindra Jadeja.Jadeja has a better first class batting average than Raina,a more than decent bowling average & is also a quality fielder.Raina will remain with the team though & Dhoni will defend his selection again until Dhoni is relieved of captaincy.Why can't Virender Sehwag bat at #6 & captain India for the next 4 years?

Posted by SamRoy on (September 3, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

True, I agree with Dhoni's assessment. But persisting with Raina is not the solution as he neither has the temperament nor the technique required for test cricket. Will be a bigger failure than even Yuvraj. So the best thing that can be done is open with Sehwag and Rahane. Continue with Pujara at 3, Let Kohli come up to 4, Rohit's long overdue debut at 5 and Gambhir can come at 6 since he has been having trouble against pace bowling with the new red ball for some time. And say respective goodbyes to Tendulkar and Raina. The only fallacy with it is Rahane didn't look too comfortable with extreme pace which he might have to deal with opening the innings and Pujara must leave short balls better; his hook shot is rather impulsive and also not well balanced.

Posted by thenkabail on (September 3, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

DROP TENDULKAR and RAINA to get the batting right: Tendulakar is a genius and a national icon. But, he should realize that his time is up and he should clear the way for yonger player. He should annouce retirement like Dravid and Laxman. If not selectors must drop him. Because Tendulakar has become very selfish. Raina keeps getting chances and never delivers. Rhit Sharma never got a single chance in tests so far. How shameful is that. He should get a 5 test run and see he he does. He needs to show that he has temperment to match talent. Yuvraj should get the other spot. So, India's test team ought to be: Gambhir, Shewag, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Praveen Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ashwin, Ojha, Rahane, Harmeet Singh, Unkut Chand, Manish Panday, and 3-4 other bowlers. Bowling is actually a major concern. Good to see Ojah and Ashwin doing well. Also under 19 Harmeet singh looks good. But we need 2 good fast bowlers. Is Sreenath fit?. Or there others out there?. Batting will be okay.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (September 3, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

Absolutely superb from India! Lovely to see them scrape a win at home against the no 7 ranked test team. Must be all those hours honing skills in the IPL.

Posted by Match_Referee on (September 3, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

A weak team winning against another weak team in a thriller. The current Team India is one of the weakest teams in the world currently. Except Kohli, Ashwin & Ojha, no other player is looking like a real match winner... and even these three players are very new and yet to get tested to all conditions. This win against NZ in second test is just a fluke... Eng. going to thrash India in India, with Swann taking more wickets than Ashwin & Ojha combined...

Posted by arun_39 on (September 3, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

What has not been said here is that in seamer-friendly conditions (and pleasant temperatures - not hot) resembling conditions in Eng/NZ, the age-old Indian batting problems persisit even against a moderate seam attack at HOME. Hence the results in Eng and Aus should not be surprising. They were better attacks and we were playing AWAY. That said all credit to the NZ bowlers - no offence meant to them.

Posted by Kapee on (September 3, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

Dhoni's justification on including Raina is very absurd and unfortunate to hear that. This is test cricket, you need quality Batsman, irrespestive of wether all the batsmen are right hand or left . Just because some one is a left hadn batsmen, they dont qualify to the team. While Dhoni is a great captian, he cannot go on defending Raina or anyone endlessly with hopeless justification like this. Rahane warming bench is pathetic, even Badrinath, he is the most successful domestic cricketer for a long time. Badrinath and Rahane should have been in the side in place of tendulkar and Raina, period !!!!!

Sachin has gone beyond obsession on this game, he is struggling to come to terms that he need to retire one day. He is scared of facing life after retirement, the game he loved so much. Make no mistake, players like Gavaskar, Kapil, Dravid, Laxman etc all loved the game as good as sachin, doesnt mean that you endlessly hang around and stop a deserving youngster a chance.

Posted by DeepakSarathy on (September 3, 2012, 16:31 GMT)

Its time for a change in leadership in tests. Dhoni is very good when the ball is turning and the batsmen are in a shell, but one big shot, and the fielders are back. He doesn't have faith in his spinners for long enough. Outside India, I think the past year has been enough evidence of his competency(read lack thereof). Someone who recognizes talent, and not just keeping people in the team because they're friends, has to head the squad. The best people should be in the team. Give Badri a go please. Give him 4 tests and I think he'll be a better proposition for no.6 than Raina ever has or will be.

Posted by chilled_avenger on (September 3, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

17 test matches in two years and Dhoni defends Raina's failures by saying that he's "inexperienced"? Is it by the same logic that Rohit Sharma is called "inexperienced" after playing 85 ODIs?

Posted by xylo on (September 3, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

The biggest question marks hang over Tendulkar and Raina at the end of this series. Both players are at different ends of the spectrum - Raina with very little test experience, and Tendulkar with lots of it. Raina cannot seem to play the short ball or the waiting game, Tendulkar cannot seem to play the straight ball any more. Raina holds his own when it comes to fielding though, but fielding alone can only take you quite a bit in an ODI or T20, but not in a test match. With S'Africa 2013 in mind, a sane person would swap both these players for Rahane and Badrinath, both players with good technique and temperament. But then, asking for a sane decision from the Indian selectors??

Posted by MrMankad on (September 3, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

On this batting performance, I have to say a repeat 0-4 loss against England seems very likely. Anderson's swing and Finn/Onions pace and bounce will be too much to handle for these guys, who all but forgotten how to bat at the Test Match level. The only guy who knows - SRT - is clearly too long in the tooth.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

Drop Raina and move Sehwag to six. Then drop Gambhir and use Mukund and Rahane as the opening partnership. Problem solved.

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