Pakistan in India 2012-13 January 5, 2013

Lack of positivity with bat cost India - Ganguly

ESPNcricinfo staff

India's batsmen's lack of positivity cost them the Kolkata ODI against Pakistan, former India captain Sourav Ganguly believes. Also MS Dhoni's approach with the bat in the match - which India lost by a whopping 85 runs, and with it the series - wasn't right, Ganguly said in a newspaper column.

"The Pakistan spinners were exemplary, but what surprised me was the lack of intent to attack on part of the Indian batting," Ganguly wrote. "They should have played more positively. They came with the mindset that 250 is not a big score, so bat 50 overs and win.

"Though the Pakistan bowlers bowled better in this game than they have done [at any other time] in the series, it is important to play every ball on merit and the Indians just went into their shell. They looked like a batting unit short on confidence."

Pakistan had appeared set for a huge total in the match, after a 141-run opening stand, but India's bowlers managed to limit them to 250. Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag made an edgy start but managed to survive, going at about four an over in the first 10. However, just like the previous game, a wicket opened the floodgates and the team was reduced to 95 for 5 in 26 overs.

And, unlike in the first ODI, in Chennai, Dhoni was unable to script a batting recovery. While he remained unbeaten on 54, his runs came at a strike rate of 60.67 and he ran out of partners as India were bowled out with two overs to spare.

It's time, Ganguly said, Dhoni moved up the order. "Dhoni continued to bat lower down; he was the man in form and in such situations [with the team struggling] it's important that the man in form or the captain stands up. He played superbly in Chennai and I still don't understand the reason why he has to bat at 29 for 5 or 70 for 4, rather than going in at 40 for 1. It really baffles me, somebody so gifted under-using his talent."

The final stand between Dhoni and Ishant Sharma lasted eight overs and the captain farmed the strike, but he did not look like launching a last-ditch, final assault at any stage. He blocked out deliveries and seemed to be coaxing Ishant to play with the utmost care. That was not what was required at that point, Ganguly said: "His approach with Ishant for company wasn't right. He should have taken on the Pakistan bowling, as it didn't [make a difference] if India lost in 40th over."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bhaskar on January 6, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    Ganguly is only good in playing politics, Dhoni is a real match winner. Dhoni won the world cup, Ganguly failed 2 world cups. Ganguly fans are cock eyed, cant see the reality. Dhoni only rightly booted out Ganguly & Dravid from ODIs. Dravid was way better thyan Ganguly who scored 3 centuries in 2003 world cup all against minnows Bangaldesh & Zimbabwe.

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    yes guys u ppl saying right.. if dhoni came to play in opening he cant score atleast 10... thats way he ll not play in opening.....and 1st n 2nd down also.. he knows how to utilize the situation .... first is preferred for seniors and down him from captaincy.. he played wel in previous matches but y?? not neccessary his score ....

  • mathew on January 6, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    Posted by rlefti on (January 06 2013, 03:59 AM GMT), relax dude.This is not about dhoni versus ganguly.And people say ganguly built this team ,its a load of crap.Ganguly was a captain of the Indian team which comprised of many batting talents like sachin,dravid,Kumble,harbhajan and laxman.These great players made the Indian team and not only ganguly.Dhoni came in to the scene due to his talent just like kohli playing for india right now.Everyone who are in Indian team due to their talent and not mercy of ganguly.So get this fact correct.And I wonder why ganguly fans have to degrade dhoni achievement as a captain? India won World Cup and was no.1 in test as well If ganguly built this team,what happened to india in 2003 and 2007 World Cup? Give credit where it due.Dhoni keeps wicket and he can't bat up the order and why there are special batsmen in the team when they can't perform as openers? Funny openers can't perform against moving ball and you want wicket keeper to bat for them.sad.

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    I want to ask a simple question why would you drop jadeja who took three wickets for 41 in last match. To give chances to continuous failures like R Sharma or Sehwag who are batsmen out of playing 11??

  • Bhaskar on January 6, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @Mohd Zamin - What makes you feel Imran & Hafeez as team players? Imran was the one who lifted the world cup in 1992 but never even uttered a thing about his team in his speech. He was only after the hospital he wanted to build, he was for himself. Dhoni has way better qualities & he comes late to give more chances to top order batsmen which to any sane mind is not selfish by any means. It is time Sachin is brought back in the ODI team for India to again crush pakistan.

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    I hope, now I may get to see India's losing in StarCricket, StarSports HIGHLIGHTS !! Just hoping, It doesn't mean they will show though. :-(

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Dhoni Waste Dada Best :)

  • raj on January 6, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Dhoni's demise as captain has been just as dramatic (if not more) as his rise! He remains the best man for the job but seems to have lost the faith of a lot of Indian fans and, I suspect, a majority of the team. Dhoni has a lot to do in order to restore the lost faith - he can begin by stopping selection favouritism and dropping the likes of can anyone justify Jadeja's selection is beyond me?? History shows Indian batsman and bowlers don't perform as well in the long run when burdened by captaincy - so it is perhaps a good thing that Dhoni is a wicket-keeper and his batting remains unaffected. Also, I hope all Tendulkar haters realise his value with the current Indian 'star batsmen' exposed by great pace bowling by Pakistan!!

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Even in today's match also dhoni is fearing to come out bat after India at 40/3....

  • sarath on January 6, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    People say dhoni comes late because he has to keep...ok that applies if we are chasing but what about today when we bat first.... dhoni doesn't come up the order especially when it's tough facing the bowling because he knows he will fail ...he bats low because if you lose no one will blame you but if you win all the credit is yours....intelligent guy!!!

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