India v West Indies, 1st Test, New Delhi November 5, 2011

Bowlers' inexperience not an issue - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff
26

India captain MS Dhoni has said he is confident of his bowling line-up delivering against West Indies during the first Test, which begins in New Delhi on Sunday, despite their inexperience. He said there should be at least two debutants for India.

"We're expecting at least two debuts," Dhoni said. "It's not difficult [with so many new bowlers] because, if you see the bowlers who will play, [they] have played the ODI format and had a fair amount of exposure when it comes to international cricket.

"They will not get really excited. The seniors are there to help them and rescue them [if they're anxious]. They are looking in good shape."

Of the six specialist bowlers in India's squad, four of them - R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Rahul Sharma - have not played a Test as yet. Ishant Sharma, with 38 Tests, is the most experienced of the lot.

The Feroz Shah Kotla pitch, Dhoni said, looks like it might have a little more bounce than usual. "The wicket looks good, the bounce might be better than the usual Kotla wicket. It will not turn from the first day but as the game progresses, the spinners will get help.

"Light may be a factor, it may mean we start a bit late and end a little early. The last two days have been a little cloudy and misty."

This is India's first Test series since their 4-0 drubbing in England, and it precedes another big series in Australia, but Dhoni said the team is concentrating on the present. "There's no good reason why we should be thinking about England. It is all about looking ahead, that is what we have done. The Australia series, though, is too far away, no point thinking about it. West Indies, we will not take them lightly. That is a mistake none of the international sides will make."

He said India will need to start afresh if they want to repair their reputation after the England debacle. "We're not bothered about the rankings, [but] we want to be the best in the world. We did not do well in England. It becomes a process, it is the start of another process for us, hopefully will get there [to the top] and sustain it."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sabee66 on November 6, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    I beleive WI will give a surprise and India will loose , fans dont be angry but i am sure this will be the result of this match

  • maddy20 on November 6, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    @Sportsfan Without being all those India has won 2 50 over WC, 1t20WC and held number 1 ranking for 32 months? The side that played in WI was a one full of youngsters. I am pretty darn sure they would have learned from their mistakes and will crush WI 3-0.

  • TRAM on November 6, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    I am hoping, if BCCI selectors have some sense, god willing, if we are destained to have good future for Indian cricket, ... (add as many more preludes as you want) ... AT LEAST 2 out of the so called big 3, SRT, VVS, RD will be dropped after this series. I can no longer bear their fielding and running between the wkts. I will keep SRT in the team out of the three since he is one sincere fielder among the three. And he can bowl as well.

  • on November 6, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    In support of what I had stated earlier, Mr. Andre Russell has endorsed my call for his inclusion with a blistering 128 against Bangladesh A at an average of about 0.95 run a ball. I hope the selectors are taking notice so that in the event of any injuries to the present players on tour, Russell will be the first choice substitute. In the mean time 'GO WINDIES and show the Indians what mettle of iron we are made from. Happy Hunting!

  • RandyOZ on November 6, 2011, 1:29 GMT

    My local cricket club bowling lineup is better than Indias! They need to stop preparing dustbowls 0or continue to never win a series in Oz or SA!

  • NRI- on November 6, 2011, 1:18 GMT

    Ojha has failed on the turning tracks of SL so he should not be played. Yuvraj is only in because of his decent ODI scores; he should not have been selected ahead of a fit Rohit Sharma. If we are going to be using ODIs anyway as a benchmark, then Kohli deserves a spot ahead of Yuvraj as does Rahane.

  • on November 6, 2011, 0:13 GMT

    Good Luck India Try to win all the matches so that confidence before Australia series

  • on November 5, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Good luck West Indies. Give it your best and you will surprise yourselves with the result.

  • on November 5, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    @ABTheSeclector No team india with VVS, and y four? Wi have a good bowling side not a batting side! 7 batsman and 4 bowlers is the way to do!

  • ABTheSeclector on November 5, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    India needs to play 5 bowlers & two from Tendulkar/Dravid/Laxman... at least against low ranked WI, my team would be: V Sehwag, G Gambhir, R Dravid, S Tendulkar, V Kohli, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, I Sharma, V Aaron, U Yadav, P Ojha.

  • sabee66 on November 6, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    I beleive WI will give a surprise and India will loose , fans dont be angry but i am sure this will be the result of this match

  • maddy20 on November 6, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    @Sportsfan Without being all those India has won 2 50 over WC, 1t20WC and held number 1 ranking for 32 months? The side that played in WI was a one full of youngsters. I am pretty darn sure they would have learned from their mistakes and will crush WI 3-0.

  • TRAM on November 6, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    I am hoping, if BCCI selectors have some sense, god willing, if we are destained to have good future for Indian cricket, ... (add as many more preludes as you want) ... AT LEAST 2 out of the so called big 3, SRT, VVS, RD will be dropped after this series. I can no longer bear their fielding and running between the wkts. I will keep SRT in the team out of the three since he is one sincere fielder among the three. And he can bowl as well.

  • on November 6, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    In support of what I had stated earlier, Mr. Andre Russell has endorsed my call for his inclusion with a blistering 128 against Bangladesh A at an average of about 0.95 run a ball. I hope the selectors are taking notice so that in the event of any injuries to the present players on tour, Russell will be the first choice substitute. In the mean time 'GO WINDIES and show the Indians what mettle of iron we are made from. Happy Hunting!

  • RandyOZ on November 6, 2011, 1:29 GMT

    My local cricket club bowling lineup is better than Indias! They need to stop preparing dustbowls 0or continue to never win a series in Oz or SA!

  • NRI- on November 6, 2011, 1:18 GMT

    Ojha has failed on the turning tracks of SL so he should not be played. Yuvraj is only in because of his decent ODI scores; he should not have been selected ahead of a fit Rohit Sharma. If we are going to be using ODIs anyway as a benchmark, then Kohli deserves a spot ahead of Yuvraj as does Rahane.

  • on November 6, 2011, 0:13 GMT

    Good Luck India Try to win all the matches so that confidence before Australia series

  • on November 5, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Good luck West Indies. Give it your best and you will surprise yourselves with the result.

  • on November 5, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    @ABTheSeclector No team india with VVS, and y four? Wi have a good bowling side not a batting side! 7 batsman and 4 bowlers is the way to do!

  • ABTheSeclector on November 5, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    India needs to play 5 bowlers & two from Tendulkar/Dravid/Laxman... at least against low ranked WI, my team would be: V Sehwag, G Gambhir, R Dravid, S Tendulkar, V Kohli, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, I Sharma, V Aaron, U Yadav, P Ojha.

  • Godhelpus on November 5, 2011, 20:05 GMT

    It's great news that the Indian selectors have realised that it's about time we gave some test experience to the young boys. They are the future, people like harbhajan are the past, he has a massive ego and needs to realise that Ashwin can teach him the art of spin. Harbhajan , get back to basics , it's good that you're playing for your state side.

  • kentjones on November 5, 2011, 20:05 GMT

    I fully agree with Joel Arthur and support the inclusion of Andre Russell. | Think he is a very good cricketer, who can bowl well and can support with the bat. Mr. Russell needs to be given a chance in this West indies team. Come on selectors open your eyes. Mr. Russell is vigorously knocking on the doors of selection!!

  • Thandi77 on November 5, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    If the pitch takes more bounce as dhoni says that is good india please need to then play 3 quicks unleash the pace of aaron, yadav. sharma we will still have spin options in ashwin & yuvraj for when it turns later in game, plus great chance for indian batsmen to face the fast bowling of edwards, roach, rampaul which will stand them in good stead for aus series. come on indian groundsmen provide bouncy result pitches not these flat track low bouncers only then will india be able to reclaim no 1 test team position. my team for tmrw, sehwag,gambhir,dravid,tendulkar,yuvraj,kohli,dhoni,ashwin,aaron,sharma,yadav. time to say bye bye laxman!!!

  • sportsfan on November 5, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    Dhoni said "We're not bothered about the rankings, [but] we want to be the best in the world." Does this makes any sense to anyone? If you are the best in the world, you would be ranked number one in the world (even with the many pitfalls in the ICC ranking system). So the fact is India is not bothered to be number one and is not bothered to be the best in the world. This observation is made from the way India played in the West Indies this year, truely abysmal, pathetic performance even though India was ranked number one at that time in the ICC test rankings. You could see, even by the way they warmed up before the matches, that they were not bothered to be number one team. Then again, India were never a truely a champion team, for champion teams are decisive, ruthless, emphatic in crushing the opponents. Unfortunately team India doesn't have those characteristics in them.

  • Nampally on November 5, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    I am more concerned about the batsmen than bowlers. If 5 out of 6 specialist bowlers are chosen in right combo they can take 20 wickets. On the other hand the much fancied batting line up has at least 3 guys who are very rusty & coming out of injuries. So it is a matter of choice how the batting is chosen. On paper there are 4 batsmen averaging around 55 or over since 2008 in about 55 tests. But Sehwag & Tendulkar are just coming out of injuries. VVS Laxman has not played cricket @ the competitive level since England tour.Will all 3 play and if so how predictable their batting performance will be? Can Sehwag give India a good start? Dravid, Dhoni & Gambhir are the guys who played crciket regularly and are in form too. On the other hand we know of predictable performance of the bowlers - all fit - only question mark is Ishant's fitness coming out of injuries. If only India had fitness checking standards (like other nations), it would have been lot better.So batsmen - avoid rash strokes.

  • playitstraight on November 5, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Dhoni's right, the lack of experience is not an issue with the kind of batting line-up India have right now. Plus, Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha have both played many tests, so they have experience. I don't really know why they didn't choose Praveen Kumar, maybe they thought that his pace would be ineffective on the slow Indian pitches. Anyways, it's going to be an exciting series (hopefully) and good luck India!!!

  • on November 5, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    The bating like looks more or less the same, but most of them are badly in need of runs. The entire batting line up, barring Rahul Dravid, struggled for runs in England and would be happy to return to home conditions. With the Yuvraj Singh's return, the only dilemma for the team management would be the number 6 position. Virat Kohli has been in the form of his life in ODI cricket, and his tremendous success in recent times may see him get the nod ahead of Yuvraj Singh.

  • on November 5, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    All the best Team India ..

  • on November 5, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    I didn't question Yuvi's fitness in my earlier posting expressing anxieties about the fitness / match fitness of players like Sehwag, Ishant, VVS, Sachin etc ... because, I assumed that Kohli with his current form will definitely be in the playing 11 in place of Yuvi.

  • on November 5, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Based on the forecast for the pitch for this test, the speedster Andre Russell, who can also hold his own with the bat, would have definitely been an asset to the team. Personally I think it is high time that Mr. Russell be groomed for test cricket. A good allrounder at number 7 is like an ace up your sleeve.

  • on November 5, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    YADAV AND ASHWIN SEEM CERTAIN FOR A DEBUT

  • on November 5, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    MSD talks like a curator!!

  • ankit_66 on November 5, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    play positively and respect west indies for being opponent

  • Yankindc on November 5, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    If and when he retires, Dhoni the captain and the batman will be missed badly. There isn't a single cricketer in all of India who comes close to matching Dhoni in temperament as a captain-cool,calm and clear-headed. Not Dravid,Tendulkar,Ganguly,Azhar,Kapil,Gavaskar. There hasn't been a captain like him and it is scary to think who will lead the Indian team in the future-Yuvraj(if he can hold his place),Raina etc. don't have it in them. Dhoni is like a Swede - Ice-Cool under the insane pressure of performing for India living up to the expectations of a cricket-fanatic country like ours !! God Bless you, Dhoni. We're privileged to have you.

  • on November 5, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Anyone for a guessing game? The two debutantes for India: R Ashwin & Umesh Yadav (Too easy, or am I just being foolish?)

  • on November 5, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    it is really interesting to see both Yadav & Aaron in the test side. After a long its quite pleasurable to see both the fast bowler with the good speed in the Indian point of view. Really it will be a excellent chance to both the bowlers as well as an opportunity to provide an international experience to both the bowlers resulting they utilize them in Australian tour as well. Hope all thing will be alright for team India.

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  • on November 5, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    it is really interesting to see both Yadav & Aaron in the test side. After a long its quite pleasurable to see both the fast bowler with the good speed in the Indian point of view. Really it will be a excellent chance to both the bowlers as well as an opportunity to provide an international experience to both the bowlers resulting they utilize them in Australian tour as well. Hope all thing will be alright for team India.

  • on November 5, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Anyone for a guessing game? The two debutantes for India: R Ashwin & Umesh Yadav (Too easy, or am I just being foolish?)

  • Yankindc on November 5, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    If and when he retires, Dhoni the captain and the batman will be missed badly. There isn't a single cricketer in all of India who comes close to matching Dhoni in temperament as a captain-cool,calm and clear-headed. Not Dravid,Tendulkar,Ganguly,Azhar,Kapil,Gavaskar. There hasn't been a captain like him and it is scary to think who will lead the Indian team in the future-Yuvraj(if he can hold his place),Raina etc. don't have it in them. Dhoni is like a Swede - Ice-Cool under the insane pressure of performing for India living up to the expectations of a cricket-fanatic country like ours !! God Bless you, Dhoni. We're privileged to have you.

  • ankit_66 on November 5, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    play positively and respect west indies for being opponent

  • on November 5, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    MSD talks like a curator!!

  • on November 5, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    YADAV AND ASHWIN SEEM CERTAIN FOR A DEBUT

  • on November 5, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Based on the forecast for the pitch for this test, the speedster Andre Russell, who can also hold his own with the bat, would have definitely been an asset to the team. Personally I think it is high time that Mr. Russell be groomed for test cricket. A good allrounder at number 7 is like an ace up your sleeve.

  • on November 5, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    I didn't question Yuvi's fitness in my earlier posting expressing anxieties about the fitness / match fitness of players like Sehwag, Ishant, VVS, Sachin etc ... because, I assumed that Kohli with his current form will definitely be in the playing 11 in place of Yuvi.

  • on November 5, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    All the best Team India ..

  • on November 5, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    The bating like looks more or less the same, but most of them are badly in need of runs. The entire batting line up, barring Rahul Dravid, struggled for runs in England and would be happy to return to home conditions. With the Yuvraj Singh's return, the only dilemma for the team management would be the number 6 position. Virat Kohli has been in the form of his life in ODI cricket, and his tremendous success in recent times may see him get the nod ahead of Yuvraj Singh.