India news November 8, 2010

'Team could be one of India's greatest' - Kirsten

ESPNcricinfo staff
138

Gary Kirsten, India's coach, believes that if his Test side can win the series in South Africa, they could be regarded as one of India's greatest Test teams. In an extensive interview with ESPNcricinfo, Kirsten said it would be great to win in South Africa, but that the side didn't need to prove anything.

"We don't need to justify it to anyone," Kirsten said. "The performances speak loud: 23 Tests, two losses, 12 wins. When you look at the performances of the five top-ranked Test teams over the two years, you know why India are at the top.

"But to remain the top-ranked team, we need to continue performing. If we do win in South Africa, then you can start talking about one of the greatest Test teams India have ever produced."

Kirsten, a former South Africa opener, knows it is not going to be easy. "South Africa are very tough to beat at home as India are to beat in India," he said. "The wickets really suit the pace bowlers."

He dismissed suggestions that India's batsmen are susceptible to short bowling, though. "It is all about players hitting form at the right time. I certainly don't think that any opposition can use that as an out-and-out strategy to undo the Indian Test batting line-up. There is too much experience in this team now.

"Also the Indian fast bowlers are good themselves on helpful wickets - Sreesanth, Ishant [Sharma] and Zak [Zaheer Khan] are a good bowling attack... This Test series will be a defining moment for us."

Be that as it may, followers of Indian cricket have been living in trepidation about the team's possible fortunes once the big three in the middle order retire. Kirsten, though, said that none of them has spoken to him of retirement. He said that when Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar decide to call it a day, it is bound to be a big blow, but India will do well if they make sure the farewells are not too close together.

"There is no inclination of any of them retiring," Kirsten said. "And I always ask them. They are certainly not in any rush. Look, if Rahul Dravid decides to retire, it is a major blow. Just like when [somebody like] Jacques Kallis decides to retire, it is a major blow for any team.

"There are enough young guys there but it will take them few years. There might be a rebuilding phase in India in two years' time."

Kirsten sounded hopeful of India's future after the big three. "There are some really good young players," he said. "You will have [Virender] Sehwag, [Gautam] Gambhir, [MS] Dhoni, [Suresh] Raina, along with the likes of [Murali] Vijay and [Cheteshwar] Pujara and others. Yes, you might miss out on a Laxman batting in a crucial situation to win you a game - that experience - but someone like Suresh Raina has done it plenty of times in one-dayers, so there is no reason why he can't transfer that into the Test match arena."

More than the retirements, which is a natural transition, Kirsten was concerned with the side's injury management, especially outside the squad on national duty. "I think it is important that we continue to monitor players when they get injured. Maybe a physical conditioning co-ordinator between the NCA and the team, who operates as a link, could be a good idea in the future. In this way the players will have a programme set up for their rehabilitation rather than them making the decision to go to the NCA. It is difficult for the team management to monitor players whilst on the road - our focus is always on preparing the players for the next game.

"With Anil Kumble's appointment [as director of the NCA], I'm looking forward to creating some dialogue around this to work out the most effective system."

Read part one of the interview here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 15, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    harbhajan play very well continew bhajjii 2nd time u save a game.... best of luck 4 ur feature

  • swaroopjammula on November 13, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    @KiwiRocker:ponting averaged 26.48 in india .isn't he a good batsmen then?

  • swaroopjammula on November 12, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    @KiwiRocker@:Tendulkar averaged 58.53 against aus in aus.In 1992-93 season tendulkar averaged 33.16, in 96-97 he averaged 40.16,in 2001-02 he averaged 64.33,in 2006-07 he averaged 33.16 in south africa.In 2006-07 donald is not there in sa as far as every one know. IF YOU CALL A BATSMEN WHO HAS SCORED MORE THAN 30000 RUNS IN INTERNATIONAL CRICKET AND SCORED 95 CENTURIES TILL DATE AND STILL GOING STRONG FOR MORE AND HAD ALMOST EVERY RECORD ON HIS OWN NAME ALONG WITH THE 200 IN ODI'S AS OVER RATED THEN YOU MUST BE JOKING.

  • Rumy1 on November 10, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Laxman is perhaps the best batsman in world right now. Gambhir must make way for Jaffer. It's time to get the country's best bat who is not in the team back into the team. Technically and temperamentally Jaffer is the most well equipped for No.2 position and is a much better option than Vijay in Tests. Dravid must retire now. He clearly is struggling these days. Time for him to bid adieu. Pujara must be brought back in. Raina must go. He is good for ODIs and T20s but doesn't have the technique or temperament for Tests. No, Yuvraj shouldn't replace Raina. Yuvraj has got enough Test chances and is good for ODIs & T20s like Raina. Rohit like Yuvraj doesn't merit a Test place either. Kaif deserves a Test chance provided Dhoni agrees. Kaif as a wounded tiger will grab the opportunity with both hands and could be a threat for MSD as a potential future Test captain. Else Badrinath merits a Test cap. Ishant needs to be brought back in the Test XI. He is a special talent. Ojha must be persisted

  • Meety on November 10, 2010, 0:44 GMT

    @gopal krishna sharma re: comments about umpiring decisions, there wasn't much whinging by Oz fans over the Ojha LBW not out. It was noted in the media & thats it. There was no threat to abandon the tour, (unlike India in Sth Africa & Oz), the only criticism were at India not using the UDRS, which I think alot of people both Indian & others feel is weak. The UDRS whilst hasn't been proven to be infalible, has not unduly swayed a decision as far as I can tell - meaning, it has done no harm. So why not use it? BTW - there were other decisions that went against Oz in the series, anyone of those decisons could of delivered a different Test result. The record will always say that India won 2nil, the reality was it was a close hard series, (although the margin of the second test may not indicate this).

  • Meety on November 10, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    @SnowSnake - agreed, to be a great player there is a requirement to have a (greed/hunger/appetite) for runs or wickets. I don't agree with kiwirocker, I would never say SRT was greedy, although I have seen his S/R dip in ODI's as he gets close to 100, when I feel he should keep the runs flowing. @SatyajitM - agreed in general, I don't have a problem with India being #1 as such, (I believe SA are the best team in the world at the moment in Tests), my big issue is that since gaining the #1 ranking they have not done much to defend it. I mean why play 3 tests against NZ & only 2 against SL, Sth A, & Oz? Also remember when Oz was undespitued as the #1 side, Sth Africa ended up claiming the #1 spot at least once, despite at the time having never beating Oz at home or away in a Test Series. So I feel there are some kinks in the way the ratings system is calculated. But India are the most consistant over the last 2 yrs. The SA tour will be very interesting, I'd like to see even contest.

  • shahrukh619 on November 9, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    Yeah all u do is play home games and be no.1.

    try playing away games too.

    No indias no.1 team lmao, bowling is not even close to good.

  • ms.arjun on November 9, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    This team does deserve to be No:1 given the stats. They are getting stronger as a team with every match , and thats what took them to the No:1 spot. They firmly believe that no matter what the situation is, they can get past it successfully. That was evident with cameos of Ishant and Bhaji recently. But upcoming 2 series will really test the whole side, playing SA in SA and England in England after the WC. Batting unit is just way too intimidating for any side with the trio SRT, Laxman and Dravid in the middle order. However there is one concern, India started playing four mainstream bowlers atmost in all matches. Zaheer, Ishant/Sreesanth, Bhaji and Ohja. If the opposition takes out two of them, or if there are injury concerns, then that will be huge problem. Like Vijay, Pujara, Raina being the called the next gen batsmen, they should also start building a stronger bowling unit. This applies for all forms of the game.

  • SnowSnake on November 9, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Sometimes I don't get cricinfo comments. Calling Sachin greedy? Since when greed is a bad thing? An euphism for greed may be hunger for runs. A batsman has to be greedy, what else do you expect from him? For Sachin to not score runs or sacrifice his wicket for other weak batsman? Sachin has to be greedy for runs and personal records, othewise he fails to be valuable for India.

  • cric4india on November 9, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    @nav84smom: Canada surely has a better chance at the WC when compared to making anyone make any sense outta your comments

  • on November 15, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    harbhajan play very well continew bhajjii 2nd time u save a game.... best of luck 4 ur feature

  • swaroopjammula on November 13, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    @KiwiRocker:ponting averaged 26.48 in india .isn't he a good batsmen then?

  • swaroopjammula on November 12, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    @KiwiRocker@:Tendulkar averaged 58.53 against aus in aus.In 1992-93 season tendulkar averaged 33.16, in 96-97 he averaged 40.16,in 2001-02 he averaged 64.33,in 2006-07 he averaged 33.16 in south africa.In 2006-07 donald is not there in sa as far as every one know. IF YOU CALL A BATSMEN WHO HAS SCORED MORE THAN 30000 RUNS IN INTERNATIONAL CRICKET AND SCORED 95 CENTURIES TILL DATE AND STILL GOING STRONG FOR MORE AND HAD ALMOST EVERY RECORD ON HIS OWN NAME ALONG WITH THE 200 IN ODI'S AS OVER RATED THEN YOU MUST BE JOKING.

  • Rumy1 on November 10, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Laxman is perhaps the best batsman in world right now. Gambhir must make way for Jaffer. It's time to get the country's best bat who is not in the team back into the team. Technically and temperamentally Jaffer is the most well equipped for No.2 position and is a much better option than Vijay in Tests. Dravid must retire now. He clearly is struggling these days. Time for him to bid adieu. Pujara must be brought back in. Raina must go. He is good for ODIs and T20s but doesn't have the technique or temperament for Tests. No, Yuvraj shouldn't replace Raina. Yuvraj has got enough Test chances and is good for ODIs & T20s like Raina. Rohit like Yuvraj doesn't merit a Test place either. Kaif deserves a Test chance provided Dhoni agrees. Kaif as a wounded tiger will grab the opportunity with both hands and could be a threat for MSD as a potential future Test captain. Else Badrinath merits a Test cap. Ishant needs to be brought back in the Test XI. He is a special talent. Ojha must be persisted

  • Meety on November 10, 2010, 0:44 GMT

    @gopal krishna sharma re: comments about umpiring decisions, there wasn't much whinging by Oz fans over the Ojha LBW not out. It was noted in the media & thats it. There was no threat to abandon the tour, (unlike India in Sth Africa & Oz), the only criticism were at India not using the UDRS, which I think alot of people both Indian & others feel is weak. The UDRS whilst hasn't been proven to be infalible, has not unduly swayed a decision as far as I can tell - meaning, it has done no harm. So why not use it? BTW - there were other decisions that went against Oz in the series, anyone of those decisons could of delivered a different Test result. The record will always say that India won 2nil, the reality was it was a close hard series, (although the margin of the second test may not indicate this).

  • Meety on November 10, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    @SnowSnake - agreed, to be a great player there is a requirement to have a (greed/hunger/appetite) for runs or wickets. I don't agree with kiwirocker, I would never say SRT was greedy, although I have seen his S/R dip in ODI's as he gets close to 100, when I feel he should keep the runs flowing. @SatyajitM - agreed in general, I don't have a problem with India being #1 as such, (I believe SA are the best team in the world at the moment in Tests), my big issue is that since gaining the #1 ranking they have not done much to defend it. I mean why play 3 tests against NZ & only 2 against SL, Sth A, & Oz? Also remember when Oz was undespitued as the #1 side, Sth Africa ended up claiming the #1 spot at least once, despite at the time having never beating Oz at home or away in a Test Series. So I feel there are some kinks in the way the ratings system is calculated. But India are the most consistant over the last 2 yrs. The SA tour will be very interesting, I'd like to see even contest.

  • shahrukh619 on November 9, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    Yeah all u do is play home games and be no.1.

    try playing away games too.

    No indias no.1 team lmao, bowling is not even close to good.

  • ms.arjun on November 9, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    This team does deserve to be No:1 given the stats. They are getting stronger as a team with every match , and thats what took them to the No:1 spot. They firmly believe that no matter what the situation is, they can get past it successfully. That was evident with cameos of Ishant and Bhaji recently. But upcoming 2 series will really test the whole side, playing SA in SA and England in England after the WC. Batting unit is just way too intimidating for any side with the trio SRT, Laxman and Dravid in the middle order. However there is one concern, India started playing four mainstream bowlers atmost in all matches. Zaheer, Ishant/Sreesanth, Bhaji and Ohja. If the opposition takes out two of them, or if there are injury concerns, then that will be huge problem. Like Vijay, Pujara, Raina being the called the next gen batsmen, they should also start building a stronger bowling unit. This applies for all forms of the game.

  • SnowSnake on November 9, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Sometimes I don't get cricinfo comments. Calling Sachin greedy? Since when greed is a bad thing? An euphism for greed may be hunger for runs. A batsman has to be greedy, what else do you expect from him? For Sachin to not score runs or sacrifice his wicket for other weak batsman? Sachin has to be greedy for runs and personal records, othewise he fails to be valuable for India.

  • cric4india on November 9, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    @nav84smom: Canada surely has a better chance at the WC when compared to making anyone make any sense outta your comments

  • cric4india on November 9, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    Dude, your team is no. 8 in the table. So just shut up and pray they don't make fools outta themselves in India in the remaining two tests. As far as Sachin goes, you don't even have any other option to exercise apart from criticizing him. It is point well known. Not one Newzealander will score half the runs he has scored in his lifetime. Come to reality!

  • Marcio on November 9, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    @ Raghav "Australia was again comprehensively beaten in the ODI". Really? They scored 3/290 odd, and India won by one over after Australia fielded a 2nd 11 bowling line up that featured two debutantes. They even lost more wickets (5). I can think of a lot of adjectives to describe such a win but "convincing" is not one of them.

  • batmannrobin on November 9, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    @KiwiRocker- Don, Warne, hadlee, Benaud, Richards, Gavaskar - d hu s hu of cricket had many things 2 say abt Sachin. So it hardly matters by wat someone, unable 2 digest his success n trying to belittle him by posting some filtered stats says. n stats can be filtered 2 prove anyone's point He avgs 60 against Warne, 60 against Walsh n Ambrose and 50 against Murali. "Lara n Punter r legends while Sachin an imposter - Really??". Lara avg 30 against Ws and 35 against Donald with no centuries against both. Sachin has 3 against Donald in SA. He has played 7 tests against Ws and 4 of dem in his debut series at the age of 16! n has scored a classic 136 in the 4th inn against both n Saqlain@ his best.Ur stats Conveniently masks all that. Punter avg35 against Curtly n Walsh n 25 in India 40 in Eng. Sachin avgs 60 in Aus n Eng. So stats can be filtered watever u need 2 prove. Warne failed miserably against the best-avg 47 in india.Get a life dude-all of us can include our own if n when clauses!!!

  • Hindh on November 9, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Other teams who want to be really NO 1 they must find ways to beat india in india and then start talk of India's ranking.

  • zephyrboss on November 9, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    Very easy to see that some of the 'experts' out here are smarting, and cant digest some hard facts. The same Zak, Sharma and Sree gave the Brits a torrid time in Englest not so long ago...the same Brits, who the Aussies are shuddering to face. As for Sachin's stature, he surely doesn't need any endorsements from some ill informed and patently biased morons. His greatness is beyond their minuscule IQ levels.

  • on November 9, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    Interesting to see that 2 fluke 1 wicket wins by pakistan suddenly make SA a useless team. Saying things like that will only make India look really bad when they come to these shores.

  • on November 9, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    @Rooboy...Just accept the fact that we are No.1...Simple..i know you cant sleep at night with the fact but just accept it...Australia was again comprehensively beaten in the ODI..did u miss that..and look at them against Sri lanka. boss if any other side is better than India then how come they cant beat us in India as well. All the teams have been visiting for the last few years but have not beaten us in any series. Cmon man stop complaning and try winning...

  • TimmyF_23 on November 9, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    Whilst i agree with @kiwiRocker in terms of his analysis against sachin. I do not like him either, i believe he is a selfish player- not a team man and his only concerns are his records and personal stats. I also do not like the fact that he scores so many runs against the minnows on flat dead tracks. However that being said, you cannot argue with statistics guys. No matter who we think is a possible better batsman, at the moment sachin is the leading run scorer, so that should be the end of argument- at the moment he has the most runs ever- therefor he is the best. Its quite a simple analysis. No matter how much we dont like it, until somebody beats his run scoring feats, he is the best.

  • fadms on November 9, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    India = Dead, lifeless pitches. Even Dan Vettori confirmed that.

  • SatyajitM on November 9, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    @Bollo, I agree to the content (that this is the best Indian test team) but I don't agree to the conclusion (that Gary is playing mind games). I think it's more about humility on behalf of the team. It's not always the right idea "I/we are the best in History of Indian cricket". Let the others recognize it. This way you can be grounded as a team and look for larger goals. Series wins at SA, Aus are two such things. As ODI unit they would also like to win the WC next year. To the Naysayers, remember SA and Aus series wins are fancy tick marks that the team would love to do but they also know they are the deserving no1 side at this moment (for this they need not be no1 of 2004). Aus was accepted no1 side from 1995 (I believe the ICC ranking started in 2001) but took good nine years from then to conquer India in India. I don't think people raised too many doubts about their status all those nine years.

  • Rumy1 on November 9, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    Laxman is perhaps the best batsman in world right now. Gambhir must make way for Jaffer. It's time to get the country's best bat who is not in the team back into the team. Technically and temperamentally Jaffer is the most well equipped for No.2 position and is a much better option than Vijay in Tests. Dravid must retire now. He clearly is struggling these days. Time for him to bid adieu. Pujara must be brought back in. Raina must go. He is good for ODIs and T20s but doesn't have the technique or temperament for Tests. No, Yuvraj shouldn't replace Raina. Yuvraj has got enough Test chances and is good for ODIs & T20s like Raina. Rohit like Yuvraj doesn't merit a Test place either. Kaif deserves a Test chance provided Dhoni agrees. Kaif as a wounded tiger will grab the opportunity with both hands and could be a threat for MSD as a potential future Test captain. Else Badrinath merits a Test cap. Ishant needs to be brought back in the Test XI. He is a special talent. Ojha must be persisted

  • sachindoesnotrule on November 9, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    @mrgupta - Stop kidding yourself and don't even bring Sir Viv into the discussion without verifying your claims. Sir Viv averaged 62.36 vs England and in England his average was 64.28. In Australia Sir Viv averaged 47.56, in India 45.42 and in Pakistan 42.76. His career average in away tests is 50.50 a shade more than his average in home tests. If these averages for you are ordinary then I suppose you are the Superman of Cricket. Duh!

  • on November 9, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    @KiwiRocker. Yes, McGrath did have Tendulkar's number quite a few times but that's what makes him a great bowler, isn't it? It's a testament to Tendulkar's ability that a bowler's greatness is measured by his performance against him. Also, going by your logic, Shane Warne can not be said a good bowler, let alone the greatest ever bowler. Get a life mate. And a suggestion - don't use stats to support your claim, they can be moulded as per your logic, as an example, Sobers averaged < 20 against NZ. Tendulkar is not perfect, neither was Bradman. He's human and he has had his fallabilities. But the fact is that he's as near to perfection as you cannot think of and do not want to either!!

  • Lion_of_Lanka on November 9, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    Sree, Sharma, Zak are a good bowling attack? hahahaha no one can say Gary has no sense of humour. In all seriousness, I'd like to know what Gary Kirsten was smoking when he made these comments. Maybe he didn't watch India playing in 2003-2006 period where they were a force to reckon with. Ganguly, SRT, Dravid, VVS, Kumble etc. were in that team not overrated jokers who are in the Indian team today. Apart from Dhoni all other NEW INCLUSIONS are highly overrated. Pujara and Vijay bat well in 'flat track heaven' and suddenly they are future stars. Can't hook, Cant pull, Always whining and offering excuses, Swollen headed and is struggling to beat an INEXPERIENCED NZ team @ HOME. Seriously didn't the same NZ team lose 4-0 to Bangladesh recently. Luckily the world cup will be played in the sub continent where the tracks are not bouncy otherwise it would be another early exit for the Indians. As for India beating SA in SA this year - Canada has a better chance of winning the 2011 WC

  • KiwiRocker- on November 9, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    knowledge_eater- Sorry mate, did not understand you at all..LOL. Ponting has won three world cups for India.What did Tendulkar win? Tendulkar is a greedy man who has conveniently saved himself against the best. He wins nothing and scores nothing when it matters. Lara and Ponting are legends.Tendulkar is an imposter who was responsible for ending poor N.Mongia and Pathan's careers.Its all out there. My stats are from cricinfo and there are 100% authentic.I challenge anyone to prove that Tendulkar has succeeded against the best.Tendulkar can not play quality in swing. McGrath destroyed him, Asif made him endulkar and Razzaq has had him like zillion times. Main topic: Kirsten is having a blast. He is milking Indian corrupt, cash rich board. Soon, India will be ridiculed in world cup and series in SA and England and then Kirsten will deparart like Chappal.Who cares about India's aged fragile batting that can not play short pitch bowling( Malinga&Martin).India has no bowlers.!Full STOP!

  • on November 9, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    i guess a bit too much has been said about whether India deserves no:1 or not. The point is, it doesn't matter. According to the current ranking system, they are no:1. I am sick of ppl talking about this deserving fact. Within the current crop of test sides, India definitely are a top team/only competition would be SA. Australia were invincible for a decade now that quality isn't there in that team. Still they are a good team and will feature in any format within the top 3. Yes Indian fans whine, so do aussies/kiwis. Umpiring might not have cost them the series. Maybe it did, but it certainly cost them a match which was obviously a setback when it came to the series decider. And no one is complaining about umpiring when we lost in Aus previous times. Why dosen't ppl complain about umpiring when we lost in SA last time? It was a close series and SA won in the last hurdle(second innings of the third test). Everybody likes the game fair and square. So don't talk about it.

  • on November 9, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    @Rooboy, the very fact that losing from a situation where u get a team 8 down for 120 chasing nearly 220 and still losing is called a 'fight' shows the gap between thinking. If India lost from such a situation, there'd be a huge outcry!! Thats the difference between the best and the rest. You're allegation about Indian fans crying about the umpiring decisions is also not true. For eg., most of the Aussie fans cried about Ojha not being given out and thus denying them a victory. The thing is you need to recognize 'a few' bad decisions and an entire test turned on its head just by the umpires. Hope you understand :)

  • Rooboy on November 9, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    @Raghav Bhasin - no need to be so defensive! People are entitled to their opinions, no matter how ridiculous. Much like your comment that Australia was 'humiliated' by being competitive in two tests. Ah yes, a one wicket loss against the #1 ranked side on their home turf ... incredibly humiliating lol. For your information, I think most people can digest India being #1, but they probably get enjoyment from messing with indian fans. I'd guess some of the comments here are just to laugh at the childish responses of some indian fans, and their inability to ever accept a defeat fair and square without squealing about umpiring or whatever else to deny credit to their opposition.

  • Bollo on November 9, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    I think Gary Kirsten is playing a few mind games with his players. This is obviously the best team India has ever had, with 4 if not 5 of their all-time XI in the current side, and Zaheer as good as any fast bowler I've seen (Kapil/Srinath included). Sure the bowling is comparatively weak, but to suggest India has ever had a side to compare to this one is simply not true. Whether or not India win in SAF this remains the case. Sure they still haven't won a series in Aus or SAf but they regularly win matches/compete well in series there now, rather than the drubbings they used to cop.

    Really wish Indian fans would stop complaining about 2008 series in Aus though, and how they would have won the series but for some bad umpiring. Sure there were some bad calls against India in Sydney, but they lost by over 100 runs and only have themselves to blame for losing 3-0 in 5 balls against a part-time offy. They also had some dodgy decisions go their way in Perth, which helped them win.

  • on November 9, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    Yeah beat that yo Bang and SL fans especially Bang_la and klobania. How often do you see a team 5 down for 15 and lose 6 for 62 to turn the tables and draw the game. That's the attribute of champions. They never give up and can bounce back from any situation. Be it the 81 run partnership against Aus or 162 run partnership yesterday! How often do you see a team do that?

  • pavansan on November 9, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    ..all the cry babies in the house...please stand up...please stand up...... ...all the jealous boys in the house....please stand up....please stand up.......all the day dreamers in the house please stand up .....please stand up.......go Gary...u can do it...this team is by far the best, for all those cry babies (about umpiring).....go develop a bug free UDRS (if u can understand what it is).....Umpiring now is near to perfection.....yes....

  • Meety on November 9, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    @NP_NY - your arguement against SL can be used against India, the fact that they have one a Test only shows they may be more consistant. Anyway now that Murali is gone from Tests - I suspect SL will slide down the chart. When will India play Pakistan?

  • Meety on November 9, 2010, 1:30 GMT

    @Sach_is_Life - India are #1 because they have been consistant, but.... when have they last done anything great away from home? My point is that to truely deserve the #1 spot they have to earn it & not just be the most consistant since the fall of the Oz Dynasty. I think their last 2 series victories have been great against Oz, but the 1all v SL & Sth Africa were not very compelling. The test against NZ is not what you would say is an overwhelming endorsement given NZs recent form. I firmly believe that Sth Africa are the best side in Tests at the moment, an Indian win in Sth Africa will shut my gob. @Kiwirocker - I really am bored of your cut n paste attack on SRT, he is a great of the game & filtered statistics can present a case for almost any quality batsmen to be regarded as great or crap! @mrgupta - what has the last 10 yrs v Oz got to do with anything. As per my arguement against Kiwirocker, filtered statistics can warp arguements anyway you want.

  • Vilander on November 9, 2010, 0:21 GMT

    '-' comments from SL,PAK (usual) and Kiwi !! fans, + comments from Aus fan :0!!..

  • BullayBaaz on November 8, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    Shouldn't the coach and the team stay focussed on the series at hand rather than look ahead? If we can't bowl our NZ twice and are capable of loosing 5 for 15, we are not playing like the #1 team.

  • sjavvadi on November 8, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    All u ppl talking about Tendulkar retiring should just go and see his record for the past 20 months....he has been nothing less than prolific. Agree that the bowling department needs to be better but I guess the team is able to pull it off because of such a sound batting line up. It is almost impossible to have a perfect batting lien and a perfect bowling line up. What counts is the the total team and the performance for 5 days....

  • on November 8, 2010, 23:17 GMT

    I am really interested to see what hapens here. FINALLY India is gonna play a match outside of India. personally, I dont think they deserve the no. 1 title just yet since most if not all their matches in the past year have been in India. Finally no more dead wickets and tailenders doing centuries

  • hammerntongs on November 8, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    If you look at Indias test matches 1. Almost all the recent matches were played on featherbed pitches 2. India is the biggest offender regarding this. They deliberately make pitches so that the opposing genuine fast bowlers are made into pussycats. With the fast bowlers out of the way, it is easy to score. If a pitch gives even a little bounce , the Indians are finished. 3. The quality of the cricket ball is very very bad. They go so soft, even "batsmen" like harbhajan can score. 4. Umpires in India are under tremendous strain because the media, commentators scream if an Indian is given out. You rarely see Sachin given out LBW or Caught behind in India. 5. INDIA REFUSES THE UMPIRES REFERRAL SYSTEM BECAUSE IT WOULD ALWAYS GO AGAINST THEM.

  • on November 8, 2010, 23:00 GMT

    Go South Africa!!!!!!!! Cant wait to see India crash and burn.

  • SnowSnake on November 8, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    I think cricinfo should publish an article on "the most unbalanced team" on India. India appear to have plenty of talent in batting side (including Bhajji), but very little talent on bowling side. This lack of balance makes people challange India's #1 batting rank, I think.

  • passionate_cricket_follower on November 8, 2010, 22:11 GMT

    Mr Kirsten, please include Laxman in the ODI team as well. He deserves a recall in the side. He could have won India so many ODI matches like he does in the test arena. Recently Hashim Amla has shown us that you don't need to have brute force skills to do well in ODI. We need Laxman if we have to win the WC. Please consider it.

  • mrgupta on November 8, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    Kiwirocker has the same comment about Sachin in each an every post and there will be few who will totally agree with him. Its been the same since i dont know how long now. Well please Kiwirocker and Wolver, I request you guys to please check the Stats of Lara, Ponting or even Viv Richards in away conditions and against the Top class bowling. Viv's batting avg is ordinary in Eng, Pak and Aus, teams with the best bowling during his time, Lara did not do well in Aus or Eng, Ponting's record in Eng and India is pretty bad. Sachin's Away batting average is way better than either of Lara, Ponting or Viv. During the 1990s when the overall batting avg was lower than 2000s or 1980s Sachin averaged highest among batsmen with 1000+ runs, much higher than Lara. And for SL fans, well guys Jayaw'dene has a batting avg of less than 40 outside subcontinent and SL is yet to win a single test match in Aus, SA or India. Also, plz Check the stats of team India in last 10 years against the Aussie team.

  • cenitin on November 8, 2010, 21:23 GMT

    @Rakesh_Sharma...looks like you are having problem with everything. you are having problem about IND team being no 1...you are having problem if sachin plays warne well. you are having problem about sachin playing for so long. even you are having problem with Shane warne too...you are having probelm when IND plays outside the sub contitnent..you are having problem with BCCI and other boards... you are having problem with large number of Indian fans too....one simple solution of all problem for you...don't watch the Crircket or don't follow Indian team....that would be better for all ...you, us and Indian cricket :-)

  • NP_NY on November 8, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    @SL fans who're complaining that India doesn't deserve the No1 status and that SL is a better team: India has won atleast one test match in every series they've played in the last five years (except for a 1-0 loss in Pak in 05-06). This includes at home and abroad (SL, Aus, SA, WI). During this time, India have won most of the series played at home and never lost. During the same period, SL's only road victories are 1 in WI, 1 in NZ and 2 in Bangla. No matches won in the other countries you toured - India, Pak, Aus. SL has done well in the past and probably will have it's day some time in the future. Until then, you'll do well to hide your jealousy (you're just sounding petty talking about how the umpires only support India, etc.) :).

  • Sach_is_Life on November 8, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    Cry Babies Cry ...But the fact is ... India is the Most Consistent team in Test Cricket Right now..and they deserved 2 be No 1.. Aus lost 2 SA at home ..and SA lost 2 Aus at home and drew the series with Eng .. lol..It seems like Only India has 2 win everywhere 2 become No 1 ...U can call a team Untouchables and praise them even though they can't even drew a series in INDIA ..but u cannot digest the fact that Team India is No1 right now..just becaz they didn't won a series in 2006 ..lol ..heights of frustration ..i've 2 say ..and i dont know why these cricinfo guys r allowing guys like Alexk400 2 post his comments here..Get a lyf dude..U can say 100 times that u r an Indian and Sachin is over hyped ....but the fact is, u know that he is the best and thats y u're hyping him ..by saying the same thing again n again to divert every topic ..lol

  • on November 8, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    The series in SA is obviously going to be tough, but if our boys keep their head straight, they can do well. The batting has enough fire powder. RD should hit form b4 flying as he is a very vital part. It's an exciting series to watch out for!! One thing for sure - this team won't succumb as easily as the earlier teams did in SA....

  • Alexk400 on November 8, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    I tell the truth. oh you mean insulting sachin is not insulting india. Sachin is a choker when india needs him. I am not blinded by sachin useless stats. That is for people who think losing is ok. sachin now wants to win worldcup on the coattails of sehwag and dhoni and then he will claim he won it for india. He is most over hyped overrated batsman in the history of cricket. One thing i admit though he has best technique and best run accumulation talent in benign conditions. He is utter waste in pressure situations.

  • knowledge_eater on November 8, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    Who were the bowlers who took highest wickets last time when India played SA. http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?id=2753;type=series And also it is quite amusing that when Indian batsman score runs, it turns out to be flat, but when their Indian bowlers take 20 wickets on flat track, suddenly the opponents batsman become not so talented batsman. ROFL this thing always crack me up. Its like Indian bowlers bowl on turning pitches and reverse swinging pitches, but when their batsman score runs, it is suddenly flat track. lol Also, if Viv. Richards scored 0 runs against Murali McGrath Warne Steyn Swann YoungBhajji Johnson, suddenly does it make him over hyped batsman ? Ohh wait ptiches weren't this flat before oh wait then what would have happened if those bowlers I mentioned had bowled on unflat pitches! Were pitches really not flat! Aaahh Cricket and its fan and their hypocrisy. I love this game, where everyone can keep their flag waving.

  • Charizard on November 8, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    Well...Well...well @Prasanna Srinivasan,yes India has played many test matches home and won most of them... bt doesnt that means the opponent lost,right..we did well in Aus the last time v went did..we lost 1 out of 2 test in Aus bcoz of Umpiring Errors.. n yes v defeated SA in India..mayb according 2u SA is a weak team :P

    frankly we hv a very good combination that we never had before.. @Wolver..abt Martin destroyin India...y couldnt he repeat it on day 5..wt went wrong..huh?...just wait till the SA tour and Eng Tour in nxt July..al questions wilb answered...Go India Go..

  • Crazy_Cricket_Fan on November 8, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    @Sarith Fernando@ dude..u guys r funny.. ok fact is if any TEAM(other than BD & ZIM) played as many tests as SL played aginst BD & ZIM, then that would be in better place than SL :-)

  • ashokpati on November 8, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    Hell over comments by the srilankan supporters.Have u ever gone through ur team ,,ur team has only two batsman 1.sanga2.mahela who know the technique of batting,,,and u are thinking to become the no.1 team,,u must be knowing that in test the technique matters not the hard hitting,,ok first create some technically strong batsman and then u can dream to be world no1,,,,,and to kristen,, sir,this is the greatest team of all times in indian cricket by far,,,,and i can bet that this team can give a serious challenge to any country's greatest teams,,,,just require one or two good bowlers nothing else required and a serious determination in the start of any test series.

  • Rakesh_Sharma on November 8, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    @ KiwiRocker . I agree. with you. Infact how can a team become no.1 when you dont have bowlers . Ther is no bowler who averages below 30. Biggest joke. LOt is said about Tendulkar playing warne. Ok he plays well. Then problem with Shane Warne is each time he would tour India after surgery with his spinning finger. By the way what is the point in Tendulkar playing over and over. He must retire now after 21 years. India is not NZ where there are few people. Give oppurtunities to other.

    I hope pitches in SA are very fast. Of late due to commercial interests pitches for indian team are purposely made slow like that of subcontinent . Fast pitches is a misnomer when indian team travels Australia, England,SA. Even in England Indian team is of late scheduled to play late June/July when bll does not swing much and spinning track Oval is provided. Ofcourse 95% audience for cricket is Indian public so they can fine tune anything.

  • cenitin on November 8, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    @Gohar...Agree India played many test matches in home or so called second home SL but give me one more team which is having the better record in there home during this time. If SL is second home for India than SA/Zim is second home for Aus, NZ is second home for Eng do you ever think about it ? One thing more when Aus was number 1 rank team in 2002 they never won series in many countiries including India...but after two years in 2004 they were able to win series in India. A team is number one that doesn't means it win against every other team home and away. Give some time to India and we will know how good this team is but currently Ind is a number 1 team better than others there is no doubt about it.

  • on November 8, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    I dont think this was india's best team ever, Kapil's devils were a lot better. This team should not be the no 1 team also, they are retaining the ranking by playing more cricket on home against weaker test teams, sa and england are way better than india now, has india played and won in aus and sa? how can this be no 1 ? they haven't even drawn a series when they played recently in aus

  • on November 8, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    @alex If u want to bash Tendulkar or India do it till u get satisfied ...... A dog barking at the sun doesnt bothers the sun any bit .... And one request for u is that Please dont claim falsely that you are an Indian and insult India

  • on November 8, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    It is not impossible to beat SA in SA provided the opponents play with nerves and patiently. Any team that is strong in temprament and in hitting the targets at the right time could win in any form of cricket against SA in SA. On the other hand, Indian team needs to be well-prepared in every aspect against each individual of SA team. They must never bother about their own stats and play with determination in second innings ( unlike Sachin Tendulkar ). Also, Suresh Raina must not try Viru's way everytime and play unorthodox shots very frequently. Gambhir has to come out of his loose hitting tendency these days. In general, batsmen must prepare well to handle pace on fast tracks of SA and on the other hand, our bowlers must utilize all the stuff in SA pitches and exploit batsmen's weaknesses. Fielding plays a vital role in changing the scenario of the matches, catches must be lept well and give away a big deal and converting difficult chances into winning catches.

  • on November 8, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    @Sarith Fernando... I admire your sense of humour.. try to win a test match first in India.. then u can think of No.1 status..

  • Alexk400 on November 8, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    I agree with @KiwiRocker on few points. Sachin is over hyped batsman who play for his own stats against team needs. These are proven again and again. He basically chokes in second innings and any time pressure applied. India is not number 1 team. England is much improved with imported SA talent in batting and South africa is good as long as kallis and steyn firing. if you give green pitch Steyn will wipe out this vaunted batting line up.

    I really though NZ could have won this test if bennet was not injured. NZ lacked options. Well done NZ.

    I am indian and i am the only one speak the truth as it is without bias. Sachin is most overhyped Batsman ever.

  • on November 8, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    If Sri Lanka played as many test matches as India played, Sri Lanka would be the no-1 team in the world too. Simple fact.

  • SettingSun on November 8, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Maybe Kirsten should play Harbhajan as a specialist batsman, because his batting is a hell of a lot better than his toothless bowling.

  • mafiasam on November 8, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    Abz Thakur.. U must be on dope to suggest a team of ur world beaters XI... or u have written this piece with a great sense of humor.

  • Proteas123 on November 8, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    @ ChillBill_Pande - You are very wrong, SA has done very well against India. Check your facts. India's scare against NZ does not prove how good they are but rather how vulnerable they are and how very disputable their ranking is. @ KiwiRocker - You are quite correct, Sachin is very overated.His records are so good because he keeps on playing on pitches like this last test. If Martin can destroy india on a flat track, imagine what is going to happen in SA. Good luck india, you will need it.

  • Mahesh.R on November 8, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    "India's coach, believes that if his Test side can win the series in South Africa, they could be regarded as one of India's greatest Test teams." Why one of India's greatest teams? Why not the greatest ever? Which Indian XI was greater?

  • knowledge_eater on November 8, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    @ Kiwirocker from not Kiwistan rocker, please pass this super talent on to your grand children as well or if not tell them as a bed time story that how I was spending my time on Cricinfo comment page when world was about to cure many diseases and was finding alternative fuel so we don't have to be depend on crude oil/ gasoline oil anymore. And I would be really pissed if Cricinfo doesn't post this comment, because to eliminate spam you have to attack spam with spam. But with better spam.

  • PROTEAFAN on November 8, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    On balance, India probably have a better batting line-up, with Tendulkar, Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman, Raina, Dhoni all class acts, backed up by the likes of Vijay (not forgetting centurion Harbhajan :)). While the thinking has been to keep Boucher in the SA squad for tests, it's a no-brainer to bolster the team with another batsman and let AB keep in tests as well. In the bowling stakes, SA should dominate with the likes of Steyn and Morkel, ably supported by players like Tsotsobe and Kallis (still invaluable with the ball). Harris has a decent test record, despite his detractors, and while he can also hold a bat, Botha's recent form with both bat and ball suggests he should get the nod for the test squad. JP should definitely bowl more, he is under-utilised. India's bowling attack is weak, with the exceptions of Zaheer and Harbhajan, but they have a number of useful part-time spinners who will prove a handful. Defining series for Smith's test captaincy, but one we can and should win.

  • knowledge_eater on November 8, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    Very good comments from Kirsten, I was big fan of his batting. This is how Coach and current cricketer should be talking about future generation. I loath fans and cricket analyst, who sit inside the house in front of computers and keep singing melody of 60's 70's 80' and 90's. I mean we are going to be 9 billion people by 2050. I don't completely agree with Indian Bowling being not potent. If that was the case who on earth took 20 wickets in those games won ! Aliens ? I hope India plays 3 seamers and a spinner on bouncy track. But seeing how terrible some Saffas play spinners, we might need go with 2/2 or 3/1/all rounder. Being fit is the key. Not getting tired early on high altitude. I kind of like it how anti-india number 1 sledging, I feel like I am draining glucose through internet/satellite by their cortisol release from stress from India being #1. Haha I love it. Bring it on.

  • on November 8, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    Gambhir and Dravid have to shape up.Their struggles couldn't have come at a more important time.Gambhir is also unlikely to be in the WC side unless he performs better than the likes of Kohli.I think Gambhir should be dropped and sent to play in the Ranji trophy.I don't think Dravid is gonna improve much.He will be playing a good innings here and there.For a team with so thin bowling resources needs to have every batsman in good nick.Every Test match fan in India wants to see our boys in action against South Africa.They are the team to beat.Again one thing when will India do away with its first match blues?

  • krishchen on November 8, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    To remain No 1, India would do well to drop Dhoni from the Eleven and have him as a Non Playing Captain, He is pathetic as an batsman and a keeper, failing in both counts. He is damn lucky as a captain and not even a patch on Ganguly who is India's best ever captain...

  • on November 8, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    This is not the all time best indian eleven. I am sure my indian team can beat this team at any day. What do you think guys..........my team: Openers: W raman & Vicram rathor Middle order: Praven Amre, Askok Malhotra & Atul Bedade Allrounders: Ravi shahtri (captain) and A Agarkar W k: Saba Karim Bowlers: Nilesh kulkarni, Subroto banarjee & Salil Ankola.....what do u think guys ........can this team beat world all time 11?

  • sweetspot on November 8, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Yow Kiwirocker? What is Ponting's average in India against India's even not so great bowlers? Does that make him a crappy batsman?

  • Brenton1 on November 8, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    Indian Fans need to wake up. India play way more tests than any other country, especially at home. Thats why they are #1. India have awesome batsmen - so do SA. SA have two fantastic quicks in steyn and morkel - India have nothing. I think indian fans must start preparing themselves for utter dissapointment. But dont worry - soon your team will be winning against lesser opposition at home again.

  • SnowSnake on November 8, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    I would add ODI World Cup win as well for this team to be called best ever.

  • SnowSnake on November 8, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    @Kiwirocket. Assuming that your numbers are correct, your conclusions are wrong. Your assumption that Sachin averaged in 30's when McGrath played will only work if McGrath was the only bowler who bowled to him no-stop and was the only bowler to dismiss him. Presence of a bowler and a batsman in team is not enough to make statistical claims that certain batsman scores poorly against a particular bowler. @TimmyF_23 Pretty good analysis. I think India has been longing for a fast bowler since they started playing cricket. India need to have some pace and bouncy pitches to generate good fast bowlers.

  • Marcio on November 8, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    @ Chilbill, I note you wrote "In response to some of the comments on batting, Indians are the best batting side and todays performance is the nail in the coffin." So, you mean by being 5/15 against the #7 ranked team, and then recovering? Well, given that NZ were so depleted by injuries that even the wicketkeeper was bowling, I don't think we can say much except that India was very, very lucky. Make no mistake. SA will be a real test for them. They have played so many games at home - nearly 70% in the last year, way more than any other team - and need to prove themselves away from home. When India win in SA, I'll be a little more generous in my praise.

  • fan_of_india on November 8, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    @kiwirocker seems that u haven't recovered from the frustration that kiwis had been whitewashed by BD recently in ODI. and btw who told u that india haven't won a test series in NZ and England in their own backyard.

  • Rishab19 on November 8, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    @ kiwirocker: Jeez man, ur a real sore loser...I knw that u NZ fellows got whooped 4-0 by Bangladesh but seriously saying India is good for nothing is absolute bullshit....India has PWNED Australia n MSD's record against them in 4 tests is 4-0 BEAT THAT!! India has also won away in England n NZ already....wait for them to tour AUS n SA....then make comments....as for NZ, unlike you wanting bad for India, I hope NZ can come into form for the WC and make it all the more competitive.....n ur records abt SACHIN...man...you really dont know squat...if that was the case then Ponting sucks as a batsman...look at how much he struggled against Harbhajan....look at how much batsman like Mcculum sucked against Murli....ur argument has no base.....n Ponting n Mcculum remain good players....Sachin remains one of the world's best batsman if not the BEST....n by the way isnt Warne the 2nd highest wicket taker and Sachin has PWNED him...CASE CLOSED.

  • VIPUL007 on November 8, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    if u have Q about sachin and his brillientness just check notes or headlines of all big players around the world like warne, mac grath brett lee, even don bradmann, vasim akram, vakar younis, or anyone everyone said that sachin is the best player ever, even lara and ponting accept that he is the best and batter player thn them, plus check pontings comment on himself he cant be like sachin or cant be batter then he is doing now while see sachin made 8 century in this year........hey KIWIROCKER. u r jelous and i think u r frustrated because ur team is not performing even they loose against bangladesh which ranks no 8 team in ranking so batter shut up mate ..........

  • DINESHCC on November 8, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    Kiwirocker: India has not won a series in NZ, Eng and SL? Where are you living? Please check the record books. Under Dravid's captaincy in England, under Dhon's captaincy in NZ and under Azharuddin's captaincy in SL India won test series. India has not won a series in Australi and SA only and that too will happen very shortly. I can understand your position. You supported for Australia. Now Australia's position has been brought down to Bangladesh. Then you switched over your loyalty to SA. Now SA is being thrashed by a second level Pakistan team. Now you started supporting England. England's position will be tested when it faces India and Sri Lanka. As regards to India's performance against NZ, you see the statistics for about five years. In every first test India is struggling against every team. But you see the result of next tests.

  • VIPUL007 on November 8, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    I think this all guys talking about india and sachin-dravid-vvs, are jelous . i wann ask one thing that when australia was no.1 no 1 was asking about why they r no.1 even when they r loosing, second thing is retirement of sachin-dravid-vvs, i wann remind 1 thing that australia was no.1 because warne,mcgrath, steve waugh,and hayden-gilchrist, they all retire around same time because they dont care for there teams or country, other side indian players have passion for there country and teams, if u say they r playing for money then its wrong as they are already billion re........... and records shows that india won 12 out of 23 tests and loose 2.thats shows dominancy.......whether match played on own country or oposite country main thing is you have to perform no 1 else gonna perform for u if u r playing in ur own country..........or pitch not gonna made by different material that you r comfortable............if u have any Q about sachin just check the notes or headlines continued..

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on November 8, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    KiwiRocker, the 0rg@$m$ are done? Or still some more to come? Considering you call yourselves KiwiRocker better get it all "out" now in the "climax" of 15/5. Not sure if the Kiwis will ever take so many wickets again in this series.

  • shrastogi on November 8, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    The team India which played in large part of this century is the greatest Indian team. They need to win series in SA & Australia. The current team has the lower order tenacity but the lower order is doing what frontline batsmen should have done. Twice in last three tests (Mohali vs Aus & Now in Ahmedabad vs NZ) the frontline has made a procession that too in India. The worse part was that in Ahmedabad there was no pressure initially in the second innings. Tendulkar also finds difficulty in handling 3 down for 2. So make proper plans. To succeed in SA you need new ball bowlers to make inroads and bowl in good areas along with decent batting performance. Gambhir is out of form and Dhoni is also struggling for runs. There is no harm in trying Vijay against NZ and leave Gambhir to find form in Ranji trophy for a month. Its harsh but the procession doesnt look nice.

  • aniketmd on November 8, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    well, lot of debate is going on over India's ability to do well on fast tracks...i agree that India didn't do well in past on such tracks, however middle order trios are really focused now to do well in SA trip in Dec 2010....they are capable of scoring huge runs on any pitch in the world...Also similar to India's pain on fast tracks, hasn't Australians and other great teams suffered on spinning tracks???..hasn't Ponting who is supposed to be one of the best batsman ,suffered in India against offspinners??? Hasn't Steve Waugh lost the famous series in 2001 to India after conquering the world??? does this mean, Steve's team wasn't best??? Similat to defeat India in India, SA and Austrailians are difficult to be defeated in their yards.. India started playing very well on fast tracks in recent time....how can a team be on number 1 while playing on spinning tracks??? India has won series in West Indies, Pakistan, England and New-Zealand...they also won match at Perth in last tour to Aus.

  • sweetspot on November 8, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    @KiwiRocker and others who think India does not deserve to be #1 in Tests - Who started this ranking system? This is not India's system. All teams follow the same system for their points, so what is this stupid argument about who "deserves" to be #1? India does not have to beat everybody all the time in all their home territories to be #1. It doesn't even have to play better than everybody else all the time to be #1. India just have to play better than all the others to get there, and they have done that. Shut up and swallow the fact.

  • CricketPissek on November 8, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    This indian team's batting is incredible, but the bowling is only good in patches and the fielding is a joke. it's an insult to other 'great' teams. India may deserve their #1 ranking as they have done well with the matches they have played, but unless some bowlers step up, and the fielding improves DRAMATICALLY, it's never going to compare well against great Australian and West Indian teams of yesteryear

  • sachindoesnotrule on November 8, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    Since 2008, India has played 31 tests out of which they have won 15, drawn 10 and lost 6. Australia has played 34 out of which they have won 17, drawn 7 and lost 10. If you are talking about a 2 year period please take the full two year period. Just to show favourable percentages, there is no point shrinking the statistics. In that case Bangladesh can show a 100% win record in ODIs by just including their series against New Zealand. India still hasn't won a series in Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa. All they can boast about is a 1-0 away victory in 3 tests against a pathetically depleted New Zealand side who by the way just gave a scare to the "mighty" numero uno side. Australia by the way won series in all the countries when they were number one. Lets see if this side can hang on for that long.

  • gerardpereira20 on November 8, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    This Indian team is showing the same mental toughness that is required of a world number one ranked team. The same attitude shown by the Aussies in their heyday. The fighting sprit however has papered over cracks that need addressing. Gambhir is in poor form and needs replacing by Vijay. Raina is proving that he no test batsman and should be replaced by Pujara. Dravid's reflexes are slowing and his dropped catch of Ryder and subsequent running out of Shewag almost cost India the match. Dhoni is starting to look and plays like a tail ender unfortunately India are stuck with him for lack of an alternative.

  • indianpunter on November 8, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    Aussasinator-! are you my blood brother?

  • thebrownie on November 8, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    Kiwirocker = troll. India won the last series' against England and NZ. And England is average team, who won everything recently at home.

  • Rameshn007 on November 8, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    @kiwirocker: Please post comments with atleast some relevance to what being discussed....i can see you are much frustrated with india being no:1, take that out on ICC, not with the team ot its fans ..:)...They only ranked india nmber one ...And ofcourse gary is being over optimistic with our bowling lineup but then thats how they should be before a series ...

  • ChillBill_Pande on November 8, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    first of all i dont think Gary Kirsten is a birdbrain who is trying to be overtly optimistic about this indian side, in fact he is the one who knows the side closely and better than anyone else, specially my pakistani friends whose team is doing everything apart from playing cricket. Secondly you cant doubt the integrity of Gary who is the man behind the turnaround of Indian cricket. As far as the capabilities of the team are concerned..yeah the team isn't as incisive as the invincible Windies of 70's and Juggernauts of Ponting earlier on in the decade..but currently I dont think there exists a team on paper and performance that is at par with Indian team.And talks of comparison with Proteas;they haven't faired well against India. In response to some of the comments on batting, Indians are the best batting side and todays performance is the nail in the coffin. Again, Rome was not built in a day;and we are in the process.Cometh a couple of penetrating bowlers and we are unparalleled.

  • on November 8, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Well I just can't wait for the SA test series alright, but we have some problems to address in the ongoing test series first. Bring back Ishant in place of Zaheer and Pujara in place of Dravid, Vijay in place of the totally clueless Gambhir @third_gear Not very often you see a side 6 wickets down for 62, bat for 4 sessions and save the game. Thats what it takes to be no.1. Never give up!

  • stormy16 on November 8, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    I think the less said the better on how can India be #1 when they havent won where ever and even less on Sachins averges facing certain bowlers! The point is we have a measure and India are #1 and Sachin is the best on what ever measure on cares to use. To say Sachin's (Dravid and Laxmans) loss will be filled by other is a joke - these are all time greats and as the Aussies found out they just cannot be replaced. India certainly has the back up players to fill the gap but they have a long way to go to even get mentioned in the same tone as the big 3. Yes I do agree the tour to SA is a huge one and not many (only Aussies from memory) have beaten SA at home and the Indian batting against Steyn and co will be one of the great match up's in test cricket in a long time. The Indian bowling is good but not great and is held togeather by the Zaheer and Harbajan - again ageing legends.

  • on November 8, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    Hey kiwirocker, while posting stats be sure before u post in a public website like this. . .Who told u india has'nt won against England in england and your Kiwi's in Nz. . .Last time they toured England and Nz, INDIA won the series and it was the poor umpiring decisions which made india to loose the series against Australia in Australia. . .And raguarding not winning against pakistan in pakistan s a joke as its a long time since an international cricket match has been played in india and there are many exicitng series victories against pakistan in pakistan too. . .I accept against srilanka who is the strongest side at home that to with a legand murli its very difficult for any team to win against srilanka in srilanka and we managed a a drawn series(1-1) the last time around. . .Its INDIA winning al over and not just only in INDIA. .So it would be better if u post someting which is quite true. . .Jai hind!! INDIA ROCKS no matter what the other nation says about our team. . .GO INDIA GO.

  • on November 8, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    All the people writing crap against India as being number 1 side belong to other countries and its only there frustration that is showing...India has won Test matches in Australia, S Africa and New Zealand...Australia was humiliated last month..and you talk about Tendulkar then my dear friends no body i mean no body has ever been as consistent as Tendulkar has been..India is the current Asiai cup champs not Srilanaka or Pak.. No body can digest the fact that INDIA can be the number 1 side but my dear critics just check the ICC rankings and speak..its the numbers that matter and not your hard feelings..proud to be the NUMERO UNO side...

  • on November 8, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    everybody is commenting on when these 3 big names get retire.....how about pointing gets retire from australia....smith(due to injuries similar to flintoff),kallis from south africa....jayawardana and sangakara from srilanka.....yousaf from pakistan.....at any stage there will be new talent from all countries.....only thing is its all about taking responsibilty ,patience and knowing about weakness and strength.....so guys stop predicting like a bookie just enjoy the game whatever it is win or loss.....

  • TimmyF_23 on November 8, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    As hard as it is admitting this being a proud australian, i absolutely agree. This current Indian team is one of greatness, and reminds me of the all conquering Australian teams of past generations. If they can win in Sth Africa and later on in England they will be one of the greatest teams of all time. However whilst i believe their brilliant batting line up will be fine in those conditions, it is their bowling where they may struggle. Its the only assest of their team that they are lacking, a quality fast bowling attack. Although i do believe if they can work on and develop Ishant, and also Praveen Kumar they can do quite well in those conditions. The other area they need to be a little wary of is what happened to Australia over the past 5 or so yrs. Their stars, Dravid, Sachin, VVS, Sehwag, Harbajan are all around the same age and will be retiring sooner rather than later. They need to prepare for this so they dont fall into decline much like the current aussie side.

  • ravi_hari on November 8, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    Its good to have a confident coach. However, before the big 3 retire the coach himself might leave! Secondly, I think the real measure is not winning once but repeating it several times. West Indies dominated for over a decade, Australia for nearly two decades. Can India remain No. 1 for 5 years. It that happens, we can say India has come of age. Kirsten has mentioned about the replacements to the big 3. But looking at the injury lists of Sehwag and Gambhir, we may soon have a team of 5 new entrants. Even Dhoni is not fully fit. Indian bowling is not of world class as we have only one seamer-Zahir and one spinner-Bhajji. They are also injury prone and inconsistant. So, by winning in South AFrica will not make it the greatest side. They need to sustain for long. Let us see if we have it in us!. Hari Ravi

  • sherishahmir on November 8, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    To be regarded the best team one should be best in every department of the game, when we look India we r lacking the answer in their bowling and fielding for that level despite they are the best at the moment, wonder how long they can maintain that level , no doubt their batting is one of best at present as long as the experience players, Sachin, Dravid and VVS are playing, once they r off fthe game, would be a real test for them.

    India needs to beat proteas and ozies in their courtyards in order to prove the best and number one team,hopefully under the captaincy of Ms Dhoni, India can do any thing as he is unifying the unit being v smart, down to earth and calm captain.

    Being a humble and patriotic pakistani, i would say our cricket is struggling and r in worst level (Probably lowest) bcaz of our own acts as a whole nation,(Curse from God) and India success can be taken as a v positive example in addressing our mistakes and taking right path for future.

  • Marktc on November 8, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    To those who compare the current ODI series against Pakistan and SA to a test series, they are two separate entities. SA are experimenting with a side, especially the bowlers to look for the best World Cup squad. SA are also a much better test side at present. It will be a good series to watch, but I do tip SA to take it.

  • on November 8, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Once the BIG 3 are gone ...then we will find out if the team has the substance to be the number 1...the BIG 3 are making the job very cozy for the coach....garry will soon be below the clouds when the likes of sachin, laxman and dravd are gone

  • Analytical_Sathya on November 8, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    Indian team is not without glitches.Fast bowling department is week without Munaf Patel who is more skillful and classy than anybody in the country. He is being clearly treated unfairly by the team managament. Dhoni as a player is less skillful compared to Dinesh Karthik or Parthiv Patel.Gambhir probabaly needs rest for a few games.

  • KiwiRocker- on November 8, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    Someone really need to challenge my stats. Here is some hard cold facts about the most over rated batsman of world Tendulkar: In tests against Australia; Sachin averages a modest 36.77 against Australia when McGrath played. In test against SA; Sachin averages a pathetic 32 against South Africa whenever Allan Donald has played.Tendulkar was a failure against Wasim and Waqar and hardly played against them. He anyway averaged 32 runs against them. Interestingly he still averages around 40 against Pakistan. Against the 3 greatest fast bowlers of his era, whom he faced in more than one Test series, McGrath, Donald and Akram, Sachin has scored 1719 Test runs at a modest average of 34.3 (compared to his career average of 56). This is the very definition of being over-rated. You can not become best by scoring against Shane Warne.You need to score against the best to become the best. Just like Sir Viv Richards did.Tendulkar againt fails in 4th innings against NZ with a usual in swinger!

  • KiwiRocker- on November 8, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    This is one of the best jokes, I ever heard. South Africa is not even the best team in the world. Best test team in world right now is England with excellent batting, good spin/fats bowling attack and a very good captain. India lost last series in Pakistan. India lost and barely drew in Sri Lanka. India has won nothing in South Africa,England,Australia and NZ so how the hell India is top ranked to start with?Greedy Mr. Kirsten is laughing at brained washed Indian supported who blindly support their mediocre team year after year and then see the world cup dream burning in first round.India has NO Bowlers! Harbhajan Singh AKA chukker is useless, Zaheer and company is mediocre and only above average when they play in India with special bowl thanks to Uncle Pawar at ICC.Indian batting was taken to cleaners by NZ just yesterday..15/5 is their second worst score ever since India gained test status.India should be ranked 4th in world and ICC rating system is flawed that no one cares like IPL!

  • Gohar on November 8, 2010, 9:26 GMT

    I think you can't rate a Team great if it has played 80% of their Matches @ home( Consider Srilanka as a Second home).Their Real test will be in South Africa this year and in England later year! Than result will show if india is really number 1.

  • Third_Gear on November 8, 2010, 9:26 GMT

    Funny Test no 1 team. Play for draw with full efforts against NZ. Good piece of cricket HA HA HA.

  • rawa on November 8, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    i dont know why people are writing such nonsence about rahul dravid he scored 104 at a strike rate of 45 whereas sachin scored 40 runs at 33being strike rate and laxman scored 40 in 1st inings at 38 being his strike rate it is rather strange that u find iscapegoat of aperson who scores ahundred this happens only in india long live india

  • on November 8, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    Since Australia struggling in ODIS, South Africa struggling now, Eng cant play in India so there is high probability that this time world cup will come to Asia for sure..........

  • safwan_Umair on November 8, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    it will be a fascinating series .... but india's current test team is no where close to the all conquering west-indian and Aussie sides..... their bowling is ordinary and their batting usually clicks only on flat tracks. Having said that, they still have some high class batsmen to give SA a stern test. If steyn and Morkel fire on all cylinders, we might have 3 matches finishing within 9 days! watching steyn bowl the other night against our fragile batting line up, i felt all he needed was to put the bowl in the right areas and streamroll through us, Fantastic bowler!

  • sharab_Kabab on November 8, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    This team cannot be India's best as there are plenty of world class batsman but not a single world class bowler..not one. Their best bowler is zaheer who is good but not a match winner. All other indian bowlers will not even find a place in A teams of SA, SL, Aus or Pak. Also, batting will have major issues in test matches after departure of dravid, tendulkar and laxman. SA almost lost series against Pak so depends on how test matches go we willl get a better picture of their real strength. Indian coach should focus more on when to declare against kiwis than speaking non-sense.

  • on November 8, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    not bad idea but a bit of improvement should be in the indian team

  • Devd007 on November 8, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Rahul Dravid has to retire right away. He has been in pathetic form for the past 3 years, and is hanging on to his slot by virtue of his past performances. India has been piggybacking on the brilliant performances of Sehwag and Laxman for quite sometime. We cannot take thir form for granted all the time. We must groom youngsters like Puara and Kohli during the SA tour. Dravid should go on his own, since the Selection committe hates to take any real decisions.

  • AB_DeVilliers on November 8, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    Haha! Good to see the banter between the some Indian fans and some Protea boys. My input: I see this as the best Indian team to arrive at our shores, by a long way. I, however, don't believe that they're the best team in the world, unless they beat Aus or SA away. Kirsten mentions 23 tests, 2 losses and 12 wins, which paints an unrealistic impression of his team - how many of those tests were played in India? Furthermore, what is his record against SA? In terms of a prediction for the series, I believe that India's best chance to win the series is to win the first test in Centurion. If they don't, they will not win in Cape Town, and with the Protea's current bowling attack, struggle to see how they will repeat their performance at the Wanderers of a few years back. Prediction: 2-0 SA. Also, the Proteas are a much better Test outfit than ODI outfit, so don't draw parallels against their performance in the desert. PS: What a shocker India are having against the KIWIS? C'mon, the KIWIS!

  • 0wais on November 8, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Take A Bet, India Can Never Beat South Africa In South Africa In A Test Series.....!!!

  • pavansan on November 8, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    I guess its high time, the selectors smell some coffee and come up with a 'BIG 3 FILL IN' strategy, Pujara can substitute Dravid at any given time now. Throw a test or two for Rohit Sharma, of course not against SA/AUS/ENG. Groom R Ashwin resting Bhajji against BAG/PAK/WI etc.Raina to be thrown red cherry more often, same as white one to Yuvi. With new ODI format epidemic to spread soon, there should be no/less room for pure batsman like Kohlis, Gambhirs and Vijays. If they under perform, show them the gate, so should be the rules for bits and pieces buffoons like Jadeja, Irfan. Make players like Yousuf, regular in ODIs. Simply put we need 3-4 sehwags/Clarkes/Kallises in due course let be ODIs or tests.

  • Rameshn007 on November 8, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    @fadms : Protea what ? Struggling against a pakistan team without asif or amer?

  • Hindh on November 8, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    The mohali test and the present test against NZ has clearly shown why India is the best team India have converted 2 losable tests into a victory in 1 and a draw in the other. Go india and beat the proteas( chokers).

  • Arrow011 on November 8, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    Safrica are struggling to beat Pak, bunch of chokers. India will give them pasting in their own backyard.

  • Eskimo on November 8, 2010, 7:56 GMT

    India winning down in SA...mmm.I wouldn't put my money on it, but if they pull it off it will be amazing for Indian cricket and will once and for all silence those critics about short bowling. That said, Kirsten should have a close look at the pitches down here. The pitches along the coast are coming alive. Facing the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel on a green wicket is frightful (Ask England). I think that Zaheer Kahn will be the thorn in SA's side this season. He is probably licking his lips as we speak. Although this is a home series for SA, I think more pressure will be on the Indian side, especially the likes of Sehwag, Dravid and Tendulkar. India vs South Africa...looks like we have our own mini-ashes rivalry :D

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Not a snowball chance in hell India will beat S.Africa on those bouncy african pitches.

  • SupernDutta on November 8, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Young squad to the likes of MURALI,RAINA and PUJARA may be very promising but no one can ever fill the shoes of BIG 3 stayhouse of Indian batting backbone Sachin,Dravid and Laxman.It has been a pleasure to watch them play numerous no.of priceless innings.This is surely most complete Indian squad...3 Cheers to Blue India!!!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on November 8, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    To win, a team needs to take 20 opposition wickets. Zaheer is the only predictable wicket taker so far. Bhajji seems to have lost his potency and Ojha is still raw. Ishant is unpredictable. Sreesanth doesn't inspire confidence at all and seems to be constantly battling his internal demons rather than the opposition. None of the others, can even bowl straight at a steady pace of upwards of 140 nor can they move the ball for a steady spell in a test match. I find Indians often discussing their batting and never their bowling, with good reason. Bhajji played well in this match... with the bat...but then I remember what Irfan Pathan was told when he was dropped... that he is picked in the side to bowl and take wickets and not to bat.

  • VVedsen on November 8, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    In sports and India's case more specifically, always prudent to go one step at a time. Everyone is waiting for the India SA series to get underway in December 2010. It is indeed going to be a big series for both the teams. The challenge is bigger since no Indian team has ever won there before. For a while the 2006 series camouflaged that, however the test from the 5th day onwards down to the end of the 3rd test went so much SA way, that the first 4 days, ended up once in a blue moon types. So the test is big for India to do well overall from start to end. This team has been doing well, so we may reasonably expect that them to continue doing that in SA. SA as such has not been doing so well as such. They did well at Nagpur but then lost badly at Kolkata to square things for India. They have been losing to Australia repeatedly inside and outside SA. Whatever may happen in this series against NZ may not necessary have anything to do with what will happen in SA.

  • Truemans_Ghost on November 8, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    Regardless of whether they win in SA or not, surely you have to regard this as the best Indian team ever. Kapil Dev and Gavaskar were great players, but a lot of their team-mates weren't- their team would never have been regarded as the best in the world. The current Indian attack may not be devastating- but few Indian attacks have been and there can't have been many batting line ups from any nation than the current one.

  • Farce-Follower on November 8, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    @Aussasinator :Getting too carried away by Sehwag's starts I suppose. In SA you would need a solid anchor to blunt the quicks. Steyn and co would love batsman throwing their bats around. Mercifully, you have not insisted on VVS having a strike rate of 60 plus on 5th day marathons. Can never say what Indian fans will demand next.

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    One should analyze the India performance critical by removing the "benefit of doubt given to BCCI by umpires" during these serious. As long as India refuse overseas tours and UDRS they can stay at the top. Also Tendulkar can score centuries after when matches are played at dead home conditions with knowing that umpire will not give LBWs and edges. Kirston should not worry at all as if SA claim number 1 rank ,BCCI can arrange another (sudden) tower with weak opposition next week to claim it back. The biggest jock in cricket is "India no 1 team in test". I feel India is way behind England and S.A this time, don't forget "greatest escape in Bangladesh" few months back

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    hmmm .. good luck boys for the world cup !! Mr. Kirsten these comments should have come only after india wins the world cup

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    hmmm .. good luck boys for the world cup !! Mr. Kirsten these comments should have come only after india wins the world cup

  • Lovetesh on November 8, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    @fadms: If India has one bad session against Kiwi, what about SA having two bad days against Pakistan...India is atleast not choking, giving good fight and saving the game not losing it.

  • Meety on November 8, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    I agree with the part about IF India win the series in Sth Africa - they will be the Greatest Indian side of all time. They will also be deserved #1 Test side, they do not own that ranking yet IMHO. As to whether India's future looks good after the big names retiring, I disagree, apart from Pujara - they have alot of talented players with severe technical deficiancies in their technique in batting. As far as bowling is concerned - the cupboard is looking bare. I would like to see how Gambhir goes overseas - I don't rate him very highly, also it will be interesting to see how Sehwag goes late in his career for 2 reasons; 1) He relies on hand/eye coordination a fair bit and if his reflexes go, I don't believe he has the technique to occupy the crease (like SRT), 2) When SRT, Dravid, & Laxman go - the safety cushion will be removed from under Sehwag & I feel he will be in two minds when playing, particularly if it takes a while to get quality replacements in the middle order.

  • addiemanav on November 8, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    beating SA will be a really tough but this team might just do it!!the last time they came very close,as they won the 1st game but collapsed in 2nd inng of both the 2nd and the 3rd test losing the series 2-1!they shud hav won the game at cape town bcoz it was almost a sub-continent wkt & they had started well..but the problem was that that team was short of confidence..the players were a bit scared..now this team has a total different outlook even if the team is almost the same!i think bowler friendly conditions wud rather help india bcoz then our bowlers will hav their tails up and hopefully create damage!!

  • fadms on November 8, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    Oh please Kirsten, get a grip... India what? Winning in SA...dream on boet. Hope you guys get a thumping...Can you even see how you are struggling against the KIWIs at the moment. You are so scared to declare coz you are not even sure of your capabilities. Can't wait for the SA series. Go Proteas.

  • Aussasinator on November 8, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    India has a realistic chance only if two prolific newcomers, namely Pujara & Vijay immediately replace Gambhir and Dravid. I would emphasise the Dravid bit because he habitually wastes good starts given by Sehwag and the innings loses momentum regularly. India cannot afford this against SA - it could prove match losing. Dravid also gets top batsmen run out with his hesitant, confusing signals while batting. The moment has come for change in team interest. Somebody is lacking guts in the selection committee or imagination, or both. India should not get into a position where they drop Dravid after a series loss to SA, which is quite possible. It is a very strong team, unlike Australia or NZ.

  • Shri162 on November 8, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    Great thoughts!!!!!! let the Youngsters learn from the dressing room and do give time for them to be groomed by the BIG 3 for India's future in the next 1&1/2 to 2 years..... Murali and Pujara will become part of that future team and will be ready to deliver from Game 1...... Great to Have Gary as our National Team Coach..... And Kumble as NCA Director......

    ALL THE BEST TO KUMBLE for all his future Endeavors..... He always wants to do something for Indian Cricket..... :) :) :) Wonderful person.....

  • indianpunter on November 8, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    True. SA will be a watershed series for India. I hope i am proven wrong, but Dravid at number 3 will be a disaster in SA. Either RD has to go, or if that wont happen, he has to bat at 5, with Lax moving up to number 3, which has been his preferred spot. I can see all the good work of sehwag getting undone by a perenially cautious and fast fading Dravid.

  • indianpunter on November 8, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    True. SA will be a watershed series for India. I hope i am proven wrong, but Dravid at number 3 will be a disaster in SA. Either RD has to go, or if that wont happen, he has to bat at 5, with Lax moving up to number 3, which has been his preferred spot. I can see all the good work of sehwag getting undone by a perenially cautious and fast fading Dravid.

  • on November 8, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    Happy to hear this...."none of them in rush to retire now"...

  • Nadeem1976 on November 8, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Yes. Garry is right. If india wins in SA then it will be greatest indian team. By the way, what else indian team is greatest than this. I do not know. To me this is the best indian test team ever played. But we can also say with Gawasker, Kapil were together then but again. You cannot take away Sachin pride to be called the greatest indian player therefore current team is best ever indian team by any means and by far.

    Win or lose this is best team india has ever produced.

  • venom2709 on November 8, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    I don't think there is any doubt about the batting line up being amongst the best, but the lack of a second solid seamer doesn't sit right with me. Ishant needs to play more domestic cricket instead of touring and not playing at all, and Sreesanth is Sreesanth, it's either his day or he's ineffective. I think it's time Nehra had a second chance after all his good form in the limited over matches. I also think it's time they looked at another spin option Ojha doesn't seem capable of taking big bags like likes of Kumble used to do and Habajan isn't having his best trot. Definaetly the best in the world at the moment however, and a team of champions.

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  • venom2709 on November 8, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    I don't think there is any doubt about the batting line up being amongst the best, but the lack of a second solid seamer doesn't sit right with me. Ishant needs to play more domestic cricket instead of touring and not playing at all, and Sreesanth is Sreesanth, it's either his day or he's ineffective. I think it's time Nehra had a second chance after all his good form in the limited over matches. I also think it's time they looked at another spin option Ojha doesn't seem capable of taking big bags like likes of Kumble used to do and Habajan isn't having his best trot. Definaetly the best in the world at the moment however, and a team of champions.

  • Nadeem1976 on November 8, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Yes. Garry is right. If india wins in SA then it will be greatest indian team. By the way, what else indian team is greatest than this. I do not know. To me this is the best indian test team ever played. But we can also say with Gawasker, Kapil were together then but again. You cannot take away Sachin pride to be called the greatest indian player therefore current team is best ever indian team by any means and by far.

    Win or lose this is best team india has ever produced.

  • on November 8, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    Happy to hear this...."none of them in rush to retire now"...

  • indianpunter on November 8, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    True. SA will be a watershed series for India. I hope i am proven wrong, but Dravid at number 3 will be a disaster in SA. Either RD has to go, or if that wont happen, he has to bat at 5, with Lax moving up to number 3, which has been his preferred spot. I can see all the good work of sehwag getting undone by a perenially cautious and fast fading Dravid.

  • indianpunter on November 8, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    True. SA will be a watershed series for India. I hope i am proven wrong, but Dravid at number 3 will be a disaster in SA. Either RD has to go, or if that wont happen, he has to bat at 5, with Lax moving up to number 3, which has been his preferred spot. I can see all the good work of sehwag getting undone by a perenially cautious and fast fading Dravid.

  • Shri162 on November 8, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    Great thoughts!!!!!! let the Youngsters learn from the dressing room and do give time for them to be groomed by the BIG 3 for India's future in the next 1&1/2 to 2 years..... Murali and Pujara will become part of that future team and will be ready to deliver from Game 1...... Great to Have Gary as our National Team Coach..... And Kumble as NCA Director......

    ALL THE BEST TO KUMBLE for all his future Endeavors..... He always wants to do something for Indian Cricket..... :) :) :) Wonderful person.....

  • Aussasinator on November 8, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    India has a realistic chance only if two prolific newcomers, namely Pujara & Vijay immediately replace Gambhir and Dravid. I would emphasise the Dravid bit because he habitually wastes good starts given by Sehwag and the innings loses momentum regularly. India cannot afford this against SA - it could prove match losing. Dravid also gets top batsmen run out with his hesitant, confusing signals while batting. The moment has come for change in team interest. Somebody is lacking guts in the selection committee or imagination, or both. India should not get into a position where they drop Dravid after a series loss to SA, which is quite possible. It is a very strong team, unlike Australia or NZ.

  • fadms on November 8, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    Oh please Kirsten, get a grip... India what? Winning in SA...dream on boet. Hope you guys get a thumping...Can you even see how you are struggling against the KIWIs at the moment. You are so scared to declare coz you are not even sure of your capabilities. Can't wait for the SA series. Go Proteas.

  • addiemanav on November 8, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    beating SA will be a really tough but this team might just do it!!the last time they came very close,as they won the 1st game but collapsed in 2nd inng of both the 2nd and the 3rd test losing the series 2-1!they shud hav won the game at cape town bcoz it was almost a sub-continent wkt & they had started well..but the problem was that that team was short of confidence..the players were a bit scared..now this team has a total different outlook even if the team is almost the same!i think bowler friendly conditions wud rather help india bcoz then our bowlers will hav their tails up and hopefully create damage!!

  • Meety on November 8, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    I agree with the part about IF India win the series in Sth Africa - they will be the Greatest Indian side of all time. They will also be deserved #1 Test side, they do not own that ranking yet IMHO. As to whether India's future looks good after the big names retiring, I disagree, apart from Pujara - they have alot of talented players with severe technical deficiancies in their technique in batting. As far as bowling is concerned - the cupboard is looking bare. I would like to see how Gambhir goes overseas - I don't rate him very highly, also it will be interesting to see how Sehwag goes late in his career for 2 reasons; 1) He relies on hand/eye coordination a fair bit and if his reflexes go, I don't believe he has the technique to occupy the crease (like SRT), 2) When SRT, Dravid, & Laxman go - the safety cushion will be removed from under Sehwag & I feel he will be in two minds when playing, particularly if it takes a while to get quality replacements in the middle order.