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Time for Zaheer to consider his future - Dravid

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 19, 2014

Comments: 154 | Text size: A | A

Rahul Dravid has said it's time for Zaheer Khan to start contemplating his future as it will be difficult for the bowler to survive the rigours of five Test matches in England. Zaheer made a comeback to the Test side for the tours of South Africa and New Zealand, and despite managing 51 overs and a five-wicket haul in the second innings of the Wellington Test, struggled to trouble the batsmen.

"Can he survive five Test matches in England? I am not so sure," Dravid told ESPNcricinfo. "I think it is a question he deeply needs to ask himself. He doesn't want to end up being someone who struggles his way through to the end. It can be really hard. And we have seen, he struggled to back up time and time again in these two series. So that's an issue he needs to consider, Indian selectors need to consider."

Zaheer is the second most successful India seamer behind Kapil Dev, with 311 wickets in 92 Tests, but his career has been plagued by injuries, the latest of which threatened to end his career. But Zaheer spent the summer in France to work on his fitness and made a comeback for the South Africa tour, one year after playing his last Test. However, the strain of bowling at Test level started showing in the second innings at Wanderers, where he managed just one wicket in 34 overs as South Africa almost overhauled a 458-run target.

"He has been a great bowler for India, arguably the finest India fast bowler since Kapil Dev," Dravid said. "I would hate to see Zaheer Khan end his career bowling 120-125 kph and limp away from international cricket. He has done a great job to get himself fit for these two series and to be fair, he has bowled well in patches, he has bowled consistently."

Speaking on India's spinners, Dravid said India would need to show patience with them as the bowlers in the past had also struggled in overseas conditions.

"We will need to show some patience with our spinners, whether it is R Ashwin or whether it's Jadeja, it's early days for both in international cricket," he said. "We have seen some greats of Indian cricket, including Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, take a long time to get used to bowling with a Kookaburra ball in overseas conditions.

"I thought we were a little bit impatient with Ashwin. We haven't given him as much a run as I would like, so I think there is an opportunity for him to get back into the side and play a few more games. He will only learn if he play more games."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by AravindVatsal82 on (February 25, 2014, 12:06 GMT)

Mr.Dravid is completely wright,zaheer is on & off stint in the team & also during the test matches as he is loosing the vigour a fast bowler should have,which means BCCI needs to improve the bench strength by giving oppurtunity for young fast bowlers at the highest level & where the game of cricket is played at its best, its the time for new breed for test cricket in india,we see the change it was played few years back where draw is a win,today u see results on 3rd OR 4th day.as far as pace bowling is concerned BCCI should start thinking of more away series which encourages the pace bowling..

Posted by   on (February 22, 2014, 8:52 GMT)

I completely agree with dravid as Zaheer was looking unfit and I am not sure of him playing in 5 consecutive test but for me biggest problem Indian test team is its spin bowling department and number seven where jadeja doesn't fit at all neither do ashwin esp outside India I seriously feel for tests esp outside India selectors has look for the likes of Rishi Dhawan esp for England and Australia

Posted by Akshat_J on (February 21, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

i seriously think this Indian test side has gone through significant changes in the last 1 year.and thus the team really needs to settle.the team has played good test cricket in the last two overseas series though the results show otherwise.and bowlers including zaheer has played important role in it.he is going to be most sought after bowler in the England tour for India and thus it would not make any sense to make such a change in a team that needs experience more than ever now...

Posted by yogikanna on (February 21, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

I respectfully disagree with Dravid that Zak should be left out of the England tour. Zaheer has a lot of experience playing in English conditions and his presence in the team will be invaluable as a player as well as a mentor for new bowlers. He knows several tricks with the ball, and English conditions will actually suit him better. It would be a huge mistake to leave Zak out of that tour.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

yes zaheer should be part of indian team in eng & aus. problem is dhoni's captaincy in test.please take a specilist bowling coach

Posted by   on (February 21, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

Normally his is the most sane voice in matters cricket. But is bias is clear here. Ashwin has failed miserably overseas despite given a long rope but Dravid still advocates more chances for him while not recommending any chances for the likes of Mishra. Zaheer should quit as no gas is left in his tank. Ishwar Pandey, Sandeep Sharma should be tried instead. Murali Vijay is another useless guy in so far as playing overseas is concerned. Manoj Tiwari should be in the team. if Rahane can fit the bill very good, if not, another opener is needed to share the responsibility with Dhawan.

Posted by hnlns on (February 21, 2014, 2:51 GMT)

Dravid has rightly highlighted the need for a cricketer to retire gracefully rather than being pushed out, just like what he did to himself. Zaheer is struggling and will continue to struggle because Indian bowling attack has been repeatedly asked to bowl long stints like the ones in JoBurg and Wellington. Zaheer is at best a bowler who can sustain for 20 or maximum 25 overs an innings. Beyond that, he will not be able to sustain the workload. He should make way for an youngster like Ishwar Pandey. Indian team is in the process of rebuilding and this is the right time for them to reshape the seam attack as well. Ideally, both Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron must be there for their pace backed up by 2 or 3 more youngsters who can crank it up to about 135 km with some seam and swing. Shami is already there showing lots of promise and able to hit close to 140 consistently, so just need a couple more of youngsters as part of team for the England trip.

Posted by thozar on (February 21, 2014, 0:22 GMT)

In addition to retaining Zaheer in the XI, one more option I suggest is to bring back Gambhir/Sehwag, and Harbhajan. These are senior pros and while provide valuable runs and wickets in England. These guys still have a lot to offer and would be waiting for an opportunity to disprove their doubters. An out of form England team is the best opposition they can have to get back to form. This way these 3 seniors can also leave on a high from what may turn out to be their final tour of England. I will definitely play Dhawan as opener but have Gautam partner him instead of Vijay. Sehwag can play in the middle order in case Rohit misfires. But we will have to play 6 batsmen, Dhoni, 1 spinner, and 3 fast bowlers. As the incumbent, let Jadeja get his chance as the lone spinner and if it does not work, then Ashwin gets one test. Otherwise, Harbhajan gets the nod and completes the tour.

Posted by Nampally on (February 20, 2014, 22:23 GMT)

@ Sir_Ivor: Indian Selectors need to sit with the Captain & design a philosophy for player development.Right now Dhoni & the Selectors are out of sync & Dhoni is left to choose his own XI. In the past the Selectors chose good Bowlers like Leg spinners Rahul Sharma, Mishra & Chawla, seamers Binny, Pandey+ Aaron, Yadev (both 145 KPH) & batsmen like Rahane, Tiwary - intent was to play them in XI. Dhoni's thinks that any new comer must spend his needs time on the bench for 20 games first.This approach has crippled the development of Bowlers for sure + killed all incentive for young talent to break into XI. If Dhoni is to remain as a captain, the Selectors should discuss with him which players they want to test by Playing them in XI. Your example of Bunny in XI for one ODI- as a passenger- is perfect example of killing any youngster's enthusiasm. It begs the question: Why do Selectors choose a squad of 15 when Dhoni wants his own XI for the entire ODI's or Test Series?What is the Answer?

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (February 20, 2014, 13:55 GMT)

The sad part of the selection process of the Indian team is that the selectors are limiting their view to only few players from the domestic scene and secondly even those lucky to get selected are never given the chance to play by Dhoni and his so called tour management. Ishwar Pandey is 6'4" tall and bowls in the range of 135kmph on an average.He is accurate and hits the off stump line with a lot of consistency.He even bowled in the tour game in New Zealand.Yet he was not given a chance in either Test match. Binny a wonderful all rounder much in his father's Roger's mould had only one over in bowling to showcase his skills while the rest were just huffing away.Aaron took a couple or so of wickets in the two games he played.He was bowling in the 145 range with consistency and even hit 149 on a couple of occasions.Why on earth was he not persisted with ?The point is that the selectors must widen their view and blood Rahul,Bawne and Aparajit and try out new spinners from the U 19 team.

Posted by Zycr9 on (February 20, 2014, 13:51 GMT)

India are finished.. Dhoni will not change.. Rohit sharma continues to fail and yet he keeps getting selected.. and ishanth sharma - once in a while he will produce 6 wicket haul type of performance.. and then only to be led down in next.. he might have taken wickets in the series..but team on the whole has failed in ODIs , first test..then in south africa.. ODIs and tests.. selectors just dont want to remove the non performing candidates.. they keep selecting the same old faces like there are no other talented cricketers in one billion population.. Changes have to be made .. many changes.. starting from Captain to players.. whole team and even the coach needs to be shown the door.. Indian fans have suffered enough.. for 3 years.. seeing failure performances from team.. England, Australia, South Africa, and now NZ have been breaking records and totally destroyed the team .. still our selectors dont want to learn .. ..Indian team is all time low.. worst ever period.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 13:26 GMT)

dravid has got a valid point, but the problem is who next. the bowling is already fragile & unable to pick 20 wickts consistently. the selectors r forced 2 perisist with ZAK bcos of loss of depth in the bowling dept. new comers like pandey, aaron should have been tried in NZ who's conditions r pretty much similar to UK. I think zak should b picked subject to fitness.

Posted by marcs on (February 20, 2014, 11:49 GMT)

Bit surprised by Dravid's comments. Do understand that Zak is past is prime but still is a force to reckon with considering the current state of Indian bowling unit. Even if he cannot be the mainstay, he can at least provide useful inroads. For instance, in SA he was consistently troubling Smith. Again in the NZ test series. Zak took 3 crucial wickets in NZ's second innings (2nd test). To me, the biggest issue with India while touring abroad is that they have not been able to capitalize on the starts they have had right from the England series in 2011. Rather than blaming it on individuals, it is the overall mindset of the team that has to change so as to be able to conquer new frontiers. Does Indian team have the mental strength to achieve that, is probably the biggest question here. World cricket is now struggling to find a true champion rather than mere champions at home. History teaches us that only the toughest leaders can create a champion team.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (February 20, 2014, 11:08 GMT)

Ashwin is basically a good bowler even if he is far from being athletic. He has the bowling skills of an off spinner but maybe he doesn't know how and where to use them. I remember Prasanna was a big success even on his first visit to New Zealand just as Shastri was. They succeeded even without using the kind of variations that are talked about these days like the doosras etc. I remember Prasanna as an absolutely accurate bowler who had that flight to keep the ball mesmerizingly above the eye brow level with it drifting and turning after pitching. It was very difficult for even the best of batsmen to take liberties with his bowling as the great Ian Chappel and Doug Walters found out.Ashwin would do well to shed his ego and discuss with the great Prasanna, The way to use different balls, field placements and plotting the dismissal of particular batsmen. From what i have seen Dhoni has no clue on any such thing. in fact Kohli looked excellent in the way he used Amit Mishra in Zimbabwe.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (February 20, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

Rahul Dravid has mostly been correct with his views just as he was probably the best Captain India have had since Pataudi. His cricketing acumen is quite unmatched whatever my friends from Calcutta may think ! Zaheer Khan will always get the odd wicket or two in favourable conditions but not in unfriendly ones as he used toi n the past. His presence at mid on could only be if he could be depended upon to make the breakthroughs. What I find most jarring is that bowlers like Umesh Yadav,Varun Aaron and Ishant Sharma have seemingly made such little advancement despite the natural ability that they are blessed with. That is the natural ability to bowl fast which is not as frequently seen in India as it is say in South Africa or Australia.The question is can they bowl six Yorkers in an over or 3 different types of slower balls or the odd leg cutter. That is what ails Indian cricket. Having a coach throwing down balls is not what is needed. Zaheer should be only a bowling coach not a player.

Posted by brusselslion on (February 20, 2014, 10:27 GMT)

@thozar (February 20, 2014, 3:00 GMT): "Even last time in 2011 in England we would have won the series if Bell was not given a life in the second test."

I'm no psychologist but I think that you may be in denial. Do yourself a favour, and seek help quickly.

Posted by brusselslion on (February 20, 2014, 10:14 GMT)

From an English perspective - and admitedly based on little viewing of his latest efforts - I hope Khan tours England, as I don't think that he will trouble us much. Putting my national bias to one side, I hope that he retires as, in his prime, he was a fine bowler and he deserves to be remembered as such.

I think that the majority of Indian fans are being a bit too pessimistic about your chances in England. It can't have escaped any cricket fans' notice that England are struggling, and that this is as good a time as any to play us: Sharma bowled quite well in patches - especially at Lords - on the last tour, and if he has learnt from that trip, and - big if - he is used correctly by Dhoni, he could have a big impact. Having said that, I still make England favourites: In amongst the carnage of the Ashes tour, Broad bowled quite well and very quick (90+mph) at times, and I would expect Anderson and Onions to bowl well in English conditions.

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 20, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

@ ModernUmpiresPlz: Even though if he is kept aside to play only in England he doesn't have the fitness to play 5 test matches at a stretch...we have seen that in the last tour against Eng....

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 20, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

@ jasonsmithkiwi: the reason why we are not sure about Yadav, Aaron and other fast bowlers is not because they dont have talent its because they dont get the backing of captain as he is backing up Jadeja, Ishant, Ashwin etc...Dhoni is not even interested in taking a look at new bowlers...he only includes his favourites in the team...that is why Ind keeps on loosing the matches and we even doubt if there are any good bowlers left in our country...

Posted by balaji28 on (February 20, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

@sandt even the best bowlers like anil kumble failed for nearly an year while bowling in overseas conditions but if you are really watching cricket closely ashwin bowled really well in the recently concluded warm cup match against newzealand before the test series and even the newzealand players told they felt really hard to play ashwin and even spinning greats applauded his bowling as ashwin flighted the ball very well. He took 2 crusial wickets and hit a sizable 46 runs in that warm up match.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

Zaheer Khan is India's most experienced bowler who has a stash of knowledge on opponents, pitches, swing, reverse swing. He needs to be part of the set up to mentor the next generation of Indian pace bowlers. He is not able to bowl even at 130 kmph anymore and unless the ball is swinging or reversing he cannot be the pace spearhead. This is a fact we need to accept. The pitches in England should offer him assistance and he is certain to play all Tests in England and Australia. I am sure the 100 Tests landmark is also something he must have dreamed of. So we need to look past him now and allow him to fade away gracefully. There is no logical argument to drop him straightaway.I would even consider including him in the ODI squad for the WC.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 9:19 GMT)

Why these cricketers making statements which can hamper somebody's carrier, only replacing people wont solve these issues, then why not Dravid opposing dhoni's captaincy which is not able to provide a single win in other countries from years now....martine crowe was right on espncricinfo ...that dhoni needs a rest..and selectors is also look in to it now....

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (February 20, 2014, 9:10 GMT)

@liza khan - dravid had to be pushed into retirement ? ! sorry but you are simply wrong , if you remember correctly he was head and shoulders above others in England when other seniors were flopping consistently , and in Australia he was found wanting by some excellent fast bowling , he realized this and quit after coming to India , and he said he wants to retire before the home season starts so that the new player can settle down in the team before the tough away tours. if at all anybody can make retirement comments it is dravid , at least the he didn't ask for a WI or Bangladesh home test series to retire !! and one more thing Zak may be one of India's best but he is nowhere near to be called a cricketing great

Posted by jasonsmithkiwi on (February 20, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

To be honest, I don't think India has any world class bowlers at the moment ay. I had a look at that Aaron fella but wasn't impressed. He has some pace but that's not enough to get wickets. His line, length was poor and he crumbled under pressure during the ODI series. Same with Umesh Yadav. I was impressed by that Sami fella but he needs a lot of work as well. Bowling is India's weakest link and they don't have anyone who can bundle sides out cheaply. Just look at Kiwi bowlers who made an impression straight away. India has got a lot of work to do mate. cheers bud

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 8:55 GMT)

Hmmm it was Zaheer Khans injury that started India s downfall.Till that season and in the WC he was as good if not better than steyn. It is after his last injury that he has become much slower.I would personally have him in the Indian setup but not in the 11.I really want r dhawan to play in eng .Hopefully he makes this ipl count. We also need a solid batting coach (Dravid Sachin )instead of clueless Fletcher .No one survives 4 series defeats all against different teams.

Posted by Naresh28 on (February 20, 2014, 8:24 GMT)

I have seen lots of backing by some fans of Rohit, my view is that there is a certain laziness in him e.g. being caught 1st ball after tea in NZ. This is something that Rohit needs to address by himself. Right now it takes the game from us when he does this. I also saw a drop catch by him at the fag end of day in one of the matches (cannot remember which one - could have been an SA game) There were three DROPPED CATCHES and these actually lost the game for us (others Kohli and Vijay) These guys should have a conscience and come out say so- admission. The selectors should reprimand these guys. We brush too much under the carpet.

Posted by Naresh28 on (February 20, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

@jose - well put, really enjoy reading your comments. Another consideration Zak needs to take is whether he wants to permanently injure himself before he leaves the sport. the risk is there.His type of bowling means his knees and ankles are taking the strain. I agree with you that we should not ridicule him - HE HAS BEEN A GREAT SERVANT TO INDIAN CRICKET.

Posted by fab4_india on (February 20, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

Yeap Its time Indian selectors should start looking beyond Old Horse Zaheer..Bowlers like Rishi Dhawan and Ishwar Pandey...who are the top two wicket takers this year.. If these guys can pick wickets on Indian Flat pitches then they can surely trouble any batsman in English conditions...plus they are fit and are better fielders then Zaheer, who was never a great fielder even in his prime... Plus Rishi Dhawan is a decent batsman having average of 40+ in first class...so he can very much solve the problem of fast bowling all rounder...i Would like to see back of Rohit, Vijay and Zaheer...they r of no use to India in English conditions...for sure...

My playing 11 - 5 Batsman + 3 All Rounders and 3 Medium Pacers...with 6 Bowlers at disposal (4 seamers + 2 Spinners), at least we wont see a need for Dhoni/Kohli to bowl

Shikhar Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Dhoni, Rishi Dhawan, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ishant / B. Kumar, Shami, I Pandey.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

It's quite amusing that certain players in the team are given longer rope compared to others. I'm sure, there is no favoritism. Dravid is a great player but he is hardly the person to suggest retirement to players. He almost had to be pushed into retirement due to the persistent media and near the end of this career, he was clearly past his best. Zak is a great, because unlike other Indian bowlers, he did well in England, SA etc. He still has lot to offer so pushing him into retirement is a bad idea because there is no one who is good enough to take his place. Pls, don't mention Umesh, Varun etc.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

whatever u say, if ind wants to win in england,vijay should be dropped..he is an absolute liability with zero talent

Posted by StreetView on (February 20, 2014, 7:26 GMT)

@arunsubbu Brag about Nohit as much as you want. No one's gonna listen.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (February 20, 2014, 7:17 GMT)

It is clear to all that India doesn't have fast bowlers who can bowl at 140+kph all 6 balls of an over, maintain off stump line discipline and can york correctly or bounce the ball to the correct height at will. India has so many cricket academies, so many State level teams, so many IPL teams, and therefore so many coaches and ex-cricketers. What are all these people including the BCCI doing to develop talent, spotting talent, etc? NOTHING! Else, Indian fast bowlers would not be as bad they are for the past 40 years! Why can't the BCCI with all that money develop a talent pool of 20 fast Indian bowlers who are Tests match quality from a population of 1.25 billion people and counting? Shame!

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (February 20, 2014, 7:11 GMT)

The questions that any Indian Captain, Selector, Cricket Expert / Commentator, Indian Fan must ask : 1. How many yorkers do our bowlers bowl in a spell of 5 overs and on demand? 2. How many overs are required to take the opposition all out? 3. As a %, how many balls are bowled accurately at the off stump line at more than 140kph? 4. How many bowlers can swing the ball - outwards and inwards, in all conditions? 5. How many bowlers can bowl a bouncer at shoulder height at 140kph at an off-stump line on demand?

If the bowler bowls on an offstump line accurately at 140+kph, he has every chance of a wicket - that is either clean bowled, lbw or caught at the slips. This way, he forces the batsman to commit errors and work hard to score runs.

This is why Shaun Pollock and Glen MacGrath were considered great wicket takers and misers when it came to giving away runs. Half the mental battle is run when the bowlers throttle the runs and force the batsmen to take high risks. *Sigh*

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 7:09 GMT)

no . we don't want to agree with cricketsunami comments. forum is created to express your views. yes fans will follow and make their comments in total crticallity. whats wrong with that. yes on bouncy moving tracks speed matters a lot. Thats the reason umesh yadav ,varon could be better than zak and spinners. the entire problem is we are unable to get good all rounders like neesham etc.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 7:04 GMT)

"He (ZAK) has been a great bowler for India, arguably the finest India fast bowler since Kapil Dev," Dravid said. But, Dravid also said about Zak's future, thus:

So that's (Zak's quitting) an issue he needs to consider, (if not) Indian selectors need to consider. I fully agree. The phrases within brackets are added by me for emphasis.

At this stage in his life, Zak should not attract derisive comments at best or ridicule at worst, the way the great Kapil did. Kapil, continued to be in the team, beyond his shelf life as India's "bowling spearhead", in his prolonged attempt to beat Hadlee's record. It attracted ridicule, which his greatness did not deserve.

But, Zak can be considered as a coach for the Indian pacers, not hiding in the shadows of the last row in the dressing room (as Dawes & Penny do) , but be a boundary rider during the matches, the way the current bowling coaches of OZ and SA do, during matches.

Posted by SAURAVJAIN on (February 20, 2014, 6:52 GMT)

Dhoni need to utilise his players in a better way. For instance in ODIs in place of Rayudu who plays at very slow strike rate,Dhoni could have Jadeja at no 5.. A batsman of his caliber who has 50+ domestic avg and brilliant hitting abilities and good technique to play bouncers can not give his maximum at no 7 or 8.Had Jaddu batted at no 5 in Odis, he will have got enough confidence to bat a long inning at no 7 in test.He is better bowler and fielder than Ashwin or Ojha. In a very short career Jad has 9 man of the matches while Rohit,Ashwin Ishant and many others do not have even 3 or 5 in ODIs.So he is a big match winner after Kohli and Dhoni and the talent needs proper utilisation as a batsman. It is due to the dropped catches which led to defeat in test matches............ BATTINGWISE..........1.DHAWAN,2.RAHANE,3.PUJARA,4.KOHLI ,5.JADEJA, 6.ROHIT,7.DHONI,8,9.MISHRA/YADAV/ASHWIN/OJHA(DEPENDING ON WICKET),10.ISHANT,11.ZAK

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 6:49 GMT)

The strategy to beat India is to produce a slow pitch and this makes the bowling attack in-effective. Using mental pressure even on these pitches which are slower the batting is ineffective in addition to some of the flawed techniques on the youngsters.

Spinners like Jadeja and Ashwin are effective in India. The morale of the team is not going to be high when a team losses to much. Making players like Pujara, Kohli, Rohit and Rahane to cope with the pressure.

India has a dillema. WC with Dhoni in ODIs/T20s but problems in Tests

Posted by StreetView on (February 20, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

Time for Zaheer to become India's bowling coach rather. Dravid is right about Ashwin. We need 5 bowlers . So Ashwin needs to be in the team instead of Rohit. Ashwin will anyway score more than Rohit. Thus we will have 5 bowlers abroad. That will invariably strengthen our weak bowling attack. @KANCHANA623 Rohit is your captain? Are you serious man? The only reason he is in the team is he is Dhoni's blue-eyed boy. My test team for England : Dhawan,Vijay,Pujara,Kohli,Rahane,Dhoni,Ashwin,Jadeja,Umesh,Shami,Ishant /Bhuvi ODI Team : Dhawan,Gambhir /Sharma,Kohli,Pujara,Rahane,Dhoni,Ashwin,Jadeja,Umesh,Shami,Bhuvi

Posted by Kaka13 on (February 20, 2014, 6:43 GMT)

I agree with Dravid and Zaheer needs to take call himself rather than dropped. My test team (15 Members) - Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Rahane, Dhoni, Rishi Dawan, Jadeja, Ashwin, Ishant, Umesh, Bhuvnesh, Shami Reserve - Baba Aprajith, K Rahul, Aaron, Gambhir

One Day Team - Dawan, Rohit, Kohli, Pujara, Rahane, Baba Aprajith, Sanju Samson, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Rishi Dhawan, Shami, Bhuvnesh, Binny, Vinay Kumar Reserve - Aaron, Mohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Unmukt Chand

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 20, 2014, 6:42 GMT)

Kohli might be delighted with match saving century in last test (despite not walking when there was edge there) but should not forget he lead the match from win for India to hard-fought draw would he have he not dropped simple catch of McCullam on 9, and match would have been finished in 3 days. He is the guy who rather more interested for being super-hero and that's why India could not win a single test match in last 3 years and having won only 2 matches in 31 away matches excluding Zimbabwe and WI (Tests and ODIs) since 2011.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 20, 2014, 6:38 GMT)

It's best time to try with Irfan Pathan. If he succeeds, it will solve the problem of wicket taker and experienced bowler and his batting at lower order will be bonus.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 20, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

Amazed his views about Ashvin ! Everyone knows his consistent failure on away and now a days at home as well, still back the bowler !? Is this because he is from South?

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 20, 2014, 6:35 GMT)

It seems Dravid made exaggeration with his expert views. He should see record of other seamers as well including failure of Ishant, Aaron, Umesh Yadav etc. Zaheer is 32 years only and has lots of cricket remaining, but the reason is he is not getting enough support from others bowlers like Steyn has that from Philander, Morkel. In second innings of second test, when NZ were 94/5 by excellent bowling from Zaheer and Shami, Ishant failed to support conceding memoth 164 runs without taking single wicket. Infact India need to have expert bowling coach like McGrath, Walsh, Akram etc.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 6:28 GMT)

There is a time to shine and then there is a time to ride away in the sunset. Zahir is the proverbial 'come-back" kid. He has returned many a times before when we had written him off. This time its different. The body has really aged and he makes his living as a quick - the trade of the young. Its time he realised that his useful shelf life is fast expiring. The recent 5 wicket haul doesn't mean anything. At best it was a fluke. Dravid is right in calling for Zak's retirement. He has served his country honourably and well. Time to let others toil and try to shine in his place. Now its their turn to seek a place in the sun.

Posted by Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on (February 20, 2014, 6:20 GMT)

Zaheer Khan has no doubt been one of India's best bowlers to date. However, age is not his friend and it is catching up to him. Regardless of whether or not he is fit enough, he should not bowl in England. The England and Australia tours are massive for the young Indian talent. This will be their first prolonged international exposure outside the country and after some success at home, they are experienced enough to handle the pressure. However, they need experience outside, which they will only get by playing. Thus, Zak needs to step down to give others a chance. For example, Bhuvi could do well in England. The conditions suit his bowling and he could get a massive confidence boost. Similarly, Yadav or Aaron could be tried on the pacey wickets of Australia. These tours could help showcase our bowlers' true potential or indicate a need for change and if so, hopefully start the search for others.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 6:16 GMT)

"India is a cricketing powerhouse, but over the last 2 years or so, overseas, they have only shown themselves as a powermouse." - Sunil Gavaskar

Posted by Gozunder on (February 20, 2014, 6:10 GMT)

Zaheer Khan should be made the bowling coach of the Indian team with immediate effect. Rahul Dravid was a great captain, unfortunately his tenure lapsed with the Greg Chappell era which ended dramatically, but I see Dravid as a great strategist and should be made Coach ahead of someone like Ganguly, who's got more fans in these forums than anywhere else in the world. Here in Australia, Dravid's skills have a very high regard, and that can be seen from the Rajasthan Royals' results in the IPL. My honest suggestion is Dravid as head coach (if he's willing to take the top job), Zaheer as bowling coach (he's still fit enough, and commands serious respect with all Indian bowlers) and possibly someone like Robin Singh as fielding coach. Put Duncan, Dawes and Penney out of their misery, and let them go gracefully BCCI.

Posted by Cricfever_PM on (February 20, 2014, 6:09 GMT)

Thinking of 5 Match serious in England really scarring me! Looking at the form and we are going right after the IPL where players are in real t20 mood and don't know how many injury we gonna face during the remaining 3 to 4 month period. Our bowlers are in real mess, Ishanth & Shami bowling well in 1st innings when it's comes to 2nd innings were we need to take wickets they are failing. Slight improvement in batting and hope they will carry forward this to Eng. Vijay is in real mess and i would suggest to take extra opener but not Veeru or Gauti as they didn't even score runs in 1st class cricket in India and i don't think they would score in overseas. This time we have to think beyond senior players and bring some young blood.

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 20, 2014, 6:07 GMT)

Zak has been a great asset to Ind bowling. He has contributed to many wins in the past for India, he was the only bowler who we relied on and he also delivered most of the times...but now its time for him to move on, we however really need his expertise as a mentor for the younger bowlers in the future...he should be in the team either as a fast bowling coach or as a mentor...If Dhoni picks him again in test matches then God save Indian team

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 20, 2014, 6:05 GMT)

Felt sorry looking at the way he ran after the ball while fielding. He was just so slow as though your car with a check engine light running in limp mode. It was embarrassing. Nothing wrong Zaheer. We all know that you are a bowler from the top draw. You have nothing to prove to yourself or to others at this point of time in your career. You can proudly retire.

Posted by JohnSnider on (February 20, 2014, 6:00 GMT)

I am a Pakistani and follow both India and Pakistan closely against Int'l tours. Regarding Zaheer Rahul is perfect in his comments. I believe any fast bowler including Zaheer should not be burdened with 50 plus overs so. All you are doing is injuring the bowler and that is poor captaincy. You bring Zaheer 5 overs spell at a time and you would see how great he would be. He has lots of experience but captain should know all his chess pieces well. He is a great bowler and he should tour England but give him breaks often. Shami is good but get Wasim Akram as bowling coach and have him train these youngsters for future. Ishant is already doing excellent but he should be in camp with Wasim Akram. Indian team should consist two fast and two spin bowlers. One all rounder like Shane Watsun, one like Afridi. and 5 specialist batsmen like Kohli without his premeditated shots. He is someone could score double ton occasionally. Kohli is winner.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

"He will only learn if he play more games"

He will play more games only if the BCCI organises more tour matches. Trying out stuff in an international test match isn't the preferred approach.

Posted by kar_rocks on (February 20, 2014, 5:54 GMT)

That England series will be the death-blow for Dhoni's test captaincy and Duncan's coaching stint for India. Mark my words. India will come out badly bruised and humiliated from that tour. When was the last time India played 5 tests in a series? Forget about winning they can't even compete for 5 tests. After the first 2 tests they will just turn up waiting to be thrashed and go back as though nothing just happened. @ModernUmpirePlz: Your comment is the one that doesn't make sense to any of us here. Did you watch the last Eng tour? Remember what happened to ZAK? How long did he survive on that tour? He was always a liability fitness or otherwise.

Posted by wapuser on (February 20, 2014, 5:52 GMT)

I think time has come to replace CSK mates. Ashwin has no performance outside India. Pandey, Aron new players should get chance.

Posted by arunsubbu on (February 20, 2014, 5:42 GMT)

i am a die-hard rohit fan so i would selectors to back him up.remember he is being asked to open the innings even when he is a specialist middle order batsmen.agreed he failed lot of times in middl eorder hence was asked to open.I would suggest bring gambhir to pena dn send rohit down the order.But if u do decide to throw out rohit do so but if there is somone who deserves it more than it its jadeja.here is a guy who cant bat,cant take wickets and still is tagged as an allrounder.irfan pathan was far better than him but i guess he isnt in chennai kings so dhoni doesnt prefer him

Posted by sray23 on (February 20, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

I think Zaheer should be spaced out rather than dropped completely. He still has the skill & intensity to cause problems, it just his body cannot recover fast enough for back-to-back matches anymore. He should play in only important Tests, IPL and very select ODIs leading up to World Cup. And if he continues to bowl lots of low-profile overs in domestic cricket, match fitness should not be a problem for him. He is clearly India's best pacer since Kapil, and still has a lot to give to the team. The younger fast bowlers can also still learn a lot from him. If he still has the desire and hunger, he just needs to be managed well and he can still deliver a lot for India.

Posted by Haleos on (February 20, 2014, 5:29 GMT)

@pulkit10 - yes and aswin has progressed leaps n bounds as a cricketer. Cant take wickets cant field. Cant run.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 5:28 GMT)

I think everyone except dhoni agrees that we need to change the bowling line-up. Either add an extra bowler of bring someone with pace lilke Umesh or Aaron or someone who is a genuine spinner like Ojha or a Mishra. To solve a problem one must accept that there is a problem. If Dhoni makes a comment that bowling is doing well then where do we go from here.

Posted by Haleos on (February 20, 2014, 5:26 GMT)

Yes. Zaheer should listen to Rd and not do wht rd did. Tag along till u became obsolete.

Posted by abparmaa on (February 20, 2014, 5:15 GMT)

1.Dhawan 2.Gambhir 3.Pujara 4.Kohli 5.Rahane 6.Dhoni 7.Jadeja 8.Ashwin 9.Shami 10.Ishant 11.Umesh

Cant this be Perfect India 11 ??

Posted by JJJake on (February 20, 2014, 4:59 GMT)

It will be interesting to see how the India deals with the upcoming English and Australian test series. Three seam bowlers and one specialist spinner is the general rule for those two countries. After the tours of SA and NZ I wouldn't go in with high expectations as the English attack had Australia reeling in each innings throughout test in the Ashes only for Brad Haddin to save Australia . The four test tour of Australia will be even harder for India. Having to survive against relentless express pace bowling on fast bouncy wickets will see a lot of the Indian batters come undone .

Posted by Samar_Singh on (February 20, 2014, 4:51 GMT)

What has Zak done in the last 3 years ? Very very poor records. 12 test and just 31 wicket at an average of about 45. These are too ordinary stats and he is Indias strike bowlers. You don't win test matches with those performance.

Posted by Sandt on (February 20, 2014, 4:50 GMT)

It is really surprise to see the comment from such an player like dravid. Is he thinks that India has not given enough chance to Ashwin. surprise

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 20, 2014, 4:47 GMT)

Dravid is right. When your senior most fast bowler is not up to the mark and have youngsters like Umesh and Bhuvaneshwar sitting in the bunch, it is waste of time. Even if they were not able to do well, it can be excused as they are young. But what about seniors like Zak? He lost his pace and his accuracy limited to 2-3 balls in an over.

Posted by balaji28 on (February 20, 2014, 4:45 GMT)

It's time for zaheer khan to bid adieu to international cricket and he can continue with his ipl stint and end his cricket career.He can in future can become a bowling coach or mentor of indian team. Ashwin bowled really well in the warm match before the newzealand test series and even applauded by former greats for flighting the ball very well and also contributed very well with the bat and he also took 2 crucial wickets in that warm match against newzealand. But for all these efforts what ashwin deserved was he haven't been given a single opportunity while jaddu performed badly as he canm't flight the ball which ashwin can do and also jaddu is playing test cricket like a t20 cricket and therefore in future tours jaddu should be sidelined from test cricket and pragyan should replace him while another spinner should get a nod in place of one seamer. Rohit sharma should be dropped and be replaced either by dinesh karthik or baba aparajith or any player from karnataka ranji winning team

Posted by Vnott on (February 20, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

Thank God Someone has the guts to say the truth. Zaheer needs to retire ( inspite of not doing very badly in the last 4 tests), Rohit needs to be dropped from the test team and Dhoni should play purely as a batsman / make way for Virat as captain with Pujara as deputy. We need to bring back Gambhir as an additional opener - Vijay has played some good knocks in SA but not consistent... Atleast as an option we need Gambhir . Bring in Karthik for the middle order slot, Play Mishra as the spinner ahead of Ashwin and keep Jadeja out of the test team ( maybe he can be substitute fielder) , Have Ishwar Pandey and Umesh Yadav as replacements to Zaheer. It is not that we need to make wholesale changes. But right selection and aggressive captaincy will get us the results.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 4:06 GMT)

How nice it would be if, like cars have fuel level indicators, players have indicators to show how many games are left in them!

Posted by Mr_Anonymous on (February 20, 2014, 3:45 GMT)

If fitness is really a valid concern, I would still want to have Zaheer play 3 Test Matches (he can play every alternate match, match 1, 3, and 5). I really cannot understand why Umesh Yadav is not being given a chance. I really think that Umesh or Bhuvi needed to be given a chance in the last NZ Test in place of one of the middle order batsmen (probably Rohit Sharma based on form). I am really hoping Praveen Kumar can make a comeback for the England Tests.

I also feel that some of the younger bowlers like I Pandey, Awana, Varun Aaron, Dinda, Unadkat, A Mithun, P Chawla, Harmeet Singh, Rasool, Dhawan should be encouraged and given opportunities to see if an English county team might be interested in them for a season or two. It will grow their skills in overseas conditions and build their confidence.

Also, giving international playing opportunities (an India "A" tour perhaps) to someone like Rishi Dhawan and Stuart Binny would be helpful. We need a pace all-rounder for WC 2015.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 3:41 GMT)

ZAK might have taken wickets in the second innings but he was seen struggling to bowl at a decent pace through out the 2 series. Ishant and Shammi bowled well. We need to have atleast 5 bowlers. So Rohit should be out. We could try out with Binny in his place. Ashwin could bowl in England better. Zaheer , Rohit should go.

Posted by zaheerthetop on (February 20, 2014, 3:40 GMT)

I think its not right to blame bowlers, If you drop catches than what bowlers will do? Kohlii dropped the catch when macculam on 20. If he hold that catch India could level the series with huge margine. Kohli hit century but same time he dropped catch of Macculam, no body blaming the fielders, why only bowlers??

Posted by wapuser on (February 20, 2014, 3:20 GMT)

Well Zak has done well.in test he is not totally fit.bring zaheer in odi.ten overs is good for him.any how all bowlers are giving 50 odd runs so y can't zaheer.and we can't go every time with ash win jadeja combination.its hurts the whole combination.and middle order is worst.team combination needs to be right.bring back gahmbir at 4 slot.

Posted by wapuser on (February 20, 2014, 3:16 GMT)

ITS NOT ABOUT WINNING MATCHES IN SUB CONTINENT.YES INDIa have done good in subcon pitches.not what about pitches abroad.we fans are asking for a single win.just a single win from last three years.

Posted by thozar on (February 20, 2014, 3:00 GMT)

Even last time in 2011 in England we would have won the series if Bell was not given a life in the second test. We also were unfortunate with so many injuries. Remember Zaheer Khan got injured in the first test after getting their openers for next to nothing. He did not bowl in that test and did not play the rest of the series. Sehwag also joined only in the middle and I think Gambhir also missed some tests. So Dravid had to do most of the batting. Tendulkar was also unlucky. I think he got some bad decisions and also got run out on the non-striker's end in one of the tests when he was batting very well. Also England had some form back then. Now situation is reversed. We have a young, fit team and their team is full of out of form players.

Remember that India has not lost a series to England with Zaheer fully fit. So Zaheer is must.

Posted by thozar on (February 20, 2014, 2:54 GMT)

@chechong0114, you must be dreaming if you think England will beat India let alone humiliate us. Did you even follow their Ashes tour? They have lost several key players and their coach also along the way. Trott is gone, KP has been discarded, Swann has retired, Flower was sacked, Prior was dropped. Their other experienced players like Anderson are totally on the wane now and the new ones like Root and Ballance dont seem to be fit for international cricket. They have no one who could bat for long. Did you know that the only player who scored a century for them was their new allrounder Stokes. Their tactics have been ruthlessly exposed. If you cut their scoring opportunities, they will gift their wickets. Otherwise, rattle them with pace. Their bowling is also weak. Their spinner is new and their fast bowlers only bowl at gentle medium pace. They will lose to even Bangladesh. I think if India do not win the series at least 3-0, it will be a disappointment.

Posted by thozar on (February 20, 2014, 2:48 GMT)

@pulkit10, Bhuvi will rattle the weak England batting with the new ball but in the event they survive the new ball with minimum loss, then it will be difficult for India because Bhuvi has problems taking wickets with the old ball. Let Bhuvi learn under the shadows of Zaheer this series and get ready for the next. He has a big future ahead of him. Let us not hurry him into the setup. Despite the promising start for Ishant, I think he was hurried a bit and that proved disastrous for some time. He could have toured along playing the odd games and then when he was fully ready, he could have been drafted into the XI. Had that happened, I think he would be challenging Steyn and Johnson as the top fast bowler in the world by now. I think the selectors/captain got a bit carried away with him initially. But, he seems to be getting his mojo back slowly.

Posted by thozar on (February 20, 2014, 2:42 GMT)

Zaheer is a must for the England series. Dravid knows the game better than any of us but he should also know that England are now a team of also-rans. Zaheer had to toil for 51 overs against New Zealand but he probably won't be bowling that many in 2 tests against England because the England batting is so weak. We saw that against the Aussies when their batting line-up crumbled like a pack of cards. Still I would suggest that India play either 4 pacemen or 3 pacemen and Ashwin depending on the conditions in addition to Jadeja as an allrounder at #7. We need to get rid of Vijay and promote Rahane as opener to partner Dhawan. Against the England bowling which is also weak as we saw against Australia, we don't need 6 specialist batsmen. With 4 regular bowlers and Jadeja as allrounder, all bowlers will have less workload even in the rare event that England's batsmen find some form. Let Zaheer go on a high with another crushing series victory in English soil.

Posted by Sawankumar21 on (February 20, 2014, 2:41 GMT)

@wolf777 - no , we cannot afford to drop Rahane now. He has proved himself against Steyn , Morkel and Philander in their own backyard and in seaming wickets in NZ . A successful series in England would be a massive confidence booster for him.

Posted by sergio11 on (February 20, 2014, 1:58 GMT)

i think David is completly correct here..Zak bgn a consistent performer for ind for some time now,but think its time...5 test match is too much for him...even in NZ, in the helpful conditions he wasnt troubling the batters...his 125-130kmph balls wont be effective..more over when pitch goes flat in 3 and 4 day..with his pace he will be easy pickings...thats what happened in 2 test in NZ and 1st test in SA..when pitch goes flat,we need someone to hit the deck hard and generate pace and trouble the batters..shami is doing that but he need assists from other end..if Zak's was balling well with new ball then it was fine...but thats not the case,neither with new and old ball he is ineffective..but Zak is one of the all time best fast baller played for ind,so let him decide..if so..Yadav or Aaron will be the right Choice...

Posted by KANCHANA623 on (February 20, 2014, 1:55 GMT)

Rohith should be appointed as the captain for England tour. Dhoni should not wicket keep. He will be a handy bowling all rounder in England if trusted with the job. Rehane should be replaced with Schewag. Vijay should be replaced by Ashwin to add another all rounder to the team. Sanju Samson should be the wicket keeper and he should come in Pujara's place.India needs to go with Ishan, Zaheer and Shami as their pace academy.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 1:43 GMT)

Guess we all have witnessed last of Zaheer Khan. One of the finest tacticians who rarely delivered results or lived up to his potential. For a # 1 fast bowler to have taken just 11 times five+ wickets in a innings is good enough proof that he never had the ability to run thru a batting line up. In the last 5 years or so Zaheer complicated his bowling by trying far too many things and compromising on speed and as a result potency of all his tricks produced limited results. But that said, Zaheer had a thankless job of bowling alone and never had a decent fast bowling partner bowling from other end. Harbhajan & Kumble were his partners for most part of his international career. For a fast bowler to succeed it is critical to have another fast bowler from other end as it would gives them enough time between over. Barring Wasim Akram & Alan Davidson, cricketing world has not witnessed many successful left arm fast bowlers and Zaheer right up there to be part of this elite group.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 1:34 GMT)

India needs 5 bowlers if wants to win abroad. Then who are they?. India shall try with available best option in the bowling composition of: R Jadeja R Aswin/P Rassol/ J Saxena R Dhawan I Sharma/ I Pandey/ P Singh S Ahamed/ U Yadav/ V Aron

Posted by JustAnotherCricketFan on (February 20, 2014, 1:17 GMT)

@pulkit10 : Rohit is very talented, but youre right, youre team seems a lot more balanced simply cos, going by the last few tests maybe ashwin and jadeja together could give us those wicket taking balls we need to break these partnerships, plus five bowlers means bowlers will be fresher, ==> more wicket taking deliveries, more variety , better over rate so that dhoni can take his time setting feilds for the quicks. and

just one addition maybe bhuvi in place of zaheer every second game or so bhuvi can go back after every game and get enough time to reflect and work on his mistakes and ZAK can be fresher everytime he comes in.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 1:09 GMT)

Dravid is actually right. They can actually make Zaheer khan our bowling coach. Our team don't need some south african, or Australian bowling coach. Zaheer has been a master of swing balling in his prime. Our bowlers need someone which they can get comfortable with and actually learn. And why have duncan Fletcher coach our team at the age of 65 and joe dawes who has never played international cricket. Kapil dev could be a great bowling coach with Someone from our domestic cricket. We need laid back coaches not big names. If only could see it. Things would have been different. As they money can't buy you brains.

Posted by tusharkardile on (February 19, 2014, 22:51 GMT)

Is it too difficult for someone like Dravid to see that Zak bowled more overs than others in most of last eight innings, and took 16 wickets. Too bad that Zaheer is a bowler. Had he been a batsman like Rahul, they would have said let him decide his own fate.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

A significant difference between the Indian teams under Ganguly and Dravid that performed well overseas and the one under Dhoni is that none of the six batsmen contribute with the ball. A Sehwag, Ganguly, or Tendulkar had the ability to break partnerships. With the current line-up, expecting four bowlers to deliver twenty wickets on a consistent basis is asking for a miracle. The team management has to find a way of incorporating an extra bowling all-rounder even though that may translate to reducing the number of 'pure' batsmen. Having said that, it's been ages since all six performed in one innings.

Posted by sili on (February 19, 2014, 22:25 GMT)

Zaheer is like a Sachin in bowling department without him we would have not own some in overseas before. Now definitely he is getting old and his presence is very important for younger ones to learn. I would go with Zaheer in England and also definately 6 batsman + 5 bowlers combination required.

Posted by Alexk400 on (February 19, 2014, 22:17 GMT)

Ashwin has better production of runs than rohit ever did and also ashwin better bowler. I think its dhoni keeping BCCI mumbai guys happy by keep selecting useless rohit sharma again and again. He is unfit for overseas tour because his bat speed is slow and he gets caught on thouse bouncy pitches. He is physically weak player.

Posted by Nampally on (February 19, 2014, 22:10 GMT)

I do not quite see eye-to-eye with Dravid's recent comments: 1. For Dhoni to continue captaincy for one more year 2. For Zaheer to retire before the England Tour. I personally feel it is time for Dhoni to resign from Captaincy & let others with leadership potential take over. I think Rohit Sharma for Tests is an ideal guy both with his personality & knowledge of the game. He is also the captain of Mumbai. As for Zaheer, I think he will be lethal in English conditions. He swings the ball & in English moist laden conditions he is the best bet India can offer. Shami, Kumar, Ishant are other 3 pace bowlers in support. My only reservation is use ZAK in short burst of 5 to 7 overs, Dhoni's policy of making the 3 pace bowlers work like Donkies is totally wrong, ineffective & damn right dangerous..This could lead to pulled muscles on soft ground conditions in England. ZAK was lethal in the first Test during the last tour before he pulled a muscle. My advise to ZAK is to take rest from IPL.

Posted by cricket_ahan on (February 19, 2014, 22:07 GMT)

Partly countering some people's arguments here, Zaheer doesn't need to play to provide guidance and support to younger, less experienced bowlers in the side. Yes, I must say, even Ishant has stepped up with him in the side, but surely Zaheer's presence as a coach would have a similar impact. He has lost pace to trouble batsmen and his body has shown signs of fatigue in the latter stages of all games he has played so far (which also makes him a huge liability in the field). Zaheer should be offerred a support staff role, and Bhuvi should come back into the mix. Ishant also needs to be dropped in favour of Yadav.

Posted by spinkingKK on (February 19, 2014, 22:02 GMT)

I agree with Dravid. Zaheer, really, not bowling well for a long time now. You don't want your spearhead to bowl at 125kph wide outside offstump frequently. I suggest playing with Yadav, Shami, Sharma/Pandey and Aaaron. Just selecting someone because he has got experience is not good. I remember India's last tour or Pakistan when India only had young Pathan and Balaji to bowl and they did a marvelous job. So, selecting some young bowlers will be the way to go.

Posted by Raki99 on (February 19, 2014, 22:02 GMT)

There was No reason to bring him back, zaheer bowled under 130 for most of the time and when there is no swing forget about it. He is nealy 36 start grroming somebody else now. Can't belive umesh yadaw is not getting a game in the last two years. I think its high time to say thank you and good buy to Dhoni and his policies.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 21:49 GMT)

Its time for Zaheer to retire. India has two quick bowlers who were not given a chance. Yadav and Varun who bowl in the 140-q45 km range.Without sheer pace on flat tracks India is going nowhere.

Posted by wapuser on (February 19, 2014, 21:38 GMT)

Time to put pacey bowlers such as Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron to test. Do away with the medium pacers. Let them fail and learn from mistakes and be able to intimidate the batsmen.

Posted by vrkp on (February 19, 2014, 21:31 GMT)

I think Zak should definitely play. All this talk about him bowling in 130s is unfair on him. If you look at the bowling speeds of NZ pacers, none of them were bowling more than 137-139k. most of the time, they were bowlning at the same speed as Zak. If you look at the last four tests, we were able to bowl out the opposition teams for less than 200 in 3 out 8 times. Its only when they were asked to bowl for far too long, they get tired. The only way to solve that is to play 4 bowlers and 1 proper all rounder. Rahane deserves his chance to be in the team and so is Jadeja as these two have done much much better than Rohit who in 7 completed test innings in the last 4 tests has only one 50+ score. Compared to that Rahane has scored 51*, 96, 120+ scores. Jadeja also taken wkts when there was turn on offer plus his fielding is world class. He has also contributed with his batting in NZ. So, replace Rohit with a pacer or pace allrounder and Ashwin instead of Vijay.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 21:26 GMT)

@pulkit10 drop RS and keep Vijay ?

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 21:23 GMT)

zaheer should retire and give younsters some chance

Posted by ashok16 on (February 19, 2014, 21:11 GMT)

I hope Dravid stops this pontificating and goes into coaching or adminstration. Success there will be in keeping with this greatness. Commentary can be left to the likes of Ravi Shastri and the once great Gavaskar.

Posted by Temuzin on (February 19, 2014, 21:05 GMT)

chechong0114: Thanks for a sane post on this insane thread. Actually most of the Indian fans have theri own liking and disliking and if their player is not selected then sack Dhoni. In fact some of the openly pray that India should lose the match vindicating their point of view. If you look at the thread there are at least 30 players who should be in the team. So its fragmented fan base ready to sack captain and players who they think is coming in the way of their fav player. Media too has its favorite and they write inflammatory article to create sensation.

Posted by Jimmyvida on (February 19, 2014, 21:00 GMT)

Dravid has suggested Kohli as replacement for Dhoni given that he did not walk when he snicked the ball in the 13th over. Broad's dishonesty has been heralded in England to the point where Broad is a hero to the English people. If Dravid thinks dishonesty is a trait required to win. Then a dishonest captain is a start.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 20:54 GMT)

The team needs variety.. Zak was good with the old ball and that's what all captains want.. however, he seems fit but bowling at merely 130 isn't going to cut it. I am not sure why Indian pacers compromise on speed often. Munaf Patel was 145+ when he came in to the side.. now he is 130 as well. Team India needs "fast" bowlers.. 140+ is a must to trouble batsmen constantly.. Is it worth to have Zak's bowling despite his below average fielding and purposeless batting? I don't think so.. the team needs variety in its attack. It's probably better to play Irfan Pathan who'd bowl pretty much the same and at least score a valuable 50 when its needed.. hope the IPL serves as a stage for bowlers instead of batters..

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (February 19, 2014, 20:43 GMT)

Zaheer cannot survive 5 test matches in England. His tank is empty.

Posted by pulkit10 on (February 19, 2014, 20:26 GMT)

Why don't they swap Rohit with Ashwin? He hasn't learned how to contribute with the bat and is therefore, of no obvious value to the team. After a long rope in T20s and an even longer one in ODIs, he has very few performances of note. Ashwin gets the same amount of runs as him (and looks more comfortable getting them too) so why not push him up to #6?

You could have this order: Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Ashwin, Dhoni, Jadeja, Zaheer, Sharma and Shami.

The bowling has good variety with Shami being the pacey youngster, Ishant generating decent bounce and Zaheer keeping things quiet (which he really needs to do more of). I too have my doubts of him going through a 5 test series so would suggest replacing him with Kumar, provided that he is able to keep things quiet and seam/swing the ball enough. Most importantly though, they need to get their lengths sorted out and Dhoni really needs to start giving them wicket taking fields.

Posted by chechong0114 on (February 19, 2014, 20:12 GMT)

Indian fans can be so harsh in their comments towards their national players whenever they experience defeat but as is the general attitude in the sport of cricket they fail to see what the real problem is thereby being able to ultimately find a solution. The real problem is" BURN OUT" and no matter who they replace with who if the amount of cricket being played by this Indian team does not significantly reduce soon there will be a domino effect to India's cricket program. In my personal opinion Dhoni has done a great job with his troops, even though his personal batting has not been all that good the man has had much more success than alot of captains in the game. From winning the 2011 CWC, the 2011 Champions Trophy, crushing Australia 4-0 in a test series in India last year then going on to win the ODI series as well I will say they have done the Indian people proud. However the fans never seem to remember the good things just want to get rid of and replace players when they lose.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (February 19, 2014, 20:11 GMT)

A Zaheer Khan retirement before such a huge tour would result in a disastrous affair,like the last tour.Zaheer had England in a bit of trouble at Lord's last time before he pulled out.He is a classy bowler,even when he lacks pace,he isn't easy to handle.Ravichandran Ashwin is the way to go I believe,Ravindra Jadeja is an excellent player,bats decently,bowls accurately & amongst the finest fielder around,but he is not a weapon,he needs to be played with Ashwin & that will not happen in England.

Posted by wolf777 on (February 19, 2014, 20:04 GMT)

@ Rohit with 7-4 combination everyone is struggling. Look at the amount of bowling Indian bowlers had to put in in the 2nd Test in NZ. That's why Indian bowlers are always unfit and tired. India need to pick an extra bower to balance the workload. With Jadeja in the fold, there is no need for the Sixth batsman. Why does India need the sixth batsman anyway? Dhoni is more that capable batman himself. Get rid of either Rahane or your namesake Rohit Sharma...and pick up a fast bowler when overseas. As matter of fact India can make that spot for fast bowler overseas and for spinner in sub-continent

Posted by KeepitHonest on (February 19, 2014, 20:00 GMT)

Zak's potential in the UK is all hype. The same could have been said about NZ & it didn't work out. India should contemplate all-seam attacks from now on... Shami, Aaron, Pandey and Binny at #7 or #8.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 19:57 GMT)

I disagree with dravid, ishant always performed well under guidance of zaheer. guidance is needed to groom shami and co. if zaheer can last England n Australia tour will be great for indian team he can share his experience with ishant n shami they both can learn alot in this 10 test matches n can be on their own thereafter. I think zaheer himself will hang his boots after Australian tour as this tour will give him 100+ tests.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 19, 2014, 19:43 GMT)

Zaheer was bowling over 130 on the final morning of that test match in NZ. That surprised me beyond belief. If there was anywhere you would want an out and out swing bowler wouldn't it be in England? I think Yadav or Aaron should have played instead of ZAK in SA and NZ, but in England ZAK will be in his element. I'm not sure this article, nor most of its' respondents, make any sense.

Posted by Temuzin on (February 19, 2014, 19:33 GMT)

Indian fans are most knowledgeable and informed fans on the planet. They know solution to every problem with team India. Its too bad, we are not taking advantage of so much knowledge on these threads. Even some of the media people are much more knowledgeable than Duncan, Dhoni, team and selectors. Media people and we fan write day in and day out about what should have been done and would have been done. Fans also write in great details who should be in the team and who should not be. If team management starts listening to cricinfo fans we will win many more matches. All fans on cricinfo guarantee it. So what are waiting for BCCI?

Posted by Rohit... on (February 19, 2014, 19:31 GMT)

Zaheer has done a lot in the past but Dravid is right.... It is difficult to accommodate him with 7-4 combination which will have atleast 1 spinner for over-rate...Zaheer has not been at his best and his speed has fallen dramatically... Time to ask for a Farewell Match, Zaheer.

Posted by GrindAR on (February 19, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

One question longing answer of a while now. In 90's India had had lots of programs to groom fast bowlers... It did pay of handy. The best Indian swing bowler until 2000, Venkatesh Prasad, Zaheer Khan to some extent Abey Kuruvilla the unlucky bowler... and few unnamed bunch of players... What happened? Very sad to see the grooming programs are not doing their job and scrapped for good. Some things have to stay permanently... I now realize how Saurav/Dravid/Kumble use to lead the team, relegate the responsibilities to the best brains they have got within the team. Zaheer use to spearhead the pace attack, it worked very well. What happened to that kind of setup?

Swing bowlers get great results when the fielding unit is sharp and hve good reflexes, atleast in the close catching positions. To win matches, the swing bowling (>120 kph) does lots of damage than the fast (>145 kph). We do have bowlers to do that consistently. What is missing is adequate (consistent) fielding skills. WORKONIT

Posted by amvm on (February 19, 2014, 19:18 GMT)

Dravid has for a change given a frank and honest opinion and one feels that Zahir starts getting tired and will certainly have problem in five tests series. His comments about MSD were diplomatic and lacked impartiality and he failed to talk about Rohit and Vijay who are big burdens on the team. India doesn't have six reliable batsmen to play five bowlers and this needs some serious thinking though I am not sure if it will ever happen but is the need of the hour.

Posted by chechong0114 on (February 19, 2014, 19:17 GMT)

What Zaheer Khan and this whole India team really need is rest at least 6 good months of it from any kind of cricket at all. Because all of the cricket world depend heavily on India to make any kind of real money to sustain their programs BCCI continues to pack their International itentry 365 days a year every year and this kind of behavior is beginning to take a serious toll on the players. If the rest of the cricketing world refuse to hire good enterprising business people and create better ideas to make money that is not BCCI's fault and they need to stop trying to help the whole world at the expense of their poor players. If this cricket over kill does not stop not only Zaheer will be out the team but Kohli, Sharma, Shami and Dhoni himself soon. Just think now that this tour is over they have Asia cup, then T20 WC, then IPL which most or all their international stars will be involved then they go to Englad and play a full tour which involves 5 test matches, absolutely ridiculous

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 18:56 GMT)

why only zaheer why not other players let say dohni who has been responsible for all the defeats abroad due to his negative defensive tactics why not ishant as well prior to NZ tour ishant struggled in all formets infact he twice got 6 wickets but struggled in other matches

Posted by TheTrueView on (February 19, 2014, 18:47 GMT)

nothing is wrong with Zaheer. I wonder on what Dravid is basing his push for Zaheer's disappointment. Performance wise he has not done anything bad and has been good / above average. This call for "youngsters will solve all problems" is pure fantasy + habitual thinking. Has India got bowlers in the sidelines waiting to replace him? NO

Posted by SchoolGirlCricketCaptain on (February 19, 2014, 18:47 GMT)

Dravid is right. On green tracks and swinging conditions India's pace bowling should be chosen (3 or 4) out of Aaron, Yadav, Shami, Pandey, and Kumar.

Mishra should have played both the tests in NZ given NZ's weakness against leg spin. He is no mug with the bat either but Dhoni treats him like an enemy.

Going by Dhoni's 'happy' words after the NZ series it appears he still keen to go to England with Zaheer, Ishant, Shami, Jadeja, and Ashwin with the rest (whoever they are) warming the bench. Dhoni needs to wake up from his slumber first for any good to happen to Indian cricket. We all know why he'll remain the captain.

Kuldeep Yadav playing in the U19 team looks very good and unique and should be groomed for test matches.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 18:46 GMT)

I would like to know why ojha is never considered good enough to be the lone spinner in the XI.. the last match he played was against the WI and he got a 10 wicket haul... I mean what should he do to get a sustained run in the side? I agree ashwin and jadeja are better batsmen but when every odd bowler is being given a go why not ojha? I bet he won't be carted around in ODIs or T20s like ashwin or jadeja atleast... I agree with dravid in the sense that zaheer needs to think hard before he commits to the eng tour... we can't afford a repeat of 2011 and I guess dravid meant just that ... umesh yadav also needs to be kept on his toes so that India doesn't lose a pacy bowler ..

Posted by InsideHedge on (February 19, 2014, 18:45 GMT)

As some sensible folks have pointed out, rotation is the key. Zaheer and Srinath are the victims of their own selfish desire to play in every game when they were at their physical peak. Both played endless ODIs, even against the likes of Zimbabwe in a 5 match bilateral series, even after the series was WON.

India has never understood rotation. Australia are the masters of it, they even rotate their batters, Ponting was often a beneficiary. But in Indian cricket, there's way too much player power. It's been often documented that bowlers, especially, have played with niggles that they have kept hidden from the physio - or in some cases, they've simply dictated to the physio what should be reported to management.

Fitness certificates in Indian cricket mean NOTHING. Case in point: Sehwag showing up half way thru the 2011 tour to England.

Posted by Anubhav-the-Experience on (February 19, 2014, 18:43 GMT)

He has literally carried Indian bowling attack on his shoulders.

Posted by GrindAR on (February 19, 2014, 18:42 GMT)

The sad part is, if India loose, we start blaming bowlers. Blame the fielders... It is shameful to corner the bowlers, when the catches are dropped, not 1 or 2 in a match, 8-10 catches being dropped? Shame shame shame... first be honest to yourselves everyone, media, fans and haters... all alike... See, when the fielding sucks, even the mighty SA lost badly in the first test, more so due to their pathetic fielding than their worst batting.

Posted by widelongon on (February 19, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

Well I find people here talking about playing with 5 bowlers then what were we doing untill now. I mean in the one day series against SA we played with 5 bowlers shami, ishant kumar, aswin and jadeja, same was the case when we played test matches against them and same was the case when we played one day series vs NZ.

Posted by Temuzin on (February 19, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

I think selection committee should be disbanded, and all coaches should be fired. They are not good for team India. We have so many expert fans on these threads and they know way way better than these coaches, captains, experts and selectors. BCCI should just listen to cricinfo fans and decide their strategy. Team India will always win. Mind you I have said "Always". And in the process BCCI will save a lot of money that is being wasted on coaches and selectors.

Posted by Presynaras on (February 19, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

The one main reason why everyone wants Ashwin out is because he is a CSK player. There is a misunderstanding that Srinivasan and Dhoni favor him and that is why he is in the team still. Nobody raises a voice when Rahane has been given so many matches in ODI format and he keeps failing or Rayudu who is as mediocre as Raina and scores even slower. Nobody asks the inclusion of Rohit, despite consistent failures or that of Bhuvi and Ishant, both of them had started greatly but are slumping fast and becoming inconsistent bowlers. If any other IPL team had bought Ashwin, everyone would have wanted to give him more chance.

Ashwin deserves at least ten more tests in overseas conditions even if he doesn't get wkts to improve himself. If Dhoni feels Ashwin is not taking any wkts during this time, he can bring in Ojha at the expense of Jadeja and leave Ashwin in the top order, as he can contribute far consistently than Rohit and Vijay.

Posted by Presynaras on (February 19, 2014, 18:30 GMT)

One can argue that Ashwin got most of his wkts in spinning tracks, but if you are not going to give him enough time to get used to the balls other than SG abroad and in conditions that don't aide spin, how can he be expected to improve? In the three tests he played in Australia, he out-bowled Lyon, the local Aussie spinner. And he bowled pretty economically.

The one Test he failed, was in South Africa, but there too he was bowling with an economy rate of under 3. So after four Test matches, if he is shunned apart, how could he improve and become a quality bowler? In fact Bhajji has taken only four wkts more than Ashwin in overseas conditions with two extra tests. It is unfair to remove Ashwin now. Even Kumble was toothless often and it took Shane Warne six tests to even become the destroyer that he later came to be.

Besides, Ashwin also contributes with the bat, much more consistently than Rohit, Dhawan, Rahane, Vijay, Raina. Ashwin is a must in playing XI, no matter what

Posted by BigINDFan on (February 19, 2014, 18:29 GMT)

Perfect cover drive by Dravid about Zak - he needs to be honest with himself about how long he can carry on since Test bowling is a tough ask. He should definitely be used as a bowling coach if he chooses to retire within the next year or two.

I do not agree about Ashwin and Jadeja - yes Kumble and Harbhajan struggled but these two guys do not spin the ball properly they try to contain which is fine for T20 and even ODIs. We need a Shane Warne type bowler and Ind should groom a good leg spinner. Leggies take wickets and often create breakthroughs. Imagine having that option in Wellington, Ind would have closed the match on Day 3. Same can be said in SA. Ind is never going to have a Mitch Johnson but definitely the next Kumble or Warne. Jadeja or Ashwin are allrounders but not strike bowlers in Tests.

Posted by DingDong420 on (February 19, 2014, 18:22 GMT)

Time to give runs in the side to Pandey / Yadav / Aaron / Dhawan. We need a good spinner if the conditions are right Ojha / Mishra / or 4 seamers.

Ashwin would be a good bet if he can open instead of Murali and then seamers

I would go for Dhawan / Ashwin / Pujara / Kohli / Sharma / Rahane / Dhone / R Dhawan / Pandey / Yadav / Shami (Ojha)

Posted by nainil0683 on (February 19, 2014, 18:19 GMT)

As much as I like Dravid, I am baffled why he is making statements about players. He is not a selector and should refrain making such comments. If you are a commentator, you are suppose to comment on the game in general. How would have he felt when people like him were commenting about his future when he was struggling.

Posted by Presynaras on (February 19, 2014, 18:19 GMT)

@Amar_bw: People should stop judging a player based on his performance in one format over the other. Ashwin has been exceptional in Tests, not so much in ODI, but all bowlers have been getting smashed in ODI including Ajmal, Tredwell, Doherty, Maxwell, Peterson, Nathan Mccullum, Herath ever since the new rule of no more than five players can be outside the circle in the end overs of an ODI innings. Dhoni in fact has been using Ashwin in the powerplay overs and in the last ten overs a lot. And despite that Ashwin has been bowling consistently with an economy rate of under 5 and once in a while under 6. You say Kumble, Harbhajan, Sivaramakrishnan so on, all looked wicket taking bowlers, but Ashwin is not. I am surprised to see that you haven't noticed that Ashwin got to his first 100 wkts faster than any of those you mentioned. In fact fastest in over 80 years.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 19, 2014, 18:15 GMT)

I do agree with Dravid calling for Zaheer's retirement. Zaheer is clearly beyond his prime and he seems to be dragging his career around. This is the time India needs to build a capable team for the future with young players and fresh ideas. Zaheer's bowling lacked venom throughout the two series in SA and NZ; with slow speeds & lack of penetrative spells. I know this is harsh but the selectors need to put the team first and make the decision on behalf of ZAK. That's how they showed Harbhajan Singh the door as well as the likes of Sehwag and Gambhir. Simply put. Team India are a mediocre test match team and if we want to do anything to improve our overseas record, we should start with picking good bowlers who can win us matches. We need to train, coach young 'fast' bowlers to bowl with pace and accuracy. Look at Mitchell Johnson. A wayward bowler who went back to domestic cricket and improved his pace and accuracy. If he can do it, so can our bowlers.

Posted by AamirKhan-SuperStar on (February 19, 2014, 18:12 GMT)

One possible answer to all the questions was Irfan Pathan. What a cricketer he was till 2006 or 07! A very rare allround talent, i wonder how allrounders in other teams manage to get only better n better with time

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 18:11 GMT)

from where I see India cannot have good fast bowlers until the improvement in core structure of fast bowlers management in basic to higher levels within the academies . there is list of emerging fast bowlers from a decade time period which have been vanished in gutter. the likes of munaf, rp Singh, dinda, u.yadav,aaron, p.Kumar and many many more are the fine examples of it.

Posted by YashRao on (February 19, 2014, 17:54 GMT)

When India does have an outstanding swing bowler, our batsman will automatically learn to thrive and relish the swing bowling, which is since they will get the needed practice in nets.

Posted by YashRao on (February 19, 2014, 17:51 GMT)

I don't think anyone needs to talk about who did bad. Let the thinktank inside the team do their job. Per me the selectors have to think more about their options while finding bowlers. We do not have good swing bowlers. Like Zaheer there are a few who swing in patches. No one in our team swings sideways enough (compared to bowlers of other countries) Someone needs to be trained to master swing in foreign conditions. These guys should be kept specifically for away tours similar to NZ. Are we sure if the current bowlers use the one side only shine trick to swing as the ball gets old?

Posted by glen1 on (February 19, 2014, 17:49 GMT)

The days of patience are long gone; these days players are duly compensated and they should beat it if they are not performing. The problem is that despite the selectors putting in new faces, the team cabal selects the same playing eleven, without any idea of modern day expectations. Dravid and Co, including Zaheer have been given enough respect and Zaheer should exit gracefully; so should Dhoni. It is impossible for the latter to keep wickets almost five days in a row (as bowlers cannot get wickets) and think to win. Gosh, the patience of the public is running short, and these experts and old timers have no idea of public opinion.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (February 19, 2014, 17:48 GMT)

How come no one was so forthright when it came to Sachin? Particularly you Dravid!

Posted by Adnan-Ahmed on (February 19, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

Zaheer is fine...but with those speeds he only poses a threat occasionally...such is the standard of Indian fast bowlers that he is considered one of its greats. I do think he should bow out now, but we all know that more often than not players from India or Pakistan have to be shown the door.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

Zaheer should be rotated as he becomes a greater influence among young bowlers, and it's better he grooms them than Ishant. He's got the experience to go behind and he's been around for a long time, so he being in the squad would do a world of good for the younger lot. He's tried hard enough to toughen up to the burden of international cricket, but unfortunately age doesn't decrease.

Posted by niazbhi on (February 19, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

Every fast bowler can break down, almost all team plays with 4.5 or 5 bowlers. Australia has Watson, Pakistan Hafiz, SA Duminy/MacLaren/Kallis, Srilanka Mathews. With india's batting india might be able to play Jadega or Ashwin as allrounders. India was not sure whether Kohli/Rahane/Dhawan/Sharma/Pujara are that good. They all came good. india should play 5 regular bat, Dhoni, and 5 bowlers (one or two them should be allrounders).

Posted by Sultan2007 on (February 19, 2014, 17:41 GMT)

Fully agree with Dravid. The regret though is, that used in short bursts, Zaheer is probably still more effective than Ishant Sharma. Not only does Zaheer still bowl a heavier ball, it was apparent in the last NZ test even after having bowled 50 overs, he was more effective than Ishant. He was quicker, came off the the pitch quicker, hit the bat harder and bowled with far better line and length. What does this then say for the state of the Indian bowling attack in general?

Posted by Amar_bw on (February 19, 2014, 17:39 GMT)

I am not sure about Ashwin. Most of the Indian spinners, have in fact gained confidence by winning matches for India earlier in their career. For example, Narendra Hirwani, Harbhajan, L. Shivaramakrishnan, Kumble.

On the other hand, new spinners such as Ashwin and Jadeja haven't done that. Perhaps this is due to the impact of T20 cricket. Both are also required to focus on batting. I think we need a specialist spinner and more importantly India should play with 4 fast/medium pace bowlers in NZ, Australia, England and SA. Dhoni must find a way for the over-rate. Also given that Dhoni is a good wicketkeeper batsman, India should play with 6 batsmen and 5 specialist bowlers. If India's top 6 batsmen fail then let them fail but we need good bowlers to make the opposition team all out quickly.

Posted by Jimmyvida on (February 19, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

Dravid, I think that Zaheer has been contemplating his future for some time now. He will only play another 3-5 years. Please do not worry. Some say that he cannot even bend properly. He is old. OK, what's the excuse for the rest of the team. And what is Kohli's excuse. He has dropped a half dozen catches and stands around in the field just like Zaheer. There is enough blame to go around. Can't you be like Holding? He tells it like it is and is hated in the West Indies for it.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

I believe Zaheer should play in England Series. He shall definitely be successful in English condition. on top the current pace team would require Zaks as a mentor. BUT he should sincerely think of opting out from the longer fotmat after that.

Posted by Jhol on (February 19, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

I would hate to see Zaheer Khan end his career bowling 120-125 kph and limp away from international cricket - it is heart breaking to see him bowl at those speeds? I can't remember when I saw him bolwing a yorker last? "yorker" seems to be a thing of the past! What are the bowling coaches working on?

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

bring R Aashwin and see the change...give him to open if the opener is hesitating to open..

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 17:23 GMT)

I would love to see him extending his career at test level. Perhaps he need to shed his weight down.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 17:22 GMT)

I think he is still better than any bowler of odi n t20s existing in India side. Yes its difficult for him to overcome the hurdle of tests. But he is still a improviser than other bowlers of India. So i think dhoni should use him in shorter formats If T20s not possible than ODI for sure...But unfortunately we r watching Dhoni is overlooking his talent. Surely hstill he can contribute a lot for the team. If u watching closely than a fit Zaheer did the damage for the batsmans whenever he gets a fit comeback. India is still lagging in bowling line up so it could be overrated if the made a permanent solution by not considering Zaheer. If he needs rest after one test or one or two ODI than i think, team shoulld consider it coz agree or disagree there r no any pacer of his hight is existing yet in India

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 17:20 GMT)

@Iyer_Brain... I agree with the last line of yours

Posted by LAKingsFan on (February 19, 2014, 17:18 GMT)

I agree with Dravid. Time for Khan. He has been a great bowler and motivatior. I feel his time is up. At 35, I don't think he has too many options. Good luck, Khan.

Posted by LeftBrain on (February 19, 2014, 17:18 GMT)

Zaheer was a good bowler in patches, bowled few good spells here and there during his entire career....... but what I dont understand is Dravid's statement that he "hate to see Zaheer Khan end his career bowling 120-125 kph and limp away from international cricket"..... all Indian bowlers are capable of is bowling 120-125 kph, and none of them has an average or strike rate whcih can be used as comparison with any decent pacer. So no matter what happens, he plays or not, it is going to be the same result for India. They have good batsmen to compensate for their lack of ability in pace and even spin department. But like they say, it is BOWLERS wo win you matches, and results have proved it time and again

Posted by TRAM on (February 19, 2014, 17:15 GMT)

Zaheer needs to consider? No. He doesn't need to consider anything. He needs to be dropped. Thats all. Why is it in India certain players can not be easily dropped and they will decide about their position or playing for themselves ?? where as some other players will be kept in bench or never ever be considered?

Posted by MiddleStump on (February 19, 2014, 17:11 GMT)

Zaheer is a shadow of his past. It is heart breaking to see him struggle to bowl at 125K. In the field he finds it difficult to move or bend down. A race horse suffering this plight would have been put to sleep. The selectors must organize an honourable retirement for Zaheer in recognition of his services.

Posted by IT13 on (February 19, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

2nd test was not played at wanderers, and south africa didnt give the target of 458. It was New Zealand and it was played at wellington.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 17:01 GMT)

Imagin Zaheer breaking down after few overs like 2011....Here we go again...Kohli Bowls Dhoni Keeps....Dhoni Bowls Kohli Keeps, Kohli Bowls...Dhoni Keeps Score? 680/7 England still going strong.

Posted by Iyer_Brain on (February 19, 2014, 16:59 GMT)

But Dravid, Ashwin will play in the side, if only the team selection is not plagued by politics and the selection is purely on merit. Jadeja is neither as good a bowler nor as good a batsman as Ashwin, but Ashwin was dropped!!! Ashwin in fact is a better batsman than Rohit Sharma, whose Talent, only Sunil Gavaskar can see...

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