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Wasim Akram sees big role for Zaheer Khan

Nagraj Gollapudi

February 20, 2014

Comments: 107 | Text size: A | A

Zaheer Khan celebrates Peter Fulton's wicket, New Zealand v India, 1st Test, Auckland, 1st day, February 6, 2014
Wasim Akram: "Other than taking wickets Zaheer's responsibility should help make one or two good fast bowlers before he exits cricket" © Getty Images
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Even as the whispers have started to get louder over Zaheer Khan's future in the Indian side, Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan fast bowling great, and former India bowling coach Eric Simons believe the left-arm quick still has a big role to play.

In the four Tests since returning to the side in the South Africa tour, Zaheer has taken 16 wickets including a five-for in the second Test against New Zealand. However both South Africa and New Zealand batsmen raised big totals, capitalising on the inconsistency of the Indian bowling which lacked the intensity and importantly a bowling leader.

"It is very rare that you make a comeback having played 90 Tests. So it is just not your bowling but also your reputation at stake," Akram told ESPNcricinfo. "But in the time left before he finally retires, Zaheer has the opportunity to contribute a lot still. Like Imran [Khan] did with myself and Waqar [Younis], Zak can stand at mid-on and mid-off and teach other bowlers skills like reverse swing, have a word with the young fast bowlers when things are not going well."

Shortening his run-up, how and when to use reverse swing, how to use angles and yorkers were some of the things Akram said Imran taught him during his formative years. "Talking, explaining fast bowling is an art. Just because one is a fast bowler does not always mean he can teach easily to others. So the more Zaheer talks to the others, he will learn and teach more. I used to just ask Imran 'kya karoon, kya karoon (what should I do)' for the first three years. And that is how I learned."

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Akram cited the example of the Wellington Test last week where Ishant Sharma went wicketless in the second innings - a match that Brendon McCullum turned on its head with a triple-century. "Dhoni cannot speak from behind the wickets. Ishant no doubt bowled well during the series, but no wicket for 160-odd runs it means he had some psychological issues. So it is for Zak to take the initiative to figure out what Ishant's plan was and talk to him accordingly. If the pitch is flat, wickets are not coming, then how does one stop the runs are things that have to be spoken about. Other than taking wickets Zaheer's responsibility should help make one or two good fast bowlers before he exits cricket."

Rahul Dravid, former India captain, told ESPNcricinfo earlier this week Zaheer's struggles were evident in both South Africa and New Zealand and the bowler needed to ask himself some tough questions. "I would hate to see Zaheer Khan end his career bowling 120-125 kph and limp away from international cricket," Dravid said.

However Simons, who was the bowling coach when fellow South African Gary Kirsten was the Indian coach, pointed out that speed has never really been Zaheer's strength. "Zaheer is not a very physical bowler," Simons said. "Zaheer is lot more tactical in his approach, lot more skillful in the sense he has relied more on the swinging the ball and using the variations to be successful. And he will just end up relying more and more on those skills as time goes along."

Simons also said that India could not afford to carry a fast-bowling pack who were more medium than fast. "The important thing in any bowling attack is the balance so you can't have three or four guys just bowling at 120-125 kph and try and swing the ball around. If he (Zaheer) is used more to complement the other chaps, who are bowling quicker then he becomes more effective. That will naturally become his role in future. Even Richard Hadlee became very effective in such a role."

Simons is clear that the best way India can extract the best out of Zaheer was by playing him not as a "strike" bowler but as a "skillful" bowler. "The one thing about Zak is he is a person thrives on lots of bowling. I remember when he came to South Africa he had not bowled as much as he had perhaps in the past. I certainly sensed he was slow to get his rhythm. He needs to be used in a manner that allows him to be the skillful bowler that he is; may be not as the strike bowler. May be he bowls a few overs upfront with the new ball while it is swinging because he is one of the best exponents of that art and then later on in the game where he can bring to the fore the different variations he has."

Simons admitted that considering Zaheer is now 35 he cannot escape such critical assessment especially since he is a fast bowler. "You can't play him too far in the future. You have to be realistic."

Although Zaheer had worked hard to get back to fitness last year Dravid said that he was not entirely confident about him featuring during the five-Test series in England later this summer. TA Sekhar, former India fast bowler and selector, however pointed out that Zaheer was crucial for the development of the inexperienced Indian bowling attack.

"I would rather play Zaheer abroad even if he has become slower," Sekhar said. "He is one guy who knows when to bowl fast and when to bowl within himself. 124kph you read and wonder what is he doing. But that is not his real speed. Perhaps he is trying to conserve his energy. He is also using a lot of change of pace now. So he deserves to there especially now when the bowling group is developing."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by android_user on (March 16, 2014, 7:28 GMT)

why not zaheer for odi's, after all odi is as important as any other format, it holds world cup Imran, wasim, Mcgrath, left test cricket first and continued plays in odis if he can bowl 30 plus overs in one innings in tests why not in odis

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

He is right zaheer has lot to contribute and dhoni should retire from test cricket his luck factor is over now never supported senior players just been jealous as in when india won world cup many said it was ganguly who founded greats like sehwag,yuvraj,gambhir,zaheer and nehra and he just lead team thats it , if he would have supported senior players then such conditions we would have never faced rohit sharma failed again he is just a t20 batsman and ashwin is also an t20 bowler ojha should be given chance outside india and karthik should replace dhoni in test.....

Posted by Fan1969 on (February 23, 2014, 8:54 GMT)

India faces a hobsons choice. Continue with Ishant, Zaheer who are occasionally good but largely below average. Alternatively India must try out Umesh, Varun, Mohit, Vinay, Bhuvnesh who may not only be expensive but may not get any breakthroughs as well.

The short and long of this is that thanks to lack of choice the fans will see much more of Zaheer and Ishant than is desirable.

This team is transitioning and though the team has found excellent batting talent in Virat, Pujara, Dhawan, Rahane, Vijay and Rohit (in that order) it remains poor in bowling resources.

Ashwin, and Jadeja are largely ineffective overseas and Harbhajan has completely lost the bite. Shami is new and promising but bowlers need to hunt in packs - Aus, Eng and SA have 3-4 fast bowlers and when even one is ineffective it tells on the team like we saw England ineffective as Anderson was below par. Steyn was below par in 1st Test at Jo'berg against India and thus put SA under huge pressure.

FIND NEW TALENT!!!

Posted by cricpanther on (February 23, 2014, 7:05 GMT)

Wasim bhai is 100 % right for Zaheer. Zaheer is the great bowler and great to have. Do not forget without Yuvi-Zaheer-Gambhir-Sachin, India could have not win last 2011 world cup. Please ignore dravid for his opinion against Zaheer. Dravid is not as reliable as off the field. And also he is not like Sachin who can trust whole India. Dravid and Kumble can make friendship and do all non sense for IPL auction time as well, who knows!!! Most of the south indians are kind of people who changes for their own benefits. Dont listen to Dravid/Kumble, both are business minded and if Kumble wanted to sell his software programs, BCCI should be his customers!! Look at Zaheer, after his training at France, he looks 5 year younger and fit. Dravid's statement against him is really sad. Must be some bangalore bowlers are in queue and they must be telling to Dravid to raise voice. Man India first..leave rest of the things. Listen to Saurav/Sachin/Ravi Shastri/M. Amarnath......No Others..that's it!!

Posted by cheguramana on (February 22, 2014, 15:00 GMT)

I was very excited to se Zak make a come back ... He really bowled well in first Test against SA. After that's it's been quite poor, even in NZ where he had made a huge impact in earlier visits. If he's really needed for grooming youngsters, it's not seen in the results. He's not given the captain enuf confidence to use Umesh or Bhuvi. Was he contributing to Ishants good show (in patches) ?? Time for him to retire...and add value as a bowling coach, it at all..

Posted by Cricket0083 on (February 22, 2014, 14:15 GMT)

I think we need bring back Gambir and Waseem Jaffer, Waseem Jaffer is a great test cricketer. Gambir can lead the test team and Dhoni can lead ODI and TW20. I think Kohli need some more experince as a Captian

Posted by CricketLifer on (February 22, 2014, 4:13 GMT)

Zaheer has a flash in the pan like occasional performance, much like Ishant. Both should be dropped. Zaheer is also a liability in batting, fielding and even running between the wickets - ditto for Ishant. Both should be dropped and chances should be given to youngsters. Zaheer though should be given a assistant coaching type position to help develop young bowlers.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (February 22, 2014, 2:06 GMT)

India have a good Test and ODI side but need some fine tuning. Zaheer and Ishant should be dropped from both sides and B.Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron be grommed properly. In ODI Timary should be recalled and Rahane should open with Dhawan. And coach Fletcher should go.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2014, 18:12 GMT)

when india plays 4 bowlers , zaheer is a problem coz,he bowls tight in new ball. But fails to take wickets . It is time to employ zak as bowling coach as his experience is very much needed for indian team... We need bowlers who consistently bowl 135+ throughout the test match. Ishanth is okay he bowls whole heartedly but, he is repeating d same mistakes ,bowling short at 132k's is easy for any overseas batsman. Many ppl call him to bowl fuller,but he is not doing it. Bhuvi is a great swing bowler but ,ball swinging at below 130k it is easy for overseas batsman to takle him,oly subcontinent batsman will struggle against him.Umesh yadav,shami,ishanth,ishwar pandey,and pankaj singh should be groomed for tests,and varun aaron should play oly in shorter formats ,to manage his workload. Ranji tracks should be tailor made for fast bowlers on first 2 days and encourage fast bowlers to bowl fastly.

Posted by Witty_Cricketer on (February 21, 2014, 17:13 GMT)

@KiwiRocker, if Shami is a good bowler, why should we thank Wasim Bhai for that? Did he spot Shami and taught him anything about swing? I didn't think he had anything with development of Shami or did he?

Posted by SaraJahanSeAchha on (February 21, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

Legend Wasim Akram is right. Zaheer can be considered for England tour. He is the best with experience India has got. Only a bowler can message out what Wasim has said. If Ishant had matured into a strike bowler that would have been different. I am an Indian cricket fan, but would have loved to see BCCI offer Wasim as bowling coach and screw the political differences etc. After all if Rameez can be part of Hindi commentary team what's wrong with taking help from Wasim.

Posted by Haaris- on (February 21, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

A comment from Dravid on Zaheer and then a comment from Wasim on Zaheer. I would never question or second guess Wasim's take on bowlers.

Posted by Arrow011 on (February 21, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

@ wapuser - It is sheer ignorance to blame Rice diet for medium pacers lack of energy. Take the instance of Peter Siddle who is a vegetarian & is the work horse of Australian test team, he has been in the team consistently for so many years now, he bowls way more than Ryan Harris & Mitchell Johnson who are non vegetarians. Others in the bowling line up have changed, pattinson, cummins, harris, johnson, bird, watson had been changed due to their erratic fitness & form but Siddle has always played consistently & performed well. Learn more, there is no non veg animal which has the stamina of a Horse, strength of an elephant, agility of a monkey & hard work of a camel or a bull. All these are vegetarians. If you want to blame the diet then it is the non veg eating bowlers who break down like toothpicks atleast this was evident in the Australian team.

Posted by Arrow011 on (February 21, 2014, 10:19 GMT)

Akram does not want to give up his pupil, but the reality is we do not need a playing coach who eats up 1 place in the 11 for his zero contribution & becomes an adviser. He can become India's bowling coach & let other medium pacer play in the 11.

Posted by Arrow011 on (February 21, 2014, 10:03 GMT)

Akram does not want to give up his pupil, but the reality is we do not need a playing coach who eats up 1 place in the 11 for his zero contribution & becomes an adviser. He can become India's bowling coach & let other medium pacer play in the 11.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

India must start producing fast swing bowlers and all it takes is good plan and a great coach which is not being done. U19 clubs would have some talented bowlers who could be sent to camps for training. They should be selected after they bowl to Kohli and Dhoni and those two can recommend who should go for training camp. Kapiil and Wasim should run a camp for both Indo Pak youngsters. Camp can be establish either in India or Pakistan rather going to Australia or any faraway country. Same thing for spin bowlers.

Posted by wapuser on (February 21, 2014, 9:29 GMT)

Well...lets give it to Wasim Akram too. Being a Pakistani, he has actually helped the Indian cause. He has always identified a fast bowling talent first. He was the one who first talked about how fast Yadav and Aaron are. He also found out Shami from nowhere. In the past too he always supported Irfan, Ishant and the likes. So his comments are definitely valuable although he may not alwaya be right. As for Dhoni, he has done great as a captain for India...but has lost his plot and is acting too stubborn in selections of the playing eleven. He needs a break to introspect. This guy Stuart Binny is a great allrounder in making. He should get more chances to prove himself. Who knows he may become our Corey Anderson. Too far-fetched...but not impossible.

Posted by wapuser on (February 21, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

Ishant Sharma is not good at all. Let him grind it on the domestic pitches. Umesh n Varun are the future. Due to inefficiency of Zaheer n Ishant, Shami who otherwise was starting to look like a good bowler in making, has been over used. And Shami does bowl consistently at around 140s. Bhuvneshwar Kumar lacks it to bowl longer spells in Tests. He needs to be groomed as well coz he swings the ball well. Ishwar Pandey has done well in domeatic as well as the warm ups. He could be a great back up bowler when Yadavs and Aarons leak runs badly although its too soon to comment on his real abilities. Pankaj Singh, Unadkat, etc are not world class yet...need more exposure. All these need to be groomed well under a fast bowling coach. NZ bowlers are being coached under a Legend called Bond who wont let them compromise on pace and aggression. We need that kinda coach. And for heavens sake...stop feeding our bowlers rice. They wl lose their pace too... Lol

Posted by wapuser on (February 21, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

Its pretty certain with the comments that i read here that almost every cricket loving Indian is unanimous in their choice about the bowlers that we need. Umesh Yadav is definitely quick, although he leaks runs. But his wicket-taking ability is just too good to be ignored coz he has proved to b unplayable on Indian pitches. He can wreck havoc on those green tops. If other teams have MJs and De Langes and Milnes and Pattinsons, we have Varun Aaron. He is equally quick with a consistent pace around 147 kmhs and early 150s. And Aaron too leaks runs coz he doesnt know much about variations. Thats how they bowl on domestic pitches. So teach them...groom them. These can be the strike bowlers we have been looking for.

Posted by Karunk on (February 21, 2014, 7:16 GMT)

India played 3 fast bowlers - Zaheer, Shami & Ishant in Wellington test and finally managed a draw after taking 240 runs lead. They took just one wicket on 4th day. Ishant is a blow hot blow cold bowler, Took 6 wickets in 1st innings and was looking lost in 2nd innings. Shami leaked runs and could not break the partnership. There was not much swing on the wicket and Zaheer ended up taking 5 wickets when NZ crossed 650. His skillful bowling did not help India in forcing a win. When Dhoni plays only 4 bowlers in a test match, India cannot afford to have Zaheer taking up one place on the field as a mentor and roll over his arm for few overs. He can do that sitting in the dug out and not on the field. Dravid is right. It is high time he thinks about hanging up his boots.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (February 21, 2014, 6:29 GMT)

I totally disagree with Wasim Akram. Zaheer Khan is not Imran Khan. Imran Khan had 360 odd wickets at around 21 runs per wicket and he was a legendary crickter. Zaheer Khan is an above average bowler who has an average of around 30 per wicket after playing close to 100 test matches. Who is he going to teach? Ishant Sharma? who has not learnt after 10+ years or is he going to teach Bhuvneshwar Kumar who bowls same length and line in every match ad is only good for first 5 overs in an ODI. Muhammad Shami is probably India's only bright spot and Indians can thank Wasim Bhai for that. It is time that Selectors in India make a tough but right call and drop Zaheer Khan. Zaheer Khan looked pretty average in NZ and I agree with Rahul dravid that no one will like to see Zaheer following Kaplil Dev's path and playing for same of playing...Zaheer deserves a better farewell and he should be given a final test match like Tendulya and quitely sidelined! Its time to give some youngsters a chance..

Posted by satishchandar on (February 21, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

I do agree with Eric Simons. Zaheer does have a good role in the bowling department. He compliments the bowlers very well. But the actual fact will be, Zaheer should not be challenging the bowler spot but the bowling coach part.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2014, 5:09 GMT)

@bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 19:49 GMT):

As a stop-gap Captain of Mumbai Ranji Team, very recently, Zak's captaincy performance was poor. In his frustration, he even picked a very young player in the opposition to vend his anger. Not a good sign, for captaining India.

Posted by Practical_person on (February 21, 2014, 4:57 GMT)

Completely agree with Akram. I think his suggestions will yield the best results. Zaheer should stand at long off and use his experience to guide younger pace bowlers. He should be complimented and not be used as a strike bowler.

This should be the strategy till the world cup.

Posted by spinkingKK on (February 21, 2014, 3:52 GMT)

Skill full bowler should be able to field and bat well. Hadlee had both. But, Zaheer got none of that. There are other more skilled bowlers like Praveen Kumar who can do that job. The guy can also bat well. May be he can't mentor. If at 26 years and after playing international cricket for 7 years, Ishant still need mentoring, God help Indian pace bowling. He should be doing the mentoring work to Yadavs and Aaarons.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (February 21, 2014, 2:47 GMT)

Akram gave his example of learning under the shadows of Imran Khan for three years. Our ever-emerging great pace bowler Ishant Sharma has been shadowing Zaheer for 5 years and not showing much learning. He was once rated as fast bowler which means he was bowling over 140k consistently. He is at the age where most good fast bowlers start peaking in pace and skills. The great Sharma has gone in the other direction. He has lost pace and doesn't show much improvements.

Posted by Ragav999 on (February 21, 2014, 2:28 GMT)

Zaheer's bowling average is the same as Nathan Lyon's of Australia.

Posted by Nampally on (February 21, 2014, 1:06 GMT)

@bhushanB: As I mentioned All the 3 candidates are potential candidates for the future Captaincy. Pujara was being groomed for captaincy by leading India A teams for the past 2 years. So he is equally good if he meets your definition of leadership "exude confidence in the team"! I just watched the Sochi Olympics Gold medal Ice Hockey game between Canada & USA. Canada who were 2 goals down with 3 minutes of play left, put on a spirited team effort to equalise with 55 seconds of play left. They won halfway thru' Overtime with their third goal. It was such a spirited team effort with whole team playing with :Never Say Die" spirit to capture the Gold Medal, That is what Winners are made of! If the Indian team can play with that spirit they will beat any team in the World. "Team effort" is what is needed from the Indian Cricket team- 11 guys selected on merit without any bias, All on the same page fighting to WIN. Dhoni says he is not interested in Win or Loss but just in the "process "?

Posted by cooljack_143 on (February 21, 2014, 0:17 GMT)

ZAK'S Batting has improved a lot in this test series,He was far better hitting the ball out of park than his colleague bowlers.He can be seen as kind of ALL ROUNDER & A MENTOR for team Ind bowlers. Ishant is effective only when Zak plays, he needs a care taken in the for of Zak in the team.

Posted by Natx on (February 21, 2014, 0:15 GMT)

Agree with Akram on bigger role for Zaheer. But it's not on the field. Off the field as bowling coach. India cannot afford these 120kph bowlers anymore if they were to stand up against Eng and Aus. Otherwise it's 9-0 come jan 2015! Need the following guys to be in these 2 tours to put up any decent fight and avoid whitewashes. For England: Shami, Pandey, Bhuveneshwar, Sandeep Sharma, Yadav. For Australia: Shami, Pandey, Aaron, Yadav, Pankaj Singh, Ishant (due to his height, not 125kph pace. Play him only at Perth and Melbourne ONLY if necessary). Spinners for England: Harmeet Singh, Baba Aparajith (also a handy bat). For Australia: Kuldeep Yadav (Adelaide, Sydney), Jadeja (Melbourne). Also drop no hit for Vjay zol and M. Vijay for either DK (opened at SA and scored a bit, can also catch better than vijay) or Mukund (whoever is in form).

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

By the way it was none other than Wasim Akram that pointed Mohammed Shami out to a local Indian sports channel two years ago to be a future prospect of Indian attack.

Posted by Des_65 on (February 20, 2014, 21:47 GMT)

Good article! Wjat about dropped catches? Catches win matches and although the team is young, why they cannot hold on to the catches offered?

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 21:01 GMT)

And guys....do not get me wrong... as someone rooting for Zaheer to play.... While I do support respecting the veterans that made IND cricket fan happy in the past...... clinging to them far too long is a major hurdle to move along... especially in IND where cricket is a religion...

I was hoping that Bhuvi would by now be ready to take Zaheer's place as the lead swing bowler..... but he was not given enough chances in the test.. and does not enjoy Dhoni's confidence (and have to admit he did bowl poorly in couple of the ODIs... with not pace being his forte.. he needs to have more control.. )

Pace bowling 101 for IND bowlers....

Min requirement: 1.) No mid pitch short balls if you got no pace (or hit me kind of length that Ishant bowls..) 2.) nothing on the pads

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

I strongly disagree with Akram. Team India does not need an under-performing Zaheer.

Why? Because he is such a poor role model to the new generation cricketers - lazy fielder, poor runner between wickets, impatient batter and a military-pace bowler who relies on serendipity not skill to get wickets. When I was growing up, I used to look around to the role models around me, and would emulate the best they exhibited. Imagine if I was not blessed with such gentlemen to look up to. In India, we are very tolerant of under-performers. We should stop this national malaise from osmosing into Team India. Cut out Zaheer now. The young bowlers will just learn on their own.

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 20:02 GMT)

I am surprised that Shami is still one-piece..

Going into these away tests... IND pace bowlers.. know what to expect with just 3 of them and a lone spinner.. who is just there to contain the batsmen... They know they might get those early break throughs.. if they go about bowling at their best... but what after then... they cannot continue to bowl like that all day long..

so no wonder they want to conserve their energy....which leads them to bowl slower than what they are capable of.....

This is where that 130 kmph pace bowling allrounder like Irfan or rishi dhawan will come in handy... especially on swinging, seaming or bouncy pitches...

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

I remember Wasim... bowling with a short run-up... picking up wickets....in the later part of his career... and he was not that fast at that time... So he can relate to.. what Zaheer can do....

Now Zaheer is fit....but still has lost some pace... He need not be express pace... but he should play to his strengths... like setup the batsman with his low 130 kmph balls.. and then bowl that effort ball which is in the high 130s to claim the wicket....

And I think if he plays a few more games.. he may pick up a little pace as well... ofcorse bowling 50 overs in an innings.....can be very detrimental..

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 19:52 GMT)

And while Zaheer captains the two of those series, we groom Pujara as the Test Vice captain.. and get him on board during the Home series.....

With Dhoni at the helm.. and his selection policies.. looking back at our plight last three years... there is not going to be any difference in the ENG/AUS tours.. if we continue the same......we will just have to keep searching for the POSITIVES after the series is lost....

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 19:49 GMT)

@Nampally

I want leader to exude confidence..in the team.. to the selectors.. to the fans...... Now Rohit is still trying to justify his place in the team.... If Ind go with 4-pacers as most of us want.. then his place in the final X1 is not guaranteed... it will be a toss between him and Rahane at that point.....

If Pujara has leadership skills and the temperament to handle the team and still not effect his batting (and fitness).. then I will go with Pujara....Kohli can start with T-20..and now that we are so close to WC-2015 and Dhoni is still one of the best in the ODI format... he can continue to captain until after the WC....

So for the tests, I think Pujara is an ideal candidate.. as his place in the playing XI is guaranteed..... If India thinks Zaheer's experience is invaluable for the away tests.. and he has to play... captaining the India in the last couple of series... well can be the best send-off gift to the second best pace bowler India has produced after Kapil...

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 19:41 GMT)

When the so called spearheads are bowling in the low 130s, the chances of finding the allrounder bowling high 130s is almost remote..at best....

Forget about pace.. i mean even the NZ bowlers are bowling in the mid-high 130s.. but the difference is in their consistency... you will hardly see any of those balls on the pads.. or the mid pitch short balsl @125 kmphs..... They do not give any boundary balls.... the line, the length the discipline...sticking to the plan....

traditionally IND are not physically that well built or that athletic.(main reason we rely on batsmen and spinners). so i doubt if we will find that allrounder bowling high 130s and still have the energy to bat and focus......

To be realistic... I will be happy with someone like Irfan (have not seen rishi dhawan to comment).. if he has the swing and can bat a handy 30+ with the tail.. or provide support to someone like Rahane at the other end....

Posted by Nampally on (February 20, 2014, 19:36 GMT)

@bhushanB: India has not developed any potential Captaincy candidates in the past 4 years. Currently there are only 3 possible choices- Rohit Sharma (captain of Mumbai), Kohli (Captain of IPL Bangaluru team) & Pujara( has been captaining India A). Rohit is the most experienced Captain & did well with Mumbai in Ranji matches. He has good inter personal skills & a talented Cricketer. Unlike Kohli, Rohit is even tempered guy & is very knowledgeable about Cricket rules. That is why I proposed his name as a possible replacement for Dhoni. If you have a better alternate choice, I am equally glad to hear about your choice ! Sooner or later Indian Selectors have to decide a guy.

Posted by Vinnni on (February 20, 2014, 19:33 GMT)

Very True.I think Zaheer should be made the captain of indian test side for the next 2 or 3 series while kohli should be the vice captain.He is still india's best pacer and indian team needs him to guide the younger lot of bowlers.MSD-The best limited overs captain should continue until WC2015.

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 19:31 GMT)

If Dhoni is going to ask his bowlers to bowl 50 overs an innings.. soon we will have them bowling in the 110 kmph range.....

Posted by Nampally on (February 20, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

@Parth Choksi: You say, quote: "If you think you are better than dhoni & the Selectors why are you in the team"?. Sir, Firstly, I am NOT in the Team! -just an Indian Fan. Secondly I never said I am better than Dhoni. So please check my comments before you criticize Me in an open forum. I am commenting on Dhoni's policies which has restricted Indian XI to just 3 bowlers for a 5 day test match. He bowled each of the 3 pacers for over 50 overs each. I have played + watched cricket for 50 years but never saw 3 pacers being used for >50 overs, each. Mankad in Lords Test bowled 92 over & took 5 for 196 - only because he is a spinner. Dhoni was lucky that none of the 3 pacers came out lame. If you lose one of 3 pacers in the first innings, India play with be crippled. How great is that policy? In England the ground is soft & similar policy will definitely result in pulled muscles, as happened to ZAK in the last England tour.3 Bowlers policy has restricted inclusion of Yadev/ Aaron/kumar too!

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

in worst case scenario (when injured), when the things go tough, let him be the drinks companion when India bowls... and have a chat with his bowlers (time-out discussion) on what can be done in the situation... I don't say he has to play every game... Captain should manage that based on the pitch they get. In bowling dept, India had Zaheer and Kumble as critical thinkers... now only Zaheer is there... In future Umesh Yadav can be one such pacer... Bhuvi need some training on that.. if he gets that, with his skill, he can fine tune his plans more result oriented.... As Simon pointed out, he is a critical role p layer in the team... There should be some relegation of bowling duties to Zaheer from Dhoni needed.... for sure in overseas...

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 19:14 GMT)

@bhushanB : I never said that india possess an allrounder who can bowl 135-140 range. I said that India should only go for an allrounder if there is present one who can bowl with such potency , else its useless.

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 18:20 GMT)

@who ever was asking for a -----Someone who can bowl fast -135 to 140 Kph at least + can bat down the order.------

baring Shami, none of our front line seamers in final X1 are able to bowl in this range...Zaheer is high 120s and Ishant is in low 130s..

Posted by JetsFanInDenver on (February 20, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

Unfortunately the Indian bowling cupboard is so bare they have to rely on Zaheer. Otherwise Zaheer and even Ishant would not find a place in any other good test playing side.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

India has to take their best batsmen ( Virat , Pujara , Rahane , Dhawan and Rohit or Vijay) and 4 best 4 pace bowlers (Shami , Yadav , Ishant and Bhuvi) and best attacking spinner (Ojha or mishra or Ashwin or Jadeja) whoever is the best attacking depending on form or promise. Spinner should not be picked as a containing bowler or as a batsmen but because he can get you wickets. I know this will put pressure on batting but you have to strengthen the bowling. Your top 5 batsmen have to score good. This should be the team for outside continent only. If you can find a good bowling alrounder , its great. By bowling allrounder i do not mean Pathan please. He is well past his prime. Someone who can bowl fast -135 to 140 Kph at least + can bat down the order.

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

Can't believe there are still people who think ------------- Dhoni has no other option but to use 3 bowlers. Did you not see how rohit came in handy along with jad in the batting.------------------

We cannot win tests with people who come in handy like rohit and Jad...... we need bowlers who can take 20 wickets period.

the 3-bowler strategy will not work anymore..not without a 4-th quality spinner...like Kumble...

So you can blood in more...handy players into the team... and celebrate on the once a year DRAW....

or take a risk of losing that solitary DRAW.. and try to WIN..

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 16:57 GMT)

@tests_the_best

Totally agree with you... since you can only play a solitary spinner in the away series... the one you play.. must be a genuine spinner.. with the guile to get wickets... not some one who can just stop the run flow at one end...... someone who can read the batsmen.. and put a lot of effort in the nets to develop skills to out think the batsmen....

Mishra... could have been a great option.. but he still bowls that mid pitch short ball at least one in an over.. that takes it all away.....

Ojha is a very good prospect... and should have been given more chances...

And the great DHONI has kept Ojha out of team..by saying that the opposition has many lefties..(i think against Eng or Aus) and favoured Ashwin...

How did he play Jadeja against NZ... they had a bunch of lefties if I remember correctly....

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 16:52 GMT)

May be Pujara would make a good TEST captain in the future, but with the recent failures in NZ (failures by his high standards....also he looked slightly losing concentration and playing un-pujarish shots like chasing wide deliveries and nicking leg side ones) , i would like to give him some time to regroup and refocus..

I would like to see a bowling captain for a change.... I mean.. if we absolutely have to play Zaheer in the team... why not make him the captain and give him another three pacers to bowl in the team...He may be successful.. just like Kumble.... and the additional responsibility and recognition may get the best out of him.....

Posted by bhushanB on (February 20, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

@Nampally I totally agree with you on having to play 4 pacers + a spinner in away conditions...... but Rohit for captain...I am sorry but cannot agree....

A captain should exude confidence in the team and lead from the front... he does not have to score every innings or take wickets all the time... but He should show that he is fully focussed and in the game all the time.... Its okay if you get out at 0 for a peach like Pujara in the first innings, but not how Pujara dished out to a outside delivery in the first test...

Rohit more often than not.... because of his 'talent' does not exude this focus, the intensity.. Need someone like Dravid, Kumble as the captain..... may be due to his 'talent' he does not have to sweat any.. when he is on the song.. but when he is not.. it seems Rohit does not know how to fight it out...

Posted by CurrentPresident on (February 20, 2014, 16:42 GMT)

Akram is exactly right.

I would recommend giving Zaheer the role of guiding the bowlers on the field as the de-facto leader of the bowling unit. He should be made responsible for getting 20 wickets for the team and have more say in the selection of the bowlers.

He cannot be bowling more overs than Ishant (like he did in Wellington). That will just wear him out. We have seen this in the recent series. He should be bowling at most 20% of the overs. India have to pick an extra seamer and let Zaheer focus on leading the bowling pack. He is quite capable of it.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 20, 2014, 16:31 GMT)

The problem in India is that we still look at international cricket in the same OLD fashioned way. There is stagnation in every walk of Indian life and cricket is no different. The BCCI boasts it has the most money but does it ever accept that it also lacks the most common sense in the world ? So much money being spent on unnecessary things. Instead, the BCCI can put money towards special integrated coaching programs to develop fast bowling skills among young budding cricketers around India. Funding should be provided to all the state associations to prepare fast, bouncy pitches to assist pace bowling. Instead, so much focus and interest is wasted on batsmen which is a SHAME. India can never compete in test cricket overseas unless they have a good set of fast bowlers. Whatever Wasim said is true. Zaheer needs to mentor the other Indian bowlers. Yet, I am not seeing that. Instead, Zaheer is behaving like just any other player in the team. This is not good.

Posted by Desihungama on (February 20, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

Reading general comments by Indians gives you an insight on the Fast bowling acumen in India which is a Big Nill. Bowling is not coached from the outside. It can only be coached from the inside just as Wasim suggested from either mid on or mid off where you can see bowler striding in, the use of feet, the bend of knee, use of wrist and action. What Waz said probably went over the heads but as a Pakistani I know exactly what he is talking about and I don't even have to be there to get his message. It's bowler who talks to other bowler when things are not going well and this is where Zaheer is needed. You guys should also know that Wasim is probably the only ex Pakistani cricketer who has genuinely tried to help Indian bowling but if you do not want to pay heed then it's at your own peril.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

I think its highly lame to have Zaheer in the team as a mentor. I mean it has been said that he acts like a guide for other bowler. I think if thats true add him as a coach. But not in the team. When selecting a team you have to ask yourself, who are your best bowlers. And i think zaheer is not there anymore . We are in a position where we have to take upcoming tours as more of a development time. Take your best bowlers (Shami , Ishant, Yadav Bhuvi in my opinion) and have them in the team no matter at the expense of an extra batsman(may be rohit or Vijay). Having them 4 in the line up suddenly makes the attack better.

Posted by SaraJahanSeAchha on (February 20, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

Legend Akram is 100% right. At most Zaheer should be included only for England Test series in English conditions. Ideally we wish by now with 5-6 years experience Ishant Sharma would have become the main strike bowler like Srinath. Unfortunately not the case.

Posted by tests_the_best on (February 20, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

By the time NZ were 94/5 at Wellington, Ishant had 6 wkts in the match, Shami had 5 and Zaheer 4. Jadeja had a solitary wkt which is not enough. India need more from Jadeja or whoever they designate as their spin bowling option.

Teams like SA, Aus can take 20 wkts without a spinner since they have lots of pace options but for a team like India, it's important for a quality spinner to atleast make a few vital strikes on overseas pitches like Kumble used to do or even Bhajji while he was still in form. Their contributions were a significant factor in India's overseas success in the 2000s. In India's 1-0 win in England in 2007, Zaheer was the leading wicket taker with 18 wkts followed by Kumble and Anderson with 14 each.

The selectors should give serious thought about developing a quality spin option abroad. Maybe it's time to try out Ojha/Mishra or some other spinner who can make an impact and not just keep the run flow down and pick up the odd wicket.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

If Zaheer's role is now down to mentoring the new ballers then it should be done from outside the boundary and not while being in playing 11. Zak should probably take up the role of bowling coach. By playing him in England, he is robbing another youngster of a golden opportunity and not adding much value to the team himself with his sluggish fielding and mindless batting. To help team's cause it would be better to not take him to England or future tours as player but as a coach.

Take Shane Bond for example and wonders that he has done with the NZ attack which not long ago faced similar problem of being erratic.

Posted by tests_the_best on (February 20, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

The biggest problem facing India in overseas tests is not batting, fast bowlers, captaincy or fielding, it's actually the lack of a quality spinner who can take wickets abroad. The following stats from India's much better showing in away tours 2007-2011 brings out the point:

In 2007, Kumble took 3 wkts at Lord's, 6 at Nottingham (Ind won) and 5 at the Oval.

In 07-08, Kumble/Bhajji took 10 wkts at MCG, 12 at SCG, 4 in Perth (Ind won) and 2 in Adelaide.

In 08-09, Bhajji took 7 wkts in Hamilton (Ind won), 2 in Napier and 7 wkts in Hamilton (Ind nearly won).

In 10-11, Bhajji took 2 wkts at Centurion, 6 in Durban (Ind won) and 7 in Cape Town (Ind in position to win).

If compared with Eng 2011 & after, above stats show that lack of consistent spinner support is the biggest problem for India. Ashwin/Jadeja might have taken the odd 4-5 wkts in a match but it's far from enough to help India take 20 wkts quickly. More than Zaheer's form or other quicks, Ind sorely miss someone like Kumble.

Posted by android_user on (February 20, 2014, 15:24 GMT)

@Nampally if you think you are better than dhoni and selectors why are you in the team? Dhoni has no other option but to use 3 bowlers. Did you not see how rohit came in handy along with jad in the batting. Dhoni would be batsman short if he does that. Selectors didn't choose rishi dhawan who seems to be a perfect all rounder. Dhoni can't do nothing about that, but to work with what he has. Keep criticizing dhoni, he is 10 times better than smith, clarke or cook who are gifted with bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a test match. We just don't have those because of which we are constantly loosing.

Posted by Nampally on (February 20, 2014, 14:40 GMT)

Zaheer in English conditions is an ideal medium pacer if used in short bursts. Firstly no fast bowlers are used over 50 overs/innings, as Dhoni did in NZ second innings of Test #2. He made pacers do the "Donkey work" thereby eliminating their wkt. taking ability- tactless!. Use ZAK in short spells of 5 to 7 overs to be effective. In English conditions the new ball or for that even old ball swerves in the air & seams off the pitch. The ball retains its shine for long time. Hence an accurate pace bowler who can swerve/seam & can reverse swing the ball is likely to be a wkt. taker. ZAK has dropped a bit in his pace but still bowls around 130 KPH with a couple of balls/over in 135 KPH range. He showed his fitness by bowling over 50 overs in second innings. Yadev & Aaron are cut because Dhoni is using only 3 bowlers. In England India needs 5 regular bowlers. England has 4 seamers + 1 spinner in all their home tests. Replace Dhoni with Rohit as Captain to solve most of the Indian Woes!

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (February 20, 2014, 14:38 GMT)

Utter nonsense -- the experts will have you believe that Kapil and Gavaskar still have enough gas left in their tanks and should play for India. Believe your eyes, not experts.

An ageing Zak is costing a young seamer the chance at some valuable experience.

Zak and company could not get last 5 wickets at Wellington despite having NZ on the mat at the end of day 2.

Posted by Venkat_Gowrishankar on (February 20, 2014, 14:31 GMT)

Zaheer does not bring in any energy when he bowls, I am not taking anything away from his skill, but as a bowler you need to have that agression and that attitude to run in hard when the chips are down - Example Neil Wagner - He may not have the skills as Zaheer but he bowled whole heartedly for his caprain, this inspires other bowlers in the team.

Being a mentor is not enough, there are enough coaches to be mentors , however being the leader of the pack you are expected to pick in 3 - 4 wickets every innings . Morever being the senior member , if he is bowling slow to conserver energy or other reasons - that does not augur well if his team mates imitate the same. We could end up having a cycle where the junior members shall never bowl quick looking at their senior members. I would say take Zaheer Khan to the tour only as a mentor and not as a player.

Posted by ProdigyA on (February 20, 2014, 14:30 GMT)

This is the problem with India, there is so much importance on experience and reputation that new guys hardly get any chance. If Ishant fails bring back Zak, if he fails bring back Ishant just because they have experience. The selectors and Dhoni in particular is so scared of giving new guys any chance.

What a wasted opportunity in NZ to try out Ishwar Pandey. There were 9 chances to play him and Test him but stubborn Dhoni wasted them all. Same goes with Binny, he gets one chance and does nothing but Dhoni keeps crying we do not have fast bowling all rounder.

Selectors please stop going round and round and keep calling back old guys again and again, give chance to new faces let them prove, at worse we will lose, which is what is happening rite now.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 14:12 GMT)

Any ATTACK which goes for 680 runs raises a lot of questions. Let us not have muddled thinking, it is very clear with Johnson's example , it is time for 140 kph in Test matches. You don't go far with 125 kph which Zaheer bowled for most of the match. It is quite clear that he is experienced in his art so why not use him as a bowling coach. India have some talented pacers coming through. Yadav, Pandey and Aaron just to name a few.Yadav started very well in Tests against Australia and bowls consistently at 140kph but for some unknown reason has been ignored by the selectors. These new guys have to be given a good run in Tests for them to gain confidence. As for Akram he was a great bowler for Pak but he had to retire at some point , I do not agree with your view point.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

Zaheer Khan is playing as a bowler, and not as a mentor or teacher for the other upcoming fast bowlers. If he is in the team, he has to be able to pick wickets up, not just stand at mid on and coach the other bowlers. He has been one of the best indian fast bowlers, but when it comes to the future people like Ishwar Pandey should be given a chance, tall, fast bowlers who can cause problems. India needs bowlers who have genuine pace, and skill, that may take time to develop but it is better than half a Zaheer Khan. Pandey did not get the opportunity in the ODI's or tests, even though he was selected for both squads. Zaheer should be perhaps a coach rather than a player giving encouragement and advise. It would be a shame for one of India's greatest fast bowlers to be limping of the field each day and bowling at 120km/h.

Posted by Thejesh_VVS on (February 20, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

Zaheer is a good bowler and he has to maintain his pace and length.His has been doing good but he has to maintain his line and length.He has to swing the ball both ways like Shami or Bhuvi.

My squad for England- 1.Dhawan 2. Gambir/Rahane ( who is in form ) 4.Pujara 4.Kohli 5.Rohit 6. Dhoni 7. Ashwin 8.Jaddu 9.Shami 10.Umesh Yadav/Bhuvi (in form and can swing the ball ) 11. Zaheer

Posted by Raki99 on (February 20, 2014, 13:38 GMT)

Time To build on the Future. Edn of the Story..... As Somebody said if the reserves are not ready to play what are they doing in the 16 players, Yadaw pandey mishra are carrying drinks forever. And Alll this decisions start with the management. Dhoni has to give up the leadership in the test either to virat or Pujara. I like Pujara because of his demeor and calmness. we have to groom the next leader. The worlcup is just done and dusted for India I see in no way they can defend the next world cup. But atleast we can start improving in the test if we made some changes. Not wholesale Just new thinking is needed.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

What is the bowling coach Dawes doing? Just collecting his contractual fees, and chatting with the fielding coach Penny about stories from back home?

Zaheer Khan can make a decent bowling coach. He has the bowler's brain, but can't execute them any more. A bowling coach in the playing XI? That is ridiculous! A bowling coach should not waste a slot in the XI.

Imran was different; being a great batsman too. Wasim, we all respect you; but don't compare Zak with the great all-rounder Imran.

Bowling Coach should not be just sitting in the comfort of the dressing room either, like a puzzled poodle! He should be at the boundary, ready to give advice to the pacers, who are mostly sent back to guard the boundary after each over. That is where we need Zak.

Selectors: Don't prop Zak back into the team! Develop young ones like Shami, Bhuvi, Pandey, Yadav, Aaron etc. Let Zak advise them from outside the rope. Don't give him further rope to play. Zak, we thank you for your past contributions.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

I would like him to play in England, but no more, because England is where he will be most effective, because of the overcast and swing helpful conditions. Just look at how lethal Anderson is in those conditions. Agreed Zaheer is 10ks slower, still in terms of skill and technique he is no less then him. After the England series he should retire.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

@Barry, the attack should read - Shami,Umesh, Zaheer, Aaron, Ashwin who comes in for Murali Vijay. Ashwin going back to his original Ranji role of opener.

Posted by android_user on (February 20, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

please akram do not see big role for zaheer in team..at least not as a player...loose with young bowlers is accepted..no one can made nobody a great player...its self belief and ability of player for performance..

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

Such prolonged failure of team overseas is always going to lead to finger-pointing and all that stuff. There may or may not be changes made, but one thing is for sure that lessons need to be learnt. And the biggest of the lessons clearly is that test matches can't be won with 3-men pace attack. What is the use of that extra batsman if we can not pick 20 wickets. Zaheer has been a good bowler for India, but I don't see him running through sides. If at all there is a place for him, it is the 4th seamer's. Ind should inject some pace in the attack, I don't know why Umesh Yadav is being held back. Shami,Umesh, Zaheer, Aaron, Jadeja looks a balanced attack.

Posted by big_bond75 on (February 20, 2014, 13:06 GMT)

I liked the article for Zak. Earlier my opinion was to support Umesh or Praveen instead of Zak after hearing out Dravid point of View. But hats of to you Wasim Bhai we definitely need Zak in playing eleven in all 5 test given he is physically fit in all of them to nurture and guide the herd. "Mid-on teaching" under pressure when someone like Baz or Cook hitting you all day along cannot be matched out with "Conversation at Starbucks". That right now some youngster are having with some of our already retired legends. Isn't It.

Posted by Mahesh1109 on (February 20, 2014, 12:58 GMT)

I totally agree with Wasim and Eric Simmons. Zaheer should play test matches abroad and in India depending on the teams we play and more importantly should be a part of the one day squad too. His immense experience will surely help our fast bowlers in all forms of cricket. Even if he is not a part of playing xi, he can still be a mentor like Imran khan. He should be played in certain matches and not all and more importantly, he has to be in the world cup touring squad to be played in australia and new zealand. Looking at our current bowlers, we need Zaheer to support them. Guys like Ishant Sharma, Pankaj Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Bhuvnesh, Undadkat, Shami, Umesh, Varon, Praveen, Irfan, Vinay Kumar, Samad Fallah, etc. are all talented. We should also include new talents like sarfraz kahn, kuldeep yadav, sanju samson, parvez rasool and make them play more and more matches so they are ready before the world cup. We need to have players like S Binny, LR Shukla, Rajat Bhatia, etc.....

Posted by SR_SAJJAD on (February 20, 2014, 12:44 GMT)

Why India Need Zaheer?? Because Indian Bowlers always need assistance from the pitch. They dont have any bowler who can overcome conditions and go for a kill.

So its all about extracting help from.helpful conditions. This is where Zak is best

Seamers like Shami and Buneshwer can.learn a lot from him

Posted by yjreddyindia on (February 20, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

Just try with four fast bowlers which will give you every chance of taking 20 wickets. my pick will be for england tour: 1)Dhawan,2)Rohith,3)Pujara,4)Kohli5)Rahane6)dhoni7)Jadeja/Ashwin8)Shami,9)Yadav10)Praveen kumar 11)zaheer/bhuvi

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

Indian bowlers lack confidence -- Ishant seems to be up and down and Shami is just starting so is likely unsure. Yadav and Bhuvi have been dropped far too often as has Ashwin. Jadeja is not really a specialist bowler. This is the wrong time to drop Zaheer. We need a new pacer to take over the leadership and it is likely Shami more than others. Ashwin needs to play all matches regardless of conditions unless there is a better spinner. He unfortunately has to lead the spin department even though he is short of experience bowling abroad. So the bowling line up in England should be Zaheer, Shami, Yadav, Ishant/Bhuvi, Ashwin. We need to do with one less batsman.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

It seriously the selection and how the bowler adjust to the pitch's problem. If there is a bowler who can take advantage of the pitch, then he has to be the strike bowler, since he has the ability to use the pitch. You can't just blame the pitch, when you are not using. There are so many tactics they can use, surely they can't blame the pitch. Ishant Sharma is just there because of the seriously rare Ishant Sharma he can be. But there has to be a time to improve. He has played 50 matches, and still he cannot use the pitch. That is plain dumb.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 12:13 GMT)

Dear India fans, remember the other teams practice too and many times the result is decided by someone on the other side playing well. Don't throw away the makings of a great team because B-mac played arguably the greatest test innings in NZ cricket history.

Posted by HarrowXI on (February 20, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

Test team for England.

1)Rohit sharma 2)Dhawan 3) Pujara 4) Kohli (C) 5) Rahane 6) Dhoni 7)Irfan 8)Jadeja 9) Bhuvi 10) Shami 11)Umesh yadav.

Come on Sandeep patil,Dhoni & Fletcher we can see india keep losing overseas test. we need 5 bowlers to take 20 wickets. At the same time we need lower order all rounders like Pathan & Jadeja to score runs to help batsman to put big total on the Board.

Sorry Murli Vijay,Zak & Ishant its time india to move on.

Posted by HarrowXI on (February 20, 2014, 11:59 GMT)

Stop Blaming Indian Bowlers. Its just bad selection which shows poor bowling. If india choose below 5 bowlers they will definitely take 20 wickets easily.

1)Bhuvenshwar Kumar 2)Mohmd Shami 3)Umesh Yadav 4)Irfan Pathan (all rounder can bat at No 7) 5)Ravindra Jadeja (all rounder can bat at no 8)

This 5 Bowler has a lot of variety (left arm bowler,right arm bowler, Pace(yadav) and Jadeja can do decent leg spin.)

Please MSD stop looking ashwin,Ishant and Zaheer select above bowlers so we can have first overseas victory in England.

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 20, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

Dhoni is like a toothache right now...deep inside we feel like we want to remove the bad tooth because we cant bare the pain it is causing and yet we wont do it and hope the pain will pass away soon......

Posted by BhaskarHajong on (February 20, 2014, 11:38 GMT)

What ever may be the arguments zaheer should not be included for england tour. He will just eat up some other young Indian bowlers place during the whole test series, because its very much sure that he woudnt be able to provide any match winning performances!

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

Waz has got it wrong. If Zak is not contributing with the ball, he has not point being in XI. And we all know he is skillful, best to India after Kapil, but daddy time catching up, he can instruct younger ones from outside the rope. Make him a bowling coach. We have seen and know he is intelligent, this intelligence can be passed on from outside the rope at thirdman rather than mid on/off. Also, if still Zak has to be played, why don't we hire Waseem as bowling coach? If KKR can do it what stops BCCI?

Posted by JasonWoodsworth on (February 20, 2014, 11:32 GMT)

India has to make do with what they have now. They will never have consistent wicket taking bowler like Shane Bond.

Posted by JasonWoodsworth on (February 20, 2014, 11:29 GMT)

India has never been a bowling powerhouse aight. They have always struggled abroad and relied on spinners to win matches at home, Same thing they do now. Kapil was a medium pacer but not in the same league as Botham, Imran, Richard. At the latter part of his career, he was more of a batsman than a bowler. His selfishness to carry on and break Richard's record will always hurt his legacy. I wonder though, did Kapil pass down anything to Srinath or Prasad when those blokes made their entry?

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

I think he should be there until India have found a settled group of bowlers then he should retire.

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

You have an Indian team led by a moody Captain Cool. There is no intensity and no desire to win. The Captain has imposed his personality on the whole team. Winning is not important but the process is! End is not important but the means are! When skills are more or less equal, I think nothing is achieved without a bit of pride, a bit of hunger to achieve and a will to win. Kiwis showed it! Captain Cool is deluding himself and the rest of country. Selectors have shown a bit of grit in past few months by getting rid of non performing seniors. Let them finish the job by getting rid of Dhoni and Zaheer who are of the same school. These two have a mind set which has a negative influence on team. I was shocked to read Dhawan's statement on fourth day of second test where he said that if they lose the test , he will still be satisfied that they have learnt a lot. Are test matches in International arena schools of learning?

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (February 20, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

It was very clear Zaheer is struggling in the field too. Ishanth sharma was verbally abusing him for picking the ball up slow. With that in mind Zaheer standing at long on and "talking" to Ishanth on how to bowl does not sound good. If he is past his prime let him retire gracefully. No point crying over it and trying to keep him the on field coach. If the Team wants his service to develop fast bowlers, give him the option to be bowling coach. No need to carry him on the field so that he can "talk" to bowlers from long on. As a coach he can talk to bowlers from long on boundary as well

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 11:16 GMT)

Imran was a legend and the players he selected and groomed, immensely helped shape Pakistan as a successful Cricketing nation. Inzamam, Mushtaq, Qadir, Wasim, Waqar, Aqib and others, were all match winners. When I look at the Indian bowlers, I notice lack of confidence. Perhaps, it has to do with how the captain treats and supports them, and their own role within the team. Zak should be supported, same way non-performing players in the team have been for a long time now. Since his comeback, he has showed potential and without him, young Indian bowlers will be taken to the cleaners in the upcoming tours. Lastly, how about producing sporting pitches in India to give confidence to the Indian bowlers. Surely, those dead pitches is not going to help them learn either.

Posted by tuggah on (February 20, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

The older anyone gets wiser their thoughts should be. Just compare the thoughts of two gentleman here. The wall Dravid being as always gentle in saying that Zaheer should decide his future. Look at Wading, who once walked away with few players in the team against Shoaib Akthar, praising Zaheer. This is not politics to hold on to ur place for a long time. Sadly, Zaheer has got nothing left. He should retire. Umesh Yadav should be in his place.

Posted by ShawnWoodsworth on (February 20, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

I've always admired Wasim and Waqar. Had the chance to see them in person during 1993 Hamilton test, when Pakistan won from a losing position. I have yet to see bowlers fire in yorkers like that so consistently. With regards to India's bowling. As a Kiwi, I think we have hips of good bowlers in the mix now. Adam Milne, Boult, Mitchell can be something special. Go the All Blacks and Black caps.

Posted by jimbond on (February 20, 2014, 11:04 GMT)

For England, two of India's bowlers choose themselves- Shami and Bhuvaneswar Kumar- both of whom can use the seaming conditions and can also make use of reverse swing. The third seamer could be Yadav, and given the spin friendly conditions in England in recent years- it could be a toss up between Jadeja and Ashwin. Zaheer Khan would be using up one place in the team, and his lack of fitness could put lot of pressure on the other bowlers- and given India's bowling penetration, they could end up spending a lot of time on the field.

Posted by cad76 on (February 20, 2014, 10:58 GMT)

The kind of help Imran is expecting hasn't probably happened in Indian cricket. Doubt Kapil helped Prabhakar or Srinath during his final days... Doubt Srinath/prasad helped Zaheer... Zaheer has mastered art of using old ball on his own... Failure of Irfan, RP Singh, Sreesanth, Munaf in concreting their place in team and getting matured with international exposure is really hurting india now... Ishant debuted around same time of Mitch and Morkel.... see the difference... Looking at Ishant, it doesnt look like this guy has 6 years of international experience....

Posted by TheMiamian on (February 20, 2014, 10:52 GMT)

Why blame Zak for poor performance when the standard of Indian bowling is one the same level as West Indies, and that's an understatement of the WI bowlers.

Question is how do even measure Indian bowling performance, when most bowlers' average is above 30?

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 10:51 GMT)

Bhuvi too needs to put some mass if he is to be a threat, an 80mph trundle won't get him far at this level. He has the talent but not the minimum speed on fair tracks abroad. I can't believe that with all these riches and support services, India has not found one decent out and out fast bowler who is reliable. Yadav can fire them in but needs to be ""loved" and Varun appears to be MSD's step-brother on current evidence! Ishant trundling in at 126-128 and getting hammered black and blue is such a painful sight for anyone who loves to watch cricket as an equal tussle between the bat and the ball. His ship has truly sailed, let no one tell you otherwise, this one off series not withstanding!! Not holding my breath though!

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

Kannan is right. Sooner you let Yadav and Aaron loose firing at 90mph, the better backed up by Shami at 88-90mph. I am unsure about Ishant as one good series after 60 bad ones doesn't mean anything! As for Wasim's observations, the lure of IPL is clearly evident. Zak is cooked, like all things past its sell by date. He is no Imran. That man was a colossus, a true strike bowler even at 35 (England 1987 anyone??) and kept his pace up in the high 80's even in 1988 in West Indies. I agree with RD fully, it would be an utter tragedy to see Zak limp out huffing and puffing, he deserves better. The Indian culture of undue reverence to these "seniors" is what hurts it in the long run. India needs to be unsentimental in its approach. Thank Zak it must for his great services over the years, but pack him off immediately too. Kapil' fruitless pursuit of 431 resulted in Srinath losing 3 years at the peak. Would hate to see that happen to genuine talents like Yadav and Varun et al. Bhuvi too needs t

Posted by JohnSnider on (February 20, 2014, 10:44 GMT)

Wasim is right on the money. I myself was following Zaheer for quite a long time He he always amazed me as an Indian bowler by removing one or two early wickets and not only that is unbelievable , could change the face of the match. So using him tactfully would be the secret , He still have technique and got 5 wickets in second inning while unfortunately Ishant did not get any. Though Ishant is fine bowler but sometimes on flat pitch nothing would work except intelligent bowler like Zaheer and Wasim. These bowlers, if not tired are devastating. So Zaheer should be used with short spells, while younger bowlers specially spinners keep causing the confusion, tension and stress for batsmen. I really don't care if there is a bowling change every over. Who is going to stop you. Unless bowler himself request that I see the possible wicket and that can be seen by captain and team also. India must come up with innovative ideas before English tour. Wasim should help Indian fast.

Posted by GRVJPR on (February 20, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

@Jordanmacmillan88 , You are bang on target when you say" Indian bowlers are meek and their body language is very negative. Kiwi bowlers are not express pace either but look at how they impose themselves on the batsman.". In India there is a heavy criticsm when any bowler tries to be aggressive. And for that matter any young batsmen as well. I rember Kohli getting excited after his first century, a big moment for him, but he was termed as over aggressive and someone with bad behavior by my fellow cricket fans who post comments on this forum.

Posted by here2rock on (February 20, 2014, 10:32 GMT)

Zaheer would have helped Ishant if he knew how to do it himself. First thing Ishant needs to is is get a hair cut, how can you bowl with a blanket around your head? The thing annoys most is that when things are not going well for India they don't try different things. It is always the same, waiting for things to happen.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

With so many things going wrong for India in recent times, funny how the blame game shifts from player to player. It's not only India's bowling but fielding has been exposed as well. India have dropped numerous catches which they should have taken. Why? No wonder, it seems that many current players are playing for their own survival instead of the team. Anyway, I hope Zak takes the England and Aussie tours off. Lets see how future star bowlers such as Bhuvi and co gets smashed in these tours. Because, they have really been match winning bowlers right!! :)

Posted by SherjilIslam on (February 20, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

I guess Zaheer can push himself for the next world cup..but for that to happen he needs supreme fitness. Somehow I wasn't convinced with his fitness in these two series, also the pace has gone down drastically...tough time ahead for him, But that doesn't take away this fact that he's the best pacer India produced after Kapil Dev and was instrumental in India's 2011 WC triumph.

Posted by Humdingers on (February 20, 2014, 10:17 GMT)

Conserve energy for later? For when? When the opposition is 500 in front? Or maybe for the buffet later that evening?

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 10:13 GMT)

The same type of argument delayed the Dhawans, Kohlis, Rohit and Rahanes inclusion whereas non performing greats Sachins, saurav, Dravids, Lakshmans, Gambhirs and shewags continued, for years ..The sooner we let go Zaheer the better for Indian cricket ... Ditto for Dhoni

Posted by JasonWoodsworth on (February 20, 2014, 10:13 GMT)

does akram expect Zahir to perform miracles with club level bowlers? yes, club level. you can't turn average bowlers into the likes of bond, holding, ambrose, imran. it's not gonna happen mate. Indian bowlers are meek and their body language is very negative. Kiwi bowlers are not express pace either but look at how they impose themselves on the batsman. sorry mate but with the current lot india has, they are gonna struggle for a bit. wait and see.

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