England in India 2008-09 November 22, 2008

Whom will Tendulkar replace?

Cricinfo staff
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Blue hue: The Virender Sehwag-Sachin Tendulkar combo will be reunited for the first time since February © Getty Images
 

Nearly nine months out of the one-day game, and into his 20th year of international cricket, the Sachin Tendulkar caravan just rumbles on and, on Sunday, it will give England something different to think about as they seek to stay alive in this seven-match series. After playing a significant role in India's 2-0 Test series win over Australia, Tendulkar opted for some rest, but Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium will see his return to non-IPL coloured clothes.

A man with 42 centuries and 16,361 runs, and who redefined the opener's role in limited-overs cricket, should never have to prove anything but it'll be interesting to see how India re-jig their batting order to accommodate him. Great one-day batsmen have been either relentless accumulators or others impetuous destroyers. Tendulkar has combined both qualities to devastating effect ever since that Auckland morning when India decided to take a punt on him at the top of the order.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave every indication on Saturday afternoon that Tendulkar will open with Virender Sehwag, with Gautam Gambhir moving down to the No.3 slot that he made his own during the CB Series in Australia earlier this year.

"I'd prefer it if Sachin opens with Sehwag. We have tried that and you can say that is an option," said Dhoni. "Yes, tampering with a successful line-up is something you have to think twice before doing, but you also have to see the quality of the player coming in.

"Sachin needed a bit of rest and he is the person who knows his body the best. We want him to play as long as possible and whenever he is available he should play. He has played his part in Indian cricket and it's up to the emerging players to get the most out of him. The more he plays, the more it benefits the youngsters."

While some murmurs will be raised about the wisdom behind breaking up a pair - Sehwag and Gambhir - that has had so much success in recent times in both forms of the game, there's no denying that Tendulkar and Sehwag have quite a history. In 83 games together, they have combined for 10 century partnerships and 11 in excess of 50 while averaging 37.93. The only reason the duo didn't attract more attention was because Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were such an institution - 26 three-figure partnerships in 176 games.

Where does this leave a squad that's won three games on the bounce though? Most captains are loathe to change a winning formula, except for reasons of fatigue, and it'll be illuminating to see whether Dhoni accommodates both Tendulkar and Irfan Pathan - one of the subjects of an alleged selection skirmish after the Kanpur game - in the XI. It's hard to see how Pathan can come in unless Zaheer Khan is given a rest after his recent labours. Munaf Patel has just struck a nice rhythm after being an onlooker for the Australia Tests, and Ishant Sharma will be eying some overs in the middle with a Test series to come next month.

Whose place does Tendulkar take though? Gambhir is comfortable batting anywhere in the top three, while Tendulkar's preference for opening has been well-documented. The man almost certain to miss out is Rohit Sharma, whose recent form has been indifferent at best. In 14 games dating back to the Asia Cup, Rohit averages 20.90, with just one half-century. Suresh Raina has averaged 44.38 in the same period and played some crucial knocks. His effervescence in the field - not that Rohit is a slouch - should also help him keep his place.

The last time Tendulkar and Sehwag opened together, at Sydney against Australia, they aggregated 19. Sehwag took no further in that series [he had made just 81 from five innings] while Tendulkar finished it in spectacular fashion, with innings of 117 not out and 92 sealing a famous Indian triumph. Robin Uthappa, who will no doubt be watching keenly on Sunday, opened with him then, as India decided not to go for a left-right combination.

The behind-the-scenes shenanigans, described as "disgusting" by Dhoni, are a distraction this India team could have done without. There certainly won't be any complacency on England's part though Kevin Pietersen and his bowlers won't be overly dismayed to see Tendulkar. Though Andy Caddick and a couple of others might have the odd nightmare about bowling to him, he hasn't been as prolific against England as he has against others. Though he averages 42.46 over 34 games, only one of those 42 centuries has come against them.

Bangalore hasn't been a happy hunting ground of late either, with his last two outings fetching 2 and a blob. Provided the rain stays away, all that could just be ancient history for a man who has spent his entire career breaking new ground.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY SachMo1 on | November 23, 2008, 7:00 GMT

    I must congratulate media on doing a tremendous job of brainwashing/hardselling about the future of "seniors"!! Why are people talking that "seniors" should retire? Remember, Its not one player; it's a bunch of great players with their unique talents, class, performance and experience. I believe each one of them MUST be judged INDEPENDENTLY and based on the performance solely. Gilchrist played his probably best ODI knocks in 2007 (at the age of 37) in the final of the world cup.. Jayasuriya was deadly in T20 IPL series..He was 38 then. Fellow fans, please don't get carried away by the "branding" as "seniors". Sachin has been an awesome player and still is. Rohit has failed in approx. 9/10 chances. Let's give him a break. He needs to understand, learn and master the game ALL round like Sachin has. He must EARN his spot. So for now, the performer Sachin is the right choice. I am sure Rohit will mature in the due course... Let's enjoy vintage Sachin for now...Cheers!!

  • POSTED BY SHANTIRATNAM on | November 23, 2008, 6:43 GMT

    It does not make sense to break a partnership (Shewag & Gambir) that has been doing so well and thats the future of Indian cricket. "The best player must bat maximum overs" thats correct but that should be in the best interest of the game and the team, not the individual. Looking from this point of view, its important that the opening pair is not changed and a great player like Sachin should be able to bat in the middle order. If at all India has problem in the middle order with the form of Rohit Sharma, I don't see the effectiveness of Sachin replacing someone in the middle-order but opening the innigs.

  • POSTED BY tylerhans on | November 23, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    Unfotunately, it is our habit to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Whats the difference between a gambhir opening the innings or Sachin. For ages we have been worshipping individuals and not the team and it has got us to make gods out of humans. From a statistical point of view - an average of 37.22 vs. 44.33, from a behavior point of view, atleast it has got us to a point where every mortal is trying to reach thve greatness of the immortal, then why at this stage go back to the same stage as it was before it even dreamed of winning an overseas test/ODI. Dhoni is right, Sachin should make the choices on when he wants to play or not. People might say, you are wasting young talent (I saw a comparison to the out of form Kapil Dev who was in the team for reasons unknown) I dont think the same is true for Sachin, On any day I would pick Sachin over any other person, 3-0lead or no lead. The spirit of the man towards cricket is worthy of respect, lets hope it infects as much as possible

  • POSTED BY avianu123 on | November 23, 2008, 6:37 GMT

    It's no doubt that Tendulkar is getting older. But c'mon guys he is still contributing and he is doing it in style. Gambhir has proved himself at No. 3 also. So why not let the trio handle the top order. Who knew that India were going to win the first 3 matches?? Mr Truth, it was cheap to say that he purposely opted out initially and then decide later whether he will comeback or not... If that was the case then he would have opted out in the CBSERIES finals!!! Of course youngsters should be given a chance but I think it's the bowlers who need to be tested more rather than batsmen. We still do not have consistent pace bowlers. Don't forget Zaheer was too good(like now) before WC2003 finals but it was his first over that cost us the cup. So stop going against Sachin.

  • POSTED BY ajaydesai on | November 23, 2008, 6:33 GMT

    Indian cricket captain and coach messed with IRFAN PATHAN's career when they decided him to promote in batting order when specialist batsmen did not want risk their position in team. This effected Pathan's bowling and the person who once match winner for India has to sit out.

  • POSTED BY gauravk on | November 23, 2008, 6:31 GMT

    All what you guyz are saying is correct but I dont see sachin retiring before World Cup 2011. It is his biggest unfulfilled dream to get the cup back to india and if his fitness permits he will not hear anybody else and do what he wishes to do. and I totally support him on this.

  • POSTED BY Nilangsu on | November 23, 2008, 6:03 GMT

    Theoretically, every player should win his place in the team, whoever he is. When the going got tough in Australia, we saw who saved the team with two match-winning innings in consecutive matches. His name is Sachin, Sachin Tendulkar. Not the young guns like Sharma, Raina or Gambhir.

    Gambhir, for all his attacking attitude, can't score runs nearly as fast as Sachin. The reason is talent. Period.

    Also, Sachin should open, because the best player should open. You don't need solidity in the middle when you have solidity at the top !

    Those who talk about age, should look at ability. They should look at Hayden, Jayasuriya and Lara. Or even, to go back a little, Gavaskar. He svored his first 100 at 37.

    The Master scores more runs faster than others when it matters. That's why he should stay. Till he brings the 2011 World Cup home. He has been trying for a long time, but hasn't because of lack of support. This time around, the support seems to be there, We'll see.

  • POSTED BY mk49_van on | November 23, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    MrTRuth says - "Why was Tendulkar out when England had strong bowling lineup of Harmison and Flintoff. Now they are not successful in this series it seems like he is aching to come back to cash on it, just to push his records. My two cents!!!"

    Those two cents are mostly likely Zimbabwe cents - a country whose current inflation rate is 200 million %, i.e., not worth anything at all. Only someone living in alternate reality would argue that Sachin is aching to come back to "cash in" on Flintoff and Harmison's poor form. Where have you been for the past two decades, dude?

  • POSTED BY kiwikumar on | November 23, 2008, 4:44 GMT

    I think we should not change the winning side.of course,tendlukar is a awesome player but he should give chance to the younger side to explore them.he should think of the future how the these youngmen compete with others.i sugest bcci to trust,listen to dhoni.he is making his tracks to the sucess.ghambir should open the innings.noone should disturb him.he is onroll.

  • POSTED BY Shashank_Tripathi on | November 23, 2008, 4:40 GMT

    To people like "Radical Thought". Look up the ODI series in the last couple of years. Sachin has been among the top two Indian scorers in every single one of them--even when we had these "youngsters". He belongs in the team because he earned it. Raina and Rohit are both extremely talented but they still have to make their mark in terms of consistency. At his "age", Sachin still takes their behinds in terms of scoring, and at their age, he was a monolith. Please stop making arguments based on emotional banter. The facts suggest that Sachin should be in the team, the shuffling should happen elsewhere. Period.

  • POSTED BY SachMo1 on | November 23, 2008, 7:00 GMT

    I must congratulate media on doing a tremendous job of brainwashing/hardselling about the future of "seniors"!! Why are people talking that "seniors" should retire? Remember, Its not one player; it's a bunch of great players with their unique talents, class, performance and experience. I believe each one of them MUST be judged INDEPENDENTLY and based on the performance solely. Gilchrist played his probably best ODI knocks in 2007 (at the age of 37) in the final of the world cup.. Jayasuriya was deadly in T20 IPL series..He was 38 then. Fellow fans, please don't get carried away by the "branding" as "seniors". Sachin has been an awesome player and still is. Rohit has failed in approx. 9/10 chances. Let's give him a break. He needs to understand, learn and master the game ALL round like Sachin has. He must EARN his spot. So for now, the performer Sachin is the right choice. I am sure Rohit will mature in the due course... Let's enjoy vintage Sachin for now...Cheers!!

  • POSTED BY SHANTIRATNAM on | November 23, 2008, 6:43 GMT

    It does not make sense to break a partnership (Shewag & Gambir) that has been doing so well and thats the future of Indian cricket. "The best player must bat maximum overs" thats correct but that should be in the best interest of the game and the team, not the individual. Looking from this point of view, its important that the opening pair is not changed and a great player like Sachin should be able to bat in the middle order. If at all India has problem in the middle order with the form of Rohit Sharma, I don't see the effectiveness of Sachin replacing someone in the middle-order but opening the innigs.

  • POSTED BY tylerhans on | November 23, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    Unfotunately, it is our habit to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Whats the difference between a gambhir opening the innings or Sachin. For ages we have been worshipping individuals and not the team and it has got us to make gods out of humans. From a statistical point of view - an average of 37.22 vs. 44.33, from a behavior point of view, atleast it has got us to a point where every mortal is trying to reach thve greatness of the immortal, then why at this stage go back to the same stage as it was before it even dreamed of winning an overseas test/ODI. Dhoni is right, Sachin should make the choices on when he wants to play or not. People might say, you are wasting young talent (I saw a comparison to the out of form Kapil Dev who was in the team for reasons unknown) I dont think the same is true for Sachin, On any day I would pick Sachin over any other person, 3-0lead or no lead. The spirit of the man towards cricket is worthy of respect, lets hope it infects as much as possible

  • POSTED BY avianu123 on | November 23, 2008, 6:37 GMT

    It's no doubt that Tendulkar is getting older. But c'mon guys he is still contributing and he is doing it in style. Gambhir has proved himself at No. 3 also. So why not let the trio handle the top order. Who knew that India were going to win the first 3 matches?? Mr Truth, it was cheap to say that he purposely opted out initially and then decide later whether he will comeback or not... If that was the case then he would have opted out in the CBSERIES finals!!! Of course youngsters should be given a chance but I think it's the bowlers who need to be tested more rather than batsmen. We still do not have consistent pace bowlers. Don't forget Zaheer was too good(like now) before WC2003 finals but it was his first over that cost us the cup. So stop going against Sachin.

  • POSTED BY ajaydesai on | November 23, 2008, 6:33 GMT

    Indian cricket captain and coach messed with IRFAN PATHAN's career when they decided him to promote in batting order when specialist batsmen did not want risk their position in team. This effected Pathan's bowling and the person who once match winner for India has to sit out.

  • POSTED BY gauravk on | November 23, 2008, 6:31 GMT

    All what you guyz are saying is correct but I dont see sachin retiring before World Cup 2011. It is his biggest unfulfilled dream to get the cup back to india and if his fitness permits he will not hear anybody else and do what he wishes to do. and I totally support him on this.

  • POSTED BY Nilangsu on | November 23, 2008, 6:03 GMT

    Theoretically, every player should win his place in the team, whoever he is. When the going got tough in Australia, we saw who saved the team with two match-winning innings in consecutive matches. His name is Sachin, Sachin Tendulkar. Not the young guns like Sharma, Raina or Gambhir.

    Gambhir, for all his attacking attitude, can't score runs nearly as fast as Sachin. The reason is talent. Period.

    Also, Sachin should open, because the best player should open. You don't need solidity in the middle when you have solidity at the top !

    Those who talk about age, should look at ability. They should look at Hayden, Jayasuriya and Lara. Or even, to go back a little, Gavaskar. He svored his first 100 at 37.

    The Master scores more runs faster than others when it matters. That's why he should stay. Till he brings the 2011 World Cup home. He has been trying for a long time, but hasn't because of lack of support. This time around, the support seems to be there, We'll see.

  • POSTED BY mk49_van on | November 23, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    MrTRuth says - "Why was Tendulkar out when England had strong bowling lineup of Harmison and Flintoff. Now they are not successful in this series it seems like he is aching to come back to cash on it, just to push his records. My two cents!!!"

    Those two cents are mostly likely Zimbabwe cents - a country whose current inflation rate is 200 million %, i.e., not worth anything at all. Only someone living in alternate reality would argue that Sachin is aching to come back to "cash in" on Flintoff and Harmison's poor form. Where have you been for the past two decades, dude?

  • POSTED BY kiwikumar on | November 23, 2008, 4:44 GMT

    I think we should not change the winning side.of course,tendlukar is a awesome player but he should give chance to the younger side to explore them.he should think of the future how the these youngmen compete with others.i sugest bcci to trust,listen to dhoni.he is making his tracks to the sucess.ghambir should open the innings.noone should disturb him.he is onroll.

  • POSTED BY Shashank_Tripathi on | November 23, 2008, 4:40 GMT

    To people like "Radical Thought". Look up the ODI series in the last couple of years. Sachin has been among the top two Indian scorers in every single one of them--even when we had these "youngsters". He belongs in the team because he earned it. Raina and Rohit are both extremely talented but they still have to make their mark in terms of consistency. At his "age", Sachin still takes their behinds in terms of scoring, and at their age, he was a monolith. Please stop making arguments based on emotional banter. The facts suggest that Sachin should be in the team, the shuffling should happen elsewhere. Period.

  • POSTED BY truth_hurts on | November 23, 2008, 4:16 GMT

    This is the first time i am writing on cricinfo but i do read always. i am doing this just to say that it is not good to blame sachin. true about sachin-gambhir combination, but gambhir at no.3 is perfect too. but i totally disagree with sachin giving way to youngsters. ganguly and dravid are already out not surprsingly, but Sachin is way out of equation. You got to respect that man. I am sure these comments about Sachin giving way to youngsters will come now, because India are in a great state and are playing in india. When India go overseas, they will struggle for experience. People should not forget Australia was the better team in Commonwealth Series, but it was Sachin to get big scores in both finals to secure amazing victory. I love this Indian team when the greatest man in cricket is playing along with this new heroic youngsters, thanks to Dhoni who has changed the face of Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY VikBan on | November 23, 2008, 3:58 GMT

    I think the title of this piece should have been "Who was substituted for Tendulkar?"

  • POSTED BY Invincible_Shank on | November 23, 2008, 2:54 GMT

    Sachin would be back into the playing XI for sure. But the biggest challenge for Dhoni is whether he should disturb the opening combo of Gambhir and Sehwag. The two have been simply great this year and have proved themselves in Tests, ODIs, T20s. Sachin has record books in favour of him, no questions about his credentials. But he is coming back to ODIs after 9 months adding to England's woes in a must-win match. In any case openers would provide India a solid start and the middle order is in gr8 form to push on the accelerator pedal. Even though there were little hitches during the last match, India is expected to chase down 300 and seal the series here. England would certainly be lot more aggressive. We saw Freddie's intentions at Kanpur. The move to open with Bopara paid off quite well last time but the others failed to capitalise on the start. As Pietersen correctly pointed out, England is desperately in need of a big score from some of its batsmen to post a challenging total.

  • POSTED BY The_other_side on | November 23, 2008, 2:22 GMT

    It is good that sachin is back. However for once Indian team is spoilt for choice. This means Vijay is dropped without having played and Rohit or Raina have to sit out. This is not a good thing. I am sure Sachin has not played for long and still can get back the touch but why change a winning side? Time has come for Sachin to rethink his strategy and conserve himself for the tests. He is a very valuable test player still and has in him to play stupendous innings like the one at Nagpur or Delhi or Chandigarh and at this stage that is he needs to do. He has contributed enoromously in ODIs in Australia and should have played in Asia cup final but not in ODIs where India is 3-0 up. I believe Vijay should have been given one chance. He looks like a solid player in Sehwag mould. Time for Sachin to stop talking in favour of youngsters and to do something about it, I mean he should have played first three crunch matches...

  • POSTED BY MrTRUTH on | November 22, 2008, 23:56 GMT

    It is important that India recognizes that they have to think of future. In a series which already seems one sided it is more important to introduce new players. Give them the experiance and exposure. Why was Tendulkar out when England had strong bowling lineup of Harmison and Flintoff. Now they are not successful in this series it seems like he is aching to come back to cash on it, just to push his records.

    My two cents!!!

  • POSTED BY SeenuSubbu on | November 22, 2008, 23:17 GMT

    While Dhoni might insist that India needs to field Tendulkar for as long as he can play, it would have tragic consequences for the likes of Kohli, Badrinath (yet to play a single game) and Vijay, who are waiting for these old tycoons to retire. Kapil Dev ruined about 3 good playable years from Srinath's career, when he was at his nippiest best. I hope there is a God waiting to dispense justice in this all, for Indian selectors have been appropriately named by Mohinder Amarnath.

  • POSTED BY OmarBeigh on | November 22, 2008, 23:16 GMT

    well its great to see sachin back. he has so much to offer to this young resurgent team india.he should not dislodge the sehwag/gambhir pair and instead bat at 4 in place of rohit. rest of the team should stay the same in this crucial tie. once this game is ove and india bags it successfully then they should rest some players and give more youngsters oppurtunities.

  • POSTED BY SilentVoyager on | November 22, 2008, 17:10 GMT

    There is no doubt that the return of Sachin boosts the confidence of this young Indian team and at the same time disrupts England's plans to come alive in this series. Now their job is more difficult if they want to restrict him. Sachin is such a player, who is a rare combination of big shots and quick singles and more over he rotates the strike brilliantly in non-power play conditions. It would be good to see him bat for as long as he can on one side, giving the amazing stroke players on the other side, who bolstered this Indian batting order like never before, tremendous confidence to go for their shots. Unfortunately it's very certain that Rohit has to miss out. But this might give him some time to reassess his technique and regain his focus. No doubt he is a part of our future plans. But stepping into some one's shoes who has left a permanent tattoo on the sport of cricket is not only a challenge but a big responsibility.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 22, 2008, 16:31 GMT

    Tendulkar's return to ODI is great for India. I am not surprised at Dhoni's dilemma whether it is good to break up Gambhir/Sehwag, who are arguably the best openers in the world today.Sehwag was almost a clone of Sachin in ODI's and when they batted together it was fireworks of epic proportions. Hence Dhoni is keen on reviving those memories. Where ever Sachin bats good luck to him because he is one of the best ODI improviser. If Sachin gets going along with next 3 Indian batsmen, it will be bedlam for the England bowlers but a feast for the fans. I expect Rohit to make way for Sachin. As regards England bowling they need Panesar to replace Patel and strengthen their batting by including one more batsmen at the expense of a pace bowler. If England cannot get 300 it will be difficult to win this "must win" game. Ishant needs to significantly improve his direction and control from his Kanpur bowling. Ojha needs to be included, being a more effective bowler than Y. Pathan on this wicket.

  • POSTED BY since7 on | November 22, 2008, 15:09 GMT

    There are plenty of things to be sorted out here..Despite the fact that the indian team is gifted with too many one day players,I dont see anyone replacing him..There will be occasions against stronger bowling attacks,seaming wickets where you will nee him...Mere bashing around wont help..But having said,I feel sachin should call it quits atleast for the fact that too many youngsters are around the ranks and they must be given chances often..or elseSachin has to stop being stubborn about opening and resort tothe middle order where he could provide india with some much needed solidity..Not many with the exception of hussey are adept in rotating the strike in the middle overs with the odd boundary to add with it...

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  • POSTED BY since7 on | November 22, 2008, 15:09 GMT

    There are plenty of things to be sorted out here..Despite the fact that the indian team is gifted with too many one day players,I dont see anyone replacing him..There will be occasions against stronger bowling attacks,seaming wickets where you will nee him...Mere bashing around wont help..But having said,I feel sachin should call it quits atleast for the fact that too many youngsters are around the ranks and they must be given chances often..or elseSachin has to stop being stubborn about opening and resort tothe middle order where he could provide india with some much needed solidity..Not many with the exception of hussey are adept in rotating the strike in the middle overs with the odd boundary to add with it...

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 22, 2008, 16:31 GMT

    Tendulkar's return to ODI is great for India. I am not surprised at Dhoni's dilemma whether it is good to break up Gambhir/Sehwag, who are arguably the best openers in the world today.Sehwag was almost a clone of Sachin in ODI's and when they batted together it was fireworks of epic proportions. Hence Dhoni is keen on reviving those memories. Where ever Sachin bats good luck to him because he is one of the best ODI improviser. If Sachin gets going along with next 3 Indian batsmen, it will be bedlam for the England bowlers but a feast for the fans. I expect Rohit to make way for Sachin. As regards England bowling they need Panesar to replace Patel and strengthen their batting by including one more batsmen at the expense of a pace bowler. If England cannot get 300 it will be difficult to win this "must win" game. Ishant needs to significantly improve his direction and control from his Kanpur bowling. Ojha needs to be included, being a more effective bowler than Y. Pathan on this wicket.

  • POSTED BY SilentVoyager on | November 22, 2008, 17:10 GMT

    There is no doubt that the return of Sachin boosts the confidence of this young Indian team and at the same time disrupts England's plans to come alive in this series. Now their job is more difficult if they want to restrict him. Sachin is such a player, who is a rare combination of big shots and quick singles and more over he rotates the strike brilliantly in non-power play conditions. It would be good to see him bat for as long as he can on one side, giving the amazing stroke players on the other side, who bolstered this Indian batting order like never before, tremendous confidence to go for their shots. Unfortunately it's very certain that Rohit has to miss out. But this might give him some time to reassess his technique and regain his focus. No doubt he is a part of our future plans. But stepping into some one's shoes who has left a permanent tattoo on the sport of cricket is not only a challenge but a big responsibility.

  • POSTED BY OmarBeigh on | November 22, 2008, 23:16 GMT

    well its great to see sachin back. he has so much to offer to this young resurgent team india.he should not dislodge the sehwag/gambhir pair and instead bat at 4 in place of rohit. rest of the team should stay the same in this crucial tie. once this game is ove and india bags it successfully then they should rest some players and give more youngsters oppurtunities.

  • POSTED BY SeenuSubbu on | November 22, 2008, 23:17 GMT

    While Dhoni might insist that India needs to field Tendulkar for as long as he can play, it would have tragic consequences for the likes of Kohli, Badrinath (yet to play a single game) and Vijay, who are waiting for these old tycoons to retire. Kapil Dev ruined about 3 good playable years from Srinath's career, when he was at his nippiest best. I hope there is a God waiting to dispense justice in this all, for Indian selectors have been appropriately named by Mohinder Amarnath.

  • POSTED BY MrTRUTH on | November 22, 2008, 23:56 GMT

    It is important that India recognizes that they have to think of future. In a series which already seems one sided it is more important to introduce new players. Give them the experiance and exposure. Why was Tendulkar out when England had strong bowling lineup of Harmison and Flintoff. Now they are not successful in this series it seems like he is aching to come back to cash on it, just to push his records.

    My two cents!!!

  • POSTED BY The_other_side on | November 23, 2008, 2:22 GMT

    It is good that sachin is back. However for once Indian team is spoilt for choice. This means Vijay is dropped without having played and Rohit or Raina have to sit out. This is not a good thing. I am sure Sachin has not played for long and still can get back the touch but why change a winning side? Time has come for Sachin to rethink his strategy and conserve himself for the tests. He is a very valuable test player still and has in him to play stupendous innings like the one at Nagpur or Delhi or Chandigarh and at this stage that is he needs to do. He has contributed enoromously in ODIs in Australia and should have played in Asia cup final but not in ODIs where India is 3-0 up. I believe Vijay should have been given one chance. He looks like a solid player in Sehwag mould. Time for Sachin to stop talking in favour of youngsters and to do something about it, I mean he should have played first three crunch matches...

  • POSTED BY Invincible_Shank on | November 23, 2008, 2:54 GMT

    Sachin would be back into the playing XI for sure. But the biggest challenge for Dhoni is whether he should disturb the opening combo of Gambhir and Sehwag. The two have been simply great this year and have proved themselves in Tests, ODIs, T20s. Sachin has record books in favour of him, no questions about his credentials. But he is coming back to ODIs after 9 months adding to England's woes in a must-win match. In any case openers would provide India a solid start and the middle order is in gr8 form to push on the accelerator pedal. Even though there were little hitches during the last match, India is expected to chase down 300 and seal the series here. England would certainly be lot more aggressive. We saw Freddie's intentions at Kanpur. The move to open with Bopara paid off quite well last time but the others failed to capitalise on the start. As Pietersen correctly pointed out, England is desperately in need of a big score from some of its batsmen to post a challenging total.

  • POSTED BY VikBan on | November 23, 2008, 3:58 GMT

    I think the title of this piece should have been "Who was substituted for Tendulkar?"

  • POSTED BY truth_hurts on | November 23, 2008, 4:16 GMT

    This is the first time i am writing on cricinfo but i do read always. i am doing this just to say that it is not good to blame sachin. true about sachin-gambhir combination, but gambhir at no.3 is perfect too. but i totally disagree with sachin giving way to youngsters. ganguly and dravid are already out not surprsingly, but Sachin is way out of equation. You got to respect that man. I am sure these comments about Sachin giving way to youngsters will come now, because India are in a great state and are playing in india. When India go overseas, they will struggle for experience. People should not forget Australia was the better team in Commonwealth Series, but it was Sachin to get big scores in both finals to secure amazing victory. I love this Indian team when the greatest man in cricket is playing along with this new heroic youngsters, thanks to Dhoni who has changed the face of Indian cricket.