India v South Africa, 3rd ODI, Ahmedabad February 27, 2010

'Don't judge bench strength on one game' - Kirsten

Cricinfo staff

After a new-look India were convincingly beaten by South Africa in Ahmedabad, coach Gary Kirsten has said the depth of talent in his side shouldn't be gauged based on just one performance. India fielded two debutants, opener M Vijay and fast bowler Abhimanyu Mithun, and had only two players with more than 50 one-dayers under their belt in the dead rubber.

"It's difficult to judge the bench strength by one game," Kirsten said after the 90-run defeat. "I see it as an opportunity for the younger players but you cannot judge them by one performance."

With a core of experienced team members performing consistently, Kirsten said the reserve players were not getting enough chances at the international level. "We want to win every series and this does not give opportunities for the younger players to get the exposure. But this was a good learning experience for them."

The home side were without their entire first-choice bowling line-up of Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar and Harbhajan Singh, and the inexperienced bowling unit, led by Sreesanth, was taken for 365 runs by South Africa.

Captain MS Dhoni said India missed the variations of Zaheer and Nehra. "The three fast bowlers that we played, their strength was not change of pace," he said. "If we had somebody like Ashish Nehra or Zaheer, things would have been different."

India had a particularly tough time while bowling at the death, with the pair of Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers blasting 100 runs in the final seven overs. "With the kind of the start they got it would have been difficult to restrict them to 300," Dhoni said, "but I think 340 would have been competitive and we could have looked to get it."

Despite the defeat in the final ODI, Dhoni was happy with India's performance over the season, during which they beat Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Test series, before pulling off a memorable win in Kolkata earlier this month to draw the Tests with South Africa and retain their No. 1 ranking. He identified the fielding as one department that needed plenty of improvement.

"We have done well over the season, there have been injuries, we have missed key players, if you look at everything, we have done really well," he said. "Our bowling has improved in bits and pieces, we have done well. Youngsters are doing well. May be in one year we will also put up the best fielding side in the world."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Duraibalaji on March 1, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    @Richvii:Nayar is a batsman and Ashwin is a bowler actually we had a shortfall in bowler after Bhajji's exclusion not the batsman.we had plenty of batsmen in the series.Abhishek nayar could have been tried instead of Raina who has no problems with his slot and selection coz he will be in the 11s even all the players return to the side or Rohit sharma no other person can be thrown coz they r fighting for their inclusion in the team

  • Duraibalaji on March 1, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    I personally think Nayar's slot is taken by Yousuf Pathan .There was an intense competition for the sixth position batsmen right from Robin Uthappa (when he helped chasing 300+ score against England in this match Mascarreanus hit 5 sixes in Yuvraj singh's over remember?),Yousuf pathan and Rohit sharma in some matches and Raina grabbed that position after the failure of Pathan .7th is sealed by JADEJA .

  • Duraibalaji on March 1, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    @Richvii :Ashwin is the replacement of Harbajhan singh.He is also a specialist off spinner...If they had gone for specialist spinner instead of extra batsmen allrounder JaDEJA OR PATHAN or extra batsmenor for two fast two spin combination they would have picked him .Mind you Mishra and Ashwin are the two specialist spin bowler in the squad

  • Abhay on March 1, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    Gary Kirsten is surely a very good coach, his views to defend youngsters also are justified. But Rohit Sharma, from where the hell he keeps landing in the Indian side. The domestic circuit has much better players than him. In Mumbai itself Rahane and Nayyar are better than him, ofcourse needless to say Manish Pandey deserves a chance fast. Again M Vijay has the typical book style so should be groomed in Tests and not ODIs. I think the whole concept of dead rubber is absurd, if you win a series go for whitewash, be ruthless like the aussies are, why mess around a match which thousands have paid to be in the stadium and millions have spend on time watching it??

  • Rajesh on March 1, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    Don't play the entire bench in one game. And don't change the bench without giving a single game.

  • Santhosh on February 28, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    Guys, Irfan is not selected bcos of his injury,,,Only thing which I feel went wrong in the match is the advice of the senior bowlers to the youngsters. AB and Kallis on a flat track, can even thrash out Australians Bret Lee or Johnson, so It would not have mattered who the bowlers are. Dhoni also should not forget it was few experiments which seniors tried at that time brought him in to the team,,Team would not lose anything in these sort of experiments except for the Ahmedabad spectators who paid heavily and went to watch the 'Experimented' Match, I pity them.. Mithun and Thyaagi have sheer pace and anybody could find they were nervous. They were supposed to be bowling under Zaheer who could have advised them, better than Sree.Hope this gives some hope to Tyagi and Mithun.

  • Rahul on February 28, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    Kirsten, I have loved the way you have gone about your job. With due respect, I think you would do well know that the whole bench strength of India is not tried out on a single day! Come on...may be you can try 2 players at a time...and playing with our bowling attack which I won't think twice before finding fault with is absolutely indicative of the fact India had given up the match well before the toss. I really looked forward for an Indian fight for a 3-0...atleast an effort..but I can't expect India 'A' to win against SA.

  • Rich on February 28, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    It is not the question of N/S/W/E selection. it is the question of merit. Vijay had to be included as he is a specialist -opener with good technique. He is a good test and ODI resource. Too early to comment on his T20 skills. But inlcuding Mithun ahead of other bowlers is something difficult to comprehend! Also on what basis Ashwin got selected ahead of Nayar! Dont forget Srikanth drop Karthik agnst SA test and included Saha. karthik is abetter wk/batsman than Saha! what i am trying to allude is to the fact that Srikanth selection is biased and politically motivated. lets call a spade a spade . Durai86 mentions nayar/pandey could have been picked up if they had the slots open. for what slot Ashiwn was included! Our board rotates some players so that they can get-1st the match allowance 2 get to see places and 3rd get included in the retirement plan of the bcci.Dropping Nayar from the last ODI without giving him an opportunity proves that Srikanth is an insane person.

  • Premnath on February 28, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    Mr Gaurav,just check the on going VIJAY HAZARAE trophy TAMINADU is in finals for second time in last 2yrs , even when their main players are in national duty , check the champions trophy 2009 scores M Vijay is the topper , doesnt he deserve the selection , if SRIKKANTH is biased then 5 players from Delhi could not in the nation squad ,Mind your words before Typing ,How ROHIT who got the nod ahead of BADRINATH ?who top scores within 3 places for last 5 years , do you know TAMILNADU HAD beat MUMBAI in league stage in RAnji Trophy& Vijay HAZARE trophy a day before ,MARK MY words M VIJAY will go for PLACES with his Technical play & surely fill the Place for DRAVID ,DONT divide the spirits by NORTH or SOUTH ,

  • Agnel on February 28, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    The saddest part of all of this is freelance criticism from all and sundry without understanding cricket. someone commented as if cricketers are chosen based on their state side winning ranji trophy. Ha ha, good to be a joke. Because Vijay and Karthik are very talented cricketers need to play more for India. I tend to fully agree with a comment that Indian bowling attack is the worst even with all the so called stars like Zaheer and Harbhajan. I would criticise Srikkanth for selecting wrong players for tests and ODIs. There is absolutely no reason to pick Ishant, Sreeshanth in ODIs, they are better to be persisted for tests. At the same time, Praveen and Nehra are good for the ODIs and T20s. About the newcomers, Tyagi has only one credential to be fast bowler, his height! But actually, Mithun is a greatest prospect but should play tests for at least 1-2 years before tried in ODIs. his performance was great in Ranji & Duleep trophies, but not so much in the ODI based Hazare trophy.

  • No featured comments at the moment.