India v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Kanpur, 1st day November 24, 2009

India delight in Delhi double-act

Cricinfo staff
Sehwag and Gambhir out on a double act as good as anything in this generation of cricketers to give India the perfect start
46

It was just a brief chat but its importance increased as the day went on. Midway through the 21st over Virender Sehwag walked up to Gautam Gambhir and said a few words. Gambhir listened patiently and nodded in response.

The previous ball, Muttiah Muralitharan had drawn Gambhir out with a well-flighted off break. Gambhir, a few runs short of his half-century, stepped out and tried unsuccessfully to hit him over mid-on. The next delivery, after the chat, the sequence of events was the same but with one difference: Murali flighted the ball, Gambhir jumped out of his crease but this time he connected well and hit over mid-off for a four.

Sehwag's gesture was, in fact, complementary. Earlier in the morning, when he was struggling, his junior team-mate walked up to him frequently to help him relax. More importantly, Gambhir made sure that while Sehwag was still finding his feet the scoring tempo never slowed down. It was probably the most important act in the Indian innings - had Gambhir not kept the scoring rate at a healthy four-plus, Sri Lanka would have had a foot inside the Indian door.

It was yet another sign of how the two Delhi openers have forged a bond of complete trust and respect, how they feed off each other and how, in the process, they have moved to within 507 runs of becoming India's best opening pair, and have already featured in the most number of opening stands leading to Indian victories.

Within a couple of hours of that chat, Sehwag and Gambhir had posted their highest-ever partnership, the 233-run stand beating their previous best - recorded at Kanpur, against South Africa five years ago in their second Test together.

"I was not hitting the ball well to begin with and Gautam was in good form. He was getting boundaries and we were maintaining three runs an over and hence there was not much pressure on me," Sehwag said.

There's no better testament to Gambhir's growth than his ability to assess situations and then adapt to them almost instantly. Today, no length unsettled him, no bowler could lure him into a false shot; repeatedly, Chanaka Welegedara attacked his off stump with a fuller line, repeatedly Gambhir stood his ground to open the face of the bat at the last minute and glide it towards third man. Not only did he rotate the strike but he assumed the mantle when the Sri Lankans kept Sehwag in the check in the first hour.

Partnerships of any kind require understanding and having shared a dressing room - first with Delhi and now for India - for nearly a decade, each knows the other's pulse.

It was a double-act reminiscent of the best of this generation, Justin Langer and Mathew Hayden: neither Australian relented under pressure. If one partner was under the cosh, the other would assume the aggressor's role even if it meant taking some risks. The only thing that mattered was to construct a good, solid platform in the first session. So often was Australia's fate scripted in those first two hours of the morning. And more often than not, they ended up on the winning side.

Partnerships of any kind require understanding. And you can understand the other only when you communicate clearly. Having shared a dressing room - first with Delhi and now for India - for nearly a decade, each knows the other's pulse.

And so, like a pair of screen cops, they cover for each other, they pick separate targets and double the mayhem. Last year in Galle, India were in a desperate situation after being dumbfounded by Ajantha Mendis in the first Test in Colombo. Sehwag and Gambhir read him best and they capitalised on that in Galle with the game's most vital partnership; their 167-run stand put India on top and the openers returned for the second dig with a 90-run partnership to keep India in the clear. In both innings Sehwag neutered the menace of Mendis by attacking him while Gambhir took charge of Murali.

The Indian pair applied the same strategy even today as Sehwag assaulted Mendis straightaway while Gambhir made Murali change his lines frequently by stepping out and placing the ball into the gaps. The Lankans were under the pump from both ends and could do little. "I was telling myself just play first 8-10 overs so I was concentrating hard and trying to leave the ball outside off. I worked hard in the first hour and after that I played my shots" Sehwag said.

He then revealed what he said to Gambhir in the 21st over: "I was just telling him to think big because this wicket is very good … and if he stayed there for three hours he would get his hundred."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • arjun814 on November 25, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    Greg_Ka_Guru , Alexk400 : If sachin is thinking me me me how come he has STRIKE RATE of 99.27 when scoring centuries. How many other "Greats" have strike of 99.27 while scoring centuries(45).

    girikula: I agree that we all should appreciate what Dravid has done to his country but that doesn't mean you have to lower your self by questioning sachins commitment and contibutions. Why don't you provide the so called ample proofs that sachin has used the situation to his advantage.

  • zak123kaif on November 25, 2009, 5:54 GMT

    Sehwag and Gambhir were just the opening pair india were looking for in test matches.

  • satzcrazy1 on November 25, 2009, 3:54 GMT

    To Shafted : Nice Comments, you want to take the average of indian batsmen to their half average, is it?.. if we take like that, sachin's average is 27, Dravid's average is 26, Gambir 27, Shewag 25, Yuvi 18, Dhoni 20, Laxman 22... Great thinking dude. you want Indian top order batsmen average to be lesser than Aussies tail enders. wow.... pls think before writing something.. If we consider Indian tracks are batting paradise as mentioned by you, why Ponting's average is very poor in India?.. is he struggling in batting conditions?.. if you want to blame, blame everything... we care a damn. Actually Indian batsmen played really to their potential yesterday,Surely pitch will turn on 3rd day... lets wait & see, all the three results are possible from here.. Anyways my wish for Indian team to win this one....

  • SilentVoyager on November 25, 2009, 3:07 GMT

    I do not understand why some people think Sachin, Dravid and co. cannot face Mendis. I agree that Sehwag and Gambhir were very aggressive to unsettle the Srilankan spinners, but that doesn't mean that the 'famous trio' cannot handle him. These are the same people who thwarted many great spinners including the legendary Warne for several years. Regarding the batting position of Sachin in one-dayers, it's the coach and captain who decides the batting order. Sachin never interfered in this, as is evident by his so many number of innings at no. 4 in the previous days when he was not a captain and still pretty famous. Also we have Gambhir at no.3 who can hold the innings and Yuvraj at no. 4 who can really accelerate even in the middle overs. Sachin is some one who provides assurance at the top and against the moving ball in the early overs. He can really lay a platform for the stroke makers in the team. Finally, the centuries are not silly but are for the team.

  • Krish-The-Selector on November 25, 2009, 2:17 GMT

    To Shafted.. It's a bit of harsh comment by you. While some of the sub-continent pitches are batting friendly. batsmen like Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid and VVS have good average in all conditions. and if pitches in India are so batting friendly why does Ponting not have especially a good average here on these wickets...

  • spinkingKK on November 25, 2009, 2:11 GMT

    To whoever commenting that Indians average should be halved because of the placid wickets, it is same in Australia and other places too. Australian pitches are so good. Only thing is that the teams from the subcontinent don't like the condition. Maybe there is some bounce as well. This bounce is a thing you get used to, if they are even bounce. So, Australian batsmen can score easily in those pitches because they play domestic cricket there all the time. Only problem is for the visitors. Even the visitors have started playing them alright now - Remember 700+ score India made in Sydney? Got it? Wickets needs to be tampered to get the modern batsmen out. If they make under prepared pitches, the test matches will not be decided by the toss. Given that the public are paying for each days of the test match separately, what's wrong in a match ending in 2 or 3 days? If the batsmen are talented, they can play a gripping draw, even in those pitches.

  • rajtoronto on November 25, 2009, 1:52 GMT

    these kind of indian cricket pitches must be change in future because it will help to lose Test crickets interesting to the fans, did u see how dull these 6 days from first test all batsmens are playing very well but bowlers are tired to gettting wickets thats not good for a good test cricket it must be change to support both of them otherwise test cricket may be disapper in future because whos gonna watch all the five days to this batting powered cricket games?

  • avkris on November 25, 2009, 1:43 GMT

    @Shafted: how about doubling the strike rates and averages of bowlers in Aus/NZ/Eng!! Think before you blabber anything. This Kanpur wicket was not the flattest track in the world, but it was made to look so by the brilliant indian pair. One look at the pitch and you would know that there certainly was something for the bowlers if they were allowed to bowl well, which Viru and Gauti didn allow them to do.

  • Jose on November 25, 2009, 0:51 GMT

    To shafted, I dont think sub-continent pitches should alone be blamed, all the pitches around the world are being turned into flat pitches to provide entertainment to fans. Kanpur pitch is supposed to assist spinners, but Sehwag-Gambhir duo negotiated very well. Appreciate them.

  • Andy199 on November 25, 2009, 0:44 GMT

    To answer Greg_Ka_Guru... are there any complaints against Sachin as a performer?? He has the ability to get centuries... and he gets 'em...no one stops any one else from getting them.. they just cannot calculate as well as this man does... even at 1-down Gambhir could get tons of centuries with the kind of temperament he has... when someone hasn't ever let you down why would you want to demote just because there's a youngster who can do the job for you?? It's ridiculous how some people can think of Sachin like that... there are people who get centuries at a much slower rate than Sachin (while Sachin's is not slow in any manner) ... in what way is a century going to harm India's performance...as a captain all he would want for his team is for the opener's to click and score big... and when he has done that more than anyone else in world Cricket... how can one say he is selfish ??? your score counts for the team as well.. so it absolutely makes no sense when fingers raise against Sachin

  • arjun814 on November 25, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    Greg_Ka_Guru , Alexk400 : If sachin is thinking me me me how come he has STRIKE RATE of 99.27 when scoring centuries. How many other "Greats" have strike of 99.27 while scoring centuries(45).

    girikula: I agree that we all should appreciate what Dravid has done to his country but that doesn't mean you have to lower your self by questioning sachins commitment and contibutions. Why don't you provide the so called ample proofs that sachin has used the situation to his advantage.

  • zak123kaif on November 25, 2009, 5:54 GMT

    Sehwag and Gambhir were just the opening pair india were looking for in test matches.

  • satzcrazy1 on November 25, 2009, 3:54 GMT

    To Shafted : Nice Comments, you want to take the average of indian batsmen to their half average, is it?.. if we take like that, sachin's average is 27, Dravid's average is 26, Gambir 27, Shewag 25, Yuvi 18, Dhoni 20, Laxman 22... Great thinking dude. you want Indian top order batsmen average to be lesser than Aussies tail enders. wow.... pls think before writing something.. If we consider Indian tracks are batting paradise as mentioned by you, why Ponting's average is very poor in India?.. is he struggling in batting conditions?.. if you want to blame, blame everything... we care a damn. Actually Indian batsmen played really to their potential yesterday,Surely pitch will turn on 3rd day... lets wait & see, all the three results are possible from here.. Anyways my wish for Indian team to win this one....

  • SilentVoyager on November 25, 2009, 3:07 GMT

    I do not understand why some people think Sachin, Dravid and co. cannot face Mendis. I agree that Sehwag and Gambhir were very aggressive to unsettle the Srilankan spinners, but that doesn't mean that the 'famous trio' cannot handle him. These are the same people who thwarted many great spinners including the legendary Warne for several years. Regarding the batting position of Sachin in one-dayers, it's the coach and captain who decides the batting order. Sachin never interfered in this, as is evident by his so many number of innings at no. 4 in the previous days when he was not a captain and still pretty famous. Also we have Gambhir at no.3 who can hold the innings and Yuvraj at no. 4 who can really accelerate even in the middle overs. Sachin is some one who provides assurance at the top and against the moving ball in the early overs. He can really lay a platform for the stroke makers in the team. Finally, the centuries are not silly but are for the team.

  • Krish-The-Selector on November 25, 2009, 2:17 GMT

    To Shafted.. It's a bit of harsh comment by you. While some of the sub-continent pitches are batting friendly. batsmen like Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid and VVS have good average in all conditions. and if pitches in India are so batting friendly why does Ponting not have especially a good average here on these wickets...

  • spinkingKK on November 25, 2009, 2:11 GMT

    To whoever commenting that Indians average should be halved because of the placid wickets, it is same in Australia and other places too. Australian pitches are so good. Only thing is that the teams from the subcontinent don't like the condition. Maybe there is some bounce as well. This bounce is a thing you get used to, if they are even bounce. So, Australian batsmen can score easily in those pitches because they play domestic cricket there all the time. Only problem is for the visitors. Even the visitors have started playing them alright now - Remember 700+ score India made in Sydney? Got it? Wickets needs to be tampered to get the modern batsmen out. If they make under prepared pitches, the test matches will not be decided by the toss. Given that the public are paying for each days of the test match separately, what's wrong in a match ending in 2 or 3 days? If the batsmen are talented, they can play a gripping draw, even in those pitches.

  • rajtoronto on November 25, 2009, 1:52 GMT

    these kind of indian cricket pitches must be change in future because it will help to lose Test crickets interesting to the fans, did u see how dull these 6 days from first test all batsmens are playing very well but bowlers are tired to gettting wickets thats not good for a good test cricket it must be change to support both of them otherwise test cricket may be disapper in future because whos gonna watch all the five days to this batting powered cricket games?

  • avkris on November 25, 2009, 1:43 GMT

    @Shafted: how about doubling the strike rates and averages of bowlers in Aus/NZ/Eng!! Think before you blabber anything. This Kanpur wicket was not the flattest track in the world, but it was made to look so by the brilliant indian pair. One look at the pitch and you would know that there certainly was something for the bowlers if they were allowed to bowl well, which Viru and Gauti didn allow them to do.

  • Jose on November 25, 2009, 0:51 GMT

    To shafted, I dont think sub-continent pitches should alone be blamed, all the pitches around the world are being turned into flat pitches to provide entertainment to fans. Kanpur pitch is supposed to assist spinners, but Sehwag-Gambhir duo negotiated very well. Appreciate them.

  • Andy199 on November 25, 2009, 0:44 GMT

    To answer Greg_Ka_Guru... are there any complaints against Sachin as a performer?? He has the ability to get centuries... and he gets 'em...no one stops any one else from getting them.. they just cannot calculate as well as this man does... even at 1-down Gambhir could get tons of centuries with the kind of temperament he has... when someone hasn't ever let you down why would you want to demote just because there's a youngster who can do the job for you?? It's ridiculous how some people can think of Sachin like that... there are people who get centuries at a much slower rate than Sachin (while Sachin's is not slow in any manner) ... in what way is a century going to harm India's performance...as a captain all he would want for his team is for the opener's to click and score big... and when he has done that more than anyone else in world Cricket... how can one say he is selfish ??? your score counts for the team as well.. so it absolutely makes no sense when fingers raise against Sachin

  • paramthegreat on November 25, 2009, 0:11 GMT

    @Shafted: So why couldnt Ponting or Clarke rack up more than one century each on the previous tour on these "boring" tracks, eh? It clearly depends on which conditions suit u . Apparently, a bouncier pitch might be just as testing for a batsman as a dustbowl. And since we are on that, do you agree that all scores made at SCG (since it is placid on days 2,3,4) should be halved? Or that the same goes for Oval, MCG, Centurion?? Please take a moment to reflect as to what u write before u write. Mate, Ricky averages 20 on these placid pitches!!! Just because the home team batsmen have played brilliantly, does not mean the pitch is placid. If it were , Strauss's 163 at Lords should be neglected from honours board.

    On the other hand, a brilliant performance by the Indian batsmen . I am thinking a 4 day finish with India finishing the match with eother an innings win or a 10 wicket win . Looks like SL's dream to win a test match in India will remain a dream till the third test.Pz

  • cool_spectator on November 24, 2009, 23:55 GMT

    Greg ka Guru,

    Don't forget that India were dependent on Sachin for a whole decade. Now that we have other 'greats' we should not say what we want. Sachin is a great enuf player to know where he should bat in the order.

  • cool_spectator on November 24, 2009, 23:53 GMT

    Hi Shafted

    You must be another aussie who can't bear any sub continent batsman scoring runs. Yesterday the tests with the highest scores was published and Australia and England hosted most of these drawn tests. So applying your logic the average and scores from those tests should be 1/4th ;).

    Its funny though why Ponting averages a mere 20 on these so called 'flat tracks'.

  • SBodwal on November 24, 2009, 22:42 GMT

    Shafted: If you think that batsmans scores should be halved because of batting friendly pitches; then you must also halve the runs conceeded by bowlers as it is harder to get a wicket. This will make the asian bowlers look much better than their counterparts, but somehow I don't think you would agree with that. It works both ways !

  • dk75018 on November 24, 2009, 22:25 GMT

    Dear Shafted,

    should we understand by your comments that Auz/NZ/Eng players dun know how to play on these pitches??? As far as its concerned with Mr SEHWAG, please have a look of following..

    Total

    70 Mathces 5824 Runs 319 Highest 49.77 Average 78.79 strike rate 15 100s

    Away

    38 Matches 3046 runs 309 Highest 49.12 Average 8 100s

    that shows clearly that his game is same regardless of venue/pitch. its almost 49/50 ratio..

    now compare them to other class batsman .. Mr. Ricky Ponting...

    his batting average falls from 55 to 49 when compared to home vs away .. only 4727 runs have came from away venues while home 6627 runs... 16 out of 38 has been produced on away pitches..

    now who is having more percentage of runs on home grounds?????

    when we take a worldwide game, one should be evaluated based on worlwide conditions, rather then evaluating the fast pitches or slow pitches, as pitches are there to add variety in this game.

  • GirishC on November 24, 2009, 22:21 GMT

    If batting averages needs to be halved then bowling averages needs to be doubled for sub-continent players...that would put Kumble as the no.1 wicket taker....

  • Humdingers on November 24, 2009, 22:16 GMT

    @Shafted - Have you seen recent tests in Adelaide and Sydney? Why is it when there are mountains of runs scored there it's a "batting beauty and a great wicket" and when it's in India it's suddenly "boring, a road, killing test cricket" etc.! Might be a bad wicket but you still have to score and bowl well. Sri Lanka could have Viru for 0 don't forget!

  • sanzo5 on November 24, 2009, 22:01 GMT

    Plz dont ask sachin to come down the order.... just because u have a gambhir sehwag partnership doing well in test matches.... sachin and sehwag are doing well at the opening slot... A century is a century and its not silly... tendulkar has made more than 40 centuries and i dont think all of them came in powerplays... he is the best opeing batsmen the world has seen so let him stay and play at his best position.... and i dont think there is any challenge in batting between 20 to 40 overs... tendulkar scores more runs in overs without powerplays.... that was evident in his knock of 175 against australia..... people should stop advising sachin... he knows where he should bat...

  • arjun814 on November 24, 2009, 21:54 GMT

    Greg_Ka_Guru: It would be nice to see Sehwag and Gambhir as openers in one days too. Agree that Sehwag and Gambhir puts the team first but it is rubbish and ridiculous to say or even think that Sachin doesn't put the team first. The only reason sachin insists on coming as opener in one days is that he thinks it will give India the best chance to win and not just scoring centuries.Remeber sachin has 43 centuries in test matches coming at no 4. He is absolutely right in thinking that way but currently the way the other two players are playing it would be nice to see sachin coming at no 3 in one days. And as far as your statement "challenge of batting between 20-40" you must have forgotten the challenege of facing the new ball while opening and "silly centuries during power plays" you mean all the centuries by Ganguly (22), Sehwag (11), Gilchrist (16) are all silly?. Come on man stop being sarcastic on the Greatness of a legend get over this silly hatred of a legend.

  • Sach_is_Life on November 24, 2009, 21:36 GMT

    @Shafted.. Inyour opinion..If Haydens,Pontings or Kps scores 100s in their home countries..Its becaz of their quality and talent but if any sub continent players score 100s ..then its bcaz of pitch..Rigjht? Why dont you go and check the present Indian batting line up averages away from home and Hayden's and Ponting's avg at Home before writing comments here?Lara avgs 58@ hoome and 48 away from home..Ponting avgs 60 at homw and 49 away from home,Hayden avgs 58 at home and 41 away from home.Hussey avgs 65 @ home and 42 away and KP avgs 55 @home and 45 away where as Sachin avgs 55.65 @ home and 54 away,Dravid avgs 49@home and 56 away,Viru avgs 52 @ Home and 49 away,Gambir avgs 49 @ home and 71 away,VVS 46@home and 44 away..even Ganguly avgs 42 @home and 41 away from home..So,Decide yourself who did well away from home..BTW,its not easy to bat in India from day 4 onwards..!

  • WahSachinWah on November 24, 2009, 21:35 GMT

    GKG,

    Pls refrain from saying silly centuries,might seem silly to you but takes a lot of hardwork and skill to build an innings.I feel Sachin/Sehwag is the ideal opening combo of experience and power.Gambhir can come in 1 down and rotate the strike around.We need middle order bat in TESTS for future and Yuvi/Dhoni should be groomed for the same once in a while.

    No doubt though Gambhir/Sehwag India's best opening pair ever!!

  • Odeti on November 24, 2009, 21:34 GMT

    Its good to see Sehwag back in form. Indian team batsmen like Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Ravishastri all average more in Australian grounds than in India. The sub continent pitches became worse in last 5 years arguably. This didn't help India secure win but actually contributed to lame draws in which they could have won. Pitch curators should make more conscious effort in preparing all round wicket. Coming to sachin's spot in ODI, should always be opener. Sehwag is not really successful in One dayers. He is one of the finest cricketer in Tests, but One dayers, he still has to prove a lot. Sehwag himself told that pressure in ODI's to score runs at brisk pace always added pressure. The best player always has to bat up the order in shorter form of game and there is no argument about who is the best? :-)

  • Dimescream on November 24, 2009, 21:02 GMT

    Good that they put up an amazing on the first day. But, that was the first day. They will have to put up a score of at least 600. That will be enough, anything more and it could be another boring draw. I'm excited to see Sreesanth though. Wonder what ''moves'' he has in store.

  • Nirav-13706 on November 24, 2009, 20:50 GMT

    Shafted - thanks for your silly comments...just to make u more knowledgable, sehwag has scored centuries in all those 3 countries and averages 60 in australia compared to his overall average of 50 in tests..and Gambhir has already scored two test centuries in NZ in just one series and has not played any tests in Aust and Eng.. when he does play there more centuries will be added :)

  • on_the_level on November 24, 2009, 20:40 GMT

    @Shafted So, by your "logic", the bowling averages of non-subcontinental teams should be doubled, and those of subcontinental teams halved!

  • Go_F.Alonso on November 24, 2009, 20:11 GMT

    Building in on Shafted's comments 1. Any player likes his home conditions better. So AUS/NZ/ENG players' averages and scores in their home countries should also be halved. 2. Averages and Scores made before the 50s irrespective of nationality should also be halved, better yet ignored and deleted.

  • ashok16 on November 24, 2009, 19:32 GMT

    Runs on such Indian pitches are relative. Lets wait to see what the Lankans can do. Dravid's 177 while a life saver for India was barely par for the course on the Ahmedabad pitch.

  • girikula on November 24, 2009, 19:29 GMT

    Well said Greg_Ka_Guru. Its high time our "great" batsman retires from shorter form and allows youngsters to come in. He is playing simply for records, ample proofs can be shown how he has used "situations" to his advantage. Indian media never dares to write a single word against him. But funnily, they find every tiny opportunity to praise him! Its really unfair on other talented guys India has. Just one recent example - when Dravid scored 177 and reached 11000, in ALL INDIAN MEDIA channels, the story running was some Mumbai politician said something against Sachin! It was very unfair!

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 24, 2009, 19:15 GMT

    The writing is already on the wall for this match. They may as well call stumps and head off for the third Test.

  • sureshiswaiting on November 24, 2009, 19:11 GMT

    shafted, so u mean to say that the sub-continent bolwers average also must be halved? that would make them the greatest of the era..!!! i hope u dont retract on ur statement. ;)

  • the_blue_android on November 24, 2009, 19:00 GMT

    Hey Shafted, not sure where you are from but if you cut the sub-continent avergaes by half, pontings average ( and other non sub-cont players) will drop to 40s since he has not scored many in sub-continent even after 4-5 visits...you sure you want that? How is that Indian batsmen average equal or more overseas(Aus/NZ/Eng) than home and overseas players average suck in the sub-continent? I will let you figure out the logic...thanks

  • akjuturub04 on November 24, 2009, 18:42 GMT

    Greg_Ka_Guru......great comment.....It's really silly that some one so naive can comment about Sachin in every possible situation. There's no doubt Sehwag and Gambhir are good team players and great openers.....but commenting about sachin in an article which has nothing to do with Sachin shows your nuttiness. Sachin did play at no 3 in many matches if your "Great Genius" mind ever noticed in his last 20 years....and it was always in team favor that he is promoted back to an opener.... It's utter rubbish to be commenting about Sachin instead of complementing sehwag and Gambhir and it only shows your Highly Intellectual brain's craziness to call Sachin's efforts as "making silly centuries during Power Play" ... Forget about being Greg's guru, start playing atleast galli cricket to know what CRICKET actually is....

  • Dr.AlexKuruvila on November 24, 2009, 18:41 GMT

    If India wants to win the World Cup in 2011, the selectors should get their act together and choose the best players that India can field rather than play petty politics. We need Rahul Dravid in the middle order to steady the ship, if India harbours any thoughts of winning the cup. All these Kohlis and Jadeja's won't cut it in my opinion. Can't believe that they would overlook Dravid for some of these mediocre players. My team India for the World Cup: Sehwag, Gamphir, Tedulkar, Dravid, Yuvraj, Raina, Dhoni, Harbachan, Zaheer Khan, and the last 2 spots from among the following: Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Jadeja and possibly Shreeshant. What do you guys think?

  • multipack on November 24, 2009, 18:37 GMT

    Shafted, using your logic if runs scored in Indian conditions should be halved should wickets taken be doubled? Perhaps it's time for a Duckworth Lewis type formula for everything? Silly man.

  • Mahesh-Cricket on November 24, 2009, 18:24 GMT

    Shafted should do a reality check on his memory. Dravid, Gambhir & Sachin have better Test batting averages in 'away' matches. If Gambhir has not yet played tests in Australia and SAfrica, it is not his problem and should not be judged before given a chance. Anyway, he was a resounding success in the last ODI series in Australia. Cheers!

  • EdgedNTaken on November 24, 2009, 18:11 GMT

    @Shafted....By the same token I think we can double the fast bowling averages from non sub-continent venues since they have interesting (read doctored to assist home country fast bowlers) wickets.

  • Mahesh-Cricket on November 24, 2009, 18:05 GMT

    Greg_Ka_Guru says Sachin makes silly centuries during Power Play overs. More than 30 of his ODI hundreds came before Power Play was invented. Sachin is still potent as an ODI opener. Greg has obviously forgotten his recent 175 that the other 10 in the team could not captialise into a victory.

    Today, Sehwag was lucky to get off at 0 when Mahela dropped him. Even if that catch were to be taken, still Sehwag will be spared by the arm-chair-knowall-critics. The last 2 dismissals of Sehwag (1st test) were pathetic... the 2nd innings specially, when trailing by 300 runs, he lofts carelessly when on 51..... However, today, after a slow start (probably shaken by the missed catch), was back to his swashbuckling best. Yet, Sehwag is not Sachin.... if Sachin were dropped on 0 and went on to score a century... more media space will be spent on the missed catch, I guess.

    Gambhir is becoming another Gavaskar for India. Dependable! Sadly, no star value... Edberg of Cricket? Cheers Mahesh

  • Alexk400 on November 24, 2009, 17:59 GMT

    I 100% agree sachin should not open the innings. He is only thinking me me me and begging opposition for completing century. Wow who said he is greatest batsman?.

  • cherukuri1973 on November 24, 2009, 17:51 GMT

    Dear Greg_Ka_Guru, one way you are right, but tendulkar has got hardly 2 more years, so i guess the current cobination is ok and gambhir will get his chance for sure.

  • visitswaps on November 24, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    no doubt gambhir and sehwag are great.But this guy Greg_ka_Guru seems more genius. Well how can you term centuries from power play silly. I think you should have been playing there instead. Seems like you have much more knowledge and experience of the game than someone who has 20 years of experience.

  • Skids on November 24, 2009, 17:23 GMT

    @Shafted

    So according to those calculations, I would assume it to be fair if the sub-continental bowlers should have their wicket-tally doubled ;-)

  • captdavyjones on November 24, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    I see people complaining about the nature of the pitches, but they also have to keep in mind that even though the pitch is flat, batsmen have to still apply themselves to get runs. If batsmen get out playing silly shots then the pitch is bad, if batsmen plunder runs then the pitch is bad, if spinners can't take wickets the pitch is bad, if fast bowlers can't be useful then the pitch is bad. The pitch never seems to make anyone happy in India. If a match is finished in 3 days the curator gets the stick, if it lasts for 5 days he still gets a stick. It gives a feeling that people are so frustrated with everything around them, they have forgotten cricket is a sport to be enjoyed, but nothing about "test" cricket seems to satisfy majority of the population. It is a sad situation. The beauty of the game is it has to be played keeping conditions at the various countries it is played at in mind. That is what makes it unique. So let's just try to make some "chai", fry some "pakodas" and enjoy

  • simonandrew999 on November 24, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    Without wanting to speak to soon (i.e. before Sri Lanka bats), what is the point in constantly churning out pitches so batsman friendly? It's not doing Test Match cricket any favours, especially considering the first match in the series!

  • Alexk400 on November 24, 2009, 16:56 GMT

    without sehwag , srilanka 3 spinners could have choked india to hilt.

  • Shafted on November 24, 2009, 16:36 GMT

    I just think averages and scores from the sub-continent should be halved! Its unfair these guys can rack up centuries on boring tracks, whereas wickets in Auz/NZ/ENG are more testing for batsmen and make for better cricket....

  • Greg_Ka_Guru on November 24, 2009, 16:08 GMT

    India is lucky to have such complementing players as openers. This augurs well for the future batting line-up in Tests in the absence of Dravid, Tendulkar and VVS; But it is time for the Team management to realize the multi-fold strenght of Gambhir-Sehwag pair and should seriously consider making this pair as the openers for ALL ODIs considering they are match-fit. It is obvious that Sehwag and Gambhir always put the Team first when they are together. 'Great' player like Sachin should sacrifice a few ODI centuries and come at No:3 instead if his really craves to win the 2011 World Cup for India before he retires.(Actually it's Sachin who should understand and make this possible as nothing can be done by Team Management against his wish). As a 'Great' player he should take-up the challenge of batting between 20-40 overs rather than making silly centuries during Power Play overs.

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  • Greg_Ka_Guru on November 24, 2009, 16:08 GMT

    India is lucky to have such complementing players as openers. This augurs well for the future batting line-up in Tests in the absence of Dravid, Tendulkar and VVS; But it is time for the Team management to realize the multi-fold strenght of Gambhir-Sehwag pair and should seriously consider making this pair as the openers for ALL ODIs considering they are match-fit. It is obvious that Sehwag and Gambhir always put the Team first when they are together. 'Great' player like Sachin should sacrifice a few ODI centuries and come at No:3 instead if his really craves to win the 2011 World Cup for India before he retires.(Actually it's Sachin who should understand and make this possible as nothing can be done by Team Management against his wish). As a 'Great' player he should take-up the challenge of batting between 20-40 overs rather than making silly centuries during Power Play overs.

  • Shafted on November 24, 2009, 16:36 GMT

    I just think averages and scores from the sub-continent should be halved! Its unfair these guys can rack up centuries on boring tracks, whereas wickets in Auz/NZ/ENG are more testing for batsmen and make for better cricket....

  • Alexk400 on November 24, 2009, 16:56 GMT

    without sehwag , srilanka 3 spinners could have choked india to hilt.

  • simonandrew999 on November 24, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    Without wanting to speak to soon (i.e. before Sri Lanka bats), what is the point in constantly churning out pitches so batsman friendly? It's not doing Test Match cricket any favours, especially considering the first match in the series!

  • captdavyjones on November 24, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    I see people complaining about the nature of the pitches, but they also have to keep in mind that even though the pitch is flat, batsmen have to still apply themselves to get runs. If batsmen get out playing silly shots then the pitch is bad, if batsmen plunder runs then the pitch is bad, if spinners can't take wickets the pitch is bad, if fast bowlers can't be useful then the pitch is bad. The pitch never seems to make anyone happy in India. If a match is finished in 3 days the curator gets the stick, if it lasts for 5 days he still gets a stick. It gives a feeling that people are so frustrated with everything around them, they have forgotten cricket is a sport to be enjoyed, but nothing about "test" cricket seems to satisfy majority of the population. It is a sad situation. The beauty of the game is it has to be played keeping conditions at the various countries it is played at in mind. That is what makes it unique. So let's just try to make some "chai", fry some "pakodas" and enjoy

  • Skids on November 24, 2009, 17:23 GMT

    @Shafted

    So according to those calculations, I would assume it to be fair if the sub-continental bowlers should have their wicket-tally doubled ;-)

  • visitswaps on November 24, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    no doubt gambhir and sehwag are great.But this guy Greg_ka_Guru seems more genius. Well how can you term centuries from power play silly. I think you should have been playing there instead. Seems like you have much more knowledge and experience of the game than someone who has 20 years of experience.

  • cherukuri1973 on November 24, 2009, 17:51 GMT

    Dear Greg_Ka_Guru, one way you are right, but tendulkar has got hardly 2 more years, so i guess the current cobination is ok and gambhir will get his chance for sure.

  • Alexk400 on November 24, 2009, 17:59 GMT

    I 100% agree sachin should not open the innings. He is only thinking me me me and begging opposition for completing century. Wow who said he is greatest batsman?.

  • Mahesh-Cricket on November 24, 2009, 18:05 GMT

    Greg_Ka_Guru says Sachin makes silly centuries during Power Play overs. More than 30 of his ODI hundreds came before Power Play was invented. Sachin is still potent as an ODI opener. Greg has obviously forgotten his recent 175 that the other 10 in the team could not captialise into a victory.

    Today, Sehwag was lucky to get off at 0 when Mahela dropped him. Even if that catch were to be taken, still Sehwag will be spared by the arm-chair-knowall-critics. The last 2 dismissals of Sehwag (1st test) were pathetic... the 2nd innings specially, when trailing by 300 runs, he lofts carelessly when on 51..... However, today, after a slow start (probably shaken by the missed catch), was back to his swashbuckling best. Yet, Sehwag is not Sachin.... if Sachin were dropped on 0 and went on to score a century... more media space will be spent on the missed catch, I guess.

    Gambhir is becoming another Gavaskar for India. Dependable! Sadly, no star value... Edberg of Cricket? Cheers Mahesh