Sidharth Monga
Assistant editor, ESPNcricinfo

World Twenty20 2012

Mini crisis presents major opportunity for India

India were underwhelming in the World Twenty20 again, and the team is in flux, but a new selection panel gives Dhoni a chance for a makeover

Sidharth Monga

October 6, 2012

Comments: 143 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni looks on after India are eliminated, India v South Africa, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo, October 2, 2012
India need a more assertive and proactive Dhoni © ICC/Getty
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: India

Since last year's World Cup win, India have lost 4-0 in away Test series twice, have been knocked out in the first round of two one-day tournaments, and have failed to go past the first serious round of the World Twenty20. One of their Test openers has not scored a century in nearly two years, the other will have gone three without one if he doesn't reach three figures against England. Their best bowler's endurance is now under doubt, he has not taken a Test five-for in two years nor an ODI four-for in four, and he is a liability in the field in limited-overs cricket. Their captain's defensive mindset, especially when out of his comfort zone, is well documented. It doesn't help that their coach is a man credited with introducing deep cover in the first half-hour of a Test match. If the board, the captain, the coach and the selectors are not worried, they had better find new jobs.

It is just as well that India have failed at T20 too, a format way more popular in the country than Tests telecast early in the day. The captain, though, will tell you India were "satisfactory" in Sri Lanka, where they won four matches out of five, where they were slotted in a group of teams that all won their preliminary leagues, where it rained in their match against Australia, and where they lost the toss when they needed to improve their net run rate. This is reminiscent of the tour of Australia, where they made perfectly fair pitches sound like green tops on which the ball seamed around like a drunk. In a fair world, they might tell you, India should still be No. 1 in Tests, and World Twenty20 champions to boot.

If you look closely, though, you will find it was all loaded in India's favour in Sri Lanka. They played on pitches that suited them: dry, and assisting spinners. They didn't have to adjust to new venues, unlike Sri Lanka, who played each of their three rounds at a new venue. Most importantly India played the last match of the Super Eights, unlike Pakistan, who played blind, not knowing exactly what they needed to do. India, on the other hand, knew they needed to restrict South Africa to 121, and still refused to gamble at all.

They didn't fail when it rained enough to take the players off for five minutes. (By the way, they had won the toss that night, they knew rain was forecast, and still picked three spinners and chose to bat first.) The failure had actually begun when the selectors picked the squad. The captain was given a side with little energy, little fitness, no pace options, and the outrageous return of Piyush Chawla. MS Dhoni gets some deserved flak for certain moves, but who could he turn to?

This is not to absolve Dhoni, though. Especially when he claims four wins out of five as some sort of moral victory, as the "best they could do" but for one bad loss. For, the fourth of those wins was meaningless. When you know all along that you have to beat South Africa by 31 runs to stay alive but you nearly give up trying to do so after four overs, the eventual one-run win should hardly count as a win.

It was surreal watching the defensive fields as South Africa inched towards that 122. There was a time when India were 24 runs from elimination with seven overs to bowl, and R Ashwin, India's best chance of taking wickets against a side that struggles against spin, still had three overs left. True to Dhoni's captaincy form over the last year and a half, India hoped, waited, sat back.

There were more signs of diffidence. When Dhoni finally made the bold move of dropping Virender Sehwag, he immediately cancelled it out by asking Irfan Pathan to open, seeking the reassurance of a No. 7 batsman in a 20-over game. Elsewhere, three of the four semi-finalists had three of their best batsmen in the top four. They didn't spend their energies worrying what if it all went wrong and what if they were five down well inside 20 overs. They wanted their best batsmen to go out there, bat well and make use of as many balls as possible. India had one of the best limited-overs batsmen in the world refusing to bat any higher than No. 7, while others scratched around wasting precious balls. To loosely translate a Punjabi saying, if you leave the house wailing, you will bring back news of the dead.

The openers continue to get a rope longer than perhaps any other set has had, Zaheer Khan's workload refuses to come down, and we don't know if Sachin Tendulkar is committed to going to South Africa in November 2013

Any team is built around three pillars: selectors, captain and coach. At the moment, two of India's are failing and the third we don't know anything about. Except that he is working for a board that opposes one of his ideas, the DRS. Except that he was a master of gamesmanship, and the team he now works with calls batsmen back because it fears criticism from the media. Except that he loved the use of pace but is made to work with trundlers in international cricket while the one proper fast bowler India have plays domestic cricket. How comfortable is Duncan Fletcher with this job? We don't know, and we never might.

These are important times. Over the coming two Test series, India are supposed to show England and Australia they too are rubbish away from home. More importantly, they are supposed to rebuild, with 2013 onwards in mind, when they will tour South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia. There have been no signs that the Srikkanth-led panel of selectors and the captain were looking that far ahead. They are all hoping, waiting, sitting back. The openers continue to get a rope longer than perhaps any other set has had, Zaheer Khan's workload refuses to come down, and we don't know if Sachin Tendulkar is committed to going to South Africa in November 2013.

Dhoni was a remarkably good leader of a settled team, selflessly taking the back seat and making sure his superstar players got the best environment in which to do their thing. Now, though, that same coolness makes him look like he is going through the motions. He forever gives the impression he is not happy with the squad, with the pitches, with the format. Yet he also seems reluctant to take complete charge.

With the team in flux, India need a more assertive and proactive Dhoni, both on and off the field. A Dhoni prepared to make the tough calls, eager to shape his own team, more Imran Khan than Viv Richards. A captain who demands certain standards of the team, one who refuses to carry non-performers. A captain prepared to take on some pressure by asking for the team he wants, and not sulk later. If he can win a match in three days and still criticise the groundsman for not giving his side enough home advantage, surely he can be forceful in selection matters too? He even has a fresh set of selectors, a clean slate if you will, to work with.

However, if Dhoni is not willing to be that man, or not capable of it, or if he has lived his shelf life as captain, there are no alternatives India can turn to. Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir will be better off worrying about keeping their places in the side, and Tendulkar is close to retiring. Impressive as his maturing as a cricketer is, Virat Kohli might still be too young for the Test job.

We don't know if Dhoni loses sleep over things like the legacy he will leave as captain, but we know that if he can't arrest this free fall, it will offset the World Cup win and the rise to No. 1 in Tests. Dhoni has never given the impression he is trying too hard, except when he is batting perhaps, but the next two-three years are cut out for a captain willing to try too hard.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (October 9, 2012, 19:39 GMT)

One thing is for sure. Batting need to selected as per requirement of format with 2-3 players being common factor. For ex Yusuf Pathan, Utappa need to be in T20 team perhaps at cost of Gambhir and Rohit who seem more suited for ODI format. Raina,Yuvraj,Kohli and Dhoni are common players for both ODI and T20 format. Sehwag needs to be more responsible or else retire and replaced by Unmukt Chand or Rahane in ODI. Talented spinners like Harmeet , Aparajith , Iqbal ,Saxena need to be trained as per formats they need to play. Tearway fast bowlers need to be found and polished. Seamers with swing capability need to be encouraged

Posted by Mahesh4811 on (October 9, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

Hats off to you Siddharth. There couldn't have been a better written article on India's real problem than this.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 9, 2012, 11:34 GMT)


Posted by bumsonseats on (October 8, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

they can certainly play T20 when its a big paypacket. but their game seems to go to pot when if for their country. so simple solution is pay them less for ipl and more for when they play for their country.

Posted by akashchandran on (October 8, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

The first thing BCCI needs to do is to have the selection committee organised better so that for Tests, ODIs and 20-20s teams could be selected according to the merits of each format and continuity maintained. For example the next 20-20 may be played after 4 Tests and 5 ODIs. So when the team is picked it must be a continuation of this WC team. But what happens is that the selectors may pick an ODI team and continue with the team for the 20-20. Worse is when ODI performance is counted for Test selection. Like picking Raina ahead of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane for Tests. The solution could be that out of the 5 selectors 1 each could completely concentrate on one format of the game alone so that effectively it can function as a 3 member committee for each format.

Posted by spb24 on (October 8, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

Fan--tas--tic Mr.Sid...Spot on ...Loved every bit of this article.This is one of the brave article for this Season..

Posted by SehwAAGfan on (October 8, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

Chill guyzzzz... I can understand that u wan India to play to win.. It's impossible for a team to win each n every match.. See The mind set of Caribbean's Team has gone places after the arrival of gayle.. There is so much of positivity in the team that they are working as a unit. Gilchrist never perform in any match of the last worldcup he played until finals.. One good day , one good match n ret is history.. A man who can hit consecutive fifties in five t20 A man who can hit the boundary on very first ball of biggest tournament A man who can hit 175 in the very first match of wc2011 when he was out of form A man who hits 219 the double century n the highest score up to date

Posted by DaGameChanger on (October 8, 2012, 5:54 GMT)

KiwiRocker@ No matter how low our talent pool becomes but India still will never loose against Pakistan. Umar Gul that Pathan is literally scared of real OG Haryanvi JAAT - Sehwag. If you call Raina overhyped, I have no words for Afridi, Umar Akmal and Co. Worst case India have better fast bowlers at this time then Pakistan. India has Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaaron and Ishant Sharma. And looking at your spinners, looks like even Ajmal will be thrashed in this years IPL.

Posted by aarpee2 on (October 8, 2012, 4:56 GMT)

Wishful thinking Mongaji- The forthcoming Domestic series should go our way,traditional home advantage. Everything will be forgotten in the euphoria of success and we will be back with our old ways. Come the overseas tours in 2013 the reality will hit us. Let us hope the new selection committee under Sandip Patil displays better judgment to restore a sense of urgency with fresh bold ideas in matter of selection by choosing guys who fulfill both form and fitness.Class is permanent only if there is consistency seen on the playing field in competition with the best in the opposition,not by IPL standards

Posted by venkatesh018 on (October 8, 2012, 4:33 GMT)

MSD has always been a defensive captain, comfortable and aggressive only on conditions which help his spinners.

Posted by kumarkunal on (October 8, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

@ bvnathan: How can you consider that non-performer Jadeja in test team? This is insane. He has to improve a lot before being considered for even T20 side. I will better go with more talented baba aparijith for spin all rounder, rather than wasting energy on that boaster Jadeja. In test he will of of no use. even in one day, max he can do is bowl 4-5 tight overs and take 2 wickets on his days. He has never been able to show good performance with his bat. 1-2 times he has batted satisfactorily,but that too in loosing causes, and his whole motive was to retain p;ace in team rather than go for Victory. Apart from improving his game he need to change this attitude too. And as far as 7th slot is concerned, right now Irfan is much better than him. Irfan bats better than him and bowls better too. Irfans attitude is also better than him. For all rounders Baba Aparijith and Stuart binny can be groomed. S Binny has shown good consistency in domestic season this year.

Posted by sundoo on (October 8, 2012, 2:45 GMT)

Dhoni does not deserve this kind of criticism. We should persist with him as captain. Sehwag,Zaheer,Rohit all should be dropped with a thud and Ghambir given a strong warning to b more responsible and hone his fielding skills and not to throw his wicket. Vijay ,Umesh Yadav ,Rahane ,Pujara are all there along with Manoj Tiwari . Selectors should have the guts to make changes and prove that they are not soft. None of the selectors are known for hard task masters.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 7, 2012, 23:12 GMT)

@rosh280 - Hashal Patel is a good bowler. Needs exposure on A-tour and then gauge him. Our fast bowlers are Aaron, Umesh and Ishant. Very bare cupboard. The others are swing/seamers.

Posted by jb633 on (October 7, 2012, 22:52 GMT)

From an outsider looking in it seems that the BCCI never want address the real issues of Indian cricket. Now I know every country has their issues (I am English and we have plenty) but I think people must acknowledge and accept the faults, in order to learn and come back better. India just are producing no decent bowlers. Excluding Ashwin the lack of bowling must be a worry. If you look at the side of 2000-2010 now that was an excellent side, and the reason they could compete in Oz, England, SA was the fact that they could take wickets on most surfaces. Since the introduction of the IPL it appears that the push to find an attacking bowler is becoming less and less important. I think the IPL is actually harming Indian cricket more than it is doing it good because it is promoting Indian domestic bowlers to contain, bowl flat etc and not look for wickets. India have some good batsman, nobody will deny that, but they must promote young bowlers to attack, not contain.

Posted by Rams20 on (October 7, 2012, 21:06 GMT)

One of our friend said, RAINA is like Afridi (Non performer with bat) and loves to perform in IPL. I just want to mention that RAINA played his role superbly in this T20. Five games he played 38(33), 1* , 26(19), DNB, 45(34). Also his last inns 45 had a very important fact as we won the match Vs SA. He has to imporve his batting in Test Matches. He will beperfectly suitable for T20 and ODIs.

Posted by CandidIndian on (October 7, 2012, 20:57 GMT)

Adding to my last comment, all BCCI ,selectors and Dhoni should concentrate on is to make a good test team who can be competitive outside subcontinent,that way we will get some more solid players like Virat and some good bowlers who will eventually play like champions in all formats .Like the greats of the game mention many times that when you wobble in best format of the game that is test cricket problems will increase and overflow to other formats too. That"s what is happening with us.

Posted by Alexk400 on (October 7, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

we need to give players under and below 22 many chances early in ODI team. There should be always one spot should be given to very very young potential and promising players like unmukt chand. When they make century in ranji trohpy only they should leapfrog all journeman ranji players with better average. Young should be given preference over others unless some late bloomer who are very very special. BCCI has to think future and drop dhoni and appoint Raina as interim captain.

Posted by SASANK360 on (October 7, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

As many of you suggested the openers and bowlers were responsible for losses. For all of you who say Rohit Sharma wasted chances , I feel he was not given the right kind of opportunity. He deserves to be in test squad. But Raina was given so many chances despite his weaknesses.Also Murali Vijay,Mukund,Rahane deserve chance.Coming to bowling , we Indians don't have fast-bowling culture. Also the spinners coming through the ranks are highly influenced by T20 and now the only orthodox spinners in India are Bhajji and Ojha. Others are not upto the mark. In pace department we need to try out Praveen,Vinay,Irfan. The bowlers like Balaji and Dinda are absolute liabilities in the team. The fact that they can't bowl a proper yorker suggests that they are useless.Selectors must drop Tendulkar,Sehwag,Gambhir and Zaheer. It is right time for Dhoni to stop playing tests. Only captaincy is the reason he is in the team.We need to find a new captain.Hope selectors make good decisions.

Posted by BibhuMisra on (October 7, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

For a long time it was Sehwag who was almost single handedly winning matches for India. Now that he is going through a lean patch, its almost as if its because of him that India are losing. Why, what are the remaining 10 players doing in the team? What about the middle order - the Rainas, Rohits Sharmas, Dhonis etc.? Is their job to come in and only score the winning runs, after the major work has been done upfront? The only person who will be happy to remove the openers from the team will be Dhoni, for it will keep him at the helm in spite of his utterly ridiculous performance as a player and captain. First of all we need immediate changes in captaincy. T20 - Virat, ODI - Dhoni, Test - Gambhir. The rest will fall in place automatically.

Posted by rosh280 on (October 7, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

we immediately to bring players like mandeep singh, ashok menaria, vijay, sarul kanwar, amit verma, akhat reddy, kaustubh pawar, murtuja vohra, uday kaul, rahul dewan, i d singh, manish pandey, ishant jagghi, jalaj saxena, surya kumar yadav, bhuvanesh kumar, naman ojha, pinal shah, robin uttappa to the team. murali vijay, c pujara, suresh raina, rohit sharma, yuvraj are great fielders and they are the great performers they have to stay. aswin and pragyan ojha had to be in the spin bowling. either vinay kumar or praveen kumar has to come. we need to find new fresh and fine five fast bowlers they can stay a long time with indian team. then we can keep rotate them at will. vinay and praveen kumar should play i dont know why they were dropped they are the very enthusiatic players. sunny singh and amitoze singh should be definitely given chance they were performing very well at all level . they are the great alrounders.

Posted by rosh280 on (October 7, 2012, 16:42 GMT)

we should have right balance in bowling what i mean to say is that we need to have spin bowlers who are capable of taking wickets in indian and western conditions. earlier we had kumble, maninder. ashwin and pragyagn ojha are really of that standard they can take wickets at any condition we can try ravindra jadeja and baba aparajith are also economical and can take wickets at any surfaces. fast bowling should be our another strengh we need to have bowlers of standards of kapil, sreenath, wasim akram, imran, shoaib akthar and macgrath. australia, south africa have bowlers of this standard. even sree lanka has lasit malinga. india has to find out players of these standard. rithuraj,varun aron, deepak chahar, murtuja vohra,pawan zuyal,shami ahmed, prashant parameshwaran all have skills but they have to nurture more. vinay kumar and praveen kumar already proved they were wicket taking bowlers. we need to keep them in team till they perform.

Posted by rosh280 on (October 7, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

sidharth monga is right in his points it is the right occasion for a complete makeover. right, you can not complain dhoni. team as a whole failed. pitiable display of batting and bowling. it is a total collapse. only rohit sharma. suresh raina,virat kohli played. when suresh raina and rohit sharma play, they play with heart all others bat for them not for india. we can not compare dhoni and kapil, azhar and rahul dravid. they were the great players dhoni is not at all equal standard to them. they had great records and played their part to lead from front. it is just because that in india is so popular than anyother country. we dont have shots of kapil, azhar and rahul they were technically strong and they cant be compared with anyone. they are unequal i can say it is the right time for change. sandeep patil knows how he can make changes, he is also a great player like kapil, mohinder, binny, viswanath.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (October 7, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

Completely agree with @Patrick_. There's no point complaining about India's bowling. Bowling was never our strength, batting was. Our batsmen, especially the openers - Gambhir and Sehwag - were the primary reason we failed to make it to the semi-finals. Dhoni did quite well considering the bowling options he had. Dhoni is not a top order batsman. It's unfair to expect him to rescue India when our so-called "game changer" Sehwag never scores. I mean when was the last time this non-performer changed a game in India's favor? I guess he's a "game changer" for the opposing team! Here come's a free wicket - who wants to claim him?

Posted by guru1438 on (October 7, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

come on indian cricket team play for the country not for the franchises. indian team can play matches for the country for many years, but IPL should/could be eliminated from the indian cricket fans minds forever and ever and ever and ever

Posted by Ojals11 on (October 7, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

Hi Siddharth, I am emphasizing your few of the last sentences "Dhoni has never given the impression he is trying too hard . . . " which I am completely agree . . but not on "except when he is batting perhaps . . . !?" If you see his last few inningsin T20, he is very poor with his strike rate . . e.g. his 15 runs in 21 balls against Aussies . . . cost us a lot as a low net run rate in super8 stage. . . Also, we should no longer be proud as good spin players - both with Bat & Bowl . . . In fact, in Tests 'Aus, Eng & SA' batting against Spin & their Spin bowling is far better . . . currently they have more off & leg spinners of International standards compared to what we have "we have only off spinner" . . . I never saw in last 2-3 yrs our Indian players dominating & hitting Spin bowling at their will . . . e.g. in super8 match against India if U compare Watson playing Ashwin, Bhajji & Piyush v/s poor Dhoni playing Hogg (He couldn't pick any of his balls) . .

Posted by Patrick_ on (October 7, 2012, 5:54 GMT)

There is no point in criticizing Dhoni for 'this' tournament. India failed due to their batting. Batting is India's strength when openers never really gave India a start, it was doomed to fail. Forget about the tournament if batting does not click. Traditionally India are weak in bowling, so no need to drag that aspect into this. Trying to restrict SA to 121 was always going to be too much. The main failure was in India's batting. We must remember that Dhoni is a keeper and captain. Asking him to bat up in the order consistently, would be too much burden for him in my opinion. He might get a chance to work on his batting once he is relieved from his captaincy. After all how many Indian captains had a good batting average during their captaincy period ?

Posted by Baundele on (October 7, 2012, 5:53 GMT)

Once the IPL starts all the superstars will start performing. So, India is in no crisis at all.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (October 7, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

India wining against saffas was purely a fluke while in ind vs pak,hafez lost ths game in mind even befor start of match,like he did in semis n thats why he z hugely criticisd 4 ths acros d country nowadays.INDIAN TEAM HAVE EXTREMLY serious issues to resolve,sehwag hav pasd his time so hav tendulkar,gamhbhir z a non.perfrmer,yuvraj z a walkng wickt against quality pacers,so they r left with dhoni,kohli N sharma Z highly ovr.ratd,RAINA Z HIT OR MIS LIKE AFRIDI N LOVS TO PERFRM IN IPL,INDIAN Bowlng always lingrs btwen Average n below avrage,ALL IN ALL ITS HIGH TIME 4 BCCI TO MAKE CERTAIN CHANGS CNSIDRNG THEY HAV NT BEEN ABLE TO REACH EVEN Knockouts in cnditins most suitabl 4 them.

Posted by Patrick_ on (October 7, 2012, 5:42 GMT)

Sehwag is now a liability in all formats for India. He should be dropped from the test side and the chance given to youngsters. This might provide chance for the rise of new stars and also who knows may be it will be good for Sehwag too if he becomes determined to work hard and return to the side. Gambhir is also not performing to his potentials and it would be a good idea to drop him for a few matches to see any youngster can grab the opportunity. Tendulkar might return for a few more matches to do yet another performance to silence his critics. There is no point in criticizing the below par bowlers that India have when the 'much acclaimed' batting lineup fails match after match.

Posted by Neeta on (October 7, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

In contrary to all the talks happening, I see that there are major differences in this Indian side. Both Sehwag and Gambhir harbor captaincy ambitions and this could be one major reason for their non-performance. As it is, Dhoni's captaincy looks tired and jaded and he is not bringing anything new on the table. I believe that Gautam should be made test captain instead of Dhoni and Sehwag should be brought down the order. This move will satisfy all and mark my words there will be a change in performance of all the people. My team for the English Test Series: Rahane, Gambhir(C), Pujara, SRT, Virat, Sehwag at 6, Dhoni(after being removed from captaincy he will have to perform as a batsman to remain in the side), Ashwin, Zaheer, Umesh/Ishant, Ojha. The back up members will be Umesh/Ishant, Harbhajan, Vijay and Raina. Gambhir needs a sense of responsibility to get him all fired up like he did for IPL champions KKR. So I would go for this team against England. Comments are welcome.

Posted by AravindBasmi on (October 7, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

I would like to see if Sid Monga leads our Indian team...

Dhoni is very matured, better player than most of our captains...

He is better than Azharuddin, Kapil Dev and Rahul Dravid....

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (October 7, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

Dhoni is a good captain for ODI and T20. His Chennai Super Kings has won more IPL championship than any other team. 10dulkar's Mumbai Indians is yet to win any IPL championship. India's biggest problem is team selection. When people complain that Dhoni didn't give ball to Ashwin earlier against South Africa - the reason is obvious - he wasn't very confident that Ashwin can get him a wicket. Nobody in his right mind would compare Ashwin with Saeed Ajmal. When Pakistan can get rid of seniors like Misbah and Younis Khan, why can't we get rid of Gambhir and Sehwag? When was the last time they performed for India? What are Piyush Chawla and Dinda doing in the Indian team?

Posted by mychamps on (October 7, 2012, 4:56 GMT)

India needs a new captain. So Kohli should be made captain of T20Is. From there he can be groomed. He is young, but that should not be a problem. We have seen young captains like Pataudi and Graeme Smith doing well.

Posted by CRICSL on (October 7, 2012, 4:33 GMT)


Posted by bismoy on (October 7, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

@KiwiRocker you can worry about Pakistan at the moment,The capatain hafeez is not even good enough batman to be picked in india ranji team.Afridi don't know how to bat after 16 years.Kamran akmal don't know how to catch a ball.

Only hope for pakistan is openning the batting with gul , he is far better batman than hafeez and nazir put together.

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (October 7, 2012, 4:05 GMT)

Still in this time Dhoni is the most wining and consistent player in Indian team....He should keep on don,t care criticise from People.

Posted by waheed1233 on (October 7, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

its amazingly funny to see the indian fans' comments abt their team performance. i agree that they cud survive for 14 overs against the Aussies it self is a big achievement, least the match didnt end below 10 overs. i agree that they needed the SAF boys to choke one more time to win the match, this itself is a big achievement that they made them choke. i agree that they needed a tactical blunder to defeat the Pak boys is a great achievement indeed. the only time i felt they did not need any help from the opponents was against Afghanisthan. Oops, that was a real close match and Afghans also needed to drop 4/5 catches. yeah, thats what is team india all abt. go indians cautios namibia, kenya, canada...u have a new competitor in town......

Posted by Alexk400 on (October 7, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

Dhoni must go!. Sehwag and gambir stays if i am BCCI chief. Raina woukd be captain

Posted by sramesh_74 on (October 7, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

Pragyan Ojha must be wondering how Chawla makes it to every World Cup squad without any performance..maybe Dhoni can answer that. Zaheer is better off managing his restaurant. He is way past his sell-by date. Yuvraj was a popular selection..nothing more. He is a long distance from attaining match fitness. He was not in the squad to pick up wickets.. Finally Sachin Tendulkar..although he had no role to play in this WC disaster, he cannot keep harping about knowing what is the right time to retire. For him to go out on his own terms, he needs to be on top of his game which he is not..he is clearly struggling..Sandeep Patil...YOUR CALL!! Atleast the media should be able to provide a frank opinion. Even this article seems to leave it to Tendulkar to decide...Sad isn't it..

Posted by Homer2007 on (October 7, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

@KiwiRocker" but reality is that Indian cricket is at the lowest it has ever been" and " Problem for India is that Indian fans over hype their mediocre players" - so you are ready to dismiss both India's performance and the quality of its players but are equally dismissive of any measures to gauge either? On any other forum, that would qualify as an attempt at trolling ( albeit a good one), but over here, I will take comfort in the fact that my comment was worthy of the effort on your part.

Posted by harsha_chu on (October 7, 2012, 3:29 GMT)

Dear Sachin, I am a huge huge fan of yours and I know that my comments will not be liked by million other folks who are your devout fans like me. Please retire from test and one day cricket. By playing the england tests, you are depriving a youngster of playing 8 tests (england and suatralia) and gain some valuable experience before we go to the difficult international tours. And please retire from one-days too. Do you really see yourself playing the world cup in 3 years?

Posted by SLcuppers on (October 7, 2012, 3:03 GMT)

Don't worry my Indian brothers, you have a lot more talent. I hope we beat pak whenever we meet them. Cheers!

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (October 7, 2012, 2:50 GMT)

As Sid points out, it is a major oppertunity for India to drop non performers like Tendulya, Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni to some extent out. India has no quality spinners around and players like Ashwin are hyped and untested outside India. Indian fast bowling has been on low for years, but really the issue is actually with Indian batting. Sehwag and Gambhir are not upto the mark. Raina is a sitting duck against quality fast bowlers. Lets do not talk Rohit Sharma. Yuvraj was a popular selection and he needs time off from cricket. Selection of Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Chawla, Irfan ahead of promising youngetsers is a joke. T20 WC disasters presents Indian selectors a golden oppertunity to make some bold decisions, but I doubt if they can make such calls. Pakistan has dropped younis and misbah so surely Indian selectors can do the same. India won match against Pak due to a tactical blunder by Hafeez, but they shud have get target in less than 15 overs so Pak had the last laughter!

Posted by AMAZINGFAN on (October 7, 2012, 2:18 GMT)


Posted by KiwiRocker- on (October 7, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

Very nicely written a bold article by an Indian journalist for a change. We can play around with numbers, we can take comfort from the mini battles that India has won, but reality is that Indian cricket is at the lowest it has ever been. As Sid points out India is failing in test matches, ODI, and now even in T20. I completely agree that conditions for India in T20 were rather biased and favourable for India. I shall also point out that Indian team all stayed on one venue. One other stakeholder to blame for India's losses is brain washed Indian fans. An example is Homer 2007 on this blog who seems to take conform from the fact that India is No.2 in T20 rankings. Rankings mean nothing! Just look at Australia ranked.10 and made it to semis. Problem for India is that Indian fans over hype their mediocre players. Ashwin is not Saeed Ajmal and Rohit Sharma is just a talent on paper. Indian fans need to get real. Indian bench strength is worrying sign for India and I blame Tendulya for that!

Posted by nyc_missile on (October 7, 2012, 1:49 GMT)

Dhoni's biggest mistake till date is in the longer format.When all the big guns failed consistently in Oz,he was stubborn and stupid in not resting them.Both Rahane & Rohit just sat on sidelines never knowing when they might get a chance to play.Now,that has to be the biggest disservice he's done to Ind cricket as we know that both VVS&RD retired.What more could they have added/achieved in their glorious careers if they had the magnanimity to make way for youngsters mid-way through the series.Previous bunch of selectors(except Amarnath) have ruined Ind cricket way beyond repair.Srikkanth kept selecting CSK players even though they failed miserably.Personally I would be gutted if Rohit were to fade away from Test arena because it was solely Dhoni and selectors fault tht did not blood him at the right time.We need all of these playing together for a better future-->Kohli,Pujara,Rahane,Rohit&Tiwary.For Eng series: Rahane Gambhir Pujara Rohit Kohli Tiwary Dhoni Ashwin Yadav Aaron Ojha

Posted by Afta on (October 7, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

A fine assessment and a super article, if you want to rise above the situation, got to accept the faults, rectify and go ahead. I think there is too much at stake when you oppose the establishment. That's why everybody wants to sit back and let things happen. India is King only in India, their record elsewhere is dismal. In this T20 world cup India & Australia have had the best conditions (they never even moved away from Colombo) and had all they wanted. So, Dhoni & Co. cannot complain. The problem with India is, they refuse to understand things at ground level. Don't know whether it is pride or cockyness or may be both..!

Posted by nyc_missile on (October 7, 2012, 1:34 GMT)

Good one by Sid Monga as usual.But I guess he let Dhoni off a bit by saying there's no ready replacement.Well,if G Smith can be given captaincy at 21 that too on an Eng tour,Kohli at 23 can surely be ..esp given he's quite a regular in ODIs and more/less ascertained his Test spot.Can we say same about Dhoni as a batsman overseas? Same with Sehwag.Gambhir,may be right after Oz tour but that moment's passed and he is now drowned in self-doubts and confidence issues.Dhoni not only is a poor batsman overseas but also an awful spotter/selector of players.Look at Tiwary,Rohit(in Tests),Yadav&Rahane how they've been sidelined and still keeps complaining, lack of options both in batting & pace bowling.I have said before and I repeat.India has enough young&quality talent both in batting..Rahane,Rayudu,Tiwary,Unmukt and bowling-Yadav,Aaron etc.Just that we've been let down by a clueless,defensive leader.All I can say, before we blow the overseas record that Ganguly had reset,Dhoni needs to go.

Posted by tmp789 on (October 7, 2012, 1:29 GMT)

To be fair, India did not not do bad. It was only one bad game out of five. I think the weakest link is Piyush Chawla and Rohit Sharma. Remove these guys and give someone with better attitude and commitment a chance. All these games Rohit played, how many were match winners? You could count on your fingers. Chawla given so many chances, how many were match winning performances? You dont need fingers to count.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (October 7, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

Underwhelming? Call it the IPL Curse. Ever since the IPL started, for 5 years the Indians have only won 2 games in the Super 8 stages of the T20 World Cup (3 tournaments since their 2007 win). Some fans are saying that they did fine this time by winning 2 games and losing 1. The problem with that is that one of the games they "won" (South African game) was hugely due to South Africa choking big time and should have easily been won by South Africa (India managed to win by 1 run) when they had only 2 runs from 3 balls and Albie Morkel was on strike. One close match, one comprehensive lost, and one win does not mean anything

Posted by wolf777 on (October 6, 2012, 23:08 GMT)

@ Sachin10dulka...I liked the team combination with Irfan Pathan playing as an allrounder....only problem is there are two off spiners. Need a leg spinner against the English...

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 6, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

We keep ANALYZING what is wrong. We get back to the same problems facing our team (1)OPENERS NO GOOD (2) BOWLERS PEDESTRIAN We won the U19 WC IN OZ and our A-team has not done to badly in NZ. These are indicators that YOUTH infusion into TEAM INDIA is REQUIRED. I see DHONI is good (capt) at ODI only. VIRAT , YUVI and PUJURA could be brought in as captains in the three formats. We need changes otherwise the team will hurtle along the SAME PATH. DONT KNOW WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE BOWLERS. With what we have :- ISHANT, YADAV and AARON need to play together. They are our fastest. Revive SREESANTH and RP SINGH won us a T20 once.

Posted by MasterClass on (October 6, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

Great to finally see a scathing article on Dhoni, Fletcher & selectors. All have failed us the fans! Just one disagreement: Kholi is NOT too young for the captaincy! At least in ODI & T20 he needs to be given the helm as the best (by a giagnormous margin) batsman in the team. And I don't think he is any shrinking violet. He is aggressive, confident, scrappy, though and determined. He was captain of the U19 that won the world cup and has leadership qualities. The one thing sub-continent teams do well is give YOUNG (early 20's) players a chance early unlike the Eng/Aus setups that are far too structured and often debut players at 30 (a complete joke!)....although they too have now begun to see the wisdom of debuting young players.

Posted by TellasisPatel on (October 6, 2012, 22:48 GMT)

Sidharth Monga's opinion: "Impressive as his maturing as a cricketer is, Virat Kohli might still be too young for the Test job.". I think that is rubbish. Captaincy should not be decided on the basis of one's age only. Kohli has the necessary passion, enthusiasm and drive to successfully lead India in all three formats of the game. He is the only player whose place in the team for any format is given. Sehwag and Gambhir must first secure their places in the Indian team again by performing as dependable batsmen, otherwise they will drag the rest of the team down. Raina shows sparkle every now and then, but lacks consistency needed in the Test matches. I hope the new selectors will open the doors of opportunity for new players, and relegate those players who do not perform to their potential in the National teams to domestic cricket where they will have opportunity to regain their mojo. Thank you.

Posted by WC2011Champs on (October 6, 2012, 22:45 GMT)

Everybody needs to get back in Test cricket mode, and quickly. Gambhir and Sehwag have to practice playing 40-50 overs without giving their wickets. And do that thinking of Anderson, Finn, Broad, Pattinson, Cummins, Starc. I would have Rahane and V. Murali doing the same just in case. If openers can drop anchor for 50 overs in tests (150 runs partnership) then India has a good chance. Otherwise it will be continuation of England and Australia series in India. Simple as that. On the other end 3 spinners have to a huge role to play. They have to bring in some variations and surprises. Rahane, Pujara, Vijay, Badri and may be Unmukt are in. Keep Raina and Yuvraj but don't play them in tests. Rohit sharma out, out, out bowled!

Posted by Jimmers on (October 6, 2012, 22:37 GMT)

Kohli looks like a captain to me - something like a young Greame Smith

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 6, 2012, 22:19 GMT)

I personally believe that Dhoni is past his prime ! The same applies to his captaincy. He's been in the job since 2007. In many ways a captain's shelf life is no more than 5 years. I say let Dhoni captain until the end of this year. From there on, the selectors should take a bold decision and pick the next skipper. Kohli is an obvious choice but I feel he needs a few more years because he's in his prime now and by adding that extra burden of captaincy on his shoulders, the selectors could kill off his game. Had Harbhajan been in the team, he would be my pick. Now the candidates we have are Sehwag, and Gambhir. Gambhir would be the best choice given he's still young and has some captaincy experience from the IPL. So a difficult and interesting time coming up for Indian cricket. As fans, we should be excited at this.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (October 6, 2012, 22:04 GMT)

Our selectors need to grow a backbone and say to the stars - perform or perish. Selection should be based on meritocracy, not star value. They should begin by dropping some of the non-performs right away - drop Sehwag, Gambhir, or 10dulkar. Better yet, drop all 3 of them. That will send a strong signal. The next job should be to find some good pacers. Give a chance to upcoming pacers like Awana, Shami Ahmed, Abu Nechim Ahmed, or Sandeep Sharma. Third job should be find a few good spinners. Ashwin and Ojha are decent spinners, but they are not top class T20 spinners.

Posted by diabetes on (October 6, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

for saving his own captaincy ,dhoni valued the victory more than the qualification into semifinals and therefore was defensive in approach as he knew that a defeat would raise questions about the team's perfomance and his own captaincy future ,but now he can say that the team won 4 out of 5 matches and they had a bad match against austraiia .never seen someone like dhoni who values captaincy more than team perfomance

Posted by Homer2007 on (October 6, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

India is currently ranked #2 in the ICC T20 rankings, a jump of 5 places from before the start of the World T20 in Sri Lanka. If that constitutes a mini crisis, then even Raina's nephew is helpless in correcting it!

Posted by Limeemil on (October 6, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

I wonder who this 'one proper fast bowler who plays in domestic cricket' in this article is referring to.....

Posted by Mr_Anonymous on (October 6, 2012, 20:45 GMT)

I think the new selection committee should start by making it clear that reputations will not count for much and start enforcing this new attitude. For the Test series against England, Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and if Bhajji/Chawla are selected at all as third spinners they are all under scrutiny. If the batsmen are out of form in the Test series their places new batsmen need to be tried. However, I also want to give the batsmen a chance to bat at their preferred location as I know Sehwag has wanted to drop to the middle order for a while. I sincerely think that its time to let Sachin know that he is not in their plans for ODIs and Zaheer is not in the plans for T20s going forward and maybe even ODIs since he is a key player for Tests. Also MSD should be under scrutiny for Test captaincy and if the result is not satisfying Gambhir should be considered (if he retains his spot as a batsman) for that role. I also think Kohli needs to be the T20 captain going forward.

Posted by cric_freakNo2 on (October 6, 2012, 20:44 GMT)

Nice article. A perfect way to explain the circumstances. if one of the selectors(atleast one dude) reads this article, they would certainly rethink about their selection methods.

Posted by MukilMukund on (October 6, 2012, 20:13 GMT)

India never had a team to win consistently against quality opponents - Yes, I meant the bowling. You cannot win any game ( 20, 50 or test) with the kind of pedestrian bowlers India have) . India's best bowler ( as many say) - Zaheer is average in International Quality - that too at his best. God knows why Balaji & Chawla in India's International team !! I will never take them even if I go for a club match. Openers kept on failing last year or so - But India doesnt have a choice there.A Mukund or Rahane is only as good as 50% in form Sehwag or Gambhir

Posted by Alexk400 on (October 6, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

Well written. But missing the point. Does dhoni deserve to be captain of Test side?. He is a defensive captain lacks imagination or creativity. He has tons of excuses for all his loss. If it is a win he takes credit. That said when he has a good team in his hand , he is best and safe captain. At present india is not playing well under dhoni mainly because he has changed after world cup win where he claimed he won the world cup on his batting on final. Atleast his attitude implies. He become dictators like his boss. But there is no results to show. India can win in india under dhoni. But BCCI looking for future , i would suggest make raina as captain. He has a aggressive brain. For me duncan fletcher resembles same as greg chappell except greg chappell loves mike and media. he likes to show off his ideas. Duncan keep it secret. Results are same. Negative atmosphere in the team. I can sense based on performance of sehwag and gambhir. They undermined dhoni winning another worldcup.

Posted by OOZZ on (October 6, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

Ashwin would be a bold choice for captaincy. If given proper backing by the board, there is a good chance that he would take those tough decisions and shape a fighter team. But, we Indians are not known for taking bold decisions.

Posted by Sachin10dulka on (October 6, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

India team against England series.( Test matches) 1. V Sehwag 2. G Gambhit 3. Virat Kohli 4. S Tendukar 5. C Pujara 6. Dhoni 7. I Pathan 8. R Ashwin 9. Zaheer Khan 10. H Singh 11. U Yadav.

Posted by PACERONE on (October 6, 2012, 19:29 GMT)

It is so nice to see some of the comments.Batsmen who can play any pace bowlers and those that are so good that they should be playing.I wish they would go back to preparing pitches that had pace at the start of the game and as the pitch wore down give the spinners and fast bowlers that could bowl some assistance.Only one bouncer per over,so if the first ball is a bounce the batsman is dancing down the wicket to fast bowlers as if he is a spinner.A spin bowler can bowl as many googlies as he wants.Give the fast bowler the same options.Then we will see who can really bat.I am sure we will again see batsmen backing towards square leg....even with all the protection they wear.

Posted by Feroz9700 on (October 6, 2012, 19:28 GMT)

One can't plan a lot for a T20. It is not an easy format as batsman have to score from ball one and don't get the privilege of getting any sighters. India should look at building there team for next T20 and 50 over games at the same time, and aim at building a stronger team and not a new team. So maybe a few players could change or maybe have reserves in the squad for people who could be failing repeatedly. In T20 even a single run can make a difference so it's better to have a good fielding team with plenty of quality bowling all-rounders. Batsman whether specialist or all-rounders should be able use the long handle effectively and manage a strike rate of 150 or 200 and should be quick starters. Present team is pretty good, and Dhoni should aim at playing 5 bowlers all the time, as it is the 7th batsman always gets wasted. Dhoni's defensive strategy works for 50 over format but not in T20 where strategies need to be changed very frequently, u need to be very aggressive and pro active.

Posted by ListenToMe on (October 6, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

The reason for India's exit from t20 wc is Dhoni's blunder decisions. It is his worst captaincy which cost India matches. As said in the articile, he took a lot of bad decisions and lost the matches. Also he doesn't bat quickly like a t20 batsman and still comes as the last recognized batsman and spoils balls at the death overs. This is the only reason why India could not get enough runs on board. The solutions are simple: 1. He should take wise decisions to win matches 2. He should bat up the order to score runs from 6 to 12 overs. After 12, he should score quickly and even if he gets out, Raina or Yuvraj can hit balls at the death overs.

Posted by anparhdehaati on (October 6, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

@Timohyj: India deserves a little criticism, but not as much as being done right now. India played alright, should have been a little better than this though. Pool was tough though, but can't justify the match against australia, the team combination of 3 spinners, or place of Chawla. Fans are in over-criticism mode, because, a little more than this would have taken India to next stage. I am pretty sure, in conversation of this 20-20 also, somebody might have brought up retirement of Sachin from cricket. :P

Posted by anparhdehaati on (October 6, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

@SidMonga: This article is about making changes, and laments about form of Sehwag, but the facts mentioned in article directly or indirectly say that change was not good for team. We lost the match against australia, because of bad combination of team. 1) Playing 3 spinners (esp. Chawla) was bad move as we had partime spinners also in team. 2) With level of Indian bowling, having one more bowler has very low chance to help, as our mainline bowlers are not much ranks above part-timers, especially in 20-20, where anyone can be flaked around. Anyways, not to blame Dhoni, because we can't count everything to be perfect every time. His moves work sometimes, and sometimes not.

Posted by GSP17 on (October 6, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

@timohyj, how can you say mukund has been given chance and failed??? if you say playing 2 or 3 matches is chance, what you say about overrated Rohit who has been tried in more than 75 matches and still failing. Mukund still deserve a chance as a opener than people who are creating trouble inside the team.

Posted by subinit on (October 6, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

First and Foremost thing is India's lack of death bowlers.Nehra was one.But fitness plagued him always.Sreesanth could have been the best bowler in the world,but he axed himself.RP looked promising but he also faded away.Umesh was considered the tear away fast bowler but Mr MS Dhoni's choice was not to include him.To see Zaheer khan being treated by Kamran Akmal like a ordinary bowler said it all.He could at will bowl a yorker or a bouncer some months ago.But the guile and control seems missing because of his negligence of fitness.I think some people are right here that Dhoni is always blamed because he is captain,but I could blame him both as a captain and even more as a batsman...Because his failure to hit big shots is quite obvious these days.U cant say i have scored a run a ball in t20 when team needed 9 run per over.Another obvious mistake:If IPL is the yardstick for the t20 squad, where are Rahane(4th highest scorer),Mandeep Singh,Ambati Rayudu & aslo they scored big in domestic

Posted by Cluedin on (October 6, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

I think Virat could be given a go in captaining the T-20 and the One day sides to start with now itself. This will help him hone his skills at the highest level.

Posted by dabbler on (October 6, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

Bring back Mohammed Kaif as captain of the Test team. Sounds ridiculous in the Indian context, but can work if given the requisite time. He's not a great batsman, but is a great captain and will not be afraid to call the shots. Dhoni has been fantastic, but he has stagnated. Sticking with him just because there aren't any alternatives is dangerous. If Kaif has the backing of the board -- which means giving him a long enough rope and the freedom to take the hard calls -- it can certainly work. If Kaif can't be made captain, make Ashwin captain. He's young, confident, a thinker of the game and backs himself. He'll need a long rope too, but tough decisions have to be taken to spruce up the Test side. At least one of the openers has to be discarded -- doesn't matter which, and Rahane should get a look-in. As should Robin Bist.

Posted by Gunston on (October 6, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

Nothing will happen. See how many of 'intelligent' Indian fans are commenting here as if all his hunky dory? Winning 4 out of 5 matches bla bla....I mean even Aussies, Pakistan (barring semifinal) won 4 out of 5! Same was said of the indians after the CB series and test matches...yet same team. As long as fans such as these exist who will feed the Indian cricket cash cow, the team will remain the same...and when it comes to 2015 worldcup in Aussie, the same shots will be fired again. Its a never ending cycle this. I mean for a non-Indian this is absolutely fine :)

Posted by shazzar on (October 6, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

Great article, sums up things perfectly. I do not know why people look at past performances to justify dhoni and co and whats happening know. The fact is they failed miserably to qualify against 3 weaker sides than them. They messed it up in all 3 games (batting ist game 1, not improving run rate game 2 & not going all out in gw3). i say they had 3 chances to get it right, and messed it up in all 3. The blame also has to lie with the openers, they were out of form and getting out easily put more pressure on kholi and rest but like someone mention can you drop shewag at all for too long, not sure the india media lets you do that. Thats were the problem lies, people keep hold of past memories and players, forgeting especially in this format of the game you can NOT carry any passengers. Big hitters are good at the bottom but like gayle showed you FIRST need somone in the top 3/4 to make a good score first and the team to keep wickets in hand.

Posted by rosh280 on (October 6, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

I really love to see more players like murali vijay he is in fine forms against rajasthan and bengal. He is capable of hitting like chris gayle does and manish pandey he is a great talent he had shown his potential at all levels. see players like sarul kanwar, rahul dewan, uday kaul, sunny singh, jalaj saxena they all had fine performances at first class levels are avoided. I dont know why people are pitching for abhinav mukund and rahane. if you closely watch all the games you can understand how murali vijay plays his innings. sarul kanwar, rahul dewan, uday kaul, sunny singh, jalaj saxena all had impeccable records at first class level. i would go with murali vijay and sarul kanwar for opening or virat kohli and murali vijay. i d singh also fits the bill. mandeep and maneria should come at test level. for knowing their standards you can search in espncric info and you can understand we have talent, not picked up and nurtured.

Posted by wolf777 on (October 6, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

Drop Prince Nohit Sharma from all formats….that would be a good start. Also, instead of picking six batsman in the playing eleven for Test matches, Irfan Pathan should be picked as an allrounder who acts as a reliever for fast bowlers. He is good for couple of wickets and 40-50 runs. Fifth bowling option as an allrounder will keep fast bowlers fresh and injury free for longer period and will keep spinner from over bowling.

Posted by Dimuthu_SL on (October 6, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

@ counterstrike1.6 we faced a team that outperformed both you mentioned. if our group so weak why two teams of that group in final? what's next excuse?

Posted by rosh280 on (October 6, 2012, 17:27 GMT)

I was thrilled when i saw the gayle performace tonight he is exceptional player we also need to have players of these standards. bravo, gayle, sammy, pollard there are good players for westindies. this earned them the cup. india also has players of these standards. sunny singh, rahul dewan, sarul kanwar, jalaj saxena, manish pandey, i d singh, unmukt chand all are players of these standards. murali vijay and robin uttappa really equal the performances of gayle. rohit sharma, suresh raina, virat and yuvraj can also play a match of this standard. they somehow played like limited over game or test match. this cost india a lot

Posted by cheguramana on (October 6, 2012, 17:21 GMT)

Great write-up Siddharth, cant find fault with anything you have said. Dhoni does seem to be mentally tired out. I think we need a new Captain. Its also time for Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer and Sachin. I dont mean sack the entire lot at one go ! but clear exit plans shud be chalked out for all of them and make way for new blood. Theres enough cricketing talent in India, the selectors shud open their eyes and take some tough decisions. Is Duncan Fletcher actually doing anything for the team ? Maybe his best years are behind him as well ? BCCI, pls do wake up and take charge, give a new direction to Indian cricket, PLEASE !!!

Posted by CandidIndian on (October 6, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Indian players play lot of t20 cricket but as a team India plays far less t20 internationals as compared to other teams.Also in those few t20 internationals they play there is always a new team and when World Cup comes they pick players who have done well in IPL along with regular ODI players.With this system how can you expect a team to click as a uint and win a tournament.

Posted by MrM on (October 6, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

not much india need only few corrections because previous selector made lot of judgement errors......they are alot thts why i am only listing corrections to be made sehwag as finisher or in middle order because he is deadly hitter of the ball specially against spinners...2.guys like rohit sharma ,manoj tiwary,chawla,rahane,pujara,dinesh karthick are talented players but they should be only consider primarily for test team and not odis or t20...3.guys like ROBIN UTHAPPA,raina,bubhneshar kumar,ambati rayudu,mandeep singh n irfan pathan should play all odis n t20..uthappa is immensly talented player n great hitter after gayle n he is future replacement for sehwag n infact he is lot better than sehwag..3.ishant sharma ,varun aaron,umesh yadav ,dinda,zak shoud be rotated so that they dont get injured all the time..

Posted by nithinadoor on (October 6, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

Selection Blunder..Piyush Chawla will be always selected for a World Event...2007 T20 Cup..,2011 World Cup...may be selectors thinking he will bring that LUCK...but it was not Piyush Chawla..may be it is next time for any world event pick both....

Posted by bvnathan on (October 6, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

An ideal TEST team composition of 15 players would be 7 batsmen (3 openers + 4 middle order), 2 all-rounders, 1 WK/batsman, 2 spinners, 3 fast bowlers (at least 2 of them able to bowl at 140+kph). It would be great to see Sandeep Patil and his co, can plan and visualize on creating a team of the above requirements and make them consistent in their performance. Given the current crop of players available and the targeted expectations, let us list out the players who are willing to bend their back for the above slots. In case of ODI and T20 requirements, out of the 7 batsmen listed, about 2-3 should be able to turn their arms around to fill the needs. My TEST team selection would be Gambhir, Rahane, Sehwag, Pujara, SRT, Virat, Rohit, Irfan, Jadeja, MSD, Ashwin, Ohja, Zaheer, Ishant, Umesh. STAND-BYs who can be committed are: UChand, Vijay, Uttappa, Yuvi, Kaif, Saha, Dinesh, Aparajith, Bhaji, Rahul Sharma,Sreesanth, PKumar, HPatel, PAwana, Shami, Dhawan

Posted by dailycric on (October 6, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

This article provides excellent reasons why Dhoni should no longer be captain of the Indian cricket team. So why should Dhoni be given the chance to do a makeover?! It is ludicrous to suggest that Dhoni should now turn into an Imran Khan from a Viv Richards (and what an insult that line is to Richards!). Dhoni has been captain for 5 years - he is not going to "turn into" anything. A leopard cannot change his spots. In addition, Dhoni is not the best Test wicket-keeper in India today (Saha is streets better), and he is not a good Test batsman (Saha is technically much sounder, and in terrific form - if we are really looking to South Africa in 2013, then it is Saha, not Dhoni, who is the man to don the gloves there). So there is no reason at all for Dhoni to remain in the Test team, let alone remain captain. Kohli is ready to captain. He has been playing international cricket for 4 yrs now, which is longer than Dhoni played before being made captain.

Posted by Manush on (October 6, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

After IPL what is the contribution of Gambhir and why he and Rohit Sharma are getting support while Sehwag who is being dropped regularly by Dhoni in the pretext of rotation policy !!!. In bowling barring Ashwin nobody has impressed so far. Viru has performed better than Gambhir so he can comedown or open with Rahane and one drop can be Gambhir.

Posted by timohyj on (October 6, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

I can't believe people are criticizing India so much after going out of the t20 wc when they won 4 out if 5 matches. Of all the young batsmen coming through only Rahane is international quality. Mukund and vijay both had chances and failed. Mukund hasn't been doing well on A tours as well. You can't drop someone who you know is very good after a couple had performances. I have no clue why people are calling for dhonis head after this. India isn't good at t20 because they don't have big muscle hitters like the other teams. There are no batsmen who play slog sweeps and can edge sixes

Posted by rosh280 on (October 6, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

it is a nice article which makes feel every one the situation has come off like ravishastri was given bad treat by crowds. It is the time for change if openers like gambir and sehwag play the crowd will really get frustrated. Let me tell one fact that we have more players who can bat better than virat kohli. if you notice virat scores in most of the matches he scored run a ball. we need big scores of minimum ball in twenty format. he wasted lot of ball. it really cost india. we have a lot of great talents with batting and bowling. however manish pandey, sarul kanwar, uday kaul, rahul dewan, sunnysingh are fine players they can bat a lot better than virat and dhoni. still they are outside. what about murali vijay he is in fine form. if he had been given chance india should have found place atleast in semi final. they should have included murali vijay and robin uttappa as openers. even ambati rayudu is a good striker of the ball he is avoided.Lets hope for the change.

Posted by sunny22 on (October 6, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

No need to panic as such.Few points though i have observed(for a T20 i am talking about)- Pak,NZ,WI-are having the most ideal T20 players currently.Infact i consider Afridi's poor form with bat as the only reason for Pak's exit. T20 requires players who can turn the match in the matter of few balls,ample effective bowlers,ie adequate allrounders/bits and pieces players. For India-Yusuf Pathan would have been ideal.Gautam at the top,Virat/Yuvraj/Rohit in the middle to 'stabilize' the innings-are one too many batsmen to play themselves in(though Yuvraj/Kohli/Rohit can go for big shots from ball 1-just a mindset they dont go).Also 'fast' bowlers bank on swing/slow balls, no yorkers at the death- hence the score should always be above avg for India to compete in T20s or else the poor run will continue!

Posted by nix_moviefreak on (October 6, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

@Dimuthu_SL:totally agree with u... looking at the performance of India in last 2-3 yrs we conclude that Indian team is capable of winning test or odi or t20 if they r facing SL anywhere under the sun.

Posted by rosh280 on (October 6, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

Rohit sharma is a fine player. At times i felt india should have rohit sharma as an opener with murali vijay. They both are great hitters and they can face any fast bowling at ease. Rohit sharma really played well in 20-20. Suresh raina could have played lot more better. virat kohli is a fine player in most of the times if you look at the score of him at the end of the match. he scores run a ball. we need to have great runs from player of his standard. We need to find good fast bowlers like shami ahmed, rithuraj singh,deepak chahar. they all need to have coaching from fine bowlers like kapil, imran, macgrath and sreenath. jalaj saxena, vinay kumar, praveen kumar, surya prakash yadav, sunny singh, bhuvanesh kumar are fine alrounders india can rely on. No doubt dhoni has enough choices, but the selectors have to give the option. Definitely i feel new board would consider this.

Posted by varman_3e on (October 6, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

Good evening everyone! This seems to be a nice topic and so I thought of sharing my comments. I just can't understand why all the blame goes to Dhoni especially when India lose. He gets un-noticed when India succeeds (i.e, only certain individuals are praised when India wins). He has the highest win percentage amongst all the other famous Indian captains in both forms of the game leaving alone the T20s. No one else would have done a better job with this team than Dhoni. Of the 15 players selected for T20 world cup, only 5 players are very active (Raina, Kohli, Yuvraj, Manoj Tiwary, Dhoni), 1 lazy (Rohit sharma), 4 normal (Harbhajan, Irfan, Chawla, Dinda) and 5 very slow fielders (Zaheer, Sehwag, Balaji, Gambhir, Ashwin). Results are far better when considering the amount of inefficient fielders in the side. But I truly agree with your remaining comments that this team really needs lot of changes. I hope Sandheep Patil (Great man) will do a good job and India has a bright future ahead.

Posted by rosh280 on (October 6, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

We have given enough chances to players like umesh yadav,saha, ashok dinda, irfan, shikhar dawan, piyush chawla,romesh pawar and all they failed umpteen times. similarly with gambir and sehwag they can come to the side any time showing their might, i am hopeful they will come back with better performances if they had been given some rest rather than eliminating them even tendulkar should come back. we cant forget players of these standard

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (October 6, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

You have to make up your mind whether T20 is worth the trouble or not. Because if T20 is sign of a crisis then it goes against the pre-WC discussion on this site which suggested this format is still hit-and-giggle! If it is so then why get worked up over one defeat which effectively this tournament was about for India.

Posted by rosh280 on (October 6, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

Sidharth monga is right,It is the real chance to move on with changes. India has considerable amount of players with immense talents. for 20-20 the new board should consider players like 1. murali vijay 2. virat kohli 3. s raina 4. rohit sharma5. yuvraj / y pathan 6. m s dhoni/naman ojha/ pinal shah/ robin uttappa 7. jalaj saxena 8. bhuvanesh kumar/ sunny singh/ shami ahmed 9. ashwin 10. vinay kumar/ praveen kumar( they are wicket taking bowlers) 11. one fine fast bowler like rithuraj singh/ shami ahmed/ varun aron/ ishhant/ harshal patel/ sreeshant/ mrutuja vohra/ pawan zuyal / deepak chahar.

Reserves like kaustubh pawar, sarul kanwar, manish pandey, unmukt chand, sarul kanwar, i d singh,uday kaul, amitoze singh, gurkeerat all these are fine fast bowlers In test side we should use mandeep singh and ashok menaria and vijay zol. in one days players like sarul kanwar, uday kaul, rahul dewan, sunny singh, s yadav shoulld play.

Posted by YaksNad on (October 6, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

Apart from Gambhir and Sehwag, probably Yuvraj can be thrown into the mix and again rejected because it is still too early to know how his recovery is coming along. Apart from Kohli, there are other names like Ashwin and Rohit Sharma, but all of them are too green. One option is to go for a different captain either in Tests or T20s. Dhoni has expressed his perceived disinterest on playing Test matches earlier. Not counting Sehwag and Tendulkar because of their unknown shelf life, actually Gambhir might not be such a bad choice for Tests considering how his KKR captaincy in IPL was praised by some and how he is one of the few senior players regularly in the playing eleven. It was said that captaincy for KKR made him more proactive and responsible. The same can probably be hoped for in Tests too.

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (October 6, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

@ Dimuthu_SL - Also, you guys were lucky not to face India and SA in Super 8. (again Thanks to some weird Grouping System that benefited u guys !)

Posted by niddib on (October 6, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

Dhoni's mindset is defensive because his reliable batsman and bowlers of the past are not performing. You can see his attitude in his batting too. Some people call is responsible batting, I call it defensive batting with negative frame of mind and it rubs on to his team too in a wrong way. He should now have a carefree attitude since being defensive is not getting the desired results and rather bogs him down. I prefer Dhoni of past where he used to rip the leather off the ball soon he arrives on field. Remember Kapil Dev paaji and his four sixes in four balls to avoid follow-on. Try this mindset for some time and see the results. You will be surprised.

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (October 6, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

@ Dimuthu_SL - First of all, Congratulations for reaching finals. Now coming to the point, it is u who needs to undrstnd some facts rather than Ind fans. We Ind fans accept our defeat gracefully against Aus. We r not saying that if thr was no rain, Ind would have won the match. The kind of murderous mood Watson n Warner were in, it was difficult to defend 140 odd runs. But surely if thr was no rain, Ind spinners would have gripped d ball properly and the margin of balls left at the end of the match would have been lesser that means Aus had to score way more than 112 against Pak and Ind had a good chance of making it to semis as its NRR would have improved. Aus prfrmed so badly agnst Pak n WI. They surely didn desrv to b in semis. Ind n SA were more deserving teams bt these teams along with Pak were put in same group (the tougher one BECAUSE these very teams finshed top in thr grps in league mtchs bt didn't get the benefit of doing so), thanks to some weird grouping system.

Posted by spinkingKK on (October 6, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

It is ok to say that Sehag fails most of the time these days. However, it is not fair to say that Gambhir fails. Gambhir bats brilliantly and he should be made the captian. By the way, I hope the Indian selectors say good bye to someone by the name of Rohit Sharma who bats brilliantly in the nets. If he is so talented, he should go back to the domestic cricket and get matured and matured and may be come back when he is 30. People like Uthappa and Murali Vijay should have been selected in the T20 side. Anyway, India was out of the tournament only because Australia decided to just sneak into the semi-final and gift a big win to the Pakisthan in the process. Otherwise, they would have been facing the West Indies on Sunday, only to lose convincingly.

Posted by srinideva on (October 6, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

author: you made some valuable points in the article..I really appreiciate the same time If dhoin made any bold decision like sehwag drop agt aus, the entire media and old pros are joined as a unit and question the caption "Who do you think you are, to drop the player like him blah blah...In deep down they knoew that was the correct decision.......then how can we expect a bold move from him???

Posted by PakCricSpin on (October 6, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

Well I don't think India has a crisis. I think Dhoni's team played well given the circumstances. India's batting has always been strong and it was strong even in this T20 tournament. Its bowlers were weak or just mediocre at best and they were at that. This is how India always plays. It's not a crisis. Its just a few mistakes in selection and execution of gameplay. And many teams have made such mistakes.

However the crisis that India & Pakistan face is a common one - How to gracefully get rid of Old players who refuse to leave on their own?

Posted by arvin on (October 6, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

it is time for a new captain... kohli should be appointed captain for 20/20 and 1-dayers immediately and there should be no sehwag/gambhir/zaheer and dhoni in these two teams coz if dhoni is no longer captain then he will do everything possible to make kohli look bad to regain captaincy... as for test side rebuilding... it can not happen with dhoni as captain and kohli will not be allowed to pick team he wants which in turn will lead to failures and he will be called a bad captain like sachin was for no fault of his... one person who can rebuild team without any fear and make bold decisions standing upto selectors and not giving into criticism from media is at this stage of his career is sachin with kohli as vice captain... no player will be able to sabotage his captainship now the way ganguly/dravid/azhar did previously... he will not be worrying about losing captaincy while rebuilding team even if some decisons go wrong at first...

Posted by Gopalakrishna on (October 6, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

There is one more cricketer in Ganesh Satish, a good investment. As a statistician from Bangalore, he has very good credentials to make it to the national team. But unfortunately he is not in scheme of things of selectors. He did not find a place in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy and also in South Zone Duleep Trophy Contingent. Will selectors take note of this good talent who has scored tons of runs last season and in Moin-ud-dowlah Cup. Sandip Patil is requested to take note of this talent. More about this cricketer can be had from his seletor mate Roger Binny HR Gopala Krhshna - Statistician - Bangalore

Posted by Dimuthu_SL on (October 6, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

@ Narbavi this article clearly explain why India knocked out so indian fans should admit It's nobody's but they're own fault

Posted by Srikee1987 on (October 6, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Contd from my prev post. Gambhir will be my test captain n Kohli to be his deputy. Since Sehwag expressed his liking to play in the middle order, would help to find a better opener for the squad. Zaheer should retire from the limited overs cricket. I have Tendulkar in the squad to help the Rahane's/Kohli's/Pujara's n other to mature and be the back bone of the batting line up.

Posted by Nampally on (October 6, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

Sidharth, I like to make one more comment to be fair to much criticised Dhoni for his tactical errors vs. SA in the semi final. Had India got de Plessis out cheaply, SA would have been out for <121. He contributed 65 runs using long handle. But India did well apart from this one flaw to get a strong SA batting all out. The Indian batting failed because some batsmen were forced to make rash strokes to build a big total. But Sehwag & Yuvraj's dismissals were due to poor shot selection. That is the only area India faltered in batting. Had Sehwag stayed at one end India would be well over 180 runs. So Sehwag's Out & not getting de plessis dismissed early cost them the spot in the Semi's. Dhoni did very well with the limited bowling (considered the weakest of all Nations) he had in the T-20. So please give MSD some credit.

Posted by Shumbu on (October 6, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

Good article. There is no doubt that Dhoni is the best captain India ever had and he is still the best to lead India in all format. He don't have to prove anything more to show his skills. All he needs to do now is to be brave and pick young bloods for future. Forget about Sachin, Zaheer, Sehwag good times... we have milked them well and they have reached their limit. MSD has to create an aggressive young Indian team for the future, lead them for few years and hand over to Mr. Kohli... it's simple as that!!

Posted by secondopinion on (October 6, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Excellent article. Biggest worry for India is the lack of sufficient talent depth. There is not a single bowler who the other side's batsmen are wary of, forget being scared. Recirculating ageing stars like Irfan, Bhajji and Zahir is bad, but the new crop except for Ashwin, shows no real promise. Same goes for batting; except Virat Kohli and Pujara, and potentially Rehane. Not just Rohit Sharma, but also Suresh Raina hasn't grapsed the chances they got. If anyone believes that Manoj Tiwary, or Murali Vijay can fit in to the world stage, then he is clutching at straws. India was easily the worst fielding side. Like Pakistan, we should sponsor players of the age 22 and below to play in England. We should also prepare pitches that test the batsmen. And reduce the number of useless doemstic tournaments, make stronger teams play each other more often, and India team players must play at least 2/3rds of such domestic matches.

Posted by CricketChat on (October 6, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

Dhoni was never a good captain for tests. Whatever success he got in that format was never due to his tactical skills, but due to some great performances from his players. When the seniors showing terminal decline in form, the results speak for themselves. With the team reputation and form at an all time low in the last decade or so, it is time to blood new, younger and talented players with an eye for future. Gambhir, Shewag, Dhoni, Sachin are not the players of future. Hope Ind selectors show some guts and make the right call for Ind cricket sake.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (October 6, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

@Dimuthu_SL. Every SL fan should check the ground reality that they never won a test in India and lost 9 out of 10 ODIs last played and lost 3 out of 5 T20s. Better think about SL.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (October 6, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

@ Dimuthu_SL. And SL refuse to accept that they fear an India Vs SL in the semis, it was clear from the responses in the stadium. East or West India is the best and better than SL. Thats a fact.

Posted by sundar02 on (October 6, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

We are all fortunate enough to have dhoni as caption, nor one one of the cricket commentator or columnist in cricinfo, in particular sidharth monga. they all don't have stability in their mind set, they don't know answers but they know how to ask questions and make others life tough. when dhoni asks vvs to retire, the same media person criticized him. Better try to say solution than asking question monga, do you do fair job? could you find great leg spinner in india? what else option other than chawla or mishra we have? do we have a great fast bowler in the stock ? easy to say bla bla and you people never led any international team commenting, i hate that. only worthy columnist in crickinfo is ion chappel because, he knows what is captaincy at the international level. better to do some other job than yelling indian team. From my eyes, indian was not done a bad job at all, we should understand, not any team can win all the tournaments, even the great federer loses many.

Posted by Rajavel-cricket on (October 6, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

Captain should realise he is as good as a team,, But dhoni thinks he only made the winning team. And now he became very egoistic and also giving alwaz non-sense excuses. He is a liable captain now.. Test Team should be Rahane , Mukund, pujara, sachin, kohli,gambhir(he cant play new ball anymore give him one more series in middle order),Dinesh/ Saha, ashwin ,ojha, umesh, Ishant or varun

Posted by George_cricket on (October 6, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

i have posted an early comments. 70 % of commenters wish sewag and gambir to be dropped. selecters to hear this 70 crore indians. remember tournaments are not won by big names. india did it in 1983 with a mediocre team. the only big name gavasker was an onlooker.afterwards australia did it four bowlers. when pakistan won ,the unknown boy akram was the star. here, both finalists are unfancied to australia,india and england . applying peter principle angelo mathews would be the man of the match

Posted by Arvind07 on (October 6, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

We are failing to rotate the players. Players like Tiwary, Rahane,Dawan deserves the place in team.

Posted by Dimuthu_SL on (October 6, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

even now Indians should admit their failure is there own fault. rain,Australia or groups has nothing to do with it

Posted by Nampally on (October 6, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

A frank state-of-the- Facts type of article Sidharth. India should take a bold move by a wholesale change of the team & the Captain, with the arrival of the New panel of Selectors. To start with let the openers be replaced by say 2 of Rahane, Mukund & Vijay. It is time for Sehwag & Gambhir to move on. Kohli, Pujara,Mandeep singh/M.Tiwary& Raina the middle order followed by Saha/Dhoni (WK). Yuvraj if fit for 5 day match & Irfan Pathan as all rounders. Ishant Sharma & Yadev as the pace bowlers, Ashwin,Ojha & Rahul Sharma as spinners. I disagree when you say there are no Captaincy candidates. Pujara is the best choice for now & for future. He led several India A teams + India U-19 with sound approach. Kohli & Pujara will form the backbone of batting. Ishant & Umesh with experience will be good pace bowlers backed by 3 spinners. India should try this young team vs. England in the Tests & see how they fare. The T-20 failure was sad but sadly I think bad luck in one Match did India in.

Posted by Angry_Bowler on (October 6, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

Everyone is praising here for a well written article, well where were you all when Sehwag was dropped and India lost. Then the same guys were jumping on Dhoni for dropping him. There is a saying perhaps that sumsup well "shoot first then ask question" that's how Indian cricket is working right now. No one is asking why the talented young guys get a chance in place of out of form, more experienced, I would say slow and lazy slugs, senior players. Why can't sachin ,God, retire and tell BCCI give a chane to new commers as he told Dhoni should be the captain, because of money and greed. The fans say India will lose all the matchs without seniors, well look what happened in past one and half yeas. Can it be worse than 0-8?

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (October 6, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

Agreed. We need Dhoni of old. ie, the one who is ready to drop anyone, pick the right people and make bold decisions. Yes, Ashwin has been used in power play and end overs in T20 to contain runs, when he should be picking wickets. But Dhoni has no choice, when he does not have the players to perform. We have no choice, but continue to keep Dhoni as Captain, we want Dhoni not to read and listen to others views, I believe, the reason he picked 5 bowlers is because of the out side pressures and what happened with that? There is no point in blaming the bowling, when India T20 batting suppose to be as strong as WI, could not put a good score where the bowlers have freedom to defend. Gambhir needs to get back in form for tests. Shewag needs to be dropped altogether for England series. Give a change to Rahane for England series all matches and if he does not perform give a chance to Mukund or Vijay for Austraila and have one of them play all matches. Make sure all of them enough chances.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (October 6, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

I'm a Sri Lankan, and I have huge respect about Dhoni, just after Sachin. If Mr. Siddhart's article is just because of the Twenty20 worldcup defeat, it's just nothing to worry of. Because win and lose can have at any time. But, there is something important. That is, whether Dhoni played defensively to stop being criticized as a failed captain, or did he really try to stop opposition taking 121, or is that his character? If he played (as I could realize) to just to win for the sake of giving some excuses like "we lost only one due to rain", I would say he is not the captain. I really think Dhoni should have come instead Rohit Sharma. I told one of my Indian friends that that was a very bad decision. And it was. Dhoni is a great batsman who can asses the situation well, and do what is required, whereas Rohit Sharma simply tries to keep his position by playing a reasonable innings. This is partially due to the pressure given by people and media. Pressure would sharp as well as destroy.

Posted by NP_NY on (October 6, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

How is this a crisis? It's T20 which is mostly a lottery to begin with. Anyone can beat anyone else on a given day. And India had 4 wins out of 5. There is no crisis here. Losing 4 tests in a row in Aus, now that was a crisis. Ths is not!

Posted by getgopi on (October 6, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

Gambhir's batting in Tests will pick up if he were made Test captain. He might just turn out to be a better captain. In Tests, Dhoni doesn't seem to have the technique to bat on half the surfaces in the world anyway. I don't ever remember him batting for more than 30 mins.? So leave him out and bring in Saha. The others, including Sehwag, pick themselves with the only question hanging over Yuvi/Raina. I feel that Raina should play the England series and be thoroughly exposed to their looming bowlers on Indian soil. He can only get better as the series progresses. I am not sure about what Tendulkar can bring to the table now. Just these "few" changes might make a huge difference.

Posted by Deepak_Toronto on (October 6, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

New board should consider the following players: 1. Pujara - Sewag/Gambhir's replacement 2. Rahane - Sewag/Gambhir's repalcement 3. Uttahapa- Dhonis repalcement 4. Unmukt Chand 5. Amit Mishra 6. Murli Karthik 7. Ojha 8. Umesh yadav 9. Varun Arun 10. Dinesh Karthik/ parthiv patel

Posted by Narbavi on (October 6, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

@Dimuthu_SL: What exactly do u mean by that?? are u telling me if we consider these points mentioned in the article, it makes Srilanka a better team than India?? Is that your point??

Posted by azeesajid on (October 6, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

No doubt in the fact that when dhoni had good players he was the successfull, but without them he is nothing. Infact very poor captain always backing his club level team.

Posted by neutral87 on (October 6, 2012, 11:46 GMT)

PERFECT ASSESSMENT! Couldn't have said it any better. Excuse only get you so far.

Posted by VJGS on (October 6, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

I agree that Dhoni needs to be more bold with his selection and not worry at all at what the media or senior pros would say. He should immediately drop Sehwag and have Gambhir, Zaheer on the bench. Instead, he should include Pujara, Yadav, etc. The BCCI must work really hard to nurture young fast bowlers who can easily clock 145-150 like Pat Cummins. They should seek to build on the players of the U19 cricket team, especially Unmukt Chand.

Posted by SuperKingViv on (October 6, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

Spot on. Even though I like Dhoni, I agree with all the criticisms made since they are all constructive criticisms. I would love if Dhoni reads this article and try to be brave enough to make decisions rather than just sit back and wait and watch.

Posted by Dimuthu_SL on (October 6, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

a most wanted article. every Indian fan should read this and understand the reality

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (October 6, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

I'm not concerned about India as long as it is playing anywhere in sub-continent and playing any team. But the problem is playing in Aus and Eng. I hope, BCCI takes initiative, prepares a few fast tracks anywhere in India and organizes a short Test series ! Players can be divided in two teams. Ind A and Ind B. Say Gauti, Kohli, Raina and Rohit in one team and Viru, Pujara, Dhoni and Yuvi in other. Now our focus should be on WC 2015 which is to be held in Aus and winning test series outside sub-continent.

Posted by challagalla on (October 6, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

Diffidence. Rightly said Sidharth. India was strangely deficient in tactics and did not do the basics right. During The India - Pakistan match i recall one commentator saying India had to win within 15 overs to improve their net run rate above Pakistan. They did not and this in the final anlysis cost us the semis spot. We cannot blame the weather or whatever for this. Its simply poor tactics. The illogical bowling changes during the match against South Africa is poor tactics. The Indian think tank failed and lets accept that.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (October 6, 2012, 10:42 GMT)

BRILLIANT ARTICLE WRITTEN . i m absolutely 100 % agreed with this article . sehwag & gambhir both needs to be dropped from team . gambhir is ok in odis but sehwag needs to be dropped in all formats . rahane & mukind should be our openers . my test team for england tour is : mukund , rahane , pujara , sachin , kohli , dhoni , raina , ashwin , ojha , zaheer , umesh .

Posted by George_cricket on (October 6, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

my indian test team-pujara 2.m.vijay 3. gambir 4.kohli 5.manoj tiwari. 6. dhoni 7.ashwin 8.ojha 9.shahir.10 ishant 11.dinda

odi team- gambir 2. virat kohli 3 rohit sarma 4 youvaraj 5.raina 6. dhoni 7irfan 8 ashwin 9.pius chawla 10. shaheer 11.balaji

Posted by Narbavi on (October 6, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

Selectors are largely at fault, i mean it was ridiculous to see the likes of chawla bhajji rohit sharma and even tiwary in the t20 squad, and chawla was even in the test squad, the test side is the worrying factor for me, none of them are in form, Virat pujara ashwin and ojha played well against NZ but it doesn't guarantee they will do better against ENG and AUS, as u said, it needs to start from our openers, hope they fire in the first place!! Forget about the long term issues, for now its all about these two test series, what's the point of thinking about SA 2013 if you don't think about winning these 8 tests first!!

Posted by ganeshram78 on (October 6, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

bold, brilliant and brutally honest again well done again sid monga

Posted by viswanav on (October 6, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

"A new selection panel gives Dhoni a chance for makeover." What about Dhoni's place in the side as captain? Will that never be questioned?

Posted by king_lion on (October 6, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

a perfect article in many sense. a true indian cricket fan would be asking for the determination and hard work towards achieving success from players. those "by the way" wins do not make a perfect day. we have a habit of being "positive" for longer than usual during our losses. yes its true that everyone deserves more chances but not as many as sehwag or gambhir or rohit are getting. we have to take tough decisions if we want to succeed. dhoni needs to be given a break from T20 and ODI captaincy. Sehwag, Gambhir and Rohit needs to play domestic cricket for sometime. Zak needs to retire. We may not win without them but at least young players will taste the defeat which will make them more hungry to play for win. We are not winning anyways with this oldies. Good luck team India.

Posted by THESILENTKILLER on (October 6, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

India lost due to the lack of aggressive batting which can be seen from the low strike rates..even Kohli's man of match performance was too slow even hitting the last 2 runs in 1 over when the ball bowled at the pads. Only a single batsman's strike rate was in 150s; but rest were way below 120 and beyond. This hurt India's net run rate. That is why we lost the tournament. There is no need to push the panic button for this reason. One has to keep in mind India lost 1 match and are out but West Indies lost 2 matches and are in the final...As for the bowling; India is the only team to bowl a team out 4 out of 5 matches...that is an achievement...for tests; we have enough resources both batsmen and bowlers who have been tried and tested...bowlers will have an off and on day as usual..there will never be an exceptional feared bowler in the Indian team for now...only worrying factor is the form of Gambhir and Sehwag opening partnership, lesser chance of win...their last chance!!!

Posted by George_cricket on (October 6, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

there are more things. see ,west indies has brought in dyane bravo replacing the more talented bravo. for 20-20 we want batsmens facing 20 balls and scoring 40 runs' . hence indias batting order shold be like the followin1.raina 2.uttappa 3.dhoni. 4.rohit sharma 5.sourabh tiwari. 6,7 -pathans 8. harbajan singh 9.ashwin 10.balaji 11.varun aaron

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