March 10, 2008

Rotation comes round again

Having more or less separate teams for Tests and ODIs is working well for India - but not for too many other teams, oddly enough
31



Dhoni and Tendulkar are the only two players in India's top seven who play in both Test and ODI teams © AFP

Australia have lost another CB Series final and their captain is talking of player exhaustion. Somewhere, Steve Waugh is chuckling. About eight years ago, when player workload was not quite the hot topic it is today, Waugh copped flak for his "rotation policy" under which those who were part of Australia's Test side didn't play all ODIs. The middle order comprised specialists such as Andrew Symonds, Ian Harvey and Shane Lee.

Just when it seemed like yet another of Waugh's revolutionary ideas, South Africa and New Zealand arrived for a tri-series in early 2002. The more Australia rotated players, the more they lost to New Zealand. For the first time in six years, Australia didn't make the final. It marked the end of Waugh's ODI career, and since then, Australia under Ricky Ponting have preferred to be more circumspect about rotation as well. Apart from Nathan Bracken and James Hopes, the nine other Australians who played in the second CB Series final this year were part of the Test team as well. Brad Haddin, a pure ODI player till now, is set for a dual role in the wake of Adam Gilchrist's retirement.

The trend is probably related to Test cricket's heightened pace, which allows one-day batsmen to thrive at the Test level. Pitches have veered towards batsmen, run-rates have soared, and even those with susceptible techniques have found a way to dominate Test attacks.

Australia aren't alone. Daniel Vettori now captains New Zealand in both forms and the core of his side doesn't change much between the two. South Africa drafted in a few specialists for the one-dayers against Bangladesh, but come the big games, Graeme Smith still has to depend on AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Dale Steyn, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini and himself to do well in both forms.

Mahela Jayawardene and Shoaib Malik face similar predicaments, Chris Gayle doesn't have too many options rotation-wise, and Bangladesh's core remains the same for both formats. Michael Vaughan and Paul Collingwood split the captaincy in England, but there again the core doesn't change: Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Collingwood are integral members, while Alastair Cook and Ryan Sidebottom have cemented their spots as well. In fact, in the recent Hamilton Test, Sidebottom outdid England's Test specialists, Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard and Monty Panesar.

It's a curious situation. With Twenty20 spreading its wings, the time is ripe for rotation. Bits-and-pieces players have a chance to create a niche for themselves, while the more gritty, stodgy variety can concentrate on Tests. While there's a place for Michael Vandort and Ashwell Prince, there's also opportunity for Dimitri Mascarenhas and Dwayne Smith.

It's even more mystifying considering how serious a factor burnout is today. Since the start of 2007, Michael Clarke, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden (all regulars in Australia's Test line-up) have played 124 ODIs between them. In fact, seven of the top ten players who've played the most ODIs in this period have been integral members of their sides' Test teams as well.

India buck the trend
Which brings us to India. The three-month-long tour of Australia has taken its toll - four of their players could miss the Tests against South Africa - but the bench is currently in rude health. Not only do they have separate captains but, either by accident or design, each side has a totally different nucleus.

In the top seven, only Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni play both forms. The meat of the Test batting line-up includes Wasim Jaffer, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, and Rahul Dravid (apart from Tendulkar). Anil Kumble, the captain and spearhead, gets a good rest between Test series too.

 
 
With Twenty20 spreading its wings, the time is ripe for rotation. Bits-and-pieces players have a chance to create a niche for themselves, while the more gritty, stodgy variety can concentrate on Tests
 

India's CB Series win might have marked the end of three one-day careers (Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman) but it could also have extended their Test ambitions by a good year. The fact that Virender Sehwag isn't a permanent part of the ODI squad, or Yuvraj of the Test side, could be a blessing in disguise, allowing them more time to recoup.

There is a bit of overlap in the pace-bowling department but India are currently well placed to rotate even there. At full strength India's one-day options read: Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar. All except Praveen have shown they can step it up in Tests. The two Singhs, VRV and Pankaj, wait in the wings, while Pradeep Sangwan, the Under-19 World Cup-winning left-armer, and Sudeep Tyagi, a tall medium-pacer from Uttar Pradesh, have had impressive debut seasons. Amid such riches is L Balaji set to return.

India even have wicketkeeping bench-strength, unlike in the past. Dhoni, who has been on the road since May last year, will no doubt need a break at some point and Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel are stand-in options for him.

India now have about 25 players to choose from, a rare luxury. The team's schedule continues to be a hectic one - the Test series against South Africa is followed by the IPL, a tri-series in Bangladesh, the Asia Cup, and a tour of Sri Lanka. That both the Test and ODI sides have achieved some impressive successes lately should only prompt a more serious push towards a formalised rotation policy.

With the kind of money the IPL is dishing out, one could soon reach a dangerous situation where players are tempted to choose franchise over country. India, in particular, need to beware of such a situation, considering the gruelling schedules the players have to put up with. Since January last year, Dhoni has gone 11 Tests, 47 ODIs and a World Twenty20 Championship without a break. Few cricketers will have passed through so many airports without picking up a serious injury; now that he's still standing, it's time for a rest.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • howizzat on March 13, 2008, 9:29 GMT

    As the senior troika opted out of T20 by default our selectors chose a raw and fresh team for T20. As Dravid and Sachin were reluctant to lead the side again by default Kumble was brought in to lead. It was blessing in disguise. Imagine, if these defaults had not occured ..... Success of T20 should be credited to the combo of Lalchand Rajput and MS Dhoni who generated amazing team spirit. And the success laid the stepping stone for the revival. I am a great admirer of Kumble since his early days with K'tka and what a captain he turned out to be! He must have taken a leaf out of Dhoni's mantra in T20 and just followed to knit the team with that amazing team spirit. Overnight, from the ashes Vengsarkar became a hero, though he should be credited to the masterstrokes of selecting Rajput as coach and Kumble as captain though pressure was on to install Dhoni. The conbo continued to do well and Vengsarkar had no choice but listen and heed to Dhoni's demands.

  • Abhimanyu on March 12, 2008, 12:01 GMT

    FYI : BOWLERS are the ones that are wining the matches not the batsmen they were all struggling while bowlers were wining the matches for India and Australia. It is about time someone needs to give them the credit. If it was not for the bowlers India would not have won even one match in the past Tests and ODI's........

    As far as I see it ... Dhoni needs rest right now, I mean he should not be playing any tests with South Africa. He was already struggling in the past ODI's as you all saw, he was not even collecting the ball from the fielders insted other young players like Uthappa were doing his job. D. Karthik is the perfect man for the Indian team, since he can also open the batting unlike Dhoni. So he should be the one playing all the tests with S.A.

  • aarpee2 on March 12, 2008, 1:48 GMT

    India did this by default not by design as a result of not qualifying in the 2007 World Cup.If the World Cup had been a success the same team would aave been retained by and large for some more time.This initiative got enhanced by the Twenty 20 success given the fact BCCI is the only Board to have opposed a world Cup in the Twenty 20 format.Secondly Rahul.Sourav and Sachin opting out of the Twenty 20 also opened the gates Like all things in life Success brings with it Hype,Hijack and hypocrisy. However if one views it objectively Greg Chapeel is the real architect odf the change and of course vengsarkar and his co selectors too.

  • Ryanbrew on March 11, 2008, 21:33 GMT

    I do not know how much of Australia's problem is player exhaustion, but rather AGE catching up. The Australian side is getting old. Even when they mention "NEW" players they are all in their 30's. Shane Warne mentioned 2 spinners who could succeed him - MacGill if he recovers from Injury (in his late 30's) and some other guy that no one outside of Aus has heard of who is 36.

    Aus havent toured as much as other countries of late. The only notable tours they have been on in the last 3 years is England (Ashes 2005) and RSA. While all other countries have travelled extensively. RSA have been to India (and now again) in that time, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Aus, West Indies and WC, have hosted India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand(twice), West Indies. And this same senario is true of most other sides except for AUS and ENG - the 2 sides complaining the most!

    Aus also are "tired" because for the first time they lost the Mind GAmes to India - this put a big strain on them.

  • George_in_Israel on March 11, 2008, 13:21 GMT

    Players play far more test cricket than in previous years. Compare some of the figures of the players who played consecutive tests. Border's record of 153 consecutive tests took 15 years. Sobers on the other hand played in 85 consecutive tests, but over a period of 17 years. Compare two great West Indies batsman who both played 61 consecutive tests, Rohan Kanhai and Viv Richards. Kanhai's tests took 11 years and 9 months compared to 7 years and 7 months for Richards. Playing virtually all of their cricket at the highest level must take its toll. It's time that the governing bodies of world cricket did something about this. The top players no longer have the privilege of going able to down a level to "rest". There are more and more back-to-back test matches played. After the test series, there is then a ODI series. Enough is enough - stop chasing filthy lucre and bring some sanity back.

  • prashnottz on March 11, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    I think the Australian policy of blaming hectic international schedule (remember 2005 Bangla tour) is not new. The fact of the matter remains that Australia remains one of the LEAST TOURING teams in the last ten years, and this year, having started their schedule as late as September after almost 6 month break, they have toured just SA. while the Indians have been touring non stop from WC, WI, Ban, Ire, Eng, SA, Aus. And they've come off better in each of these tours, except the WC of course.

    L Balaji set to return? Wee!

  • MasterClass on March 11, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    I have a feeling that for the forseeable future the Indian team will have a better (i.e. winning) record overseas than at home. This may seem like an outrageous statement but hear me out. Overseas (except probably Sri Lanka & Pakistan) our deep bowing bench will find better conditions that will allow them to take 20 wickets on a regular basis, an absolute prerequisit for winning any test match. At home our dead pitches will negate the advantage India currently has over many other countries in it's deep bowling bench. Therefore I strongly believe ground curators & BCCI need to start making more bowler friendly pitched in India. If they do we will start seeing India winning more matches at home. This is my analysis. I wonder what others think?

  • MasterClass on March 11, 2008, 3:48 GMT

    To all the naysayers I say WAKE UP! Test & ODI cricker are completely different animals and they need different type of players. Or rather I should say they need different type of BATSMEN. Bowlers can be interchanged between the 2 formats without much difficulty as long as they are fit and good. Which is exactly why having 2 different teams has worked for India this time. IT'S BECAUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE BOWLING BENCH STRENGTH!! It's a fact that winning test matches is more dependent on good bowling. Look at Pakistan's record in the past when they had great bowling. It's much better than India, eventhough we had better batting. Another example is Australia. They have essentially the same strength in the batting but without McGrath and Warne they are an ordinary team because, barring Brett Lee, they have an extremly ordinary bowling line-up. And the same applies for ODIs as well!!

  • rightarmover on March 10, 2008, 23:41 GMT

    Im sitting on the fence of player workloads i dont think players PLAY more than players of yesteryear (look at the first class records of players 50 years ago) but i think they TRAVEL more which can shorten careers. Im all for player rotation as long as teams dont give caps to second rate players just because the top players are too knackered to play, its be an insult to players of the past who had to fight tooth and nail for a spot.

  • classyplayer on March 10, 2008, 19:41 GMT

    I think verinda sewag should play in both odi and test and i mean all games a not get drop , other than sachin he is the best batsman they have . He can come alive at anytime during an innings a lot of team are scared of him , so why drop him , also where did Ganguly failed he made runs in every innings so he should play and captain the team after beeings the most successfull captain in india . The young guys are not ready for the game . Canada is doing the same thing playing too many young guys they keep playing the same guys over and over again and they keep failing everytime , Dont people seeing this canada has a lot of good cricketers who is capable of competing against big teams but the selectors keep picking the wrong teams all the time . Stats dont mean anything in the domestic season , because there is alot of guys who perform over the season but dont get pick the selectors pick only who they like

  • howizzat on March 13, 2008, 9:29 GMT

    As the senior troika opted out of T20 by default our selectors chose a raw and fresh team for T20. As Dravid and Sachin were reluctant to lead the side again by default Kumble was brought in to lead. It was blessing in disguise. Imagine, if these defaults had not occured ..... Success of T20 should be credited to the combo of Lalchand Rajput and MS Dhoni who generated amazing team spirit. And the success laid the stepping stone for the revival. I am a great admirer of Kumble since his early days with K'tka and what a captain he turned out to be! He must have taken a leaf out of Dhoni's mantra in T20 and just followed to knit the team with that amazing team spirit. Overnight, from the ashes Vengsarkar became a hero, though he should be credited to the masterstrokes of selecting Rajput as coach and Kumble as captain though pressure was on to install Dhoni. The conbo continued to do well and Vengsarkar had no choice but listen and heed to Dhoni's demands.

  • Abhimanyu on March 12, 2008, 12:01 GMT

    FYI : BOWLERS are the ones that are wining the matches not the batsmen they were all struggling while bowlers were wining the matches for India and Australia. It is about time someone needs to give them the credit. If it was not for the bowlers India would not have won even one match in the past Tests and ODI's........

    As far as I see it ... Dhoni needs rest right now, I mean he should not be playing any tests with South Africa. He was already struggling in the past ODI's as you all saw, he was not even collecting the ball from the fielders insted other young players like Uthappa were doing his job. D. Karthik is the perfect man for the Indian team, since he can also open the batting unlike Dhoni. So he should be the one playing all the tests with S.A.

  • aarpee2 on March 12, 2008, 1:48 GMT

    India did this by default not by design as a result of not qualifying in the 2007 World Cup.If the World Cup had been a success the same team would aave been retained by and large for some more time.This initiative got enhanced by the Twenty 20 success given the fact BCCI is the only Board to have opposed a world Cup in the Twenty 20 format.Secondly Rahul.Sourav and Sachin opting out of the Twenty 20 also opened the gates Like all things in life Success brings with it Hype,Hijack and hypocrisy. However if one views it objectively Greg Chapeel is the real architect odf the change and of course vengsarkar and his co selectors too.

  • Ryanbrew on March 11, 2008, 21:33 GMT

    I do not know how much of Australia's problem is player exhaustion, but rather AGE catching up. The Australian side is getting old. Even when they mention "NEW" players they are all in their 30's. Shane Warne mentioned 2 spinners who could succeed him - MacGill if he recovers from Injury (in his late 30's) and some other guy that no one outside of Aus has heard of who is 36.

    Aus havent toured as much as other countries of late. The only notable tours they have been on in the last 3 years is England (Ashes 2005) and RSA. While all other countries have travelled extensively. RSA have been to India (and now again) in that time, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Aus, West Indies and WC, have hosted India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand(twice), West Indies. And this same senario is true of most other sides except for AUS and ENG - the 2 sides complaining the most!

    Aus also are "tired" because for the first time they lost the Mind GAmes to India - this put a big strain on them.

  • George_in_Israel on March 11, 2008, 13:21 GMT

    Players play far more test cricket than in previous years. Compare some of the figures of the players who played consecutive tests. Border's record of 153 consecutive tests took 15 years. Sobers on the other hand played in 85 consecutive tests, but over a period of 17 years. Compare two great West Indies batsman who both played 61 consecutive tests, Rohan Kanhai and Viv Richards. Kanhai's tests took 11 years and 9 months compared to 7 years and 7 months for Richards. Playing virtually all of their cricket at the highest level must take its toll. It's time that the governing bodies of world cricket did something about this. The top players no longer have the privilege of going able to down a level to "rest". There are more and more back-to-back test matches played. After the test series, there is then a ODI series. Enough is enough - stop chasing filthy lucre and bring some sanity back.

  • prashnottz on March 11, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    I think the Australian policy of blaming hectic international schedule (remember 2005 Bangla tour) is not new. The fact of the matter remains that Australia remains one of the LEAST TOURING teams in the last ten years, and this year, having started their schedule as late as September after almost 6 month break, they have toured just SA. while the Indians have been touring non stop from WC, WI, Ban, Ire, Eng, SA, Aus. And they've come off better in each of these tours, except the WC of course.

    L Balaji set to return? Wee!

  • MasterClass on March 11, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    I have a feeling that for the forseeable future the Indian team will have a better (i.e. winning) record overseas than at home. This may seem like an outrageous statement but hear me out. Overseas (except probably Sri Lanka & Pakistan) our deep bowing bench will find better conditions that will allow them to take 20 wickets on a regular basis, an absolute prerequisit for winning any test match. At home our dead pitches will negate the advantage India currently has over many other countries in it's deep bowling bench. Therefore I strongly believe ground curators & BCCI need to start making more bowler friendly pitched in India. If they do we will start seeing India winning more matches at home. This is my analysis. I wonder what others think?

  • MasterClass on March 11, 2008, 3:48 GMT

    To all the naysayers I say WAKE UP! Test & ODI cricker are completely different animals and they need different type of players. Or rather I should say they need different type of BATSMEN. Bowlers can be interchanged between the 2 formats without much difficulty as long as they are fit and good. Which is exactly why having 2 different teams has worked for India this time. IT'S BECAUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE BOWLING BENCH STRENGTH!! It's a fact that winning test matches is more dependent on good bowling. Look at Pakistan's record in the past when they had great bowling. It's much better than India, eventhough we had better batting. Another example is Australia. They have essentially the same strength in the batting but without McGrath and Warne they are an ordinary team because, barring Brett Lee, they have an extremly ordinary bowling line-up. And the same applies for ODIs as well!!

  • rightarmover on March 10, 2008, 23:41 GMT

    Im sitting on the fence of player workloads i dont think players PLAY more than players of yesteryear (look at the first class records of players 50 years ago) but i think they TRAVEL more which can shorten careers. Im all for player rotation as long as teams dont give caps to second rate players just because the top players are too knackered to play, its be an insult to players of the past who had to fight tooth and nail for a spot.

  • classyplayer on March 10, 2008, 19:41 GMT

    I think verinda sewag should play in both odi and test and i mean all games a not get drop , other than sachin he is the best batsman they have . He can come alive at anytime during an innings a lot of team are scared of him , so why drop him , also where did Ganguly failed he made runs in every innings so he should play and captain the team after beeings the most successfull captain in india . The young guys are not ready for the game . Canada is doing the same thing playing too many young guys they keep playing the same guys over and over again and they keep failing everytime , Dont people seeing this canada has a lot of good cricketers who is capable of competing against big teams but the selectors keep picking the wrong teams all the time . Stats dont mean anything in the domestic season , because there is alot of guys who perform over the season but dont get pick the selectors pick only who they like

  • Gundus11 on March 10, 2008, 17:48 GMT

    To Subash_M- Stop Tendulkar bashing at the slightest of opportunity- period. The article was about rotation policy and not to analyze any player's performance. But even if you do analyze the performance, who scored in the CB finals- Tendulkar. Previously, there was a problem with him not performing in the crunch games, now that he is doing fine in the crunch games maybe he has achieved everything and so Subash feels he must walk away- WOW!!! Noone is saying he has or he will never underperform. When he does, analyze what he is doing wrong and support the selectors if they drop him for underperforming. But, don't try to advise anyone on retiring. A player will retire when he thinks he has to retire. The job of the public, commentators, ex-cricketers and selectors is just to make sure you have the best eleven in the team. Instead of doing that how come everyone want to take decision on Sachin's behalf?

  • DineshIyer on March 10, 2008, 17:45 GMT

    I think you are wrong when you are saying that Indians are employing a rotation policy in their selection. The test players such as Dravid, Laxman, Kumble can no longer find a place in the ODI XI because of their style of game, age and form. On the flipside, the youngsters such as Rohit, Uthappa cannot find a place in the test side because quite frankly they are not yet in the same class as Dravid, Laxman and Kumble. Its not deliberate that two different teams are picked! I just hope that Sharma, Gambhir, Uthappa can be made a part of the test side sooner rather than later.

  • rjagadam on March 10, 2008, 17:13 GMT

    To suggest Australia lost the CB series because of non cricketing reasons or because of too many matches is unfair to the Indian Team that put in a splendid performance. Australia lost fair and square to an Indian team that outdid them in every department. To keep the likes of Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symmonds quite or below par for such a long time is no joke. Australia played without a break for a long time before too and they were still successful. This time, whenever they tried to revive their batting, Dhoni and his team did not give up. Infact, he kept the pressure on them all the way. Dhoni always made sure he has a surprise or two for Australia. Nobody can tell how successfull this Indian Team will be in the future. But In my opinion, Indian team, management and selectors are going in the right direction. I wish this team lots of success in the future.

  • Grudge.Kid on March 10, 2008, 16:46 GMT

    True, this policy has worked for us in the last two - three tournaments, starting the world T20 championships. But India(especially with the fast bowlers) needs this because, Indian quicks tend to break easily. We are lucky that we have people waiting as powerful as people playing. This doesn't happen a lot for India. Also, we did have good bench strength during late 90s as well, but the selectors were too scared to rotate people like Sachin, Sourav, Rahul and so on. We had Laxman waiting to take Rahul's place and we had some good players who never got a shot. I think Dhoni is doing a fantastic job by being brave enough to demand the team he needs. But I wish he would take a small break in the near future.

  • Sarda on March 10, 2008, 16:43 GMT

    Rotation or no rotation, at the end of the day your objective is to enjoy the game, give enjoyment to your supporters and win. I suppose India plays most number of international matches and because cricket is so lucrative more & more people are more opting for cricket as career which strengthens your bench. Based on opposition and keeping in mind need to give enough break to players, you need to select the best team which may mean giving rest to Dhoni & Tendular even at the cost losing some matches, otherwise they will wear out soon. In addition to making money, IPL should aim at developing some new Indian talent. Also ICL should be given ligitimacy so that there is more opportunity for Indian new talents. However matches for the country should always be the first priority. If you do not have heros based on their success for the country neither IPL nor ICL nor cricket will gain.

  • rjagadam on March 10, 2008, 16:39 GMT

    I read some comments about India's success in the CB series. The reasons for India's success were 1. Great bowling and the and the bench strength especially in the bowling department. 2. Very good fielding by the young side. 3. Excellent planning and execution by Dhoni and the team. This was the best time to experiment the rotation policy. Because everybody had time learn from their mistakes. India challenged Australia in every match. They could easily have won two more matches (against Australia) in the league stages. Rotation is good for a number of different reasons as long as there is good bench strength. Bench stength does not seem to be a problem for India atleast for now. This was one of the few tournaments where India played well throught out. There is no comparison between this victory and that of England's last year. England did not put pressure on Australia in any of the league matches.

    I will continue with another post.

  • mohsintam on March 10, 2008, 15:36 GMT

    a disguise that top teams have that they always think of maintaining their top status.in this thinking they get scared of trying new players and use their champion players again and again.in last few years many might have noticed that australia have tried new players in very small no. in last one year australia have lost warne,mcgrath,gilchrist who weared shoes of 40 size in the team and are difficult to replace or irrreplaceable.this has increased the workload on champion players left behind resulting in their exhaustion.india's selection commitee should be given the credit because they dared to take some tough decisions.if their decisions would have gone wrong their job might have comed in danger.australia must start trying new players and rotating their players,keep aside their top status and think of long term future.

  • Nampally on March 10, 2008, 13:54 GMT

    India has a pool of talented cricketers which no other country has. Hence it was possible to rotate the teams for ODI's and the tests. In addition India is also the world under 19 champions this year. On the other hand Australia under 19 was no where to be seen, which is total lack of planning on part of the current world champions. India has to select a right mix of youth and experience from a very large pool of talent. This is the reason why India will dominate the world cricket scene for the next decade. India has excellent batting in youthful R.Sharma, Ghambir,Uttappa, Karthik, Raina & Tiwari backed up with the experience of Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Sehwag. In Test matches Dravid, Gangully and Laxman provide further strength. In fast bowling India has Ishant, RP, Kumar backed up by Zahir and Munaf. Chawla and Harbhajan provide the spin. With this talent India will be a world cricket leader. Can Australia or for that matter any other world team match this talented pool?

  • AsherCA on March 10, 2008, 13:45 GMT

    Rotation is a very good idea provided you have quality bench strength. We saw it with Australia a few years ago, where Hussey came in for Bevan, Ponting / Hayden for the Waugh's, Lee for McGrath etc.

    India seems to be fortunate there as of today. We should definitely take advantage of our strengths.

  • bad_boy on March 10, 2008, 11:59 GMT

    Rotation policy will only work for countries with vast number of players to choose from, since a team needs to have a good balance of youth and experience I think india can field 2 full strength sides. Teams like pakistan and srilanka on the other hand has good number of young player however they have only few experienced players to make the rotation policy work for them. Australia on the other hand will have to rethink how they are going to rebuild their current team. To lose 5 players with so many odi and tests under their belt will need the aussie think-tanks to work overtime to ensure they remain the best team in the world(I think they still are the best team). Bangladesh, New-zealand & west-indies does not have the luxury of players to enforce rotational policy & england needs their players to perform first at both forms of the game. Rotational policy just indicates your bench strength nothing less nothing more and I belive rotational policy is the perfect for india at present.

  • davedave on March 10, 2008, 11:39 GMT

    Youngsters played tremendous game particulary the young bowlers but I think it was Sachin who made the difference think if he did't scored the 100 and 90's there was no chance for India to win both the finals. So for atleast 1year either Ganguly or Dravid must be in the squad for the one day games.

  • TheGreatHypnotist on March 10, 2008, 11:34 GMT

    I hope what India did in Australia would not be a One-Hit-Wonder. You have to appreciate what they did in CB series, but you must think following factors as well. 1. Sri Lanka had their poorest series after the Last tour of India. ( this is their worst performance in batting department since 1999 world cup) 2. Australia's batting was so poor compared to past. 3. If you take Sachin & Praveen out of the equation from the finals then rest is pretty ordinary.

    So India have to show what they did in CB series was not just a One-Hit-Wonder but a starting point of an illustrious future. To achieve that India must show the same quality and capability against South Africa & Sri Lanka.

  • schak82 on March 10, 2008, 11:10 GMT

    To say India's rotation policy is an accident is, in my belief, a complete falsehood. What we have is a test squad that ages faster than it plays and thus a lot of games where they will not play, leaving a lot of space for youngsters. Those youngsters need time to grow and so you throw them into ODIs. India plays the most ODIs of any team, so the players get a ton of experience and practice against a lot of the guys they will face on the test match field. It doesn't hurt that Dhoni is a great strategist and a courageous fellow. If anything, the BCCI can use rotation to keep players on their toes as they have done for many a decade. Most recently Ganguly is by far the best example of standard operating procedure at work.

  • kims on March 10, 2008, 10:25 GMT

    talking of rotatation policy is absolutely non sense. havent we seen captains talk about rotation policy only when their team wins. infact in this article itself its said steve waugh was in for rotation policy in VB SERIES 2002.when they were losing terribly in league stage they started playing their best xi in the later stages.. so let the captains and the media stop talking about the SO CALLED ROTATION POLICY

  • debasish_bhattacharjee on March 10, 2008, 9:53 GMT

    I reckon the rotation policy has worked well for India purely by accident rather than by design. What has worked for India in comparison to a team like Sri Lanka for instance, is that the youngsters who have been chosen for the ODIs have put their hands up and delivered... this is a luxury which has still not been available to other teams. West Indian cricket seems to start and end with Gayle and Chanderpaul now. Sri Lanka is yet to find successors to a generation of swashbuckling middle order batsmen. One gets the sneaking feeling that even Australia is likely to struggle if one were to take Hayden and Ponting out of the equation. It might be a bit too early to conclude if rotation has actually worked for the Indians though ... the batting still appears to be short on pedigree and it might only require a couple of weak performances for critics to clamor for the inclusion of the Dravids and the Gangulys in the shorter version of the game.

  • Subhash_M on March 10, 2008, 9:50 GMT

    Sachin should retire from ODIs and try to elongate his test career. Sachin who is considered second only to the Don hasn't produced many great test innings as some of his contemparories like Lara or even Dravid.

  • ExCon on March 10, 2008, 8:05 GMT

    What you've probably missed out saying is that a rotation policy brings about greater bench strength which in turn makes rotation easier. Sticking the youngsters against Aus and SL was a masterstroke. Regardless of the result, the young guns would have learnt a lot playing against arguably the best two teams in the world. That they won the thing is a testament to their responsiveness, but just the fact that they got out there, without the big stalwarts to get them out when in trouble, means that they had a successful bapstism by fire. At the same time teams like Aus have rotated, but irregularly. Katich, Hodge come to mind, shuttling in and out without ever feeling responsible or integral. Such rotation isn't really rotation - it is stop gap. Stop gaps don't feel like the real thing. The bench gets rooted to the bench. Rotation fails, the core keeps playing every game and some years down the line you to the under 17s for you next world-beating legspinner.

  • Katri on March 10, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    The luxury of having such a good bench strength can be a double-edged sword. While it allows the existence of separate one-day and test teams, it could lead to players concealing injuries due to fear of losing their place in the side. The sternest test physically will come in the Srilanka series, where the sapping heat can break opposition team, like it happened with England. One poor series will put the pressure back on the Indian team which will only add to any existing mental insecurity. Its upto the players and selectors to figure out a solution because frankly, the BCCI is run by a coterie of businessman who have no inkling of managing professional sport.

  • vaidy on March 10, 2008, 5:27 GMT

    Is the BCCI professionally managed enough to consider things such as a 'break', 'rest' etc? or does it run its cricket on the strength of paranoia it can generate in the players?

  • Rohan.Dhanerwal on March 10, 2008, 5:12 GMT

    I'm totally agreed with the post and according to the post India are on the top. Dhoni, and Sachin must take a rest during ongoing series against Bangladesh. I personally think now Sachin must think about his career. He must reduce his no of matches. He can take rest against comparably weak opposition i.e. Bangladesh, Kenya or so. If he does so, he can extend his career about two or three years easily.

    The second thing I want to discuss with my friends here is about IPL and ICL. Most of the players who are playing for them have taken retirements (who are above 34-35) because they thought they have left no cricket in them to give to their country. So now how can they play here when they thing so? Mumbai team has bought Jaisurya on a big amount around three and half crore, even when he's around 38. There are many players like him will play in 20-20...while it's said that 20-20 is power game. Have they that much power in them?

  • Sri-Lankan_Lion on March 10, 2008, 5:03 GMT

    I think you are absolutely right. The rotation policy works really well for India and I agree that Dhoni, an impressive player, needs some rest. But with the other teams needing a rotation policy, I don't completely agree with. Just because it works well for India doesn't necessarily mean it will work for other teams. Offcourse the players need some form of rest but changing the whole teams or most of players for two forms of the game will only end up in chaos. With Australia, I think they lost the series because they were with some other things in their mind, not because they were tired. They have played back to back test and one dayers before with great success, therefore we cannot come to a conclusion that they are tired.

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  • Sri-Lankan_Lion on March 10, 2008, 5:03 GMT

    I think you are absolutely right. The rotation policy works really well for India and I agree that Dhoni, an impressive player, needs some rest. But with the other teams needing a rotation policy, I don't completely agree with. Just because it works well for India doesn't necessarily mean it will work for other teams. Offcourse the players need some form of rest but changing the whole teams or most of players for two forms of the game will only end up in chaos. With Australia, I think they lost the series because they were with some other things in their mind, not because they were tired. They have played back to back test and one dayers before with great success, therefore we cannot come to a conclusion that they are tired.

  • Rohan.Dhanerwal on March 10, 2008, 5:12 GMT

    I'm totally agreed with the post and according to the post India are on the top. Dhoni, and Sachin must take a rest during ongoing series against Bangladesh. I personally think now Sachin must think about his career. He must reduce his no of matches. He can take rest against comparably weak opposition i.e. Bangladesh, Kenya or so. If he does so, he can extend his career about two or three years easily.

    The second thing I want to discuss with my friends here is about IPL and ICL. Most of the players who are playing for them have taken retirements (who are above 34-35) because they thought they have left no cricket in them to give to their country. So now how can they play here when they thing so? Mumbai team has bought Jaisurya on a big amount around three and half crore, even when he's around 38. There are many players like him will play in 20-20...while it's said that 20-20 is power game. Have they that much power in them?

  • vaidy on March 10, 2008, 5:27 GMT

    Is the BCCI professionally managed enough to consider things such as a 'break', 'rest' etc? or does it run its cricket on the strength of paranoia it can generate in the players?

  • Katri on March 10, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    The luxury of having such a good bench strength can be a double-edged sword. While it allows the existence of separate one-day and test teams, it could lead to players concealing injuries due to fear of losing their place in the side. The sternest test physically will come in the Srilanka series, where the sapping heat can break opposition team, like it happened with England. One poor series will put the pressure back on the Indian team which will only add to any existing mental insecurity. Its upto the players and selectors to figure out a solution because frankly, the BCCI is run by a coterie of businessman who have no inkling of managing professional sport.

  • ExCon on March 10, 2008, 8:05 GMT

    What you've probably missed out saying is that a rotation policy brings about greater bench strength which in turn makes rotation easier. Sticking the youngsters against Aus and SL was a masterstroke. Regardless of the result, the young guns would have learnt a lot playing against arguably the best two teams in the world. That they won the thing is a testament to their responsiveness, but just the fact that they got out there, without the big stalwarts to get them out when in trouble, means that they had a successful bapstism by fire. At the same time teams like Aus have rotated, but irregularly. Katich, Hodge come to mind, shuttling in and out without ever feeling responsible or integral. Such rotation isn't really rotation - it is stop gap. Stop gaps don't feel like the real thing. The bench gets rooted to the bench. Rotation fails, the core keeps playing every game and some years down the line you to the under 17s for you next world-beating legspinner.

  • Subhash_M on March 10, 2008, 9:50 GMT

    Sachin should retire from ODIs and try to elongate his test career. Sachin who is considered second only to the Don hasn't produced many great test innings as some of his contemparories like Lara or even Dravid.

  • debasish_bhattacharjee on March 10, 2008, 9:53 GMT

    I reckon the rotation policy has worked well for India purely by accident rather than by design. What has worked for India in comparison to a team like Sri Lanka for instance, is that the youngsters who have been chosen for the ODIs have put their hands up and delivered... this is a luxury which has still not been available to other teams. West Indian cricket seems to start and end with Gayle and Chanderpaul now. Sri Lanka is yet to find successors to a generation of swashbuckling middle order batsmen. One gets the sneaking feeling that even Australia is likely to struggle if one were to take Hayden and Ponting out of the equation. It might be a bit too early to conclude if rotation has actually worked for the Indians though ... the batting still appears to be short on pedigree and it might only require a couple of weak performances for critics to clamor for the inclusion of the Dravids and the Gangulys in the shorter version of the game.

  • kims on March 10, 2008, 10:25 GMT

    talking of rotatation policy is absolutely non sense. havent we seen captains talk about rotation policy only when their team wins. infact in this article itself its said steve waugh was in for rotation policy in VB SERIES 2002.when they were losing terribly in league stage they started playing their best xi in the later stages.. so let the captains and the media stop talking about the SO CALLED ROTATION POLICY

  • schak82 on March 10, 2008, 11:10 GMT

    To say India's rotation policy is an accident is, in my belief, a complete falsehood. What we have is a test squad that ages faster than it plays and thus a lot of games where they will not play, leaving a lot of space for youngsters. Those youngsters need time to grow and so you throw them into ODIs. India plays the most ODIs of any team, so the players get a ton of experience and practice against a lot of the guys they will face on the test match field. It doesn't hurt that Dhoni is a great strategist and a courageous fellow. If anything, the BCCI can use rotation to keep players on their toes as they have done for many a decade. Most recently Ganguly is by far the best example of standard operating procedure at work.

  • TheGreatHypnotist on March 10, 2008, 11:34 GMT

    I hope what India did in Australia would not be a One-Hit-Wonder. You have to appreciate what they did in CB series, but you must think following factors as well. 1. Sri Lanka had their poorest series after the Last tour of India. ( this is their worst performance in batting department since 1999 world cup) 2. Australia's batting was so poor compared to past. 3. If you take Sachin & Praveen out of the equation from the finals then rest is pretty ordinary.

    So India have to show what they did in CB series was not just a One-Hit-Wonder but a starting point of an illustrious future. To achieve that India must show the same quality and capability against South Africa & Sri Lanka.