July 31, 2011

How have India remained No. 1 this long?

The credit goes to MS Dhoni, who has shrewdly managed with a thin attack, but leaving England with their top billing intact is the team's biggest challenge
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The surprise is not that India could lose their No. 1 Test ranking but rather how they managed to retain it so long.

At the time when India reached the No. 1 spot they didn't have the look of a long-term resident. Unlike the two previous teams that held the top ranking for lengthy periods, India do not have a strong bowling attack. West Indies and Australia not only had four top-class bowlers in their sides, but also a couple of replacements who would have been frontline bowlers in most other Test teams.

India have mostly only fielded three good Test bowlers. Zaheer Khan is undoubtedly the leader of the attack, and Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh have provided occasional glimpses of class, but both are inconsistent. Sreesanth, as he was at Trent Bridge, can be both devastating and disappointing on the same day.

Despite an exceptionally strong batting line-up, India, because their attack has never been dominant, have always given the appearance of being a squatter rather than an owner.

So how have India survived so long at No. 1? The attacking threat of Virender Sehwag has helped enormously. However, a large chunk of India's success can be put down to the shrewd manoeuvring of the captain MS Dhoni.

Dhoni has managed to get the best out of his bowlers. When Zaheer has been out with injury, Dhoni has still found a way to mix and match well enough to beat the opposition. It has helped that Zaheer was available for the toughest challenges against Australia and South Africa. So it's no surprise that with him missing from most of the action at Lord's, India struggled against a strong England side.

Lord's provided India with a double-whammy because Sehwag was also missing. The fact that Dhoni inserted the opposition at Lord's is an indication of how much Sehwag means to India. It was also probably the first sign that even the strong-minded Dhoni was starting to doubt India's bowling. He must have felt that India's underdone attack, especially Zaheer, who was returning from injury, would need all the help they could get, and consequently bowled first under cloudy skies.

Any doubts a captain might have, no matter how hard he tries to disguise them, will show up somewhere in his actions. His own team will most likely suspect he has doubts, and the opposition, if they're any good, will be sure of it.

Dhoni is nothing if not a fighter but the odds are mounting. In the field, his ageing side has bigger cracks than a slip zone; his own keeping has regressed enormously and his bowlers are susceptible to attack

England were quickly aware of Dhoni's doubts. After proceeding cautiously, they pounced when the time was right. A hungry cheetah couldn't have done a better job of plotting and executing the kill.

In keeping India at the top for so long, Dhoni has well and truly fulfilled the most important role of a captain. He has made his team better and got the best out of the players.

However, with Zaheer injured, Sehwag missing, Harbhajan waning and an ageing fielding side gifting runs, Dhoni is currently like the boy at the dyke; every time he plugs a leak another appears.

He managed to plug another hole by giving his bowlers first opportunity on a favourable surface at Trent Bridge. However, the doubts crept in near the end of England's innings, and once again India are fighting to cling to their No. 1 ranking.

Dhoni is nothing if not a fighter but the odds are mounting. In the field, his ageing side has bigger cracks than a slip zone; his own keeping has regressed enormously and his bowlers are susceptible to attack.

England are aware of the bowlers' weaknesses, and will take every opportunity to exploit it. If Dhoni can keep this series level until the cavalry arrives, i.e. Sehwag and Zaheer, he will have performed a captaincy miracle.

To date Dhoni's greatest achievement as Indian captain has been to guide the team to a magnificent World Cup victory. If his team is still at the top of the Test rankings after this series with England, he will have surpassed that monumental achievement.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 3, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    We should negotiate for Steve Waugh as coach

  • on August 3, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    great article and analisis by the best cricket commentator.his comments about india;s no 1 position is absolutely true.those who understand cricket can cleraly makeout that england are going to rule and dominate world cricket.they have great batsmen,great fast bowlers,good allrounders and and the best spinner with strong bench strength.also even before the series started chappel predicted that indian batting will struggle in the absence of shewag.

  • UNKOWN.USERNAME on August 3, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    It's a bit disturbing. 4 years ago, yuvi smacked broad 6 sixes and now the roles have reversed. Yuvi,Dhoni and Raina have averages around 40 in first-class. They are only good for IPL and ODI at home. Players like Rahane and rohit sharma are close to 60. I havent been impressed by Duncan Fletcher as he is too relaxed, he doesnt take practice matches and fitness as seriously as Andy Flower. I want to see Shikar Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ashwin, Iqbal abdulla, Rahul Sharma, Umesh yadav and dhawal Kulkarni introduced. Time for change and now.

  • GJmelb on August 3, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    Our bowlers run out of steam after bowling 10 overs. We need to find men with height, broad bone structure & good muscle ratio & train them on how to ball seam, short & fast on pitches like Mohali. We need quick seam bowlers as we've never had trouble finding quality swing or spin bowlers. For an bowling induction candidate, a batting average of 30 and strike rate of 70 should be the minimum criteria, try and find people who have that sought of calibre with bat & good fielding skills, then train them to hone their bowling skills. For induction of batter's, an average of 45 & strike of 70 in test & avg of 40 & strike rate of 85 in one dayers should be the minimum criteria for selection. Inducties should be made to play county cricket least for a season, even if its at BCCI's expense.

  • GJmelb on August 3, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Mr. Dravid, no doubt he's the biggest chipku (sticker) of all time, but his lack of balls i.e. the ability to demoralize the opposition like Sachin & Sehwag can plus his age (evident from droped catches in slips) makes him unworthy of his place. I criticized RD for being slow. Look at the impact that the Innings of Bell & Prior had on the match, they could have scored super slow hundreds like Dravid but that would have only resulted in a draw or loss for England. When the pitch has devils in it you should always try to score at good pace as you never know when a beauty gonna get you out. England's aggression with the bat & ball has won them both the matches. In both tests apart from Sachin I didn't see anyone trying to or had the class to dominate the bowling. Now Sehwag does have these instincts but with the ball doing so much he might be as ineffective as Yuvi. Yuvi & Raina could've altered their stance like KP does to upset the bowler's line n length.

  • sjitendran on August 3, 2011, 2:58 GMT

    When Ian wrote this article most of India's one eyed fans jumped on him. I wonder what they are going to say now. Only bowlers win matches set up by batsmen. But in both tests it was failure of all departments including fielding is the problem. Unless we groom bowlers who can take wickets No 1 status will be gone. It is not the loss that hurts, but the total humiliation is ridiculous. BCCI has to take responsibility for this fiasco. Wrong selection, wrong preparation and IPL are the reasons for this inept show by Team India.

  • davdope on August 2, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    zico123, I completely disagree with you. So far in this series India have been outplayed and have lost both games by huge margins. If India were at full strength, they would probably have been more competitive but would have still lost in my opinion. The reasons for defeat in both games runs far deeper than the fact that a couple of players were absent. Injuries are part of the game and as Greg said, great teams have squads of depth that can cope with such things. For instance if you look at the current England bowling attack of Broad, Bresnan, Anderson and Swann if hypothetically they all got injured for the next game their replacements of Tremlett, Finn, Onions etc and Panesar would in my opinion still be capable of taking 20 Indian wickets.

  • tigers_eye on August 2, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    @Irfancrazy: With 3 frontline bowlers you can't get 20 wickets for sure. And the only two fasts would need paramedics on the field before the end of the match. Cut Cook bring in Shewag. Send Bell home and retain Vettori/Shakib. Finally I would take Dravid for Trott and Asif/Ameer/M Morkle for Swann.

  • sameer997 on August 2, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    India in India is as strong as steel, overseas their strugle continues unfortuanately.But I hope and pray that india will atleast win one of the two matches to come.

  • Bollo on August 2, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    @Arvi02. Warne aside, numerous Australian bowlers were successful in India - McGrath and Gillespie for instance took 33 wickets each there at an average of 21. Australia of course did beat India in India in 2004, and everyone home and away. Apart from that they whitewashed everyone at home at some stage, and even more impressively, teams like Sri Lanka and South africa 3-0 away.

    As for India maintaining their position as No.1 for the next 5 years, I`m not sure on what basis you can make this claim.

  • on August 3, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    We should negotiate for Steve Waugh as coach

  • on August 3, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    great article and analisis by the best cricket commentator.his comments about india;s no 1 position is absolutely true.those who understand cricket can cleraly makeout that england are going to rule and dominate world cricket.they have great batsmen,great fast bowlers,good allrounders and and the best spinner with strong bench strength.also even before the series started chappel predicted that indian batting will struggle in the absence of shewag.

  • UNKOWN.USERNAME on August 3, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    It's a bit disturbing. 4 years ago, yuvi smacked broad 6 sixes and now the roles have reversed. Yuvi,Dhoni and Raina have averages around 40 in first-class. They are only good for IPL and ODI at home. Players like Rahane and rohit sharma are close to 60. I havent been impressed by Duncan Fletcher as he is too relaxed, he doesnt take practice matches and fitness as seriously as Andy Flower. I want to see Shikar Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ashwin, Iqbal abdulla, Rahul Sharma, Umesh yadav and dhawal Kulkarni introduced. Time for change and now.

  • GJmelb on August 3, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    Our bowlers run out of steam after bowling 10 overs. We need to find men with height, broad bone structure & good muscle ratio & train them on how to ball seam, short & fast on pitches like Mohali. We need quick seam bowlers as we've never had trouble finding quality swing or spin bowlers. For an bowling induction candidate, a batting average of 30 and strike rate of 70 should be the minimum criteria, try and find people who have that sought of calibre with bat & good fielding skills, then train them to hone their bowling skills. For induction of batter's, an average of 45 & strike of 70 in test & avg of 40 & strike rate of 85 in one dayers should be the minimum criteria for selection. Inducties should be made to play county cricket least for a season, even if its at BCCI's expense.

  • GJmelb on August 3, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Mr. Dravid, no doubt he's the biggest chipku (sticker) of all time, but his lack of balls i.e. the ability to demoralize the opposition like Sachin & Sehwag can plus his age (evident from droped catches in slips) makes him unworthy of his place. I criticized RD for being slow. Look at the impact that the Innings of Bell & Prior had on the match, they could have scored super slow hundreds like Dravid but that would have only resulted in a draw or loss for England. When the pitch has devils in it you should always try to score at good pace as you never know when a beauty gonna get you out. England's aggression with the bat & ball has won them both the matches. In both tests apart from Sachin I didn't see anyone trying to or had the class to dominate the bowling. Now Sehwag does have these instincts but with the ball doing so much he might be as ineffective as Yuvi. Yuvi & Raina could've altered their stance like KP does to upset the bowler's line n length.

  • sjitendran on August 3, 2011, 2:58 GMT

    When Ian wrote this article most of India's one eyed fans jumped on him. I wonder what they are going to say now. Only bowlers win matches set up by batsmen. But in both tests it was failure of all departments including fielding is the problem. Unless we groom bowlers who can take wickets No 1 status will be gone. It is not the loss that hurts, but the total humiliation is ridiculous. BCCI has to take responsibility for this fiasco. Wrong selection, wrong preparation and IPL are the reasons for this inept show by Team India.

  • davdope on August 2, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    zico123, I completely disagree with you. So far in this series India have been outplayed and have lost both games by huge margins. If India were at full strength, they would probably have been more competitive but would have still lost in my opinion. The reasons for defeat in both games runs far deeper than the fact that a couple of players were absent. Injuries are part of the game and as Greg said, great teams have squads of depth that can cope with such things. For instance if you look at the current England bowling attack of Broad, Bresnan, Anderson and Swann if hypothetically they all got injured for the next game their replacements of Tremlett, Finn, Onions etc and Panesar would in my opinion still be capable of taking 20 Indian wickets.

  • tigers_eye on August 2, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    @Irfancrazy: With 3 frontline bowlers you can't get 20 wickets for sure. And the only two fasts would need paramedics on the field before the end of the match. Cut Cook bring in Shewag. Send Bell home and retain Vettori/Shakib. Finally I would take Dravid for Trott and Asif/Ameer/M Morkle for Swann.

  • sameer997 on August 2, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    India in India is as strong as steel, overseas their strugle continues unfortuanately.But I hope and pray that india will atleast win one of the two matches to come.

  • Bollo on August 2, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    @Arvi02. Warne aside, numerous Australian bowlers were successful in India - McGrath and Gillespie for instance took 33 wickets each there at an average of 21. Australia of course did beat India in India in 2004, and everyone home and away. Apart from that they whitewashed everyone at home at some stage, and even more impressively, teams like Sri Lanka and South africa 3-0 away.

    As for India maintaining their position as No.1 for the next 5 years, I`m not sure on what basis you can make this claim.

  • Bollo on August 2, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Just a couple of comments. Firstly, it seems that some people here simply haven`t taken the time to read the article at all, or completely misunderstood the content.

    Secondly, India have been No.1 in the test rankings for about 18 months, not the 2-3 years some people are claiming. South Africa actually took over the No.1 spot from the Aussies in June/July 2009 until the end of the year. There was no clear handover as there was from the Windies to Aus in 1995, although if SAf had been able to defeat Aus at home in 2008/09 it would have been very clear. For those India fans claiming that England won`t be a true No.1 until they`ve beaten India in Inda, I can only say that India managed to rise to number 1 despite being unable to beat the No.1/2 side, South Africa, either home/away either. They assumed the position by being more consistent, particularly in being able to draw series away against SL and SAf and home against SAf.

  • grizzle on August 2, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    Hah, zico123, don't kid yourself! A No. 1 team should have enough reserves to manage without contributions from a couple of their players. At Trent Bridge, England's top order collapsed, but Broad and Swann fought to take England to a fighting total. In their second innings, they essentially played without Trott and put up a mammoth total. Moreover, during both of India's innings, they virtually bowled with 3 bowlers (Swann was either out of form or not getting assistance from the pitch.) And yet they made India look like a pitiful side. I am an Indian fan myself, but I don't kid myself that after this shambolic performance, India deserve to call themselves the `No. 1' Test team. Also, Zaheer's injury is merely a symptom of the general lack of fitness in the Indian camp.

  • on August 2, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    Fletcher is the most slowest person i have ever seen. We need Gary Kirsten Back.

  • on August 2, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    England not deserved to be No. 1 ... They can't never defeat India in India (Impossible ) ....

  • on August 2, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    I think Indian new Coach Flecher is not good as Kristen ....... Kristen should be back soon ...

  • Uttsbaby on August 1, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    @KiwiRocker- Are you for real?! In the past 2 years, England have beaten Bangladesh home and away, drawn to SA, beaten a weak and out of form Aus and a very weak SL side (lets face it they had 4 batsman). Didnt Eng lose away to WI? Didnt Eng lose to India the last series home and away? Didnt Eng lose to SA in their last home series. And get your facts right you havent beaten SA away since 04 and I think that hardly counts anymore! India are currently without their 3 biggest players, and England are at full strength at home. You really sound like you dont understand cricket mate...

  • J_J_taylor on August 1, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    Zico123, you can hardly complain about Sehwag missing when a decision was made to allow him to play in the IPL before an operation that they knew he needed before the world cup. Its hardly unfair when you make the choice that means he misses two tests. Whilst i agree losing Zaheer at Lords hurt you badly the contrast with england is when england lose a player the person to come in is of a higher calibre. Bresnan being able to find much more from the pitch and be much more successful. Further England lost Trott from a freak injury in this match and had swann obviously uncomfortable after his first innings injury. Both sides have had injury problems but i think it is unfair to claim that the addition of Sehwag, Gambir and Zaheer would have made a 319 run difference if england had also had all of their players fit. I still think India will win a test this summer they have too much quality not to but don't cry injuries as the reason why India lost the last two tests.

  • on August 1, 2011, 23:07 GMT

    I think, Indian team should stop watching or reading the media or the comments from the experts during the whole series. They keep saying seeming, bouncy,pace all the time asif the indian team is playing first time against pace bowling. To add further, they create horror in writing further on cloudy & windy & seeming condition. A mind on reading these has crept in few of india's players and affected. For a long time until a couple of years, the same england was thrashed not only by india but by everone. Their performance in the World cup was even worser which was not long ago. How chappel is going to say that this English team is becoming number one and going to hold on for how long? It is just matter of dravid, laxman and little master to crack together. everthing will change. To be a True Number one England has to win as well in subcontinent and against all other sides.

  • Chris_P on August 1, 2011, 22:49 GMT

    Well writen and analytical. The glaring differences between these 2 sides is the depth or backup players. SImply said, India have no one of high enough calibre to step into the shoes of someone who is injured or out of form, especially the bowling. The fall has started, and the imminent retirement of the big 3 will only hasten it into free fall, No team beats the age clock, and time is ticking, louder and louder.

  • on August 1, 2011, 22:14 GMT

    Ian you're so brilliant! You predicted even before the first ball was bowled that India without Sehwag was going to struggle against the England attack - so said, and so is the case. And the big point that you continue to make is that: the greatness of a batsman, or any batsman is not determined by how compact and pretty he looks when he plays his shots - it is instead the influence that he has on the psyche of the bowling opposition. Hence, without Sehwag, India does not have a batsman whom any bowler fears. This gives bowlers the confidence to bowl against them, knowing that even though they may have a reputation of being difficult to get out, they will get out. But when it comes to the likes of Viv Richards, Bradman, Lara, Sobers, Gilchrist or even Sehwag, bowlers always feel intimidated and panic even before they start to bowl at them; the reason they dominate. The three big Indian names take no risk, and they're not going to win matches by hitting a pretty boundary every 6 overs.

  • HazimEjaz on August 1, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    viru, sachin and zak will be part of 2019 ICC Cricket World CUP Indian team and India will win. Forreal

  • lokesh.agarwal on August 1, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    I am an Indian fan.. and I have a message for the two most predominant audiences on this forum:

    To the Hardcore Indian Fan Llets face it. We cannot continue making excuses about a depleted side. If India is a depleted side today, they have no one to blame for it.Sehwag/Gambhir/Zaheer... play IPL after the worldcup.. sit out a WI tour, and then are unavailable for first 2 tests because of injuries is just not excusable. Being No.1 is not just about how well you play on the field, but factors in the discipline you show off it. Its not only about your talent, but also about how fit and ready the players are. Perhaps India is a stronger team with Sehwag/Zaheer/Gambhir.... against England, but that is yet to be seen. That is a question of Talent. England is playing with their full strength, and India is not.. this is a case of discipline/fitness... no excuses here.

    To ICC ranking critics: Stop it. Really.... give credit where its due.

  • Ankurt on August 1, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    I 100 % agree with KiwiRocker-PoliticallyIncorrect. It a biggest joke and the funniest thing is that ICC and BCCI are so stupid not to realise that even common cricket follower can figure this out.

  • Jaggadaaku on August 1, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    India has population over 1200000000 and they also have more than 30 domestic level teams. But whenever they have series to play the current team fulfilled with same players get selected. Everybody knows Sreesanth's bowling is so bad and the behavior is worse, but gets selected whenever anyone bowler gets injured. Why don't they give a chance to someone else despite giving a statement "We don't have dominant bowlers." I am asking you a simple question " What would happen if you wouldn't performing well constantly at your work place? Your boss wouldn't just raise his hands saying we don't have experts or skilled people. But he would take strong action about it, and possibly would start firing bad people. Harbhajn rarely gets wickets but he also gets selected in every series. He took his last 10 wicket/match haul exact 3 years ago on July 31 2008. And since then he took 5 wicket/innings haul only 3 times, and played every match of every series. Anyone can bowl off-spin. We need leggy.

  • williams2011 on August 1, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    In response to Zico123's comments i'd just like to first say I wondered how long it would take for that sort of remark to be made. Just a few points to raise though. Let's start with Sehwag, great player granted and unfortunate for India (and the series) he's missing. But, he was quite happy to play through the IPL with a dodgy shoulder, perhaps he / Indian team management should assess their priorities what that one. Gambhir, another fine player, injured in the line of duty, fair enough. However he was throwing himself around on the first morning of the 2nd test practicing his catching, seems strange. Now the big one that everyone is talking about, Zaheer. Lets not forget this was a bowler who hadn't played 1st class cricket in months, into his 30's, and turned up to India's overseas tours unfit and clearly over weight!! I have two questions, 1, does he really care if he cant be bothered to prepare? 2, WHY on earth did India's management ALLOW him to arrive in that condition??

  • BathTubEconomics on August 1, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    The fact is the Indian batting isn't up to playing in England, and your attack is medium fast only. I reckon India are short at least two batsmen and two bowler to win a series here.

    As for the comment that it's unfair that India lose their ranking because they have injuries, the ranking is based on several years performances. England beat Australia home and away, India lost in Aus. Now you are being right royally beaten in England, neither match has been in anyway close. If you can't win away you are not the best team in the world.

  • cricpolitics on August 1, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    @zico123: Performance of the team is not judged by the number of injured players but by the players performing in the team and the truth is that India has failed miserably. You should have enough bench strength to backup after all India is such a big cricket mad country with deep pockets. It is no secret how India got to their so called No 1 ranking. Sorry your flawed logic does not work and be prepared for more thrashing for the Indian team even with their star players in the coming days.

  • cricpolitics on August 1, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    No 1? I guess not anymore after miserable thrashing of the Indian team in the second test. The Indian/Dhoni bubble is certainly bursting now.

  • vmp78 on August 1, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Kiwirocker - First of all ranking is based on performance of past. India's test record for the past 3-4 years has been better than others. England also have won only in England, Australia, WI and NZ. They are yet to win in India, pakistan, SL and in SA. England drew the test series against SA just like India did. So according to your logic England is also not deserving No 1, England have a good home record and so does India. Untill England go and beat India, SA and SL in theri own backyard their No 1 ranking credentials have to wait. Englands position is also due to their home record barring the Australian series. India may not be Australia or the WI of the previous era but they got and held on to the No 1 position through performance at home and oversees not by black magic. They can still come back with a full team and win the 3rd test and prevent England from getting to no 1 position.

  • on August 1, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    India should realize that becoming No-1 is much easier than staying at No-1 spot.Chappell's comment about Dhoni " The credit goes to MS Dhoni, who has shrewdly managed with a thin attack" is foolish.Indian bowling attack is not weak and thin,it has one world class spinner and two world class fast bowlers.If the attack is thin ,then how did they attain N0-1 status in the first place.It shows that something is some where really wrong.

  • Raja_naveed_khan on August 1, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    Every body admitts Indian bowling is weak but know its confirmed batting is strong only on dead wickets, this team doesnt suit on number1 position

  • PPD123 on August 1, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    As I write this, Ind is on the verge of losing the 2nd test. Probably Sachin may play aggressively and get a 100 in a losing cause. The simple maths to win a test is to take 20 wkts. We all know that. Given the current ind bowling resources, Dhoni will have to think out of the ordinary to bowl Eng out twice. For starters he needs to play with 5 bowlers. Desperate times need desperate strategy. I cant see Ind bowling out Eng with 4 bowlers cheaply enough to win a test. Amit Mishra or Munaf shud come into the equation, depending on the pitch conditions at Edgbaston and Oval. Lets face it, Eng have played better cricket and deserve to be in the postion they are in. They lose Tremlett and Bresnen comes in and pulverises Ind with both bat and ball. Ind needs Sehwag at the top, if he is not available, then Dhoni should bite the bullet and go in with 5 bowlers.

  • on August 1, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    Thats it all over for india. . .We did'nt saw this kind of bad innings from the india . . .We are in No.1 position but we are playing like out of top ten in icc test test rankings. . .whats the hell they playing. .MSD going to loss his captaincy soon. .I think Indians are not intrested to play in abroad. . .they not enjoying the game. .they are very intrested in listening music in the dressing room after getting out. .we are best at home only. . .now a days. .the future of indian test cricket ?????. . .they will play really well in IPL if they have any injury too. . .so bad we did't expected a this kind of result. .in the 2nd test

  • HaroldLarwood on August 1, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    @zico 123. But why are India's best players injured? And why hasn't the number one team in the world got more depth that its first XI? The West Indies did, the Australians did. India has greater player and financial resources for cricket than any country in the world has ever had after all. And injuries don't explain why India have been ill prepared and complacent coming into a series as significant as this. England can only beat what's put in front of them. Your team aren't playing well and your excuses are poor and ill-judged.

  • Raja_naveed_khan on August 1, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    We are waiting for a article on brilliant 35 runs from great sachin before tea, lolz

  • on August 1, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    Ian's comments has brought out pretty good response from positive ones to finding poor excuses like " We will beat England at home" , 'Our team is not at full strength' etc etc . India has never had a bashing like the one they are getting now . We are being literally flattened notwithstanding our batting might ! Let's hope we do not get bowled out for two digit figures because if it happens it will bring back memories of 'The summer of 42' of the 1974 tour . Pathetic we are against the real well directed short stuff of substance .

  • zico123 on August 1, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    it is unfair that India is losing their no. 1 ranking in a series where they are without their best bowler Zaheer and 2 best batsman Sehwag and Gambhir, it is unfair to judge a depleted Indian side against a full strength England side. i am sure the result would have been other way round if India was at full strength and England was without Peterson, Bell and Anderson. so bottom line it would have been true contest if India at full strengh was playing against a full strength England team.

  • himanshu.team on August 1, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    Most who are doubting the ICC rankings, simply beleive that rankings shoudl be done based on the 'opinions' of such so called experts. In my view this is the most accurate representation one can get of rankings. they are based on results, type of opposition (again their rankings) and where the match is played i.e. home or away. They have included all that was needed to be included int he rankings. If india have been on top that means they have been the best team around. i agree with Ian, that india is not as dominant as the WI or australia in their peaks. I also agree that india does nto have the best bowling or fielding attack, but it still is number 1. If England take it from us, Well Done! but in my view India will very soon claim it back again. mind you even a two test margin, will only give England and very slender lead over India. So it will be harder for them to hold on to it. And do not forget the fact, India have not played tests at home in a long long time.

  • BeCalmAndSupportEngland on August 1, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    @DONDA:hikizzz better than world 11 lol.what a batting line up.yes sachin, dravid,laxman no doubts but gambhir, raina, dhoni are u really mad or not?Has Dhoni scored even a 50 against a strong oppositon in outside India>?If u create a best world 11 it will looks like this, 1.Amla 2.Cook 3.Sanga 4.trott 5.Sachin 6.ABD 7.Bell 8.Matt prior(WK) 9.swann 10.anderson 11.styn

  • cricket_ftw on August 1, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    When viru, gauti and zak returns india will be strong again.

  • on August 1, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Has anyone given a thought that apart from Zak, Viru and Gauti, whats the other crucial thing that's missing in England compared to the WC winning squad? And what has replaced it since then? Yes. Its Kirsten and Fletcher respectively. Fletcher, ex-English coach has achieved what he aimed for: To ensure that India goes down in the English summer of 2011.

  • on August 1, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Since England handled the meager seam & swing that was there in the second knock with gay abandon as far as logic goes we should also be able to do the same at least the legendary three should - 'wall','present day bradman' &'Mr Stylish' should be able to do the same and may just maybe Yuvi & raina should as well . But the worry is beyond Yuvi we have a gaping hole since 'Mahi" has forgotten his batting & the others are 'absolute zero' notwithstanding Bhajji's background of scoring centurie(s). This is the precise reason of Ian mentioning that Quote To date Dhoni's greatest achievement as Indian captain has been to guide the team to a magnificent World Cup victory. If his team is still at the top of the Test rankings after this series with England,he will have surpassed that monumental achievement. Unquote

  • on August 1, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Ian always provides the real true aspects of the game and while it may seem "jealous comments" to some who have been relatively new to the game, the comments bring out the real facts and can very well be understood by those who have followed the Indian team not from now but since the early sixties . The era of the potent fast attacks began in early seventies ended in the fag end of the eighties when the fast packs from WI, Aus,England, Pak & to some extent NZ retired. The Spinners reign ended with retirement Bedi, Chandra & Prasanna , venkat , underwood, Quadir. Subsequently Pak had Wasim, Waqar after they took over from Safraz & Imran and South Africa back into cricket fold had Alan Donald in the early nineties & later Aus had McGrath, Warne and dominated the world . all of them invariably destroyed India always even when we had tendulkar. India's biggest triumph of mention was victory against Aus at Kolkata in '2001 & later in Aus in '2003 & '2006-07 though we lost the series .

  • Dubious on August 1, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    I'm sorry raoshash, Australia jealous because India spent a few years at No. 1 without ever really dominating? I don't think so. Perhaps you aren't aware for how long Australia dominated that top position and that we did beat you in India--without our captain. And please verify, how did Andrew Symonds cheat?

  • redneck on August 1, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    i dont doubt india are deserved number 1 but not in the same sense aus and wi were. if people can talk about indias short comings in aus, sa and sl then it is no different for england who have lost test series in wi, ind and sl aswell as drawing them in nz and sa. no team can be clear cut no.1 at the moment! however since india is no.1 currently and a financial power i would like to see the return of the icc test XI vs the no. 1 team. i think a side made up from gayle, watson, amla, de villers, cook, kp, kallis, prior, swann, mendis, styen, morkel, anderson would well and truly beat india in india! certainly not loose by an innings like its last reincarnation did to aus back in 05! thought the idea was pointless when they played australia but times have changed and i think it would be far more successful if it were to be done again!

  • KiwiRocker- on August 1, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    Chappel will get an answer..Lets say within 24 hours once England topples India in the flawed ICC rankings. However i am still waiting on my answer to my question: How is India No.1 while they failed to win their last series in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, SA, Australia and will most likely lose in England? India is not a good enough team to be in top4 that are England, SA, Australia and SL. ICC ranking system is flawed and it does not give a clear reflection of quality of teams. Gap between England and India is more than what it was between England and Pakistan last summer. It makes no sense as India is supposed to be No.1. Home test match wins seem to be the sole criteria for India's top position and if we go by that criteria then may be SL should also be No.1 since they have even better record than India at home. Best team in world right now is England that has won in Australia, SA, hammering India and will easily topple India inside India too.

  • MiddleStump on August 1, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    It will be more convincing when the best England team beats the best Indian team. Beating a crippled Indian team at Lord's without Sehawg, Zaheer, (Tendulkar, Gambhir injured as well) is not exactly setting the Thames on fire. Heck there were periods when England struggled even here at 62/5 playing against 3 bowlers. Again at Trent Bridge they have been exposed but India have simply lacked the manpower to execute the kill. Let us hope everybody is fit on both sides for the next two tests. Sehwag and Zaheer were crucial in taking India to the top ranking in recent years, and without them this is simply not the same number 1 side that is playing for India in the middle.

  • on August 1, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    You are spot on Michael Dickson!!!!

  • on August 1, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    A class cricket commentator is one who can visualize the game very clearly and forecast what a team r player is worth . I have followed Ian ever since his playing days when he was the most aggressive of the Cricket captains you will ever see . He has seen the downside of the Aussie cricket from the '71 bashing from the poms and has then basked in the glory of a champion post 1972 .He does not mince his words when he talks about teams or players . In the same tradition when he was a class Skipper his comments also are therefore are nothing but exceptionally perfect!!! His comments about the Indian side No.1 position is absolutely true ! people who understand the game can very well make out that this English side is very similar to the England of the early seventies like Ray Illingworth's side . It is they who will rule since they have the best fast men & Spinner backed up by a strong batting side akin to Snow, Willis , hendrick, underwood who always destroyed India

  • ibbani on August 1, 2011, 3:10 GMT

    @ Keith Fletcher, if u go on comparing the yester year's teams then world has to remain same and no one will be aged, come on dude, accept the changes in the game, players agility and ability, changes in the game, there are still players with class like Dravid, Kallis, Punter, Amla,Laxman, Sachin, Cook, who play real class test strokes and possess the skills and technical abilities. If you feel that 1948's Aussie and 1980's WI team is better and uncomparable, they arae no denial but you need to see the same team's state now, India were not really great that time, and now they are, accept and move on.Be a little sportive thatn you are !!!!!

  • on August 1, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    Yes this is really surprising! But don't forget that their last few performances (before World Cup) were mostly in Indian soil and last tour of West Indies was against weaker opposition. Where the lack of bowling prowess was overwhelmed by bullying batting, which is only possible in subcontinent pan cake pitch. Hopefully, they are running out of luck. Its time to taste some 'real test' already they are finding it bit sour already.Remember media can magnify a team but if it is not firm enough probably it will broke down like a castle in the sand with the weave of reality.

  • goldeneye075 on August 1, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    quite true Ian Chappell, India only managed to be at top is only because they played most of their matchers at home. Clearly no one can clam the number One spot at the moment. Given the conditions Sri lanka did a great job when touring Eng. As far as the series is going Eng is going to 5-0 white wash.

  • on August 1, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    i dnt knw y but sum people are just jealous that india is no 1. watver it is , india may have weak bowling or anythin but we r still no 1 mind that..... we r also world champions......... from the time india refused to use full drs they are getting lots of wrong lbw against them.... smart people wud understand y...

  • 9ST9 on August 1, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    Yes we are at the stage where the state of world cricket is poor. Eng and India are both Heroes as Hosts and Zeros as visitors. In the early 2000's England won 2 series in the sub continent, but still were very very inferior, since at that time the other teams were way better.

  • on August 1, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    while i do beleive England at home are a better side than India, i dont understand why everybody is always so quick to denounce India as not being the "REAL" no 1. If a team can remain no 1 for this long, and can i remind everyone, the reason they got to no 1. was becuase for 18 months they played every team in the world and did not lose a series (and over 1/2 of them). that made them no 1. Simple.

    Yet ENgland barely scarpped home against one of the weakest Sri Lankan team in the history of their cricket. At a time when SL cirket is total dissarray, yet everyoen was still saying England is the real no 1. I jsut done get it.

  • raoshash on August 1, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    I think Mr. Ian Chappel and all the Australian and the English, reading whatever has been posted and the vaseline taunt by Vaughn, are jealous over India's success over the last 4 years. India's rise to the number 1 position was not overnight. It started with winning the series in the Caribbean in 2006, then in England in 2007, New Zealand in 2009 and the numerous home series. For all I know, India would have won or at least drew with Australia in 2007-08 if the umpires were not so bad in their decision making and the cheat Andrew Symonds. Based on one series now in England, people start doubting India's position. What I would like to know is: Will England, considered to be th best side in the world at present, be able to perform the same way and beat India if they tour India now? Will they be able to beat India in India on the turning tracks? I don't think so. Enough said.

  • Humdingers on August 1, 2011, 1:52 GMT

    I couldn't disagree more! Dhoni has been LUCKY! He has ridden on the coat tails of a period when Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar have had a resurgence. India have never been dominating. Sure they have won matches but they have never dominated their opposition as the great West Indians and Australian sides did in their pomp. Dhoni's captaincy in the England series so far as been atrocious! He has not contributed anything bar dropped catches, inept captaincy and absolutely shocking batting! I wouldn't blame the bowlers, Harbajan, Tendulkar. It's the captain not leading from the front. Look at the dropped catches, the shocking batting and even trying to bowl - are you serious? It's time he gets put in place. Keep him on in 20-20 and ODI's - but he is defn NOT test match material. At least now.

  • kimg on August 1, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    a side wins when the captain leads from the front. in case of dhoni failing misablely with the bat. look at his performances in the WI and England so far looks likes he"s in a hurry to get out and the same with bhajji, time for him to take a long vacation.

  • on August 1, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    @hira02 now you know how difficult it is to beat another country in their home ground. Part of being number 1 is defeating teams both in and out of thier home country. Doing the first part has earned India the title of number 1, but they say its harder to stay number one than it is to get to number 1. The 80s Windies adn 90s Aussies never had a problem playing outside of their country. If India is truely number 1, they have to beat other countries in their home ground.

  • BeCalmAndSupportEngland on August 1, 2011, 0:51 GMT

    Icc = Indian cricket council Thats why they remain at number one for so long.Otherwise They can't even be number 3 in the rankings.Yes zaheer is a good bowler but he can be nothing as well.Looks like srilankans did a great job with the bowl comparing to india.eventhough without thier premier bowlers.AND DHONI IS NOTHING AS WELL. HAS HE SCORED A TEST 100 AWAY FROM INDIA AGAINST A STRONG OPPOSITION YET?I THINK ANSWER IS NO.then he could not be a good captain. any way England are number 1 at the moment.

  • IndianaJones79 on August 1, 2011, 0:49 GMT

    people dont understand that it is bowlers who win matches..if you need to chase 400+ in last innings, it is difficult for even great batting lineup...Even great aussies and WIs did not chase that much..whenever that happened they end up loosing..it was their bowlers who did not allow their opposition to score runs..It's definitely indian bowler's fault who let opposition score these many runs in both tests...people who even didnt pick up bat in their lives and who want to disgrace great batting line up says differently

  • Patchmaster on August 1, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    with a MUCH bigger pool of players to choose from than ENG (who also have injuries to key players) I think it's poor form to keep trundling out excuses IND. Fans were over confident, players were lazy in their preparation and the IND players just can't grind it out in the field or whilst bowling like ENG can. I think this game fairly reflects the effort put in by opposing players. and @ hira02 I'd like to see IND beat ENG in ENG - but I guess that's never going to happen either !

  • on July 31, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    Even though I'm cheering on England in this series, quite frankly I'm just glad it's providing such a see-saw battle between the two. This is what we want to see in cricket, a solid competition between the best. England have a good shot at taking the pole position, but India are turning their bowling attack into what New Zealand had in the 1990s - dibbly dobbly bowlers that can still trouble anyone. Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth both have a fair amount of pace at times, no-one is express pace in that side, yet they are still proving quite competitive as a bowling unit. Zaheer in some ways is like our Shane Bond - injury prone but very capable frontline bowler, just not capable of producing anywhere near Bond's pace. But two other key areas is where the similarities end - the Indian batting is far beyond what NZ has ever had, and the Indian fielding is far below what NZ has ever had.

  • on July 31, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    Lack of preparation, a lazy approach to this tour & an hideous itinery since the World Cup will cost India the number one slot...if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail

  • on July 31, 2011, 21:16 GMT

    its all because of some key player's injuries. we all know india is a better team than that. come on now

  • KingOwl on July 31, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    India is certainly not a real No. 1. But neither is England, nor anybody else for that matter. If India lose this match, they are worse than SL, who played in the Spring and thus faced far more challenging conditions. There is no true No. 1 right now, PERIOD. The top four teams are equal. Australia come marginally behind them (since they lost to England at home). I cannot even dream of India, SL or SA losing to this England team at home.

  • on July 31, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    If India is No. 1 then world cricket is in a poor state. None of todays team compare with the 1948 Aussies, the 1980's Windies or the 1990's Aussie's. Sadly that quality is unlikely to re-occur in the near future due to the influence of one-day cricket.

  • on July 31, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    You are absolutely right about India's bowling being weak... and over dependence on Zaheer... but giving so much credit to Dhoni is taking it a bit too far... At best he's an average captain with a good team at his command...he's way to defensive a captain to be given credit for this team's success... if anything he has drawn few of the tests that India could have won

  • piyu2930 on July 31, 2011, 19:04 GMT

    its true that india dont have a threatenig attack like england or that of the invincible aussies but their batters somehow manage to bail them out.its about the team's performance and a LUCKY dhoni is alone not responsible for india's successes of late.

  • cric-maestro on July 31, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    Mr. chappell,,the spirit of the game shown by MSD is also something that aussies dint have wen they were no. 1 ....ah forget it,, they are no.5 and who better than GREG CHAPPELL to look after them ... bring it on Chappells..yeah,,bring it on...

  • on July 31, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    mr. chappell, dont go 4 the rankings. aus are no.1 in odis. then why did they wont won the WC?

  • Lord_Dravid on July 31, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    SOME PEOPLE ARE SAYING ENGLAND ARE ALREADY THE BEST SIDE IN THE WORLD..ID LIKE TO SEE ENGLAND BEATING INDIA IN INDIA! IM GUESSING THAT WONT EVER HAPPEN!

  • Zahidsaltin on July 31, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    India is no. 1 but don't expect any one team to dominate as Aus and Wi did in the past. India has five batsmen who have avg of 50 or close to it. You are right that they never produced world class fast bowlers but Zaheer has always been handy and when ever he played, they had an upper hand. I think India need to play another spinner than Bhaji and they also should have brought Irfan Pathan back for this tour. But absennce of Sehwag and Zaheer has hurt them very hard. About being no. 1, I dont think there is any team who dominates to be a clear no.1. England, India and SA are all a bit better than Aus, SL and Pakistan.

  • cricpolitics on July 31, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Have Indian team play another couple of months of IPL. I'm sure they will improve on their injury list record.

  • cricpolitics on July 31, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    The answer is simple. It was not the shrewd maneuvering of Dhoni but rather BCCI's maneuvering and forcing other cricket boards to play test cricket on Indian soil instead of playing shorter form of the game. India's progression to No 1 ranking was not organic and therefore they are miserably failing to put up a number one show in England. Indians are already looking miserable in the second test and well on their way to lose it.

  • on July 31, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    some usual straight words from Ian Chappel!

  • Raja_naveed_khan on July 31, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    west indies and Australlia were pure number, whatever the country or pitches they played in they dominated but india won most of the matches on dead wickets and stayed number one, proper example of a over rated team

  • kassrikanth on July 31, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    Here comes the famous australian trait again, now Mr.Chappell just to say India is losing, you come out and say, England series is the biggest of all, Does your cricket knowledge say that England is a better side than South Africa, which India has defended and defeated in SA's home soil. Is this bigger than that, without Sehwag, Gautam, Zaheer Indians does not have a full side, still they are competing hard. Talking about the bench strength of Australia, what happened to it when McGrath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist left the scene, How many wickets did Shane warne get in Subcontinent, How many series did australia win In India, on which evidence can it be no.1. Australian era is gone, believe it, world cricket is not only about Australia. Your comments donot have validity, remember you saying "Tendulkar should look into the mirror and call it a day" long back, look at his performances after that, time for you to retire Mr.Cahppell. Greg's contribution is already appreciated.

  • johanx841 on July 31, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    Well said Mr Chappell....!! india is overrated with overrated and overpaid players !!

  • on July 31, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    Appalling too see such columns! Ian Chappell still cant digest the world cup triumph. Lot of bad blood is left in this old man...Phew! get rid of these oldies!

  • AnotherCricketFan on July 31, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    @shakkw - The surprise is that so many people are stating that English is the best in Test format at present. Other than beating a waning Australia and a useless WI they have not shown anything of great. Pakistanis gave them the runs.

    India, no excuses, is suffering from too much cricket at the moment. The old batting line up is not supported by youngsters who are spoiled by the IPL / ODI mindset of swinging at everything.

    And their bowling is not about setting up and taking wickets. It is about containing and stifling the batsmen but that does not work in Test model.

    DESPITE THAT, they have beaten teams overseas. Not just beat one team and claim they are the greatest (like Eng beating Aussies and feeling at the top of the world - would it be acceptable if India beats Pak and claims they are teh World Champs).

    English are basically one dimensional.

  • on July 31, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    All: On paper and on the ground with the following Indian team is miles ahead of England, anyday: Shewag (Injured) Gambhir (Injured) Tendulkar (Can't complain...he always plays according to the situation team requires him to play) Dravid Laxman Dhoni (needs to get some runs...not worried about his keeping) Raina (I felt he was due for an innings which showed character...lord's 2 nd innings had it) Harbhajan (need little variation) Sreesanth (need to mix it up a little ...bouncer, yorker etc) Kumar (Great length bowler) Zaheer (Injured)

    Ishant Sharma - I feel he is just a medicore bowler, who gets into the side due to his connections. He hasn't learnt a very basic aspect to pitch up the ball in 3-4 yrs (he will never learn it). Moreover, he doesn't have in-cutter or swing delivery in his armoury.

    I feel test cricket was never about ground fielding it's about taking catches which i believe India is doing a good job if not a great Job.

    Broad & anderson, impressed me a lot!

  • m23khan on July 31, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    Really Ian, you have no idea? Well, for starters, take a look at where India played majority of her tests in recent years - flat tracks. With batsmen like Dravid and Sehwag who are most comfortable playing on such tracks, no wonder they were number 1. There bowling is not good however with batsmen who just don't get out on dead pitches, India got to be # 1.

    Besides, kinda unfair for non-tropical teams (AUS,NZ,RSA,ENG) touring India for tests - there players are not used to the oven-like temperatures of India.

  • cool2cool on July 31, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    Ian, then how have Australia remained No. 1 this long in ODIs?

  • AvidCricFan on July 31, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    India's bowling and fielding limitations are being exposed in the second innings of the 2nd test at Trent Bridge. Bhajji as usual is AWOL. He should be replaced with Zaheer coming in. I don't think any spinner in the team will be effective.

  • on July 31, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    Well written article. Dhoni has to rely on a very lousy, if not, completely inconsistent bowling attack. Nothing surprising that the batsmen always have to score hugh 1st innnings score to put pressure. Take the current series. England is dominant and Indian bowling attach is pathetic and absolutely toothless. Ishant is not consistent and Praveen can only take wickets when the bowl is swinging. Harbhajan, may have take 400 wickets, but 80% came in India...so England is going to take this series, 2-0, or 3-0..

  • on July 31, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    The fact remains- India became world number 1 from the sheer fact that they played most of their test series at home over the last 3 years. The advantage they have had because of all these home series is what got them to the top. Now they are on the verge of being 2-0 down in the England series and their lack of top class batsmen in swinging and seaming conditions is quite telling. There is no way they deserve to be #1. That honor easily belongs to England.

  • on July 31, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    india is No 1 Team though indian team doesn't much good bowling attack this is because they play sportive and neat cricket this sportiveness lacks in all other big teams like australia,south africa ,england and the people like warn, boycott, craig chappel, ian chappell, ponting, tony etc of english teams know only to winning and maintanance of no 1 rank but don;t bother abt how they are wining by playing gentlemen game or rubbesh game..........

  • shakkw on July 31, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    Chappell absolutely right. India's No.1 position in the tests is joke of the century. England deserve to be No.1 and is the best team by miles..

  • on July 31, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    England are not worthy number ones. They don't play in the spirit of the game. When dravid scored his century NO english player congratulated him. When Bell scored his hundred all the Indian players said well done to him and clapped him. I'm ashamed to be English. I dont know if this behaviour is the result of having loads of South africans in our team but I hope India bury England in the next couple of matches.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 31, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    You know what, Ian? Just now, the Indian people and media are realising that Dhoni is unfit to be in the test team let alone leading it. It's just a matter of time that selectors too will realise this and hopefully they won't bend to corporate pressures. I hope they bring in Dinesh Karthik who is a class act. And lo and behold. You come up with an article that is diametrically opposite to the welfare of Indian Cricket at such a critical juncture. I hope the people that matter most don't buy your make believe 'analysis'. I agree that the Indian Legends are getting old and that is one of the main problems we have along with Dhoni. Have you seen Dhoni playing in England and West Indies? He looks like fish out of water.

  • ameercim on July 31, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    If Australia can be a No:1 ODI Team with that kind of attack and batsmen.. Why can't other countries be at No:1 Team. These people cannot digest India at no:1.. They were not able to believe how can a non-white country be at No:1. India might or might not have the capabilities, If Australia can be a ODI No:1 team, why can't india.

  • Lord_Dravid on July 31, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    INDIA ARE WITHOUT THREE KEY PLAYERS SEHWAG GAMBHIR AND ZAHEER KHAN, AND IN A TOUGH SERIES LIKE THIS YOU NEED ALL YOUR BEST PLAYERS SO THIS IS AN UNFAIR CONTEST ANYWAY! THAT OBVIOUSLY DIDNT OCCUR TO IAN CHAPELL WHEN WRITING THIS ARTICLE AND HE MOSTLY NEEDS TO STOP ENVYING INDIAN CRICKET AND ITS FINANCIAL MIGHT!

  • Aussasinator on July 31, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    England is a far superor side , as the events on field sharply highlight. Sehwag and Zaheer are the two huge success instruments that have been missing. Dravid is a slow match saver than even a remote match winner. Tendulkar has been unwell and off colour and that hasnt helped. Bhajji has to be shown the door as he has failed to do his job. Most importantly, the batsmen have failed to apply themselves to bat for long periods rotating the strike. They have either got bogged down totally or perished to ill-advised slogs. Dhoni is having an off series and to be fair to him, he cant be blamed. Stronger bones and faster reflexes are needed in this team. I'm not a great admirer of Dravid's knocks in this series because they did nothing for the team. He just emerged as the 2nd highest run getter and the most painstaking one at that. India is better off losing without Dravid than losing with Dravid. They get a better slip fielder and a chance that a faster stroke player may turn around a match

  • CandidIndian on July 31, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    My humble request to Indian and SL fans not to start another virtual war here, its time that we should behave as responsible fans of countries which are world cup finalists.Adding to my last comment ,India has moved on from being an average test team in 90s to very good team now but they are far from greatness still,so i think Ian is not wrong to point out certain facts.Last big series India won outside India was in 2007 against Eng.Of-course winning against NZ and WI is not a great achievement.If this no 1 ranking slips away from India ,presently only SA has the potential to cling on to it, even SL if they get it in future, but not England like some people are calling them no 1 here,because only way England can hold the no 1 ranking (in case they get it) is by not touring India and SL.

  • Vishal_07 on July 31, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    One important reason India became #1 and won the WC, Mr. Greg Chappell's contract was not renewed!

  • on July 31, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    Guys... Its too simple. Some people want to just pass a comment on Team India. Thats it.

  • on July 31, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    Just for the sake of argument, let us take the top teams currently: 1) Can Aus win against SL, SA, Eng or Ind as visitors? 2) Can SL win against Eng, Ind, SA or Aus as visitors? 3) Can SA win against Ind, Eng, Aus or SL as visitors? 4) Can Ind win against SL, SA, Eng or Aus as visitors?

    Eng has won the Ashes in Aus. I don't quite remember if they did win against SA or SL as visitors in the recent years and for sure, they didn't win against Ind the last time they went on tour.

    SA managed to draw a series against Ind and won against Aus as visitors. However, they lost the home series against Aus and managed to draw a series against Ind on home soil. I don't know if they won against SL or Eng as visitors.

    I don't remember SL winning a match on tour against the top nations as tourists for a long time. However, they still are very good on home turf.

    Ind won a match against Aus, drew a series against SA and SL, and won against Eng the last time they toured.

  • on July 31, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    C'mon stop the slack on India. We all know how Australia had fared when there was no McGrath or Shane Warne around. And even Australia remained on the top for so long because of Shane Warne and Mcgrath

  • vipulcricmastermind on July 31, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    when india plays to full potential including zaheer and sehwag.. they are hard to beat..

  • on July 31, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    India Became number one team because of hardwork done by team before Dhoni become captian. retained the number one slot because the not that india had a great team, its because other teams were cracking when it was required

  • on July 31, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Hmmmmm......however Mr. Ian Chappell (not a well liked figure in Indians) has given a challenge to Captain Dhoni who has been very famous for accepting such & winning. Well , I do agree with Ian Chappell this time. If Dhoni can put his team on the Rank 1 (which is impossible without winning the series) can surely make him the Best !! And somehow I know - - - He is going to do that......!! This guy (Dhoni) is the luckiest guy in INDIAN CRICKET......but that doesn't mean he dont have the skills which he has always showed ! But Great Skill and Greater Luck has always helped him and thats why his team is on TOP!! Well , Dhoni My friend......its you after SACHIN !! Thanks for being there and I know u gonna make it !! ALL THE VERY BEST from this TeamIndiaCrazy Fan !!!!

  • spssco on July 31, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    Funny how its always a Australian or Englishmen that has to show such affection about a team. This india side has had few injuries Sehwag the big one now gambhir, zaheer khan. These can affect the balance of a side. If england had been in the same boat they would have cried, where as we can take a loss like gentlemen. coming on to no.1 spot, todays no.1 spot will not be dominated by 1 team. Very unlikely because all of the sides are stronger at their home pitches. So if they dont win the away they sure will win home and earn points on the table. I tell you to dominate, this england side needs to play well in India like many of the great teams. I truly say this team is showing bigheadedness with there english conditions. Their attack has barely played 50 tests between all the bowlers they got. I very much doubt they themselves will hold no.1 position for more then a year.

  • on July 31, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    I agree with Ian C. that India do not have a bowling attack to match that of the previous number ones... But India has more than made up for not having champion bowlers by having an excellent team that complements itself... And not to mention a fighting spirit, regardless of what happens in this series...

  • arvin on July 31, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    chappal trying to be in good books of dhoni now to stay in indian media...

  • Dashgar on July 31, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    I don't know why people are attacking Ian Chappel here. He is not criticising the Indian teams' performance, he is merely pointing out what we already know, the team has big weaknesses in their bowling attack, which have been exposed regularly, but have been able to get the job done in the key moments. Surely without a large improvement this habit of getting out of jail is going to abandon them. And he is right that they face a massive challenge to beat England in England, even with Sehwag and Zaheer, without those two they are almost no chance.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 31, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    Any team, regardless of bowlers and fitness, would have bowled first at Lords. Even Strauss said he wanted to bowl first. The conditions looked perfect for bowling first, and to say that "inserting England in first at Lords shows signs of worry because no Sehwag" is a bit odd. The rest of the article makes sense.

  • on July 31, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    Frankly I havent seen Dhoni to be shrewd in anyway with his captaincy. But then again Ian has his favorites that he does not ditch all that easily. Everytime that Dhoni has found that the opposition is about 60 ahead in 2nd inning with 8+ wickets he has pulled back. Also not to forget the cape town test when the tailenders turned up he pushed back and Kallis made a meal of that. Not to forget as to how Ajantha Mendis and Samaraweera nearly took the test back after being something like 80 for 8 odd. In fact Dhoni can be best termed as a defensive captain for whom the bowlers have won matches rather than his captaincy. What India desparately need is a captain in the mould of Allan Border who was ruthless with his team and opposition alike.

  • dsig3 on July 31, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    People, India have not won the 2nd last border -gavaskar trophy held in India! Aus beat them! Its a myth that the Aussies did not beat them on their home soil. When will this fact stop being ignored?

  • on July 31, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    agree with Ian Chappell. no quality consistent bowlers in the Indian side to win overseas. except Zaheer....no one!!! India will lose their no-1 ranking to England.

  • Rivka on July 31, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    It's not all about Sehwag. I don't know if Ian Chappell has stopped following the cricket itself. Dravid is one of the "ageing" players, and without him India are nothing. No, what is hurting India is complacency. Take a look at the shot selection of the Indian batsmen, and while the Indian seamers are having to work for every wicket, the Indian batsmen are gifting their wickets to the England bowlers.

  • rlefti on July 31, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    India have remained top because of bcci power and intelligence to play most of it's matches in sub continent on the road to no.1 also the luck favoured that most team like SA, AUS, WI and ENG are not as strong as they use to be...dhoni is nothing but a fluke and lucky to captain during such period...but I agree Sehwag is the phenomenon....the credit for India being a formidable team should go to sourav and players like dravid and laxman, one helped with captaincy and a vision to see India victorious and the other two have been exceptional batters in overseas tests...mr chappel I knew all Aussies are tough cricketers and intelligent one and like players with real contributions then how could you praise dhoni, is it a game you are playing with India off the field....

  • ultimatewarrior on July 31, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    It was only Ian Chappell had questioned ability of Indians when they become no.1 for first time by pushing his Aussies to no.2. He said that they don't have "champ bowler" as well as other factors to keep them at no.1 only for short time and predicted Australia will regain no.1 very soon. I m happy that Indian team has proved him wrong for so long. In 2007 India after seen lowest point in their recent time, well incorporated their own strong points and within two years they got no.1 test team.Later they lost few games but normally they had not lost a series. Everybody expected in general that now India should win every or most series by 5-0/4-0/3-0. But every body has to accept that today's cricket is most competitive and most professionally played sport ever in history and India has become a world no.1 team just 2 years ago.Its far sure they are the best team today but to be among best teams of all time and to widen gap with present teams they require a little more ruthlessness. Amen

  • on July 31, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    An interesting Article: Worth reading

  • Charindra on July 31, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    @Prash Ganen - India did NOT beat SL in SL. They lost the 1st match by 10 wickets (the Murali match), and against a SL team missing Murali and Malinga, won the 3rd match. So the series was a draw. Check your stats mate.

  • Aniruddha_K on July 31, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    Dhoni did a fabulous job at Lord's....In fact at the end of day 4 India were looking good to secure a comfortable draw....The lower middle order let them down. And how can fielding 1st on an overcast day be a sign of having doubts in the mind? And even in the 2nd test with Sehwag and Gambhir out and no Zaheer India are doing well no matter what the result. By the way wasn't it Ian Chappell who had said Pujara should have been picked ahead of Dravid at no.3? Well another statement about a great Indian batsman has gone wrong( we all know what the 1st one was about)....Dravid has scored 5 hundreds in the last 11 tests , 3 of them in very tough conditions where other batsmen have been struggling...Aussies always blow this age thing out of proportions...I think Hayden Gilchrist had a good 3-4 years of international cricket in them especially because Aussies hadn't any players good enough to fill their shoes..

  • dsig3 on July 31, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    I think India have reached their pinnacle. They have had one of the best batting lineups of all time but I dont see their elder players getting any better. Sooner or later the old players are going to lose form and fitness. Their young talent is not going to let them stay at number 1 for long. England is better/equal to them in every facet of the game and has more young talent in every area. Even if India win the series they wont be there for very long.

  • Nerk on July 31, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    You can add their lazy fielding to the list Mr. Chappell. India are number one and deservadely so, as at the mo they are the best team in the world. However, I agree with Mr. Chappell insofar as that I do not believe they will stay for long. We are witnessing an age of increased competitiveness, as England, Sth Africa and India are all striving to get to No.1, and one may even add Sri Lanka to that mix. It is certainly exciting times.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 31, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    @Prash Ganen. They drew with Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka no? Every1 beats W.I. and NZ. Their biggest achievements were drawing in SA and beating AUS twice in Ind. The big thing for them is they DIDNT LOSE. Not that they win. 2 draws vs SA in Ind as well as a draw in Sri Lanka n a draw in SA.

  • on July 31, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    @Prash when did India win the series in Sri Lankan in the last 15 years?

  • on July 31, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Hmm, I think the people having a go at Chappel haven't even read the article. Though the headline is critical, the content in it is not so. I find this a quite evenly balanced article as usual from Ian. People would know that if they read his articles fully. The headline though is part of sensational journalism which about every news corp in India is adopting right now..

  • on July 31, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    @Prash Ganen... India haven't won a Test Series in Sri Lanka for over a decade... what are you talking about? and as for the Border-Gavaskar... they've won both in India... outside of India, they have not beaten anyone of note (NZ? WI?) they haven't won a series in AUS, ENG or SA (OR Sri Lanka?!)... India are paper-champions until they prove they can win outside... not draw

  • on July 31, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    I also want to add for the record that i made a prediction on a previous comment before the series that Swan will be prooved ineffectual and ultimately will go down hill as have his much hyped predeccessors Peter Such, Giles, Tufnell and even Richard illingworth(i bet most of you arn't old enough to remember him.lol) So far i'm right again. Swan's flukey career will be finished by the end of the year. Game over.

  • on July 31, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    I just had a look at India's test record over the last 3 years. So they won the Border gavaskar test series against Australia in 2008 and 2010. They beat Sri lanka in their own backyard, they beat new Zealand and west indies. They drew a series with SA in south africa. Thats a verygood record and they have been consistent up until now. I don't see how it is a fluke they got to number one.

  • Arvi02 on July 31, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    Ian chappel has a wrong interpritation regarding indian cricket. Acc to him "The surprise is not that India could lose their No. 1 Test ranking but rather how they managed to retain it so long." Reason being on top for 2 yrs, not bcoz of luck, they played good cricket everywhere in the world.

    But aussies always failed to conqure Indians in india. then also they where no.1 for yrs. talking about worldclass bowler, none of the aussie bowler was successful in India. warne always had worst outing against indian. let at be any where in the world. on spinning tracks also he suffered against indians.

    I am sure India will be on top for coming next 5 yrs atleast. fight will be for 2nd place between other teams.

  • on July 31, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    A little surprised at how under rated India's seamers are. While Zaheer and Ishant are capable of threatening under all conditions is quite clear it is the bowling of Praveen and Sreesanth that has impressed here. They clearly lack pace but the skills of Praveen and the ability of Sreesanth to bowl jaffers combined with excellent discipline makes them very useful. Ian Chappell rewinds back to the Australian attack but it was only McGrath and Gillespie that had true world class about them. Praveen and Sreesanth on current form do not compare badly against the like of Paul Reiffel, Stuart Clark, Damien Fleming and other occupants of the first changer role through out Australia's great run. It is really only the West Indian attacks of the 80's which are beyond comparison. Cheers.

  • on July 31, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Absolutely , I agree 100% , India had fast spinners but not a genuine fast bowler.They managed to be world champions,It will be very hard for them to retain both test and ODI positions ,But I wish they will retain

  • Manoj_Sharath on July 31, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Dear Chappel

    Are u not following cricket... India are no.1 Test team for more than 2 yrs. and now u are asking this question.

  • BoonBoom on July 31, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    You do not need to be an expert to answer the question how did India reach top ranking. Well................ the answer is: BY FLUKE !!!! Hope all will agree.

  • on July 31, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    i think Ian Chappel is absolutely correct when he speaks of MSD as a captain...with the ageing team he has and the limited resources he has,he has managed the team really well and deserves every bit of credit for this.

  • on July 31, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    India is not becoming no 1 due to lack of good and consistent fast bowlers. India might have a lot of young fast bowlers but they dont have the opportunity to be coached and play for their states. Most people who can afford coaching are batsmen, not bowlers. If Indida is to have a good bowling attack, BCCI needs to provide opportunity to the bright kids who are poor.

  • uknsaunders on July 31, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Swamin - err Swann and Tremlett and Broad isn't to shabby. Oh I forgot, England haven't got any batting without Cook.We'll see how today goes but in better conditions England might go ok.

  • Patrick_ on July 31, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    I don't understand you Chappel. Any team would have bowled first after winning the toss at Lords and Trent Bridge under the given conditions. Then what is all the fuss about ? But India retaining World no 1 spot for so long is still a mystery. And if England manages to get to that spot then they should be given the credit. But not before that.

  • demon_bowler on July 31, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Playing two-test series against their closest rivals has been a big help in delaying the inevitable.

  • Anil_Koshy on July 31, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    India managed to hung on to number 1 spot because of few individual performances not because of Dhoni's captaincy, mainly due to Sehwag, Zaheer and Laxman. The team does not any world class bowler or batsman. Once Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman retires, it will be no better than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe, apart from Zaheer Khan we don't have any decent bowler, Harbhajan is still there because of his past performances.

  • Mohanakrishnan on July 31, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    We cannot ignore the fact that Dhoni is the most successful indian captian with Success in all three formats of the game (World T20 Champion, World ODI Champion and No.1 Test Rankings and not to forget no test series loss yet). Ithink if india manages not to lose this series means india might remain No.1 for long time to come. To me, the main reason for India's success is he will absorb the pressure from others and let them play their natural game. This really brings the best out of fab3 and also from Zak and others.

  • on July 31, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    India is the no. 1 team for so long because despite a comparatively weaker bowling attack it has a batting which is head & shoulder above any that the opposition can bring to the field and with players like Virender Sehwag it awes the opposition to submission even before the beginning of the contest. As for this England side they are lucky to play an India without half its key players. If India can win or draw this test England will be blown out of their own fields in the last two test with sehwag gambhir & zaheer returning.

  • DaisonGarvasis on July 31, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    Mr. Chappell, come back in three days and declare the Captaincy Miracle. England is going down this test hat-trick or no hat-trick

  • on July 31, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    india is the deserving champions on and off the field and are truely the No.1 side in all form of the game...

  • Cricket_Master_Mind on July 31, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    surprised to see every body's missing the GARY CHRISTINE'S factor he was top class coach. It was Dhoni & Gary fabulous planning to keep india at top. Now they are likely to lose top position because there is no Gary any more....

  • bonaku on July 31, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    it is not fair to ignore the effort anil kumble put into this team when he was captian.

  • on July 31, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    the toughest challenge this no1 indian team has faced was against SA in their country n yes they are the mightiest side in the world having the best batsmen,bowlers and all rounders in the world...england proudly calls itself no1 even though it is behind SA and india.as for the test series india will come back and i cant just wait for the 3rd test when it will the complete indian team against the england team...then we will see... whos the daddy

  • StaalBurgher on July 31, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    How can you ask this question? India is a good team but the only reason India became number 1 with such a huge margin was because for a two year period they only ever played in the subcontinent and when they did play away it was against New Zealand. Since becoming number 1 there has hardly been much Test cricket played. The World Cup happened etc and a huge gap appeared in the Test calender. The last Test matches were played in Jul-Aug 2010 and absolutely NONE were played by anyone until May 2011. So the the vast majority of their time at no 1 no country played any Test cricket. The last 3 years of the cricket calendar has been a travesty and I sometimes wonder if it was deliberately manipulated.

  • mayu01 on July 31, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    hi!! Folks.....why is the debate? what Ian chappell has said in his article are THE CRUEL & REAL FACTS what every neutral Fan of Indian Team should accept....we are playing with 4 regular bowlers....which can hide our limitations in Sub-continent bowling conditions......but on foreign soils our bowling looks inept & Thin.....we are No# 1.....because WI hs declined n continue to go down slide.....as also Aus are not the force which they wer few years ago.... We are only No# 1 on paper....are playing like WI played between 1976-1995? Although Its not fair to compare teams of different Era....but can we match that team? Do we hv bench strength to replace Sachin,Dravid,Laxman,Zaheer? Grow up....my dear folks....Open ur eyes.....This team is more fortunate than others to stay at No#1.....

  • N.Sundararajan on July 31, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Mr. Chappell

    Sundararajan from Chennai: You commanded respect as a player and a captain, and even as a commentator---but this article clearly shows your prejudices, jealousy and the nasty side. If Ponting puts the other side in, it is because he trusts his bowlers, but if Dhoni puts the opponent in, it is because he doubts his batsmen and continues to doubt his bowlers looking for assistance ! Come on, Ian, be a sport----and keep your prejudices to yourself !

    Wait till the series is over---and you can wait for a long long time till Australia even climbs up the ladder again !

  • KiwiRocker- on July 31, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Answer is simple: 65M grounds, a lot of home test matches, flawed ICC ranking system, favourable DRS usage and Uncle Pawar. I got a better question: How is India No.1 while they failed to win their last series in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, SA, Australia and will most likely lose in England. India is not a good enough team to be in top4 that are England, SA, Australia and SL.

  • kmgnath on July 31, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Indians are rusty after their world cup win and IPL. England prepared well for this series, and they have home advantage. On the other hand Indian's took it easy..Indians have the habit of puting the First test at stake, they gain momentum going forward. Zak should have been atleast physically fit for the matches, when he has taken break, It is typical Indian way to relax. India has always dependent on openers to give them better start so that Dravid, VVS, Sachin ext can come and perform to put huge first inning scores. I don't think India lacks bowling talent,(they are not performing well to the conditions.) First test India had only two bowlers (bhajji inefficient, cause Lords is not spin pitch), India was unfortunate in this match, MSD went too defensice, should have played like Numbero Uno. The weakest link in the team at this point is Bhajji, he has to bowl +ve, and should attack rathen than deffiensive. Ever since Murali took the wicket of MSD in the 2007WC, bujji coppied

  • kmgnath on July 31, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Indians are rusty after their world cup win and IPL. England prepared well for this series, and they have home advantage. On the other hand Indian's took it easy..Indians have the habit of puting the First test at stake, they gain momentum going forward. Zak should have been atleast physically fit for the matches, when he has taken break, It is typical Indian way to relax. India has always dependent on openers to give them better start so that Dravid, VVS, Sachin ext can come and perform to put huge first inning scores. I don't think India lacks bowling talent,(they are not performing well to the conditions.) First test India had only two bowlers (bhajji inefficient, cause Lords is not spin pitch), India was unfortunate in this match, MSD went too defensice, should have played like Numbero Uno. The weakest link in the team at this point is Bhajji, he has to bowl +ve, and should attack rathen than deffiensive. Ever since Murali took the wicket of MSD in the 2007WC, bujji coppied

  • shamvyomani on July 31, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Mr Chappell

    I think you have forgotten or dont want to look Dhoni as Captain and his International records , captain is good as his team.

    Also let me know how many English Captain have Won the T20wolrd cup& 50 Worldcup, Champions League Final

    Or are simply jealous ............for your pathetick aussies

  • RogerC on July 31, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Ian is dead right. If England is touring India without their most destructive batsman and leading bowler, they would just go through the motions. Its to Dhoni's credit that India is still fighting every session of the series. India was never this good during Sachin/Dravid/Ganguly/Kumble's tenure as captains.

  • on July 31, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    1 MSD= 100 Sachin... in my opnion

  • SriSanka on July 31, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    I think Mr.Chappell is right.Currently there is no No.1 team in the world.there were teams like WI and Australia dominated the cricketing world with great batting and bowling as well as fielding abilities. How can India calling them selves as no 1 with their poor bowling line up and fielding abilities. can't even think that they will become no 1 even in future. they are a pretty ordinary side which has been overrated by Indian media and by BCCI money. Even they are not no 1 in ODI format also. Of course they won the world cup which is a great achievement under any circumstances but clearly they are not no 1 in the world. The World will see what would happen to the Indian side in another 10 - 15 months when they start to lose regularly....

  • nikhilranjan94 on July 31, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    Ian Chappell can say all what he wants but England's only chance to attain No.1 is at Trent Bridge. From the 3rd Test onwards, India are gonna field their best side with the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir and Zaheer returning to the squad. England won't even be anywhere near to the strength of the Indian team.

  • Alexk400 on July 31, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    Two issues. Most indian fans do not understan what ian chappel wrote. They are reading bits and pieces and get emotional. Ian chappel is praising Dhoni and reason for india even with key players playing , india are fighting tooth and nail with what ever india have. That is because of dhoni's man management. Sehwag fail or succeed is not that matter. What matters though england and its bowlers do not spend lot of time on how to get dravid or sachin out. Most of their planning will be how they going to get sehwag out. Bowlers will lose their mind and confidence until sehwag out. That mean they will be slow to apply plans on sachin or dravid...by that time they start bowling to plan , sachin and dravid would be nearing 70s. Sehwag is Mr. X factor.

  • common_man007 on July 31, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    Nice obeservation. India as a test team never had a bowling attack which was same for both the over seas matches as well as at home. The reason being India having two/three spinners at home and one overseas. So the second spinner and the third seamer always receieved a step motherly treatment. This does not help but still India manages to win home and abroad is great achivement. Dhoni deserves appreciation but he should focus on his batting instead of thinking to bowl

  • Alexk400 on July 31, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Excellant piece. Sehwag was there before dhoni. India used to squander every advantage sehwag gave. That never happenned under dhoni watch. he told sehwag go create chaos even if you fail, we can manage. if sehwag clicks , with weak ndian bowlers it makes even playing field with dhoni commandering his forces. For me Dhoni is greatest captain if he had all tools. A captain is as good as his team. if india have a bowler like steyn , they can be number 1 for ever. But india do not have and will not have fast bowlers in near future because of culture politics. He might look stupid sometime when he do not have tools to use. As Chappell said , he try everything to patch up. India had chances to win both matches at one point of time. That would never happened with any other indian captain. I do not think dhoni is shrewd or clever , he just have this magic touch. he does something , world will align itself to make his move success. As though he see things before anyone sees it.

  • on July 31, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    when are we gonna see Chappell on Twitter?

  • Percy_Fender on July 31, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    India has been well served by Sehwag, whose assaults on the opposition bowlers have paved the way for the famed middle order to score big.When scores are huge,the pressure is on the opposition.This apart Dhoni has been a captain of instincts. So far his instincts seem to have paid off.The thing that tilts the scales decisively though is that the bowlers from whom not much is expected at most times, rise to the occasion more frequently than expected to do. The series in South Africa is a great example of all these points. In the first test, they were destroyed completely. They won the second convincingly. In the third test by which time thay had come to terms with everything were on the verge of winning it but for Kallis.So I feel that while it may surprise many of how India has held on so long, I would say that it is the ability to deliver when it matters that has enabled them to hang on.And that may not be different to the great bowlers Australia and West Indies had when they were 1

  • kurups on July 31, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    very fair comment, Ian as always. I love your analysis and the way you think. Sure with a very inconsistent bowling attack and also a bit in their batting prowess, its an uphill task for India to maintain their position. and nowhere near that WI & Aussie side! which all indian cric fans shoud gracefully accept. The contest between the 4 top teams makes for exciting cricket which is better than a one team dominance. but I hope India stays no.1 for a long time with only a small distance from the rest.

  • on July 31, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    I loved the joke about one of the toughest challenges being Australia. Typical Aussie delusion. Australia would struggle against the West Indies.

  • Wacco on July 31, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    India is no. 1 without taking a series in SA and Aus. Just TIGERS in their backyard and coupled with sheer luck and Sehwag - spiralled India to the top. It will be interesting to see the test championships next year.

  • Rroshoo on July 31, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Undoubtedly, Dhoni's captaincy is good but its too overrated....a lot of credit is given to his captaincy which should go to the seniors who have built the team for over a decade. In the World Cup too, he made lots of tactical errors... yet he won cuz he just has a damn good one day team. Luck has also been very kind to him. Once things start going wrong, people will see how flawed his captaincy is. Plus he is a very average test batsman.

  • on July 31, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    I think that Indian fans would be unwise to place too much faith in the return of Sehwag. Lets not forget that he'll be playing his first cricket proper cricket (obviously IPL doesn't count) in 5 months, and it'll be remarkable if he hits form immediately. The fact is that over 4 tests it will be a massive achievement for England to come away with a 2 game margin - and therefore the no.1 ranking. Whatever kind of track we prepare India has the ability to compensate. Prepare a flat track and India's batting will be just a dominant as England's, prepare a green-top and India's seamers are just as capable of doing damage as England's.

  • bumsonseats on July 31, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    so far dhoni's greatest contribution to the series has beeen winning the tosses. if india had lost those and batted 1st they would have struggled. dpk

  • Sanjeev_Talwani on July 31, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    Yes, Mr. Chappell, the fact that India has retained its No.1 ranking is indeed a surprise because unlike the cheating Australian team, India never indulges in shameless sledging on the field. The only reason Australia was No. 1 for sometime was because of its sledging and backing by anti-India umpires like Darrell Hair and Daryl Harper (the "catch" taken by Ricky Ponting against India in the Sydney test for instance, which made India lose a test that it would have easily won and thereby the series). But cheaters cannot remain No.1 for long as we all see the demise of Australia now and the domination of world cricket by a real champion Indian team.

  • on July 31, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    India will come back and prove that they are NO 1. Our bowlers are in good form and the middle order will come back and show their strength in coming matches.....

    WE ARE THE NO 1 AND DHONI KNOWS HOW TO HANDLE IT.....

  • on July 31, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    It is only true that Dhoni has managed his resources very well. Managing an Indian team with raw and upcoming talent alongside the senior players like Sachin and Dravid and somehow managing to get everyone an opportunity to find themselves in international cricket is a unique challenge and Dhoni (should probably include the coaches and team managers) has done a phenomenal job.

    Yes, the current Indian team is not gifted with ample McGrath/Marshall class bowling resources. Yet, the fighting attitude in tough overseas conditions and an all round domination in favorable home conditions have kept this team afloat at the top of the table.

    When there is someone like Sehwag, with his own approach to batting, and Zaheer Khan, with a lot of skill and thought to every ball he bowls, there is a huge difference you can see in the team. Stay on top at the #1 or not, this has been the unit that has shown great character and maturity.

  • CandidIndian on July 31, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    I agree with Ian to an extent but then if India is not a clear cut or dominant no 1 , any other team who takes their place in case is likely to struggle to hold on the no 1 spot.India is winning everything at home and just managing to save the pride like it happened in SL and SA , the series which ended at 1-1.England does very well at home ,in SA and Aus, but they are poor in subcontinent,as we all know they could not defend mammoth score of 387 on a rank turner in India not so long back.SA has not won at home since three years,their last two important home series with India and Eng finished at 1-1 . Other two good test teams that is Aussies are in rebuilding phase and so are SL.Its such time in world cricket where the domination of any one team does not exist, not only in tests but in ODIs too.

  • Baana on July 31, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    India will level or win the ongoing Test series against England and make every EnglishMen as surprise. Meantime Let commentators can use as alway their own foolish comments!!!!

  • tanweeralam on July 31, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    There is no doubt, India has it what it takes to be the number one side (may couple of bowler short), best batting line up of all time, a reasonable bowling line up and one of the best captain of current times. The problem is that it has come at a time of T20. T20 seems like fun but takes more toll on a cricketer than Test cricket. Zaheer, shewag, gambhir are all examples of it. and decline of Harbhajan can be taken as the casualty of T20 where stopping being hit on flat decs is the motto rather than planning and getting the batter out. On Quality I do not think India (full strength) is not far from Aussies at there best and definatly better than the English side who are finding it tough to match the even a depleted Indian side.

  • Swamin on July 31, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Can Chappell points out a consistent fast bowler in England Team other than Anderson? Their recent wins came from contributions of Cook & Anderson. India should bowl them out cheaply.

  • Rroshoo on July 31, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    In general Chappelli has made valid points but blaming india's poor fielding standards to ageing players in the team is just rubbish. Dravid and Laxman always field in the slips. Tendulkar is as good as any average young indian fielder. Rest of all are young and average fielders. WHY is Age always blamed for anything and everything that goes wrong with this team ?? Also, he says Another appears when Dhoni plugs one.... What gaps he is talking about ?? Weak bowling attack compared to Windies and Australia is the only drawback of this team. There is no other gaps to plug in this team. Raina and Yuvraj have shown that they r ready to take the mantle once seniors retire.

  • on July 31, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    This article started as an obituary for India as No. 1 team in tests and the moment I felt Ian Chappell was spinning yet another rubbish yarn, he stroked a file line that leaves everything in balance. One of the few articles I think would pass, in my opinion as, reasonable.

  • Wacco on July 31, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    Its really a miracle that India is still the number 1 side without winning a test series in Aus and S. Africa. Ian is spot on. India dont have a test bench strength. period. By the end of this year India will be no. 3 or close to it.

  • strategic_blunder on July 31, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Here we go again, hyenas are out sensing a dying beast. Although will agree with the comparably weaker bowling attack, wouldnt go to the length of calling bowling first in seaming conditions as a weakness. It is called being 'proactive' and 'aware of your surroundings'. Not bullish and dismissive of everything around ( Im not surprised of this viewpoint though, seems like runs in the family and in past captains of author's country). Seems like author is promoting an un-smart way of playing the game without taking into consideration the surroundings. Another point, its stating the obvious that a team is weak when its key personnel are missing, look at Aus and their current rankings without McGrath, Haydo, Warne etc. It is not a revelation. One thing the author did forget to mention is that the 60% winning ratio of Dhoni as a captain hasnt been surpassed by any other captain, current or past.

  • HaridasVarma on July 31, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    Pl check the Stats mate .

  • jimbond on July 31, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    Few things happen by chance for a sustained period of time. India have become No.1 not because they are similar to the Dominant Australian or WI teams of the past decades, but because they have played better than contemporary teams, and continue to do so. If India is not so good, it merely means that the others are worse. If India still manage to retain their ranking- it would also mean that they continue to be the top contemporary team, and that England is still no. 2. India actually do not have too many worries, their support cast of Pujara, Kohli and Sharma are capable of filling the top slots in tests. Their pace attack is also not worse than any they had in the past. Dhoni continues to be the best WK batsman they had in the past two decades. Their major worry should be the lack of a good spinner- especially as they play a lot of games in the Subcontinent. Harbajan is well and truly fit to retire from tests, he can still continue in limited overs matches.

  • enjoy_the_game007_007 on July 31, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Ian, you might be better off worrying about the Australian team .

    A team doesn't become No. 1 overnight. India are No 1 because they have performed consistently -home and away. it is not just the captain brilliantly managing some average players as made up by you. They got quality players,great players, some of them legends of the game plus a great captain.We don't rely on a handful of players, someone or the other always steps up to the plate and delivers.

    The Lord's test isn't a great deal to go by.Agree England were the better team; better prepared would say. However it wasn;t as if they cruised through. A player getting injured can happen to any team & in this case it was like playing 10 against 11 for 80 minutes of a football game, not easy. despite all that- bit of luck, one more wicket after Ishant Sharma's devasting spell, england may have even lost that game.

    In the 2nd test,incase you got your blinkers on, it is INDIA who is leading and not englan

  • on July 31, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    this shows how much the aussies envy the Indian dominance .... perhaps the Indians are their newer odious rivals than the British ... am not surprised to see chappell posting these kinda articles .. cmon grow up chappell .. ur bro did well enough to ruin Indian cricket .. u too r on the same lines

  • on July 31, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    one thing sure.... australia would not become no.1 in future again.... australian players r worst...

  • enjoy_the_game007_007 on July 31, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    Ian, you might be better off worrying about the Australian team .

    A team doesn't become No. 1 overnight. India are No 1 because they have performed consistently -home and away. it is not just the captain brilliantly managing some average players as made up by you. They got quality players,great players, some of them legends of the game plus a great captain.We don't rely on a handful of players, someone or the other always steps up to the plate and delivers.

    The Lord's test isn't a great deal to go by.Agree England were the better team; better prepared would say. However it wasn;t as if they cruised through. A player getting injured can happen to any team & in this case it was like playing 10 against 11 for 80 minutes of a football game, not easy. despite all that- bit of luck, one more wicket after Ishant Sharma's devasting spell, england may have even lost that game.

    In the 2nd test,incase you got your blinkers on, it is INDIA who is leading and not englan

  • on July 31, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    the answer my friend Ian is very very simple(vvs) no not your tormentor laxman but closer home..in fact the answer lies in your household bro..get it ...come on..it aint tough..your bro Greg..remember him aint coaching india anymore..we are out of the dark ages my friend..:) now go have a vic bitter:)

  • IndoRocker on July 31, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    I'd like to know how can a team win without taking 20 wickets in a test. With so called toothless bowling attack, how is India able to win matches, let be at home soil mostly? Even if batsmen score 1000 runs, a team cannot win without bowling out opposition twice. India may not be as dominant as teams of past(Aus, WI), so are they expected to SURRENDER their No.1 ranking ?? If England deserves to be No.1, go get it. I don't see that happening in this series, forget England winning anything in India or SL.

  • on July 31, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    I don't understand why an able and experienced crickter like him wants a team to be always dominating... that is where people loose interest in the game. A fighter is not the one who knocks out opponents but fights till the last round and wins it... Team is never dependent on two (sehwag and Zaheer) but not denying the fact that they are important. If Indian batsmen live upto their potency then there won't be any question of why India is No.1. I agree it needs to be developed as a team rather than revolving around some aged batsmen... that is why we are bringing yuvi, raina and some others chances to develop under the covers of aged.

  • Emancipator007 on July 31, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    One-eyed Indian fans (Indian here) needs to understand that Ian is actually praising India here and rating the awesome EDGE that TITAN Sehwag has given to India in Tests- the fear factor for opposing sides in Tests in both innings. As Sehwag always scores in 1st innings and even if he does not in 2nd, oppositions don't know what is SAFE TARGET! Ian was an attacking captain and understands the value that a batsman like Viru has brought to the Indian Test side. Rabid Dravid fans (the ones who snipe at other players whenever he scores) NEED to know that Viru has scored NEARLY 8000 Test runs in the same decade as RD's success. Also Ian has put in place smug English fans who have been going ad nauseum after Lord's about their team -little forgetting that their batting is struggling too against so-called weak Indian attack.A prediction :Eng will lose in tours to India,Pak,SL in 2012.So much for looking to be no. 1 in Tests based on shorter time recent record.

  • on July 31, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    From what I've scene it seems like Ian is extremely biased towards Australia. He ranks Aussies above everybody even when they don't really deserve it. India has beaten every team they've come up against, that is how they became number one in the first place after all. They do have good bowlers, and an amazing batting line up.

  • johnathonjosephs on July 31, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Disagree with many parts. First off, their "ageing fielding" may give off runs, but their ageing players are the only thing that is keeping this team first place. Which other current team in the world has more players than India that have played since 2000 (10 years experience)? Zaheer, Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid, Harbhajan, Sehwag... Oh wait.. thats half the team. We all knew Australia heavily relied on their senior players in this decade (Warne, Gilchrist, Hayden, Mcgrath), and now India is with these. When these players retire (Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman's times are soon) the real Team India will be exposed (in the Test arena, in the ODI arena they will be king for a long time) and Dhoni's captaincy will be exposed (he actually is a horrible wicketkeeper to pace bowling and he makes quite a lot of captaincy errors... only thing he has is charisma)

  • Emancipator007 on July 31, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Ian understands Sehwag!love that line about the arrival of the real cavalry:Sehwag and Zaheer!LOL. Some facts why Sehwag's absence hurting India batting.No 300 for past 5 Tests. Plus Gambhir,RD, SRT,VVS all get time to settle down and play their normal game. Scoring rate in 1st innings at Lord's hurt India and gave time to England to score runs quickly and set India 400 plus. A Sehwag blast would have reduced deficit and made it tougher for England to get time to bowl out India in 2nd innings. People dissing Viru need to remember that a 30% talent of Viru -Dilshan scored 194 and another 50 in more swinging conditions in May/June recently in Eng.Viru also has a 80 and 100 In very first tour of England.A 100 on first tour of SA and a series-defining 69 in 2nd innings in 1st SA Test in 2010 (much like Ganguly's 144 at Brisbane in 2003). While he might not have done well in grassy NZ pitches in 2002 Tests, on same pitches scored 2 blitzing 100s in ODIs.

  • KjM4trix on July 31, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    It's great. Ian Chappell can write an article once and publish it again and again with minor modifications over a period of two years.

  • ramsharat on July 31, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    India might not be dominant like the Aussies and WI but has enough in the tank to be on top. India wins when it is most required and moves forward. thats the secret behind this team!!!!

  • sankar8000 on July 31, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    It is a Clear known Fact that because of Sehwag, India became the no 1 team and without him it will lose its spot!

  • Jay_N on July 31, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    @ LordOfCric who said that India is as great as westindies of 80's or Australia of 99-07, but does this mean that they don't deserve to be no.1. I mean which team is as great as those teams now a days? This position of no.1,2,3,.. whatever will keep floating in the next few years. All the teams have got a lot of cricket to play home and away in the next few years nobody has beaten the world as yet and I doubt any team will be as great atleast in some years to come. If only you could get great side like windies everyday but than would they be that special. Personally I feel that Australia wasn't as great as windies of those days but they were still a world beating team.

  • chandau on July 31, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    LOL Indian fans with their superiority complex (thanks to BCCI) dont seem to get the point that this article is infact congratulatory rather than derisive :) Looking back at the last 3 years it has been the batting that carried india around. Shewag Gambhir Dravid Sachin VVS - now that is a heavy weight top 5; just tally the runs thaey have made. Bowling during this period has been carried by Zaheer, Baaji and a few guys who alternated. Dhoni is neither a good wicketkeeper nor a batter for the 5 day version. However the great SRT recommended him for captaincy due to the aloof demenor on the field and man management skills. Now the problem in England is 2 of the top 5 are missing. Best bowler is missing. Baaji is not spinning. Add to that SRT and Dhoni are woeful but may come good later on. So 6 out of the 11 are either out or not firing. in a team game this is not good news. England on the other hand have their first XI. Compare this with the rugby - ALL BLACKS v Springboks :)

  • on July 31, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    somebody should tell Ian Chappell to stop writing the same drivel again and again.Its boring.

  • asho777 on July 31, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    India has been number one because of its world class batting line up probably no country had it since the inception of cricket. Cricket is not just with bowling it needs other things like very good batting power,captaincy and fielding which India has proved beyond doubt. Nothing is indispensible so one day it has to loose but India should feel proud it has been number one in all forms of games for this period when it had best batting power which I am sure no country will see for centuries

  • on July 31, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    haha -- Mr. Chappel -- the true reason why india is no.1, which you overlooked by all means is that they have a batting line up which is magnanimous, if not divine!! This could help dominate despite their average bowling! When there are Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman, Sachin in the team -- even the then aussies with their great bowling lineup could do nothing about the indian batting, except for taking chances with the then indian bowlers. So, considering the threat of the present fast bowlers,, you know who has to rule the rankings!! and the English team?? come on!!

  • getsetgopk on July 31, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    Agree mostly, Nasser Hussain was spot on too by saying India didn't value their No 1 ranking in test cricket. Most of the leading players missed the WI tour because they needed rest after a never ending IPL. Sehwag thought IPL was more important than WI or England tour by delaying his shoulder surgery. Zaheer not getting enough practice during his rest period. India did take things way too lightly and only a crushing defeat at Lords could open their eyes.

  • on July 31, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Indian teams trip to No1 spot started with Ganguly, and now almost ends with Dhoni, during this time the trinity matured into a vintage unit and Kumble started denting opposition even on green tracks, added to this were players like RP Singh, Sreesanth and Ishanth who were in the team and creating an impact.. Having said that this Indian team can become No 1 in the next 2 years, if they take some hard decision, one being that they drop one or two of Rahul , Laxman or Tendulkar for every series, only 2 or the 3 should play, they must bat 4 or 6 giving the option of youngsters to bat 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 . Secondly they must drop Bhajji, like how they dropped Kumbles before he started his renaissance, then you will either have a better Bhajji or a better replacement. At any point not more than 3 tired legs must be on the field. Bhajji and Tendulkar look jaded and the interest is not on saving games, No 4 is a critical position and the best spinner must stop looking like he is well past his date

  • Jay_N on July 31, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    @chin-music wow even the thought of putting this English team into the league of the an outstanding westindies team and a great Aussie team is a joke in a very bad taste. No doubt that they are a very good side but really WI & Aus get back to reality. I guess only time will judge them. So far the only thing this English team has done is to win Ashes in Australia but I dont blame English supporters for getting intoxicated in that and judging them already no.1 force after all its decades later that u hv beaten Aus in Aus. As far as India goes think whatever you want and say whatever u want tht's ur prerogative but the fact remains our last 2 tour to England have been a draw in 2002 & victory in 2007 and this tour aint ova yet and for England in India well I'll have open to the history books to see when u last won a series in India.

  • pitch_it_up on July 31, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Yet again, this Chappell fellow displays his envy. He can't bear the fact that India is # 1 Test team. All his stupid analysis doesn't mean anything. If the conditions are favorable to bowling, commonsense says that one should opt for the same. There isn't any apparent weakness in that decision.

    And what aging batsmen is he talking about??!! The players he is referring to are absolute legends. Any team in the world would dream to have them in their team. If age were a factor, why has Cricket Australia retained Ricky Ponting in the team? Its nothing but Chappell is being jealous!!

  • breathecricket on July 31, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Of course I should say that Ian could be wrong in two points in the above article: 1. Dhoni sending in England and expecting Indian bowlers to use the condition may not be an indication of fear due to Sehwag's absence. 2. We need not harp on Sehwag's absence so much because his success is not assured on conditions like these where batting success depends on technical expertise and not just daredevil flamboyance. Vaidy

  • devprasad2011 on July 31, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    come on mr Chapell......England are the biggest choker themselves even now also...you have forgot to notice that in the first test , in the face of average bowling attack of india england were struggling for 65/5......That too in their own backward. that is not dominence.....why do forgot that india dont ve the full strength....otherwise they would ve rolled the england side in no time......in india england cant even win a single match , just look at their recent records..

    so stop criticise india and enjoy the cricket.....let the best team win.......

  • spec12 on July 31, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    How India has managed to stay on top actually does not matter. What counts is the fact that India has stayed. Whether it is a scratchy 100 or a well executed one, what counts at the end of the day is whether it is a 100 or not. So Chappell has made his point. Now we have a very competitive system, with almost teams close by, hence you can ask these questions. When WI or AUS dominated, none reached close. So there was no need to ask such questions. Even if ENG manage to reach the top spot, the same question is bound to be asked of them.

  • on July 31, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    I am sure that india will gain momentum when the best opening pair in tests at present (sehwag and gautam) and their most reliable bowler(zaheer) returns for the remaining 2 test matches.As by reading chappells opinion it can be stated that there were so many doubts regarding the ability of the prest indian team as the no.1 test side. I wonder how they forgot the fact that under the captaincy of dhoni india had beaten SA n drawn the series with them and beaten AUS 2-0 before the ashes.And now it is the turn of ENG. If dhoni manages to beat england with 2-1 atleast i think he will become the best captain india ever had just 4 wins short of my favourite dada(with 21 wins) who inculcated the aggression and dominance to the indian cricket team. I hope india will remain at no.1 in test cricket as long as dhoni leads the team as the skipper.Go India all the best.

  • Arun_Nayyar on July 31, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Well I have never been a great fan and always felt that your views were biased. This article is truly creative and speaks in volumes about the anlytical skills and your shrewd cricketing abilities. I hope India can draw these series and move on. Lessons learnt to be better prepared as after this series they face less stiffer challange and can stay number 1 for some more time..

  • on July 31, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    Dear Sir, with all due respect you, I completely disagree with you on this issue. India have stayed No 1 because of the sheer passion n committment they bestow during the games they play unlike Australians who are known to be sledgers and this reflected when they were the no 1 side in tests during that time. Indians are far more better and play in the true spirit of the game. The question about how have India stayed no1 is simply because of playing lot of games back to back and also in the process injures added to teams best playing XI.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on July 31, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    Just give MSD one only one champion quickie and rest like ishant,sree,PK he would seldom lose a test on the other hand eng have anderson,broad,swann,tremlett,bresnan,finn etc now anyone would envy such attack and that too in top form and that too in home conditions and still ind hold advantage at trentbridge with their top 3 gambhir,sehwag,zaheer players for past 4 years missing indeed if india wins this match it would be a bigger achievement for him than his WC final innings

  • on July 31, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    Chappel : "it's no surprise that with zaheer missing from most of the action at Lord's, India struggled against a strong England side". Wat the hell, Its not because there was no bench strength but bcoz India had to play with 10 players, remaining 4 days...

  • sudesh2011 on July 31, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    Mr.Chappell - You are just jelous that India is No.1 and Australia is not. Unless, Aussies like you change your attitute Australia is never going to be No.1 again.

    You should appreciate India, despite not having 3 or 4 called "world class" bowlers India is still able to win and be No.1... This is due to the fact that cricket is a team sport not individual sport. Collective perfomance of 11 players is better than having 3 or 4 world class players.

    grow up ma !!

  • breathecricket on July 31, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Perfect comments by Chappel. Indian bowling has just been good. Sometime back Ian wrote that India cannot be the no.1 test team for long because we have good bowlers but not great bowlers. For any test side to be a champion long term, we need at least 2 great bowlers with an average of around 20. But India does not have even one. When Ian chappel aired this view, even some Indian cricketers like Harbhajan pounced on him. But Ian's words are very true. We may be the no.1 side by statistics and not by status just like we had some world no.1 players in tennis without any grand slam championship to their credit. The worse aspect of this is Indian cricketers have not given enough importance to retaining thier no.1 status. Had they gone with a stronger side to Windies and had they won with a greater margin, they would not have gained points to stay ahead of the pack. On the contrary they have lost points giving England a realistic chance of gaining No1 spot in tests.

  • on July 31, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    i am hearing that from two year

  • phoenixsteve on July 31, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    Interwsting article and as ever Ian Chappel pulls no punches. With the second test in the balance going into day 3 he could prove to be spot on, or will come in for another barrage of Indian criticism bought about by insecurity! I expect and hope that England will capitalise on Indian weakness tomorrow (day 3) but anything is possible? Nobody dominates world cricket today- unlike the Aussie and Windies eras..... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • AjaySridharan on July 31, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    For once I agree with Ian Chappell. It is easy to get frustrated with Dhoni, given his mediocre wickiet keeping and dead weight batting. But his biggest contribution has been his man management skills, and that is key in a 5 day game. For his own good, I hope he can get a 50-60 run innings to get his confidence back. India have managed quite well in this test so far, given that Sehwag, Gambhir and Zaheer are missing..but for that poor period of play when they let the tailenders put on 100 runs for the last two wickets.

  • on July 31, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    India's strong batting line-up, both with rock solid defense and outrageous attack, good spinners (Mainly Kumble and partly Harbhajan) and few exceptionally performance at times had been paid off & that's why they are #1 Test team currently. In fact, the foundation to this summit was laid on at the very beginnin of 21st century. It has also shown the world that if we keep on doing good works there is nothing that can stop u from being at the Helm. I believe apart from the current bunch of players India should never ever forget the contributions of the retired players like Kumble, Ganguly and few more who played their part to make India No. 1. And, with this, must not forget that to remain at the peak is far tougher than to reach there. Ne1 can be #1 at the given time but only the BEST can remain there for longer just like WI and Aus in the past.

  • muski on July 31, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    Ian- I must confess that I have never been a fan of your views. However I must admit that this piece is well written without any bias. After day 2 at trent bridge, we are still not sure if India can pull it off. Viru coming back after a long lay off in the next 2 tests is not an Insurance against defeat- after all he is human too and needs time to acclimatize. I shudder to think how our new generation of batsmen will cope up with test cricket. It has been wall all the way in tour and he wont be there for long. Neither will be VVS or the little man.For All the talk about this strong England line up, I feel their batting is more brittle than India.Individually the Cooks, Trotts and Bells have great stats. However, collectively they are failing as a batting unit. I still feel that this series will be 1-1 with the next 2 tests being drawn and MSD will come unscathed even as his batting has plummeted to unforeseen depths. The talk of him being a really lucky bloke will do the rounds again.

  • rahulcricket007 on July 31, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    i agree with you mr.chappel. it is intersting to see that india is no.1 in test cricket for 2 years . currently some important players are missing from the indian team (sehwag, zaheer , gambhir) yet indian team is giving tough challenge to the england mainly due to there bowlers and dravid and laxman. but i m sure even if india lose the second test then from the remaining 2 tests 1would be a draw and the other would be a victory for india because sehwag and zaheer will return .as far as england is concerned they are playing most test cricket in there home recently against bangladesh , srilanka , india .intersting to see what will be there performance when they come to the india & south african tour later this year .

  • on July 31, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    Chappels!! Such a short sighted guys. Guys won't remember India beating England at home and away earlier, Whitewash Aussie in India and almost won in Aus. They just hate India sitting on the top. But as Dhoni clearly mentioned, just enjoy the game and don't bother a bit on the ranking. As Sree said "I love being criticized."

  • nikheelkumar16 on July 31, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Even Australia always plumbed without Mcgrath and Hayden. Every team has got their enough plus and minus points. Ian, i Suggest you to worry about Australian team rather than thinking about Indian Team

  • chin-music on July 31, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    As always, Ian has called a spade a spade. India's #1 has always had a "thanx to circumstances" feel to it - since nobody would seriously put their bowling/fielding in even the top 5 out of the 8-9 teams that play tests. Their extraordinary batting strength, especially in familiar conditions, makes them difficult to beat - so, by squeezing the odd victory here & there , they have just about managed to stay afloat on top. The current English team, on the other hand, has the all the right ingredients to potentially match the earlier WI & aus champion teams.

  • golax on July 31, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    In general Ian does make a few good points regarding India maintaining the top position with limited resources. That being said, a few statements are just inane. For example, the one about Lords. If the conditions are suited for bowling with a cloud cover and you have two bowlers in Zaheer and Praveen who can swing the ball, why wouldn't you bowl first? This has nothing to do with the presence of Sehwag. In fact batting first despite such conditions might betray a lack of confidence in the bowling.

    Importantly, if a team has to win a test match, the bowlers have to get the wickets. While India may not have won major series, it has drawn most of them with most series involving India registering a win. While the bowlers agreeably are not a dominant attack, they have enough to bowl out teams. In many recent occasions, the sorry toothless figure of Indian bowling has often been an artifact of fact that the Indian batsmen have not given their bowlers a decent score to play with.

  • rahulcricindia on July 31, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    no matter what you say but he is surely the better captain than ricky ponting..i wonder how many victories (test) ponting would have achieved with this kind of bowling attack..and how long he could have kept his team to no.1 no sure about as long as dhoni is doing...for sure ....at times record do not suggest how good or how ordinary captain you are!!!!!!

  • coolio78 on July 31, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Very true that India are missing Sehwag and Zaheer, and without them keeping India on the No. 1 spot is gonna be very difficult. But not Impossible! Ishant is doing a great job and Yuvraj and Raina also trying their best. If only somehow they manage to win this tes, Zaheer is going to pounce on them in the next test and I hope Sehwag blasts the English attack and make them look like minnows!

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    With all due respect sir, your comments are getting a bit repetitive. People keep harping about how India is missing Sehwag. Everyone seems to be sure that he would have changed the whole series. If he had played, probably he too would have struggled. Who knows? India have reached this top spot because, at least their batting's not dependent on a single name. And I don't understand when you say "they(England) pounced when the time was right. A hungry cheetah couldn't have done a better job of plotting and executing the kill.". Probably you are hinting that their losing 8 wickets for 127 and then getting rescued by Broad was an elaborate set-up? Now, now, what else are you going to come up with?

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    Seriously? With everyone failing and Dravid the only one getting any runs, you praise Dhoni?! For heaven's sake!!!

  • donda on July 31, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    India is number 1 team because of their batting only. If WI and Aus had greatest of bowlers in pack of 4 then India has greatest of batsmen in pack of 4. Tendulkar, Dravid, Sehwag, Laxman and then add Ghamiber + Raina + Yuvraj + Dhoni. This is better bating lineup than a World 11.

    Dhoni is still the luckiest cricketer on planet earth, he won most of matches at home where his batsmen never let him down. He drew the series away because of batsmen only.

    I call this luck that Dhoni is captaining the greatest batting lineup of all time without any doubt. Even I can win some matches with this batting lineup at home.

    Remember India always come back in the series because their batsmen knows the target and job and like today they do the job in every other match.

    A Pointless topic, every body knows that it's greatest batting lineup of all time.

  • Kashi0127 on July 31, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    Chappell is absolutely right - its time India start trying outr their bench strength. Rohit Sharma, Hohli, Manish Pandey, Pujara are a few they need to persist in a mix alongwith Dravid and Laxman. Persoannly I hope the statistic hungry Indian selctors/ board persuade tendulkar to call it a day once gets his 100th 100.

  • sankydagr8 on July 31, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    I have always your opinion but I am starting to feel Aus n English media are passing judgement too quickly..If England loses this test...I bet people in Aus n English media will say ..ohh England lost because Trott was unfit..cook has bad series..India batted on "batting day".ie under Sun and England on "bowling day" under cloud..why dont you guys GROW UP and accept India is good team better team than rest of the world..not yet best in the world but will reach it once likes of Sreesanth, Ishant, evolve into better cricketers..

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Don't worry Ian. You'll see how India have remained No 1 this long in the next few days. Aussies and English are still not ready to digest the fact that India is No 1. India is gonna be No 1 even for few more years. All the best to Team India.

  • vatsap on July 31, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    Spot on. The other fact/ factor is all of Sehwag's big innings in the past 3-4 years since his come back have all come in Sub-Continent tracks. Time for Veeru to set that straight. The Indian bowling has been way below international standards and there needs to be real consistency. The #1 spot has been due to varying factors including BCCI's smart scheduling, Australia's decline to name two. England's probably the best side right now, can't imagine India beating Australia 3-1 in Australia.

  • perl57 on July 31, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    "If his team is still at the top of the Test rankings after this series with England, he will have surpassed that monumental achievement." I guess Ian you spoke a bit too early. Now question yourself. India, not on its soil, No Veeru, No Gambi, No Zaheer and Eng full team in, still struggling with the remaining bowlers and batsmen. How much time will it take India to win one and draw one? I guess we are almost there. This I am considering after conceding that we have lost the second test. Whats questionable is that India never was really serious until their #1 ranking came into question. I will really want to know if England has the guts to upstage INdia and remain for a year, not 2 or 3 years like INDIA, but 1 year.

  • Sehwag_Is_A_Flat_Track_Bully on July 31, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Seriously, with all respect to Sehwag, people are overrating him. No doubt he is a devastating batsman, but he would have struggled in these conditions. Although, to be fair to Sehwag, there is no guarantee that he would fail, but at the same time, there is no guarantee that he will do well.

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    India struggled at Lord's not because of Zak's injury but because of his injury during the match which left India with only 3 specialist bowlers. I don't know why everyone is so jealous of India's no.1 ranking in tests. If Ian Chappell doesn't think they are good enough then please let him explain how they managed to draw the test series in South Africa against a very good South African side?

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Just a question-if India draw this series, will they still remain No. 1?

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    Indians will definitely be the no.1 test side after the ongoing sereis... Wait and watchl

  • sekhar.kunapareddy on July 31, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Sir Ian Chappell,

    what ever you have said is right but my view is that missing few great players make the contest more interesting and not one sided (obviously on India side) which is good for cricket, I'll be cent percent sure that India is not gona loose his number 1 position to England, who are over estimating themselves at the moment and in home conditions.

  • LordOfCric on July 31, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    Great article Indian team is not as strong as West Indies of 80's and Australia of 1999-2007. India is relying too much on their batsmen and they don't have any quality bowlers. None of Indian bowlers who have played more than 50 test have an avgerage of under 25. One day when Tendulkar, Dravid & Laxman not around India will be same as WI of today. They have given chances to Vijay,Kohli,Munkund,Badrinath on WI tour & before, but unfortuntely they failed to make any sort of impact even the conditions were suitable for their likings.

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  • LordOfCric on July 31, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    Great article Indian team is not as strong as West Indies of 80's and Australia of 1999-2007. India is relying too much on their batsmen and they don't have any quality bowlers. None of Indian bowlers who have played more than 50 test have an avgerage of under 25. One day when Tendulkar, Dravid & Laxman not around India will be same as WI of today. They have given chances to Vijay,Kohli,Munkund,Badrinath on WI tour & before, but unfortuntely they failed to make any sort of impact even the conditions were suitable for their likings.

  • sekhar.kunapareddy on July 31, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Sir Ian Chappell,

    what ever you have said is right but my view is that missing few great players make the contest more interesting and not one sided (obviously on India side) which is good for cricket, I'll be cent percent sure that India is not gona loose his number 1 position to England, who are over estimating themselves at the moment and in home conditions.

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    Indians will definitely be the no.1 test side after the ongoing sereis... Wait and watchl

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Just a question-if India draw this series, will they still remain No. 1?

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    India struggled at Lord's not because of Zak's injury but because of his injury during the match which left India with only 3 specialist bowlers. I don't know why everyone is so jealous of India's no.1 ranking in tests. If Ian Chappell doesn't think they are good enough then please let him explain how they managed to draw the test series in South Africa against a very good South African side?

  • Sehwag_Is_A_Flat_Track_Bully on July 31, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Seriously, with all respect to Sehwag, people are overrating him. No doubt he is a devastating batsman, but he would have struggled in these conditions. Although, to be fair to Sehwag, there is no guarantee that he would fail, but at the same time, there is no guarantee that he will do well.

  • perl57 on July 31, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    "If his team is still at the top of the Test rankings after this series with England, he will have surpassed that monumental achievement." I guess Ian you spoke a bit too early. Now question yourself. India, not on its soil, No Veeru, No Gambi, No Zaheer and Eng full team in, still struggling with the remaining bowlers and batsmen. How much time will it take India to win one and draw one? I guess we are almost there. This I am considering after conceding that we have lost the second test. Whats questionable is that India never was really serious until their #1 ranking came into question. I will really want to know if England has the guts to upstage INdia and remain for a year, not 2 or 3 years like INDIA, but 1 year.

  • vatsap on July 31, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    Spot on. The other fact/ factor is all of Sehwag's big innings in the past 3-4 years since his come back have all come in Sub-Continent tracks. Time for Veeru to set that straight. The Indian bowling has been way below international standards and there needs to be real consistency. The #1 spot has been due to varying factors including BCCI's smart scheduling, Australia's decline to name two. England's probably the best side right now, can't imagine India beating Australia 3-1 in Australia.

  • on July 31, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Don't worry Ian. You'll see how India have remained No 1 this long in the next few days. Aussies and English are still not ready to digest the fact that India is No 1. India is gonna be No 1 even for few more years. All the best to Team India.

  • sankydagr8 on July 31, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    I have always your opinion but I am starting to feel Aus n English media are passing judgement too quickly..If England loses this test...I bet people in Aus n English media will say ..ohh England lost because Trott was unfit..cook has bad series..India batted on "batting day".ie under Sun and England on "bowling day" under cloud..why dont you guys GROW UP and accept India is good team better team than rest of the world..not yet best in the world but will reach it once likes of Sreesanth, Ishant, evolve into better cricketers..