August 25, 2011

'The BCCI thought India would just turn up and do well'

Ian Chappell, Kiran More, Aakash Chopra and Venkatesh Prasad look at five areas of concern India need to address
46

The Argus review showed that Australian cricket had diverted its focus too far from the success of the Test team. Must India recognise that it has done the same?
Ian Chappell, former Australia captain The BCCI are in the business of making money, more so than cricket. They have let the senior players have a bit too much say in what they want and the selectors have been negligent in their duty. It almost seems to me like the selectors have said: this is a terrific period for us, we are going to make the most of it, and if we leave the mess to the next lot, too bad. I say that they have not done anything really to plan for the future at all.

All you have got to do is have a system that produces good young, skilful, competitive cricketers. And if you are producing a number of good, strong leaders then you will be fine.

Work on the things that are going to get you wins in any game of cricket. If you are going to produce leaders, then it is not going to matter if you are going to play Test, one-day or Twenty20 matches.

India need a decent bowling attack to build a good team around. I wrote when India became the No. 1 Test team that I did not see them maintaining that position under all the different conditions. Apart from the fact that the selectors have not faced up to the issue of an ageing batting line-up that is terrible in the field in a five-day game, they have not also faced up to the fact that Harbhajan Singh has not been a good attacking weapon for at least for a good two years now. And where are the good fast bowlers?

I have never seen a winning team tire. All the tired teams are the ones that are losing. India at the moment are losing. India should have been able to stay at the No. 1 for a quite a long time because have a look at the numbers that play the game, just for starts. Then they have got all the money, but if it is not well administered then the money does not mean anything.

Aakash Chopra, former India opener For a very long time we buried our heads in the sands and refused to believe a problem existed. That is why we were so thoroughly underprepared for the England tour, because the BCCI thought India are No. 1 and would just turn up and do well. Now they are asking Cricket Australia for an extra warm-up match. But it is just not about scheduling. Preparation for me is a long-drawn process: it starts from identifying the right personnel and then taking it forward. If you are not improving by 10% as a team every time you play overseas, you become stagnant. Other teams are also improving, so you cannot be No. 1 anymore.

You have to be extremely ruthless in your preparation. We cannot just have one strike bowler in Zaheer Khan. If Chris Tremlett broke down, England had Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn and Graham Onions. You have to have a pool. Imagine if Zaheer had broken down during the World Cup; we would have lost it there and then. In fact, about a year ago we knew we were over-reliant on Zaheer in Tests and one-dayers.

Success can always tell a lot more than failure can. When you are doing well, if you know why you are doing well, it is always easier to just keep doing the same thing and keep improving alongside. That is what good teams do.

Kiran More, former India selector The biggest review the Indian board needs to do is at the National Cricket Academy [NCA]. It has become a joke. The last time I was there, all the bowlers and batsmen were being just cloned mechanically. I was shocked. You can't have everyone do the same thing. How many cricketers has the NCA helped produce who are at the level of Anil Kumble or Rahul Dravid or Sachin Tendulkar? The NCA has failed in feeding good talent to the national team. It is time the Indian board seriously rethinks how the NCA is run. Kumble [now the NCA chairman] should be given a free rein. He will make sure the right structure is put in place. You can't just have coaches who are equipped with Level 1, 2 certificates. To an extent these guys can help, but you need national cricketers playing a bigger role.

Is it time that at least the most important players get an off-season window? And how long should it ideally be?
Chopra It should be left to the players. I mean, some batsmen might not want that break unless they are playing in all three formats and the IPL. Actually players like Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli are fit and young and don't really need a break. MS Dhoni is the guy who deserves, and should be given, a break. Some of the Indian players who will be involved in the England ODI series will have to directly fly to Hyderabad to play in the Champions League Twenty20 qualifiers three days later.

More importantly, in the last few years the number of injuries have shot up massively and players are breaking down. That needs review.

"It almost seems to me like the selectors have said: This is a terrific period for us, we are going to make the most of it, and if we leave the mess to the next lot, too bad"
Ian Chappell

More The BCCI needs to prioritise the events where players need to play. Look at England and Australia, whose best players don't play in tournaments like the IPL. They are well-compensated.

In India the situation now is such that nobody is held accountable. Look at this season's IPL, where Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer played with injuries immediately after winning the World Cup. It clearly showed that priority was never given to the England series.

The workload of players needs to be managed really well. Everyone, from the player to the selectors to the physios to the trainers, needs to chalk out a plan and work on it, otherwise this will never change.

Is there a case to offer incentives to players to build their skills in Test cricket? And how do you go about doing that?
Chappell The administrators made their bed. If you are going to provide enormous riches for playing T20 cricket then most people will take the easy way out. Occasionally there comes a Dravid, Tendulkar or a Laxman, who wants to be good Test cricketer, but most people are lazy and opt for the easy way out. It is going to be bloody hard to turn that around.

You can't really solve it by upping the wages in first-class cricket, because if money is the only incentive then you have a problem. The best cricketers I know of are the ones who love playing it well, and because they play it well they get paid well.

This is the problem with cricket administration - they do not think things through. The IPL has done some good things for cricket, but the best of ideas do have downsides. And it is not restricted to India. It is a global malaise.

Chopra There is definitely a good way - make first-class cricket (four-day matches) the key tournament in the country. Then increase the remuneration in the Ranji and Duleep Trophy. At the moment a player gets Rs 1 lakh (US$ 2200 approx) per first-class game, but in the IPL the average player gets about Rs 30 lakhs ($65,000) for 14 T20 matches. So why should he sweat earning Rs 5 lakhs ($10,900) for playing one full season of first-class cricket? That gap needs to be bridged. You need to start rewarding players in domestic cricket.

How can you have the Irani Trophy (October 1-5), a premier domestic tournament and the curtain-raiser to the main domestic season clashing with the Champions League and also the Challenger Trophy? You are actually ridiculing it.

More importantly, keep T20 out of bounds for teenagers. You need to take such radical steps to popularise one format which is losing its sheen - not because the quality of cricket is not there but only because people are not willing to put in those extra hours. Across India most Under-12 and Under-14 tournaments are T20 format. If kids are exposed to the shortest form at such a young age, what will they become eventually?

The dynamics have changed in the last four years - with the IPL coming in, guys playing a lot of cricket, and India having reached the summit. So you need to review a lot of things. The impact of the IPL on domestic cricketers - are these performances prioritised over domestic performances? If we are going to pick a player on his IPL showing, then you are ridiculing the domestic system.

More Our system that needs to change right from the state level. Everybody blames the BCCI for everything, but I will blame the 31 state associations. All the states receive a fantastic amount of money from the Indian board, but they don't make the right use of it. They need to develop the right infrastructure in the form of a good academy, set up a good format of domestic cricket…

I will cite the example of Baroda, where I come from. There are hardly any three-day matches played, so how can a Baroda player develop a good mindset for the longer form? That is not the case in states like Mumbai, Karnataka or Tamil Nadu, where structures are in place and there are different formats that allow youngsters to develop the right skills. So there is a strong need to play the right tournaments at the domestic level. Our state associations are only interested in raking in the money. Building a good stadium does not mean the money is being utilised in the right way. The BCCI does not organise camps at age-group levels. That is the responsibility of the states.

Has the time come to phase out the old guard? How do you do it?
Chopra I definitely do not agree that the time is up for the Big Three. Having said that, what we should have started doing more than a year ago is blooding youngsters. Say, we are playing an inconsequential Test match, like a dead rubber, or against Bangladesh, like last year - it's a good time to throw the youngsters in at the deep end and see if they can stand up. Without really letting go of the senior pros, I would put a new player in a series like the Caribbean tour with a clear process in mind, and not just trying for the sake of trying out a newcomer.

Chappell It was time probably two years ago. There is no doubt that Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman are certainly among the best batsmen, but have they picked the right young players in the squad? Rohit Sharma is twice as good a batsman as Suresh Raina and he has not yet played Tests. Okay, there may be personality problems, and Rohit might not have a big amount of first-class runs, but you don't worry about all that. You just back your judgement. Some guys adapt to the big stage faster than others.

You can leave guys at the lower level for too long. Graeme Hick is a classic example. He played a lesser standard of cricket way too long and by the time he played Test cricket he had flaws that were found out. If he had played Test cricket earlier maybe he would not have got into sloppy habits. You have got to get Rohit up there and find out whether he can do it.

You do not pick teams to please people; you pick teams to win cricket matches, but while you are always picking a team to win the next game, you are also selecting a team with an eye on the future. Good selectors are good enough to do both: pick a team that will win and also know when the time has come to start making some changes. And it is much easier to make gradual changes rather than have to make four or five changes all at once. Australia have suffered that fate.

Take the Indian fielding, which was atrocious in England. It is going to be worse in Australia, where they will be playing on bigger grounds. You can give an allowance to the Big Three, who have slowed down, but what about some of the youngsters? Absolutely rubbish. India's best fielder can't bat.

The bowling attack struggled in conditions that favoured the bowlers more than they will in Australia. I would love to hear from the selectors what squad they will pick for the Australian tour. If they come with the one seen in England, then good luck.

More The selectors need to take some hard decisions. What was the point of asking Sehwag to come to England when he was half-fit? It would have been better to play Abhinav Mukund instead for four Tests, even if he failed. If there is a senior player who is unfit it is a suitable time to pick a youngster and give him as many chances as possible.

As for the Big Three, we need them, but some time down the line we need to make a call for phasing them out in the right fashion. After the World Cup win, nobody is bothered anymore. You have to make some tough calls even if people might not like it. If you don't do that at the right moment, it will only be bad for Indian cricket.

Does India have a pool of fast bowlers? How do you create one and manage it?
Venkatesh Prasad, former India bowling coach You have to travel around the country if you are a coach and attend important matches like Ranji Trophy or Duleep Trophy finals to check if there is any interesting talent coming along. You have to go and talk to the people at the domestic level and gather information. There should be a pool of shortlisted players who will be sent to the zonal cricket academies and then the NCA. I do agree with the opinion that Indians bowlers have not been fit.

"India have a good bunch of six to seven bowlers. But these bowlers need to be given a break after the IPL for about 15 days. After that, get them to the NCA, where you work only on their fitness to begin with, during this off season"
Venkatesh Prasad

When India won the World Twenty20 in 2007, there was a trainer like Greg King working his backside off to make sure the players were at their peak. He made sure every player was religiously following the routine he had given them, and if the player was not doing so, King personally ensured it was being followed. In the last two years fitness has been left to the individuals, but fitness is something where you need to push the players. To a certain extent, yes, it is a personal responsibility, but you need to raise the bar and you need someone to push you.

As for the pool of fast bowlers I can confidently say that India have a good bunch of six to seven bowlers. But these bowlers need to be given a break after the IPL for about 15 days. After that get them to the NCA where you work only on their fitness to begin with, during this off season. Make sure there is personal attention given to each of them and push them to work hard. Don't make them bowl a lot as they do that during the domestic season. I would make them bowl two sessions in a week during the off season. During the remaining time work on their fielding and fitness. Also get them in batches of five to seven bowlers, and every 10 days work with a different batch. This way you are working on about 15 to 20 bowlers.

And if the player has a BCCI contract, make sure he is always around doing something at the NCA. You can't have guys holidaying somewhere and suddenly being recalled to the team.

As you come closer to the season you need to taper down the speed- and agility- and strengthening conditioning and focus more on your bowling. You have to bowl a helluva lot of overs to get match-fit.

Our bowlers have the talent, but I am not sure about the planning during a series. Have we been bowling to our strengths? Have we analysed the opposition? Look at England, how they have tried to map Sachin Tendulkar's brains and work out algorithms to work him out. When I was a bowling coach, I would make it a point to have a chat as a bowling group in the coffee shop once we got back to the team hotel after the day's play.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on August 28, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Strange how some people accuse Ian Chappel of being anti-India - this is the same Ian Chappel who castigated the Indian selectors for not originally picking Sehwag for the last tour to Australia - the rest is history! Unfortunately some people are so jingoistic that they have lost all their self-critical faculties and associate any exposure of the weaknesses and frailties of Indian institutions with being anti-Indian! Ian is trying to help Indian cricket sort out the mess it has got itself into - and he is accused of being anti-Indian for identifying the mess and proposing measures to rectify it! The fact is Ian has been unsparing in his criticism of cricket administrators everywhere - Ian's criticisms of Australian administrators have included criticisms of his brother Greg in the past - his level of insight is simply unrivalled and he was of course a redoubtable champion of his players against the caprices of the administrators from his days as a player and captain.

  • on August 27, 2011, 2:58 GMT

    India needs to have a combination of truly great players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Sehwag and Zaheer with some young good players with outstanding fielding capability around them. With this combination, the seniors would be hidden in the field. This combination would extend the span of these once-in-a-lifetime players. If players are not outstanding batsman or bowler, they should be developed into decent batsman/bowler if they are good fielders like Raina, Kohli, Ashwin, Ishant. Based on current form Dravid could get ahead of Kallis and Ponting in the all-time test centuries list in the process winning games for India and bringing joy for us. VVS is not as technically good as Dravid & Tendulkar even though he is the most mentally strong.

  • on August 26, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    "You can leave guys at the lower level for too long. Graeme Hick is a classic example. He played a lesser standard of cricket way too long and by the time he played Test cricket he had flaws that were found out. If he had played Test cricket earlier maybe he would not have got into sloppy habit".

    Just a point of clarification here. Hick is Zimbabwean by birth but decided he wanted to to play for England instead. He had to serve a term of Residency before he was even qualified to play for England. That's why he played so much County Cricket before being selected for the Test side.

  • InnocentGuy on August 26, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    Javagal Srinath, please help Indian bowling. Please teach these young bowlers some tricks, including your legendary off-cutter. I haven't seen any Indian bowler bowl an off-cutter since you retired. You may not be the greatest of seam bowlers but you are certainly the best seam bowler India has ever produced. Also, is Mohammad Amir banned from all cricket or is he just not allowed to play for Pakistan? Just curious :)

  • Alexk400 on August 26, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    Kannan18 , DK has given enough chances and he did n't use it to his advantage. Choked in pressure games. Every one know DK is better wik and batsman than Parthiv patel. DK failed , Parthiv patel gets some chance in round robin fashion. he will also be gone if he do not make a century as pure batsman in the team. Why deepak chahar and rahul sharma not in ODI team is pure favour politics to other people. Many countries if you do not get selected when you perform well , players fight to get back. In India they fade away thinking politics will never allow them get selected. I really want india to select bowlers differently from batsman. Bowler selected by different criteria not quota based system. Bowlers has to be ranked in someway that you get best bowler with good fitness in the country not 1 bowler from each zone to satisfy people.

  • on August 26, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Nandimal

    Sri Lanka did really play attacking cricket (although you are right England do not like to concede runs and go defensive very quickly) but the weather saved them although they draw 2 test they where very much under cosh and given full days play they would have beaten Sri Lanka at least 2-0.

  • Alexk400 on August 26, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    Ivan Joseph , if infrastructure is good where is 150km fast bowler. India have n't found one fast bowler past 70 years and pakistan has truckloads. Wehave same genes. Something wrong with selection policies at lower level. There will be many sachin , dravid even if there is no bcci system. In india everyone want to bat. Do not attribute finding sachin , dravid to BCCI setup BCCI selections at lower level is awful.

  • NALINWIJ on August 26, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    I agree with Ian Chappell as to the problems in Indian Cricket and suggestion of the others as to what can be done. The big 3 may have prevented the free fall but India has to brace themselves for their retirements before next world cup and how India nurtures the wonderful talent and stagger the retirements will be the key. Depth of bowling is a problem and you will not clone bowlers and take Sri Lanka"s approach of finding raw talent and nurture them rather than clone them. Fielding IS A CONCERN and possibly the only positive from IPL to the future of Indian cricket. Their performance in Australia will be interesting!!!

  • Kannan18 on August 26, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    If you see the selection history for last 2 years, Can anyone justify the following

    1) Why is Vinay Kumar selected again & again - he doesnt have pace,swing or control(probably IPL wkts while batsmen was slogging?) 2) Why Rohit Sharma ( a technically sound) being branded as a 20/50 sepcialistr when his real skills suits Tests more , where he is never in the scheme of things. 3) What are Saha & Parthiv doing in the national teams when everyone knows clearly Dinesh karthik is the second best( if not the best) wk batsman in the country - (probably dhoni is playing safe?) 4) Why some players are selected in a squad, dropped later with out given a single chance? ( whats getting changed while they are warming the benches & carrying water? not good enough doing those?) 5) Where is Rahul Sharma who was the best find by miles recently?

    (have lot more questions ,but not going too much into it)

  • Shrescs on August 26, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    'The BCCI thought India would just turn up and do well'!!?? !!!???? Thats what most of us thought. Nobody including England thought it will be a clean sweep for them! :) The series has taught India a lesson. So, lets just move on and not waste any time beating a dead dog :)

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on August 28, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Strange how some people accuse Ian Chappel of being anti-India - this is the same Ian Chappel who castigated the Indian selectors for not originally picking Sehwag for the last tour to Australia - the rest is history! Unfortunately some people are so jingoistic that they have lost all their self-critical faculties and associate any exposure of the weaknesses and frailties of Indian institutions with being anti-Indian! Ian is trying to help Indian cricket sort out the mess it has got itself into - and he is accused of being anti-Indian for identifying the mess and proposing measures to rectify it! The fact is Ian has been unsparing in his criticism of cricket administrators everywhere - Ian's criticisms of Australian administrators have included criticisms of his brother Greg in the past - his level of insight is simply unrivalled and he was of course a redoubtable champion of his players against the caprices of the administrators from his days as a player and captain.

  • on August 27, 2011, 2:58 GMT

    India needs to have a combination of truly great players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Sehwag and Zaheer with some young good players with outstanding fielding capability around them. With this combination, the seniors would be hidden in the field. This combination would extend the span of these once-in-a-lifetime players. If players are not outstanding batsman or bowler, they should be developed into decent batsman/bowler if they are good fielders like Raina, Kohli, Ashwin, Ishant. Based on current form Dravid could get ahead of Kallis and Ponting in the all-time test centuries list in the process winning games for India and bringing joy for us. VVS is not as technically good as Dravid & Tendulkar even though he is the most mentally strong.

  • on August 26, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    "You can leave guys at the lower level for too long. Graeme Hick is a classic example. He played a lesser standard of cricket way too long and by the time he played Test cricket he had flaws that were found out. If he had played Test cricket earlier maybe he would not have got into sloppy habit".

    Just a point of clarification here. Hick is Zimbabwean by birth but decided he wanted to to play for England instead. He had to serve a term of Residency before he was even qualified to play for England. That's why he played so much County Cricket before being selected for the Test side.

  • InnocentGuy on August 26, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    Javagal Srinath, please help Indian bowling. Please teach these young bowlers some tricks, including your legendary off-cutter. I haven't seen any Indian bowler bowl an off-cutter since you retired. You may not be the greatest of seam bowlers but you are certainly the best seam bowler India has ever produced. Also, is Mohammad Amir banned from all cricket or is he just not allowed to play for Pakistan? Just curious :)

  • Alexk400 on August 26, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    Kannan18 , DK has given enough chances and he did n't use it to his advantage. Choked in pressure games. Every one know DK is better wik and batsman than Parthiv patel. DK failed , Parthiv patel gets some chance in round robin fashion. he will also be gone if he do not make a century as pure batsman in the team. Why deepak chahar and rahul sharma not in ODI team is pure favour politics to other people. Many countries if you do not get selected when you perform well , players fight to get back. In India they fade away thinking politics will never allow them get selected. I really want india to select bowlers differently from batsman. Bowler selected by different criteria not quota based system. Bowlers has to be ranked in someway that you get best bowler with good fitness in the country not 1 bowler from each zone to satisfy people.

  • on August 26, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Nandimal

    Sri Lanka did really play attacking cricket (although you are right England do not like to concede runs and go defensive very quickly) but the weather saved them although they draw 2 test they where very much under cosh and given full days play they would have beaten Sri Lanka at least 2-0.

  • Alexk400 on August 26, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    Ivan Joseph , if infrastructure is good where is 150km fast bowler. India have n't found one fast bowler past 70 years and pakistan has truckloads. Wehave same genes. Something wrong with selection policies at lower level. There will be many sachin , dravid even if there is no bcci system. In india everyone want to bat. Do not attribute finding sachin , dravid to BCCI setup BCCI selections at lower level is awful.

  • NALINWIJ on August 26, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    I agree with Ian Chappell as to the problems in Indian Cricket and suggestion of the others as to what can be done. The big 3 may have prevented the free fall but India has to brace themselves for their retirements before next world cup and how India nurtures the wonderful talent and stagger the retirements will be the key. Depth of bowling is a problem and you will not clone bowlers and take Sri Lanka"s approach of finding raw talent and nurture them rather than clone them. Fielding IS A CONCERN and possibly the only positive from IPL to the future of Indian cricket. Their performance in Australia will be interesting!!!

  • Kannan18 on August 26, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    If you see the selection history for last 2 years, Can anyone justify the following

    1) Why is Vinay Kumar selected again & again - he doesnt have pace,swing or control(probably IPL wkts while batsmen was slogging?) 2) Why Rohit Sharma ( a technically sound) being branded as a 20/50 sepcialistr when his real skills suits Tests more , where he is never in the scheme of things. 3) What are Saha & Parthiv doing in the national teams when everyone knows clearly Dinesh karthik is the second best( if not the best) wk batsman in the country - (probably dhoni is playing safe?) 4) Why some players are selected in a squad, dropped later with out given a single chance? ( whats getting changed while they are warming the benches & carrying water? not good enough doing those?) 5) Where is Rahul Sharma who was the best find by miles recently?

    (have lot more questions ,but not going too much into it)

  • Shrescs on August 26, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    'The BCCI thought India would just turn up and do well'!!?? !!!???? Thats what most of us thought. Nobody including England thought it will be a clean sweep for them! :) The series has taught India a lesson. So, lets just move on and not waste any time beating a dead dog :)

  • venbas on August 26, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    How about doing away with so many meaningless matches that make up the IPL. Create 2 groups of 5 team and make every team play other in that group ONCE. The Top 2 teams can qualify for the knockout. This should ensure that IPL gets over within a few weeks. Combine the Champions league with IPL so that there are no 2 windows for Mickey Mouse cricket. There you have a better receipe for Good cricket and avoid the kind of burnouts we have witnessed.

  • on August 26, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    Completely Agree With Ian

  • on August 26, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Looking at the Ashes, Sri lanka in England series and India in England series, I think Sri Lankans did better than other two considering limited resources they had in test matches. Major factor was you play attacking cricket, though it was the down fall for the loss of the series in single session!

  • on August 26, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    I like the views of venkatesh prasad!!there is lot of faullty selection going on at the moment,india certainly have a pool of 6-7 good fast bowlers,i m surprised that why on earth,Vinay kumar(miliatry medium pacer) is getting chance again and again ,when we all know that he is not a long term prospect in any ways,Varun aaron(bowls in mid 140"s),umesh yadav&Ashok Dinda(consistently touches 140),pankaj singh(Great Physique For a Fast Bowler),Mithun..i dont know why these guys not getting chances despite being very consistent performer,fast bowling arena is not very bleak as touted by the media after a loss from england...guys like srinath arvind,unadkat,abu nechim,dhawal kulkarni,unadkat are aloso waiting in the wings!!!!

  • dagdu123 on August 26, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    What are Aakash Chopra's credentials as a test player to be commenting on these issues ?

  • on August 26, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    Everybody wants to blame BCCI. However itnis the same BCCI that runs age group cricket and having played junior cricket in the late 70's and early 80's I know that the system, infrastructure and people are good. The Sachin's, Dravid's and Laxman's came through the system. So don't blame the BCCI for everything. Right now the team is struggling - some changes need to be made but which country in the world can replace class players like Sachin, Dravid and Laxman? And at the same time? It will be hard but needs to be done and as fans we should be more understanding if we lose more than we win in the process

  • Nerk on August 26, 2011, 0:47 GMT

    I'm loving this. After been beaten by England, both fans of Australia and India are all panicing, screaming "oh my god! Not only have we lost a test series, but we lost it to ENGLAND!" It just goes to prove that when it comes down to it, Aussies and Indians are all the same. We just want to beat England.

  • Alexk400 on August 26, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    There is a quickest way india can get to top. If england can import SA players , why not india should import indians who is living in canada and usa. By nature of diet , here same indian kids are tall and strong. That can be only possible with scout system who can bring indian talent from througout the world. It is easiest way. You can say england is shameless in importing but if you want to be on top you have to be ready to do anything. People may say we got 1.3 billion people here , we eventually find the fast bowler etc etc.. Yes it will be like lottery with current selection system. Instead of people go find talent we want talent to come to us. very very slow process. Will take forever. By the time india catch up with athletic concept and fast bowler come to them, 200 years will be gone. ha.

  • Alexk400 on August 25, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    What happen to deepak chahar. Why he is not in emerging players tournament ? why srikkanth son is there? Ranji trophy winning bowler is not getting selected and not in NCA. Is it some kinda politics going on?.

  • Alexk400 on August 25, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    BCCI changes will be surface level even if there is one. It is really tough to find leaders. But if i want to assist , find players in 1998, 1989 , 1993 , 1986 ,1998(future). Ya i follow chinese astrology. snake , rooster , tiger all have different style of leadership. Tiger does leadership sheer talent and energy. Snake - more of clever style and not give up until it last , rooster uses othrs do the work for them. Rooster is less talented in skills and uncanny timing. There you go. Aussies should choose bowlers with leadership qualities to back to their glory days. India won't unless BCCI appoint a cricket operation CEO who appoint selectors and fire them. CEO should have 4 years beyond the BCCI layer elections. Selectors(tests only) should be every 2 year. Key to success is responsibility. for india to succeed cricket operation should be done foreigner to avoid favor politics. Ganguly is a patriot but too much politics he play. So he is not good at all if you consider future.

  • smudgeon on August 25, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    India's rise to test #1 was pretty much on the back of strong individual performances, rather than strong team performances. This was thrown into sharp relief in England - the English bowlers worked as a unit, the batsmen worked as a unit, and they supported each other. I imagine the series would have have been different if Dravid or PK had some support. Curious to see that India's usual go-to man for tough, back-to-the-wall knocks (Laxman) couldn't pull it together, but I guess it can't always happen. I admire Dravid & Laxman for having that quality, though they're not always going to be around to do that. Chopra & Chappell are right - India should have been picking & sticking with a group of 4-5 younger batsmen for the last few years. The Big Three are going to move on sooner rather than later, and I don't think India will weather that any better than Australia or the Windies did...

  • m_ilind on August 25, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    Their expert analysis is spot on. However, BCCI should not take the pathetic performance lightly, the players should be dealt with strictly! After all, they are some of the highest paid sportsmen in the country.

  • on August 25, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    @Dashgar - we had his brother run our team, and it does not need reminding what happened to us then! Read my comments carefully as well, I have mentioned that he does talk sense, but his comments lose weight because they are always critical, and not constructive.

  • Nampally on August 25, 2011, 20:42 GMT

    V.Prasad's views on the fast bowlers is correct. India has at least 6 good fast bowlers right now who can be coached in their skills. But these guys need to be fit and match ready. India does not want out of shape guys with pounches showing up like Zaheer did in England. Physio, Conditioning and peak physical fitness for the pace bowlers is critical.India also needs good spinners. Leg Spinners like Rahul Sharma + off spinners like Ashwin would have reveled in the English conditions. But the Selectors were too myopic to include them. India always relied on Spinners in test matches. Now they have none in the class of Gupte, Mankad, Chandra, Kumble, Prasanna or Bedi. India must have a pool of at least 10 spinners.There are lot of good batsmen knocking at the door. They again need to be developed in their technique like Rahane & Pujara, to name 2. India has a big pool of young talent.Planned development is critical before they move into Test cricket.Forget India`s 4-0 loss & move forward

  • InnocentGuy on August 25, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    Yup. India was great for a brief period not because of any planning or strategy from the BCCI or anything. It was because of individual greats who performed despite the rotten system. Unless we have such players who play for India at the same time like how Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly, Zaheer, Laxman all played together for a few years, it's tough to imagine India being competitive any time soon. Players need exposure, need time, need backing, and need guidance. Or they need to be born geniuses of cricket. On a side note, I'm pretty impressed with Prasad. He was involved as a coach in the World T20 title win, he was involved with CSK in their title wins, and maybe some more. He was an okay bowler but he seems to have a lot of bowling acumen. We should have him around with the Indian team always. Also, get Srinath's advice people, that dude is a genius and no one gives him credit.

  • bumsonseats on August 25, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    at least I C has got off our back for the last 12 month. his big dig was why did england deserve 5 tests in australia, but as we are beating them hes got another team to get his claws into.but i believe he does talk sense sometimes. the only problem he should put in for some of these cricketing jobs that come available as some of his ideas might just work. hes got more about him than brother. dpk

  • IndCricketFan on August 25, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    How come no one talks about the new coach? He was perceived as a huge plus for the Indian side ahead of the England series as he coached the English side and supposedly knows their strengths and weak areas. We did not see any possitive effect from his presence in the Indian dressing room. Players should be prepared for a game but a coach plays a pivotal role in laying out strategy and plan(s) ahead of a cricket game. We saw huge totals (600+) posted by the English side with series of 150+ run partnerships. Tail-enders got them out of trouble in the second test. Where was the Plan B from the coach when the opposition kept piling-up runs? If any to be blamed for lack of game planning that should be the new coach... My 2 cents.

  • Dashgar on August 25, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    @Amit Bhatnagar, go back and re-read Chappell's "how have India been number one this long?" article from just before the Series started. It basically outlines all the reasons why India would struggle to even be competitive in England. A lot of people on this site attacked that article, calling it India bashing, but pretty much everything it said came true, and was even obvious. Chappell is one of the best minds in the cricket media, India would do well to listen to him.

  • Rahulbose on August 25, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    What is the point of harping about problems with BCCI and Indian Cricket. No one in the world can seriously think anything is going to change. All Indian fans can hope for is that another crop of champions will come through at some point. Kapil Dev, Kumble, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman and all the rest of Indian test legends were not produced by the system, they were great despite the rotten system.

  • Er-.S.R.shankar on August 25, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Sparing Kiran More rest were off the mark Iif you look for a singular positive proposal for future from the interaction you have to scratch your head--I was particularly disappointed with Akash chopra normally a fine articulator with insight He says Dhoni needs a break-A break was already given to him during West Indies tour-The yougsters like Raina or Kohli have not seized their chances in Tests The crux of debacle is that our batsmen except for big 3 cannot stand up to quality pace& swing bowling-As for Rohit he required 67 ODI to start performing Players with ideal temperment for test like Badrinath &Pujara have been sidelined Also many bowlers& couple of batsmen hided their injuries Selection has been fair Blaming IPL or aged players would get us nowhere But for DRavid /Laxman even WI would have defeated us-Laxman needs another fair chance--Plan for a core of 20 performing youngsters & let them play with Dravid,Sachin & Zaheer Revamp the NCA- For sure hope for better

  • shanx24 on August 25, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    Change the coach. And the training/preparation. Step 1.

  • bullbudman on August 25, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    IT'S AMAZING WHAT A GOOD WHOOP A$$ CAN DO TO IDENTIFY ALL THE PROBLEMS THAT EXIST IN AN ORGANISATION. REMEMBER THE THE MIGHTY WEST INDIES? .THE IPL WILL DESTROY TEST CRICKET ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE WEST INDIES SERIES WOULD HAE BEEN THE PERFECT WARMUP FOR TENDULKAR ,BUT NO HE WAS TOO BIG TO PLAY THERE. INDIA STILL WILL NOT LEARN FROM THE ENGLAND THRASHING WITH GUYS LIKE DUNCAN FLETCHER AT THE HELM. BANGLADESH PUT UP A GREATER FIGHT IN ENGLAND THAN INDIA. AS A MATTER OF FACT INDIA GOT THE WORST THRASHING ANY TEAM HAVE GOTTEN SO FAR FOR THE WHOLE OF 2010-2011. OH HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE CRASH LANDED.

  • on August 25, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    The people who give opinions should be ones who had "walked the talk" or "led by example" in their lives. Aakash Chopra telling us that we need to improve 10% everytime is a joke. If he knew so much about improving, why did it not reflect in his international career? On the other hand, Ian Chappell while he does talk sense, his arguments somehow lose weight in my eyes because of the fact that he revels in rabble rousing, but more specifically India-bashing. Give Ian Chappell any opportunity to show India down, and he comes out all guns blazing! Why does he not look at what is happening with the Australian cricket team and the structures it has in place which produce good quality cricketers? Easy to be wise when you have to give opinions, isnt it??!! The most constructive piece of advice came from Kiran More when he talked about the reform at NCA. Hope that happens!

  • Romanticstud on August 25, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    As a South African, I have seen the effect that Zaheer Kahn does to the team ... In Centurion, South Africa got away from India and they were never in the game ... Durban came, Zaheer was there and South Africa looked fairly ordinary ... Sachin has been around for a long while as had Dravid ... If they are lost it will be left for Sehwag, Laxman, Yuvraj, Raina, Singh Dohni and Co in the batting and the bowlers need to be more focussed ... Sreesanth has had his moments ... When he takes wickets he is lethal ... Remember Johannesburg a few years back ... Harbahjan is okay with the others firing otherwise he too is lost ... Pathan needs to be more consistant ... And what about some more spinners? ... Someone that can bowl that nagging line like Kumble did ... India can with some proper guidance regain that No. 1 position ... If South Africa can put all their numbers together at the same time ... They should be number 1 ... but we tend to rely on Kallis to bail us out with the bat ...

  • RaghuramanR on August 25, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    We are forever looking in the wrong direction. IPL has not destroyed our bowlers. As Kumble himself said recently, he was not at all stressed in IPL. Just 4 overs! What is there to be 'stressed'? Batsmen on the other hand have a major problem because they have to adjust to different forms of the game and some, if not many, are not able to make that adjustment. It is sad/ridiculous that experienced commentators are saying that IPL has done no damage to our bowlers. We never had bowlers. IPL killed our batsmen, not our bowlers.

  • sandyphogs on August 25, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    Change is in demand , some changes in BCCi and Incian Cricket team can make the things better , board have to look into the state asscociations & have to groom players from grass root level , i can name atleast 50 -60 odd players from domestic teams who have mettle to play for indian side , they need just some opportunity & exposures , also need to give exposures to teams like Services,Railways & Goa etc , they have good talents too . Regular visits of A,B U-19 teams to foriegn countries like Englad,WI,SA,Aus & NZ will help , Change the coaching staff , get back Venky,Amarnath,Robin,Lalchand rajput & Sandeep Patil to the teanm. NCA need to be reviewed . rotational selection policies to be adopt , palyers fit into my Ideas are - Batsman :Ajinkya , Utthapa ,Manoj TIwary,Ishank Jaggi ,Saurav Tiwary,Manish Panday ,Ashok Menaria,Vineet Saxena,Bhuvnesh Kumar,Kaif,Sunny Singh,Sarul Kanwar,Rohit Sharma,Monish Mishra,Mandeep Singh,Paras Dogra etc,WK - Uday Kaul,Srivats,Ojha ,N.Saini etc

  • on August 25, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    BCCI is only interested in IPL. The send Team India to International Cricket just for formalities and time pass. This Team India is IPL servant and completely unfit and useless to play International Cricket or Test Cricket. IPL has taken betting to highest level. IPL is not a Cricketing event it is a worst commerical event. Team India and BCCI is completely focussed on IPL. Because of IPL, Team India is losing skill, inspiration, motivation and fitness to play Test Cricket. These curators, coaches and BCCI officials are working for IPL growth rather than Cricket growth. Until IPL is thrashed, Team India is not going to perform well in other tournaments. IPL is completely meaningless and obsolete Tournament. Test, ODI & T20 Cricket is great to watch between Countries unlike IPL Teams which look like clubs. Test Cricket is ultimate to watch on sportive pitches. But IPL is making these pitches Lifeless.

  • itssudeep on August 25, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    I really don't understand this obsession with the age of players and the subsequent need for them to retire. Forget the big 3, we haven't been able to find a half-reliable replacement for Ganguly who retired a couple of years back. And don't forget the noise we 'cricket fans' made when Kumble missed a test and a younger leg spinner took a five-for, practically ensuring that Kumble was forced to quit on his own, the honourable man that he is. And guess what, that was the only time that particular spinner took that many - he really hasn't been making waves in any manner ever since. The point is, we need to address the actual chinks in the armour before we look at perceived ones. The big 3 are still more than good enough on present form - let's leave them alone and instead focus on batting slots from no.6 onwards, Dhoni included (who in my opinion is simply not good enough as a batsman at test level).

  • on August 25, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Why can't BCCI talk to their Pakistani counterparts and find out froim where do they get fast bowlers ? Amir, Asif, Umar replaced Wasim,Waqar and Sohaib. There are more fast bowlers in the pipeline in Pakistan but in India there are very rare good fast bowlers. Is it that every Indian wants to be a batsman rather than a bowler ? Look at history in the last 60 years Pakistan was never without good fast bowlers but India relied heavily on spin .

  • on August 25, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    What Indian cricket needs now is a long term plan as well as short term measures. The first thing to do in the short term measure is to strenthen the pace bowling.Zaheer khan to be taken care in the proper manner so that he is back in the team without injuries.The induction Varun Aaron who can bowl consistently above 140 kMs with praveen kumar in the side will defenitly improve the bowling sector.Ishant Sharma will be very effective in this combination.Sreesanth and others are not worth trying anymore.In the long run we should develop a reserve of 5 to 6 bowlers who could bowl more than 140kms consistently.These players should be inducted into the team if the current players slows down or are ineffective.All great spinners have a new variation each season,Harbhajan somehow did not have these in the recent past making him ineffective,some assistence or advice /coaching is to be imparted to him so that this trick is in his sleeve.If we score 250 we should shoot them for 150

  • redneck on August 25, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    the bcci need to be able veto ipl teams selection without consulting players or the teams. the indian team doctor should have to aprove all nationly contracted players wanting to play ipl. that way players like tendulker or sehwag or zaheer cant carry niggling injuries into the ipl and come out of it totally stuffed. it could also allow them to stop promising test hopefuls from taking up ipl contracts when they should be learning how to build an innings and not trying to hit every ball for 6! the ipl is a mess of the bcci's own doing and they will have to put a lot of effort into fixing it or it will only get worse for the indian national team.

  • on August 25, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    You can only replace The old gaurd IF you have a player that is as good or better then them. I'm not saying look at laxmans, dravids and tendulkars career stats, im suggesting go on current form over the last 12 months. On the basis of that Dravid should definetely still be in the side. Tendulkar also is unreplaceable. That leaves Laxman who has gone off the boil a bit of late. But laxman is the youngest of the 3, so if dravid and tendulkar are still firing at 38 y/o then why cant laxman be given same chance? Reality is, i don't think india has 3 better batsman that are not in the current side to replace these 3. Kohli is probly the closest, but he failed miserably vs west indies. selectors seem to have given up on Badrinath. Another fellow that looks ready is Rohit sharma, tho either he or kohli will be in the side next series anyway instead of Raina at 6. Rahane is in ODI squad and he has outstanding 1st class record, could he be one of the mainstays of the indian test line up??

  • US_Indian on August 25, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Part-2 please read my earlier comment too. Now coming to T20's please avoid those games at under 13, 15,17,19 levels. 50 over formats should start at under 19 levels only. IPL should be either eliminated or atleast there should be cap on wages not to exceed 50% of a ranji or test players max salary in a season.then the lure will be less. and also ipl availability should be to players who have atleast 5 ranji seasons, a few level A games, and atleast 3-5 tests for the players who are in the national and state leve loops and for any obscure pick the max salary should not exceed 25% of ranji and test level players.and no player under 22 should be available to play T20 only exception should be if he has represented India A or national level . All players under central contract or in the scheme of things should be strictly monitored and should be reduced number of matches they play and if they get injured playing IPL then they should wait for a year go through the domestic grind to play.

  • US_Indian on August 25, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Well guys i kinda agree with most of the arguments and suggestions: I would not reveal my name and to what level I played, I have been a spinner , a fast bowler, bat at any position but the best was I was a good fielder and good runner between the wickets..that was the bottom line of our coach, how good a fielder you are and how good r u between the wickets. Now coming to the indian team or even ranji teams how many good fielders have we produced, we can literally count them on the fingers, foremost names which comes to my mind is S.Abid Ali, Solkar, Azhar, Ajay Jadeja, Robin Singh my buddy, Kaif, Raina, Kohli,the older Yuvraj..this has to change all eleven should be good and safe fielders. Think out of the box,bring in talents like Kamran Khan, Harmeet Singh and i am sure you will find some more pick and groom them just like More did with Munaf and see he is still being underutilised because of personal egoes. continued in part 2

  • Mr-PS on August 25, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Indian cricket need someone like Alex Ferguson to identify and develop young players into good players. 1 look at Zaheers waist line tells how poor the fitness training on the Indian camp. India should have Team B team to frequently tour other countries and get used to their conditions. I don't know why dhoni always say they are "not a good fielding side" and seems like they have accepted this fact..!!! Indians should not totally rely on players natural ability (god given talent) because players like tendulkar/gavaskar may not appear always. Fit players make good cricketers.

  • Meety on August 25, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    Great article, the reality is, the moment Oz lost their players after the 5nil Ashes drubbing, India should of seen it coming! It has been predicted for years. The only things that has stopped India from total freefall is 1) Zaheer Khan's improvement, 2) The sheer quality of their aging stars. Dravid looked busted to me about 6mths ago, but he has come good (swan song?) thru the WIndies series & more or less played a lone hand v England. SRT has performed brilliantly at home, but the reality is apart from a couple of good innings in Sth Africa is a faltering genius. Every year his (SRT) away results will diminish - he is ripe for the plucking against a tearaway quick. Laxman I think is the most vulnerable, but his awesome record against Oz will probably see him tour Oz. As an Ozzy, I've tended to fear laxman the most, I know I under extimated Dravid recently, but I am very confident that all 3 aging greats won't fire simultaneously during the Oz test series.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Meety on August 25, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    Great article, the reality is, the moment Oz lost their players after the 5nil Ashes drubbing, India should of seen it coming! It has been predicted for years. The only things that has stopped India from total freefall is 1) Zaheer Khan's improvement, 2) The sheer quality of their aging stars. Dravid looked busted to me about 6mths ago, but he has come good (swan song?) thru the WIndies series & more or less played a lone hand v England. SRT has performed brilliantly at home, but the reality is apart from a couple of good innings in Sth Africa is a faltering genius. Every year his (SRT) away results will diminish - he is ripe for the plucking against a tearaway quick. Laxman I think is the most vulnerable, but his awesome record against Oz will probably see him tour Oz. As an Ozzy, I've tended to fear laxman the most, I know I under extimated Dravid recently, but I am very confident that all 3 aging greats won't fire simultaneously during the Oz test series.

  • Mr-PS on August 25, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Indian cricket need someone like Alex Ferguson to identify and develop young players into good players. 1 look at Zaheers waist line tells how poor the fitness training on the Indian camp. India should have Team B team to frequently tour other countries and get used to their conditions. I don't know why dhoni always say they are "not a good fielding side" and seems like they have accepted this fact..!!! Indians should not totally rely on players natural ability (god given talent) because players like tendulkar/gavaskar may not appear always. Fit players make good cricketers.

  • US_Indian on August 25, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Well guys i kinda agree with most of the arguments and suggestions: I would not reveal my name and to what level I played, I have been a spinner , a fast bowler, bat at any position but the best was I was a good fielder and good runner between the wickets..that was the bottom line of our coach, how good a fielder you are and how good r u between the wickets. Now coming to the indian team or even ranji teams how many good fielders have we produced, we can literally count them on the fingers, foremost names which comes to my mind is S.Abid Ali, Solkar, Azhar, Ajay Jadeja, Robin Singh my buddy, Kaif, Raina, Kohli,the older Yuvraj..this has to change all eleven should be good and safe fielders. Think out of the box,bring in talents like Kamran Khan, Harmeet Singh and i am sure you will find some more pick and groom them just like More did with Munaf and see he is still being underutilised because of personal egoes. continued in part 2

  • US_Indian on August 25, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Part-2 please read my earlier comment too. Now coming to T20's please avoid those games at under 13, 15,17,19 levels. 50 over formats should start at under 19 levels only. IPL should be either eliminated or atleast there should be cap on wages not to exceed 50% of a ranji or test players max salary in a season.then the lure will be less. and also ipl availability should be to players who have atleast 5 ranji seasons, a few level A games, and atleast 3-5 tests for the players who are in the national and state leve loops and for any obscure pick the max salary should not exceed 25% of ranji and test level players.and no player under 22 should be available to play T20 only exception should be if he has represented India A or national level . All players under central contract or in the scheme of things should be strictly monitored and should be reduced number of matches they play and if they get injured playing IPL then they should wait for a year go through the domestic grind to play.

  • on August 25, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    You can only replace The old gaurd IF you have a player that is as good or better then them. I'm not saying look at laxmans, dravids and tendulkars career stats, im suggesting go on current form over the last 12 months. On the basis of that Dravid should definetely still be in the side. Tendulkar also is unreplaceable. That leaves Laxman who has gone off the boil a bit of late. But laxman is the youngest of the 3, so if dravid and tendulkar are still firing at 38 y/o then why cant laxman be given same chance? Reality is, i don't think india has 3 better batsman that are not in the current side to replace these 3. Kohli is probly the closest, but he failed miserably vs west indies. selectors seem to have given up on Badrinath. Another fellow that looks ready is Rohit sharma, tho either he or kohli will be in the side next series anyway instead of Raina at 6. Rahane is in ODI squad and he has outstanding 1st class record, could he be one of the mainstays of the indian test line up??

  • redneck on August 25, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    the bcci need to be able veto ipl teams selection without consulting players or the teams. the indian team doctor should have to aprove all nationly contracted players wanting to play ipl. that way players like tendulker or sehwag or zaheer cant carry niggling injuries into the ipl and come out of it totally stuffed. it could also allow them to stop promising test hopefuls from taking up ipl contracts when they should be learning how to build an innings and not trying to hit every ball for 6! the ipl is a mess of the bcci's own doing and they will have to put a lot of effort into fixing it or it will only get worse for the indian national team.

  • on August 25, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    What Indian cricket needs now is a long term plan as well as short term measures. The first thing to do in the short term measure is to strenthen the pace bowling.Zaheer khan to be taken care in the proper manner so that he is back in the team without injuries.The induction Varun Aaron who can bowl consistently above 140 kMs with praveen kumar in the side will defenitly improve the bowling sector.Ishant Sharma will be very effective in this combination.Sreesanth and others are not worth trying anymore.In the long run we should develop a reserve of 5 to 6 bowlers who could bowl more than 140kms consistently.These players should be inducted into the team if the current players slows down or are ineffective.All great spinners have a new variation each season,Harbhajan somehow did not have these in the recent past making him ineffective,some assistence or advice /coaching is to be imparted to him so that this trick is in his sleeve.If we score 250 we should shoot them for 150

  • on August 25, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Why can't BCCI talk to their Pakistani counterparts and find out froim where do they get fast bowlers ? Amir, Asif, Umar replaced Wasim,Waqar and Sohaib. There are more fast bowlers in the pipeline in Pakistan but in India there are very rare good fast bowlers. Is it that every Indian wants to be a batsman rather than a bowler ? Look at history in the last 60 years Pakistan was never without good fast bowlers but India relied heavily on spin .

  • itssudeep on August 25, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    I really don't understand this obsession with the age of players and the subsequent need for them to retire. Forget the big 3, we haven't been able to find a half-reliable replacement for Ganguly who retired a couple of years back. And don't forget the noise we 'cricket fans' made when Kumble missed a test and a younger leg spinner took a five-for, practically ensuring that Kumble was forced to quit on his own, the honourable man that he is. And guess what, that was the only time that particular spinner took that many - he really hasn't been making waves in any manner ever since. The point is, we need to address the actual chinks in the armour before we look at perceived ones. The big 3 are still more than good enough on present form - let's leave them alone and instead focus on batting slots from no.6 onwards, Dhoni included (who in my opinion is simply not good enough as a batsman at test level).

  • on August 25, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    BCCI is only interested in IPL. The send Team India to International Cricket just for formalities and time pass. This Team India is IPL servant and completely unfit and useless to play International Cricket or Test Cricket. IPL has taken betting to highest level. IPL is not a Cricketing event it is a worst commerical event. Team India and BCCI is completely focussed on IPL. Because of IPL, Team India is losing skill, inspiration, motivation and fitness to play Test Cricket. These curators, coaches and BCCI officials are working for IPL growth rather than Cricket growth. Until IPL is thrashed, Team India is not going to perform well in other tournaments. IPL is completely meaningless and obsolete Tournament. Test, ODI & T20 Cricket is great to watch between Countries unlike IPL Teams which look like clubs. Test Cricket is ultimate to watch on sportive pitches. But IPL is making these pitches Lifeless.