India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 5th day

'Indian preparation was diabolical'

Reactions to India's defeat in the third Test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 9, 2012

Comments: 37 | Text size: A | A

The <i>Sunday Times of India</i>'s front-page headline calling for a shake-up in the Indian team, December 9, 2012
The front-page headline in the Sunday Times of India © Sunday Times of India
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"Dhoni [is] lost [about] what to do. He is confused and when things go out of his control, he just lets things drift."
The previous head of India's selection panel Kris Srikkanth isn't impressed with India's captain

"England were well prepared while India were over-confident. The Indian preparation for this important series was diabolical."
Former selection panel head Dilip Vengsarkar

"India's cricket fans want to see tenacity and a never-say-die look to the team. they are entitled to feel disappointed."
Commentator Harsha Bhogle, on Twitter

"At this point of time you cannot have wholesale changes, may be one or two changes for the next Test match. I don't want to blame the captain alone because it has been a collective failure."
Former selection panel head Kiran More

"Ashwin seems to be a better batsman than a bowler and could be promoted up the batting order."
Former India captain Ajit Wadekar

"I think M.S. Dhoni has been lucky as a captain; Indian captains do not normally survive this long while losing. I think the Indians are paying for their lack of preparation and an obsession with avenging the 4-0 whitewash in England last year."
Former India captain Bishen Bedi

"I have been a former cricketer and when I see the kind of approach the players have had over the last one year, I get a little bit disappointed. Look, talent-wise this team has got everything but for that talent to flower, the approach has to be right, the attitude has to be right."
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by crindex on (December 12, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

Problems facing BCCI and Team India NOW were NOT there when these players played. For one, there was'nt someone like Sachin who refuses to retire and cannot be dropped either due to political clout. When older and out of form batsmen refuse to retire - excepting Dravind and Laxman - you end up with a team haggard prone to failure.Also there was no IPL a money making machine to influence players with money and regionalism.

Posted by challagalla on (December 11, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

@statisticsRocks. Very rightly said. We have been playing test cricket for about 70 odd years and yet our fielding is an embarrassment. Nothing has changed. The problem lies with our domestic cricket structure, cricket grounds and pitches and sadly a lack of spine in the selectors. Look at their fear of talking to SRT and dread of the word retirement. Give SRT the Nagpur test and show him the door. Why this pussyfooting about? Please compare the fielding and commitment shown by Samit Patel [ the weakest of the fielders in the English side ] with maybe Zaheer Khan. BCCI is mullish about DRS and strangely very step motherly towards test cricket. You had Australians touring in the past playing only 2 tests and a host of meaningless one day matches. Sadly empty stadiums at Motera, Mohali etc. My point is why schedule tests in these centers, when in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata you get reasonable crowds and knowledgeable too. BCCI should have permanant test centers now.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

Looks like selectors are also not prepared to adopt dynamic approach and still want to continue with old horses. We need fresh thinking and strong mindset. Present lot of players are too head strong to accept a difficult situations and prefer to find excuses. Hope selectors take a longer perspective and move on.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (December 10, 2012, 22:47 GMT)

As an Indian fan, first I would like to congratulate ENG for a brilliant performance thuis far. For the sake of futrue of test matchess in India I hope Cook and Co. give us another drubbing in Nagpur otherwise there wont be any changes to what we have been doing all along. When will these multi millionaires understand we need to revamp our whole domestic setup. Until then no talent will be coming forward and players like Jadeja are selected based on Dhonis influence and not merit. Even I can score 300 in our domestic setup, thats how bad it is,. I hope Dravid is made the BCCI head and also has some say in the selection of a team.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (December 10, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

Kris Srikanth, the prvious selection panel head would have kept the same team and yet he is criticising Dhoni. Don;t get me wrong I am not happy with the performance of our so called millionaire super stars but when a common man and an ordinary cricket fan like me can see the problem, BCCI and the other members including ex players are turnig a blind eye to it. We need a major revamp of our domestic setup unless that happens there is no future for India in test cricket. Further what irks me is the attitude of some of these current players who think they are bigger than the game itself. The only thing big in them other than their wallet is their tummies, an absolute embarassment to the entire nation. I am in my 40's and I more fit than some of these plyrs. We are losing not only coz we are bad but coz ENG are really good and well prepared. Look at their work ethic and discipline. ECB doesn't hesitate to drop a player like KP then why cant we drop SRT, DHONI or other Millionaires.

Posted by malepas on (December 10, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

this is same old same old,,like broken record,,no actions just words...

Posted by cheekamottai on (December 10, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

I woud second an idea already expressed here. Why can't we have wholesale changes? What was the value addition of having Tendulkar and Sehwag and Gambhir? We know Cricket fortune is fickle, but what we,as ardent followers of the game demand is at least some semblance of a fight. When was the last time we fought and won? When was the last time we batted for more than 1 day to save a match.Please recollect the period 1976-1980 when India was derisively called the "best second Innings side". Remember we had one batsman called Dilip Vengsarkar. Unfortunately, he will be left with tail enders, but he will soldier on doggedly in their company, he will bat through one to one and half days to draw a match we were certain to lose.When was the last time Tendulkar scored a century in second Innings? that too in a winning cause? Must be pretty close to zero, I think.Somebody put up the stats please on his centuries , I innings, II Innings and how many times etc. I think nothing in last 10 years.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

The BCCI needs to take a hard look at its selection process, but alos its overall approach to cricket development and grroming of players in the country, which is abysmal. Players need to be selected no the basis of immediate form, rahter than past glory (e.G. Tendulkar). There can be a scuientific approach to player coaching and selection- for instance check and see under the bowling machine which ones can really handle the balls over 140 kmph, the swinging ball, and the short ball. Similarly, spiiners need more attention and development. All of this money around, and we have made no progress as a team! At least 4 players should be dropped in the next test....

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

It's surprising the past great players are missing the answer blowing in the wind, sachin should go no matter how great he was

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

Remove Dhoni as captain and put Gambir in place of him then things will be OK, Noone likes Dhoni as a captain with meagre skills

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 10, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Srikanth's comment could easily have been about himself. The only one that has talked any sense is Gavaskar. Please explain Mr More why we can't make wholesale changes rather than reward continued failure?

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

Krish Srikkant was a swashbuckling batsman, and exciting to watch, when on song. Unfortunately, he was never on song, as the chairman of selectors. The team selection under him, was forced and India never played any match with a team that was selected on merit. I am, however, glad that he has admitted to Dhoni being an ordinary captain, when under pressure. If heads have to be rolled, the process should begin at the top. The non performers must go, Dhoni, Kohli and even if one of them is a 10-dulkar.

Posted by 777aditya on (December 10, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

Wish Srikanth was as candid when he was in power - this is just an empty cannon.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

What Eng did right & Ind didn't..1st of all accept that all English bowlers r superior to their Indian counterparts: Their avg pace 140 kph (and of INdians 130 kph), they got more swing, more turn on same pitches, they bowled more % of deliveries aiming stumps, they bowled cross seam to bring natural variation ...Now the solution part 1). Ashwin must bowl from around the wicket to bring lbw into equation & should ball at least 2 carrom balls per over to put doubt in batsman's mind. 2). All Indian bowlers must aim 80 % deliveries at stumps with leg side attacking fields 3). All Indian bowlers must also bowl cross seam to bring natural variation esp against set batsmen. 3). All Indian Batsmen esp Tendulkar must play with open face & slash the ball on off side like Sehwag does as it chops the ball & ball doesn't carry in slip & u never gat bowled. 4). All Indian batsmen must play every ball considering in-dipper with bat in front of pads hence u automatically miss the away going one..

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

Srikkanth commenting on Dhoni, I think the team would not have reached such a nadir if he would have taken some drastic steps after the 1st 4-0 whitewash or atleast the 2nd....rather than commenting now, he should think if he is the one responsible for this..and why noone is saying anything about Fletcher, I believe hardly any team, captain and coach anywhere in the world can still continue after defeats of such magnitude..and its disheartening to see some people like Ravi Shastri trying to cling on to the 2nd innings ENglish scorecard of 8/3 and trying to find out +ves there. The truth of the matter is for all they care the english could have been 0/9 and still won the match to make it 2-1. Its time we stop putting the stupid TV ads in Star Cricket and concentrate a bit more on playing. Its beyond me to know what else will make the selectors to change the top-order line-up, to drop the openers along with Sachin

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 5:29 GMT)

A captain is as good as his team. Problem with Dhoni is that he is not performing himself. Split captaincy may do the tricks for India.

Posted by cricmatters on (December 10, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

Test players don't grow on trees. Once you spot the talent, you have to groom and nurture them. I would bring Unmukt Chand in the team straight away. Even if he fails early in his innings, he would gain valuable experience. I really don't see the logic of Sachin Tendulkar playing in the team anymore. If he is not ready to leave, Selectors must have a word with him to allow for a smooth transition. Dhoni is a very poor Test captain as he lets the situation drift and hardly tries anything new. His keeping and batting has deteriorated as well. I think Dinesh Karthik will be a better replacement for him. Let Dhoni captain the one day and T20 sides which suites his style of play. Kohli is woefully out of form but I will persist with him. Bring Rahane to open with Sehwag and move Gambhir down the order in place of Yuvi. India finds itself in a pickle partly due to a extremely timid selection panel lacking imagination and foresight. Hope they pick a better team against Australia.

Posted by sramesh_74 on (December 10, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

Looks like none of these wise-heads have anything to say about the "Master Blaster". Does that surprise anybody???

Posted by karamana on (December 10, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

Amazing that Srikanth didn't notice Dhoni's lack of control when India were losing 8-0 in England and Australia when he was the chairman of selectors.

Posted by sramesh_74 on (December 10, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Strange..none of these wise-heads see an issue with the "Master Blaster" !!!

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

Where are these comments when the team is winning? In the past few years, even when we have won, the problems have persisted. Our fielding is crap, our bowlers are inconsistent and young bowlers keep getting injured after one or two games. Yet, as long as we win, no one cares about the underlying problems. Now, they all care? Sehwag has played irresponsibly for over two years. Gambhir has struggled for just as long. Yuvraj and Raina have both failed in the middle order. We don't have a replacement for Kumble. Bhaji has been terrible for about two years. Zaheer is either unfit or out of form. These problems have been around for a while now. The team deserves blame, but so do the likes of Srikanth, Vensarkar and More who were in positions to do something and didn't. Now that the team is losing, they are all coming out of the woodwork to point fingers.

Posted by xylo on (December 10, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

It is hilarious that Srikanth even has the guts to say this. He was the head of the selection committee that did not plan for the future and stuck with Dravid, Laxman and Sachin. The actually performing duo out of these three retired after noticing that their game was drifting away, while the record-seeker is still clinging on. If Srikanth had planned succession for all three, the team would not be in the situation that it finds itself today. Meanwhile, this guy was picking his own son for India A tours obviously not based on performance.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 10, 2012, 0:24 GMT)

The problem is greats like Sunil are still too easy on the team. His comments are so watered down!

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 9, 2012, 21:56 GMT)

I am astonished why people is not pin pointing the problem. Every one see the problem and do not want to say it. The main reason indias 10-0 loss is Sachin and Dhoni. Not bowlers Not other batsman. I always feet A captain is as good as team and also team play if captain in good frame of mind and inspriing. Dhoni stopped that isnpring leader long time ago once he won the world cup he stopped being leader. I can see . Sachin is old. You can't drag dead elephant all test. he needed to be get rid off. I do not think anyone in BCCI has guts to drop him. that is the core of the problem. Also we need transparency in selections so anyone in any ranji team has chance to get into team. We need a method or pathway if you do certain things there is a good chance to get into indian team. For bowlers this is the criteria , for batsman this is the criteria. I wonder why pankaj singh not getting selected even after he leads the team to win ranji trophy? why? i am outside i see bad stuff going on.

Posted by jozfgk on (December 9, 2012, 20:09 GMT)

@Kris Srikkanth - look who's talking. As the chairman of the previous selection committee which played a large part in the mess India currently find themselves in, he has no right to criticize Dhoni.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 18:57 GMT)

indians and their commentators are just getting carried away - this is a weak indian team lets us agree on this and if its a weak team it will loose. The weakest link in the indian team is their bowling - if you really scritinize their bowling since the world cup its been pathetic on two accounts a) they bowled poorly and have bad resultsand b) their is no consistency in selection. their batting power hosue is retiring and the new one will take time - so relax and take some defeats

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

Would Kris have said the same thing if he still was a selector? I don't like Dhoni for his batting tactics in ODI but have to say he is as good an Indian captain as I have seen for last 3 decades, but what powers he has, especially in Tests? I don't think he can drop any of the big names. Sunny's comments are as always hilarious. "talent-wise this team has got everything" I am sick of this phrase. I can understand this to some extent in batting but where did he find talent in bowling? And then he goes on to laud dropping most talented (although non-performing) of the lot Zaheer and expressed surprise at axing of Harbhajan/Yuvraj (I am smelling something here, may be its just my nose). They should not have been picked in the first place. If at all Bhajji was picked then he should have been given a fair run. Yuvi should not have been picked at all. He is one of the best ODI players ever, from India, and should be left at that. Not all test matches are played on dead (ODI-like) pitches.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Is team India really interested in test matches any more? From the looks of things, i would disagree!!

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

To pump energy into team for the last test, a few changes below would help :

Change batting order 1) Sehwag 2) Pujara 3) Kohli 4) Gambhir 5) Ashwin 6) Tendulkar 7) Dhoni 8) Jadeja 9) Ojha 10) Ishant Sharma 11) Umesh Yadav

Posted by rocket123 on (December 9, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

All these former players, selectors and those who are on the payroll of BCCI with cricket sense must raise their voice when it comes to SRT. He needs to be dropped. Sure, SRT may get a fifty or hundred at Nagpur after long 10 tests does not mean he should earn the right to play another 5 test matches for nothing. It is high time that Nagpur Test must be a farewell test for SRT. Say whatever one may want to but the reality is he has been a good batsman but not a great one. Lets not hide behind the bushes. Please Indian commentators, who happen to be on the payroll of BCCI, stop being diplomatic and serve your country and game alike. Tell India that SRT must go.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

Lot of this misery has lot to do with our X- chief of Selection panel. After India won the world cup he seemed contended with lack of action. He must have been the one who never would have gave due weight-age to the other selectors. But now look at him criticizing like a bouncing bowl in the garden as if he was waiting to get rid of those of a selectors.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

The 'spin pitch in India' and 'home advantage' theories fiercely advocated by Srini and Dhoni should be put into the dustbin.

I also would like to say that it is high time most, if not all, of the pitches in India to be modified to aid express fast bowling. Look at Chinnaswamy Stadium wicket in Bengaluru. In all domestic matches, more than 75 to 80% of the wickets here are garnered by fast bowlers.

I would like to congratulate Javagal Srinath for his initiate in this regard.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

Regarding, the selection for the 4th test. The sacking of Zaheer, Yuvaraj and Harbhajan is a step in the right direction. Let us remind ourselves, the team has not selected Ashwin for his batting skills. He is primarily a strike bowler and he had no ideas on how to get the batsmen out. He was ok in Ahmedabad but the next two tests have been a disaster for him on bowling front. The runs he scored is always welcome, but that cannot compensate for his mediocre bowling performance

Jadeja's selection is ridiculous to say the least. How can we ever think of him as a test batsman, not that he is going to be in the XI immediately. But the selection is brainless. A Mishra would have been a better choice but I would be happy if Piyush proves me wrong. Awana is a good prospect again the possibility of him playing in the XI is close to zero.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

The hype of revenge series was overdone and Indians have already paid a heavy price for the same. They were found out with no proper plans on the ways to achieve it. When Plan A failed for them, they did not have anything to back it up.

I dont know how many times we have to repeat this, the Indian ground fielding was atrocious in comparison to English fielding. Every run saved is every run scored and the Indians were gifting runs here. Particularly the likes of Zaheer, Ishant were abysumal in their fielding efforts.

Regarding, the selection for the 4th test. The sacking of Zaheer, Yuvaraj and Harbhajan is a step in the right direction. Let us remind ourselves, the team has not selected Ashwin for his batting skills. He is primarily a strike bowler and he had no ideas on how to get the batsmen out.

Posted by tpjpower on (December 9, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

Sunil "has been" a former cricketer? So he was formerly a former cricketer? Cool bro.

Posted by vathabivaranan on (December 9, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

as sunil approach and attitude are found to be missed very much in the present talented indian team. Winning or losing is common in any game. But in home helpful conditions we should not surrender meekly. Fight and face the defeat that should be the spirit.our players should have faced many spinners in India and whyl failed to play Eng spinners is abig question. Why did not our player want to spend more time in the middle is a big question. If I remember right when Gavaskar despite severe tooth ache scored a double hundered in tbe last Test match that too in the last day in West Indies when he started his carrier. One may not possess the legend's technique but take a note of his temperament and patience

Posted by Rahulbose on (December 9, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

Agree most with Gavaskar. India still has a talented group of players, but their attitude in test cricket is horrible. They are all just waiting for the next IPL to start.

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