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Commentator, television presenter and writer

A few silver linings for India

One new player and one who seems to have reinvented himself have helped redeem a horror season somewhat

Harsha Bhogle

January 25, 2013

Comments: 101 | Text size: A | A

Ravindra Jadeja bowled economically and took important wickets, India v England, 2nd ODI, Kochi, January 15, 2013
Jadeja: no longer about just hair and fielding © BCCI
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Like some middle-distance athletes who sprint out of the blocks and run out of steam rather quickly, England have gone rapidly downhill in a one-day series they were not expected to win. So woeful is their record in India (they have lost 19 out of their last 22 games and scrambled a tie in between) and so understaffed have they been (Anderson, Broad, Swann and Trott all away on different objectives) that having won the first game of this series now seems an accomplishment. Just as teams are often berated for not showing enough respect for Test cricket, England must be asked if they offer the one-day game too little.

If the objective was to learn (though I am not sure it was, with no major one-day tournament scheduled on the subcontinent for a while) there were plenty of lessons. Alastair Cook is their best bet at the top of the order, Steven Finn will lead many England attacks in the years to come, and in Joe Root they have a young player who looks to the world like he belongs. But Ian Bell continues to frustrate; like Rohit Sharma in India, he has unarguable pedigree but maddening inconsistency, and England have to ask whether he is part of the future of their 50-over game. Samit Patel has to play as a batsman only, Jade Dernbach has run out of tricks that were insubstantial to start with, and Tim Bresnan isn't the solid seam-bowling allrounder he is in home conditions. Matt Prior will get a go in most ODI teams save for England; having seen his remarkable progress as a cricketer, it is inconceivable that he cannot earn a place in this side.

For India this series is a reminder that they can win. Losing was becoming a habit, with each form substantially represented, and questions were coming up faster than answers. Fast bowlers were disappearing into a mysterious dark hole, spinners were getting extinct, and batsmen were doing just enough not to be dropped. And while it would be dangerous to treat this as a major revival, some cause for optimism has emerged.

Top of that list is Ravindra Jadeja who, for all his skills, had his fielding and his hair as his most noticeable features. But he did what all good players must do. He went back to domestic cricket and batted and bowled long hours. He became his team's lead spinner and batted at No. 4. And while the hopelessly one-sided tracks in Rajkot delivered him a rich bounty of runs, it also forced him to bowl long spells. As a result, Jadeja today is a significantly better bowler than in the past. Maybe he has a greater understanding of what he can (and can't yet) do, and that is reflected in the greater accuracy he brings. Since his return in the second game against Pakistan, he has 3 for 41 and 13, 1 for 19 and 27, 0 for 46 and 7, 2 for 12 and 61 not out, 3 for 19, and 3 for 39 and 21 not out. That is 129 runs (at 43) and 12 wickets, and you don't ask for more from an allrounder.

His captain is enjoying this renaissance, especially since batsmen were starting to get the better of his lead part-timer, Yuvraj Singh. Dhoni can now go in with five bowlers, a luxury he has rarely been allowed. And he has a fielder who is on par with Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli. In Indian conditions, Jadeja now looks ready to be the allrounder the team needed. But within that statement lies both a celebration and a word of caution. India have always looked a reasonably well-balanced team in subcontinental conditions and severely imbalanced overseas. For India to be a force at the Champions Trophy this June in England and all the way through to 2015, Jadeja must deliver similar performances in away conditions. That is the next challenge.

India's second big plus was the arrival of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Like with so many his age, he seems possessed of abundant energy, and while he swings the ball prodigiously, he does so at a reasonable pace. Comparisons with Praveen Kumar are inevitable but Bhuvneshwar seems a better athlete and, critically, at least 5kph quicker. Dhoni has often bowled him out early in an innings and it is encouraging to see that his tenth over (even when on the trot) is not significantly less in intensity than his first or second. Maybe it comes out of bowling long spells for Uttar Pradesh on all kinds of wickets, and indeed, that is going to be his next challenge. When the ball is new and moving at his command, he seems very impressive but India would like to see him bowl in Test cricket too, and that means lots of bowling on hot afternoons with an old ball.

One advantage for him could well be that batsmen don't play swing bowling too well these days. Vernon Philander and Mitchell Starc have made very impressive entries into international cricket by swinging the ball, and while they propel it quicker than Bhuvneshwar does, they do underline the point that swing bowling in an era of stand-and-deliver batting is a potent weapon.

In bowler-friendly conditions on a cold, winter day in Mohali, India asked Rohit Sharma to open the batting, and once again he looked like he can own this game. Had the fan not been hurt so many times before, this might have been seen as a long- term solution to a crucial position. Apart from his extraordinary skills, which over a six-year career have been his best friends and worst enemies, Rohit has a quality last seen in VVS Laxman. Pace and bounce don't worry him. If he does fall to them, it is because of his impetuosity and his belief that he can conquer every ball. But on the back foot he seems to have more time than anyone else; he plays the cut and the pull, and can step up a gear almost unnoticed.

His critics will point out - and they will be right - that he has received more opportunities than anybody else in recent times, and that after 87 appearances he is still not a certainty. Maybe this position could be the making of him at last, but Rohit will be aware that while people want to celebrate his performances they will wait this time.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by Ganchu on (January 28, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

As usual biased selection and raw deal for karnataka players, agree Yuvraj is a great player but what is his contribution to the team being a senior player.If that is the score he is going to get that will anybody can score, why cant they give a chance to Uthappa, he will be good relplacement for shewag and can keep also. How many chance will Gambir and Rohit will get.Now Rojer Binny being a selector younger binny will not get any chance.

Posted by Paddlesweep4six on (January 27, 2013, 14:21 GMT)

Indian bowlers (especially the new ones) start to look good only until they tour Aus, Eng, SA etc. then it all goes back to square one.

Posted by Nampally on (January 26, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

@Sir.Ivor: Thanks for your kind words!. I have played lot of cricket in my time.We were taught the old fashioned Gavaskar-way, with head over the ball, No gap between bat & Pad, Footwork, Never cut an incoming ball, etc. Most modern cricketers rely on good hand eye coordination instead, developed from childhood. They still scored lot of runs & have gained fame. Some of these fundamental flaws get exposed only when really good bowlers appear on the scene. Most recently, Junaid & Gul did it in ODI's + Swann, Panesar & Anderson in Tests - on Indian wickets. You can straight away see a particular batsman's or a bowler's deficiencies. As regards your suggestion of compiling top 70 Cricketers grouped into 3 formats, it is an excellent one. BCCI & the Indian Selectors should do it. The Selectors must have the top 10 in each of bowling & batting categories compiled regularly just to aid the team selection.If the Indian team is selected based on Form, Fitness & performance India will do well.

Posted by WeeBee on (January 26, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

Nice Article by Harsha! But i do have this little Question! Can One Player become HERO in just one series. How can it be predicted even when you are playing in your home country on your home pitches. Real Test for players is to play outside and perform. Couple of decades ago , you really have to play hard and perform to become hero , Sachin did it in years not in one series, Youvraj earned it by performing for many years, Dhoni also did great for his country for many years. New comers have got talent but you have to sustain it.

Posted by kc69 on (January 26, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

Well i would really love to see Bhuvaneshwar Kumar bowl along with Pathan and Umesh Yadav and i really dont quite understand that why BCCI gives so many chances in case of few compared to others until they succeed like Rohit,Jadeja and not Gambhir.Replace Gambhir with Shikhar Dhawan who can atleast justify his selection.

Posted by indianpunter on (January 26, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

anyone, but Gambhir to open..His form/ commitment is woeful. Rohit Sharma and Pujara will be a terrific ODI combination. I think the time is ripe for technically well equipped batsmen up the order as with the new rule ( 2 bouncers/ over), we need batsmen who can play the horizontal bat shots well. Rohit needs to work on his temperament and his tendency to play one shot too many at the start of his innings.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (January 26, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

I like Harsha for his choice of subjects which sets the cat amongst the pigeons.From those that comment quite often, I must mention Nampally for his genuine interest in cricket and India's fortunes as well as his appreciation of the finer points of the game. His judgement on players and on the technical aspects of the game is laudable. The wordy tussles between Nampally and Ram Narayan and Penagamuri are very interesting and in fact light up a dreary day.I wish he would make a list of 70 deserving cricketers in India and classify them for the different formats of the game. Cricinfo should allow responses to go on for a while because they will give us many untried names.

Posted by Vivek_Singh3089 on (January 26, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

Jadeja had a good outing so far against England, but the real question is will he be able to perform against teams who are better player of spin...right now English Middle order is inexperienced, but his real test will come when he'll play against Aussies or SA who will attack right from the first ball. Again Rahane failed to grab the chances so far, but he's a good batsman & can be used in Tests in place of Gambhir...hoping that in last ODI Rahane & Rohit opens with Gambhir given a break. Also like to track the performance of Dinda so I guess Ishant can be give replace by him....Shami & Bhuvi are doing a good job as a opening pair....& they should be persisted....

Posted by US_Indian on (January 26, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

You kinda answered your own questions and reservations about Jadeja and Rohit. Even I feel that Rohit could be a better test prospect. If Jadeja can continue his performance for over another 2-3 years i would say he has arrived otherwise this could be that one off maybe extension of that till then do not overhype him nor do you write him off. If he succeeds then we can have Irfan, him and Ashwin all three could be reliable batsmen and add Bhuvaneshwar and if he can perform as he usually does at ranji level which i would say will be handy at national level so our tail will not be necessary a tail like other teams. Add Abishek Nayar as an allrounder too and I am surprised why the bombay mafia is not pushing him or Iqbal abdulla or Suryakumar Yadav as they keep pushing Rohit .OurTest middle order could be Kaif, Pujara, Rohit, Virat, Yadav, Rayudu, Rahane. I guess it is high time we look beyond Gambhir and Sehwag for opening spots, our ODI middle order could be Virat, Rayudu, Raina,Yuvi

Posted by binu.emiliya on (January 26, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

@Ram Narayan 100% agree with you sir @cricfans007, we are not overhyping any bowler Irfan and Shreeshanth was talented i can bet Sree is very best still Kumar is touching 140 and his average speed is 135 and he is swinging the ball in India so he will be more handy in helping conditions and we have more than half a dozen bowlers in the domestic circuite

Posted by sony_sr on (January 26, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

number 6 against aus definitely needs to be rohit. his test debut is long due. probably 3-4 years due. we may be tempted to go with yuvraj or raina or jadeja, but none of them have the technique to be consistent at test level. not sure how rahane will fit in the test team. he is 10 times better longer version player than limited overs player. I hope rahane and tiwary will be contenders after tendulkars retirement.

Posted by OziIndiacircketlover on (January 26, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

Still, i don't understand why dhoni did not give one chance to chiteswar pujara to perform in domestic pitch. Why he always choose batsman, those already played with very poor performance in last couple of series.

Posted by Des_65 on (January 26, 2013, 2:59 GMT)

ut4me87, you are absolutely right. Sunil Gavaskar made 774 at 154+ average in his debut test match series in West Indies (2nd test, Port of Spain, Mar 6-10, 1971). Looks like most of the Indian players who had made a debut in a test match abroad and played well, have succeeded in their cricketing carrer.

Posted by JustIPL on (January 26, 2013, 2:48 GMT)

Thanks Harsha for the word of caution. One thing to note though B.Kumar mostly bowled out as soon as possible on a trot which made his economy rate look good. Once again we are falling prey to number which might chage drasticaly if he bowls in the death overs. Shami was hit for plenty in the last match and Ishant gave 32 runs in last four overs of his quota so now B. Kumar might need to bowl the death overs and his number will be different then. Also, he has taken just 9 wickets in 7 matches so a comparison with philander and starc is a little too early.

Posted by Mitcher on (January 26, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

@perl57: How does pointing out there are only two (correct) reviews possibly end the case re DRS. I guess India would probably like unlimited challenges since their Gods of cricket never think they're out. Throw in the inept Indian umps and unlimited probably wouldn't be enough.

Posted by tearawayquick on (January 26, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

Lets not get carried away by Jadeja.. Form is temporary and his lack of class is permanent. Do you seriously expect him to come in at No:7 and score runs in WC2015 in OZ? What a Joke..

Posted by inswing on (January 25, 2013, 22:34 GMT)

One should not get excited over a bowler's half-decent performance in ODIs. Let B Kumar play tests. Hope he doesn't go into the same injury/disappear cycle. Praveen performed very well in the few chances he got in tests, then got injured, then disappeared. What happened? Umesh Yadav has reached the 'injury' phase, hope he doesn't disappear too.

Posted by ut4me87 on (January 25, 2013, 22:18 GMT)

Only player who was technically perfect was Gavaskar. I have watched him since I was a boy. Dravid, Tendulkar and Manjrekar came close. BTW Gavaskar was 22 when he score 774 in 4 test matches.

Posted by WC2011Champs on (January 25, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

CASE OF ROHIT SHARMA: Harsha, you too! It was just one innings. Though great job on presenting Jadeja's stats for two series and his turnaround. I too want Rohit to succeed but am willing to wait ten innings. If he can score 50+ 6 times out of ten then we are talking. He just might solve opening woes of last year and half and that is what has made everybody excited. There is no doubt he has talent but there remains doubts about his caliber to express that talent. He has to follow a strict regimen at the start of the innings to give him that platform. Pujara and Kohli already have that. Dhoni's ODI innings are perfect examples. Until then I am not going with people who are comparing him to SRT and VVS and their late blooming. SRT never had scoreline like 0,1,4,0,0,0. Never.

Posted by jadedfan on (January 25, 2013, 21:47 GMT)

Just because a batsman can play the pull or hook well doesn't mean he wouldn't get out pulling or hooking. Ask Laxman. He probably got out pulling more often than Ganguly. Rohit has the classic flaw of current Indian batsmen - he pulls too often on the front foot. Virat Kohli's issues against Junaid show he needs to tighten up against swing as well. And Junaid is a not patch on Dale Steyn. Kohli was back at this recent tentative worst at Mohali. Was lucky his front foot pull off Finn fell in no man's land... they need to be positive.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

@Nampally- Do not get Biased :: 1) Pujara - Has talent but yet to prove 2) Tiwari:: Lags in Many still not able to use Chances- Needs lot of improvement 3) Kohli :: Needs to know RUMMY how cards will favour when you are new ::

One Big answer why Rohith was given more chances is because of his technical strength and shown abilities ( Technical+temperment ) -- lack of consitance will hurt him :: we need guys like Raina - who can challenge anybody with his attutude never mind who is bowling bretlee or Kyle miles; Good to see Jadeja coming handy -this boy has lot of batting skills needs some attitude to convert that it into useful numbers ; when you are able to hit BIG sixes ( Big means more than 100 M) please show the world you are powerful like Yuvaraj did : Scare the bowlers ...

Posted by CrickFans007 on (January 25, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

India is so frustrated abt their Fast Bowling attack b/c they always compare their bowling with Pakistan Bowling attack and they have never produced Quality bowlers.In Pak looks like they have a factory who produced fast & Spin bowlers. Problem with India is that whenever a new bowler comes in the team and take 1-2 wickets Indian people/expert give them so much hype and over rate and after that ...Sirsant, Irfan and many, now where they are? Now they are trying to over rate a new bowler Kumar, Again over rate. just look his pace under 128KM and he is good ONLY for Initial 3-4 overs and he also need fast and green wicket. So now where u will rate him. I bet after 6 month he will be out of India team and india again will search another new bowler.

Posted by Nampally on (January 25, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

@penagamuri: Sir, you have full right to disagree with my opinion regards my choice of 3 best Indian batsmen of the future - Pujara, Tiwary & Kohli. But the reality is no batsman can perform consistently unless the footwork & defence are both technically sound. That is the first fundamental requisite for any high scoring batsman. Look up the records of all great players & you will find these 2 as common factors. Rohit & Rahane need to work on these 2 aspects - which are a "must" in the early part of their innings - to supplement their stroke play. Both of them got out many times due to flawed technique. Even Kohli needs to work on it to a lesser extent. The Legend who had perfect a copybook defence & footwork was Sunil Gavaskar. He is the all time best opener in India & arguably in the World.As a <20 debutant, Gavaskar got an aggregate of about 730 runs in a Test series in WI including 2 double centuries - Bradman like stats, Eh!.

Posted by vrn59 on (January 25, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

India has a fantastic ODI team but a terrible Test team. In my opinion, the best Test team is South Africa, the best ODI team is India and the best T20 team is the West Indies, although Sri Lanka also has fantastic ODI and T20 teams.

Posted by xylo on (January 25, 2013, 18:27 GMT)

You missed out on the biggest plusses of the season! Sachin Tendulkar retiring from ODIs, and Sehwag being dropped from ODIs, hopefully for good.

Posted by Prakmca on (January 25, 2013, 17:49 GMT)

Well said Harsha. Rohit is having the habbit of playing across the line, which he has to fix it immediately. Also, should not take any unwanted risk. He has to understand, that if be bats longer, he can score more. Especially in the new cricketing rules. Lets hope, he delivers. Rohit should be given the test chance also which will boost his confidence. Once he is given the confidence of permamnent member in the squad, he will rock.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

Harsha missed the name of a certail Shami Ahmed who looks the part to play in tests as well. He looks pretty consistent with his line and length at good pace. He is definitely someone on whom India should invest in grooming, a much better option than Dinda. Ishant has also never looked so good before pitching the ball up and getting the bounce coz of his height.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Harsha,players like ishwar pandey,suraj yadav,ankit rajput, s. kaul,sheldon jackson,s.p. gautam, s. dhawan, vishal joshi and shahbaj nadeem deserve to be tested by the selectors in different formats of the game on the basis of their recent showing on the domestic circuit.The bench strength of india needs to be improved and option requires to be kept available for bowler to bowler and batsman to batsman positions for better performance by India in days to come.

Posted by penagamuri on (January 25, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

@nampally-I dont aggree with you regarding your remarks abt pujara,kohli and tiwary being india's best technically sound batsmen. Every batsmen has weakness. Even the greats of the game has flaws but they become great only by overcoming their flaws. For instance tendulkar had so many flaws exploited over the years but every time he thought bowlers had worked him out he counter attacked and came out stronger. What you have to understand is that rohit has the best repertoire of shots amongst indian new generation batsmen. Pujara might have tight defence but his offside shots needs improvement. Kohli has good defence and can play equally well on both sides but not very good at pull or hook. Tiwary guy needs a lot of improvement in all areas. With rohit he can play any shot in the book and is a natural hooker or puller but the only issue is his tendency to play accross by planting his front foot to an inswinging ball early in his inngs. If he can fixes this than he has a solid technique.

Posted by vpk23 on (January 25, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

Maybe not in stature but similar to Tendulkar when he went right up the order in his 79th match or so. With a long rope alread given guess this was the end of the rope and he has grabbed it with both hands n head if one can do that. Rohit..temperment is the key word...Rest as you say is History!!

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

Irfan had much better statistics than Jadeja after his latest comeback before he got injured.

Posted by Cricketfan08 on (January 25, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

Even if Dhoni loses a series after 2 years from now, he will call it a 'transition phase'. India have not done too badly at home. But losing Tests to England at home and ODIs to Pakistan at home seems not to go well with the media and fans. It is a game and Dhoni's way of defending loss is excuses. He doesn't need to make those excuses. His team has done ok at times and brilliant at other times. They need to focus on test cricket as in current form they do not look good to beat any team in test cricket.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Irfan had much better statistics after his latest comeback before he got injured.

Posted by Nampally on (January 25, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

Harsha, You expressed very much my thoughts.I always said England is weak against good LH spinners. I have been pushing for S.Nadeem to be that bowler after seeing Ojha & Yuvraj taking wkts. in Test matches. But Jadeja seems to have taken Nadeem's position & bowled very well. B.Kumar has been a bit of a surprise for me with his accurate swing bowling. Yes he is a more accurate & faster version of Praveen. Shami is another guy who is good & needs to be sustained as a seamer. Ishant bowled well in the 4th ODI after being utter flop in ODI#1. I like to see Joshi of Saurashtra tried as off spinner instead of Ashwin.He looks a promising bowler from his Ranji performances. I feel Joshi & Nadeem to be the best New prospects for spinners. As for Rohit, Dhoni gambled him at the opening spot & it paid off. But I still feel his defence & footwork needs to be improved to be consistently successful. I consider Pujara & Tiwary + Kohli to be India's best & technically sound batsmen of the future.

Posted by stormy16 on (January 25, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

India never seems to have a shortage of talent but the issue seems to be in the talent delivering at the highest level. Rohit is one and Raina is another having probably batted himself out of test cricket. Ishant is another who hasnt really done anything great but just enough not to be dropped. One could even question Ashwin and Ojha who couldnt bowl out Eng. Beating Eng in a one day series in India really is living off the crumbs.

I too for the life of me cannot understand why Prior doesnt play one dayers and open for Eng in one dayers unless he has specifically requested rest. The guy will be the perfect wkt keeper opening batter and Eng keep trying others.

Posted by perl57 on (January 25, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

@Smithie, the howlers that erasmus has given India when we visited your front was equally worse to the decisions cook got. But hang on, those howlers were not only to your batsmen, but also to our batsmen as well. DRS is a hopeless case. You get 2 chances after which no amount of wrong decisions would not be questioned. That seems like crap. So there ends the case.

Posted by Haleos on (January 25, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

Get Abhishek Nayar asap in the team and get rid of overrated lazy ashwin.

Posted by ThatsJustCricket on (January 25, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

@ Smithie on (January 25 2013, 13:57 PM GMT): I am totally with you mate for the DRS bit. It is unfathomable why BCCI bluntly refuses to use DRS. Having said that, not sure what evidence you have to say Indian umpires make the most number of howlers. Specially after witnessing the pleasing LBWs against Warner and Henriques in the same match, you must have a lot of courage to make a comment like that.

Posted by prasanna_79 on (January 25, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

For India to really dominate in ODIs n Test matches abroad,it doesn't matter if jadeja performs or not..,but the things that matter the most are seam/swing bowling all-round options ( like irfan pathan,rishi dhawan,nayar ) n a very solid opening combination ( though @ a slower strike rate..,say 70 per 100 balls but solid ).. The openers should weather the new ball n give the team solid starts in atleast 7 out of a 10 innings..This series could have been an ideal oppurtunity to try out rishi dhawan n nayar, as both are high on confidence @ the moment because of good domestic performances this season..

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 14:17 GMT)

It seems Bhuvi & Shami will do well for India for long time.But they can keep performing well until unless gets an advice from people like Greg Chappel....ha ha ha ha... i still remember what an swing bowler Irfan Pathan was and what guru Greg has made him...so Bhuvi+Shami+Zak will make an good pace attack for India with Ishant,Sreesanth & Praveen in reserve .... it is bad to see that after scoring 47 in 1st match Vs Eng. Rahane has been dropped...he is not getting as much chances as Rohit is getting... i hope selectors will give equal opportunity to Rahane...

Posted by Jwese on (January 25, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

well, this is a positive for india after the horrible losses on home soil.but with an eye on the 2015 cup we'll have to hope that bhuveneshwar raina and rohit extend their good form abroad. Pujara needs to have a go. he could be their best bet in Aus. If roht continues performing and our injured players return then our team for the wc could be: 1 Rohit 2 Pujara/Rahane 3 Virat 4 Yuvraj 5 Raina 6 Dhoni 7 Jadeja 8 Irfan 9 Ashwin 10 Bhuvneshwar 11 Umesh

Posted by Smithie on (January 25, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

@cricketKKR the howler rate for Indian umpires is well in excess of other nationals and what is so frustrating for the rest of the cricket community is that you Indians just accept such deficiencies - logic would say that DRS is most needed where Indian umpires are concerned. Harsha needs to seriously question why Srinivasan continues with his counterproductive stance.

Posted by CoolCharlie on (January 25, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

Also as i read comments out here i feel unnecessary criticism to team and players . People have to understand that this is a very young team we have. You cannot expect them to go out and win straight away. There hardly anyone whom you can call Senior in test matches. When Ganguly was captain he had Dravid , Sachin and Kumble . Young players back then learnt from those cricketers and we had yuvraj sehwag Zak and harbhajan.All I am saying is back then india had a settled core group. Right now everyone is still learning to adapt and understand their position. We have to be patient . We wont win many tests for 2 years . but we will soon be a force to reckon with . And I am sure of that. and Dhoni is very important right now to indian cricket . A lot rely on his decisions and I am sure he is the best out here for this period. No one can handle so much pressure better than him. Many would have buckled under such pressure . So cmon guys , give it to the man.

Posted by CoolCharlie on (January 25, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

well i think to all guys who had been bashing indian team and dhoni it was all crap to me. True we lost and suffered embarressment for past 18 months but it is a transition period and i think we have got pretty good talent back home. though our spin department looks a bit bare but our batting department has got lots of talent. Rohit should be tried for tests. pujara kohli and rohit should be the backbone of our batting in tests. And we have no one to captain save dhoni and i think he is doing pretty good job. Emergence of Jadeja is a big plus and if he continues to rise it will be pretty great for indian cricket. And i think india is a pretty serious contendour for next world cup down under. it will be a pretty dangerous team by then . Others contendours are SA and Pak. I am not sure about Oz.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (January 25, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

Jadeja has had a good series against England, that's all. To be called an all-rounder, the question that has to be asked is would a player be selected solely for one of the disciplines such as batting or bowling such as Jacques Kallis? Let's see how he does against SA and Aus before labelling Jadeja an all-rounder. Harsha got it completely wrong re Bhuneshwar Kumar - the biggest plus of his bowling since his debut has been the ability to move the ball off the seam and just not through the air. As one swallow does not make a summer, so I'm surprised Harsha regards one good innings at the top from Rohit as a silver lining. What about the much criticised Raina who has been consistent throughout the series?

Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (January 25, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

Sachin and Sehwag were both accidental finds as good openers. One prays for Rohits sake and for Indias sake he becomes a consistent opener. However the selection is bieng unfair to players like Rayudu , Abhishek Nayyar, Manoj Tiwary , Pankaj singh and many many such talented players who are at peak good form and can easily replace Gambhir and Yuvraj ( for time bieng) as match winners.

Indian selectors should pay attention to good swing bowlers in India. Bhuvnashwar kumar was never much hyped but he is player to deliver in swing conditions and we do have 3-5 other swing bowlers who can be nurtured to serve India

Posted by rosh280 on (January 25, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

Right, harsha bhogle. You made some valid points but there are lot of exceptions to it.You always criticize Rohit sharma, Ravindra jadeja and Bhuvanesh kumar but there is no point in doing like that. instead you support some players. you are a commentator you need to be genuine in your views. We should morally support these players to encourage their performances. Not to mention that Rohit sharma is a great player selection committee knows his calibre that is why he is in the team similarly ravindra jadeja and bhuvanesh kumar also. now indian team is in the positive stride, indian team will definitely improve more and more under the captaincy of dhoni. Most worrying thing is the opening pair slot. We need to bring murali vijay and cheteswar pujara to the fold that will help india to regain confidence to the team. we hope more and more performances with this new indian team.

Posted by ListenToMe on (January 25, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

In my opinion, the selectors are not doing the right thing by giving chances in ODIs to players who perform very well in test matches. Rahane, Rohit are very strong in tests and still they need to prove in ODIs to get into the test side, strange!! But, some players are given direct chances in tests even though they did not do well in first class. Also Abhishek Nayar was given just 3 chances in ODIs in which he could bat only once and was not out in that match. Still he was never considered again. He is doing very well in first class and is an all rounder too, still the selectors can't see him!!. I wish India learn a lesson for these mistakes in the next foreign tour. I want India to lose for these ugly politics being played by the selectors. Already India is losing the fans day by day and they will learn a lesson when the galleries become empty one day.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

@Akhter786 No denying what you are trying to say,but the tone of this article is very sobre. Pathetic Opening,Worst Death bowling,mediocre fielding(feel gutted on how Virat and Raina dropped Joe root the other day mediocre is an understatement here) and ever reliant on raina and Dhoni have been the hallmarks of Indian cricket.Even without the umpiring decisions,without swann and Anderson in the bowling department England were less than mediocre.

Posted by KanAloshFozter on (January 25, 2013, 11:40 GMT)

Good to see some indians performing.Just as Harsha pointed out Bhuvi is a long very prospect if he can replicate this performance with old ball.Rohit,I'm not sure,he delivers a good knock among ten terrible ones,just as Murali Vijay.Jadeja was good and want to prove he's good overseas.Yes,there are some positives.And MSD's batting too,must retire from tests and concentrate in odis

Posted by cloudmess on (January 25, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

India did well, but they beat an England team which had more than a hint of a "A team" about it. Bhogle is right that England intrinsically do not respect the one-day game enough - they are always tinkering, always using it as a sort of trial for the test team. They still treat the form of the game as other sides used to treat it in the 1970s and 80s. With their scattergun approach, they never seem able to identify a group of players and stick with them for any length of time. And come the 2015 world cup, it will be the usual story of England still unsure of their side, and bringing in wild card selections at the last minute, promising 21 year olds who have played a few first class games, and county stalwarts who have no chance of adapting to the international game in time. They will never win the world cup while they continue with this mentality.

Posted by SHIVA19 on (January 25, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

After Fletcher has taken the responsibility from kirsten he stateted that ind could rule the world cricket for atleast 10 years...,but after that things have moved in opposite way,our team faced the most humialiating defeats..in tests,they are many reasons that hurted our india.. foremostly Indian selection panel didn't find a bowling unit which can take 20 wickets to win a test match,the consistent flop show from openers viru and gauthi hurted team a lot..,the loss of form and focus of bowling spear head zaheer and bhajji costed us,& last but nt least the retirement of batting greats..,rt now our odi team is slowly rebuilding to reach his previous heights..selectors should concntrate to find bowlers who could bowl well in death overs.. and who could bring variety to the bowling.. rather than selecting similar mould of bowlers..,my 7th sense says ind had great odi future..,but in tests that too in overseas..mainly depends on how our new bowling unit spearheaded by umesh performs.....

Posted by Akhter786 on (January 25, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

this is the problem with indian cricket, one good show and the player is on cloud number nine either lifted by fans and commentators alike or by hefty money, let bhuvaneshwar kumar enjoy his start of the career let jadeja find himself a permanent place,

but still do u think all is well,all these losses were englands own and not wins by india umpiring contributed heftly also,,,

had finn not bowled a dead ball the other day india definitely would have struggled

but lets keep that luck separate

still indian batting is in shambles apart from Dhoni and him only

do u think Raina can bat like he is batting here anywhere outside,,he still doesnot know how to play a swinging or a short ball,,

in short woes are plenty and silver linings too few,, donot get distracted by a spark in the dread of dark!!!!

Posted by ullasupadhya on (January 25, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

Hello Harsha Please tell the selectors to bring irfan phatan and Yosuf phatan as both of them are good allrounders. we can send yosuf for opening the innings and irfan at 7th this will bring stability to the team please do not waste the talent hidden in them

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

Ashwin should be out of both ODI and test teams,Seriously Harbhajan at his worst was more economical than this overrated spinner.Saeed Ajmal and Swann are light years ahead of him in both skill and guile as we have seen lately.even Tredwell bowls better off breaks than Ashwin.There is no excuse for u as an indian spinner if u cant perform in home conditions.Even Ojha disappointed in the recent test series,but he is a much better bowler in terms of taking wickets than Ashwin.Now that Jadeja is doing a good job as an allrounder both he and Yuvi can manage the role of second spinner.There is no reason to retain Ashwin for his batting capabalities,WE NEED A QUALITY SPINNER,EITHER MISHRA OR OJHA SHOULD BE THE FIRST CHOICE

Posted by ravi_hari on (January 25, 2013, 10:51 GMT)

A quick and decent assesment by Harsha. It is evident that India won this series more due to lack of intent from England. Their team combination was better than England and they received support from unexpected quarters. Dhoni & Raina's form and the bowlers have helped India win this one. However, Indians have more worries than the positives. Gambhir and Yuvraj were below par. Ashwin and Ishant were average. Batting power play is worrying and death bowling is still a worry. In most cases India has chased and it would be interesting to see them defend small totals. If they want to win the Champions Trophy all these need to be plugged. Rohit and Jadeja I feel will struggle in England. Bhuvanesh can be another Binny. Dhoni's record overseas is poor and Indian spinners will not get the same tracks there. So they need to be better prepared otherwise they might return home like the T20 world cup. Pakistan and Sri Lanka seem the favourites for this edition.

Posted by supersia on (January 25, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

Harsha, I have to take you up on your point about Matt Prior and Ian Bell. you are absolutely right about Ian Bell; he has been given umpteen chances to prove himself as an ODI player and he often flatters to deceive. Either the selectors have to persist and stick with him or finally cut their losses and drop him altogether from the ODI setup for good. Having said that, the same must be said about Matt Prior. You say he surely deserves a chance...well he hsa had 68 chances at ODI level to prove himself and all he has is 3 fifties to show for it. To suggest he has been overlooked, is not correct. I accept he has come on as a player recently, but he has before and, like Bell before him, seems to find the pressure to score consistently at ODI level too great a challenge. I say leave those 2 to the Test format where they excel and persist with the Buttlers, Roots and Hales' of this world.

Posted by Jacobchikku on (January 25, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

England has been pathetic in their approach and their bowling lacks quality but still you can see Gambir not making a mark and its high time someone show him the way to Delhi Renji Side.

Bhuvaneswar has done wonderfully well and he is the pick of the series, and should be persisted with, Team should make a plan for their 2015 worldcup and build on that, I am still doubtful of the non-quality batting order we have in (Raina, Jadeja, Rohit, Gambir) who always struggle alot in seaming or bouncy wickets and never shows or have the ability to play a fighting innings under pressure, India must have player in the side who doesn't score at a strike rate of 90/80 + but who can hold his end up and be there when the chips are down. If they don't do that they may win some matches at home or in Asia but when travel around they will found wanting.!

Posted by Kapil_Choudhary on (January 25, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

I think Sanjay Manjrekar and Simon Hughes made a great point after Rohit's innings. Since England did not expect Rohit to be in the XI, they had not done their homework on him. In recent times, Rohit has heavily struggled with full-pitched deliveries, not short balls. However, England tried to bounce him out, which is their first instinct with every Indian batsman, and paid the price. Would be interesting to see Rohit in the 5th ODI now that England probably realize their mistake.

Posted by pandez on (January 25, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

I agree to Hindustani on Abhishekh Nayar, that he must get an opportunity as he is going to be an asset to the team with his solid batting lower down the order and his medium pace bowling, specially abroad, however one must not question Yuvraj as he is there in the middle order as a permanent, at least for the time being. In England, South Africa and Australia Indian line up should be Gambhir, Rohit [or Rahane or Pujara], Virat, Yuvraj, Raina, Dhoni, Nayar, Jadeja, Ashwin, and two fast bolwers.[ Ishant, Bhuvaneshwar, Shami, Ashoke, etc]. And as Harsha smartly pointed out that in any way Indian team looks balanced in home condition, you can expect a changes here and there when the team plays abroad as some sets of inexperience players are bound to struggle on seaming and bouncing wickets.

Posted by Jube on (January 25, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

There are 2 submissions I have, which are in agreement with some comments but disagree with others - 1. Not just this series, but almost all gone by, have been won considerably because of M S Dhoni's leadership and contribution. He has almost always contributed to a victory and stood up sometimes alone fighting against defeat. Its time those critics of Dhoni start assessing the abilities and commitment of the others and appreciate what he does. 2. The way the Indian team plays today, I am reasonably confident all else remaining consistent, India will be out of the Top 5 nations in 2 years. A good team is made up of quality batsmen AND bowlers and the latter seem to be a scarcity. In the case of our batsmen too, they're not always going to get sub continental tracks and few have proven themselves internationally. Unless the BCCI works out a way to have more matches in India,..... we're going to struggle for times to come...

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 25, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

Jadeja and Bhuvi have done admirably well agaisnt a good team in trying conditions. So good on them.Hold on. But they still are not the answers for Indian woes. Their greatest challenge is in Champs Trophy and Aus. Generally in Indian cricket the first year is the Best, and you dont want to go beyond Ishant, Sree, PK, RP and Munaf to prove that. all enjoyed wonderful start PK in Aus, Munaf against Eng, RP in Eng, Sree in SA and Windies and Ishant in Aus..all in thier first years..where are they now. apart from Ishant, the others are bygones. Jadeja is not your fifth bowling allrounder. He is a patch. A good cricketer and wonderful fielder with possitive attitude. But he is not the answer yet. The demise of Yuvi as a thumper, Gauti as solid opener is going to hurt India in Eng and Aus. Who will replace them is anybody's guess. For now let Bhuvi and Jadeja enjoy thier cricket. Lets revisit this page after Champs trophy

Posted by Nayanvn on (January 25, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

UglyIndian, your comments betray your bias... I agree there were umpiring errors which were on both sides. In the second and third game, the howlers did not affect the game as India was always winning. And the Cook dismissal did affect India badly but India also had howlers in Gambhir and Sharma's dismissal. They could have derailed from there but didn't. While there are still many chinks in our armour, we have been the better ODI team, running England close even in the first match and winning the other three very comfortably. If India was ordinary, England was worse. And those questioning Harsha's comments on Ravindra Jadeja, he has just stated what he observed in the last 2 series and did state that while we have always been good on subcontinent wickets, the next chalenge foe people like Jadeja, Sharma and Kumar is to perform overseas and thats fair. And vchint, so his 61* in 2nd and 21* in 4th were not needed? And he bowled in powerplays and death overs so wickets were a requirement

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 25, 2013, 7:50 GMT)

For the first time, I really feel dissapointed by a Harsha Bhogle article.Too much words of praise for Ravinder Jadeja and Rohit Sharma, and not a single mention of other two youngsters Rahane and Shami Ahmad.OK i agree that Rahane didn't perform to the expected level and Shami Ahmad was OK-OK only.But still we need to encourage these youngsters, instead of showering praise on already tried ones. And I seriously believe that Irfan Pathan could be considered for Champions Trophy because of the obvious reasons of swing bowling with reasonable batting skills.

Posted by soumyas on (January 25, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

still i'm not convinced with Jadeja. we have lost 5 times more than win becuase of Jadeja. Ojha has to play in his place and Pujara or tiwari should come in batting,

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

Good article by harsha as usual....but in my personal point of view when we travel overseas we can drop ashwin play Sir Jadeja as spl spinner n pick irfan will the way to go...though i doubt can dhoni drop one of his lions(CSK mate)......

Posted by CricketKRK on (January 25, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

Smithie : In recent Aus Vs SL match David warner was given out "28.6 132.5 kph, a huge appeal for lbw and the umpire raises the finger though I thought Warner had got a big inside edge on to his pad. Warner is dismayed as he sees the finger go up and he can't review it because Clarke had used up the only review available. And he had got a massive inside edge as he played from his crease at a good length ball that pitched around leg and middle"....All umpires make mistake even steve davis made mistake.....so dont blame only on indian umpires...

Posted by SamRoy on (January 25, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

Well Jadeja can't deliver in England as long as he doesn't learn to mix up the pace of his deliveries as it is unlikely that there is going to be enough spin there. He needs to learn how to bowl the odd ball slowly. Secondly, Bhuvi is quicker than Big Phil (Vernon). Big Phil bowls around 79-80 mph on average and Bhuvi bowls around 81-82 mph on average and can crank it up to 86 mph. Thirdly, you missed Shami Ahmed's fine seam position. As usual a not so good article from a not so good writer.

Posted by ListenToMe on (January 25, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

Just a series win in home conditions and we say India have got back to the habit of winning!!. Too sad that an experienced writer like Harsha can think this way. Do you still think that India can perform well abroad now? Do you think Jadeja will perform well abroad? Do you think we have enough good batsmen who can perform well in abroad? The answers to all these questions would be "NOT SURE". We will see that in the next foreign tour.

Posted by amit1807kuwait on (January 25, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Lets not overplay the impact of Ravindra Jadeja. For the same reasons as we are not celebrating Rohit Sharma. In the case of Rohit, we see a talent which is not being fulfilled (much like Sreesanth), and in Jadeja we get frustrated because a player with limited skills has been given far too many opportunities to prove himself due to factors other than performances on the field. Indian cricket, like the country itself, is far too mired in opaqueness. How we wish for some transparency!

Posted by Hindhustani on (January 25, 2013, 6:45 GMT)

Harsh call on Rahane, only after 4 matches. He should be given more chances considering he is an opener. Ghambhir should be replaced with Rahane. Shekar Dhawan must be selected as a back up opener. Rohit sharma has played only one good innings, so it is too early to judge his form. We should see how does he play in seaming wickets against good opposition. **Abhshek Nayar (medium pace Allrounder) should be given chances instead of yuvaraj. He has performed well for mumbai this season. Next world cup is in Australia, so he will be a big asset for team. Four fast bowlers and two spinners in playing 11.

Posted by Nagendren on (January 25, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

Rohit sharma has been given oppourtunities without doubt.But how consistent.One day he bats at No:4,other day at No:6 or No:7 and so on.Kohli was successful only because he was given consistent oppourtunity at No;4.Batting at different spots can distract the minds of any player.Atleast now he should be given a long run as a opener,since he finds no spot in the packed indian middle order and with the new tactics of having 5 bowlers in the team.

Posted by NP_NY on (January 25, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

Silver linings? Sounds like wishful thinking Harsha. It's great that Kumar and Jadeja did well in this series, but I think it is better to reserve judgement until we see how these guys perform overseas.

Posted by lonewarriorram on (January 25, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

I am still surprised to see the support given to Rohit by his team, selectors and ex-players. Some even went ahead and said better batsman than kohli anyday!Now its clear that he won't be dropped for next series lets hope he will deliver consistently as an opener. That will be a pleasing outcome for his supporters and even more for his critics who were fed up seeing his failure over years.

As for Jadeja he has definitely worked hard and improving in right direction.

Dhoni should try atleast couple of overs from Bhuvi in batting powerplay and death overs to see what he has in him rather than bowling out him before 25 overs every time. He won't work on death bowling unless you use him. If he can bowl well with old ball too he can be a real asset in longer version too.

Posted by Vnott on (January 25, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

One knock from Rohit and we are over the moon again. Let there be bounce and swing, Rohits failures will be back. He is definitely not the opener India are looking for. Pujara as opener or as one drop has to be a certainity in the one day team. He is the missing link to provide stability and is more than likely to succeed on most tracks. Rohit, Tiwary will fight for places in the middle order and doubt if either of them can make it to the 11 regularly. Rahane deserves a longer run though Finn exposed some of this technical weaknesses.....

Posted by Sathakarni on (January 25, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

Dear Harsha Sir, I have one question. You have rightly mentioned that the main challenge for jadeja would be to perform overseas. If Irfan is declared fit, why not choose him for that all-rounder spot for world cup. What can't we play horses for courses?

Posted by UglyIndian on (January 25, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

Notice how Harsha Bhogle doesn't utter a single word about how India came back into each match on the back of absolute howlers by umpires (almost always by Indian umpires) against the English. To me this negatively affects Bhogle's credibility as an independent sports journalist, and his words no longer hold value. With the presence of DRS, the series could have had a very different score-line by now. I feel India's victory is hollow, and deep down even the Indian players know that they have won the series only because the umpiring was partial to them.

Posted by vchint on (January 25, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

All of Harsha's articles are on one side and this on the other. I have great regard for his words. I am a great fan of him. I buy almost all his books just for the heck of reading through - regardless of wheather they make sense to my wrold or not. But I never expected such an article from Harsha. How could he taka such a stance on Jadeja when it is pretty evident that he don't take wickets rather batsmen throw away theirs. He came in when top batsmen were dismissed cheaply only to depart more cheaply. Did he score when required, did he pick wickets when there was an absolute requirement? The answer is a straight no. When I novice like me can see that, wonder why Harsha can't. I disagree with Harsha on this one. Hope he is more meticulous in his next article.

Posted by paps123 on (January 25, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

On flatter tracks India are clearly the best ODI side with so much fire power in batting only comparable to WI lineup, but the Windies lack in temperament. Indian seamers don't do great because 2 bad matches cost them a place in the side while Batsman like Rohit or Gambhir get umpteen chances. I thought Ishant bowled very well in most of the matches, but very soon he would also be dropped. Fast bowlers are not built in a day, one has to identify 4-5 of them and persist. Indian theory is to look for someone who is great, which is foolishness. Good bowlers become very good if persisted with. Examples are Gul, Kulasekara, Venkatesh Prasad, Damien Fleming, Anderson who also got hit, but they were persisted with.

Posted by indianfan535 on (January 25, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane have to open in Dharamshala. We're all talking about Rohit being inconsistent, but what about Gambhir? Granted he got a bad decision in the last game, but no prizes for guessing how he got out. He needs to be dropped in all formats and asked to go to domestic cricket.

Posted by CricIndia208 on (January 25, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

India are the best team in the world. Poor form cannot take away the fact that India are the most talented team. We are the World Champions.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (January 25, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

Harsha, Philander bowls on an average at 130kmph. Kulasekhara too bowls at a little less than that. vernon has been brilliant because of late swing and more importantly bowling on the stumps and on his chosen length 95 times out of 100 .Bhuvaneshwar is an athlete and enjoys bowling. That is a big trait. he also bats well. This aspect has thus far remained unnoticed. There are others like Ishwar Pandey. He should be in the highest league soon. I have seen him bowl and his action has all the trappings of being from an Army officer's family.Shami we have already seen for his bowling which will get faster I am sure. But he is a good batsman as well. The one that throws the bat around but connecting more often than missing. The off spin of Vishal Joshi caught my eye too. he looks the good old fashioned off spinner as Pras says not the 'off break' bowler. he has all the charcteristics of a big name in the making. Controlled flight and occasional drift. Big turn and stomach to take a hit.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

Good observations Harsha , couple of my thoughts , it is too early to judge Bhuvneshwar Kumar, like him lot many had debuted for Indian cricket team and then fissile'd out . Hope he will prove otherwise. Problem with Rohit S is he will play one good game and another 10 will be slack ones. He needs to focus on the consistency and need to have the right attitude towards each game, which he is lacking now. As Boycott mentioned, India currently an average team and it needs to move to the bracket of good team. For that we need to have strong fast bowling attack, good spinners and good openers, now there is good talent in middle order which needs to be groomed, Rahane, kohli, Raina, Pujara, Rayadu etc, therefore all is well there. Opening remains our problem like spinners and pace attack.Converting middle order to opener is not at all a safe option as India still are looking for talents like Sachin and Ganguly , those will come once iin a blue moon ?

Posted by anuajm on (January 25, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

While Lord Jadeja, Sir Rohit and Sir Ishant have done decently well in the series, lets not get ahead of ourselves. I see the failing very soon when alien conditions and/or stronger teams arrive. I would have seen the likes of Rahane and Pujara given more chances. Some individual brilliance specially from someone like Dhoni has helped India win the series, but the team does not inspire a lot of confidence now. As for England, they have done well in one day cricket recently, so this lose should not hurt them much.

Posted by xsSandy on (January 25, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

Dhoni alone is showing the way. There is enough inspiration for the consistently failing Batting Unit. Still, if they are not inspired enough then probably no body can inspired them to win again.

Posted by mothanvi on (January 25, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

It is always nice to read and listen to Harsha Bhogle and indeed a very good spotlight is thrown on the recent past of Indian cricket.However I have a little disagreement regarding the overvaluation of Ravendra Jadeja.As he bats at number 6 or 7,I miss an ingredient of match winning ability in him which comes from sensible batting and immense power hitting.If Jadeja is to stay in the Indian side for long time he must work at improving his skill of being a match-winner.

Posted by Sunman81 on (January 25, 2013, 4:57 GMT)

Harsha.. you best summed up about Rohit in your last line of the article... Rohit is being bashed by the critics mainly for his consistency.... He needs to consolidate his position as an opener to prove them wrong...

Posted by TheGamerX on (January 25, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

Rohit should probably get a brief 3 match run at the opening position especially considering Gambhir is not doing that well as is expected of him!

Posted by pull_shot on (January 25, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

Forget all the writings in the article but one thing is write ROHIT SHARMA IS ANOTHER BELL is true after all this years u see bell doesnt perform consistently. the main problem with both of them is simple they r not mentally strong bell can produce here and there because of experience and class.For a player to succeed in international is mental balance and belief for example dhoni,cook,dravid,pujara etc.mark my words ROHIT WILL NEVER COME GOOD IN TIGHT MATCHES.but u can put money on jadeja because he is hard working cricketer from seeing domestic statistics as he score 300 and bowled about 40 overs and last yuvaraj singh or raina only one has to play according to the new rules and keeping in mind next world cup is in australia that too@6 down and get pujara @3 or @4 by asking kohli or they should be rotated at 3,4 spots by considering form. Atlast coming to bowlers bhuvi,shami r good but there needs to lot of improvement,but they r way above vinay,mithun etc who worried me.

Posted by Smithie on (January 25, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

What about the horror season for the Indian umpires? They made some horrendous errors which show up why there are no Indian umpires on the Elite Panel. Is this another reason why the BCCI rejects DRS? They seem indifferent and accept sub standard performances in this vital aspect of the game ? Harsha as a representative of Indian critic what responsibility are you taking via your journalistic powers, to correct this unacceptable situation, which is regrettably impacting on the global cricket community?

Posted by Humdingers on (January 25, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

Phillander can't get the ball past 135! In the recent series in Australia he barely got to 130! It's not all about pace.

Posted by cricmatters on (January 25, 2013, 4:35 GMT)

Rohit Sharma as a Test match opener is a mouth watering prospect. BCCI should hire Sunil Gavaskar to coach him about the mental side of being an opener as he seems to have all the required attributes for the job. Yuvi has lost his mozzo and India needs a proper batsman at no. 4, not somone who can bowl a bit. That role has been taken over by Jadeja. India has lot of talent though its a pity that selectors hardly think outside the box.

Posted by IndianSRTfan on (January 25, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

@Meety: Pretty good summary, although I would add, that if it weren't for Cook, England would be losing this series against India 5-0. He has been brilliant, teammates need to stop playing cricket in subcontinent.

Posted by sams235 on (January 25, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

I wouldnt praise Rohit yet. Lets talk about him after a few consistent performances. If however he doesnt play well in the next few games, lets just forget him for ever.

Posted by kharidra on (January 25, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

Silver Jubilees with silver streaks in hair, Silver linings provide a touch of silver to the events to celebrate. But sport is about winning and losing. These events occur umpteen times in ones career. Coping with losses and gaining ground to be a winner demands non stop performance, fitness, control over the cultivated creative instincts of instant cricket. Just to delve on the creative instincts of instant cricket the catch that was not to be almost made yet another entry in the sequence of low scores. It is just a question of getting better of the impetuosity as rightly put. But when there is evidence that such urges have been controlled then a failure on that count should not be built up as a case. The manner of the ultimate dismissal many purist would argue that it could be sensed when the best bowler on view was brought back. Here again the cultivated instinct of instant cricket brought about it. Therefore in the best interests of team the control instincts need to be executed.

Posted by bvnathan on (January 25, 2013, 4:12 GMT)

India need to have a rotation policy in place, so that all promising players are given a chance to show-case and augment their skills. At times, I believe asking the players to perform at a level in-and-out everyday to the same expectation may prove counter-productive. Take the case of Virat Kohli, when everyone expected him to continue with his 2012 performance, he appeared jaded and faded. Post the England ODI series, India will have Australia as the next guest, which will be followed by IPL. If the players playing time is not balanced and managed well, it will lead to burn out and thus sniffing out the lights before they start burning bright. I wish to point out the workload management of Dale Steyn, SA fast bowler as an exmaple. Definitely Bhuvi, Shami and even Ishant can model themselves after Philander to prove themselves a force to be reckoned with, as they have the same ability as Philander to excel.

Posted by henchart on (January 25, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

Yuvraj Singh's mediocre performance and future in ODI's have not been touched upon in the article.Rohit Sharma as opener on bouncy pitches would be a big gamble but he and Pujara are technically better than Sehwag .Gambhir'sawful form has compounded India's opening problem with Rahane flattering to deceive.

Posted by AbhiSapre on (January 25, 2013, 3:55 GMT)

Harsha, I do agree with most thoughts with the only concern is GG @ top of order with so many opportunities, Would have preferred persisting a little more with Rahane, afterall if you look at quite a bunch of players including Sangakkara, Attapatu, Laxman, Virat and even the Gr8 SRT all took a while to settle down on international stage, won't. Also we could try out CP in place of Yuvi who is not the same as was during WC. we need to give opportunities now than later, the options with Yuvi, GG on bench along with Manoj T, S Dhawan, we would have formidable lineup along with required bench strength. On bowling front it looks good with Umesh, Bhuvaneshwar, Ishant, Shami, Jadeja, (Ashwin has to improve his consistency, may be sticking to basics?!?) Pragyan, and bench of Irfan, Sreesanth, Varun and Sandeep and Stuart Binny with Irfan and Stuart as allrounders has all the makings of strong team given time and persisted with support from all of us including selectors.

Posted by Rahulbose on (January 25, 2013, 3:42 GMT)

Rohit Sharma has not been inconsistent, he has consistently failed. Pace and bounce do not worry him, cause he spends all his time in the dressing room or in the nets.

Posted by nyc_missile on (January 25, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

Rohit has to be groomed as an opener given the middle order is packed..with quality players like Tiwary,Rayudu & Pujara knocking on the doors strongly.For long too long,Rohit has been sacrificed for team at wrong batting positions,time to set things right.

Sehwag to me is a long shot in ODIs for now at least; Gambhir cannot justify his place any longer after so many chances.In his place,Rahane must be given solid backing & persisted with.Also Yuvraj is in trouble with his form as a bowler also going down;may not be a bad idea to pick him for just T20s.

At least 6 from --> Tiwary| Kohli| Pujara| Raina |Rohit |Rahane& Rayudu ought to be playing for Ind in ODIs,not least because they're pedigreed batsmen but brilliant fielders too.This is the future & its bright.Note that the above bunch are also proper test material(barring may be Raina) which is the hallmark of a quality batting unit.

Posted by Meety on (January 25, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

Pretty good summary, although I would add, that if it weren't for Dhoni, India would be losing this series against England (& Pakistan), by a whitewash. He has been brilliant, teamates need to step up.

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Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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