July 26, 2013

What's in it for India?

Their squad to Zimbabwe is young and inexperienced; time to experiment and hand out opportunities
38

How much does the prospect of watching an India v Zimbabwe game excite you? India are ranked No. 1 in ODIs and are the holders of the World Cup and the Champions Trophy, while Zimbabwe are No. 10 in the ODI rankings.

Such contests often end up being lopsided, with the better team playing to boost their stats. But if the underdog puts up a fight, you can get a real cracker of a game. However, it's likely that this series will remain a mismatched one.

But for fans of Indian cricket there are still plenty of reasons to watch, the foremost being the inclusion of new faces in the side. In a wise move, which also gives the contest some life, the Indian selectors have given their key players a well-deserved break. Close to half the squad that left India comprised players who were yet to win national caps and those yet to cement their place in the side.

While there was a strong case to rest Virat Kohli too, for he has played as much as anyone else, the selectors handed him the reins of the team for a full series for the first time, which should keep him going. This series isn't a high-pressure one. Playing in Zimbabwe will help him learn a few lessons before he faces bigger challenges.

Although fiddling with the line-up and team combinations can at times backfire, that shouldn't discourage you from experimenting. The selectors must be lauded for taking risks and bringing in Ambati Rayudu, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohit Sharma, Jaidev Unadkat and Parvez Rasool. These men are talented but will now also be brimming with confidence that stems from the selectors' faith in them.

In the first game, in Harare, the difference between the two sides was clear. While some might argue that India winning the toss was crucial to the outcome, I believe the toss didn't create the gap, only widened it.

What should be India's objective in this series? A 5-0 win? Or to give all the newcomers a fair run in the middle, and, if possible, the chance to volunteer for tougher challenges?

If the team management decides to play the best XI in every game, and the best players in their favoured positions, it's unlikely that all the newbies will get a fair chance to perform. But the selectors haven't picked these players to not play them, and hopefully the management thinks that way too. If Fletcher and Co were to choose the new recruits over the senior men, India might lose a game or two, but the series will not be lost.

The easiest thing for the team management to do is to just play one inexperienced player in the spot vacated by MS Dhoni in the batting order. That's what they did in the first game. But the tougher, and perhaps more pragmatic, thing would be to find ways to give Pujara, Rahane and Rayudu maximum opportunities in this series.

We have seen a lot of Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and, to an extent, Shikhar Dhawan in the recent past. Their ability to score runs against Zimbabwe isn't going to tell us anything about them that we don't already know. So it might not be a bad idea to play Pujara, Rahane and Rayudu in all the games and rotate the more experienced players around them. For example, open with either Dhawan or Rohit (ideally, give them three games apiece) and have Pujara or Rahane partner them. While the combination of Rohit and Dhawan is doing wonders, such a move will help India find out who is the next best for the job.

To really see someone's batting prowess in a 50-over game, you have to give him as many overs to bat in as possible. Which is why Rayudu, Rahane and Pujara must bat in the top four, and be followed by Kohli, Raina and Dinesh Karthik. This batting order obviously isn't written in stone. It can and must change if the situation demands, but the intention must not.

India must look to bat first in every game, because that's the toughest time to bat in these conditions. Since the bowling isn't challenging enough, India will have to find ways to challenge themselves. If Rohit and Dhawan are to open in the remaining matches, they might as well deal with the moving ball.

While the team management can fiddle around with the batting order, they haven't been afforded the same luxury by the selectors in the bowling department, since they have in their hands an all-new attack. Still, since Vinay Kumar and Amit Mishra have been around for a while, this series must be seen as a litmus test for them. Their performances must not go unnoticed; they must be given the responsibility of bowling in tough situations.

If the opposition isn't likely to test you, you must find ways to make a series useful for yourself.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • itsthewayuplay on July 26, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    The objective is easy - for India to continue rebuilding process and in particular build a core group of players who can be called on at any time - India cannot afford to go back to the days of automatic choices regardless of form and fitness. This is a great opportunity for all the players to gain experience in overseas conditions in a series and to do the right things such as bowling line and length, bowling in the death overs and for batsmen to apply themselves in the face of a different challenge. Above all, the players have an oppotunity to show respect for the opposition and not take anything for granted. These are some of the building blocks of making a strong team.

  • thecricketdiary on July 25, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Well this series is giving a chance to Pujara, Rahane, Rayudu, Unadkat and Rasool among others, but they haven't been given a chance, so far. India should look to change things up a bit, although winning the series is important. Next ODI, I feel Raina should take a break and give Pujara an ODI debut, while Karthik can also sit out to give Rahane a chance. Rayudu should play all 5 ODIs, he is likely to be India's next 'keeper/batsman. All in all, this series provides minimum context from India's perspective, except for giving the newbies/inexperienced cricketers a chance to adapt to the pitches and prepare for the South Africa tour later this year.

  • on July 27, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    I think when it comes to test bench strength India needs to think about 3 or 4 departments seriously. First of all is replacement for Dhoni which needs one wicket keeper-batsman and a captain who is a batsman. Other two departments includes bowling (2 pace bowlers and one spinner) and one lower middle order batsman.

  • Nampally on July 26, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    @srini701: Id the WK of this Indian team is Karthik, who is the Back up WK? I cannot see any other guy who keeps wkts. So it has to be Rayudu. I also have a feeling that Rayudu got in the squad as a back up WK cum batsman. If karthik gets injured, Rayudu will be called upon to do the Wicket Keeping. So please do not blame the guys who are commenting that Rayudu is a WK. Personally, I had seen him doing the WK for Mumbai in IPL 2 years back. He was poor to adequate. I am sure he has improved a lot in 2 years.

  • Nampally on July 26, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    It is a battle between #1 & #10 ranked teams. Hence you are "right on" when you say the series will be mismatched. I expect India to win 5-0. The Six players you quoted who deserve a chance to show their ability are as good as the regular players. Only sad part is they could not get chance to show their abilities playing for India. Rayudu & Pujara were both captains of India U-19 before Kohli, Raina & Karthik played U-19. However some players are lucky to be fast tracked whilst others have to "wait". Rayudu has captained Hyderabad & Baroda & scored a ton of runs. Pujara is the leader of Indian Test batting averages + has a batting average of 57 playing in ODI international matches. How "risky" is it to include both in all 5 matches against "Minnows"? These 2 are better batsmen than Raina & karthik - Rayudu is also a WK. Yes, we have seen a lot of Vinay, Rohit & Raina whilst the contenders are kept waiting for EVER. Let 6 named by you get a well deserved chance in XI- Not on Bench!.

  • srini701 on July 26, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    Why do everybody who post here forget the simple fact that Ambati Rayudu is NOT a wicket keeper but is a specialist batsman? He only keeps wickets in the IPL for Mumbai Indians and has never kept wickets for any of his other first-class teams.

    The team management should also consider giving enough chances to both Mohit Sharma and Unadkat. India will need as many world-class fast bowlers as they can afford, given the injury rate and the amount of cricket the team plays.

  • king_julien on July 26, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    I take my words back on Raina :) ...he too needs to spend some time on bench

  • king_julien on July 26, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    I do agree with Akash on this, everyone is reacting as if giving few players a chance will weaken the team a lot...Do you think they are so useless? They have been selected for the Indian team for some reason. Some of them might turn out to be future stars. If we wouldn't test our bench strength against Zimbwabwe then who will we test it against? when will we test new blood?

    Rohit Sharma has played 100 ODI and its his 7th year in ODIs, some players have their whole careers spanning 7-8 years, when will he come good? As for Raina, agreed that he's having a poor run...but there was a time when he combined with Dhoni down the order to win India so many matches, their partnership record with an average of 60 and 7 century stands down the order is unparalleled in history. What about Rohit, how many partnerships did he have when he played down the order?

    With 2015 in mind, its better to try some players who might become reliable openers later on like Pujara & Rahane than force fit Rohit

  • Naresh28 on July 26, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    @anand jakhotia - Agree with you. Raina, Jadeja and Kholi all need rest. They have been playing non-stop for quite a while. India definitely need to test the bench players by giving them ample opportunities. I dont think the squad will be weaker. The team management needs to mirror the selectors line of thought. It helps with decisions when we plan the 2015 WC squad and gives an idea of who is who when others are injured.

  • on July 26, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    This is what I've been saying for years...why deprive new guys a chance of playing when a match is low profile and inconsequential. Indian team management has a very regressive thought process as does the selectorial panel

  • itsthewayuplay on July 26, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    The objective is easy - for India to continue rebuilding process and in particular build a core group of players who can be called on at any time - India cannot afford to go back to the days of automatic choices regardless of form and fitness. This is a great opportunity for all the players to gain experience in overseas conditions in a series and to do the right things such as bowling line and length, bowling in the death overs and for batsmen to apply themselves in the face of a different challenge. Above all, the players have an oppotunity to show respect for the opposition and not take anything for granted. These are some of the building blocks of making a strong team.

  • thecricketdiary on July 25, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Well this series is giving a chance to Pujara, Rahane, Rayudu, Unadkat and Rasool among others, but they haven't been given a chance, so far. India should look to change things up a bit, although winning the series is important. Next ODI, I feel Raina should take a break and give Pujara an ODI debut, while Karthik can also sit out to give Rahane a chance. Rayudu should play all 5 ODIs, he is likely to be India's next 'keeper/batsman. All in all, this series provides minimum context from India's perspective, except for giving the newbies/inexperienced cricketers a chance to adapt to the pitches and prepare for the South Africa tour later this year.

  • on July 27, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    I think when it comes to test bench strength India needs to think about 3 or 4 departments seriously. First of all is replacement for Dhoni which needs one wicket keeper-batsman and a captain who is a batsman. Other two departments includes bowling (2 pace bowlers and one spinner) and one lower middle order batsman.

  • Nampally on July 26, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    @srini701: Id the WK of this Indian team is Karthik, who is the Back up WK? I cannot see any other guy who keeps wkts. So it has to be Rayudu. I also have a feeling that Rayudu got in the squad as a back up WK cum batsman. If karthik gets injured, Rayudu will be called upon to do the Wicket Keeping. So please do not blame the guys who are commenting that Rayudu is a WK. Personally, I had seen him doing the WK for Mumbai in IPL 2 years back. He was poor to adequate. I am sure he has improved a lot in 2 years.

  • Nampally on July 26, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    It is a battle between #1 & #10 ranked teams. Hence you are "right on" when you say the series will be mismatched. I expect India to win 5-0. The Six players you quoted who deserve a chance to show their ability are as good as the regular players. Only sad part is they could not get chance to show their abilities playing for India. Rayudu & Pujara were both captains of India U-19 before Kohli, Raina & Karthik played U-19. However some players are lucky to be fast tracked whilst others have to "wait". Rayudu has captained Hyderabad & Baroda & scored a ton of runs. Pujara is the leader of Indian Test batting averages + has a batting average of 57 playing in ODI international matches. How "risky" is it to include both in all 5 matches against "Minnows"? These 2 are better batsmen than Raina & karthik - Rayudu is also a WK. Yes, we have seen a lot of Vinay, Rohit & Raina whilst the contenders are kept waiting for EVER. Let 6 named by you get a well deserved chance in XI- Not on Bench!.

  • srini701 on July 26, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    Why do everybody who post here forget the simple fact that Ambati Rayudu is NOT a wicket keeper but is a specialist batsman? He only keeps wickets in the IPL for Mumbai Indians and has never kept wickets for any of his other first-class teams.

    The team management should also consider giving enough chances to both Mohit Sharma and Unadkat. India will need as many world-class fast bowlers as they can afford, given the injury rate and the amount of cricket the team plays.

  • king_julien on July 26, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    I take my words back on Raina :) ...he too needs to spend some time on bench

  • king_julien on July 26, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    I do agree with Akash on this, everyone is reacting as if giving few players a chance will weaken the team a lot...Do you think they are so useless? They have been selected for the Indian team for some reason. Some of them might turn out to be future stars. If we wouldn't test our bench strength against Zimbwabwe then who will we test it against? when will we test new blood?

    Rohit Sharma has played 100 ODI and its his 7th year in ODIs, some players have their whole careers spanning 7-8 years, when will he come good? As for Raina, agreed that he's having a poor run...but there was a time when he combined with Dhoni down the order to win India so many matches, their partnership record with an average of 60 and 7 century stands down the order is unparalleled in history. What about Rohit, how many partnerships did he have when he played down the order?

    With 2015 in mind, its better to try some players who might become reliable openers later on like Pujara & Rahane than force fit Rohit

  • Naresh28 on July 26, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    @anand jakhotia - Agree with you. Raina, Jadeja and Kholi all need rest. They have been playing non-stop for quite a while. India definitely need to test the bench players by giving them ample opportunities. I dont think the squad will be weaker. The team management needs to mirror the selectors line of thought. It helps with decisions when we plan the 2015 WC squad and gives an idea of who is who when others are injured.

  • on July 26, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    This is what I've been saying for years...why deprive new guys a chance of playing when a match is low profile and inconsequential. Indian team management has a very regressive thought process as does the selectorial panel

  • KishorKumar25 on July 26, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    This would be my team: Dhawan, Rohith, Pujara, Rayudu (wk), Kohli, Karthik/Jadeja, Rasol, Mishra, Mohith, Shami, Unadkat. Its time to try Rayudu as future Wicket keeping option in ODI, as well

  • ghostcall on July 26, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    @Ninety9 It would be nice if Cricinfo could add a feature that enables authors' response to the comments. Readers like myself would find it very interesting indeed to discuss some of the points arising out of the articles.

    I think this option is there on ESPNF1 website but not making the same on ESPN cricinfo is quite sensible else we would witness another war b/w circket fanatics on the internet.

  • ghostcall on July 26, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    How can you all forget Yuvraj... we did the same mistake before and see what he has done with bat and ball and helped us win the World cup. Also he is an Impact player and can won a match on his own. Either Sir JAddu or Ashwin has to make way for him once he is fit and roaring back again.

  • on July 26, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    I disagree with this article 101% ..if cricket is going to grow (as I believe its one of the ICC's mandate) then we should not be looking at who is playing who. Zim has not been given an opportunity to grow, rather most have advocated for its demise. NZ is going through the same and yet no one cries foul like it is done on Zim. rather the bigger teams need to play with Zim to give them the much needed experience. how does a pencil get sharpened with our shaving it? Zim need to get thumped if need be, but from those loses they will learn

  • ghostcall on July 26, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    DK is more talented as a batsman, wicketkeeper, fielder and matured player than Ambati Rayudu. I dont have to go into much history to prove that other than the recent concluded IPL. I know IPL performances are not ideal parameters to judge any players talent but it does come handy in making a sketch of one attitude and aptitude while competing with International stars.. unlike Ambati I never saw DK overreacting to the situations.. thats what separate Man from Boys n thats what separate DK and Pujara from the likes of Rayudu n Kohli

  • on July 26, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    The author has got his point of view, fine. But this series is a double-edged sword. To b honest kohli, jadeja & raina should ahve been rested for the series as a whole & rohit should have handled the reins of captaincy. U cannot ride on two boats, & that's what selectors have done. they wanted few seniors so that the series does'nt loose its market value as far as broadcasters r concerned, & also make sure they win the series. In short, selectors were not sure that an all rookie squad can win against zimbabwe. As for judgeing the players is concerned, its like reading 2 much.

  • Ninety9 on July 26, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    Nice article. Simple and succinct.

    It would be nice if Cricinfo could add a feature that enables authors' response to the comments. Readers like myself would find it very interesting indeed to discuss some of the points arising out of the articles.

    Coming back to cricket - what I really find special about this series is the relaxed atmosphere it is being played in. The environment around the ground, at least in Harare, highlights the long-lost notion of enjoying the game.

  • on July 26, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Rahane had enough chances already and is an average batsman with technical glitches against the pacers and does not seem to have the mental strength either so he shud be spared for IPL, pujara has already proven what he can do but there is no spot for him at the top but he can definitely fill in if someone gets injured. Rayudu got the opportunity and rightly so as he seems like a solid middle order batsman. WC15 Dhoni, Raina, Yuvi in the middle if fit with Rayudu as an option in case of an injury. Mohit/Rasool should play instead of Vinay/mishra against zim

  • on July 26, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    This series against Zimbabwe is not going to be challenging for India despite the absence of most of the key players . In its current form , it is doubtful whether Zimbabwe can even challenge the Ranji teams . On the whole, this series is an absolute waste of time .

  • satishchandar on July 26, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    Sorry Aakash. I would disagree this article to the core.. Yes i agree India is not going tolearn a great deal by playing against Zimbabwe but if we look by the logic, we are indirectly mentioning that there should be no cricket between bigger nations and the minnows.. In other words, why should Zimbabwe and other smaller nations play against India or other bigger nations? Isn't this like mentioning cricket should be played in two tiers? It would do a great deal for Zimbabwe players and their fans to sustain interest in the game.. India should just platy best 11 with 3 slots as experimental.. Just like Rayudu and Unandkat getting games in first match, they should try out Pujara as opener and bring in Mohit for a couple of games.. I honestly wouldn't try Rasool.. Ashwin, RJ and Mishra are my top 3 spinners for WC 2015.. May be, to give RJ a break, can go with Rasool for last 2 games..

  • JustAnotherCricketFan on July 26, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    i somehow get the feeling, that MSD is going to step down by the end of the year. ANd give Virat two years to gel his world cup team

    :(

  • roversgate on July 25, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    I think the selectors did a brilliant job with the selection for this series but I had one contention - Suresh Raina. Ashwin, B. Kumar and even Yadav were rested for this series as players who really don't need the match practice, then what is Raina doing there? Suresh Raina has played more ODIs then all 3 combined and is assuredly good whenever he goes out there. Ideally, replacing him with Tiwary would have been an option but with Tiwary injured, I think replacing him with Stuart Binny (who is in the A-squad), Unmukt Chand (see if he can have a similar impact in the senior ODI team as the junior one) or even Subramaniam Badrinath for that matter (his success at an international level will be more important for the test side though, it is just match practice at this point). I rate Binny as the highest of the 3 because he would come in at #6 or 7, the only spots in the India side which could be open in the near future.

  • on July 25, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    Why is everyone after giving the #3 position to someone else? There is no need to do that. Virat is probably the best #3 in ODIs in the world right now, and he needs to continue there for over a decade to come. That spot is his and must remain his only - no need to dethrone him from there simply because he's been scoring effortlessly. Let him continue to do just that for years to come. Pujara, Rayudu, whoever else needs to find some other spot to make them their own.

  • Amar_bw on July 25, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    Primar reason India keeps winning is due to Dhawan, Kohli and Dhoni. Dhoni is already given a break. It is time to give Kohli some break and let Pujara take the no. 3 position. Let Raina and Dinesh Karthik get more chances to bat. My batting order would be Rohit Sharma, Dhawan, Pujara, Dinesh Karthik and Raina.

  • street_smart on July 25, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    I would rest Jadeja a few matches & try out Rasool. Also rest Karthik in a match or two make Rayadu wk & play in Pujara. Rest raina in couple of match, Bring down Rohit to middle order & Play in Rahane in the opening slot. Rest Vinay in couple & play Mohit.

  • on July 25, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    why not select sandeep sharma. he was impressive in the few IPL mathches he played in. vinay kumar had has his chances and we need to groom for the next world cup.we need match winning seamers and vinay kumar is not one.

  • m812 on July 25, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    Rayudu and Pujara both have potential to be Virat clones if provided with adequate chances and exposure. Of course they have to work hard themselves. In Wc2015 three players Kohli,Rayudu,Pujara should be middle order. Rohit ,Dhawan and Rahane should be groomed as openers for Wc2015. In short Rohit + Dhawan/Pujara as openers followed by Kohli,Pujara and Rayudu and finally Dhoni , Jadeja ( or Yuvraj if back in form) would be great batting lineup to counter any situation. But the mentioned names need to work hard and focus hard on their game and WC2015 will be Indi's cup again. However there is also possibility of new talent coming up till 2015 with youngster like Zol, Chand, Samson...so batting future for India is not bad.

    Now as for bowlers ,our bowlers may not be great in terms of pace but they deliver mostly when needed and hopefully they will step up and deliver again till 2015 World cup. Our swing/seambowlers improve dramatically when they play in SA or Australia so thats

  • SlayerXI on July 25, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    This is a very new team and apart from Kohli no one really has performed consistently at the international level. This is a great opportunity for the boys to get some big runs/wickets under their belts. I believe, management should keep Shikhar/Rohit combination for first 3 games and if they don't score some good runs, they must be dropped to give Rahane/Pujara a go at the top. Given the next WC is in Australia, I would like to see Pujara at No.3/opening position. Raina and Jadeja don't get much time to bat in the first choice Indian ODI setup at No.6 and 7. They should be promoted in the batting order in a couple of games especially Raina who needs a big hundred pretty badly. I don't want to be harsh on Karthik but he doesn't fit in the team neither as a batsman nor as a keeper-batsman. Rayudu must be included in all 5 games and also must don the gloves. Fast bowlers and spinners must be rotated to give a fair chance at the top level and get some good experience.

  • on July 25, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Everyone must understand that ODI as a game has changed since 2 new balls rule has been implemented. You won't see likes of Warner, Sehvag blasting in initial overs so often. In fact bowlers now have upper hand in starting overs, and slow batting with preserving wickets is strategy that has worked till now in this new environment. I think openers (current and potentials) are the ones who will gain most of experience from this tour. This is a reason why I would surely like to Rohit and Dhawan have a go in as many matches as possible.

  • ranjitchakravarthy07 on July 25, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Rohit and Dhawan can open for the entire series since Rohit as an opener has not yet come into his own till date and Dhawan will grow in confidence with every good performance.Kohli must try to accomodate two of Rayadu ,Rahane and Pujara in each game.Raina and DK must play in each game because it's been a while since they have played to their potential.And Kohli (who can even lend runs to players undergoing a lean patch if the rule allows),must bat lower the order in this series to give others more time and space to express themselves.

  • palla.avinash on July 25, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    Rohit sharma always score 40 or 50 runs of 80 to 90 balls and it may be enough in low scoring games but when u bat first and chasing big scores it put too much pressure on middle order and when kartik tried to increase scoring rate he loosed his wickets to be frank i blame karkit lack of runs on rohit sharma too defensive and selfish approach to keep himself before team intreasts and he never score big runs.It is time to drop rohit sharma and open with katik and if he fails then go with pujara.but not rohit sharma as India strength is batting they need to maximum to win matches against good teams.Misbah may slow but pak bowling attack and other batsmen in there team allows him to score in that manner. But rohit sharma needs to score quick and big runs or need to make way to kartik.2 new balls may swing but on flat conditions they can be used ton score heavy runs i think kartik and pujara deserve more chances than rohit sharma.

  • VickGower on July 25, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    "Their ability to score runs against Zimbabwe isn't going to tell us anything about them that we don't already know."

    For that matter neither will Rahane, Pujara, and Rayudu's ability to score run against Zimbabwe going to tell us anything about them. You could argue that it would only muddy the water. These types of arguments cut both ways.

  • on July 25, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Yes, I am also eagerly looking forward to see India loosing the toss and put in to bat first. That scenario will certainly give us an opportunity to see the technical prowess of our youngsters.Let those guys who come out in flying colors be given further chances. Virat is certainly trying to be bold and innovative. we should all encourage him and wish him all the best.

  • Batmanindallas on July 25, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Akash Do you think Vinay Kumar cuts it? As for Mishra how is his fielding compared to say Ashwin? I think Rayadu needs to be given a long run regards

  • usernames on July 25, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    I agree. Rahane, Dhawan, Pujara, Rayudu, Kohli, Raina, Karthik, Jadeja, Rasool, Mishra, Mohit, Jaidev would be my team. Give everyone ~3 chances.

  • ProdigyA on July 25, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    Good points made by Aakash. I think at least Pujara and Rayudu must play all the remaining matches with Pujara at 3 and Rayudu at 4. Raina can be rested. Rohit still does not seem to be learning, first he goes into a shell like Pak batsmen then throws it away when he is set.

  • TestOfTime on July 25, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    I agree with @Dilanvithlani. Dhawan and Rohit are far from permanent. They are the incumbents, but are still new to the international format as an opening pair. They need to understand each other and get some big partnerships. I do agree with Aakash that we need to get Pujara, Rahane and Rayudu to play as many games as possible. Pujara could very well fill DK's no.4 spot in One day format. This series is definitely interesting and hope Kihli does the right thing here.

  • Dilanvithlani on July 25, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    I agree with most that has been written, but I do not believe that the Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opening partnership should be allowed to rest to give say Pujara or Rahane an oppurtunity. These two have finally clicked and need to build on the impressive form shown in the Champions trophy. What we need to remeber is that as an opening pair they are still very inexpreienced and this series is a chance to capitilise on past successes by hopefully constructing 2 or 3 100+ partnerships. I feel Raina and DK could be swapped for Pujara and Rahane but all four of these players can and should be used interchangeably while leaving Rohit and Shikhar to blossom in their new found roles.

  • Dilanvithlani on July 25, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    I agree with most that has been written, but I do not believe that the Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opening partnership should be allowed to rest to give say Pujara or Rahane an oppurtunity. These two have finally clicked and need to build on the impressive form shown in the Champions trophy. What we need to remeber is that as an opening pair they are still very inexpreienced and this series is a chance to capitilise on past successes by hopefully constructing 2 or 3 100+ partnerships. I feel Raina and DK could be swapped for Pujara and Rahane but all four of these players can and should be used interchangeably while leaving Rohit and Shikhar to blossom in their new found roles.

  • TestOfTime on July 25, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    I agree with @Dilanvithlani. Dhawan and Rohit are far from permanent. They are the incumbents, but are still new to the international format as an opening pair. They need to understand each other and get some big partnerships. I do agree with Aakash that we need to get Pujara, Rahane and Rayudu to play as many games as possible. Pujara could very well fill DK's no.4 spot in One day format. This series is definitely interesting and hope Kihli does the right thing here.

  • ProdigyA on July 25, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    Good points made by Aakash. I think at least Pujara and Rayudu must play all the remaining matches with Pujara at 3 and Rayudu at 4. Raina can be rested. Rohit still does not seem to be learning, first he goes into a shell like Pak batsmen then throws it away when he is set.

  • usernames on July 25, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    I agree. Rahane, Dhawan, Pujara, Rayudu, Kohli, Raina, Karthik, Jadeja, Rasool, Mishra, Mohit, Jaidev would be my team. Give everyone ~3 chances.

  • Batmanindallas on July 25, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Akash Do you think Vinay Kumar cuts it? As for Mishra how is his fielding compared to say Ashwin? I think Rayadu needs to be given a long run regards

  • on July 25, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Yes, I am also eagerly looking forward to see India loosing the toss and put in to bat first. That scenario will certainly give us an opportunity to see the technical prowess of our youngsters.Let those guys who come out in flying colors be given further chances. Virat is certainly trying to be bold and innovative. we should all encourage him and wish him all the best.

  • VickGower on July 25, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    "Their ability to score runs against Zimbabwe isn't going to tell us anything about them that we don't already know."

    For that matter neither will Rahane, Pujara, and Rayudu's ability to score run against Zimbabwe going to tell us anything about them. You could argue that it would only muddy the water. These types of arguments cut both ways.

  • palla.avinash on July 25, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    Rohit sharma always score 40 or 50 runs of 80 to 90 balls and it may be enough in low scoring games but when u bat first and chasing big scores it put too much pressure on middle order and when kartik tried to increase scoring rate he loosed his wickets to be frank i blame karkit lack of runs on rohit sharma too defensive and selfish approach to keep himself before team intreasts and he never score big runs.It is time to drop rohit sharma and open with katik and if he fails then go with pujara.but not rohit sharma as India strength is batting they need to maximum to win matches against good teams.Misbah may slow but pak bowling attack and other batsmen in there team allows him to score in that manner. But rohit sharma needs to score quick and big runs or need to make way to kartik.2 new balls may swing but on flat conditions they can be used ton score heavy runs i think kartik and pujara deserve more chances than rohit sharma.

  • ranjitchakravarthy07 on July 25, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Rohit and Dhawan can open for the entire series since Rohit as an opener has not yet come into his own till date and Dhawan will grow in confidence with every good performance.Kohli must try to accomodate two of Rayadu ,Rahane and Pujara in each game.Raina and DK must play in each game because it's been a while since they have played to their potential.And Kohli (who can even lend runs to players undergoing a lean patch if the rule allows),must bat lower the order in this series to give others more time and space to express themselves.

  • on July 25, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Everyone must understand that ODI as a game has changed since 2 new balls rule has been implemented. You won't see likes of Warner, Sehvag blasting in initial overs so often. In fact bowlers now have upper hand in starting overs, and slow batting with preserving wickets is strategy that has worked till now in this new environment. I think openers (current and potentials) are the ones who will gain most of experience from this tour. This is a reason why I would surely like to Rohit and Dhawan have a go in as many matches as possible.