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ESPNcricinfo's stats editor S Rajesh looks at the stories behind the stats

India's bowling woes in overseas ODIs

All aspects of India's bowling have been a shambles in recent ODIs, be it pace or spin, bowling with the new ball or in the slog overs

S Rajesh

January 31, 2014

Comments: 108 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Shami celebrates Ross Taylor's wicket, New Zealand v India, 2nd ODI, Hamilton, January 22, 2014
Mohammad Shami has been among the wickets in overseas ODIs, but he has leaked 25 boundaries in 108 balls in the slog overs © Getty Images
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With just a year to go for the 2015 World Cup, India's performances in their last two ODI series have caused plenty of concern. On the tour to South Africa earlier this season, they were thrashed in two games and might well have lost the third as well if not for the weather; their three defeats in New Zealand have been by smaller margins, but that isn't any consolation for a team that started this tour as the No. 1 side in the world. India will go into the 2015 World Cup as the defending champions, but based on their recent record they'll not be favourites, especially because the tournament will be held in Australia and New Zealand.

Since their 2011 World Cup win, India's overall ODI record looks impressive: 43 wins, 26 losses in 75 matches, for a win-loss ratio of 1.65, the best among all teams during this period. However, their overall numbers hide their poor record in Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa during this period. Despite the win in the Champions Trophy in England last year - a tournament in which they achieved a clean 5-0 win-loss record - India's stats in these countries since 2011 is eight wins and 12 losses, and a win-loss ratio of 0.66. Five teams, including Sri Lanka, have a better win-loss ratio in these countries during this period.

On the other hand, when not playing in those countries, India have been unstoppable, winning 35 and losing 14, easily the best win-loss ratio among all teams. However, their record in Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa will worry them, given that they also don't have too much time to set things right.

The table below shows that India's batting average drops to 32.65 when playing in these four countries, from 40.79 everywhere else. However, India's batting run rate is marginally higher in these four countries - 5.58 to 5.53. The bowlers, though, have struggled to keep the runs down, conceding 5.67 runs per over in these countries, up from 5.22 everywhere else. When compared with other teams who've played in these four countries during this period, India's record is worse than all teams except West Indies, who've gone at 5.72 to the over.

India's ODI record since the 2011 World Cup
  Matches W/ L Ratio Bat ave/ RR Bowl ave/ ER
In Aus, Eng, NZ, SA 25 8/ 12 0.66 32.65/ 5.58 36.61/ 5.67
In other countries 50 35/ 14 2.50 40.79/ 5.53 31.19/ 5.22
ODI records of teams in Aus, Eng, NZ and SA since the 2011 World Cup
Team Matches Won Lost Ratio
England 41 22 15 1.46
New Zealand 26 14 10 1.40
Australia 40 21 16 1.31
South Africa 34 17 14 1.21
Sri Lanka 30 13 15 0.86
India 25 8 12 0.66
Pakistan 11 4 7 0.57
West Indies 14 3 10 0.30

MS Dhoni has often complained about his lack of bowling options overseas where the pitches are truer and don't offer much turn, and the numbers below bear out his complaint. India's bowlers - both pace and spin - have fared much worse in Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa than in other countries. In those four countries, the fast bowlers have averaged almost 40 runs per wicket and six per over; in other countries both their averages and the economy rates are better. The wicket-taking ability of the spinners takes a major hit in these countries - best illustrated by R Ashwin's recent struggles - as the average goes up from 30 to 44. The lack of wickets usually means opposition teams have more wickets in hand to go after the bowling in the slog overs.

How India's bowlers have measured up since the 2011 World Cup
  Type Wickets Average Econ rate Strike rate
In Aus, Eng, NZ, SA Pace 92 39.48 5.88 40.2
  Spin 55 44.16 5.21 50.8
In other countries Pace 184 34.90 5.41 38.7
  Spin 180 30.06 4.78 37.6

Admittedly, spin bowling in those countries isn't an easy task, given that pitches are usually true and don't turn much, but even so the stats for Indian spinners are worse than those of any other team, both in terms of averages and economy rates. Pakistan's spinners average almost 40, but they've conceded only 4.62 runs per over, compared with India's 5.21. England's spinners have conceded 5.06 per over - the only side other than India to concede more than five - but they've averaged 35.18, considerably better than India's 44.16. India's spinners have taken 55 wickets in 25 matches, but that's more a reflection of the number of overs they've bowled per match: they've bowled about 19 per game, but they haven't actually given the team control in terms of curbing the runs or taking wickets.

Spinners in Aus, Eng, NZ and SA since the 2011 World Cup
Team Matches Wickets Average Econ rate Strike rate
Pakistan 11 29 39.48 4.62 51.2
Australia 40 45 42.13 4.76 53.0
New Zealand 26 40 39.70 4.83 49.2
South Africa 34 45 40.24 4.85 49.7
Sri Lanka 30 46 43.82 4.89 53.6
West Indies 14 22 41.22 4.96 49.8
England 41 55 35.18 5.06 41.6
India 25 55 44.16 5.21 50.8

If India's spinners have less-than-flattering stats abroad, then the fast bowlers aren't much better. When playing in Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa, they've averaged 39.48 runs per wicket, and 5.88 per over. In both these parameters, only West Indies have done worse than India, averaging 43.09 per wicket and 5.93 per over. On the other hand, the best teams are way better than India: South Africa average 26.61 at an economy rate of 4.88; Australia average 28.36 at an economy rate of 4.99. (Click here for the full list.)

Whether it's operating with the new ball in conditions that offer something to the quick bowlers, or bowling at the death when opposition batsmen are in search of quick runs, India's pace attack has been equally toothless. In the first ten overs, they've conceded, on average, 4.91 runs per over and almost 40 runs per wicket, worse than all teams except West Indies. The best in class, South Africa, are streets ahead - they average 28.65 per wicket, and 3.99 per over. In the last ten, India's seam attack leak 8.33 runs per over and again share the bottom place, this time with New Zealand, whose fast bowlers do significantly worse at the end of the innings than they do at the start. India's pace bowlers don't take too many wickets either at the death, averaging more than 33 per wicket. The best in class, South Africa again, concede about half the number of runs per wicket, and only 6.20 per over.

The last column in the tables below further illustrates the proclivity of the Indian fast bowlers to ease pressure, by frequently conceding boundaries. In the first ten overs, they concede a four or a six every 8.58 balls - the worst of the lot - while the best in class is Australia's 11.61. In the last ten, they concede a four or a six every 6.51 balls, worse than all teams except New Zealand. The top teams in this category - Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia - make the opposition batsmen wait more than 8.5 balls per boundary. Mohammad Shami has been the worst offender in this category, conceding 25 fours or sixes in 108 balls in the last ten overs, an average of one every 4.32 balls. His economy rate at the death is 9.88. Ishant Sharma has had his share of forgettable spells at the end, but overall his slog-over stats are better: an economy rate of 7.28, and a boundary every 7.64 balls. Umesh Yadav is similar, with an economy rate of 7.27, and a boundary every 6.60 balls.

Fast bowlers in the first 10 overs in ODIs in Aus, NZ, Eng, SA since Apr 2011
Team Inngs Wickets Average Econ rate Balls/4 or 6
South Africa 33 44 28.65 3.99 10.58
Pakistan 11 15 28.26 4.15 10.03
New Zealand 26 36 29.02 4.24 10.04
Australia 40 56 29.05 4.26 11.61
England 39 55 30.32 4.31 10.70
Sri Lanka 30 37 35.59 4.77 9.80
India 25 30 39.36 4.91 8.58
West Indies 14 15 40.73 4.91 8.78
Fast bowlers in the last 10 overs in ODIs in Aus, NZ, Eng, SA since Apr 2011
Team Inngs Wickets Average Econ rate Balls/ 4 or 6
South Africa 25 49 17.59 6.20 8.60
Sri Lanka 23 42 24.80 6.70 9.61
Australia 27 63 22.34 6.94 8.82
England 30 65 23.56 7.39 7.10
Pakistan 9 10 26.60 7.86 6.15
West Indies 9 12 35.08 8.09 6.64
India 19 28 33.57 8.33 6.51
New Zealand 18 32 26.00 8.33 5.65

And finally, a look at the Indian bowlers who've sent down more than 50 overs in these four countries during this period. Whichever way you look at it, these numbers don't make for impressive reading. The bowlers with reasonably good economy rates average more than 40 runs per wicket; those who average less than 30 go at about six an over or more. Umesh Yadav, who some experts reckon should be playing in the ODIs in New Zealand, averages almost 60 runs per wicket and goes at a run a ball. No wonder Dhoni has been wondering aloud about his bowling options for the 2015 World Cup.

Indian bowlers in ODIs in Aus, NZ, Eng, SA since Apr 2011 (Qual: 50 overs)
Bowler Overs Wickets Average Econ rate Strike rate
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 80 9 44.00 4.95 53.3
R Ashwin 198 23 43.26 5.02 51.6
Ravindra Jadeja 186.4 24 40.04 5.14 46.6
Praveen Kumar 57 6 49.50 5.21 57.0
Vinay Kumar 68.5 11 34.45 5.50 37.5
Ishant Sharma 70 16 25.87 5.91 26.2
Umesh Yadav 98.4 10 59.90 6.07 59.2
Mohammad Shami 62 19 23.15 7.09 19.5

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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Posted by DhairyBoghani on (February 4, 2014, 23:02 GMT)

Some digits of AVG of Indian cricketers taken from espncricketinfo.com suggest that players playing at LA avg of 50 is not taken and players with LA avg of 35 is playing every game.here is list.

Player LaAvg (La matches)+ODIsavg (ODIs)

Pujara 54.57 (68) Kedar Jadhav 51.11 (44) SR 106.36 Kohli 51.01 (164) + 51.85 (130) Dhoni 52.06 (300) + 53.28 (243) Dhawan 46.37 (136) + 41.00 (35) KL Rahul 52.53 (15) Juneja 44.23 (22)

Raina 36.55 (244) + 35.35 (189) Yuvraj 37.65 (374) + 36.37 (293) Rahane 34.37 (86) + 22.30 (23) Rohit 36.85 (186) + 35.68 (119) Rayudu 36.25 (71) Uthappa 36.94 (136) + 27.10 (38) Yusuf Pathan 33.83 (145) + 27 (57) D Kartik 36.33 (161) + 28.06 (67) Sehvag 34.44 (324)+ 35.05 (251) Gambhir 37.55 (261) + 39.68 (147)

How can we except players don't have 40+ avg at LA level will be a great ODI player? We should have 3 players in top 5 with avg of 50+ & 1 avg of 40+.

Posted by Batmanindallas on (February 3, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

Dhoni is very reluctant to try out new. He needs to go for things to change. He is a misfit in tests and should be replaced with someone else with Kohli as captain. Time to ring in change. As for bowling how long will they ignore Ojha and Mishra keep trying Ashwin

Posted by   on (February 3, 2014, 11:29 GMT)

Shami, Zaheer, Bhuvaneshwar, Jadeja , and from the looks in the practice match India should give a chance to Ishwar Pandey, rather than sticking on with those who haven't done anything exceptional in any of the overseas matches.

Ashwin if needed can be brought in as a Batting All-rounder rather than as a spin bowler. He is not that effective in these conditions.

Ishant Sharma will come in handy in the Tests. But in ODI's he is rather expensive... (Well, who among them is not, right ? ) But the way he bowled in the test in SA and in the practice match in NZ I think he can be a right pick..

India should give more chance to Varun Aaron. He is a genuine fast bowler. India need someone of that pace. Give him time to develop his confidence and ability. Hitting 145+kmph consistently is not common at all in India, so they should give him a considerable amount of chance.

Umesh has the wicket taking ability even though he tends to be expensive. His pace will come in handy in these pitches.

Posted by Sultan2007 on (February 3, 2014, 10:56 GMT)

Some of the stats in regard to the Indian spinners could be on account of the state of the game they have been required bowl in. If the quicks dont take early wickets, spinners will always be under the cosh. They will either have to bowl defensive lines or be taken for runs by the opposition batsmen. More so now, with the fielding rule changes. In defense of our spinners, there have been several occasions overseas where they have managed to pull the game back only for the seamers to let it go again between overs 35-50. Having said this, I believe PAK/SL/England and even BD and the WI, have more influential spinners in the ODI game than does India

Posted by A.Ak on (February 3, 2014, 10:07 GMT)

Flat track bullies (RSharma & Dhawan) are opening in ODIs, thats the reason for batting failures.

Posted by Gunston on (February 2, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

Reading many a comment, makes me think do Indians think just beating SL or Pak continuously make them feel like world champions? Stats dont think so! Reading many a banter between these nationalities makes me reall think that. Quite silly really!

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (February 2, 2014, 3:33 GMT)

Figures back up everything I've ever believed about spinners from playing and watching. Their strike rate, economy rate, averages and wickets prove that off spinners are just there to give the real bowlers a rest. The only ones who perform lower in any of these categories have all bent their arm to deliver, some even have had the law changed to suit them. All need favourable conditions prepared for them to still under achieve!

Posted by kahvas on (February 2, 2014, 2:28 GMT)

Just in a few weeks, we will have major tournaments in the sub continent where India will play sub par teams like Pak and SL and the fans will forget about this and enjoy the IPL where players like Sharma, Dhawan etc will make millions. The only way changes can be made is if India's public stops following cricket played in their subcontinent. Immediate changes are extremely important for India, including inclusion of Gambhir and Pujara in the ODI side, Yuvi can also come in. Most critical change is Dhoni should be fired from captainship, he can be a senior wicketkeeper batsman, but unless he is the captain he will not let gambhir come in the side

Posted by Gizza on (February 2, 2014, 0:00 GMT)

As to the article, India only has two methods to fix their woes. 1. Play more first-class matches when touring the hard pitch countries so that the batsmen and bowlers get used to the conditions or 2. (better long-term) Develop some bouncier pitches at home. Most of the Indian pitches can still be to India's strength of batting and spin but if you create variety their players will master playing everywhere. The BCCI has the money to make a few Perth like pitches at home. 21st century technology can overcome the climatic factors that influence the pitch type.

Posted by Mr_Anonymous on (February 1, 2014, 22:11 GMT)

I think we need to explore 2 options. Currently our pace bowling options for WC 2015 seem to be the following: Bhuvi, Umesh Yadav, Zaheer Khan, Shami, and Ishant Sharma (personally I think he is very talented although he wastes it and is very inconsistent but I think he is still in the frame for the WC).

1. We should groom a few more pacers between now and WC 2015 maybe say: Awana, Varun Aaron, Rishi Dhawan, Pankaj Singh, Unadkat, A Mithun and Dinda. Also, would be good if Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, RP Singh, Balaji, Pathan can come back in the frame for the selection. Also, Rasool, Bhajji and Ojha need chances abroad for spin.

2. I think it maybe time to think of replacing Joe Dawes as the bowling coach (has been the coach for 2 years now). I think we need to try an Asian fast bowling coach for the next 1 year through the WC. If Wasim Akram is available that would be a good option. If not if TA Shekar is available, he should be considered. We may also need a spin mentor: Kumble?

Posted by Jimmyvida on (February 1, 2014, 19:11 GMT)

I am going to pick the team from great players/replacements to represent India from from blogs given above. Z. Khan, Dhawan, Pandey, Sami, Rasool, Saxena, Rahul, Jadhav, Dhoni, Kohli , Rahu. We have to put Z. Khan...worst fieldsman on the planet. He must be on the team because of experience. Do you have any idea what experience is. I had a guy who was assigned to me in the 1970's and the first thing he said to me was that he was doing that job for 35 years and reported directly to the VP. He ended up reporting to someone else who fired him. No body from India talks about fielding. The way India fields ICC should allow them 18 players on the field. Wonder if that would be enough. Wonder if that would make up

Posted by army7782 on (February 1, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

shami is india's best fast bowler..due to his inexperience he is not economical.. also he is not having support from other bowlers

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

Great article. It definitely tempers my expectation for India's chances in World Cup. Can you please publish a similar one for India's batsmen with the type of pitches involved - ones with swing and bounce /flat ? And perhaps you can even overlay it with World Cup venues we will play and what the outcome would be based on our record against those nations ? That would truly be a wake-up call for Indian coaches and players. Granted stats is not everything but it is 80% probability of results with 20% individual brilliance. India has never been great in bowling in Eng/Aus/SA/NZ in the past decade. However, their batsmen with experience eventually tackled those scores eventually after many miserable failures. We need enormous, serious practice sessions for our top 6 in pitches with swing,bounce and seaming conditions for a period of three months before WC. The real culprit is batsmen although bowlers come very close second.

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

From last 12 ODI [outside India], India won just 1, tie 1 [luckily] & lost 10 of them... So they are definitely Minnows... they should play in the 2nd tier of ODI with China, Namibia, Hongkong or Canada...

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 16:21 GMT)

You need to pick guys who are both tall and strong for fast bowling. Ishant is tall but looks like a weakling, better stamina than strength. The shorter guys may be quick but they won't be able to generate as much bounce. Then you need to make sure that about 30% of Indian pitches are pacy and bouncy so the fast bowlers can gain confidence.

Posted by Lalz on (February 1, 2014, 13:10 GMT)

With ipl on door, I expect some bowling talents to be discovered who can be effective and economical. Still to test are Rishi Dhawan and Pandey from fast bowlers, Rasool, Jalaj Saxena in spinners, KL Rahul and K Jadhav in Batting. WC T20 list is a rubbish on which players are not selected by merit.I don't understand the selections of Rajat Bhatia, U chand, P Patel, Nadeem and Karn Sharma. Instead they could have selected Rishi Dhawan, S Tiwary, Lokesh Rahu, Rasool and Jalaj Saxena.... The currrent list clearly indicates the final 15 who will go for WC.

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (February 1, 2014, 11:10 GMT)

mukesh_LOVE.cricket - spot on m8 - we need a real good bowling coach, look @ the way Craig McD has revitalised the oz bowling attack, they were showing the pre bowling practice sessions before the start of the Melbourne test, Craig Mcd was making them pitch on a square at the good length spot and then hitting one stump. "ONE" stump.....this is what our pacers require....the pitches have been a decades long misery, slow low and no bounce...pathetic, hope we get fast bouncy and juicy wickets which not only lead to good pacers but also good fielders.......the biggest problem in indian cricket is lack of choices, IShant is in the team only because there is no one else to replace him.....if he doesnt get good guidance in a hurry, i think he should have played his last series.....hope some one somewhere takes notice, else i predict a very rough road ahead for india especially in overseas series.....frankly donot expect them to beat NZ in NZ, their bowlin attack is much superior...

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (February 1, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

first thing India should do is to get a good bowling coach , India was never a country with good fast bowling tradition so its not really a mystery why our youngsters don't develop their skills , bring in someone like wasim akram or mcdermott or waqar younis who have the know how and who have done it consistently at an international level. only bangladesh has got a worse attack than India at the moment.

Posted by ca2ca on (February 1, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

Its unbelievable to read that India's leading spinner who played in all 5 ODI'S agnt. NZ got only 1 wicket in 44 overs he bowled. Only Kohli, Dohni as batsmen and Moh Shami as bowler faired well. The rest are just big stars on paper.

Posted by shibuvin on (February 1, 2014, 8:40 GMT)

Imbecile Statistics!!!! Why these Stats come into the picture in the first place???

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 6:09 GMT)

Captain Dhoni nd Selectors must give more chances n oppurtunities to bowlers like rp singh(if fit),sandeep sharma,umesh yadav,ishwar pandey,praveen kumar,varun aron and try new bowlers nd workout new combinations rather sticking old known bowling strengths like ishanth,vinay,bhuvi,zaheer...,they must go with out nd out new bowling unit in bilateral t20s and be patient n identify bowlers who are capable of taking wickets & bowling in death overs.. if the bowlers can maintain good economy in high octane t20 game he could definetly prosper in odis..,india major problem is controlling runs in middle and final death overs iif they identify bowlers who could bowl well at death india can definetly becomer much stronger team in odis before wc..,last but not least drop players out of form underachievers like raina,ashwin,ishanth,rohit. ..& must give nod for better players who deserves....

Posted by fudgys11 on (February 1, 2014, 4:31 GMT)

Its high time Dhoni starts to take some blame on himself for the actions on the field and selection mistakes. Any other captain would have resigned by now. We have a decent enough history of his poor captaincy on foreign soil. If he has enjoyed the bouquets for his captaincy in India , he should be responsible for the failures too. It can't be that we win series by his captaincy and lose series by someone else's fault. He might have batted brilliantly this series and the last series but in captaincy he has looked out of his depth. Just like we chose him when there was no alternative candidate, we should take chances with somebody else. We cannot go much worlse than we already are.For all you know , you might find a new captain. Remember we lost 0-8 last year and this year too the figures are reaching that and he has the whole world to blame except himself. No player would want to get castigated by his own captain publicly. This brings down the morale of the team.

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (February 1, 2014, 3:52 GMT)

At last some focus on the bowling, for long we have been a batting stats obsessed nation....hopefully someone somewhere is really looking into this, preparing pitches that aid pace and spin alike....the reality our bowling attack is pathetic, non existent and our bowlers would struggle to find places if they were zimbabwean. PLz PlZ PLZ make Craig McDermott our bowling coach, am not saying if we do this, we will be winning right left and sundry, but at least he would have left a bowling culture focus for another generation to follow

Posted by Rags57 on (February 1, 2014, 3:27 GMT)

Very depressing statistics. I am also one of those who criticize Dhoni's defensive mindset at least partly for the bowlers's failures but who knows how well he may do as a captain if you give him at least one go-to bowler such as Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson or a spinner such as Saeed Ajmal. Given the financial might of the BCCI and the presence of something like the MRF Pace Academy it is surprising that we have not been able to generate a good set of pace bowlers. The more worrying aspect is the absence of a good bowling coach - why can't the board hire a good fast bowling coach? BCCI is perhaps the only commercial organization in the world that gets away with cheating its terribly large customer base of a billion. Will they do something so we can have a successful Indian team for at least the 2019 world cup?

Posted by deb78 on (February 1, 2014, 3:00 GMT)

One of the major issues is finding the right balance.The triumph of 2011 was based on meticulous planning done for 4 years before the tournament by Kirsten where we identified the right players by playing in similar conditions and winning lot of matches.Similarly we should have planned better after 2011 World Cup by backing players who would be useful for conditions applicable in NZ and Aus in 2015 WC. Sadly we haven't backed players like Abhishek Nayar, Stuart Binny, Rishi Dhawan, Laxmi Shukla, Rajat Bhatia at all for the crucial allrounder's position @6.We haven't backed bowlers like Praveen Kumar who are proven performers in Eng and Aus. We haven't given enough chances to Umesh Yadav who is the fastest of our bowlers and Pankaj Singh who has the highest wickets and have repeatedly picked Ishant inspite of extreme failures. Why play 2 spinners in these conditions is incomprehensible. Plus Raina as a batsman is way inferior to a Rayadu but have we given him chances?

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (February 1, 2014, 1:12 GMT)

MS Dhoni is a star batsman and captain in Asia only. He won all 5 tosses of all 5 ODIs, but couldn't take an advantages. His superstition-India always win when they chase, let the entire team down. I really have an essay to talk about his batting. Ashwin and Jadeja can take single-double in almost every ball, but this Mr. Cold can't. When NZ put leg slip, close mid-off, and mid-on, MS Dhoni struggles to make runs. He doesn't know how to play off side or square. When he cannot make single-double he goes for slogging, and ends up giving a catch on boundary soon. I found him the most struggling batsman making single-double in Cricket today. R Sharma, S Dhavan, MS Dhoni, G Gambhir are moderately good for only Asian pitches and teams. When they go to Australia, England, SA, and NZ they struggling to make runs. Pace bowling has been always India's problem for decades, but BCCI never work on it, which i am surprised. I saw a lot of blind fans were still supporting these shameless idiots in NZ

Posted by Cric2 on (February 1, 2014, 0:52 GMT)

Dhoni should take the blame for his poor captaincy. If he thinks the bowling is no good, why did he choose to bat first in the 4th ODI? Not only that, but he also tinkered with the batting to protect RG Sharma.

Lets face it, Dhoni does not know how to captain for fast bowlers. He has un-imaginative field positions and makes sure he does not back them ever, except for Ishant. Does not use them in the correct slots and puts unnecessary pressure with loose comments.

Bhuvi and Shami were a great combination. He broke that up to protect Ishant. Now these two dont work as well together. Dhoni has his favorites and loves to insult those who are not on that list.

Even though batting was failing he did not step-up and come up the order. He let others fail so that he can look like a hero. Gauti had warned about Dhoni's last ball antics before and lost his place to politics.

Time for change! Anybody who makes comments that he is irreplaceable should be replaced!!

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 0:32 GMT)

What is the deal with true wickets? How can they be called true if they don't allow the ball to spin and only help pace bowlers? It's time to retire this ridiculous phrase... No pitch is really true. Or every pitch is true to their local conditions... The bogus phrase "true surface" has been pushed on to us by these useless Brit and Aussie cricketers... Open your eyes...

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 22:21 GMT)

One might wonder the bowling average of Ishant Sharma is 25 which is way better than most of Indian bowlers.

Posted by Nampally on (January 31, 2014, 22:00 GMT)

Mr. Rajesh, I appreciate your stats. which tell the sad saga of the Indian bowling. In my earlier blog I gave some reason for not being able to develop fast bowlers- partly genetic, partly diet & partly flat pitches. Despite these Aaron bowled at a pace of 145 to 150 KPH consistently in ODI 5 vs. NZ. This is faster than any NZ or SA pace bowler. However, he wasted 70% of his deliveries bowling short. Had he pitched the ball further towards length + bowled consistently on or outside the off stump, he would have taken lot of NZ wkts.. I also felt he had Taylor LBW but was denied. Now if BCCI is really promoting cricket interests in India, they need to read your column & address this on a priority basis. Coach Aaron in his length, line & direction. He will be a fine wkt, taker! Yadev & Ishant+ dozen others, are also in the same boat. I blame BCCI entirely in NOT doing the job for which it is Elected & Exists.Many Indian Fans have pointed this out but it falls on deaf Ears & blind eyes!

Posted by Nampally on (January 31, 2014, 21:25 GMT)

Most of the top wicket takers for India in the past have been spinners. There were some pace bowlers like Kapil Dev, Srinath & Zaheer who took lot of wickets too. Even amongst the spinners, the leg spinners were definitely the Match winners- e.g., Gupte, Mankad, Durrani, Nadkarni, Chandra,Bedi, Kumble. Bhaji was one of the rare off spinner amongst wickets. The main reason for this glut of spinners is the responsive pitches & the Indian mentality of using guile rather than brute strength. Indian diet is mainly vegetarian & the Indian build is generally lean & of smaller stature. Despite this India produced Ramakant Desai - 5'-4" tall with 28" chest & 120 Lbs. He was a superb pace bowler with lethal bumper. Currently Yadev, Pandey, Ishant, a couple of Singhs are all well built. Aaron despite medium build is the fastest of Indian bowlers - 145 to 150 KPH. These pacers need intensive coaching before they are "stars". Why has BCCI done ZIPPO in this regard during the last decade - Why?

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 21:08 GMT)

Rohit Sharma is a liability. He is not just a liability to the team, but to the country, the sport, perhaps his family and to himself. The sooner he's forgotten, the better it is.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 20:30 GMT)

The only way for these stats to improve is to let these players play in these conditions more. If BCCI cannot schedule series on a regular basis in these countries, at least let the players go and play in tournaments like the Big Bash, County Championships. Holding the players hostage to only play in BCCI sanctioned events will only cause damage to Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 20:22 GMT)

India need to start making bouncy pitches at home and get to practice. It frustrating to see a team performing so well at home while falling like a house of cards when playing away. They also need to take some drastic steps to hunt for better bowlers because the current bowlers they are playing with are worse than those of playing in a amateur team from the streets of Karachi.

Posted by IAS2009 on (January 31, 2014, 19:17 GMT)

the issue is being in commending situation and then loose it from there, every ODI there was point in game when india was on top then gave it away, India historically never went for that 5 bowler and opt for extra batting all rounder, this works if you have solid 4 bowlers, but the problem is 2 out of 4 are also bowling all rounders, the problem with these bowlers are they give one boundary ball almost every over and release pressure , they bleed runs, when u give 300 plus score in almost every ODI you are putting too much pressure on batting. with new rules they have to attack in middle over to get wickets for that you really need five good bowlers, otherwise 300 is on cards most of time. to be honest Dhoni captaincy is ordinary at best in all formats. he is good batsman but he needs to get best from players he got. he was beneficiary of wins because ST, Dravid and Laxman, right place at right time.

Posted by NaniIndCri on (January 31, 2014, 18:59 GMT)

@Kanth Katrapati - Pitches made for champions trophy are nowhere near bouncy pitches of Australia, NZ and SA. Ball spun a lot if you remember, and is the only reason why India won that trophy.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 18:57 GMT)

Dhoni only tries to contain the opposition batsmen, not get them out , that way you cannot win matches and that is the main reason for such lopsided bowling averages. The Teams that can keep wickets intact, like Nz did, can score freely without any pressure against the Indian bowling attack and resulting in the Fast bowlers getting hammered. Ashwin's spin does not have much bite in overseas conditions and often he goes and bowls in a break dance mode,as if the computer freezes him, and then gets hammered for a six or four for certain ( SA tours). Dhoni is his own problem with his mind set on keeping following his pattern of bowling spinners in the middle overs, as Taylor quoted , during which time the batsmen just make sure of laying a solid foundation for the team. We saw in the last match how he is not perturbed by giving away an extra run to the batsman by not putting pressure on them , one of the commentators commented on that. Brandon had magic in his field settings , not Dhoni.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 18:38 GMT)

Dhoni has stressed on backing players. One should back players after browsing through your options. For example, Pujara has been left out and Rohit Sharma has been backed for ever.

Posted by android_user on (January 31, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

We have played only 11 matches in these countries! This is ridiculous scheduling! Had we played thrice the number of games, I am sure there would have we would have been in the 1st/2nd3rd category in all of these tables.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

Yup, its dead easy to perform well in front of a billion screaming, worshipping, adoring fans : but when the time comes to play just as well in front of foreign crowds - the real test of courage and skill - Indians perform miserably. Can't have mummy coddling you all the time - wouldn't every country love to play in front of insanely supportive crowds? Truly great players and teams play well *everywhere*, not just where they are adored.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 16:22 GMT)

i couldnt understand y people r very much worried....if u really feel like indian cricket team is jus fit for flat tracks...dunno how u forgot the same team with same openers won us the champions trophy on a foriegn pitch....How is that possible if out batsmen dont know to play on bouncy tracks...they were undefeated all through the tournament..openers went for 100 runs partnership in almost every match..and bhuvi gave us a break in his very first spell in every match....any player or any team undergoes a lean phase...thats it..!!..

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

The Malinga effect is why Sri Lanka is up there. Kulesekara is good at the death as well.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

India's stats in these countries since 2011 is eight wins and 12 losses, and a win-loss ratio of 0.66. Five teams, including Sri Lanka, have a better win-loss ratio in these countries during this period.

Posted by khs_shk2000 on (January 31, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

This genius give stats from the world cup 2011 if he give from the start of ODIs we feel more shame on it. Wether Sachin , Sehwag , Yuvi or Gauti are in team or not foriegn tour always like this except one or two matches ( Famous Dada shirt removing ODI).

Posted by gomsi20 on (January 31, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

agree with "SaifQazi". The defensive captaincy is causing lot of matches and also the talent. For example: Bhuvneshwar has forgotten the swing bowling. Ashwin not getting wickets. Don't see Dhoni put slips in place for a long time. Rohit and Dhawan not attacking as openers.

Its time India start playing aggressive cricket or we might loose the talents we have in the pocket. This will for sure turn the players around and give them a lot of confidence.

If Dhoni cant play aggressive cricket, then give captaincy to Kohli and see the difference.

Posted by kamarajksrct on (January 31, 2014, 15:17 GMT)

In 5th ODI, The first 12.2 Overs of NZ innings is only 41runs with lose of 2 wickets... This shows Indian Fast bowlers are done well But due to shortage of Fourth Fast bowler ... IND loses match also Lost the series... Hence in Test match IND should play with 4 Fast bowlers to win the Test series against NZ///

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 31, 2014, 15:10 GMT)

Mr.Statsman, can you also show the record of NZ, Aus, SA and Eng in other countries. Don't forget your table includes home games for these and an advantage. Otherwise their records too can be shambolic. Alghouth i agree India is the focus here some of your stats are biased!

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 14:47 GMT)

Expeience always matters, missing sehwag, gambir, yuvi, zaheer. If they find a way to get in, it will be a very intereesting look for the team. As Sehwag and Gambhir proved they are a force to be reconed with when they have their days.

Posted by laddum on (January 31, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

This Genius forgot India's Overseas Batting Woes in particular Rohit and Raina.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 14:22 GMT)

Opening is also an issue...............Sachin's shoes were too big to fill in

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

if we look at the last table, there is a surprise and there is the reason why Dhoni kept having Ishant in the team, he has the second best average and second best strike rate !!!

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Now that they have lost almost 5-0, they will be beaten to the pulp in the tests too.

Watch it, in the Asia cup, the same India team will shine again and everything will be forgiven and forgotten. Then for the World Cup, the same team will be chosen again and India will be out in the first round.

India India needs to axe Ishant, Ashwin, Dhawan and Rayudu. Bring in Gambhir, Pujara, Parvez Rasool and Umesh Yadav.

All the pace bowlers need to learn bowling at death. They bowl juicy full tosses no matter where they are.

Posted by cricketanand12 on (January 31, 2014, 13:49 GMT)

My future Odi team:Pujara,Dhawan,Kohli,Raina,Jadeja,MSD,Saurav Tiwary,Ashwin,Shami Ahmed,Umesh Yadav,Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.

My T20 team:Rohit Sharma,Virat Kohli,Sureah Raina,Yuvraj Singh,Yusuf Pathan,Ms Dhoni,Ravindra Jadeja,Irfan Pathan,Harbhajan Singh,Suryakant Pradhan/pankaj singh,Shami Ahmed

My test team: Murali Vijay,Lokesh Rahul,Pujara,Kohli,Aparjith,Rahane,K Jadhav,Rvindra Jadeja,Rishi Dhawan,Panakj Singh,Ravichandran Ashwin

As simple as that.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

its a shame to see a team full of talent loose so baly. but the problem is not with the captaincy............instea look in to the stats of the number of hours the cricketers spent in the pitch. with ipl, club an int cricket all the cricketers of the whole worl is in so much stress. finally the stress is getting to the lot. mali was the first victim. now ms. its a shame that no one sees this an acts.

Posted by rizwan1981 on (January 31, 2014, 13:00 GMT)

So , a country of 3 Million people managed to beat Indai which has over a BILLION ! So , much for being one of the big 3 in the ICC

Posted by kulcha on (January 31, 2014, 12:57 GMT)

Indian bowling line up comprises of medium pacers and spinners the medium pacers rely a lot on swing and when the ball is not swinging they are clueless and leak runs they do not have the pace to attack the batsman with the short ball and when it comes to spinners it is very simple they do not get much assistance from the pitches overseas

Posted by heathrf1974 on (January 31, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

From what I can gather India struggles more with both their pace and spin outside sub-continental conditions relative to the other countries from the sub-continent. One thing that is a positive is that Shami and Ishant Sharma should open the bowling in their ODIs. Also for spin bowling I wonder if they could find a ODI specialist to partner Jadeja. Maybe Ashwin should focus on test cricket.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

I think Indian cricket is wary of the term 'Sacking'. Its really high time that Joe Dawes is sacked. His job was to mentor and help the bowlers. Instead bowlers are turning from bad to worse. The ones who were good at pace are now bowling military medium (Ishant Sharma in this case). Nobody knows how to ball a yorker, there is now swing or seam skills visible. The bowling is in total shambles. Whats worse, the younger players joining the squad are also becoming prone to this problem. They just don't know how to take a wicket. Ashwin and Jadeja get away because of sporadic brilliance with the bat they show every now and then. Yet their bowling averages are pathetic. A strong squad would always have a better bowling unit than batting. Hence it looks awfully difficult to defend the world up this time, unless the team conjures up some magic which was seen at the champions trophy.

Posted by Blade-Runner on (January 31, 2014, 12:16 GMT)

Sri Lanka is the best team from subcontinent followed by Pakistan. What an achievement for this tiny nation. Lions indeed lead the way !!

Posted by zim87 on (January 31, 2014, 12:08 GMT)

well done nz, keep it up.......

Posted by zim87 on (January 31, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

umm nice, well done NZ. thrash them in the tests too

Posted by Guduji71 on (January 31, 2014, 11:54 GMT)

Every is crying about the bowlers. What about the batting and fielding. India's batting is bad outside sub continent. Why no body talks about it. Why don't you understand Dhoni's defensive mindset is the bone of contention.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

With the pathetic bowling & captaincy that Ind has, no Bradman can win them games.......AS SIMPLE AS THAT....This Indian bowling is leaking 300 to mediocre side & 350 to good sides every time on all pitches.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

So the statistics show that out of the sub continent India are not that good, and considering they play 2/3 games where the conditions favour them outright it is no wonder they 'were' rank one. Can't wait for 2015 world cup to put seaming and swing bowlers in the lime light and show the flat track bully-batsman (not just Indian) how much they lack in international skill when it comes pitches that bounce, swing and seam and lack spin assistance.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 11:30 GMT)

I am missing Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan and RP Singh a lot. They were much better than the current lot. Dhoni's adamant team selection is another serious cause for concern.

Posted by thaikkathameed on (January 31, 2014, 11:25 GMT)

India's Test Squad for me is:- 1. Murali 2. Shikhar 3. Virat Kohli 4. C. Pujara 5. MSD 6. Rohit Sharma 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Amit Mishra 9. Zaheer Khan 10. Shami Ahmed 11. Vaun Aaron/Ishwar Pandey

Posted by kevaldedhia813 on (January 31, 2014, 11:15 GMT)

Please select me, I can bowl better than Indian bowlers. Atleast better than Ashwin. Pls give me a chance. Ashwin should be left out in test series or else we will lose again.

Posted by strokemaker11 on (January 31, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

Bring back Gambhir, Yuvi/Pujara Zak and Bhajji in place of Rohit, Rahane, Aaron and Ashwin. It will solve most of the problem

Posted by android_user on (January 31, 2014, 11:02 GMT)

That's why I think Ishant Sharma should be there in the team. That one over to Faulkner can't change his career. Even Broad got hit for six sixes why didn't people tell that time that he was a rubbish bowler!!!!!

Support ur players, stand besides them otherwise chopping and changing will never get u a team bcoz its a sport not every match u can be perfect. Even Kohli scores a duck that doesn't mean u will ask to get rid of him next match.

Yes, Indian bowlers have been guilty of wayward bowling but atleast they r better than before. Its just that they should have a control on their lines and not give too much width.

In Ishant Sharma's case that's the problem. He gives too many balls to cut, even on pads and score boundaries.

That 8-10 balls less in an innings from the entire unit will mean 40-50 runs less. U will then concede 250 instead of 300 runs

Posted by Sagarneel on (January 31, 2014, 10:55 GMT)

You don't need numbers to prove how awfully bad the Indian bowlers are! Universal truths need not be backed by findings of experiments.

Posted by hellraisor on (January 31, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

Sri Lanka by far the best Asian team, when playing outside Asia. :-)

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 10:39 GMT)

ya its right india's bowling is so worst in subcontinant i think india should's play left arm fast bolwer becoz they are sucessful in subcontinent

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

Wonder why Dhoni don't give chance to other players like.., Rasool, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey etc etc.., why ??

If Ashwin playing in the team as a role of batsmen then drop Ajinkya Rahane and get other bowler . I don't expect wonder from then also but at least there should get fair chance in team.

And please get bowling coach like chaminda vaas who did well for his Country in Outside arean with speed we got 130 km..

Posted by vj0786 on (January 31, 2014, 10:25 GMT)

India's Test Squad for me is:- 1. Rohit Sharma 2. Murali/Shikhar 3. Virat Kohli 4. C. Pujara 5. Ajinkya Rahane 6. MSD 7. R. Ashwin 8. Ravindra Jadeja 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Zaheer Khan 11. Shami Ahmed

For me this is winning combination...$$$...

Posted by TukTukTuk on (January 31, 2014, 10:09 GMT)

Where was the man of the series??? it surely goes to Williamson for being unbelievable consistent for NZ, Congrats Black Caps and commiserations to Men in Blue

Posted by Sitting-on-a-gate on (January 31, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

No Laxman to bail you out in Aus, no Dravid to cover for swing & bounce in NZ, Eng & WI, No Tendulkar to take the brunt of SA & Pak pace. Let BCCI take over the ICC, we will play even our overseas tours in India...so there! Dhoni can then be the statistically most successful captain EVER...

Posted by blthndr on (January 31, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

its time to sack the bowling coach...he is doing nothing or their coaching method is not working here........as like agarkar said Bhuvneshwar Kumar also slowly losing his swing its not new we havnt seen before...its time to hire a indian bowling coach who would work on their strength rather something else....look at vaas he is doing wonderful job....

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 9:50 GMT)

Big 1, got hammered in New Zealand. Big 2, got hammered in Australia. Big 3 was successful because it was playing with Big 2. Now, Big 1 would go to Big 2 to improve their records.

This shows the quality of so called Big 3.

Posted by sam911 on (January 31, 2014, 8:44 GMT)

So called no 1 team, its evident why BCCI is insisting on no relegation for India, based on finanacial bases not on performance. bcoz they know they put indian public in a fools paradise and create aparadigm of no. 1. I hope BCCI call bermuda for 10 match oneday series at home to retain their No.1 ranking. BCCI only want money they dam care about performance and public sentiments. Why they refuse to play full series of Test matches in South Africa, instead they prefer to call West indies in India, just to hide their and team performance, otherwise they r not been able to manipluate in ICC.

Posted by buntyj on (January 31, 2014, 8:37 GMT)

for some time now ive been pointing to the emphasis on economy rates rather than strike rates in selecting indian bowlers and that this works in india and asia because of pitches, conditions, sg ball (india only) ; then there were articles pointing out the odi strike rates of ishant, ashwin, aaron , kumar, jadeja, zak , shami in odi. i suspect these are distorted by their home performances as their apparently good odi sr is inconsistent with their list a, test and fc sr. occasionally you may have a bowler who will have a slightly better sr in odi than other formats but for so many bowlers to suddenly have far better sr in home odis than other formats or even list a is highly curious and invites scrutiny. and often in india odi performance is used as a yardstick for test selection. of course there are no conflicts of interest in indian cricket and mere coincidence that these bowlers are often connected to msd/bcci pres thru csk, south zone or jharkhand

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 8:31 GMT)

How could this team achieve number 1 spot? Playing at home and beating West Indies the number 8 team and becoming number 1 is ridiculous. See the recent outside results heavy defeat in SA and now the minnows the ones who got beaten by Bangladesh recently beating Indian so called lions of the home 4-0. Salute to ranking systems

Posted by Diaz54 on (January 31, 2014, 8:22 GMT)

Batting is not much better either judging by today's game. Interesting series lies ahead in a England, lucky they are not touring in April May like Sri Lanka,,other wide even more disastrous! Who decides the dates for these tours! Just like playing in Durban ant Cape Town!

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 8:22 GMT)

Hopeless. If this any indication of how they are going to defend the world championship in 2015. The National Cricket Academy in Bangalore is a bad investment in terms of fast bowlers it has produced. 1) They dont bowl fast. 2) They hardly have any variation to hazel the batters. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been able to produce some match finishers so it is not like sub continent is only for spinners. BCCI should put its money where its mouth is and hold the NCA accountable. Change it so that we can target the 2019 WC.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 8:21 GMT)

It is too close to the world cup to change the squad drastically. The bulk of this squad will play in the tournament. What we're forgetting is the experience taken out of playing in NZ and then in Australia at the end of the year, so close to the world cup, far outweighs any losses we're getting at the moment. I think we will have a huge advantage over the other nations come world cup time.

Posted by Blackholesun on (January 31, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

Really disappointing performance by Indians. We will be playing the World Cup in 12 months time and with this team all bets are off. I feel bad for Kohli and Dhoni. These same players will soon be earning crore of rupees in IPL for NO SHOW in New Zealand, Pathetic ! This is how we spoil most of our players.

Posted by Naresh28 on (January 31, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

WAKE UP CALL to team India. Really been put into place. In a way it is good cause things have to change for the better - we need better bowlers and also better openers. The SELECTORS as well as the Team MANAGEMENT are to blame. Real stubbornness - e.g. leaving a player like PUJARA out of the ODI team.

Posted by RameshRayaprolu on (January 31, 2014, 7:52 GMT)

Just pathetic. I did expect India to loose the series, but not like this.

Except Kohli and MSD himself, none of the team really bothered to play the game. It looked like they just came to have a vacation.

Backing such performances in ODIs, India is in danger of losing the test series as well...I hope they would atleast try to draw 1 test match, if not win...

Posted by siddhartha87 on (January 31, 2014, 7:30 GMT)

Ashwin averages 34 with the ball now. I am pretty sure there are better spinners then Ashwin in INdia.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 7:08 GMT)

Ashwin/Jadeja are unable to take wkts in overseas, why do Dhoni needs them? They even performed poor in SA series. Not only these guys, Rohit/Dhawan are very poor in both series. Giving too many chances doesn't give IND hope to win World Cup'15 in same pitches. Anyhow series was already gone, why can't he give chances to players like Mishra, Binny, Pandey who r sitting in pavilion? Axe Dhoni as captain & Coach, bring in Kohli as captain & make Kumble as Coach.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

after years and years of pathetic performance outside India, as a Indian fan everyone should boycott ourselves from watching cricket , even then BCCI will come out with some innovative entertainment to make us watch cricket, but will not improve the quality of team especially in terms of bowling.

India 63/3 (20.4 ov) 5th ODI vs NZ - what is this a test match?, so called genius batting line up is floundering right now.

Posted by Leggie on (January 31, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

Pathetic performance indeed. I'm surprised how Duncan Fletcher or the other coaches have managed to go under the radar during this insipid performance. Dhoni seems to have forgotten the art of encouraging bowlers to take wickets. From his view, he may see it as asking hapless bowlers to take wickets. Its a chicken and egg situation. The sad part is that this trend has continued for too long, and once India reaches its shores and starts performing in their own backyard, the whole thing would be forgotten. The fundamental management philosophy should change, and for this I would say that the captain & coach should start adapting newer ways and means of playing abroad. Most of the team have very little experience, and its not right to blame the youngsters for this situation.

Posted by Rj_Kiwi on (January 31, 2014, 6:35 GMT)

What a sad series. India barely competed.

NZ have 5 bowlers around the country who will not even play for NZ in their lives, but they would be better than most of India's pacemen. But its more the impotent bowling attack. (good to see Aaron bowl quick though).

India always tout themselves as the ultimate chasing team but so far they are firing blanks. India's inability to play the bouncer is poor and they have zero idea how to score runs. This will make retaining the World Cup tough.

Indian fielding is costing too. Some of the fielders are good but overall its below international standard.

The test series Indian batting class will be tested but they should have the advantage over Kiwi attack. But they can't keep playing like bunnies. If India will win the game it will be through spin as only Taylor and Williamson are good enough in this department.

Posted by jiminy-cricket on (January 31, 2014, 6:24 GMT)

It is very obvious why India has been playing so badly of late. It's because Ishant "God" Sharma doesn't get to open the bowling. He bowls first change. How ludicrous is that? It's like having Michael Jordan on your team and having him come off the bench. Or having Joe Montana in your football team and playing him only in the second quarter. Or having Bradman in his prime in your team but making him bat #11. I could go on and on with many more examples. The sooner India figure out a way to leverage such unbelievable talent like Ishant, the earlier they'll start winning.

Posted by satzzz on (January 31, 2014, 6:09 GMT)

How can the author bring in NZ,Eng,SA and Aus teams into the comparison tables when the comparison is all about their home grounds. It is not logical to compare one's home ground to other's away. In that case why not compare their records in India against India's in India. This is like comparing apples with watermelon(not even orange which is of similar size atleast).

Posted by Masculineffort on (January 31, 2014, 6:01 GMT)

I feel Indian fans have misplaced their priorities. Why do you people care how India performs on the field? What you should care is how much money our administrators make. And they are making plenty of money thanks to all you fans. So really, there is nothing to worry about. It is a testament to the spirit of Indian cricket that it's board is so fabulously rich in spite of it's team being very average. This spirit is something to be proud of. So instead of complaining all the time like old ladies, I suggest you all exult and bask in this spirit of Indian cricket.

Posted by Analytical_Sathya on (January 31, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

It's not rocket science. Our current captain (is he deserved to be a captain is another matter)with his biased approach sidelined many good bowlers like Munaf,Mishra..etc. Munaf plays so well whenever given an opportunity (he is the only bowler I can term as brilliant and classy, gets some times emotional and looses his immaculate control a little bit though) .Mishra is one of the best leg spinners in the country always having a knack for taking wickets. Sincerely I hope the captaincy is changed as soon as possible for the betterment of Indian cricket. First comes the sports BCCI then the commercial aspects.So unsportive and immature of you....

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 31, 2014, 5:03 GMT)

Its been worst sreies fr india bt u see the performence on bouncy tracks indian bowlers forgotten tht thy r bowling on bouncier and helpful conditions, Dhoni never been thinking captain becas he always wants complete bowler quota rather then taking opposite team wickets, he always uses part time spinners then actual bowlers, he never plans to restrict new batsmen dhoni defensive tactics has been failed, he give easy singles to oppostion..

Posted by sanjayasenewirathne on (January 31, 2014, 4:42 GMT)

Sri lanka is one of the best ODI team outside subcontinent. They have better record in last 5 years against AUS in AUS and against ENG in ENG. And SA ODI side is not good as their test side.And i think SRI LANKA have very good chance in next year's WC. India is best ODI team when playing in subcontinent flat tracks. but i don't think they'll make it to the semis in WC 2015.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 4:41 GMT)

With this bowling attack India will not even qualify for the second round of play in world cup 2015. BCCI wont care as long as revenue pours in IPL. they wont prepare pitches to face conditions abroad, and India is certainly not going to improve their results abroad. If India plays most of its matches outside India, and with this kind of performance, India would not have become the No.1 side.

Most interestingly Indian batting itself sometimes looks fragile outside India, they dont look as strong as they were in IPL or matches in India, also because of the types of pitches in India. But batting line up has got pure talents, but bowling its really a question mark hanging over Indian team.

Posted by VickGower on (January 31, 2014, 4:38 GMT)

There are times when numbers are unnecessary. Alas, this is one of those times. As someone here said, just ask yourself, is there any bowler in this lineup even B'desh would have? And this is the richest cricket board with over a billion people around it. Where is the shame?

Posted by samvarma on (January 31, 2014, 4:29 GMT)

Once again a deplorable performance away from home, outcome of 5th ODI stand irrelevant. India is lacking in attitude,skills,commitment in bowling and batting (sans Virat,Dhoni).I think how many times we discussed this when India capitulate on an overseas tour , but being ardent indian fan and nationalist, I have to convey my feelings again on a lacklustre performance.I feel captaincy,coaching staff , selection is under question.I always wonder how non-performing players like Ishant,Ashwin,Raina makes it to the squad again and again, there is something wrong !. Not sure what a bowling coach's role in Indian cricket as I do not see any vast improvement over last many years. Certainly we see some talent at the likes of Aaron, Shami but all wayward repeatedly. I think BCCI's business ideology of "protecting" failures overseas by playing more home series and lack of transparency in selection and coaching staff selection will not take India anywhere.

Posted by TATTUs on (January 31, 2014, 3:59 GMT)

You dont have to do all this. Just think about which team would have [happily] any one of Indias bowlers. You know the answer. [Probably Bangladesh would have Md Shami]

Indias bowling is the worst in the world.And therefore they wont win any tests any time soon. Period.

P.S: All this for outside subcontinent.

Posted by himsez on (January 31, 2014, 3:47 GMT)

Compare Ishant Sharma's figures with Mohammad Shami. Does it make sense. Does Ishant Sharma even look a pale shadow of Shami. In the last 12 months Ishant Sharma's LAst 17 Matches 131 Overs 26 wickets econ 6.21 Strike Rate 30.3. He hadly takes more than 1 wicket per match.

Posted by Ryan_H on (January 31, 2014, 3:39 GMT)

If Indian cricket and BCCI is to prosper further financially and be a top team, its high time they solve this ever present perennial conundrum - their bowling. Perhaps, a case study should be commissioned by the BCCI to the IITs, IIMs, Harvard or a Mckinsey, BCG etc.

Posted by MAYURESHmagic on (January 31, 2014, 3:34 GMT)

Indian players are got training on rubbish pitches at domestic level which are either flat or sharp turning and that is why they get hard time when they go outside. They were clueless about bowling line, length, speed and variation and batsman struggles with bounce because they are trained on flat pitches. It is simple logic, if you are games in easy conditions that doesn't mean you can win it in hard conditions but if you are able to win games in hard conditions then you will able to win games in easy conditions.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

Doesn't help when your strike bowler, Ishant Sharma, averages 39 in Tests, 31 in ODI and 50 in T20I. He lacks control and is not penetrative enough.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

    What is Rohit Sharma's role?

Should India have practised slip catching in the nets? Who will play at the G?

    'I'd like to have faced the West Indies quicks'

Northamptonshire's David Willey picks his ideal partner for a jungle expedition, and talks about his famous dad

    Benn shows up in body and spirit

Tony Cozier: The spinner has brought in a sense of discipline into his bowling and behaviour on the field since his Test comeback

    The return of Bob Simpson

Rewind: When the 41-year-old former captain came out of retirement to lead Australia against India

Bowling to blame for India's poor overseas record

Kartikeya Date: The inability to build pressure by denying runs, even on helpful pitches, is India's biggest problem

News | Features Last 7 days

What ails Rohit and Watson?

Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena

The perfect Test

After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.

Hazlewood completes quartet of promise

Josh Hazlewood has been on Australian cricket's radar since he was a teenager. The player that made a Test debut at the Gabba was a much-improved version of the tearaway from 2010

Australia in good hands under proactive Smith

The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game

Karn struggles to stay afloat

The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be

News | Features Last 7 days