July 13, 2014

Dhoni wins the first round in the captaincy battle

India's and England's captains have both taken some inexplicable decisions in the first Test at Trent Bridge. But Dhoni managed to take advantage of the hosts' frail line-up
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In trying to overcome his frailty outside off stump, Alastair Cook has become susceptible to lbw dismissals and to being bowled behind his legs
In trying to overcome his frailty outside off stump, Alastair Cook has become susceptible to lbw dismissals and to being bowled behind his legs © Associated Press

The England-India series began with two embattled captains trying to assert their authority and establish a position of supremacy. It was the Indian skipper who took the first positive steps in that battle at Trent Bridge.

MS Dhoni started well by winning the toss, which was an important triumph on what looked a dry and lifeless strip and one that should have encouraged India to include two spinners among their five bowlers.

Undeterred by this obvious blunder, Dhoni took another giant stride in the race for supremacy when he batted himself at No. 6; nothing like a strong, positive lead from the skipper to galvanise the troops for a long hard battle.

His counterpart, Alastair Cook, started cautiously but suddenly had a drastic change of heart when he inspired his bowlers with some innovative field placings. This radical change prompted the question: Were these tactics his own idea, or was the ploy brought on by outside criticism or suggestions from team-mates, or even worse, the coach?

If such a drastic change does occur as a result of criticism or prodding, it's not sustainable over a long period. Eventually the natural traits will resurface. Unfortunately for England it soon became clear that the conservative captain Cook was still lurking under the surface.

So was a disturbing trend. Once again England failed to turn a reasonable situation into a winning one when Cook was unable to press home the advantage and India's last-wicket pair piled on the humiliation and frustration.

At a time when Ballance and Robson should have taken full advantage of the flat pitch and pedestrian bowling, they failed to dominate. Bell has the ability and temperament to take charge and has to bat at No. 3

This trend, which began in Australia, has now assumed dangerous proportions. There's no doubt it's having an effect on Cook's team-mates, who must be wondering if he has the imagination to inspire England when an extra effort is required.

Not only is this debilitating for the team, it's also putting a lot of pressure on the England hierarchy, who unwisely backed Cook's leadership at the expense of picking the best side.

England could be in deep trouble if things continue to go awry, but if they unearth a strong leader, pick the right type of players and stop searching for a team who are all best buddies, they could quickly become a force again. Knowing the conservatism that pervades English cricket I'm not expecting it to happen.

If India made a huge blunder in choosing Stuart Binny - a move that made less sense after he batted at No. 8 and hardly bowled - England were equally erroneous in constructing their batting order. To place Gary Ballance, a stiff, manufactured player, ahead of the fluent and dominant Ian Bell makes no sense at all. Sure, Ballance has done okay in his short career, but at a time when he and Sam Robson should have taken full advantage of the flat pitch and pedestrian bowling, they failed to dominate. Bell has the ability and temperament to take charge and has to bat at No. 3.

Many of England's players are suffering a Mitchell Johnson hangover and there's a worrying susceptibility against well-directed bouncers, even on a lifeless pitch. To have Ben Stokes, a player who showed his mettle in Australia, languishing at eight made as much sense as Ballance ahead of Bell.

As Cook's form slump continues, it's obvious his captaincy woes have invaded his batting. In trying to overcome a frailty outside off stump he has created more problems for himself by shuffling across the crease, making him more prone to the lbw dismissal and also to being bowled behind his legs. When confidence deserts a player and responsibility weighs heavily, it's amazing how often lady luck turns her back.

Despite Dhoni's strong start to the series this battle is going to be a tough one for India. However, whereas on the last tour India capitulated quickly, they have shown a lot of fight at Trent Bridge. No doubt this resilience has been bolstered by the fissures currently appearing in English cricket. If Dhoni is able to establish supremacy he needs to ensure he capitalises to the fullest. Picking the right combination will help.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | July 13, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    After the last wicket stand by India, I guess honours are about even. As far as team selection is concerned, playing one spinner on most tracks is fine for India- the only question is- which one of the two spinners should play? On tracks expected to aid some spin, possibly Dhoni thought of Jadeja being the better option- because he turn the ball more than Ashwin and also controls runs better. Another choice is between Binny and Rohit Sharma. Sharma at 6 and Dhoni at 7 may be needed to counter the bowling on more helpful tracks- and Sharma can also bowl a few overs (at east as many overs as Binny may be expected to bowl).

  • POSTED BY Y2G_87 on | July 18, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    @jimbond - I agree that Jadeja has control over runs, but what really matters in test cricket is wickets.

    India is carrying better pace attack even though in absence of Zaheer but, not really a attack which can take 20 wickets unless English batsmen commit mistake.

    Ashwin is better test player than Jadeja in all departments in test matches except fielding and in test match it is not a mandate for all the ten fielders to be star fielders. Definitely if we can accommodate only one spinner Jadeja is never an option, even if not Ashwin,

    England definitely has stronger pace attack then most of the teams, especially than India, so they can live with Moen Ali, who is getting some lucky wickets.

    If India's strength is not pace bowling then why to worry about 4th seamer.

    So Ashwin is never an optional resource, but should have a place stamped in any tour played anywhere.

    So it should be between Binny and Jadeja whether to pick a fast bowling or spin bowling all rounder.

  • POSTED BY indianzen on | July 15, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    Drawing the match was great for England, ain't it Ian ? come one, so called swing bowlers, dominant cricketers of England have gone for vacation ? India player better and fair cricket all round and deserve appreciation more than the brits...

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 15, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    In my opinion both the Captains made about the same good & bad moves. Dhoni was lucky to win the toss & bat but he used the wrong set of bowlers by dropping Ashwin -game/set/Match! England playing with 6 LH bats avoid facing off spinner who was the fastest 100 wkt. taker in Test matches, albeit most wkts. were on Indian pitches. This pitch was closest to the Indian pitch. So the Indian bowling lost its trump card thereby surrendering the Toss advantage. Dhoni coming in @#6 batted well to get 81. Cook was quite dynamic in his field placing getting Pujara out via an unconventional short mid on. Also he brought Broad just when Kohli arrived to get him out twice. Both the captains failed to lack tactics to dismiss the tail enders which was the main reason for the drawn Test. Were the XI selected deficient in good bowlers or had wrong bowlers? That is the real question NOT the Captaincy. Dhoni cannot drop Ashwin with 6 LH bats in England. England need either Panesar or Patel + a Pacer.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 15, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    I think the English curators would be preparing a wicket with a little bit of grass on it to assist the seam attack! But if the same wicket as of Nottingham is prepared, then Dhoni must play Ashwin in place of Dhawan as Binny has performed quite well with confidence. My Indian Team- Vijay, Pujara, Rahane, Kohli, Binny, Dhoni, Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar, Jadeja, Shami and Ishant! As far as English team is concerned only Jordan can be brought instead of Stokes! And about the captaincy James Anderson can replace Alaistair Cook as he also has an experience of 95 tests! Let cook concentrate on his batting and prove his critics wrong!

  • POSTED BY on | July 15, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    Err.. I'm an Indian and I think, with due respect, Chappelli got it wrong here. If you mention England's lack of imagination in dislogding Kumar-Shami, surely Dhoni was no better against Anderson (although Root wasn't exactly a tailender, granted!). Their inner self re-surfaces pretty soon over the course of five days. If Dhoni can get rid of Binny and get Aaron or Yadav as a pace bowling option, THEN you may say he as being truly brave. Ditto England ditching Moeen for Finn, Jordan or Panesar. Surely Ballance's legspin showed more promise than Moeen's entire spells, and Root can shoulder some more part-time load.

  • POSTED BY CurrentPresident on | July 15, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    Dhoni weaknesses clouded by England's poor showing: 1. India does not have a bowling leader, hence nobody knows how to 'maintain' the ball, hence no reverse swing for Indians. On a bowler friendly pitch, the India attack will fail against the lower order batsmen as they don't know how to use the old ball effectively.

    2. Omitting players like Yadav and Varoon who offer the pace and bounce that the English are uncomfortable against. Medium pace will not bother the English and once they stop obliging with their poor shot selection, it will be tough to get them out twice.

    3. Suspect slip lineup. He needs to train specialists to catch in the slips. In tests, it is far more important than Dhoni seems to realize.

  • POSTED BY bhushanB on | July 14, 2014, 20:01 GMT

    Dhoni should have let Binny bowl more overs (i) to see if he can adapt himself on such a pitch (ii) if he can control the run flow (iii) provide the much needed respite for the quicks

    If at all Binny has bowled a few more overs, may be Ishant & Shami would have found more rest and could have bowled with more energy to the last pair...

    I do not think Rohit would have done any wonders definitely with the ball than what Binny managed... and what he can do with bat is open to debate... as he is more often than not a NOHIT on the field

  • POSTED BY RB007 on | July 14, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    For a team struggling to find an all rounder, on the evidence, India actually had 3 in Trent Bridge - Jadeja, Stuart and Bhuvaneswar. It is possible that in future away Test Matches, Rohit, Ashwin, Jadeja and Stuart may be the horses for courses selections. In difficult batting conditions, Rohit may play as the 6th batsman. In Trent Bridge like conditions, perhaps it is better to play a genuine 4th seamer like Pankaj or Aaron. Jadeja and Ashwin will probably alternate till one of them comes up with a significant bowling performance. Stuart might play as and when pitches are 50 /50 - neither totally for bowlers nor for batsmen. I am glad he came good on the final day. Just adds more flexibility to the team whicjh looks to cover all the bases. But the big surprise was the revelation that Bhuvaneswar looks capable to bat at no. 8

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | July 14, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    i donot think 1st round goes to dhoni both dhoni and cook are defensive captains they donot want to take any chance after ind take lead of 300 dhoni not declear

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | July 13, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    After the last wicket stand by India, I guess honours are about even. As far as team selection is concerned, playing one spinner on most tracks is fine for India- the only question is- which one of the two spinners should play? On tracks expected to aid some spin, possibly Dhoni thought of Jadeja being the better option- because he turn the ball more than Ashwin and also controls runs better. Another choice is between Binny and Rohit Sharma. Sharma at 6 and Dhoni at 7 may be needed to counter the bowling on more helpful tracks- and Sharma can also bowl a few overs (at east as many overs as Binny may be expected to bowl).

  • POSTED BY Y2G_87 on | July 18, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    @jimbond - I agree that Jadeja has control over runs, but what really matters in test cricket is wickets.

    India is carrying better pace attack even though in absence of Zaheer but, not really a attack which can take 20 wickets unless English batsmen commit mistake.

    Ashwin is better test player than Jadeja in all departments in test matches except fielding and in test match it is not a mandate for all the ten fielders to be star fielders. Definitely if we can accommodate only one spinner Jadeja is never an option, even if not Ashwin,

    England definitely has stronger pace attack then most of the teams, especially than India, so they can live with Moen Ali, who is getting some lucky wickets.

    If India's strength is not pace bowling then why to worry about 4th seamer.

    So Ashwin is never an optional resource, but should have a place stamped in any tour played anywhere.

    So it should be between Binny and Jadeja whether to pick a fast bowling or spin bowling all rounder.

  • POSTED BY indianzen on | July 15, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    Drawing the match was great for England, ain't it Ian ? come one, so called swing bowlers, dominant cricketers of England have gone for vacation ? India player better and fair cricket all round and deserve appreciation more than the brits...

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 15, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    In my opinion both the Captains made about the same good & bad moves. Dhoni was lucky to win the toss & bat but he used the wrong set of bowlers by dropping Ashwin -game/set/Match! England playing with 6 LH bats avoid facing off spinner who was the fastest 100 wkt. taker in Test matches, albeit most wkts. were on Indian pitches. This pitch was closest to the Indian pitch. So the Indian bowling lost its trump card thereby surrendering the Toss advantage. Dhoni coming in @#6 batted well to get 81. Cook was quite dynamic in his field placing getting Pujara out via an unconventional short mid on. Also he brought Broad just when Kohli arrived to get him out twice. Both the captains failed to lack tactics to dismiss the tail enders which was the main reason for the drawn Test. Were the XI selected deficient in good bowlers or had wrong bowlers? That is the real question NOT the Captaincy. Dhoni cannot drop Ashwin with 6 LH bats in England. England need either Panesar or Patel + a Pacer.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 15, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    I think the English curators would be preparing a wicket with a little bit of grass on it to assist the seam attack! But if the same wicket as of Nottingham is prepared, then Dhoni must play Ashwin in place of Dhawan as Binny has performed quite well with confidence. My Indian Team- Vijay, Pujara, Rahane, Kohli, Binny, Dhoni, Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar, Jadeja, Shami and Ishant! As far as English team is concerned only Jordan can be brought instead of Stokes! And about the captaincy James Anderson can replace Alaistair Cook as he also has an experience of 95 tests! Let cook concentrate on his batting and prove his critics wrong!

  • POSTED BY on | July 15, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    Err.. I'm an Indian and I think, with due respect, Chappelli got it wrong here. If you mention England's lack of imagination in dislogding Kumar-Shami, surely Dhoni was no better against Anderson (although Root wasn't exactly a tailender, granted!). Their inner self re-surfaces pretty soon over the course of five days. If Dhoni can get rid of Binny and get Aaron or Yadav as a pace bowling option, THEN you may say he as being truly brave. Ditto England ditching Moeen for Finn, Jordan or Panesar. Surely Ballance's legspin showed more promise than Moeen's entire spells, and Root can shoulder some more part-time load.

  • POSTED BY CurrentPresident on | July 15, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    Dhoni weaknesses clouded by England's poor showing: 1. India does not have a bowling leader, hence nobody knows how to 'maintain' the ball, hence no reverse swing for Indians. On a bowler friendly pitch, the India attack will fail against the lower order batsmen as they don't know how to use the old ball effectively.

    2. Omitting players like Yadav and Varoon who offer the pace and bounce that the English are uncomfortable against. Medium pace will not bother the English and once they stop obliging with their poor shot selection, it will be tough to get them out twice.

    3. Suspect slip lineup. He needs to train specialists to catch in the slips. In tests, it is far more important than Dhoni seems to realize.

  • POSTED BY bhushanB on | July 14, 2014, 20:01 GMT

    Dhoni should have let Binny bowl more overs (i) to see if he can adapt himself on such a pitch (ii) if he can control the run flow (iii) provide the much needed respite for the quicks

    If at all Binny has bowled a few more overs, may be Ishant & Shami would have found more rest and could have bowled with more energy to the last pair...

    I do not think Rohit would have done any wonders definitely with the ball than what Binny managed... and what he can do with bat is open to debate... as he is more often than not a NOHIT on the field

  • POSTED BY RB007 on | July 14, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    For a team struggling to find an all rounder, on the evidence, India actually had 3 in Trent Bridge - Jadeja, Stuart and Bhuvaneswar. It is possible that in future away Test Matches, Rohit, Ashwin, Jadeja and Stuart may be the horses for courses selections. In difficult batting conditions, Rohit may play as the 6th batsman. In Trent Bridge like conditions, perhaps it is better to play a genuine 4th seamer like Pankaj or Aaron. Jadeja and Ashwin will probably alternate till one of them comes up with a significant bowling performance. Stuart might play as and when pitches are 50 /50 - neither totally for bowlers nor for batsmen. I am glad he came good on the final day. Just adds more flexibility to the team whicjh looks to cover all the bases. But the big surprise was the revelation that Bhuvaneswar looks capable to bat at no. 8

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | July 14, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    i donot think 1st round goes to dhoni both dhoni and cook are defensive captains they donot want to take any chance after ind take lead of 300 dhoni not declear

  • POSTED BY on | July 14, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    We must not judge Dhoni harshly. We already know that, winning a test is no more easy because tail enders are also resisting these days. This happened in Eng-SL series also. And we very well know that Indian bowling is not of quality. We know Ishant has never delivered consistently and he is the opening bowler. How can this be inspiring to a team? And what sort of fast bowling management, India had? During the last few years how many of them went from strength to strength? Irfan, Munaf, Praveen Kumar, Balaji, Sreesanth etc. were tried. All of them are out of selection radar. How does this help the team? There are others also following their way. why we have no pragmatic approach to develop fast bowlers? Unless we do some needful in this area, you can't expect to win tests overseas. Whipping Dhoni can't help. He himself would have no idea how he can express his problems in this department.

  • POSTED BY cricketsux on | July 14, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Condensed version of this piece

    Dhoni's superb captaincy decisions:

    Batting himself at 6

    Winning the toss

    Cook's terrible captaincy decisions:

    Innovative field placings when we weren't expecting it!

    Not forcing Bell to bat above Ballance

    Having too many allrounders

    Allowing India's last wicket partnership to amount to over 100 when it was actually a far more exciting move for Dhoni to allow the final England partnership to amass nearly 200

    Solution:

    Pick the best team! As in the English way...pick the captain first then build a team around that.

    Stare Bell down with arms folded until he mans up and goes out there or else wait for him to be timed out. Only performers like Michael Clarke and Tendulkar have the eroded technique typical of a number 4.

    Be more imaginative...but you know, not in the way he was being imaginative. That seemed fake. Be GENUINELY imaginative. Then England would have skittled 'em!

    Pick more rabbits so that Stokes can resume at No. 6

  • POSTED BY ramli on | July 14, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    @Dilmah82 ... India had a very good match-practice at the expense of the tiring Eng bowlers ... that is a positive ... why should Indian bowlers toil hard on a dead match ... instead they batted with purpose and rested too

    Attributing Indian success in batting to fissures in Eng camp is ridiculous ... this is just Chappel's way of undermining efforts ... Eng quality of batting has come down as its bowling ... India was able to compete simply because of the change in ersonnel compared to last series ... we can certainly look for even more tough fighting in the coming days

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 14, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    I think the so-called "inexperienced" Indian team did a lot better than England, considering that the match was in England, and not in India. The track was lifeless but the weather was English weather, with clouds all around frequently. Vijay, Bhuvi got 2 fifties each, Pujara, Dhoni, Binny and Shami got a fifty too, so with the kind of batting application shown by Bhuvi, I think he should be considered an all-rounder, even ahead of Binny, Jadeja and Ashwin. Shami played like Harbhajan or Zaheer, but Bhuvi showed application of a top order batsman. His SR was under 50,which shows how good he balanced defence and attack. Dhoni should really think about going with 4 seamers +Binny +Ash /Sir. Rahane would have to miss out, but since the bowlers are batting well, we could try bringing one more bowler in, like Aaron, mainly for pace, could turn out to be our Johnson. This Indian team has shown clearly that no matter what, you can never dismiss any player, even the tail enders will fight.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 14, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    India should have umesh yadav

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | July 14, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    Of course Dhoni would like to bring Ashwin back but Amit Mishra would be a better choice for India. Jadeja has a lot to prove in this series. His batting looks worse than Bhuvi. India should have a different captain for Test matches as Dhoni cannot change his mindset and continues to set one day fields even for tailender batsmen. I feel sorry for poor Binny who will be dropped and forgotten soon in spite of saving the match for India along with Bhuvi. Virat Kohli and Rahene need to find some form as Dhoni at no. 6 looks totally out of place.

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | July 13, 2014, 22:40 GMT

    India were also playing with 10 as Kohli was missing in this test.

  • POSTED BY Dilmah82 on | July 13, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    By the end of Day 5, Dhoni would have lost several points on this battle of negative, defensive captains...Really with match headed for a draw he should have forced the Cook, who is under pressure as captain and batsman to go out and face a few overs...if they got him cheaply again what a pshychological bonus it would have been for India for rest of series...instead Dhoni stuck to his usual ways!

  • POSTED BY ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP04 on | July 13, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    Binny would have been useful in seam friendly conditions. Unfortunately he got his test debut on a placid track. Its must for India to go with 5 bowlers in each of the remaining four tests. Its a welcome change from Dhoni and team management to pick 5 bowlers. Now the only thing they got do is go with horses for courses policy in selecting final XI, prior to that they need to read the pitch accurately before deciding on final XI. Hope pitches in the remaining games have some life and provide exciting cricket to its fans.

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    If they continue to make wickets like this, this series could be as boring as the one between India and England in 1981-82 in India where after a win in the first test match, both teams played boring defensive Cricket! or the 1987 series between India and Pakistan in India which was boring as well till the last test match in B'lore (Gavaskar's last test match).

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    England with effectively 9 players taking on India's 11. Cooke and Prior should have been dropped some time ago. Both have failed with the bat - both have dropped more than they caught - and this is not new, this is what they have been doing for some time. Enough excuses. Then the selectors for not picking a spinner, even Batty, old as he is, could do a decent job till one of the new guys comes through. Expecting Ali to bowl as the main spinner match after match is not fair on England fans and not fair on Ali

  • POSTED BY IndianInnerEdge on | July 13, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    If i was England i would be a tad worried. 10 man India mixed it with 11 man England and at times lorded it. In England. On their home turf. For the pereninial English whingers - the pitch was the same for both sides. If Warne could become one of the greatest leggies from a land not known for its tweakers, Surely India is gonna come up with someone who flings it 150kmph +.....just because it has'nt happened dosent mean it aing gonna happen...and when that happens, watch out world :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    disagree about winning when England are leading. But right about binny. If u want to to pick 5 bowlers u pick 5 best bowlers, not some bits and pieces player as the fifth bowler. Pankaj singh actually looked India's best bowler in practice games. Why wasn't he picked. Whats ishant sharma doing who got hammered.

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | July 13, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    Decision to play 5 bowlers was a positive one. But looking at the amount bowling Binny did, it looks like that decision was nullified. Though I am no big fan of Aswin bowling overseas, this situation Aswin would have been more useful with both bat and ball than Binny. You are showing confidence in Binny by picking him in the playing eleven. You should show the same confidence in him by allowing him bowl some overs.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | July 13, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Defensive doesn't always mean poor. Not everyone has to captain like Australians.

  • POSTED BY Lion83 on | July 13, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    Both are poor defensive captains that allowed last pair to add more than 100 runs.

  • POSTED BY Sexysteven on | July 13, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    I think both captains are a shambles to me there tactics are to defensive and have no intent to win that's what it looks from the outside looking in I would sack both captains kohli is the perfect captain solution for India for England's it's abit harder to find a replacement for Cook cos the only one I see that looks abit more positive for England is prior but his form is shakey atm but I guess anyone would be worth ago for England cos they ain't going to progress forward while cookies in charge I think we all can see that apart from the conservative selectors I would give both the captains atape of the windies and nz series and get them to watch mccullums captaincy in that series and how his captaincy won us the last test I'm not a fan of mccullum cos of his inconsistent batting but I have to admit he's one hell of a captain very positive and aggressive Cook and dhoni could learn from him gambles are always worth taking even if they don't work out u can't win by being safe

  • POSTED BY Sexysteven on | July 13, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    I think both captains are a shambles to me there tactics are to defensive and have no intent to win that's what it looks from the outside looking in I would sack both captains kohli is the perfect captain solution for India for England's it's abit harder to find a replacement for Cook cos the only one I see that looks abit more positive for England is prior but his form is shakey atm but I guess anyone would be worth ago for England cos they ain't going to progress forward while cookies in charge I think we all can see that apart from the conservative selectors I would give both the captains atape of the windies and nz series and get them to watch mccullums captaincy in that series and how his captaincy won us the last test I'm not a fan of mccullum cos of his inconsistent batting but I have to admit he's one hell of a captain very positive and aggressive Cook and dhoni could learn from him gambles are always worth taking even if they don't work out u can't win by being safe

  • POSTED BY Lion83 on | July 13, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    Both are poor defensive captains that allowed last pair to add more than 100 runs.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | July 13, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Defensive doesn't always mean poor. Not everyone has to captain like Australians.

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | July 13, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    Decision to play 5 bowlers was a positive one. But looking at the amount bowling Binny did, it looks like that decision was nullified. Though I am no big fan of Aswin bowling overseas, this situation Aswin would have been more useful with both bat and ball than Binny. You are showing confidence in Binny by picking him in the playing eleven. You should show the same confidence in him by allowing him bowl some overs.

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    disagree about winning when England are leading. But right about binny. If u want to to pick 5 bowlers u pick 5 best bowlers, not some bits and pieces player as the fifth bowler. Pankaj singh actually looked India's best bowler in practice games. Why wasn't he picked. Whats ishant sharma doing who got hammered.

  • POSTED BY IndianInnerEdge on | July 13, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    If i was England i would be a tad worried. 10 man India mixed it with 11 man England and at times lorded it. In England. On their home turf. For the pereninial English whingers - the pitch was the same for both sides. If Warne could become one of the greatest leggies from a land not known for its tweakers, Surely India is gonna come up with someone who flings it 150kmph +.....just because it has'nt happened dosent mean it aing gonna happen...and when that happens, watch out world :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    England with effectively 9 players taking on India's 11. Cooke and Prior should have been dropped some time ago. Both have failed with the bat - both have dropped more than they caught - and this is not new, this is what they have been doing for some time. Enough excuses. Then the selectors for not picking a spinner, even Batty, old as he is, could do a decent job till one of the new guys comes through. Expecting Ali to bowl as the main spinner match after match is not fair on England fans and not fair on Ali

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    If they continue to make wickets like this, this series could be as boring as the one between India and England in 1981-82 in India where after a win in the first test match, both teams played boring defensive Cricket! or the 1987 series between India and Pakistan in India which was boring as well till the last test match in B'lore (Gavaskar's last test match).

  • POSTED BY ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP04 on | July 13, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    Binny would have been useful in seam friendly conditions. Unfortunately he got his test debut on a placid track. Its must for India to go with 5 bowlers in each of the remaining four tests. Its a welcome change from Dhoni and team management to pick 5 bowlers. Now the only thing they got do is go with horses for courses policy in selecting final XI, prior to that they need to read the pitch accurately before deciding on final XI. Hope pitches in the remaining games have some life and provide exciting cricket to its fans.

  • POSTED BY Dilmah82 on | July 13, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    By the end of Day 5, Dhoni would have lost several points on this battle of negative, defensive captains...Really with match headed for a draw he should have forced the Cook, who is under pressure as captain and batsman to go out and face a few overs...if they got him cheaply again what a pshychological bonus it would have been for India for rest of series...instead Dhoni stuck to his usual ways!