India in New Zealand 2013-14

India seek clarity over No. 4 slot

The New Zealand tour will give India a glimpse of the man who could possibly take over from Yuvraj Singh as the first choice No. 4 ODI batsman in time to come

Abhishek Purohit in Napier

January 17, 2014

Comments: 199 | Text size: A | A
Dravid: Good performance will help young India players stake a claim for World Cup

This trip to New Zealand will provide several young India players their first taste of international cricket in the country. India will also get to play at some of the venues for the 2015 World Cup. Apart from those broader experiences, this tour will also give India a glimpse of the man who could possibly take over from Yuvraj Singh as the first choice No. 4 ODI batsman in time to come.

Who will be that man? Will it be the back-up No. 4 Suresh Raina, who has long wanted to bat up the order? Will it be Ajinkya Rahane, who after quite some time on the sidelines, has slowly started to exert his presence? Or will it be Ambati Rayudu, who has travelled with the squad without playing much?

During the home series against Australia in October, India had sent Raina ahead of Yuvraj to try and increase their options for the No. 4 position, with an aim to give the backup sufficient exposure ahead of the World Cup. MS Dhoni had said that if Yuvraj's form and health held up till the World Cup, he would continue to be the preferred No. 4. Only two short series later, against West Indies and South Africa, Yuvraj has been dropped for lack of form, and the New Zealand tour has become a lot more important for the claimants to the No. 4 spot.


Ajinkya Rahane helped give India a solid start, India v England, 5th ODI, Kolkata, October 25, 2011
Ajinkya Rahane's relatively tight technique can be useful at No. 4, especially with the next World Cup being in Australia and New Zealand © AFP
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Had Yuvraj travelled to New Zealand, he and Raina would have completed the first-choice top five, leaving no room for Rahane or Rayudu, barring an injury or acutely wretched form. Now at least one of them, if not both, will get their chance over five ODIs.

While Rahane finally got a run in Tests in South Africa following Sachin Tendulkar's retirement, in ODIs, their positions appear far from settled. Rayudu debuted and played four ODIs compared to Rahane's one on the Zimbabwe tour last July, and came in at No. 4 each time. Even Cheteshwar Pujara, who has somehow barely been in the ODI framework, played more games than Rahane on that trip. However, in South Africa, Rahane was the chosen replacement when an injured Yuvraj missed the Durban ODI. He then made 47, 15, 51* and 96 in the two Tests, providing the kind of solidity which India have generally lacked at No. 6 since the departure of Sourav Ganguly in 2008.

Rahane's relatively tight technique, as compared to Rayudu's, can be very useful at No. 4, especially with the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in mind. His ability to build an innings can even free up Virat Kohli to further play his naturally aggressive game at No. 3. Rahane has also shown in Twenty20s, both domestic and international, that he can score quickly. How well he can balance the changing demands a long No. 4 ODI knock brings will have to be seen.

Where Rayudu scores over Rahane is on the power front. He has demonstrated several times in the IPL what a destructive hitter he can be. Compared to Rahane, Rayudu is more like Yuvraj in the sense that his natural instinct is to attack. He will defend the good deliveries, but that will be after reluctantly concluding that he has no scoring options. Like Yuvraj, he can be pretty nervy early in his innings. He has had more than his share of issues in the past, but with a supportive state association and a steady IPL stint, he has become much calmer. With the new fielding restrictions, Rayudu could be another link in the batting order of power-hitters on flat home pitches, although Rahane appears to be the more viable all-condition option.

One of these two could stake a strong claim over No. 4 in the New Zealand ODIs, but it is possible that neither might, especially if the team management decides to give the preferred backup Raina more exposure in the slot. Raina batted four innings at No. 4 in the Australia series. Each time he got a start, and each time he did not convert it into a big score, with a highest of 39 in Pune that was cut short by his favoured heave, a mis-hit to third man. Whether Raina has the appetite to bat long in ODIs has been questioned in the past, but Dhoni had countered that by saying he needed to be given more time to adapt, having batted at lower positions for most of his career.

Apart from the above three batsmen, two left-field options could be Stuart Binny and Ravindra Jadeja. Dhoni is no stranger to left-field. He stuck and persevered with Jadeja in the XI while the world joked and laughed. Few are laughing now; Jadeja's bowling and fielding skills are there to be seen. He has come across as a limited batsman at international level, especially against the short ball. But two things must be said in his favour. He bats way down the order for him to have any time to think about constructing an innings. And as far as the short ball goes, the back-up No. 4's problems with it are almost legendary now, but they haven't removed Raina from the reckoning.

Binny is untested with both bat and ball at international level. He comes across as a safer and more assured hitter than Jadeja in the IPL, but that tells us little of his ability to bat up the order. He does have seven first-class hundreds, the same as Jadeja. Dhoni has said that Binny can be called upon to score quick, late runs, to go with his swing bowling. Probably that is the only role the captain has for Binny at the moment, but one never knows, especially with Dhoni. He has made a successful opener out of a man who disappointed for so long in the middle order. Who does he have in mind as India's future ODI No. 4?

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (January 25, 2014, 21:47 GMT)

Playing eleven 1. S. Dhawan 2. G.gambhir 3 Virat 4 . Pujara/khartick / rayudu 5. Yuvraj 6. Rohit 7. Dhoni 8 jadeja/harbhajan 9. A. Nayar / irfan 10. Mh. Shami 11. Zaheer Virat yuvraj and rohit can combilely ball middle over at tandom as already seen in world cup 2011 and yuvraj is quick to finish his over at tandom with harbhajan . Zaheer is experiered and shami balls quick and nayar is good at bolwing and provide batting strenghth down the order

Posted by regofpicton on (January 19, 2014, 0:01 GMT)

Next Sana - your comparisons are certainly food for thought, though your ranking Anderson ahead of Kohli is . . . eccentric, shall we say?

The tour is a most exciting prospect, and I have no idea how I'm going to get any work done over the next few weeks. I hope our guests enjoy their visit very much, and that they can forgive me for expressing the hope that we give them a thorough thrashing. But even if that happens the new ICC proposal for tiers in test cricket means the team members will have something to tell their grand-children - that they were part of the last ever tour to New Zealand by a full Indian cricket team.

We'll really miss you guys, and hopefully you'll miss us at least a little, but then the mighty dollar must come first, as we all know . . .

Posted by Kannan18 on (January 18, 2014, 22:13 GMT)

This is extremely disgusting.With a country of so much batting talent at stake(forget just No:4 specialists) - Why would one try a project on a player who is never going to be No:4 batsmen in test or ODI format. Its crystal clear what Dhoni's policy is - Get all the seniors out of vicinity for asserting total control and dhonigiri. I am not worried abt any of them though except Yuvraj. For some reason, Yuvraj after so many years of ODi experience and show case of match winning capabilities - has been never allowed to cement his place. Everytime he fights his way out back to the team (purely on performance) and then it takes only 3-4 failures to be kicked out again. The same benchmarks are never followed for Mr Dhoni himself nor his favourites !! God save Indian cricket

Posted by barryrichardsfan on (January 18, 2014, 14:34 GMT)

can draft someone like samson/aprajith/kedar jadhav/utthappa/rahul/pujara/pandey/mandeep/saha at no 4 dhawan kohli sharma utthapa/pandey/samson dhoni raina jadeja irfan shami aaron umesh for world cup

Posted by DhairyBoghani on (January 18, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

To become superpower in world & win worldcup2015 India have to have genuine fast bowling all rounder. India have Jadeja & Aswin as spin bowling allrounders but not enough to play in NZ/SA/ AUS/ENG/WI. all teams have one/ two fast bowling allrounders as their key sucess. ENG-Bopara & Stokes SA-Kallis & Maklaran AUS- Faulkner & Watson WI-Sammy & Polard & Bravo. So I think India should use Binny in all 5 ODIs and after that bring R.Dhavan/Nayar/Shukla/Bhatiya as another allrounder.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

Sanju Samson is next TENDULKAR

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 11:41 GMT)

If Rahane has to be played then he should be tried as an opener with Dhawan, Rohit can handle the things at 4, with Dhoni and Raina following him, I Dhoni opts to play Rayudu, then Rayudu can play at no 4 position, Raina should be played at no 6, coz his technique isn't suited for short pich bowling and the slog overs he can go for some risky hits...My playing eleven would be

1. Rahane 2. Dhawan 3. Virat 4. Rohit 5. Dhoni. 6. Raina 7. Jaddu/Ashwin/Binny 8. Bhuvneshwar 9. Shami 10. Pandey 11. Aaron

Posted by spinkingKK on (January 18, 2014, 11:09 GMT)

Ideal 11 for India, in my opinion, should be (this is regardless of the people selected in the squad): 1.Dhawan 2.Rohit 3.Kohli 4.Karthik 5.Rahane 6.Raina 7.Dhoni 8.Irfan Pathan 9.Jadeja 10.B.Kumar 11.Aaron . Reserves: Yuvraj, Ashwin, Binny.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

The obvious choice is Pujara. He has great technique, can accelerate as well as build an innings. Otherwise Dhoni or D Karthik or Rahane. Not Stuart Binny or Rayadu who don't easily make the team even. Jadeja should bat at 8, Irfan Pathan at 7.

Posted by Cricmanyad on (January 18, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

@Aravind_verified: I dont know if you are joking (I strongly feel you are), but if you are not, then it is Rohit Sharma

Posted by jainmanu on (January 18, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

I think India should have taken Pujara for the ODI as an opener considering 2015 World Cup will be in bouncy Australian pitches. That would sort out the number 4 problem as well because Kohli is best suited to bat at 4. Also, Rishi Dhawan as fast bowling all rounder. Team: (1) Dhawan (2) Pujara (3) Rohit (4) Kohli (5) Raina (6) Doni (7) Rishi/Binny (8) Jadeja (9) Bhuvi (10) Shami (11) Ishwar Pandey / Umesh Yadav.

Posted by Aravind_Verified on (January 18, 2014, 8:21 GMT)

Didn't understand who is that successful opener stated in the last paragraph..

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

good analysis of present odi team sent to nz.however the performance of all players mentioned should be evaluated properly before deciding on the no.4 batsman.this is a very crucial position in odi matches.rahane/raydu/raina should be considered in that sequence fore the coming nz series.as for as possible chance should be offered to all 3 to fixup the no.4 batting slot for 2015 world cup coming next year.binny/jadeja/ashwin should also tested for the all rounder spot in the team.let us coming international odi series coming days to build up 2015 world cup team and try to retain the 2011 performance.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

To begin with its pleasing to see none of the players boasting about doing well in NZ conditions as Shikhar had done before SA trip.I think Raina has been given a long rope ..its time to look at other options.Both Rayudu and Rahane are more technically equipped than a Raina to excel in all conditions.So they should be the automatic choice than the tried and failed Raina.Even Rohit should be put on notice as we are going to play a lot overseas this year.I see comments regarding Rayudu's technique ..he has done pretty well in the India A tours to SA and NZ and I dont see why he shouldnt be selected.

Posted by kingcobra85 on (January 18, 2014, 6:39 GMT)

Ashwin bats better than top order batsmen so would be good if he is given no 4

Posted by sarangsrk on (January 18, 2014, 6:03 GMT)

Simple as chalk and cheese for me. Rahane should bat at No.4, then Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja and others. I might think about Binny in place of Ashwin on pace/swing pitches. Coming to No.4, Rayudu doesn't have the same ability as Rahane and I don't know why Abhishek thinks that Rayudu is better in hitting than Rahane. Please watch IPL Highlights again, that innings of 96 against SA..you will know that Rahane is much more accomplished hitter. He doesn't swing wildly but is more poetic like Jayawardhene. Raina hasn't justified his chances and doesn't look convincing to bat for 20+ overs in foreign conditions. For me, he is no.5 with 10-12 overs to go and can bat like he did against Aus in WC 2011 QF. India should persist with this combination for next 15-20 ODIs before making any changes. I am sure they will come good.

Posted by Ravi1438 on (January 18, 2014, 5:34 GMT)

1st dey should look at blowers...indian team presently struggling with bowlers i don't why dey simply think of batting order when dey have good batting lineup...after shami der is no fast bowler in death overs ?? even some time spin ll work but some time it wont...if indian should make a 2015 WC winning team means dey should look for good bowling lineup instead batting...

Posted by D-Ascendant on (January 18, 2014, 3:51 GMT)

Please, not Suresh Raina! How many times does he have to fail before he gets dropped?

Posted by JustMyView on (January 18, 2014, 3:48 GMT)

@Maverick Bhargav , I agree with you on inclusion of Rahane and Rayudu over Raina considering Raina has got more chance. Between you said that it should be a last series for Sharma if he is not consistent at the top. Dude did you watch cricket other than last SA series ? he is consistent performer in this year.. Scored 1000 runs and played less number of matches than others who scored 1000 runs. I dont know why what ever the topic may be every one pulls Rohit,. he is Technically better batsman than anyone in current Indian Team.

Posted by skabc23 on (January 18, 2014, 3:37 GMT)

My team for world cup 2015- 1. Dhawan/Pujara 2. Rohit 3. Kohli 4.Rahane/Rayudu 5. Raina/Ashwin 6. Dhoni/Sanju Samson 7. Binny/LR Shukla 8. Rishi Dhawan/Bhatia 9. Jadeja/Rasool 10. Bhuvi/Ishwar Pandey 11. Shami

2 spin allrounders, 2 medium pace allrounders, 2 (medium) pacers who can score 5-10 runs, 4 batsmen, 1 wk

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 2:47 GMT)

@sampra2457 : dude have some sense while thinking.... we all want pujara to be in odi team, but you are biased against kohli for no reason, kohli has made the no.3 spot as his own, he earned it, what if he scores 100 at that spot? those hundreds win matches almost everytime.... don't you bring politics here.... more over pujara had had 2 knee surgery already, playing more.matches will only put more burden on him... he us very special and is being protected for tests... you don't want your test team to lose a player like pujara.... and for our you need athleticism which pujara doesn't have.... I want him to be playing in tests for long... he gets more respect by playing in test than odi....

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 2:38 GMT)

@cricpanther : raina at no.2??? that's enough said on your cricket knowledge...

Posted by Yarms on (January 18, 2014, 1:01 GMT)

I agree with Slayer XI. I think India should play Pujara . He should open with Shikar and Rohit should bat at 4. Given the wickets in Aus and NZ we need some one with great technique to bat 50 overs for 80 to 100 runs and the rest of the team to bat around him. At the moments all our top six are flamboyant stroke makers. We could be 200 for no loss in 25 overs but at the same time be 50 for 4. Pujara is our anchor

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 0:56 GMT)

probably its time Raina shud b kept on sideline and chances be given to rahane and rayudu. ..enuff chances r given to Raina. . this shud also b last series for Sharma unless he proves he is consistent at the top .. for Aussie pitches during world cup Pujara wud b a more safer option as a solid opener who can quicken the scoring as we have seen him doing... I wud really want rahane n rayudu in playing 11 they can b the future of India n give us a strong cup retaining chances.. bowlers.. less said is better about them.. only Shami looks like a sun in the cloudy skies ...may be pandey will get chances wanna see him at international level..

Posted by TheAlpacinoOfSydney on (January 18, 2014, 0:50 GMT)

Indian team for the World Cup 1. Dhawan 2. Rohit 3. Kohli 4. Pujara 5. Yuvraj/ Rahane 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Ashwin 9. Bhuvaneshwar 10. Zaheer 11. Shami

Personally I dont rate raina as a cricketer and his weakness against the short ball means he wont survive in NZ/ Aus. I would still consider Yuvraj because he is a match winner who won India the 2011 WC and thats hard to discount. If he has a poor year of international cricket in 2014 pick Rahane. Ideally you need guys with a solid technique who can counter pitches with pace or bounce, thats why you need Pujara at number 4. (btw, just for the record he averages 54.57 in List A cricket which is very impressive).

Posted by cricmatters on (January 18, 2014, 0:35 GMT)

If Australia's recent ODI win against England is any indication, most teams would carry at least 3 all-rounders who can both bat and bowl. Yuvraj Singh's contribution with ball was equally important as his batting in winning the last world cup. In spite of all the talk about pace and bounce, spin will stay a big part in the coming world cup. Even part time spinners like Joe Root, Maxwell and Michael Clark got lot of purchase from the Gabba wicket. India must play all the youngsters who are world cup probables in this series and put them to test. Even if we loose the series and find 2 good new players, it would be worth the gamble.

Posted by TRAM on (January 18, 2014, 0:30 GMT)

India seeks clarity in #4 spot and need solution for the dire bowling and wicket keeping.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 0:23 GMT)

There is no contest at all against NZ !! India should not worry about New Zealand at all ! We beat them 3-0 in Bangladesh end of the year and I am pretty sure India will beat them 5-0. If India fail to beat them means India has experimented for 2015 WC and thats is necessary too. But in general, India is world number one and should dominate even more than what Bangladesh dominated in their series again NZ. NZ only won the solitary T20 LOL

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 0:11 GMT)

V.Zol the under 19"s Capton should be given a chance.He reminds me of Virat Kholi as a very solid batsman with a very good technique and Good cricketing sense.I think he deserves a chance instead of an old and unsuccesfull batsmen at number six.

Posted by rushabh2088 on (January 17, 2014, 21:31 GMT)

Considering Aus and NZ pitches, I dont see anyone in the current Indian batting line except Kohli to get India cross 250-260 run mark. No point in leaving out Pujara or Rahane. These are the only 3 in Indian line-up with proper technique who can play well on bouncy pitches.

Posted by wapuser on (January 17, 2014, 21:20 GMT)

Neither Raina nor Rahane or Raydu. Why was Khartick dropped after champions trophy. He is ideal number 4. He is big run getter and in the league of Rohit and Virat. He also gives a very unique option for dhoni to leave keeping and focus on captaincy

Posted by vrkp on (January 17, 2014, 21:14 GMT)

Even though we have a perfect batsman for no.4 slot (pujara) we are still looking for the slot to be filled by out of sorts batsmen such as raina.

The ideal xi shd be

Dhawan, rohit, kohli, pujara, rahane, dhoni, raina or jadeja, ashwin or binny, bhuvi, shami, Aaron.

Rains and jadeja both have similar skills. If the pitch takes spin then ashwin plays otherwise Binny shd play.

Posted by sixesandfours on (January 17, 2014, 20:44 GMT)

@wolf777 - You rightly said. ON Oversees conditions India should not place 2 spinners. Keeping Jadeja with good option as he is handy batsman, best fielder and good catcher. Ashwin time is gone are the days. He is clueless in slips, fielding and bowling. I think time to move on beyond Ashwin.

India should focus on Worldcup preperations by kepeing Swing/Medium/Fast bowlers in their line up. Selectors got good combination of the team. Now the time for Dhoni and Coach to select right playing XI by giving opportunities to the strong Bench like Ishwar Pandey adn Varun Aaron.

PLaying XI for first NZ ODI - 1. Dhawan 2. Rohit 3.Virat 4.Rahane 5.Raina 6.Dhoni 7. Binny 8. Jadeja 9. Bhuvi 10.Shami 11. Ishwar or Varun/Ishant

Posted by slip_catcher on (January 17, 2014, 20:42 GMT)

Yuvraj and Raina have the same weakness. But Raina has got the captain's favour definitely. My personal view is that Yuvi is more of a match winner than Raina. WC being in Aus/NZ, both should not be playing, if we go by the weakness against short ball logic. Also, get rid of Rohit, he is a great talent against low quality bowling. Have Rahane open with Dhawan. Include Pujara. Top 4 are settled. Going back to Yuvi, he has not been treated well by Dhoni and unfortunately, Yuvi did not help his cause as well by being weak against the short stuff. Raina also does not do anything to overcome that weakness but Dhoni is happy with him. God knows why.

Posted by Nampally on (January 17, 2014, 20:03 GMT)

@The_Rohit: The top 6 in the Indian batting are 5 batting specialists + 1 WK. The bottom 5 are all Specialist bowlers or bowling All rounders. Specialist batsmen are expected to contribute in batting by scoring runs whilst the Specialist bowlers are supposed to take wkts. & bowl economically. If these guys do the jobs they are assigned very well, the Team wins. As simple as that!India already has 2 bowling All rounder in Ashwin & Jadeja & one batting all rounder in Raina. Why does India need Pathans or Binny or Yuvraj, unless one of these all rounders is to be replaced. Also Irfan pathan @ age 29 is recovering from his long list of injuries & is not the same calibre player as he was at age 22. Binny's selection @ age 29 is another surprise. Is he cpabale of contributing remains a big question & also a big IF.

Posted by jiten27 on (January 17, 2014, 19:49 GMT)

Now Pujara is deserve for ODI, I personaly Raina or yuvraj should not be in the team, they got lot of opertunity to score runs as they have vast experience and they fail, every match they should score atleast 50 and up, they don't, then its better give the chance to newcomers and let them work.

Posted by cricpanther on (January 17, 2014, 19:32 GMT)

Why Yuvraj, Gambhir and Sehwag have to suffer every time?? More over Raina is race?? Common..Raina is a top class player and un comparable. Forget both Rayadu and Rahane...Why Dhoni is not suffer any single time??? even he failed completely, how many more chances he has been given by?? This thing should not tolerated, give chance to other members as lead the team, Dhoni's class and charm is no more, he is out dated now. He is not like Top Class Sachin, that can be bounce back. So give Dhoni a break and recruit some one for temp time as new leader. Team india is not lack of leaders....why to depend on just Dhoni?? There are leaders inside the team who can actually be better captain if selectors can able to see it...1. Gambhir, 2. Raina 3. Rohit 4. Virat 5. Sehwag 6. Yuvraj....Dhoni place is vacant and can be filled by some useful and skillfull wicket keeper like Dinesh Karthik, Saha or Rayadu.

Posted by wolf777 on (January 17, 2014, 19:27 GMT)

Siv Hota 1. Dhawan, 2. Pujara, 3. Kohli 4. Rohit 5. Rahane/raina 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Ashwin 9. Shami 10. Zaheer 11. (Fast bowler) Why you want to paly two spinners in Australia NZ...thye are not going to prepare tracks that help spinners...they will have fast bouncy track...you need Umesh Yadav and Varun Arron in there not Ashwin...

Posted by SlayerXI on (January 17, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

Given the next WC is in Aus/NZ, I believe selectors have made a mistake by not including Pujara in the side. To me he is No.3 in ODI team especially outside the subcontinent. Though Kohli has done astoundingly well at No.3, I wont mind him playing at No.4 to provide much required solidity in Indian middle order. So here are my top 6, Rohit, Shikhar, Cheteshwar, Virat, Raina, Dhoni.

Posted by sixesandfours on (January 17, 2014, 19:23 GMT)

Most of the comments related to India playing XI. India team management will awake with the requests to not to play too much spin in New Zealand and play only Jadeja. Keep Ashwin rest as his performances are not upto mark. Keeping allrounder Binny in XI is Ideal.

Should be 1. Dhawan 2. Rohit 3.Virat 4.Rahane 5.Raina 6.Dhoni 7. Binny 8. Jadeja 9. Bhuvi 10.Shami 11. Ishwar or Varun/Ishant

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 19:09 GMT)

i think rahane or rayudu should take the number 4 spot raina hasnt done anything for a while to be in the odi team raina is a good t20 player please no more rohit sharma the guy is only good on indian pitches

Posted by Sampra2457 on (January 17, 2014, 18:59 GMT)

It is a travesty that Pujara is not in the ODI team. He has shown that he can bat solid and later score fast. In the subcontinent, it is ok for Rohit and Dhawan to slam the ball around and for Kohli to come in at No.3 and slam it some more. But with the world cup being in Australia/New Zealand, India needs someone solid at the top of the order who can negotiate the swinging/bouncing ball and anchor the innings. Ideally, Pujara should come in at No.3 with Kohli moving to No.4. I hope I am wrong, but it seems that Pujara is being kept out by politics so that Kohli can have the No.3 spot, as Kohli won't have enough time to score centuries from No.4.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 17, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

Rayudu is strong guy but too stiff. He can hit hard but lacks battings kills. He is more of slogger than batsman. He is getting support from BCCI now to get selected but i do not think he last long. I would have picked some other young batsman.

Posted by rohan8579 on (January 17, 2014, 18:26 GMT)

I dont understand one thing...Rohit has failed only in SA in tests and now everyone wants him OUT from the test team, that guy is in Solid form and with awesome Talent and communing both is deadly combination which I think our team management has figured it out already....its high time people too understands that as this lad not going anywhere in near future....also i am kinda surprise why Dhoni is not exploiting his talent on bowling as he is handy bowler (common this guy has hatrick in IPL) and much better bowler than raina who is decent as well...my ODI team is Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli, Rahane, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Binny, Bhuvi, Shami, Ishant/Umesh/Ishwar Pandey.... Test team - Dhawan, Vijat, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Rahane, Dhoni, Jadeja/Ishant, Shami, Zak, Umesh...in Both ODI and TEST Rohit can be handy bowler if needed! And Let NZ and all the India Haters say things which they always do before any series that "How India is going to get whitewashed" and then they disappear after series.

Posted by kalyanbk on (January 17, 2014, 18:19 GMT)

Either Dhoni or Pujara should bat at No. 4 in the absence of Yuvraj.

Posted by The_Rohit on (January 17, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

Dhoni must bat at 4. India's biggest problem is that none of the top 6 is a good bowler. Dhawan and Dhoni do not bowl. Rohit, Raina, Kohli bowl with a prayer of not going for more than 6/over. Yuvraj gave us the crucial 5th bowler in the last world cup. We need someone to replace him. I always wonder what is the deal with Irfan Pathan. Sure he has not done enough in the opportunities he had, and keeps getting injured far too often. But when he does get a chance in the team, he is expected to bowl with the new ball and take wickets like he used to in 2006. And he is asked to bat after Ashwin at 8 when in fact he is good enough to bat at 6. But any other 'all rounder' like Binny, Yusuf Pathan do not have the same high bar. Even if they just bowl 6-7 overs without taking any wickets and score 15-20 runs at 8, they'll meet the expectations. The curious case of Irfan Pathan.

Posted by wolf777 on (January 17, 2014, 17:31 GMT)

First thing first. India needs to find a regular opener...who can play everwhere and all kind of tracks....not just kind of semi-good on flat tracks in India...

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 17:30 GMT)

My ideal no 4 will be pujara.. He can bat for longer periods... Virat needs to be further groomed before he occupies that important slot..

Posted by 6pack on (January 17, 2014, 16:50 GMT)

I don't prognosticate much when it comes to the Indian team; but if India are serious about becoming the No 1 test team in the world, they need to shelve Rahane and Pujara for the short versions and ensure they are focused on being test batsmen. The likes of Kohli can adjust to the pace (impressively I might add) but I strongly believe India needs to preserve some of the other up and coming talented batsmen so that they remain uncluttered and focused on tests.

Posted by shiva89 on (January 17, 2014, 16:44 GMT)

yes dhoni failed in last test series. but no one can point him. fast track or flat track or no track, dhoni is supercool and performs when situation demands him to. real matchwinner. cant expect him to do mistakes more often. one cannot expect a player to perform each and everytime. neither Sachin nor ponting nor lara no kallis were as consistent. forget about who is better among ronchi and dhoni. we are just fans not experts. either see the icc rankings or ask any expert who knows the game better than us. we ll get to know who is better. where the hell this comparison came from at the first place. ronchi?? he is himself struggling for place in his side. one good inning and u say he's better? dhoni has played hundreds of such. check stats or ask any knowledgeable person. add to that dhoni is captain and the most important fielder (wk) who is always on his toes throughout the game. Yes... dhoni vs ABD vs Sangakkara for the best wk batsman for all cricket could be debatable.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

Here is my team for the world cup. We need to play this team for 30-40 ODI's.

1. Dhawan, 2. Pujara, 3. Kohli 4. Rohit 5. Rahane/raina 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Ashwin 9. Shami 10. Zaheer 11. (Fast bowler)

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

The best playing XI should be dhawan, rohit, kohli, ambati, raina, dhoni. jadeja, binny ( swing bowling), varun/ishwar, bhuvi/shammi, ishant...... varun/ ishwar should be given priority for their raw face... i think varun first then ishwar...

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

I agree with Abhishek's characterization of Rayudu. He is an attacking player who can take the fight to the opposition.But I also feel that he has the ability and tecnique to excel on New Zealand pitches. Look back and see his performances during the India A trip to to that country where he scored a century under trying conditions. The team management should consider him as the first choice for at least the first two ODIs.It is true that all these guys are highly talented, otherwise they wouldn't be there in the team.But the important thing is to judge as to who will fit where.Hope good judgement will prevail.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

I think Yuvrag Singh should come back at No.4 position, He is best for No.4 Position just give hime one chance.

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 15:27 GMT)

Anybody saying dropping Rohit and Dhawan just because of one bad tour know nothing about cricket. It is very unpredictable game. These 2 openers have done really well. Also in a way you guys are insulting Steyn and Morkel by suggesting that they are incapable of getting out opposition openers. Name me other pair who has done well against them!

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 15:18 GMT)

@ TVR. Cricket... Please look at the schedule. There is a two day practice match scheduled in between the one day and tests. the opposition is still to be decided. Nevertheless..Complaining on captain & vice - captain on scheduling issues is very silly.

Posted by TVR.Cricket on (January 17, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

Before India batting no.4 position discussion. India made a hype about missing practice match in southafrica. Also stated as one of reason for losesss. What they do now in Newzealand? practice match not required in newzealand? why dhoni or kohli not speaking?. I couldnt see practice match in schedule. any one did know about this? If no practice match, then same old story of both ODI and TEST series lose. Practice match will decide the best eleven for ODI and test match in newzealand

Posted by bijuphilip on (January 17, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

For the world cup, 1.Dawan2.rohit can be openers(rohit has to change his attitude,he needs to rotate strike and needs to get runs in the begning,otherwise we need to bring gautham gambir as opener. number three should goes to pujara,follwed by kholi,rahane,raina dhoni,jadeja,rishidawan,buvaneskumar,shami,varunaron,rayidu,gambir,sanjusamson,aswin,and vzol above is my team for australian worldcup

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

I know Dhoni wants Raina to succeed but does the guy have it in him to succeed abroad?? Rayadu and Rahane should be tried if Raina fails in NZ

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:46 GMT)

1.Dhawan, 2. Rohit, 3. Pujara, 4. Virat, 5. Rahane, 6. Dhoni, 7.Rasul, 8.Jadeja, 9.Shami, 10.Aaron, 11.Nazir..12th man Umesh

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:45 GMT)

@Nextsana : you might just need to take a look at the player comparison done by yusuf.... you will like it.....

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (January 17, 2014, 14:45 GMT)

@ Faisal Saeed My friend in one of the comments SL fan Thilanka compared NZ and IND squad where he mentioned luke ronchi is better than Dhoni. Yes he did that. Funniest thing is SL team has not won a single test series outside SL since 2000. How 's that for a stat before we question India. And people say how dhoni is abysmal outside ASIA, well I agree but here are some stats of SL legend Mahela.

Here is Mahela's test averages in SA-27.87, NZ-27.71, aus-31.42, England-34.11, Bangladesh-38.12, UAE-13.37.

At least keep wickets and isn't playing as a specialist spectator like Mahela.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:44 GMT)

@faisal saeed : look at the comment of "nextsana" for which yousuf replied.... that's is called as biased.... and yousuf is right in most part of his comment...

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

@Capricorn60 : exactly my thoughts on pujara... he is special, he has already had 2 surgeries for knee... and he is not at all athletic by birth.... much like dravid.... if only he gets a place in odi he should be opener or one down which is unlikely under current circumstance.... one more injury and that can be end of his career.... I think selectors are more cautious in pujara case... good thing...

Posted by Johnny_129 on (January 17, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

India should reserve Pujara and Rehane for Test matches only - These are two batsman with solid techniques. Playing them in ODI's would hinder their technique. People like Rohit, Raina & Rayudu are good for ODI's. My choice for ODI would be: Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Rayudu, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, BK, Shami, Yadav or Aaron/ Pandey/ Rishi Dhawan.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (January 17, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

@ NextSana Is N. Macullam better than ashwin becoz he literally thrashed SL in SL and scored 20 runs in the last over against Mediocre herath. LOL

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (January 17, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

Outside sub continent, If early wickets fall, Rahane should come in. If top 3 plays about 35 overs then Raina and Dhoni should come in before Rahane. In sub continent Raina can come in at 4.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:29 GMT)

Rahanae will deserve 4th slot the way he batted in SA test matches .. but still love 2 see rayudu also gets a chance ... rotate raina , rayudu , raina in 4th and 5 th slot ... Give binny atleast 2 matches ... same to I.pandey and V.Aaron ... comeon India ....

Posted by Nampally on (January 17, 2014, 14:29 GMT)

The Real #'s 3 & 4 are Pujara or Kohli. Since Dhoni does not want Pujara in "His XI" the choice is the next best guy. Kohli will play #3 & #4 goes to Rahane based on his sound technique & his outstanding scores in the IPL 6. Rahane's was benched by Dhoni at least 15 times in ODI's & Tests. So his IPL record is the other indicator. The strange point here is Dhoni has kept some of the most talented batsmen out of XI or even out of squad. On the foreign pitches, sound technique matters especially against good pace bowlers. Yuvraj cannot play fast bowling even on Indian pitches. Raina is marginally better than Yuvraj but he tries hard. He is also a useful off spinner + outstanding fielder. So Raina will be in XI @#5. Rayudu is in the ODI squad as backup WK. So top 6 will be: Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Rahane, Raina & Dhoni. Ashwin, Jadeja, Shami, Aeron & Kumar should complete the XI but Ishant will displace either Aaron or Kumar- Dhoni's favourite. Dhoni will blame bowling when Ishant fails!

Posted by pull_shot on (January 17, 2014, 14:22 GMT)

@ NextSana Why u waste time here ? u r not going to get anything out of it

Posted by sixesandfours on (January 17, 2014, 14:21 GMT)

India should think of having one all-rounder spinner Jadeja instead of Ashwin. Should keep allrounder Binny in their team XI. Should be 1. Dhawan 2. Rohit 3. Rahane 4.Virat 5.Raina 6.Dhoni 7. Binny 8. Jadeja 9. Bhuvi 10.Shami 11. Ishant or Varun/ Ishwar. Best wishes for worldcup preparations.

Posted by TVR.Cricket on (January 17, 2014, 14:19 GMT)

I still feel Dinesh Karthick or Manoj Tiwary or Badrinath or Rayadu is best No.4 available for world cup. Still believe Dinesh Karthick ahead of others because of his batting technique based on situation and keeping skills.

My eleven will be 1. Shikar dhawan 2. Rohit sharma 3. Virat kohli 4. Dinesh Karthick 5. Raina 6. MSDhoni 7.Jadeja 8. Ashwin 9. Iswar pandey or Bhuvaneshwar kumar 10 Mohamed sami 11Umeshyadav or varon aaron or ishant

Posted by rajcl on (January 17, 2014, 14:19 GMT)

@NextSana, ha ha haaaaaa,anderson is better than virat ( virat is not kind of batsman who fail in 9 & rocking in 1 match like anderson doing at present, anderson proving he is 2nd afridi just boom boom or gone gone ) let him prove then compare with virat & 2 dhoni is masters master in odi & muccullum in t20 too ,but in odi he is nowhere near to dhoni

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:12 GMT)

And its not about just hitting out in odi's you have to have someone to buildbthr innings and thats why india need someone like pujara kohli and rahane their in the team. And stop making jadeja an allrouder when he is not. Dont compare him imran khan or kapil or others. Irfan pathan would be alot better comming at number 7 after dhoni coz i think dhoni has to pop up to 6.

Pakistani fan i am

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

@akm dhl kindly swing your mind back to the Champions trophy. Remind me didn't the owners do well there?

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

In my opinion India has an amazing side for the worldcup with a strong chunk of young players in the hut pretty much ipl product. With dhawan and rohit sharma at the top however rohit batting up the order on the seaming tracks of kiwis wong be easy but i reckon becoz of his good performance he should be backed up with kohli at 3, i would play Pujara at 4 who will work as a backbone and work the innings together with Rahane at 5 and dhoni should bat at number 6 becoz he needs to bat more. I suppose raina is too over rated and should be played only if no other option available and same with Yuvi. A good all rounder is needed indeed you can trust jadeja or ashwin at number 7. Irfan pathan should be used there. My four bowlers will be ashwin, shami, bhuweshnar and fight between jadeja/rp singh/zaheer khan.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 14:04 GMT)

@NextSana ... LOLZZZ Anderson better than Virat ... plz tell another joke .... Stats don't win u games, u will find out that India are better when they win, thrash NZ team. By the way if u are talking about comparisons then what do u think about India's squad of 2009-10 Tour Gambhir, Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Raina, Zaheer, Harbhajan.... do u think any NZ team is better than them? :p

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 13:59 GMT)

@cruisecontrol ... this is Indian Team not CSK so keep ur opinions to urself.

Posted by Shrikar_11 on (January 17, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

Oh so Rohit is suddenly a "successful opener" now? Just because he managed to score on flat pitches against a mediocre australian bowling line up and the west indies? He couldn't touch a dale steyn delivery for 16 balls! He should be the one dropped, he is going to get butchered in new zealand and later in australia..

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (January 17, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

Either Rahane or Rayudu at No 4. But please no more Project Raina. He is another lucky guy, like Ishant Sharma, to have played for India for so long, without making any significant contribution.

Posted by Harizs on (January 17, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

To start with let's drop rohit sharma plss.... He is only gud on flat track n a boring opener.. Which add pressure on dhawan, who end up throwing his wicket. Pls bring ROBIN UTHAPPA as opener. Robin n dhawan are aggressive batsmen. Robin is better than so many players, n he plays well outside India. No. 4 should definitely go to rahane as he is very solid, raydu y is he even considered he is a slogger . Get ishant, zaheer out n give chance to umesh n pandey with shami, we will have good bowling attack. Binny or rishi dhawan can replace raina, My XI. Robin UTHAPPA, dhawan, kholi, rahane, Binny /rishi, dhoni, ashwin, jadeja, U yadav, shami, bhuvi/pandey /varun

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 13:50 GMT)

Well, Pujara and Rayudu brings solidity in the middle order.Both have tons of experience and made cricket very simple when they play in India. Must give a chance to both of them. These two have best batting technique and can play bouncers too. Best thing is they never through their wickets in a silly way.

Posted by Raki99 on (January 17, 2014, 13:50 GMT)

preserve Varun and Yadaw for Test, We don't want to get them Injured. After this series big series in England with 5 test and you need your fast bowlers to fire at ful stream. If Irfan could Get his bowling form back he should be in the team as a All rounder. ZAheer is done and dusted the way he bowled in SA He was bolwing at at speed of 125 without any swing. Its Not gone cut it out at this level. I would Prefer Bhuvi over him. Batting unit is reaaly good. Let see what Dhavan can do In NZ. He din't had a great SA series.

Posted by NextSana on (January 17, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

1. Dhawan, Guptill - Guptill any day. 2. Rohit, Ryder - No comparison Ryder any day. 3. Kohli, Anderson - Anderson better in fast track. 4. Raina, Ross Taylor - Taylor hands down. 5/6. Rayudu/Rahane, Ronchi/Milne - Still new. Can't tell. 7. Dhoni, Mccullum - 50/50. Dhoni better in flat tracks though. 8. Jadeja, Neesham - Neesham. 9. Ashwin, N Mccullum - Mccullum way more better than Ashwin. 10. I Sharma, Southee - LOL No comparison there. 11. B Kumar, Kyle Mills - Mills for experience

Posted by cruisecontrol on (January 17, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

I don't see why people make such a big deal out of this. Here's my team: Anirudha, M. Vijay, W. Saha (wk), Badri (yes, 4), Raina, Dhoni (c), Jadeja, Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Jakati. To be fair, just throw in Kohli for ODIs and Pujara for tests. See,it's so easy. Case closed.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

@Vikas Godwa - Actuallythe line should had read - He has made a successful pair of openers in Home conditions -:)

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

My Playing 11 for next years World Cup will be

Dhawan Gambhir Kohli Rahane Yuvraj Dhoni Irfan Jadeja Aaron Zaheer Shami

Binny,Uthappa,Yadav and Bhuvneshwar

Posted by Capricorn60 on (January 17, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

Indian fans should accept the only reason why Pujara is not in the ODI team is that he has had problems with his knees & has had operations on them too. One can see due to this, he is not as athletic as some of his young team mates. Hence I believe this is only reason why the selectors are protecting him by saving him for Test matches only.

Posted by ntalgeri on (January 17, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

Bowling all-rounders add value to the batting line up only if they "deepen" the batting order. Which means, India should go for a combination where 5,6,7 are proper batsmen, followed by 8,9,10 who are decent late order batters. This has worked for India in all their ODI (big) achievements. And it is currently working for S Africa. My batting line up will be: Dhawan, Binny (yes!!), Kohli, Pujara, Dhoni, Rohit (he can hit and finish, remember his Deccan Charger days?), Raina, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi/Aron and Shami.

Such a line-up ensures that you have "proper batsmen" who can shepherd those who "can bat". And please, Jadeja is not a power hitter, so don't expect big shots. He can be used as a "floater" like Pakistan used Abdul Razzak in the 1999 WC. People get carried away by all the "Sir Jadeja" propaganda by CSK and expect things he isn't capable of. Use him as a bowler who can bat, do not label him the next Botham/Kapil/Imran

Posted by realfan on (January 17, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

my playing 11 : dhawan, rohit , rahane, virat, raina, dhoni, binny( after all he is selected and should be given chance ) jaddu, bhuvi, shami, Varun/ishwar/ishant .... dhoni should not do much ganble with the selection of allrounders.... and only one spin option is enough... jadeja over ashwin any day in ODI ( PS: only in ODI ) all the best

Posted by TNAmarkFromIndia on (January 17, 2014, 13:10 GMT)

I have no idea what Rayudu has done to earn a place in the team. In the few international matches that he did play, he had a strike rate of 69 against Zimbabwe. India needs to look elsewhere for a replacement for Yuvraj. One such batsman might be Kedar Jadhav. An attacking stroke-maker who scores big runs at a quick pace.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

Loved the way the article ended in the last two lines :)

Posted by Cricketsasportnotproduct on (January 17, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

A player must be chosen on form and not past history. Gambhir's form lately hasn't been great on domestic front. He has done well in Aus in the past but that's not a guarantee that he will do well again.

Alot of batting is dependent on frame of mind eg feeling mentally secure and not worried about losing place or confident because ball is hitting the middle of bat.

Gambhir was an aggressive (not big shot player but he would take on verbal abuse from bowler and respond to him with words and by not getting out) batsman when he started but in England I personally felt that he was really out of his comfort zone. His body language was weak, at times it was like watching no 10 bat not wanting to face a short ball. Since then he has not shown any real improvement in his batting/temprament/technique to make a real come back in the team.

Posted by realfan on (January 17, 2014, 13:08 GMT)

leave aside batting , indian batting has been never a problem, but are we going to see our newly included alrounder ( stuart binny ) in the team??? if yes , then in whose place?? ashwin? or jadeja? or are we going to see a seamer sacrificing? if yes , thats a disaster, i say drop ashwin from ODI and play seamer allrounder... ashwin is my first choice in tests, but he is not effective in odi... bowling attack should be groomed like this for WC15 opening ( bhuvi, varun/ishwar ) , middle overs ( shami, binny/ashwin/ishant, jadeja ) death overs ( shami, other bowler depending on who the selectors select either varun/ishwar ) ....

coming to batting , one way rahane can get more exposure for bowling is playing him at 3 and shifting kohli from 3 to 4 ( that is only for the WC preparations ) , nothing much difference in the batting position of 3 and 4 , but still playing at 3 gives you more responsibility and time to adjust and get experience.... rayudu should never have been in race

Posted by Agila on (January 17, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

@NamanGupta, Sehwag and Gambhir were definitely great players on their hey day, While I suspect if Sehwag revives his international career and Gambhir still have a slight chance of reviving it if he changes his attitude. Either way, It seemed from the Aus tour of 2011-2012 that these two have been a factional influence on the team, the moment these two were out, the team begun performing well..Factions are the last thing that we need before WC2015.

Posted by realfan on (January 17, 2014, 12:59 GMT)

dhoni should definately go with rahane if he is preparing for WC15, i would suggest pujara, but he is not in the team, so rahane is the closest fit for no3 or 4 spot.... can try shifting kohli to no4 and playing rahane to no3.... and rest the sloggers should come, raina ( no matter how many short balls you bowl in the death overs, he can slog atleat pne 4 in a over in the death overs ), and dhoni is well known finisher and follwed by jadeja.....

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 12:52 GMT)

Umesh Yadav should be given more chances in the ODI team, you only learn by experience as Dhoni says but he is not giving him a chance saying that he bowls a boundary ball every over. But so what does Ishant Sharma do then? Also, there needs to be solid cricket played in Australia where teams will not face conditions where you have to score 350+ every time you play in sub-continent. P.Kumar, Irfan Pathan should be given a chance as well if and when they regain form in Domestic Cricket. Binny needs to be given chances to see whether he is good enough for this level or not. So the ideal squad at present according to me would be: Dhawan, R.Sharma, G.Gambhir, C.Pujara, V.Kohli, A.Rahane, MS Dhoni, S.Raina, R.Jadeja, R.Ashwin, Shami, U.Yadav, I.Pathan, B.Kumar, V.Aaron. Just don't see Rayudu fitting in this side. Bhajji for Ashwin maybe if he fails badly given all the tours are foreign ones, Zak for his experience but his slogging and fielding goes against him. Yuvi, Viru miss out on form.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 12:51 GMT)

I personally feel Pujara should play in ODIs . This team is full of stroke makers . so someone like him should hold one end up. I think he is good at no.3 or even to open. But I domt think MSD will do that. Of the above mentioned, Rahane is the best. I think Pandey should be given more chance if he bowls yorkers consistently. By all means, this should be a last chance to Ishant. Allrounders like Rishi Dhawan will be much better than him

Posted by tanstell87 on (January 17, 2014, 12:47 GMT)

Rahane at 4 & Yuvraj at 5 & Binny or Nayar or Yusuf at 7 with Jadeja 8....no more of listless Raina & Ashwin....Jadeja is a bowling all- rounder who can bat a bit....India should go with one of Binny/Nayar/Yusuf or Irfan for that number 7 spot with RJ at 8

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

world cup being at Australia and NZ i would be feeling better if we have Pujara and Rahane in the team obviously because of their better technique....

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

Also, if we look at present batting order: Dhawan(hasn't really been tested outside Asia, wait and watch approach with him), R.Sharma (has been very inconsistent, his double century in ODI's not withstanding), Kohli(is the best we have), Yuvraj is not there for now, so Rahane(inexperienced), Dhoni(ODI master), Raina(is inconsistent but is a team man) Jadeja(has to contribute more with the bat) Ashwin( I find Harbhajan a better choice in ODI's than him), B.Kumar(can play a role similar to P.Kumar but he doesn't have the swing that P.Kumar has), I.Sharma(I know he will play, Dhoni is very fond of him, took 4 wickets in the last ODI the team played, should be out of the side asap), Shami(the best we have for now). So this is a team which could be found wanting in 2015. Solutions: Bring back Gambhir in middle order for the experience and stability, Pujara is a must too . Yuvi should be worked with and he should be helped to regain his form as soon as possible. To be Continued...

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 12:30 GMT)

Gambhir should be there in the ODI side. He was made a scapegoat for his poor form in test matches. I have statistics to back him as well, his overall record is 147 matches, 5238 runs at an avg. of 39.68 at a strike rate of 86 with 11 ODI centuries and 34 fifties. His performance in Australia in ODI's where the majority of WC matches will be played: 748 runs in 17 matches at an avg. of almost 50 with 2 centuries and 4 half centuries. His performance in ODI's in NZ 5 matches 113 runs at an avg. of 38 and he scored centuries in 2 test matches there as well. I don't think any player has a better performance than Gambhir in ODI's in Aus and NZ. Moreover he has the experience of playing there. Other senior players like Raina, R.Sharma and Kohli average 26, 24 and 53 respectively with Kohli having played lesser ODI's in AUS than Gambhir. Dhoni has not been at his fluent though he has scored the runs. So Gambhir is a must in the side in my opinion. To be Continued...

Posted by ravi_hari on (January 17, 2014, 12:29 GMT)

If the choice is limited to these 4 then Rayudu is the best choice. He is similar to Yuvraj but has matured a lot. If he has the backing of Dhoni like Yuvraj did and Raina has, will definitely deliver. His ability to score on the rise deliveries will be very helpful on bouncy Aussie tracks. Raina has been given too many chances and seems to have lost his abilities. His deficiency against rising deliveries will be exploited by even the weakest opponents. He is best suited for the late onslaught either to build a score or to finish and innings. If Dhoni is coming in at 6, Raina can come in at 5. Jadeja or Binny should be looked at for No. 7 and the bowlers follow. We need to pick bowlers who can bat a bit too. Ashwin fills one spot but pacers need to bat too. Having people like Ishant is of no use. Bhuvanesh, Zaheer, Umesh and Shami are best. Pujara, Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli should fight for the top 3 slots. Raina also can be dropped to have Pujara in and have a dependable batting lineup

Posted by 504429641 on (January 17, 2014, 12:28 GMT)

@Vicky Vel - exactly the 11 that is on my mind. Pujara and Binny in the XI. May be kohli can be @4 and pujara can be @3.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 12:07 GMT)

Dhawan,Rohit,kohli,pujara,raina,dhoni,jadeja,binny,ashwin,shami,bhuvi

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

@rangarajan, harrow 11 give valid reasons for u dropping rohit sharma from ur playing 11. he being one of the top scorers in odi's in a calendar yr, both of ur comments hold no water & shows both of u as baised commenters who just want to belittle players based on personal choices.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:58 GMT)

on this tour rahane will surely pip rayudu for no-4 spot & raina will bat at no-5 slot. I think this tour will b the last life line for raina is really suspect overseas. his adv being able to bowl off-spn will not hold much water abroad as quite a few indian batmen can roll their arms. I think if raina fails in first 2 odi's, rayudu should b looked in at no-5 slot.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

@yousafahmad1 there's always limit to the biasness. you have crossed all limits mate. Your most of the comparisons are not justified. Look into it once again dear.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:50 GMT)

My team will be DHAWAN, ROHIT, KOHLI, Rahane, RAINA, DHONI, JADEJA/AShwin, BINNY/Ashwin, BHUVI, SHAMI, UMESH, i dont think we need jadeja and ashwin both in same xi

Posted by spinkingKK on (January 17, 2014, 11:38 GMT)

India should try and build a team with some rally big late order hitting. India always have some top order middle order batsmen who can do the job in the ODI's. But, late order hitting from the bowlers are rarely seen. This means, that there is immense pressure on the specialist batsmen to score big. This was the case even in Tendulkar-sehwag era. Only difference is, most of the other teams were not as aggressive as they are now. Indian middle order should score 350 runs between them to have any chance of beating a team like Australia. India need bowlers who can bat. If they are going to encourage the bowlers like Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar in this format, they are asking for trouble. The batting should be there until No.11. That is the way to build the ODI team these days. Your Number 11 should be able to score a couple of sixers in an over, if the need comes. May be Jadeja should bat at number 9 or 10.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 17, 2014, 11:38 GMT)

Just drop Raina and Nohit - Rayudu and Rahane come in their places. What's the fuss about such a simple decision?

Posted by ramli on (January 17, 2014, 11:31 GMT)

@YousufAhmed1 ... you made it my day ... excellent summary of comparison ... especially Thirimanne/Chandimal vs. any batsman in India was excellent ... by the way don't say that you are from Pak ... that will be the feather in India's cap

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

I can't see new zealand winning any match against India. Eventually the reality will hit hard the KIWIS and rest of the world. I know most people are happy becoz India lost 2 odi matches due to lack of adjustimng time in South Africa but that is all over. India all the way, despite people creating reasons to demean them.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

@Yousufahmed1 Did you just write that Suresh Raina is a better batsman than Mahela Jayawardane? Well, you got to be one biased Indian fan! (I am one too but even I have limits!)

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

I don;t see any problem with Indian Team, not even the bowling. It's just that even top teams have one bad series from time to time. It's obvious that on good batting surfaces batsmen will score heavily and win matches. On bowlere friendly ones like in champiosn trophy India bowled out 4 opponents within 50 overs. So what's the issue. Everytime before the series its fashionable for few people to shout but Inda wins the series everytime.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

my team for first match DHAWAN, ROHIT, KOHLI, RAINA, DHONI, JADEJA, BINNY, ASWIN, BHUVI, SHAMI, UMESH bez India need a medium pacer as alrounder so Binny is my choice.

Posted by NEIL_GD_S10 on (January 17, 2014, 11:17 GMT)

Best Indian Team against New Zealand should be

Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Pujara, Raina, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Umesh/ Aron, Shami. Talented Batmen, 4 Pacers, Allrounder Left handed Spinner. Complete Team keeping WC2015 in mind.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:15 GMT)

Have begun

Posted by chapathishot on (January 17, 2014, 11:15 GMT)

In NZ, the grounds are smaller and Raina will do well at the top.I think they should send Dhoni or Raina based on Dhawan is in or not.Last tour Dhoni went up the order at 3/4 in the first ODI and had a huge partnership with Sachin and all the bowlers lost confidence and that move changed the whole series to India's favour.Now Kiwis are not that good they could only tie with Windies in ODI series when a number of their main players were missing.Only in Tests with home advantage they cannot be taken lightly.But India won the Test series also last time thanks to Ghambir.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:12 GMT)

Nice one

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

Good one

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (January 17, 2014, 11:00 GMT)

@ NextSana PLAYER to PLAYER on any surface, in the air, on the water, in space, anywhere in the universe. Kushal parera vs Shikhar = Dhawan(Obviously), Dilshan vs Rohit shrma= Rohit(Rohit is much more pleasing to watch and isn't a slogger), Sanga vs Virat = Virat(as virat actually wins matches), Mahela vs Raina= Raina(Raina has a better average, bowls as well, fields better as well), Thirrimanne and chandimal vs any batsman in INDIA = Indian Batsman(Well do I have to explain), Matthews vs Dhoni (Dhoni ofcourse, has won all the major trophies), Parera(IRON MAN) vs Jadeja = Jadeja(Well where is Iron Man), Kulasekra vs Bhuvi= Bhuvi(Younger, bowls faster than kulasekra), Malinga vs Ishant = You decide(India always want malinga to play), Herath vs Ashwin = Ashwin(Check the rankings and 100 times better batsman than herath, Herath gave 20 runs against NZ c team in final over so can't handle pressure), Eranga vs Shami= Shami(Eranga who? oh yeah he gave 15 runs in final over)

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

rahane and rayudu both should play at 4 and 5 at the expense of raina. If dhoni still wants raina to play then this series is will be his one last chance. Rohit is another big concern for india. We should surely have a back up for him. My team (atleast after the 2nd ODI)

MY team : I would like to strengthen our bowling.

Dhawan, Rahane, Kohli, Rayudu, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Shammi, Umesh

MSD team : Sad to see him so very defensive nowadays and it will continue :(

Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Rahane, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, ishant, shammi

Posted by KishorKumar25 on (January 17, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

Who does he have in mind as India's future ODI No. 4? He. Himself

Posted by HarrowXI on (January 17, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

Knowing MSD this will be playing eleven for Five odis. 1) Dhawan 2) No Hit sharma 3)Kohli 4) Rahane 5) Raina 6) Dhoni 7)Ashwin 8) Jadeja 9) B kumar 10)I sharma 11) Shami

Raydu, I pandey and Binny will warm the bench and enjoy visiting New Zealand summer. There is a small chance for Raydu & I Pandey if Rahane or B kumar fail badly. There is only two places for grab ------Rahane & B kumar as all other are Dhoni's Favourite cricketers which continue to play untill end of 2015 WC.

Posted by Anoop_Shaashtra on (January 17, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

No. 4 is a big problem for sure , I will go with Rahane on 4th n raina for 5th in this particular series for all 5 matches .... After these 5 matches ... if raina/rahane doesn't perform well , Pujara must replace them ... his technique , temperament are tested. Secondly after 5 batsman + Dhoni as wk + 1 medium pace allrounder Irfan/binny + Jadega/Ashwin + 3 pacers -- bhuvi/umesh/varun/ishant/shami/Zak/Ishwar.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 10:17 GMT)

yuvraj is only a player for Indian pitches. not international . he will flop on the Aussie pitches. his career is over .

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 10:13 GMT)

It would be better of Team India to give Stuart Binny a go he certainly can swing the ball and the bat too. Let him in for Raina and Rahane at 4 would certainly be very good.

Posted by passion_cric on (January 17, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

@ Next Sana This is hilarious.But the most amazing thing i came across through one of the cricinfo report that Srilanka has not won any away series from 1990-00(excluding Bangladeah and Zimbabwe series).This is a serious news.You should celebrate the epic moment which might come after the pak series Ha Ha Ha.Seriously Astonished by the news. (http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan-v-sri-lanka-2013-14/content/current/story/710475.html)

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

without yuvi u cant win 2015 world cup, 2007 T 20 world cup nd 2011 one day world cup won becas of Yuvi..

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

@Mayank Holani, Your comment that Binny is good while playing shot ball. On What basis?? He hasn't yet payed for India. Don't mix domestic t-20 with ODI internationals.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

Make rahane to open the innings for god sake with Dhawan..... i neva seen such a BORING opener lyk rohith in my lyf. push him dwn the order. he is not tat effective as sehwag's n tendulkar's. plssssssssssssss

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

With the current team, it would be a herculean task for India to defend WorldCup in 2015. The No.4 slot is just one of the many issues that need to be solved. We still do not have an established front-line pace attack. Dhoni's idea of having exposure of atleast 90/100 ODIs for each player looks impossible. My Team for 2015 World Cup : Dhawan,Rohit,Kohli,Rahane,Raina,Dhoni,Jadeja,Shami,Zaheer Probables: Bhuvi/Aaron,Umesh/Ishant

I hope the outcome of this series gives more clarity on the Bowling Lineup.

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

@NextSana, And still India is number 2 in world ha ha, shows the state of other teams ha ha.

Posted by Mayank Holani on (January 17, 2014, 9:45 GMT)

I Think that Ajinkya rahane is the only player suitable for this spot. because yuvi is a great player a attacking one unlike rahane who takes his time and attacks but if rahane is done with this spot kohli can go on with his attacking while rahane may play solidly and get boundries every 2 or 3 overs.so my XI is 1.Dhawan 2.Rohit 3.Kohli 4.Rahane 5.Dhoni 6.Binny 7.Jadeja 8.Ashwin 9.Shami 10.Ishant 11.Bhuvi/Aaron

The reason why raina may not come in the squad is because of the short ball. and binny and rahane are good while facing short ball..

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 9:44 GMT)

@NextSana, Your comments are ha ha. Virat scored 100's in AUstralia ha ha, Rohit scored a crucial 50 in world cup t-20 in south africa and has been in good form ha ha, India won the Chapions trophy and dhawan scored 2 hunders vs South afric and west indies in england ha ha.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 9:44 GMT)

Rayudu played well in India A tour to South Africa last year. He did well in all the matches he played. He came at no 5, scored 70(56),55(38),32(24),34(48).Even he scored 100 in India A tour NewZealand. All are saying he doesn't have technique. Without technique how he scored runs in overseas tours.

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

Every batsmen in ODI team must eventually has the ability to accellerate and clear the boundary, as most ODI matches in big tournaments go down to wire and some X factior in the end, a big hitter etc, is usually what makes the difference. I would still stick with Raina, and if he goes awefully wrong bring back gambhir. The best would be YUVI in form that will solve most problems and we will get extra left arm bowler as well. Ashwin need to pick wickets as well, else I will go with attacking bowler like Umesh Yadav even though he might be expensive but couple of wickets will be like a gold dust to stop the marching opposition.

Posted by LongLiveTestCricket on (January 17, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

After trying out Yuvi, Raina, DK in ODIs one can understand that the place needs a solid player with great temperament who would often be required to bat long in case of early loss of wickets to top quality bowlers, and also someone very good at rotating the strike.Based on this,the names of Pujara & Rahane come up as best possible options in ODIs based on their domestic record, and have the capability to succeed in virtually any type of conditions given their tight technique.Raina can be given some chances at No. 5/6 but with the ultimatum that he needs to prove himself in ODIs that will be played in NZ,Eng,AUS leading to the Wld Cup.The team cannot afford a walking wicket in a very important middle order they are still to find quality bowling allrounders for away conditions.But the big question is- Will Dhoni be willing to acknowledge this problem or he's going to put blind faith in him despite these critical deficiencies in his game? My guess is he won't and lead to dropping Wld Cup

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 9:34 GMT)

This is what eventually happen - Gambhir will return in Indian Team. He has expreince of playing world cup and scored almost 100 in finals. Also the best thing would be for YUVI to find his form and confidence, looks unlikely at the moment, but you never know.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 9:33 GMT)

I think Manoj Tiwari is better candidate of No. 4 position... He hv good aggression & better fielder too... He always out of team from injuries... otherwise he is grt batsman.... I think he is deserve No. 4 position... My play XI against NZ: Dawan, Rohit, Virat, Rahane, Raina, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja/Ashwin, Bhuvi, Varun, Shami..

Posted by satchatti on (January 17, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

My playing XI:for 1st ODI Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Rahane,Rayudu,Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Shami, Aaron, Ishant.

I am sure Dhoni will opt for Raina instead of rayudu.

"Would have loved to see Gambhir on this tour though , Cant recollect when was the last time Raina played a match winning innings and hit the winning runs in ODI"

Posted by NextSana on (January 17, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

1. Dhawan - Scores only in flat track 2. Rohit - Ha! Ha! 3. Virat - Can score consecutive hundreds in flat track. Will manage a hard earned 30 in Pacy wickets. Can thrash bowlers in sub continent tracks. 4. Raina - Ha! Ha! 5. Rayudu/ 6.Rahane - New, Club cricketers 7. Dhoni - Consistently scores 50s but no big scores to help win matches. 8. Jadeja- mediocre bowler & Batsmen. 9. Ashwin - Wickets Home 152 Away 34 10. B Kumar - Inconsistent. 11. I Sharma - Scores frequent centuries but with ball. Ha! Ha!

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

I really dont get the fuss over the number 4 batting slot. India needs to worry about their bowling first. Select 6 fast bowlers and 2 spinners and play them throughout this year. So that they get accustomed to playing at international level. According to me Shami , Varun , Bhuvi , Ishant , Yadav and Pandey should be given good exposure in NZ , ENGLAND AND AUSTRALIA. Jadeja and Ashwin are the first choice spinners. And Rahane and Rayadu should be given 3 and 2 odi's respectively so that we know who is better suited at no. 4. My squad for the odi series : Rohit , Dhawan , kohli , rayadu/rahane , raina , dhoni , binny , jadeja/ashwin , shami , varun/ishwar , ishant/bhuvi. And where is Irfan Pathan?

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 9:17 GMT)

Should give chance to Pujara. His solid class batting will be good at No.4

Posted by Haleos on (January 17, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

Rayudu should never have been in the race. God know what BCCI saw in him. Rahane is the best followed by Raina if there are no others but Rayudu???

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 9:08 GMT)

Suppose PUJARA plays at number 4. He comes to bat in 30th over. 120 balls are left. He faces half of them, that is 60 balls. With his strike rate he will score 40 runs of 60 balls but what is needed most time is simeone to score 100 of 60 balls or get out score 40 off 20 balls. PUARA can't do it and it will be a very poor move.

Posted by ooper_cut on (January 17, 2014, 9:07 GMT)

Raina is best at No.5/6, don't push him up, he is invaluable where he is now.

Posted by Leggie on (January 17, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

In my opinion, India has a batting hole in #3. In ODIs #4 is a position for the best batsman in the side who has the perfect technique for all conditions and who can completely *anchor* the innings. In this Indian side, Virat is the *only* batsman in who has these qualities and he must bat at #4. Ideally #3 must have the capability to open the innings and also switch gears between defence and attack based on circumstances. This role was played to perfection by Gautam Gambhir during the 2011 WC. Before that we've seen Sehwag and Ganguly do this quite often. Raina's technique on good bowling conditions does not leave him to bat any higher than #5. Rayudu does not have the technique for #3 and Rahane cannot up the ante when required. It's a real problem as we get into WC 2015 prep stage!

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 9:05 GMT)

@ Kalyanb85, Raina doesn't need to prove to anybody. When a player has survived for 7-8 years in International cricket, it means he has done well given the situations he comes into bat. He has turned the match on his head with good runouts, good energy in the field, sort of thins which can't be overlooked in modern day cricket.

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 9:03 GMT)

I have seen PUJARA in doemstic onbe day match. Once a mere 15 runs were required in last over and he got over pressurised and couldn't even swing the bat properly. He missed 3 balls and got bowled out trying to go over deep mid wicket where a smarter number 6, who might not have proper techniue, would have gone over fine leg who was inside the circle. But that shot needed riska and PUJARA is dravid type correct batsmen who don't want to get out and hurt his average but team suffered eventually. PUJARA Is excellent in test cricket and should not be put under extra pressure, and to be fairhe is ordinary in oDI cricket, unnecessarily. He is very slow in outfield as well.

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

I am saying once again that don;t mix Test and ODI cricket. People saying replace Raina with PUJARA. So you play defensive batsmen at number 6, and if you play him at 3 and want Raina out then you will need to find a new number 6 just before the world cup and shift down Kohli unnecessay from settled number 3. Absolutely rediulous to make so many changes for no reason. The only problem is bowling and not RAINA. Show me one batsmen in world who is consistent at number 6 position.

Posted by ADARSH100 on (January 17, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

The real problem of India at this point is not about No.4 batsman but is to find a couple of good fast bowlers who can pick up wickets easily. No. 4 is very important slot in ODI. Batsman should be able to stablize the innings and fire at the death overs if he prevails. Raina has the ability to hit big but the problem is to prevail about an hour in fast bowling conditions. He should certainly learn to handle fast short bowls. Rahane has that technique shown in SA series but still he lacks the ability to hit a good 2 or 3 sixes in an over. Binny cant be tried in No.4 slot coz he is more of a pinch hitter rather than stablizing an innings. So Rahane at No.4 and Raina at No.5. Binny can either replace Jadeja or Ashwin. Playing XI for first 2 ODIs : Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli, Rahane, Raina, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Shami, Varun.

Posted by joseyesu on (January 17, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

Comparing Yuvraj with other does not make sense. To me Yuvraj is a match winner. You can compare him with Dhoni alone in the current team. Mostly i predict Jadeja is going to be in the playing 11 for India in WC15. Rohit, dhawan, Kohli, Yuvraj, x, Dhoni, Jadeja, Pathan, Zak, Bhuvi, Yadav. But what Pathan is doing.

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

@ Ishan Soni , Your comment that if india scores 350 NZ will score it in 40 overs is bit over the top. In fact it was India who showed VS Aussies that they can get 360 in 40 overs. Also If India's bowling was that poor they would have never won the world cup, champions trophy etc and won't be number 2 in world. Given the conditions and time, Indian team is good in most departments.

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 17, 2014, 8:47 GMT)

What is the big deal about no.4? why are they making so much fuss about this when our bowling department is yet to be tested and proven...

Posted by binu.emiliya on (January 17, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

The best person for 4 th is Dhoni himself,Rohith,S Dhwan,Kohli,Dhoni,Rahane/Raydu,Raina,Binny,Jadeja,Bhuvi,Shami,Aaron

Posted by Kalyanb85 on (January 17, 2014, 8:37 GMT)

I think 7-8 years is a good time to judge a player and frankly, Raina had done to prove his case. Yes he has batted down the order and agreed great fielder and etc etc but he has missed too many chances. In the IPL too(where he is the undisputed king), more often than not when he has scored more than 35-40, he has been dropped atleast once. There can only be one Raina or Jadeja in the team.These 2 can easily be bounced out in foreign conditions. Rahane has long since deserved a long run in the ODI's too and It will be a crime not to give him one. It is a difficult thing for me too. Rayudu is my junior in school so we have wanted him to play for India ever since. and then how can Pujara be left of the team. For me, even in ODI's Puji at 3 and Kohli at 4 would be ideal. So ideally for me, Puji, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Raina/Jadeja. Again, The last things is most important.Only one of Raina/Jadega.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (January 17, 2014, 8:36 GMT)

Rahane for me every time, real class player.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

my team is dhawan rohit kohli raina dhoni s binny ipathan rjadeja ashwin/bhuvi shami umesh/ishant/ishwar dependingon the conditions .ill urge toplay mishra inspinning conditionsin place of one of thelastthree pace bowlersin new zealand i feel irfan pathan should have ben there inplace of varun rahane and ambati can get a chance ifone of the batsman is unfit or injured orout of form my 2nd w/k is dineshkartik

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

@praveen didnt quite catch ya???

Posted by MAYURESHmagic on (January 17, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

No. 4. Rayudu or Tiwary, 5. Dhoni, 6.Rahane, 7. Raina, 8.Jadeja

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

Instead of obsessing over the #4 batsmen, Indian selectors should start thinking about BOWLERS who can get wickets...

Even if India makes 350, NZ will chase it down with 10 overs to spare with such a pathetic bowling lineup full of bowlers who gift juicy half volleys at 120kmph..

If India don't find good bowlers soon, they can kiss the world cup 2015 good bye... harsh reality that indian selectors are not willing to face! Indian batting was never broken, so why try to fix it?! Indian bowling has been problem for such a long time now.. about time we fix that first!!

Posted by crazytaurean on (January 17, 2014, 8:13 GMT)

Gambhir should have been in the side to lend some experience to the side. Sanju Samson may also be a exciting choice for No 4 for 2015.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

when 24runs needed last over even dhoni can't win matches 99%of time

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

ODI's - Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Rahane, Raina, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Shami, Aaron, Ishant/ Bhuvi.. Ashwin - NZ small grounds, extra spinner not needed. also some power hitting NZ right handers. Raina can do the job for few overs. With Binny,additional swing option available. Ishwar - Should play 4th & 5th ODI if he bowls well in nets. Test - Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Rohit / Ashwin, Dhoni, Jadeja, Shami, Umesh, Zaheer / Bhuvi....

Posted by ramli on (January 17, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

What is so magical about No. 4 slot in an ODI? The team is full of floaters in the middle order and whoever is lucky will hit the headlines ... We all know that MSD has done phenomenally in No. 4 ... why not him? Ho..Ho ... we need him as a finisher too!!!

Posted by AniketKanade on (January 17, 2014, 8:08 GMT)

Considering Raina's form and technique, I don't see him retaining any spot India XI playing abroad - esp not in bouncy wickets like in Aus. It's got to be Rahane and Rayudu at 4 and 5 (or other way round) for India to pitch their best line-up in WC2015. If Stuart Binny ploy works, he could be preferred option over jaddu in aussie conditions.

Posted by Sharath274 on (January 17, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

If Pujara is part of the ODI team, my XI would be like this : 1)Dhawan 2)Pujara 3)Kohli 4)Rohit 5)Raina 6)Dhoni 7)Jadeja/Binny 8)Ashwin 9)Bhuvi 10)Aaron/Umesh 11)Shami 'cos I feel what Rohit does as an opener, Pujara can also.. but coming towards the end and accelerating suddenly may be difficult for Pujara, while Rohit has done it in the past.. Or depending on the situations, MS can swap position with Rohit

Posted by Sharath274 on (January 17, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

More than the No.4 Slot, India would have to be concerned about good finishers.. we are too much dependent on MSD for that..need 1 more power hitter down the order..in that case, its easy for MSD to slot in at No.4..the problem is more outside India as the batting becomes "Top Heavy"... Any good contenders for that slot in our domestic circuit?? we hear a lot of names like Binny himself, Suryakumar Yadav, Kedar Jadhav etc... dont know how far they can go..this will have a big say in India's future in the shorter formats..

Posted by hokeypokey on (January 17, 2014, 7:58 GMT)

New zealand cricket team will smash india in test/odi, when ross taylor unleashes his batsnenship. .3 in the world!!...watch out india..

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

@ Aswant Singh, Raina has reached 2 digit number many times. As far as pujara is concerned he isn't really tested at number 6 or 7 where Raina plays in ODI cricket. There is a pressure to score quick runs. PUJARA will need to show that he can hit sixes at will when team needs it at 6 and 7 then only he can be considered better number 6 than RAINA. It's easy to criticise RAINA.

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 7:54 GMT)

@Lalz, If Indian domestic wickets are that flat how come two of the highest test runs getters are India. How come newbies like PUjara, Kohli, Rahane can score big runs on their first overseas tours. If wickets are that flat they all must be averaging under 10. I think you are overstating things here. India has a history of producing good batsmen despite talks about pitches. The only concern of India is couple of real quick bowlers.

Posted by RahulFantasyCricket on (January 17, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

This is what my preferred line up in future ODIs would be, esp. with the world cup in mind. Pujara and Rahane have shown they have compact techniques against bouncy and seaming conditions and should be included in the XI. Stuart binny and R Ashwin will occupy the no 7. spot depending on the conditions. 1. R Sharma 2. Dhawan 3. Kohli 4. Pujara 5. Rahane 6.Dhoni 7. Binny/Ashwin 8.Jadeja 9. B Kumar 10. Khan/ Yadav 11. Shami

Posted by GRVJPR on (January 17, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

In liimited overs just having good technique is not that important. At most times, especially in multi team tornament like ICC world cup, wikckets are batsmen friendly and batsmen should have the ability to hit sixes at will and improvise. A forward or backfoot defense will not win you many matches. History shows that world cups have been won by batsmen who are willing to go beyond their comfort zone and those who are happy to take risks without worrying about critics. I don't like PUJARA in ODI setup. If 24 runs needed of last over PUJARA can't do it, but there are many other who can despite technically challenged.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:50 GMT)

It dosent really matter for me who bats to no.4 as I gave up watching cricket since Sachin retirement. However, Rohit sharma is best to make justice somewhat to the spot than any other batsman in team. Pujara best at one down. Kohli can go down to five.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:46 GMT)

Pujara should be the ODI no 4. That is, when selectors give him the opportunity!

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:45 GMT)

we should try coming ODI's pujara should bat no 3 and Kolhi no 4, rahane no 5, raina no 6 as usual

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:40 GMT)

I feel Pujara 100 times better than other contestants for No.4. India should keep some (at least one) defending batsman also like Pujara for WC. Give him enough chances before WC.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:38 GMT)

I would go opting Rahane, rather giving chances to Ambati Rayudu or moving Raina at No.4, in this case. Talking about Rahane, he is ready to play at any spot and he is eager to exhibit his talents like how he did it on our last test match against SA. Raina should play at his usual spot and I wouldn't test him placing at No.4. Raina is a kind of player to play at Batting Powerplays and also in the last 10 overs. Himself and Dhoni will help to boost the target far away from the projections.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:35 GMT)

Can laugh for hours, at Jacobchikku's comment that Dhoni cannot build an innings. It is like commenting that L&T (who is building metros) cannot build a wall. What the Star Sports ad says is right about Dhoni. It is not the runs, but it is how you run the game, wins it! He fabricates, paces, builds and runs the game however he want it (ODIs). Well said Xylo, no one can beat Raina's spirit on field. It brings the team together and helps our relatively weaker fielding unit perform their best.

Posted by NikSN on (January 17, 2014, 7:34 GMT)

What happened to Dinesh Karthik? He seemed to be able to build an innings and importantly, can hit the ball a long way.

My ODI XI: Rohit, Dhawan, Rahane, Kohli, Dhoni, Karthik, Jadeja, Ashwin, Kumar, Shami, Yadav

Test XI: Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Jadeja, Rishi Dhawan, Kumar, Shami, Yadav

Posted by MahiKN on (January 17, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

Stuart Binny is better....

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:22 GMT)

i think gambhir should be given a chance to no.4, he is experienced nd can build the inning nd can score quickly too!!!

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:21 GMT)

I feel Raina doesn't deserve chance in this batting line-up specially outside Asia as he is not too comfortable against quality pace bowling (I have seen Raina struggle against Bounce and Outside off-stump). India must play Pujara in all formats. and I feel Rahane is someone who can launch if required. Rohit's place need to be re-looked if he fails in NZ as he doesn't have too much to show outside asia. According to me India's ODI XI should look like this 1. Dhawan 2. Rohit (or Gauti) 3. Virat 4. Pujara 5.Rahane 6.Dhoni 7. Jaddu 8.Ashwin 9. Yaadav 10.Sami 11. Bhuvi/Aaron Having said that Dhoni's XI wud be 1. Dhawan 2.Rohit 3. Virat 4.Rahane 5. Raina 6. Dhoni 7. Jaddu 8.Ashwin 9.BHuvi 10. IShant 11. Shami

Posted by Naresh28 on (January 17, 2014, 7:16 GMT)

@jacobchikku Manoj Tiwary is still out due to injury. Once he is fit then, he will have to start always over again - proving himself. Regaining his form.

Posted by vipinchirackal on (January 17, 2014, 7:16 GMT)

first you leave rayudu from this contention.because he has neither the techinque nor the spirit to play for the country.the remaining three are rohit,raina and rahane.here this is just like the race between rabbit and tortoise.technique wise rohit and raina are mile ahead of rahana but both of them are not keen on staying at the crease and play for the country than aiming personal achievements.thats is the only reason rahana comes as the first option for the coveted slot.leave binny he is only suited for ipl T20.i hope for the next world cup there wont be any question about this position because sanju samson might have come of age to play for india for a longer period

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:15 GMT)

oh.. where is pujara.. here its searching for the 4th position.. there it is waiting for the call.. pujara is not only a test player but also has the attacking strokes.. he is solid when the middle order destroys... india needed a solid member in south africa. where whole batting line up fails.. though raina is an attacking player, but he cannot hold indian batting order properly.. in front of kiwis he would struggle for runs.. sure..

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:08 GMT)

Pujara is 10times better than raina in any format, just wonder when was last time raina reach 2 digit number?

Posted by Lalz on (January 17, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

I do agree NZ tour will be a testing field for youngsters. But my questions is why we are not sure about talents.., Answer points to the pitch made for domestic circuit. Our domestic players are get used to flat bully batting pitches. So even a bowler with limited batting talent can hit centuries, As we have atleast two pitches per ground, one should be a pacy bowling track to test our players. If so selection for international level would be easy..

I would like to go with

Test team : MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli,Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja/R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ishwar Pandey

ODI : MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina,Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey/Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny

Posted by sweetspot on (January 17, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

Amongst the three in the reckoning, two don't have much experience lower down the order, and I'm not entirely sure Rayudu can outhit Raina in pinch situations. Raina's position in the team is relatively safe because he gives Dhoni options. He might well be seen as the closest replacement to Yuvraj Singh, man for man, no matter what position. This series should be very interesting indeed.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

Rahane at #3 and Kohli at #4 should be tried.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 7:00 GMT)

its comedy that india looking 4th spot batsman.other batsmen not fit in team how looking for 4th spot.raina is good in every spot.but selectors and dhoni playing game on him.except ashwin ,raina and kohli no body still not looks good in team.every place must be indian team looks for.rayudu is no good to play for.indian selectors itselef have to change

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 6:57 GMT)

ajinkya rahane will bea better option than raina in many ways. Raina is a very aggressive player which is good bt considering d pitches of Au it will b a challenge for d guy in d slot to hold up at one postion. Rahane is good at that while Raina gives up easily. secondly rauna problems wid short balls cntus which will be a huge demoralising factr for d team. Rahane playef it beautifully agnst steyn vernon n morkel. Rahane if required can hit lusty blows n dere is hardly any chance he wud be caught bcoz he is techanically very perfect. Although pujara at no. 4 cud b d same man as for Rahane bt h might take a longer duration dan him to take chances. Whoever d guy will b my vote goes to Rahane

Posted by Jacobchikku on (January 17, 2014, 6:55 GMT)

What happend to Manoj Tiwary? What he did wrong? Why not try Pujara at No 4 in seeming and swinging conditions? You need to have a player who can build the innings at No 4 rather than big hitters like Raina. We have Rohit, Dhoni, Raina, Jadeja who can play the big hitting role but none apart from Kohli is capable of building an innings if the team is two or three wickets down.

Posted by PPL11 on (January 17, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

Rahane / Pujara is the right man for no 4 for men in blue !!

Posted by xylo on (January 17, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

Rayudu's scoring in IPL can take him no further than the domestic scene. Raina is unlikely to miss out from the XI solely because of his attitude and fielding skills. If Raina does not get the spot, it is pretty much Rahane's.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2014, 6:53 GMT)

ajinkya rahane will bea better option than raina in many ways. Raina is a very aggressive player which is good bt considering d pitches of Au it will b a challenge for d guy in d slot to hold up at one postion. Rahane is good at that while Raina gives up easily. secondly rauna problems wid short balls cntus which will be a huge demoralising factr for d team. Rahane playef it beautifully agnst steyn vernon n morkel. Rahane if required can hit lusty blows n dere is hardly any chance he wud be caught bcoz he is techanically very perfect. Although pujara at no. 4 cud b d same man as for Rahane bt h might take a longer duration dan him to take chances. Whoever d guy will b my vote goes to Rahane

Posted by Naresh28 on (January 17, 2014, 6:50 GMT)

Rahane deserves a spot in ODI, however PUJARA might have been a fine addition to the one day squad? Rayudu did not play all that well last year when they arranged a A-tour to Zimbabwe/SA.

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