India in New Zealand 2013-14 January 30, 2014

Not just bowling that is going wrong

India have lived up to their reputation of being profligate with the ball, but worryingly even their batting has begun to falter outside Asia
  shares 132

In June 2013, India's ODI stocks were at a high. The selectors had just dropped several senior players and the young squad had done them proud by winning the Champions Trophy. With the World Cup only in February 2015, there was more than enough time for the immense promise shown in England to be further enriched by experience over the next year and a half.

Come January 2014, and the stocks have suddenly plummeted. India have been unable to win even one of their last six completed ODIs away from home and had the Centurion match against South Africa not been washed out after India conceded yet another 300-plus score, a seventh game might have been added to this sorry run.

India were blown away by Dale Steyn and co in South Africa but conditions were much more benign in New Zealand. Yet, it took a freak seventh-wicket partnership for India to avoid going down 0-4 to a side ranked at the other end of the ODI ladder.

MS Dhoni has admitted he does not know which fast bowlers he could possibly take with him to the World Cup. The slower they come, the faster they disappear. The faster they come, the faster they disappear. They take the pitch out of the equation, in the self-damaging way. For, as Dhoni said after the series was lost in Hamilton, if you keep bowling short and wide, you cannot complain that there are only four men on the boundary.

They all seem promising when they come into the squad. They all have varied, useful skills. But they are not able to sustain pressure, crack easily when put under it. You can keep talking about the finer points of seam position and release, but if you are not able to pitch successive deliveries in the same area close to off stump, such details are irrelevant. When they lose it, India's fast bowlers often do so together. They have a bowling coach, but it is not clear if his remit also includes developing mental strength, for they often panic when attacked.

It is not that India haven't tried and tested different personnel. Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Praveen Kumar have all played a decent number of games, at least 20, since the 2011 World Cup. The revolving door has seen many more in that period: Varun Aaron, Munaf Patel, Ashok Dinda, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma, RP Singh, Abhimanyu Mithun and Zaheer Khan.

That last name is interesting as Zaheer's last ODI was in August 2012. He returned to the Test team stronger and fitter, but should India bring him back for the one-dayers too? How effective will he be under the new rules? While he lasts, the others can at least resume leaning on his experienced shoulders. This is completely short-term thinking, but the World Cup is also not too far ahead anymore.

Fast bowling is only one problem Dhoni is facing, but it is at least the usual one. It is the batting that will worry him, considering how over-reliant India are on it. It is rare that India's batsmen fail to shut out chases after coming close.

The openers, who were churning out century stands not too long ago, are now failing to convert starts. Shikhar Dhawan's gold rush had to end sometime but worryingly, he insists on charging and pulling short balls without any caution. Rohit Sharma starts the same way. He takes too many deliveries to get going unless the pitch is dead, and does not rotate the strike enough. He is not a natural opener, and you can be allowed a certain leeway for that, but his approach also jacks up the pressure on the batsman at the other end, especially during the chases.

Shami, Ishant, Vinay, Bhuvneshwar, Yadav and Praveen have all played a decent number of games, at least 20, since the 2011 World Cup. The revolving door has seen many more in that period: Aaron, Munaf, Dinda, Unadkat, Mohit, RP Singh, Mithun and Zaheer

India are also attempting to look beyond Yuvraj Singh at No 4, and finding how difficult it is to develop a replacement. They tried out Suresh Raina briefly, but forget No 4, he's become too unproductive to be carried even at No 5. Ajinkya Rahane is yet to impress in the few opportunities he's had at the position.

The load on Virat Kohli and Dhoni himself has kept on increasing. They have continued to get the runs, but two batsmen, however great, can't plug the numerous leaks left behind by five bowlers. Ravindra Jadeja has finally shown encouraging signs of growing as an international batsman, but that is where another problem area emerges.

Dhoni has little faith, to an extent justifiably, in his fast bowlers. But he is also a man who will not deviate from standard policy till the ship has almost sunk. The combination of that means two spinners are what India will most likely always stick to, be it in South Africa or New Zealand. Jadeja and R Ashwin are fine bowlers and decent batsmen, but it is unlikely either of them are going to run through a top side at the MCG next year.

ODI cricket is changing slowly. The fielding restrictions have made aggressive captains realise they need to keep taking wickets to stay in the game. Containment, with only four deep fielders, is no longer the default option. With fewer boundary riders, release is always available to batsmen. Part-time bowlers have become a risky proposition. But for a man who has constructed an era based on stifling opposition batsmen with spinners and part-timers, it is not going to be easy to adapt.

As always, Dhoni is not spoilt for choice. New Zealand have Corey Anderson. They have Jimmy Neesham as back-up seam allrounder. India, on the other hand, have a modest option in Stuart Binny. But on his debut, the captain does not let him bat even at No 7, and instead gives him just one over with the ball.

Whichever area you look at, the picture appears bleak at the moment. There is just over a year left for the World Cup. India's players will go into extended Twenty20 mode soon with the World T20 and the IPL following which there are long Test tours of England and Australia.

On the evidence of the last two ODI series, India's World Cup defense appears on shaky ground, and there is not much time left to strengthen it.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 3, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    For india's no 4 batting spot in odis, i feel that dhoni should be the right person to bat at this position to prevent india's inexperienced middle order getting exposed in overseas tours... That would provide him more time to be set and then attack in the slog overs

  • Mavericksan on January 31, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    This is actually the heights of stubbornness I mean m Dhoni fan but what he is doing with the team and players is pathetic. Why I always see that genuine bowlers in the end with 6-7 overs bowled and some non bowlers bowling 8-9. Kohli opening why alter an already settled player when Rahane was already there. Binny was a guest Bunny for him. Poor lad. Tried Aron den Y not I.Pandey in final ODI. Zak shud return in ODI too. And for god sake rest Ashwin n take mishra on tours or Ojha they are rotting in inventories. But last not the least PUJARA I mean what this guy has to do to prove he is the one who can strengthen the batting order.

  • kamarajksrct on January 31, 2014, 15:18 GMT

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

  • on January 31, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    It's true! "Not just bowling is going wrong"! Oregon Governor John Albert Kitzhaber is stalled in his effort to replace the Glen Jackson Memorial Bridge by a bunch of "Oregon Senators" that won't vote in the funds because they themselves can't pass the credit checks with the construction & demolition company in order to move that equipment in! Why does it all have to be so clandestine? Why not tell the truth? For instance, bowling is good sport, good entertainment and deserving of the type of coverage that makes Indian athletes look like the "Clean" men they are. Good luck. I need some good luck, too, my home States of Washington & Oregon need a new I-205 bridge and I tell you people "Not just bowling is going wrong"!

  • on January 31, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    Faltering? When has it Flourished away from home?

    note - not a single above 300 score.. Lucky didnt get to bat first more than one time.

    Average team, average performances..

    funny how Mr. Sanjiv says cant go any further down, wait for the test matches Sir, new lows yet to come :)

  • Naresh28 on January 31, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    WELL DONE TO NZ...they now really believe in themselves and have played excellent cricket. That is all that is needed. INDIA HAVE HAD A WAKE UP CALL. All departments are just not classy enough - of the current team only four players can remain - the rest need to be replaced (Dhoni, Kohli, Jadeja and Shami) Aaron/Yadav - need coaching and might make it due to the lack of pace bowlers in India. Pujara will have to come in as an anchor man.

  • sreehk on January 31, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    Problem 1: Dhoni needs to understand that players need to be selected and supported purely on merit and not based on the zonal politics. Where are Pujara, Yuvraj, Pathans, Mishra, and Yadav? Huge questions of integrity on Dhoni and the veto above him. Dhoni should stop making those tricky political statements in defense of favored players. When the side loses for so long, captain is to be blamed first and most.

    Problem 2: Obsession with Rohit, Raina, Ashwin. What have these players done in domestic cricket? They are too pampered in the name of talent and IPL. They deserve to be dropped for at least one year from the team.

    Problem 3: India needs to set up a highly focused and productive fast bowling academy. Need to provide equal opportunities for at least 8 hand picked fast bowlers every year.

    Problem 4: Horses for courses. With world cup in Aus, India need to groom pace bowling all rounders like Pathan and Binny instead of spin bowling so called all rounders.

  • on January 31, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    Even though Dhoni may be the most successful captain so far - there is no way he can stay on any longer. New captain - Kohli must take over - the only way is "up" - India cannot go any lower than this!!! Four overseas series lost !!!! No captain can and should survive this.

  • TRAM on January 31, 2014, 0:32 GMT

    Problems stated nicely - but only partially. And the solutions?

    What about Dhoni's long rope for Ishant (he effectively wasted match trials for many others like Pandey, Binny and many more).

    What about some well paid members called "bowling coach" and "fielding coach". Do the selectors have a process to evaluate the coaches?

    Venkatesh Prasad complained that Ind pace bowlers do not bowl sufficient number of overs practice every day. Did any one address that?

    Do they have any batting coach? Can India hire the likes of Mike Hussey or Ricky Ponting to teach them how to play short balls? (or even for captaincy coaching)

    Can the Indians practice hitting the stumps in fielding like many other countries do?

    BCCI's efforts are only towards collecting the money and apportioning it.

    Something needs to be done for the quality of game as well.

  • CurrentPresident on January 31, 2014, 0:06 GMT

    In overseas conditions like NZ, Aus, it is a given that no current Indian pacer will succeed consistently. Accept it.

    Then focus on your strength.

    You still have spinners like Harbhajan, Jadeja, Misra, Ashwin, Rasool who can create problems for opposing batsmen. Look at how Lyon succeeded in the Ashes. Bring them in numbers along with two fast bowlers (amongst Zaheer, Yadav, Aaron, Shami, Bhuvi, Binny, Irfan, Munaf, Nehra...)

    That seems the only feasible way to have any chance of winning the world cup in 2015. People seem to have forgotten the world cup where NZ opened its bowling with a spinner (Jiten Patel).

  • on February 3, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    For india's no 4 batting spot in odis, i feel that dhoni should be the right person to bat at this position to prevent india's inexperienced middle order getting exposed in overseas tours... That would provide him more time to be set and then attack in the slog overs

  • Mavericksan on January 31, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    This is actually the heights of stubbornness I mean m Dhoni fan but what he is doing with the team and players is pathetic. Why I always see that genuine bowlers in the end with 6-7 overs bowled and some non bowlers bowling 8-9. Kohli opening why alter an already settled player when Rahane was already there. Binny was a guest Bunny for him. Poor lad. Tried Aron den Y not I.Pandey in final ODI. Zak shud return in ODI too. And for god sake rest Ashwin n take mishra on tours or Ojha they are rotting in inventories. But last not the least PUJARA I mean what this guy has to do to prove he is the one who can strengthen the batting order.

  • kamarajksrct on January 31, 2014, 15:18 GMT

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

  • on January 31, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    It's true! "Not just bowling is going wrong"! Oregon Governor John Albert Kitzhaber is stalled in his effort to replace the Glen Jackson Memorial Bridge by a bunch of "Oregon Senators" that won't vote in the funds because they themselves can't pass the credit checks with the construction & demolition company in order to move that equipment in! Why does it all have to be so clandestine? Why not tell the truth? For instance, bowling is good sport, good entertainment and deserving of the type of coverage that makes Indian athletes look like the "Clean" men they are. Good luck. I need some good luck, too, my home States of Washington & Oregon need a new I-205 bridge and I tell you people "Not just bowling is going wrong"!

  • on January 31, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    Faltering? When has it Flourished away from home?

    note - not a single above 300 score.. Lucky didnt get to bat first more than one time.

    Average team, average performances..

    funny how Mr. Sanjiv says cant go any further down, wait for the test matches Sir, new lows yet to come :)

  • Naresh28 on January 31, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    WELL DONE TO NZ...they now really believe in themselves and have played excellent cricket. That is all that is needed. INDIA HAVE HAD A WAKE UP CALL. All departments are just not classy enough - of the current team only four players can remain - the rest need to be replaced (Dhoni, Kohli, Jadeja and Shami) Aaron/Yadav - need coaching and might make it due to the lack of pace bowlers in India. Pujara will have to come in as an anchor man.

  • sreehk on January 31, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    Problem 1: Dhoni needs to understand that players need to be selected and supported purely on merit and not based on the zonal politics. Where are Pujara, Yuvraj, Pathans, Mishra, and Yadav? Huge questions of integrity on Dhoni and the veto above him. Dhoni should stop making those tricky political statements in defense of favored players. When the side loses for so long, captain is to be blamed first and most.

    Problem 2: Obsession with Rohit, Raina, Ashwin. What have these players done in domestic cricket? They are too pampered in the name of talent and IPL. They deserve to be dropped for at least one year from the team.

    Problem 3: India needs to set up a highly focused and productive fast bowling academy. Need to provide equal opportunities for at least 8 hand picked fast bowlers every year.

    Problem 4: Horses for courses. With world cup in Aus, India need to groom pace bowling all rounders like Pathan and Binny instead of spin bowling so called all rounders.

  • on January 31, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    Even though Dhoni may be the most successful captain so far - there is no way he can stay on any longer. New captain - Kohli must take over - the only way is "up" - India cannot go any lower than this!!! Four overseas series lost !!!! No captain can and should survive this.

  • TRAM on January 31, 2014, 0:32 GMT

    Problems stated nicely - but only partially. And the solutions?

    What about Dhoni's long rope for Ishant (he effectively wasted match trials for many others like Pandey, Binny and many more).

    What about some well paid members called "bowling coach" and "fielding coach". Do the selectors have a process to evaluate the coaches?

    Venkatesh Prasad complained that Ind pace bowlers do not bowl sufficient number of overs practice every day. Did any one address that?

    Do they have any batting coach? Can India hire the likes of Mike Hussey or Ricky Ponting to teach them how to play short balls? (or even for captaincy coaching)

    Can the Indians practice hitting the stumps in fielding like many other countries do?

    BCCI's efforts are only towards collecting the money and apportioning it.

    Something needs to be done for the quality of game as well.

  • CurrentPresident on January 31, 2014, 0:06 GMT

    In overseas conditions like NZ, Aus, it is a given that no current Indian pacer will succeed consistently. Accept it.

    Then focus on your strength.

    You still have spinners like Harbhajan, Jadeja, Misra, Ashwin, Rasool who can create problems for opposing batsmen. Look at how Lyon succeeded in the Ashes. Bring them in numbers along with two fast bowlers (amongst Zaheer, Yadav, Aaron, Shami, Bhuvi, Binny, Irfan, Munaf, Nehra...)

    That seems the only feasible way to have any chance of winning the world cup in 2015. People seem to have forgotten the world cup where NZ opened its bowling with a spinner (Jiten Patel).

  • Positive_Critic on January 30, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    While MSD is correct in recognizing the bowling weakness, I do believe he is late to react to it. While I know it is easy to forget when India were thrashing teams at home, if we look closely, it almost seems as if we did not want to acknowledge the poor plight of indian bowlers. A depleted Aussie side almost won the ODI series at home.If people say Kohli is a top class batsman coz he chased down freakish runs, by the same standards george bailey needs to be the one of the best in the world too, which clearly is not the case...

  • on January 30, 2014, 22:46 GMT

    Biggest problem for India and all sub continent teams is state of all their pitches. All sub continent pitches are designed to promote spin attacks. So players are found out when they tour the likes of Australia South Africa and New Zealand with their quicker bouncier wickets

  • vj3478 on January 30, 2014, 21:46 GMT

    Dhoni has to drop/rest his group on players who are either not willing to learn/dont have that ability. Replacements should be tried for Raina/Ashwin/Dhawan/Rohit/Ishant. How bad the replacements can be as these guys are 100% liability oversees. Dhonis guys have to understand that they just had one good season and he cannot shield them all the time as its half the team thats not performing AT ALL

  • androyuvi on January 30, 2014, 21:37 GMT

    Since we are not gonna play WC2015 in India, it's time to stick to specialists for the respective jobs. 1 & 2) Choose two between Dhawan, Gambhir, Vijay, Sehwag, or unearth a better talent if possible. 3) Virat Kholi 4) Pujara/Rahane/Rohit 5) Raina/Yuvraj/Rayudu/Rohit 6) MSD 7) Jadeja 8) Ashwin 9) Bhuvi 10) Amit Mishra/Aaron/Yadav/Zak/Or even Ishant 11) Shami

    Can't afford to experiment with Virat and Dhoni's positions. Its high time we open the game with proper openers. That means a big NO to Rahane and Rohit. 4 and 5 are a bit critical positions, and it would help if we have a left arm slogger in the mix as well. 4 should be the consolidating position which ideally should go to Pujara. Regarding bowling combination, Jadeja and Ashwin will be the primary picks among 5 bowlers, whichever the venue it be. Bhuvi and Shami can occupy the next two spots with their current form. For 10th spot, if couldnt find a strike bowler or even a containing one, its no shame to pick Amit Mishra.

  • Nampally on January 30, 2014, 20:57 GMT

    An excellent summary of the current Status of this team, Mr. Purohit. I have 3 comments: 1.#4 batsman: Yuvraj or Raina are Finishers not anchor men. One obvious choice, often ignored but never regretted, is Pujara. He is a Responsible, Disciplined & Technically sound + easily one of the best #3 or #4 in the world today. Why do the Selectors so blindly & blatantly drop him when there is NO #4? Is the humiliation of being beaten by NZ needed to recall him or is that not enough? 2. Jadeja & Ashwin are fine spinners as you say. In ODI's it is not necessary to take wkts. all the time. If you can bowl 10 overs at <4 runs/over, it is a winning situation! These 2 did it in ODI 4. My third comment is on Dhawan+ Rahane + Kohli too. I ask you Sir, why is it necessary to swing wildly at any short ball when you cannot do it safely without losing your wkt? This is irresponsible & undisciplined & cost India 3 batsmen in ODI 4 & 4 bats in ODI 1 + both those ODI's losses. Play responsibly like NZ do.

  • tests_the_best on January 30, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    Very well written article. Frankly with the current team, I think it will be difficult for India to even reach the semis in the World Cup much less defend it. NZ are a very good side in their own conditions and it seems Aus, NZ and SA are most likely going to take up 3 spots in the semis. India will have to slug it out with SL, Eng, Pak, WI for the final spot unless SA fail again in a big tournament.

    The Indian model of chasing down whatever the opposition sets might work in the subcontinent but outside the sc it's going to be a far tougher proposition as seen in SA and NZ.

  • slip_catcher on January 30, 2014, 20:16 GMT

    Dhoni is a good enough player to be in the team as a specialist batsman. He is a good captain with players who know what to do - see Kohli, Pujara, Tendulkar, Zaheer. But he has to change to a captain who can mentor someone...not just support someone who is really dedicated - see Jadeja. He should stop keeping and stand at mid-off or mid-on and mentor the fast bowlers, even spinners. He is a special case, possibly the only one, where the captain performs exceedingly as a player but misses a few tricks as captain. Usually its the other way round where the concern is around the captain not performing as a player or for very poor captaincy choices, both as player and captain. Also, he needs to have a Ganguly like eye of spotting good players. Remember Yuvraj, Sehwag, bhajji. Dhoni does not do that. He supports everyone that is selected. Unfortunately, only one of them - Jadeja seems to repaying his faith.

  • rahulkb on January 30, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    Ishant shud not be brought back to the XI. Aaron has the pace, and will be good if he can be accurate and consistent and like dhoni said "use his brain". He did bowl some good deliveries esp. 2 good bouncers at Taylor's head in a row. Ishant has not bowled a single good delivery in the near past and with his 125 km pace his bouncers will be easy pickings.

    If Aaron is to replaced, he should be taken out for Ishwar Pandey. At least that move is useful as we are testing a promising debutant.

    Also, Binny should be taken out for Mishra, who is an attacking spinner. I dont see Ashwin as an aggressive spinner and even when he bowls over the wkt he pitches on middle/leg stump line when it should actually be off/outside offstump. That way, we got Mishra to attack and Jaddu and Ashwin to contain..Besides, Mishra's wrist spin would be handy if pitch has bounce.

  • ArvindPillay on January 30, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    For all those who are talking abt inexperience in the team all the teams has only 4-5 experienced players.. Look at Aussies,NZ or Pakistan... Dont say they need time to settle down... BCCI along with Dhoni lack a vision!! When Sourav&Co was there their vision was to build a team which can win in all conditions..But Dhoni doesnt even think tat foreign wins are necessary... Look at their attitude seriously whenever a Indian player is sledged in foreign soil his only response is " Come to India and we will show u what we are".. I have heard it from Kohli & even in SA tour Rohit said the same to Steyn!!

    They have to understand the importance of winning abroad and have a vision to build a strong team!! Like wat happen with Sourav, Dhoni too has captained India for too long and now he is running out of ideas!! The saddest part is tat he is adamant not to change it nor acknowledge the issue!!

  • on January 30, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    This Indian young team perfectely marching to be ideal winning combination for WC 2015. No worry critics says about any player, this is a promising team. This team already won the mini world cup last Champions Trophy. We beat SA, WI, Pak, SL & England. And most importantly in Englad. I agreed the team is going thrugh a bit tough time, but like this only they are learning. I am 100% sure this team is Indian future. Rohit Sharma. I appreciate this guy and his toughness. He is always targeted after every Indian defeat. But he is keeping his cool always. Plays his own game. And he displayed a memorable 79 runs knock last match. The sixes he hit dancing down the track to NZ pace bowlers, were simply out of world. Infact he is the only man who is handling NZ pace bowlers a bit easyliy. Rest everybody is struggling. Rohit hit 9 sixes so far to NZ pace bowlers. Now just waiting for Shikhar Dhavans return to form. I m sure very soon we will again start enjoying Rohit/Shikhar blasting opponents

  • on January 30, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    Make Dhawan,Pujara the opening batsman and Rohit as no.2 batsman. Things will be way better than what they are now

  • Nampally on January 30, 2014, 18:46 GMT

    @glen1: You are right on! I suggested for ODI 5, try Mishra as the last trump card along side Jadeja & Ashwin- 3 spinners instead of 2. Use the erratic pace bowlers for the death overs or power plays. When India does not have skills in pace bowling, focus on tying up the 2 ends with Ashwin & Jadeja. Mishra will be attacking to spin the legs out of NZ bats while Ashwin & Jadeja will keep them quite at the other end. That is the only tactics left for Dhoni. Your focus on WC2015 is too premature. India currently is Miles away from that event in view of "rather Bizzare" showing of the Indian team in SA & NZ. Develop the strategy first, perfect it & then select the players who meet the objective. India also needs responsible & disciplined batsmen like Pujara, Kohli & Dhoni. These guys will produce because they know what discipline & responsibility is. Coach the rest of the team on similar lines & verify they are responsible enough to wear the India Cap. Present XI lacks that it sadly!

  • asr4433 on January 30, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    its indeed time to bring sehwag n gambhir back bcoz its time for india to fall to no.8 in odi rankings....coz both of them arent even able to put bat to ball in ur domestic season.. cricinfo plzz publish

  • Raki99 on January 30, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    I think we need Irfan pathan back, that would make this team good enough. The fifth bolwer is puzzle right now. we tried ishant and arron and both have been not successful. Arron has only got couple oppertunities so don't write him off just yet. I am Also Not sold on rohit as a opener the guy can only open in subcontinenet outside he is a lame duck. He was dropped two times before he reached 79 in the fourth ODI. Middle order looks a mess with raina and rahane not contributing. This is what happens when you rebuild a team the last time it happned in 1996 then dravid ganaguly came in the team.

  • on January 30, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    I understand we are facing tough times. We do not need a lot of flamboyance in ODI, and we need workhorse like Pujara to play through middle overs. He can assume the role which Williamson is doing so great for NZ. All power hitters can come and have a go after him. With respect to bowling, I would try Dinda for some time. Many would question this suggestion, but my bet is both Kumar and Shami can attack around him and he can do the contain part which Ishant is failing to do in ODI. Raw pace options we have do not have control over the line most of the times. I would stay out of it given the option. That means, no Yadav or Aaron!

  • saikiran77 on January 30, 2014, 18:22 GMT

    Right now India is in rebuilding phase. Except Ishant Sharma, no other fast bowler played in SA or Newzealand. They are inexperienced and they need some time to settledown in the team. The matches they lost in newzealand are very close and may be with one experienced fast bowler India might have crossed the line couple of times. They need to get zaheer back into the team. His experience will definitely help the team and other fast bowlers. India for sure need an allrounder who can bowl some medium pace. They need to try Binny/Irfan. I think Rahane got good batting technique and he can open the innings as he did in IPL even though he is not a regular opener. Here is my dream team for the world cup 1. Dhawan, 2. Rahane, 3. Kohli, 4. Yuvraj, 5. Dhoni, 6. Binny, 7. Jadeja, 8. Ashwin, 9. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, 10. Shami, 11. Zaheer and extra players can be 12. Rohit Sharma, 13. Irfan Pathan, 14. Dinesh Karthik, 15. Umesh Yadav.

  • on January 30, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    Give chance to Mohit mohipal Sharma and Praveen Kumar as they both swing the ball well.

  • BalaSenty on January 30, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    The selectors along with Dhoni just spoiled the Indian team by blending in the youngsters too quickly. Some of the omissions like Gambir, Sehwag, Harbhajan hurts Indian team. Though they are not in great form but the youngsters too have none less than that. BCCI should have large pool of players. Dhoni only wants his men and he don't entertain any one easily. Even now you can argue why Sreesanth played instead of Ashwinin WC2011. Binny was not even called to bat, just given one over!!!! Indian team is just lost everything, it needs to be overhauled thoroughly. Name a new captain other wise India will loose all away series, T20 and WC2015. Loosing with BL is not so far, it will happen in T20 and India will loose tests in NZ, another white wash.

  • vagee on January 30, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    @somdeep sengupta : You want dhoni to keep for 50 overs, captain the side, and open the batting ? Please check whether you have atleast one instance to back what u say ? In chennai against pakistan... Junaid khan, irfan all were on fire. India were 5 down for nothing and he came and scored a century. Ironically bowlers failed to draw inspiration from that and lost the game. this is the story of indian cricket post world cup. Dhoni is the greatest ODI batsmen ever after sir viv richards.

  • on January 30, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    But one thing India need to under stood; except last one day, first 3 matches against New Zealand, India loose the matches with narrow margin. If one all rounder in team in place Isanth or Aaron sure the result was not that one. Consider Rishi Dhawan or Parvez Razool or at least Harbhajan in that place.

  • on January 30, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    The guys on the forum who want yuvraj or Zaheer etc are going by nostalgia than their current performance. Yuvraj struggled in local pitches-and with his known weakness against moving balls and weaker form he will be a horror show on the foreign pitches How about giving Mishra a chance? I know Ashwin and Jadeja bowl controlled overs but where are the wickets. These guys not taking wicket is not helping the team

  • glen1 on January 30, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    Only option for a decent performance in World Cup is to play Pujara and three spinners. Just two medium pacers, Buvanesh and Zaheer/someone will suffice. The spinners will not take wickets, but will keep the runs down, and the batsmen can hunt it down. India's bowlers, in trying to be fast, have no length or direction and get hit all over the park. The spinners can do the job, and this concept has to enter Dhoni's head for good; other ways, ODI good bye.

  • on January 30, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    my combo for wc 2015 is 1.gambir 2.dhawan 3.virat 4.rayadu 5.rohit 6.yuvi/binny 7. dhoni 8.ashwin/jaddu9.zaheer10.bhuvi/umesh 11.shami....

  • on January 30, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    why dhoni do not understands its not eay 2 replace gambhir zaheer ,bhaji and yuvi.he had been proven wrong.no no. team will lost six odis in a row.u can talk a bit of champion trophy.but wi also won champions trophy in england in 2005 that does not means they r world champs.it is just a period where other team struggles like aus ,pak,sa which r in rebuilding phase during champions trophy and the old rivals of india still then ind got favourable condition as eng give subcontinent pitches just 2 dominate aus in view of 4-0lost of aus against india.its time 4 dhoni 2 recall his men 4 what he become champs.oasis is not a water .ego always destroys person.

  • on January 30, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    How can some writers refer MS Dhoni as a champion ODI batsmen? A home made batting technique has helped him get his runs when :- A. The team is on a roll B. India is 5 down for nothing, and the best bowlers are cooling their heels. ODI Legend, 52+ avg, champion bat et al why doesnt he ever come at the top. Maybe its really the media who is to blame... dont call him a champion bat, because he is not! #Disgrace #Cricket #Rant

  • prasanna_79 on January 30, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    My 15 member squad for the WC which should start playing together from the next ODI series India plays would be : Dhawan (need to build his innings & should avoid playing the pull/hook till he reaches 50..),Gambhir,Pujara,V.Kohli,A.Nayar ( can bat well against pace,can be a useful bowler ),MSD,R.Jadeja,A.Mishra/R.Ashwin (depending upon opposition's batting combo),R.Dhawan/I.Pathan (if he is fit ),R.P.Singh (if he is fit & trim),Shami along with D.Karthik ( backup batsmen as well as WK ) & U.Yadav,Bhuvi.

  • vijaysrivatsan on January 30, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    I think India is a team made to win only major tournaments. Who cares about smaller tournaments or bilateral series

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    I think dhoni is reluctant to play tried and tested senior players due to ego problem which is hurting indian team dearly.with this combination u r not going to win overseas. U need experience players with the combination of youth.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:47 GMT

    ashwin performs only in subcontinent pitches and against weak teams. harbhajan has performed well overseas over the years.he should be atleast in the squad so that ashwin comes under pressure to keep his place in the team.

  • henchart on January 30, 2014, 15:26 GMT

    Indians are not going to succeed in defending the ODI World Cup lest they drop Ishant Sharma ,Rohit ,Raina and not to mention Ashwin.Funny it is that despite having huge pool of talent selectors cant lookbeyond a handful viz Yuvraj,Vinay kumar,Praveen Kumar ,Harbhajan Singh ,Unadkat,Zaheer .These players are made to sit out for a couple of series only to be allowed to return for a series or two underperform and again wait for their turn which is assured anyways.Selectors got to widen their net and give chance to few more untested players who have slogged their gut out in domestic season.Indians are losing anyways with or without these handful whom selectors keep favouring .

  • bowlingplan on January 30, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    time and again newzealand bowlers are telling that they have plans against our players,still we have been able to get good scores.it shows the quality of our batsmen.what the oppositions like england,southafrica,australia and now nz is doing is just bowl the back of a length bowl without giving anyroom.as the indian bowlers are almost 100 percent in giving away 300 plus totals the batsmen get under real pressure.they have no choice but to attack the short ball.so dhoni the problem is not with our batting,it is the lack of strategy against opposition batsmen that is hurting us.we are not doing enough homework of the opposition batsmen,so they naturally goes for runs.players like guptill and williamson plays like rohit sharma waiting for the bad balls.rohit doent get bad balls from nz,whereas the mj and kw get lot of that.while the indians are bowling the viewers will never get a feeling that the indians are bowling to a plan.indians are bowling too many legside balls and not many 4th st

  • sergio11 on January 30, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    well said..nice article...when we compare with team like AUS,SA,NZ and even ENG considering the fact the WC will be played in AUS ind is far from a good side..but the prob with short balling,ind have lot of forgn tour before WC...and i am sure by the time of WC they will be much use to it and will play it better...and Dhoni must understnd the fact the 4 fielder restriction and forgein pitch wont help spinners,there is no point in playing with 2 spinner,unless the pitch is slow and dead...it seems like he will play 2 spinners even in perth..on going NZ..god its a disastr..only adv though is Jaddu's evolution as batman and varon's pace...instead of using aron as first change he but be given new ball..it when the batman is new to the cease that they hate pace on ball nt when they are set..my team for WC...1.Shikar 2.Rohit 3.Virat 4.Dinesh/Uttappa 5.Dhoni 6.Jaddu 7.binny/rishi 8.Aaron 9.Shami 10.Bhui/Eshwar 11.umesh...

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    harbhajan was the highest wicket taker in nz toir of 2009.he took 16 wickets in testz and 5 in odis in just 26 overs. ashwin could perform only on subcontinent pitches and he has never taken more than 3 wickets in list A cricket. give harbhajan one more chance because he has done well recently.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    honestly rohit sharma looks out of place on bouncy tracks and shouldn't be in the team ... same goes for raina and yuvraj...they just don't seem to have the skills to play quality pace abroad... bring in pujara at no.4.... as a capt dhoni needs to take some calculated risks not blind gambles... try out rayudu at the opener's slot...he s aggressive and has a cool head... give dhawan and rahane some time ... please give up the ishant obsession!!! the team for the WC should be - 1.dhawan 2.rayudu 3.kohli 4.pujara 5.rahane 6.dhoni 7.jadeja 8.ashwin 9.shami 10.umesh 11.zaheer... India needs zaheer s experience come 2015 and I think umesh or Aaron s pace is equally important... shami is doing well and needs to be monitored well... bhuvi Aaron and ojha can be the reserve bowlers yuvraj the reserve all rounder(swap for jadeja/ashwin) and gambhir can be the reserve batsman... India can surely win with this combo!

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    The best thing would be not to watch WC 2015 matches featuring India...that would be plain horror...

  • barryrichardsfan on January 30, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    Zaheer, though looked extremely fit, could not live upto expectations in SA. But I feel he still has much to offer in ODIs, surely it can't be any worse than the current scenario. Praveen Kumar looked international class on UK tour of 2011, but after that he has disappeared, bring him back. We need fast bowlers with big hearts, not like Ishant who crumbles under pressure just about everytime. PK may not be express but can bowl with a lot of skill during any stage of innings. Shami looks good and hopefully keeps learning, as he is the most promising of the current lot. B.Kumar has been handled with ease by all sides after his initial burst, but he needs a county stint or two and may aim towards finishing somewhat like Philander with similar pace. All in all the way I see it, I would pick Zak,PK,Shami in first eleven for WC.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Change at top is required. I know it is too short a time frame but how about starting it with T20 and moving in with younger crowd with Kholi as captain-maybe a samson as WK, a jadhav, maybe a Robin Uthappa and people like that. Time to make the change otherwise after the world cup loss it will be another two years before the team can turn around. Dhoni has done a good job but he is no clive lyold to play through two or three world cups as captain...time to make changes.

  • on January 30, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    Just to remind all participants in this forum that e do have an allrounder called LAXMI RATAN SHUKLA. The best all-rounder as per BCCI during the 2012-13 season and who has not done too badly this year either. Rishi Dhawan is good, but his performance has been achieved against comparatively weaker opposition of Group C opponents. Therefore his performance needs to evaluated separately.

  • on January 30, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    batting is not a major concern for india even in this nz series batters have made runs.. its the fast bowlers that are not learning from there mistakes in the last match even kyle mills bowled superbly in death overs even though he is an opening bowler dont no wen will our fast bowlers adapt to situations and use there brains

  • on January 30, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    India should not test the bench strength only when they are loosing. Dhoni should test the bench strength when they were winning. Ashwin at 4 down is a joke. When you have 100's of players back here in india fighting a place in indian team. Dhoni is complicating things with himself. Binny was wasted in 4th ODI. 1. Should be a change in Captaincy in T20, not in Test. 2. India should rotate their fast bowlers for every series. (If not, this will happen - Shami will play all formats and would be thrown out in 1 yr) 3. India should pick 1 spinner who can bowl well in alien nations along with Ashwin and jadeja. (Dhoni will play Mishra in next ODI and he would be swattered all around the park because he is good bowler in spinning conditions, mainly he bowl lot of shot balls. Need a spinner who can drift the ball side ways like swan / Lyon. Raina do that some times, but not good enough to play as a spinner. 4. Dhoni should come up the order, India should play 1 or 2 medium pace all-rounders

  • on January 30, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    My squad for world cup 2015 Guys u can't rate dhawan on just 2 overseas tours. it takes time to adjust to the bouncy tracks. he has played in india his entire life. disappointed why dhoni dropped dhawan on the 4th odi. see even dravid and sehwag had problems in the early days of cricket. He will come back stronger tommorow hopefully. :)

    Rohit Dhawan kohli Raina binny Dhoni Jadeja Bhuvi Mishra

  • Nampally on January 30, 2014, 14:31 GMT

    In the past India relied on their batting to compensate for the weak bowling & won ODI's. But their batting is failing on green pitches & Pujara, the best batsman with sound technique on green wkts. is kept out of ODI due to Dhoni's opposition. Indian spinners have been economical but the pace bowlers leaked away runs with sub standard club level bowling. Pace bowlers have been responsible for all losses even when India had 278 runs on board. Had Indian top 3 bats succeeded consistently, India would have won the series. But Dhawan failed badly & Kohli in the last 2 ODI's. Indian batting needs to be "disciplined" to avoid getting out to short pitch balls from NZ. This is where Indian batting has failed. In bowling, Dhoni has the last trump card by bringing in Mishra. It is taking a huge risk but he might as well try him as a different bowler. NZ might be weak against RH leg spin. No point in wasting time with a 4th seamer! Strategy change is vital & Dhoni needs to focus on it to WIN.

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on January 30, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    Why not DK?, I mean the guy has got serious talent, yes i admit that after the champions trophy he did have a slump in form but how different is it from those of Dhawan , raina and co. DK anyday is a class act, it was unfortunate that he scored that 100's in the CT warmups against quality bowling.

  • on January 30, 2014, 14:23 GMT

    Three allrounders, Three front line batsmen, a wicket keeper and 4 bowlers would be the ideal combination for India. The way I see it the team should be as follows:

    1)Pujara 2)Gambhir 3)Virat Kohli 4)Dhoni 5)Binny 6)Jadeja 7)Ashwin 8)Bhuvaneshwar 9)Shami 10)Zaheer 11)Amit Mishra/Varun Aaron or any other fast tearaway young bowler. Rohit Sharma is an absolutely over rated player and we need good bowlers who can keep getting wickets for us. Gambhir at the top will surely give us both experience and solidity along with Pujara. The 3 allrounders will ensure variety in bowling and some finesse in the batting department. In 1983 we succeeded because of these bits and pieces allrounders.

  • on January 30, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    Why Indian Batsmen & Bowling look sharp-less or toothless out side Indian Because:-

    Team Getting selecting for bouncy Track of South Africa & NZ on basis of there performance in Ranji Trophy , As we all Know that Indian pitch are Flat & non Bouncy ,Lets allow player to play in County Cricket in England,Big Bash In AUSS,Ram Slam in SA,We have to Learn Lesson from Pakistani Cricket they playing every were in World ( They able to Won ODI in SA ).

    Without playing any practice matches you cant use through with the condition ,At least you need to go there couple of week Before play some matches get use through with Condition .

    Indian Player should learn from Michel Clark for Interest of his National Side he decided keep away him self from IPL.

    In my view there no problem with Talent there is dip problem with current system ,which need to be get change.

  • on January 30, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    I am really glad a lot of people are asking for rohit to be moved back to No 4. I think No.5 is the best place for him and I want him to captain the side and Dhoni should purely play as a keeper/batsman. One important point made in this article 'The fielding restrictions ...the game' is totally true but Dhoni is just not that. Whether you are a good bowler or a bad bowler is irrelavant, but when you are given the ball and said dont give runs instead of take wickets, you automatically lose the zeal. Rohit is a bowler's captain and he has shown that in the limited opportunities that he got. Plus it somehow betters his batting plus he should use himself more with the ball too. And we need Puji back in the ODI team. simple. Rahane, Dhawan,Puji,Kohli,Rohit,Dhoni,Binny,Jadeja/Ashwin/Bhuvi/Shami/Zak.

  • on January 30, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    India seriously wasted the opportunity they got to play in newzealand before the top tournament. They should have focused more on their Top 15. The way to go is:

    Definite selections based on overseas playing talent and experience:

    They should have identified players who can succeed in overseas conditions by the opportunites they got to play in SA and NZ.

    I feel these cud make final 16:

    Batting:- Dhoni, Kohli, Pujara, Rahane, Ghambir, Rayudu, Sikhar Dhawan Bowling: Bhuvneswar, Praveen Kumar(if fit) or Shami, Umesh Yadav, Zaheer Khan Allrounders: Jadeja, Ashwin, Rishi Dhawan, Abhishek Nayar, S.Binny, Irfan

    Rayudu - Second wicket-keeper

    Final 11(Same order): S.Dhawan, Ghambir, Kohli, Pujara, Dhoni, Rayudu, Jadeja, R.Dhawan, Bhuvneswar, Zaheer, U.Yadav/Praveen Kumar

  • on January 30, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    It won't hurt to try Ishwar Pandey in the last game just to know where he stands

  • on January 30, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Dhoni should have more trust in the abilities of Rahane, Rayudu and Binny, like he does when it comes to Rohit, Raina and Ashwin. May be either Rahane or Rayudu should open the innings instead of Kohli. Ashwin cant take wickets and yet is called 'strike bowler'.

  • on January 30, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    @raj2992 : Interesting suggestion. Pujara opening, why not ? Drop Rohit Sharma down the order so that he is forced to rotate strike and not be as defensive. Pujara might just be the perfect foil for Dhawan. Pujara at least rotates strike with minimal risk unlike Rohit Sharma who is too defensive or tries to hit everything out of the park. He was lucky that edges got dropped, but knowing Dhoni he has blind unflinching faith in Rohit Sharma which is hard to comprehend. A braver captain would drop him for the selfish innings he played although he got 79 in the previous game.

  • on January 30, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    karthik and gambhir are pretty good in overseas conditions. DK can stabilize the middle order and gauti also can pace his innings very well in those conditions. Praveen Kumar once fully fit can make it to the XI , zaheer needs more match practice. Raina's performance is not good particularly outside the sub continent .It may not be a wiser selecttion to take him to the WC 15 squad. We need best player to play in overseas conditions and not the players who are naturally good in subcontinent/zimbabwe/west indies.

  • raj2992 on January 30, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    I think the playing XI for 2015 should be 1. Dhawan 2. Pujara 3. Virat 4. Rohit 5. Dhoni 6. Raina/Binny 7. Jadeja 8. Ashwin 9. Bhuvi 10. Shami 11. Yadav/Ishwar Pandey

    Pujara has to be included in ODIs because he gives the stability to the team. The other players are stroke makers, so they go hard for runs. Also Rohit is not a natural opener, if he comes in middle order he can easily rotate the strike.

  • on January 30, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    I don't know wrong with the selectors, Rohit is a big hitter don't try him in the opening splt bring back Gambhir we cannot forgot the contribution he made to the team in winning T20I and WC .put down Rohit in NO.4 or even in No.6 he is basically a finisher so he can do that well.In bowling department please give chances to the new guys rotate them. Please utilize the IPL bcci should tell the teams to give chances to new young bowlers who are doing good in domestic circuit instead of giving chances to overseas bowlers in the playing 11 to sell more tickets . IPL is not helping indian cricket we should use IPL to find new picks for our country but i dont thing happening now so please change that and give chances to our young bloods definitly you will get more seam options more than any country in the world.please dont give chances ishant,vinay,rpsingh,dinda its waste of time and i think we dont have enough time to waste the wc2015 is very near

  • AvidCricFan on January 30, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    On the batting front, India needs to replace Raina and Rahane. Rahane has been unimpressive so far in ODI. Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are not the best opening pair on a little bouncy wickets. Manoj Tiwari will be better option to replace Raina or Rahane. He has performed well when he got chances. Sanju Samson is very impressive. He should be tried in the team as a specialist batsman.

  • on January 30, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    @ Prashant Bhatt. Ask also our bowlerswhy repeatedly they are being hit 300plus in almost all ODIs. Plaese also chk where Shikhar lost his form. Also find why Rahane is consistantly failing entire NZ tour so far. Just find these answer, you will come to know why India is get defeated 3/0 against NZ. Why to blame Rohit after every defeat ? When got out playing shot in the beggining, critics says he threw his wicket, there is no need of this shot so early. When plays well planned inning you are saying he is playing too slow. Whats wrong 79 in 96 balls ? He hit NZ bowlers 9 sixes so far. All to pace bowlers. So anybody cant say he is having lack of technic to tackle short ball. It is very wrong to leave main reasons for defeats behind and to blame the batsman who took India to good total after 22/2.

  • Coolcapricorn on January 30, 2014, 12:24 GMT

    Couldn't agree more with this article! Besides the obvious problems with our pace bowling, the series both in SA & NZ has shown it is folly to have both Ashwin & Jadeja in the team as frontline bowlers when at best, they'll only do a containing job & take maybe just 1 or2 wickets. This policy simply allows the opposition to play risk-free cricket when batting after the 1st PP when our spinners come on. Desperately need a seam bowling all-rounder in the team & if Binny is not the answer if his bowling is deemed to be innocuous, then perhaps Rishi Dhawan or Irfan needs to be given an opportunity. Shikhar needs to learn to curb his hooks & pulls in being more cautious/selective when playing abroad & Rohit has to be demoted down the order for reasons stated. There are clearly opportunities for stalwarts like Yuvi, Gambhir, Sehwag etc to find form & prove fitness in getting back into the team. Sadly with all these problems, there is no chance of us doing well at all at the WC next year.

  • Ramanathan-sriram on January 30, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    Rahane has to open the innings with Rohit and pujara at no.4 will be the correct choice in over seas conditions where he has a great temper and technique too. Raina has to fill the no.6 because he can hit big shots in the final overs and no.5 will be for dhoni where he can play aggressive or calmly too accoriding to situations. Varon has to open the bowling then only batsmen can't set themselves because after batsemen set he can easily use the pace of the ball. so my 11 would be Rohit,Rahane,kohli,pujara,dhoni,raina,jadeja,ash or binny,shami and 2 fast bowlers will be gud combo.

  • vipinchirackal on January 30, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    here the question is who can fill the shoe of the existing players.from the present team we can look only five or six players for the next year world cup if the performance goes on like this.kohli,dhoni,jadeja,shami,buvaneshwar.may be rohit and rahane also.then also we need atleast three batsmen and three bowlers including a spinner.but the issue is we dint have a better players than whome we are going to drop.watch the renji performance.vinay and mithun are the bowlers in the final and we know how they performed when they got the chance.i am certain if you give a chance to ishant for playing renji,he will also perform better than anyone else.thats the issue.we cant depend renji trophy for analysing batting and bowling skills.the other way is check the performance in the international standard matches like ipl and under 19 or IND A team competitions.then we can see some shining prodigies like samson and kuldeep.

  • on January 30, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    @karthik.ramaswamy : Rohit Sharma softening the new ball works fine fine when we are chasing 100 odd runs. But when the target is 300 + we cannot rely on opener to just soften the ball... Moreover stop calling him a youngster, he and Raina have got enough chances, its time to show them the door.

  • Waves239 on January 30, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Team composition is utter non-sense to be honest. As WC is going to be held on bouncing and seaming tracks, who is seam bowling all round option for India? Binny/ Irfan comes close but wonder they claim no.7 spot in emphatic manner.

    Ashwin is not India's lead spinner anymore. Poor record in India and away, that shows if he is in squad then as back up specialist batsman. Mishra/ Ojha should be given enough chances. Jadeja is bowling well and can replace Raina at number 5 for his hard hitting skills.

    Remaining all needs to grow on experience! No point in staging international arena in grand style and then either been worked out or fail to outfox opposition plans for him. ( Bhuvi and Shikar )

  • on January 30, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    Now ppl should realize who the real performers of the two wc's(2007 & 2011) were,with sachin,gambhir,sehwag and yuvraj out it,india's dismal overseas performance shows that the hordes of fame laid upon dhoni was actually due to other performers(both bat and ball alike with zaheer and others too performing at that time)...]

  • goldenpower on January 30, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    After ODIs, Call back india team to home.Send karnataka team for to play upcoming test matches vs NZ.

  • karthik.ramaswamy on January 30, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    A.Ak if you are not a Cricket watcher you shouldn't be commenting, Rohit was one of the three batsman who scored Double centuries, the list has names like Sehwag, Sachin and they are greats in ODI. So stop putting pressure on the young man and let him play, secondly it is because of him that India doesn't lose further wickets because he is able to soften the seam of the new ball and by the time the next batsman comes he is at least able to put to ball which he wont otherwise.

  • on January 30, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Zaheer needs to get back into the ODI side. I think in his twilight years considering his fitness, it better he plays ODIs only and retires from test cricket. He has the guile and experience to trouble and contain as required.

  • asr4433 on January 30, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    virat has been found out and am proud that it was NZ bowlers...back of a length ball around 5th stump which isnt htere to either drive or cut is the ball to bowl to him...he isnt even able to put bat to ball to that delivery n if he tries he edges n gets out...he is not a complete player ..look at his last two odi scores after he was found out

  • sandeepknk on January 30, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    bring back yuvraj singh and give him support and confidence ,(which dhoni did not want to do) ,yuvraj with full of confidence will be nightmare for all bowlers ,so selectors bring bac yuvraj, he is definitely a match winner,proved many times ,give him atlest 5 overs to bowl ,his confidence will grow up,and it will reflect in his batting also. so my humble request please select him,

  • on January 30, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    rohit sharma is doing the right thing by playing cautiously,he has the ability to play the big shots later.even guptill scored his first 50 of 80 balls in the 3rd odi.dhawan needs to play the role of jesse ryder so the run rate does not go down.sehwag or gambhir should be tried opening with rohit sharma.

  • Lalz on January 30, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    I expect Indian selectors send the waiting talents for Asia Cup and rest the Seniors including Dhoni. My team for Asia cup will be Gambir, Rahane, KL Rahul, Kohli, K Jadhav, Dinesh Karthick, Yuvraj, Rayudu, S Tiwary, Jadeja, Mishra, I Pandey, Rishi Dhawan, B Kumar, Shami. This will be a youth and experienced mixup team> Also will help us to judge on players on bench. Without exposure to international level on a certain extent no player will be at his best.. Jadhav, Rahul and Tiwary have proven stats in both formats..

  • orangtan on January 30, 2014, 11:05 GMT

    This phenomenon of getting thrashed overseas has long been the bane of Indian cricket, but it seems to be getting worse. The 2 whitewashes in 2011 in England and Australia,were followed by the home defeats against England and Pakistan. These debacles were soon forgotten as IPL euphoria took over;the feel-good factor was bolstered by the defeat of a weak and divided Australian team, and the whipping of a hapless West Indies in a hastily cobbled together domestic series. 2014 seems likely to be a annus horribilis, far worse than 2011. 7 matches in New Zealand, followed by 11 in England ( including a 5-Test series, the first since 1959 when we lost 5-0) and 9 in Australia, not to mention the Asia Cup and World T20. Not to worry, IPL-7 is around the corner, and will soon bring smiles back to the ever-indulgent Indian fan, not to mention the crores that our defeated heroes will rake in as they laugh all the way to the bank

  • cnksnk on January 30, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    Choices for Dhoni are limited. From the team that played in the last match, the options are Shikar, Raina - batsmen, Mishra and pandey bowlers. So what option does he have. May be post IPL for the ODI's in England it is time to go completely with a new set of faces: Batsmeni : Dhawan ( subject to him finding some form)/ Ghambir , Manish Pandey / Vijay Zol, Pujara, Kholi, Sanju samson / Rahane / Rohit , MSD, Jadeja / Ashwin, Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aron. This team may not win us the World cup but will be no worse than the current team. Pujara is a must to hold the batting together and reduce the pressure on Kholi. Bowling is in some ways a lottery. The old formula of trying to chase what is on the board seems to be the best strategy as it is going to be impossible to get 3 new bowlers who will take wickets and restrict. And yes for all the nostalgic fans we must move on from Yuvarj, Raina, Irfan as they have been found out and will face challenges in facing short pitch balls down und

  • Gurudumu on January 30, 2014, 10:23 GMT

    Pujara has has knee operations recently and is being saved for Tests. If his knees were to hold up, he would definitely be opening in ODIs. Having clearly identified the bowling department as sub standard, why are we avoiding the 'elephant in the room'? Why is the BCCI paying lots of money to a bowling coach who has not helped the youngsters one iota? Forget the colonial hangover and appoint India's past great bowlers as the coach. Whilst at it, please appoint an Indian as the overall team coach! IT IS TIME!!

  • ravis123 on January 30, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    Agree completely, MSD needs to have a re-look at the batting. We must try some batsmen who had been in the team earlier - Uthappa is one for the opening slot (high time Rohit is removed). Rahane is a better bet than Shikar, in overseas conditions Pujara is a MUST in the line up at No. 3 and followed by Virat, Yuvraj (proven hand), Dhoni and Jadeja. Rahul from Karnataka and KM Jadhav along with Rayudu should be the 'reserve' batsmen. It is time to remove Raina, Rohit and Shikar from the line-ups overseas, as their technique with the short ball is doubtful. MSD must re-think his strategies considering there is hardly enough time for the 2015 Cup...Shammi, Rishi, Sandeep sharma, Bhuvi, Pandey, Ashwin, Mishra will be my picks for the Bowling dept.

  • GeminiAwan on January 30, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    India is a good one day side, they should concentrate on cricket rather than any proposals, if they don't, the world will watch India loosing to U.A.E and other associates countries....

  • Rahul_78 on January 30, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    Am I missing the point here? Or is Amit Mishra in the squad of New Zealand? Along with MSD even Abhishek also seems to have forgoten the poor guy.

  • on January 30, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    Dhoni is just giving excuses to get Ishant back in the team :D He gets commission from Ishant for every match he is played. Mark my words. He will again bring Ishant back.

  • on January 30, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    I think there is no point in critisising Rohir with no point. Last whole year everybody enjoyed Shikhar/Rohit combination. Both were 2 batsmen out of 4 who made 1000 plus ODI runs. Nobody questioned Rohits batting style. Rohit has right tendency. He plans his innings. He starts cautiosly always, but 9 out of 10 times he matches scoring rate as inning goes. We are watching same Rohit. He started with 7 runs in 30 balls. But finishes 79 in 96 balls and carried India score to commandable total after 22/2. Only I think problem is his partner Shikhar has lost his form. But why cant we understand its a part of the game. It happens to every batsman in this world. But surely there is no point to blame un nessessoryly another batsman. Since Jan 2013, Rohit stared opening for India. He scored 9 half centuries and 2 centuries, one of them is double. Out of 9 half centuries 7 were out of subcontinent. What better any opening batsman can do ? Plus he scored against top teams. All the best India

  • on January 30, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    Please select Ishant sharma for this match and remove upcoming talented pace bowlers like Aaron after just 2 matches because he bowled short and wide. I think opening with Ashwin and Raina in the batting or bowler could also be done. I think Ishant has good chance for scoring a century with the ball if he bowls his ten overs.

  • A.Ak on January 30, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    Drop Rohit Sharma, India will be back to winning ways. Too many dot ball at the top. Not good for ODIs. Playing elegant or attractive doesnt mean he deserves a place. He is a test player. Either rotate the strike to play anchor or play aggressive. He is doing neither.

  • on January 30, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    1. Rohit does not belong in the opening. In order to have a big total you need a quick start and rotating strike which he does not do. 2. We should look at past Yuvraj in WC2015 since these pitches are going to be bouncy. Yuvraj and Rohit play with 60-80 strike rate, I think Pujara will play at 90 to 100 with rotating strike. 3. Indian never had bowlers so you always have to have big totals and this team will not get big totals in Aus/NZ.

  • HarrowXI on January 30, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    Bowling is not India's Problem. Team selection is the reason behind india's failure. You need 5 Bowler to win the matches. And they are

    1)Ravindra Jadeja (leader of attack) 2)Bhuvenshwar kumar 3)Irfan Pathan or Ashwin depend upon the pitch. 4)Mohmd Shami 5)Sandip Sharma (under 19 star fast bowler done very well in Australia in WC)

    Along with this 5 fast bowler india need excellent fielders to support the bowlers. Catches win the Matches. Especially with new field restrictions you need your attacking fielders to play the role of 6th Bowler.

    I would definitely select Batsman who can field well. Suresh raina,Kohli,Jadeja,Rahane and Rohit are inside the circle and Pujara will be good slip fielder.

    Agree with my analysis guys ?

  • nikkam on January 30, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    India not winning ODIs abroad is not a new phenomenon. Except for one world cup in which the pitches were not unplayable, the record is pretty average. Champions trophy was won because India were a young team and the opposition were playing them for the first time. The fielding changes has pretty much made MSDs, "containment in middle overs using spin" ineffective as demonstrated by newzeland. Only aggressive fast bowling can take wickets and put pressure unless there is world class spinner in conditions abroad, very well applied by Australia against England. Every team has its Achilles heel and for India it is their fast bowling. Really surprised why they changed batting order instead! Confused thinking will not allow the team to gel well in time for the WC2015. There is no question of skill level but of application. This is where the captain and coach need to step up.

  • on January 30, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    India should bring back Zaheer Khan ,Gautam Gambhir and Irfan Patha in the ODI Team.The bowling unit of India looks different when Zaheer is the leader.No need of any bowling coach for India. Zaheer does it well for the team.My bowling options for the world cup should be: Zaheer,Bhuvi,Shami And Irfan.Lot of variations with Irfan playing as bowling all rounder.Gautam Gambhir is required to maintain the solidity and experience in the Indian Team.If he has been drooped because of lack of form then what others are doing in the INdian Team Now.Also Pujara Shoukld be given a go in the ODI specially because the WC2015 is at Australia and NewZealand.Batsman For me In the WC 2015: Gambhir, Rohit,Virat,Pujara,Rahane,Dhawan,Yuvraj Best Playing X1 for me: Rahane, Gambhir, Virat,Pujara,Rohit,Dhoni,Jadeja/Ashwin,Irfan,Bhuvi,Zaheer,Shami.

  • on January 30, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    Pujara in definitely, have to try out Yadav and Pandey, hopefully tomorrow, 4-0 or 3-1 no real difference could well have been 5-0 !! Beyond that, there really isn't much left and I can't see India getting into the business end of WC2015.

  • on January 30, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    Let's not blame Ashwin & Jadeja. They've done quite well restricting the scoring on non-supporting wickets And also contributed with the bat sporadically. Needless to say it's the pacers who need to criticised. Barring Shami on occasions, the others have looked toothless. Given what's available in the shelf, not much can be expected to change by 2015. So, we've got to rely on our batting and this needs to be strengthened. Consider bringing in Pujara at the top. With Rahane as his partner. Play Rohit at 4.

  • on January 30, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Accept the fact that India never has quality fast bowlers. In India if you fail it is accepted because of the nature of pitches. But these guys are not able to bowl well even outside the sub continent. Do they want watery pitches so that atleast they can pick few wickets. Dont blame the captain.

  • on January 30, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    1.Rohit,2.Gambhir/KM JADHAV 3.Kholi,4.Yuvraj,5.Raina,6.dhoni,7.Jadeja 8.Ashwin/Mishra,9.Rishi Dhawan,10.M Shammi, 11.New bowler need to find [umesh yadav/new quick bowler with line and length] ..With 2 good quick bowlers..india dont have a chance get into quarter final of World cup 2015 in australia. Varun aron is an optional weapon ,but he has to use his speed with line and length..

    Nothing wrong in Dhoni, its all about the selection issue..! dhoni is doing his part exceptionally well.! if india need wc 2015, he can only help!!!

    and Without Yuvraj...its gonna be impossible.!!He is a real champian! Even in 2011 worldcup, he was out of form.. and when world cup came into picture, he did it for india.! he will come back ..definitly!

  • on January 30, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    It is time now that India brings in Pujara in to ODI team and also, re-look at the bowling coach since there seems panic and lack of motivation with our fast bowlers. Not that they have become bad over night but most of them being first time outside India,they defintely need guidance and mentoring which I feel is completely lacking at present. Hope some one in BCCI wakes up!!!

  • vagee on January 30, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    Abhishek Purohit : This is one of the best articles I have ever read. I am sure you will go places. Your analysis is wonderful. I hope that somehow someone makes MSD read this. Am not exaggerating. Its true. Unlike others you have not blasted team india but what you have pointed out is so very genuine. I am a great fan of MSD but as you said I don like his attitude of not changing his standard policy unless when the ship is almost sunk. He has won many matches with his CAPTAINCY by only doing the basic things right. But now the situation demands much more than that. Does dhoni,s lack of technical knowledge of the game is the main reason for the indian team s debacle ? (Abhishek - please comment on this.) Having said all that there is one game left for team india and we will continue suggesting and imagining dhoni will do what we say. MY team for 5th ODI :

    Rahane, ROHIT, Kohli, Rayudu, MSD, Binny, ASHWIN, Jadeja, Aaron, Umesh, I.Pandey.

  • JustAnObservation on January 30, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    Just see the number of fast bowlers in the article who have been through the revolving door and add Vinay, Praveen and Umesh who have not been given adequate chances. So in all, 11 bowlers who have not even played 7 ODIs each while one flop bowler, Ishant, was given 72 matches to prove himself. Likewise, in the spin department Mishra, Ojha etc are barely given a chance, while Ashwin continues to get the nod in despite a listless performance (just 2 wickets in 6 matches against SA & NZ at 190 apiece). Still, the captain wants to take him to the World Cup, blissfully ignoring the fact that his spin spearhead can hardly take wickets overseas. This is the height of favoritism. Likewise, the revolving door of batsmen would have many names like Tiwari, Rahane, Rayydu, Binny, Uthappa, etc but the captain would give endless chances to his favorite players like Raina and Rohit to prove himself. Why a long rope for only a few and why others are dropped - including veterans, after a few bad game?

  • LongLiveTestCricket on January 30, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    Dhoni did put the blame on bowlers but overall he has been the most rigid captains to have played the game.Refused to drop Ashwin/Ishant/Raina despite reverses while keeping deserving contenders like Mishra and Pujara out of ODI side due to fielding.I understand fielding is very important but first need to first select the best talented batsmen who can score runs in most conditions and bowlers who can take wickets everywhere. If this silly logic was followed elsewhere then most of the Pak team would never be able to play an ODI.In order to get the composition and balance right,especially when you are struggling to win one game,you need to test bench strength.Even in India,they did not win series convincingly due to these same issues.Eng 3-2,Pak 1-2,AUS-3-2.WI 2-1 at home clearly suggest that.Its high time for selectors to jump in as Dhoni is repeatedly losing despite selecting his preferred team while meting out injustice to guys like Mishra,Rasool as if its his personal enterprise.

  • on January 30, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    1. sehwag 2. gambhir 3. kohli 4. rohit 5. raina 6. dhoni 7. jadeja 8. harbhajan 9. praveen kumar 10. zaheer 11. shami ahmad

  • on January 30, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    There aint much the spinners can do in foriegn tours. The pitches abroad are graveyard for spinners. Ashwin and Jadeja kept the pressure. But those fast bowlers lost the game for India. They were simply terrible. School boys can bowl better than that. Since no pressure was created NZ just blocked the spinners and hammered the pacers to get the runs. Batting was another reason. Indian batsman try to pull everything and never has any success doing it. India should have accelerated in the batting powerplay but only got 24 runs in 5 overs. Lots to think about for team India.

  • on January 30, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    What is most worrying is the loss of fundamentals - why can't Indian selectors to go around a country of billion+ people to find strong bowlers willing to learn and develop. The frequency with which Indian bowlers are hit for 300+ runs (most ominously on home turf in India) imposes tremendous pressure on the batsmen. It's a simple game: batsmen set scores, bowlers win games but Indian bowlers have no concept of what's required to achieve this end. This explains why our batsmen are among the world's best

  • on January 30, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    I agree that india's bowling woes have cost them dear, but this problem has been perennial except few bright sporadic phases when the bowlers won them games. As for batting I disagree that india's batting has flaterred. Just couple of bad series doesn't make the players bad. Even the fab four in their peak dint win india a series abroad.so our current generation needs credit for winning trophies outside subcontinent. As for some ppl yearning for recall of zak, bhajji, viru,gauti to name a few, they were dropped after prolonged under-performance. they all had a pretty ordinary domestic season, which shows their lack of hunger for the game. so don't see any merit in recalling them back. Bring them back only after a terrific domestic season because all of the current lot have made it to the team on their domestic performance. so the same yardstick applies to the overlooked seniors as well.

  • rsurya on January 30, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    Praveen Kumar, Buvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Irfan Pathan. I would like to see them all selected together in atleast one squad.

  • on January 30, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Each of the 4 ODI's had a similar pattern when India were bowling. I thought the starts weren't too bad, I thought in this series, that was one of the best I've seen India bowl at the death. Its the middle overs! Dhoni seems to go through the motions during this period. He is content with conceding singles, not taking wickets. NZ took easy singles during this period, took zero risk and built 100+ partnerships. They had a huge platform with where they could launch at the end. And India are happy with this because they are confident they can chase anything, but it doesn't always turn out that way. I think they were terribly exposed when they had to defend a 250-300 score, and they had to change their way of thinking and actually take wickets, not by waiting for things to happen but making things happen.

  • abhithaparian on January 30, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    The recent chop and change policy, where two bad series results in them losing their place(Yuvraj earlier and now Dhawan and Raina), India may go nowhere. Everyone has their opinion that change this player with another one waiting in the queue. Does a side with Ashwin playing as a batsman and Binny, Rayudu in the side create any fear in the opposition's mind? Leave that, does it inspire any self-confidence too? The answer is a big "No". Had India replaced people so frequently earlier, we would not have seen the best of a Rahul Dravid, or the ferociousness of a Sourav Ganguly. I was anyway never convinced with the axing of Sehwag, Zaheer and Gambhir. I still believe at least a few of these guys need to be back. A good IPL for Sehwag may do wonders. I would love to have the below squad in the world cup: Sehwag, Dhawan , Kohli, Pujara, Dhoni, Raina, Jadeja, Mishra, Z. Khan, M. Shami, U.Yadav.(Mishra-attacking option and Raina can bowl Ashwin's off spin)

  • ramli on January 30, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    pacers are awful ... spinners are toothless ... batsmen are wary ... reserves are also the same ... Oh India, the team needs to regroup as it did in CT-2013 to have a decent outing, if not winning, in WC-2015

  • Ruvanya on January 30, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    All the comments are comments but realization comes true only when analyze the Venue and players. Just go throw New Zealand in India ODI Series, 2010/11 / Results. If you analyze those results then this victory of New Zealand is not that much impress. All the three matches won by New Zealand is almost on the edge. So, team India go ahead with positive approaches when you are in the situations like this and all of us must know that now we are forming new Indian squad that will win 2015 WC. Analyze comments and realize the upcoming games. All the best you young guys.

  • ravi_hari on January 30, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    The problem with Dhoni is he is over dependent on a few players and does not want to change even if they flop. He held on to Raina for so long, Now with Rohit and Ashwin. If he is talking about wicket taking bowlers, why does he not pick Mishra or Ojha instead of Ashwin. Why is Zaheer not in this side? Why is Umesh not in the XI? Similarly why is Pujara not considered? I think Dhoni should see the writing on the wall. If you dont change quickly, you will not be in contention at all for WC15. I feel Rahane should open with Vijay followed by Kohli, Pujara, Rohit/ Rayudu, Dhoni, Jadeja, Zaheer, Mishra, Bhuvanesh /Umesh, Shami. You can have Ashwin, Binny, Aaron in the reserves. I also feel that by WC India should relieve Dhoni of ODI captaincy and hand it over to Kohli. Kohli and Pujara can do what Kane and Taylor are doing for NZ. That will give Rayudu, Dhoni the scope to score freely in the slog overs and take the score beyond 300. I also feel Indians are not 100% fit, thus under perform

  • on January 30, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    I feel sorry for Dhoni, considering how many matches Ishant (both abroad and in India) and Ashwin (abroad) failed him. This is more or less what you get if you only create turners at home to win matches. It's a an overall approach. You need to encourage fast bowlers at home (and in IPL) to keep them hungry and tuned for abroad trips. Dada, Rahul, Anil did this, but MS did not. You reap what you sow.

  • abhithaparian on January 30, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    I must say that the side India fielded in the 4th ODI was the most mediocre looking side put up by India in the last one and a half decades(apart from one or two Zimbabwe series). Apart from Kohli and Dhoni, no player in the team that was selected would alarm any international opposition. And please! Stop expecting Ashwin to play as a proper batsman when you've got a Pujara and a Gautam Gambhir back in India. I can seriously challenge the team selection and can put forward another Indian eleven, which would beat this team hands down: Sehwag, Gambhir, Pujara, Yuvraj, Raina, Y. Pathan, Karthik, I. Pathan,A. Mishra, Z. Khan, P. Kumar/U. Yadav would defeat a team of Sharma, Kohli, Rahane, Rayudu, Dhoni, Ashwin, Jadeja, Binny, B.Kumar, Shami, Aaron any given day.

  • army7782 on January 30, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    I read in the other article ishant might be given a chance ahead of aaron...if that is so then guys prepare for a certain whitewash 0-4

  • army7782 on January 30, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    if we witness last odi...ashwin was denied a wicket..umpire did not give a out decision when replays showed it...also mccullum was dropped by rayudu and jadeja...

  • on January 30, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    my team for world cup 2015 is, Dhwan, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvi/Raina/Rayudu/Rahane, Dhoni, Irfan/Binny, Ashwin/Jadeja, Shami, Zaheer, Yadav/Aaron.

  • on January 30, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    The problem with dhoni is, he doesn't want any one in the team to overshadow his stardom, that's y he is always having problems with talented players. How can he sideline a batsmen like sehwag, who can easily get back to track with a single innings, Ghambir who had played consistently in world cup, Pujara who is the reason for comeback in southafrica, till pujara is into the team, the team is having no idea of facing the fast bowlers in South Africa, Zaheer khan, Yuvraj sing, and just see the alternatives he is taking for this world class batsmen, Raina: who forgot 50s n 100s,Dhawan n Rohit: Except in subcontinent unable to give a good start also, even dhoni is also not an exceptional, one can c how he struggled in SA, facing the speed bowlers, as in newzeland as the conditions r good for batsmen may b he is shining. One more thing is rules wont apply to dhoni, in world cup till 5nal he hadn't played a single good knock, but hez in d team, also in england series no big score but hes dr

  • here2rock on January 30, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    Batting problems will be solved by bringing in Shewag and Gambir at top of the order. India should also need to test out the bowling strength by trying Amit Mishra and Ishwar Pandey, who is tall and a very good domestic record. Dhoni and India keep going back to same tried and failed bowlers like Ishant Sharma and Ashwin (overseas). India's biggest problem is that they don't learn from their mistakes.

  • imtiazjaleel on January 30, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    The major problem of India when they go abroad is their batting, either in Tests or ODI .They never get the start they want and the middle order is exposed too early. In SA we were in a good position in the second innings of the first test because Morne Morkel was injured and it gave our batsman a breathing space, otherwise, he was bowling so well that things would have been different and also Rahane's direct hits saved us the match.

  • Srilanka-rules on January 30, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    R. Aswhin or Mishra who is better ODI bowler?. ASHWIN never took a 4-wicket haul even in Domestic List A matches. And he gives 5 runs per over. No wicket taking ability in ODIs and marginally contains the opposition.

    Mishra has an bowling avg of 23 in odi's and has many 4and 5 wicket haul when compared to Ashwin terrible 33 bowl avg with not even a single 4 wicket haul. Ishant, well, every one knows what he is. Its a free baggage. Ashwin + Ishant+ Raina(overseas) is a disaster for any team.

  • Humdingers on January 30, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    Finally an article which focused on something other than the bowling and one that pointed out Dhoni's flaws. Still no mention of Duncan Fletchers role in all this. What coach would survive after 2 (should be 3 and possibly 4 upcoming in NZ) white-washes? AND PLEASE NO ZAHEER! He needs to be out out to pasture!

  • on January 30, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    With BCCI more interested in IPL than international Matches, With pitches being the type where anybody can score triple centuries (3 by Jadeja), how can we develop fast bowlers? Which cricketer in his right mind would aim to be a bowler, let alone a fast bowler? Unless we prepare pitches so suit fast bowlers, I am afraid we can win matches only in the subcontinent. Even Zimbabwe and Ireland can beat us in their countries

  • dassaroj1 on January 30, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    Dhoni needs little advice from senior BCCI officials including coaches that it is about TEAM INDIA not Chennai Super Kings. In conditions like SA/AUS/NZ/ENG no meaning of playing two spinners. Remove Ashwini from playing 11 and give Binny atleast few games or search for other options from domestic level. Next big thing in Indian cricket we rated a player after a single innings highly which makes them complacent for eg. Dhawan and Rohit. They are taking their places granted as no sign of Other options including Gambhir and Veru. These things needs to be addressed before world cup. COME ON INDIA SHOW CHARACTER

  • on January 30, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Seriously, Dhoni has to look beyond Ashwin.. He is not a wicket taker.. When fast bowlers provide an opening, spinners can't just contain but need to get a wicket or two.. Who is your go to bowler?? A spinner who can not take a single wicket on a last day pitch is not worth it.. And still you praise him?? And seriously dude, did you opt for Binny just for sake or to demoralize him?? Job of captain is not just leading a team of successful players but to lead players to a successful team.. You have to have balance of experience and young talent.. Hope you learn it soon enough..

  • on January 30, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    Santosh Pant spot on mate!!! You cant play two finger spinners outside of India let alone subcontinent.. He averages 23 per wicket and economy is 4.6.. I cannot fathom why Mishy wont play..

  • Mythh on January 30, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    They were and will Remain FLAT track bully, hopeless, they may win here an there but that will be Just fluke or Probably One man show (Kohli is Exception), Bowlers need to use there Brains a little and be proactive in there thinking, Pace is not an answer to this problem but street smart pace bowlers are who can proactively bowl slower ones, Yorkers, etc. not jus when captain tells them to do so, i am wondering what COACH'S are doing, just Shopping i guess !!!

    My Suggestion :- Select ten batsmen who can Bowl and probly keep one Specialist Bowler, anyways they conceding runs at 7-8 per over and we have tail endrs who dont even know how to use BAT forget about Batting. All batsmen team is what we need.

  • Mythh on January 30, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    They were and will Remain FLAT track bully, hopeless, they may win here an there but that will be Just fluke or Probably One man show (Kohli is Exception), Bowlers need to use there Brains a little and be proactive in there thinking, Pace is not an answer to this problem but street smart pace bowlers are who can proactively bowl slower ones, Yorkers, etc. not jus when captain tells them to do so, i am wondering what COACH'S are doing, just Shopping i guess !!!

    My Suggestion :- Select ten batsmen who can Bowl and probly keep one Specialist Bowler, anyways they conceding runs at 7-8 per over and we have tail endrs who dont even know how to use BAT forget about Batting. All batsmen team is what we need.

  • CricBash on January 30, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    Given the way the likes of Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar and company have bowled in the ODI, why not give Irfan Pathan a chance? He can be developed into a useful seam allrounder. Sadly though, seeing the way Binny was treated on his debut, I don't think Dhoni wants a seamer allrounder in the team. With runs being given by the other bowlers and no headway in the wickets department, why take an allrounder in the team and make him bowl just one over?

  • Srilanka-rules on January 30, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane is not an ODI player, he is test player for God's sake. An average of 34 in Domestic list A matches cannot be selected for international matches.

    Look at Pujara's domestic average , a whooping 54. He is the amla of India. Even kedar jadhav has 50+ average.

    And last but not least, drop Raina and select Saurabh Tiwary, with an average of 47, he is good commodity with excellent hitting ability.

    These players along with Kohli and Dhoni can become world class batters. But Dhoni is a shy character and only supports his infatuations like Raina.

  • Srilanka-rules on January 30, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    R. Aswhin as an ODI bowler is a joke. This guy never took a 4-wicket haul even in domestic List A matches. And he gives 5 runs per over. No wicket taking ability in ODIs and marginally contains the opposition.

    Mishra has an bowling avg of 23 in odi's and has many 4and 5 wicket haul when compared to Ashwin terrible 33 bowl avg with not even a single 4 wicket haul. Ishant, well, every one knows what he is. Its a free baggage. Ashwin + Ishant+ Raina(overseas) is a disaster for any team.

    Dhoni, how many matches can you loose because of your selection blunder because of your infatuation with these players? Varun Aaron got 2 games to prove himself and he is going to be replaced by Ishant again!!!!!!!

  • rahulStillHeaded on January 30, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Very nice article Abhishek. One thing I would like to mention is that Indian bowlers and not that bad when compared to other bowlers. You can compare economies throughout the world and everyone is struggling. People are conceding 200+ in T-20s and 300+ in ODI's. Main issue is wicket taking. Dhoni's strategy is never around that.

    Containment works best in T-20. Somewhat in ODIs. But in Tests it kills you. MSD is captain across all formats and this shows and it is really tough to manage for anyone.

    The great thing is that all which can go wrong is going wrong at the right time :) And unless there is a lot of arrogance and stubbornness, we will do good in coming World Cup as well.

  • bhor on January 30, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    With such a successfull time period Dhoni had with the captanciy, He seems to be a aggressive captain, who wants match winners in the team, but now this approachseems to be firing back outside the sub continenets, He is showing lot of faith in these match winning players, but none of them seems counting, Now the picture seems same as Sachin's era of captaincy, when he was captain he always expected same commitment and game play as he himself plays, and same seems to be happening with Dhoni, He changes his game whenever he wants, but every player can't do this, outside the sub continent team needs some players who can play a genuine role, team needs a genuine middle order batsman, a genuine wicket taking bowler, we can't expect them to be flexible everytime, we can't expect Shikhar Dhawan to be cautios at start then go blazzing, He can't be another Virat/Dhoni...thus team needs a change of approach. We need Vijay/Pujara/Zaheer in the team who can hold one end.

  • on January 30, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Its strange that nobody talks about Amit Mishra when the matter of wicket taking bowler arises?????

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on January 30, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Its strange that nobody talks about Amit Mishra when the matter of wicket taking bowler arises?????

  • bhor on January 30, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    With such a successfull time period Dhoni had with the captanciy, He seems to be a aggressive captain, who wants match winners in the team, but now this approachseems to be firing back outside the sub continenets, He is showing lot of faith in these match winning players, but none of them seems counting, Now the picture seems same as Sachin's era of captaincy, when he was captain he always expected same commitment and game play as he himself plays, and same seems to be happening with Dhoni, He changes his game whenever he wants, but every player can't do this, outside the sub continent team needs some players who can play a genuine role, team needs a genuine middle order batsman, a genuine wicket taking bowler, we can't expect them to be flexible everytime, we can't expect Shikhar Dhawan to be cautios at start then go blazzing, He can't be another Virat/Dhoni...thus team needs a change of approach. We need Vijay/Pujara/Zaheer in the team who can hold one end.

  • rahulStillHeaded on January 30, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Very nice article Abhishek. One thing I would like to mention is that Indian bowlers and not that bad when compared to other bowlers. You can compare economies throughout the world and everyone is struggling. People are conceding 200+ in T-20s and 300+ in ODI's. Main issue is wicket taking. Dhoni's strategy is never around that.

    Containment works best in T-20. Somewhat in ODIs. But in Tests it kills you. MSD is captain across all formats and this shows and it is really tough to manage for anyone.

    The great thing is that all which can go wrong is going wrong at the right time :) And unless there is a lot of arrogance and stubbornness, we will do good in coming World Cup as well.

  • Srilanka-rules on January 30, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    R. Aswhin as an ODI bowler is a joke. This guy never took a 4-wicket haul even in domestic List A matches. And he gives 5 runs per over. No wicket taking ability in ODIs and marginally contains the opposition.

    Mishra has an bowling avg of 23 in odi's and has many 4and 5 wicket haul when compared to Ashwin terrible 33 bowl avg with not even a single 4 wicket haul. Ishant, well, every one knows what he is. Its a free baggage. Ashwin + Ishant+ Raina(overseas) is a disaster for any team.

    Dhoni, how many matches can you loose because of your selection blunder because of your infatuation with these players? Varun Aaron got 2 games to prove himself and he is going to be replaced by Ishant again!!!!!!!

  • Srilanka-rules on January 30, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane is not an ODI player, he is test player for God's sake. An average of 34 in Domestic list A matches cannot be selected for international matches.

    Look at Pujara's domestic average , a whooping 54. He is the amla of India. Even kedar jadhav has 50+ average.

    And last but not least, drop Raina and select Saurabh Tiwary, with an average of 47, he is good commodity with excellent hitting ability.

    These players along with Kohli and Dhoni can become world class batters. But Dhoni is a shy character and only supports his infatuations like Raina.

  • CricBash on January 30, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    Given the way the likes of Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar and company have bowled in the ODI, why not give Irfan Pathan a chance? He can be developed into a useful seam allrounder. Sadly though, seeing the way Binny was treated on his debut, I don't think Dhoni wants a seamer allrounder in the team. With runs being given by the other bowlers and no headway in the wickets department, why take an allrounder in the team and make him bowl just one over?

  • Mythh on January 30, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    They were and will Remain FLAT track bully, hopeless, they may win here an there but that will be Just fluke or Probably One man show (Kohli is Exception), Bowlers need to use there Brains a little and be proactive in there thinking, Pace is not an answer to this problem but street smart pace bowlers are who can proactively bowl slower ones, Yorkers, etc. not jus when captain tells them to do so, i am wondering what COACH'S are doing, just Shopping i guess !!!

    My Suggestion :- Select ten batsmen who can Bowl and probly keep one Specialist Bowler, anyways they conceding runs at 7-8 per over and we have tail endrs who dont even know how to use BAT forget about Batting. All batsmen team is what we need.

  • Mythh on January 30, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    They were and will Remain FLAT track bully, hopeless, they may win here an there but that will be Just fluke or Probably One man show (Kohli is Exception), Bowlers need to use there Brains a little and be proactive in there thinking, Pace is not an answer to this problem but street smart pace bowlers are who can proactively bowl slower ones, Yorkers, etc. not jus when captain tells them to do so, i am wondering what COACH'S are doing, just Shopping i guess !!!

    My Suggestion :- Select ten batsmen who can Bowl and probly keep one Specialist Bowler, anyways they conceding runs at 7-8 per over and we have tail endrs who dont even know how to use BAT forget about Batting. All batsmen team is what we need.

  • on January 30, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    Santosh Pant spot on mate!!! You cant play two finger spinners outside of India let alone subcontinent.. He averages 23 per wicket and economy is 4.6.. I cannot fathom why Mishy wont play..

  • on January 30, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Seriously, Dhoni has to look beyond Ashwin.. He is not a wicket taker.. When fast bowlers provide an opening, spinners can't just contain but need to get a wicket or two.. Who is your go to bowler?? A spinner who can not take a single wicket on a last day pitch is not worth it.. And still you praise him?? And seriously dude, did you opt for Binny just for sake or to demoralize him?? Job of captain is not just leading a team of successful players but to lead players to a successful team.. You have to have balance of experience and young talent.. Hope you learn it soon enough..