New Zealand v India, 1st Test, Auckland, 4th day February 9, 2014

Dhoni backs Jadeja counterattack ploy

56

'Twenty more runs and we would have changed gears' - Dhoni

When Rohit Sharma departed first ball after tea, India were 270 for 6 and the target of 407 was now appearing out of reach. Ravindra Jadeja walked in and drove his first ball for four. MS Dhoni began the next over with a driven boundary as well. Soon, it was raining boundaries and the partnership had surged to 54 in just over five overs. New Zealand were rattled but Jadeja mishit one to mid-on for 26, after having swung Trent Boult for a straight six two balls earlier.

Could Jadeja and Dhoni have toned down their aggression? Dhoni said they would have, but only after getting another 25-30 quick runs. India needed 83 more when Jadeja fell, and the extra runs Dhoni and Jadeja were aiming for would have whittled the target down to a more manageable 50-odd. That wasn't to be, but Dhoni said aggression was the way to go at that stage.

"It was important at that time as the momentum was with them," Dhoni said. "The wicket was largely flat but the ball was still new and our approach was that we won't let them get on top. The field was quite attacking and we said that if we play a few big shots, we will score a few runs quickly. Jadeja and I said let us take a bit of risk as we needed a lot of runs at the stage. And it paid off, we got some runs quickly.

"Our target was if we got another 25-30 runs, we would change gears. It was important we get runs. The lower order has not contributed much for us, especially Nos 9,10 and 11. It was difficult to leave too many runs for them. We did well to get those many runs in that phase, but it was 40 runs too many."

Dhoni said India wanted to put the pressure back on New Zealand, and that had he and Jadeja not attacked at that point, India would not have reached where they did. "It is always easy to say once the wicket fell, maybe that was one shot too many but we got close to the target because of that five-seven over period where we got quick runs.

"It was important also to put the opposition under a bit of pressure because those 25 (extra) runs, if Jadeja wouldn't have got out, the opposition feel the pressure, as they have to get us out but at the same time they don't want to give too many boundaries. That was the thinking behind it. To some extent it paid off, but if you are playing risky cricket, at times, you may get out, and that is what happened. "

Brendon McCullum admitted that New Zealand were caught unawares by the counterattack, and was relieved his side had been able to break the stand soon. "They put a lot of pressure back on us when Jadeja came out to bat with Dhoni and they played a brand of cricket that I certainly didn't expect them to play at that point in time. That put us under a lot of pressure. Thankfully we absorbed that and through that tough situation."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 10, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Who is backing MSD? Or is this his way if jumping the gun to protect his captaincy. Which Indian captain has stayed so long after 10 straight test losses and so many series abroad. Even the great Dravidi, sachin and Ganguly didn't have this luxury!

  • Solar_Rex on February 9, 2014, 23:47 GMT

    Winning and losing is part of the game. But how you play is important, I think Indian team did show some character and that augurs well. But there are mistakes that are being repeated over and over. That needs to be addressed. New Zealand team seems to be gelling well and showing promise.

  • on February 9, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    India should teach their bowlers pinch hitting and give some basic batting classes

  • on February 9, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    I feel the move by Jadeja is one of the best in the match. This will be a new chapter ito study in many more test matches to come. They should have settled a bit when target reached below 90. Dhoni should come up the order and keep Rahane so that one pair can go for complete hitting with a backupin mind.

  • thebrownie on February 9, 2014, 21:31 GMT

    I support the Indian team, however I am embarrassed by some of the clueless comments here by the Indians. Jadeja and Dhoni just dont have the temperament or skills to play the swinging ball. Nothing wrong with what Jadeja did, in hindsight it is easy to say that he shouldn't have played the shot, but he barely mistimed any shot through out. Just got a little unlucky. Also the batting skills of the tail is zero.

    Also surprised by the kiwi comments on Mccullum's decision to not enforce the follow on. considering the pop gun attack no one would have expected them to fold for a 100!

    I am glad they put up a fight. But unfortunately Zaheer and Ishant will keep playing for 10 more test matches based on this performance. High time to kick them out. I am wondering how the NZ bowlers were getting better results even though they were clocking less than 135kmph. Better skills I guess.

  • on February 9, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    @Sangeet Khatri. What if Williamson was not given out in the first innings. He might have gone on to make 250 runs. You don't know. Also when a batsman gets a bad decision from an umpire, how do you know if he would have been dismissed the very next ball with an unplayable delivery. You see sir we can play these what if games for the whole night.

  • on February 9, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    I love the Indian supporters here today. They're all very proud of their team because in just about every comment they're willing to admit that Indian batsmen failed but not that NZ bowlers succeeded.

  • SRAM20 on February 9, 2014, 20:00 GMT

    Dhoni didn't mention one other important thing - that he and Jadeja didn't have the technique and temperament to withstand the new ball and the opposition's pacers by just playing it out. They took the attacking approach because that's what works for them considering the limited talent they have for test cricket. They played around their weakness, and it almost worked. But when the target is so high, it invariably wont work because one ball or the other, the opposition will get you.

    We need more technicalls sound players in the test side. Like Saha for Dhoni! Saha is a technically good bat

  • dastunta on February 9, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    The typical Indian attitude of defensive play in that situation when R. Sharma got out is why they get buried when they play overseas. If you have the skills you have to be confident and go for it. What is the point of defending a few more overs, keeping the pressure on the Indian team and letting NZ continue to dominate?

    This is the brand of cricket Indians should encourage rather than condemn. Kudos to Dhoni & co. for having the guts to go down with guns blazing. Fantastic stuff.

  • on February 9, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    The big mistake Dhoni made was not sending himself up before Rahane since Rohit was forever has been struggling to hold his own. Rohit is man who has no confidence in his ability so why should the Indian Team give him any more chances ?Whether he bats as an opener or in the middle he is "Disaster" for Indian Team and should be sent for more practice matches back to the Ranji Trophy League. Why did Jadeja had to keep on attacking even after scoring 8-9 runs in the over, instead of waiting for the next few overs to carry on the job, in no way was he going to finish the match in that particular over. It is rubbish if Dhoni says he did right and got out ! Dhoni could have gone and told him alright take it easy till next over, take a breather. Or Dhoni could have sent in Jadeja,with a view to attack, ahead of Rahane to continue a Left -Right combination...but the captain has his set ideas! One needs Flexibility in strategy to win matches, it not done by brawn only.

  • on February 10, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Who is backing MSD? Or is this his way if jumping the gun to protect his captaincy. Which Indian captain has stayed so long after 10 straight test losses and so many series abroad. Even the great Dravidi, sachin and Ganguly didn't have this luxury!

  • Solar_Rex on February 9, 2014, 23:47 GMT

    Winning and losing is part of the game. But how you play is important, I think Indian team did show some character and that augurs well. But there are mistakes that are being repeated over and over. That needs to be addressed. New Zealand team seems to be gelling well and showing promise.

  • on February 9, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    India should teach their bowlers pinch hitting and give some basic batting classes

  • on February 9, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    I feel the move by Jadeja is one of the best in the match. This will be a new chapter ito study in many more test matches to come. They should have settled a bit when target reached below 90. Dhoni should come up the order and keep Rahane so that one pair can go for complete hitting with a backupin mind.

  • thebrownie on February 9, 2014, 21:31 GMT

    I support the Indian team, however I am embarrassed by some of the clueless comments here by the Indians. Jadeja and Dhoni just dont have the temperament or skills to play the swinging ball. Nothing wrong with what Jadeja did, in hindsight it is easy to say that he shouldn't have played the shot, but he barely mistimed any shot through out. Just got a little unlucky. Also the batting skills of the tail is zero.

    Also surprised by the kiwi comments on Mccullum's decision to not enforce the follow on. considering the pop gun attack no one would have expected them to fold for a 100!

    I am glad they put up a fight. But unfortunately Zaheer and Ishant will keep playing for 10 more test matches based on this performance. High time to kick them out. I am wondering how the NZ bowlers were getting better results even though they were clocking less than 135kmph. Better skills I guess.

  • on February 9, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    @Sangeet Khatri. What if Williamson was not given out in the first innings. He might have gone on to make 250 runs. You don't know. Also when a batsman gets a bad decision from an umpire, how do you know if he would have been dismissed the very next ball with an unplayable delivery. You see sir we can play these what if games for the whole night.

  • on February 9, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    I love the Indian supporters here today. They're all very proud of their team because in just about every comment they're willing to admit that Indian batsmen failed but not that NZ bowlers succeeded.

  • SRAM20 on February 9, 2014, 20:00 GMT

    Dhoni didn't mention one other important thing - that he and Jadeja didn't have the technique and temperament to withstand the new ball and the opposition's pacers by just playing it out. They took the attacking approach because that's what works for them considering the limited talent they have for test cricket. They played around their weakness, and it almost worked. But when the target is so high, it invariably wont work because one ball or the other, the opposition will get you.

    We need more technicalls sound players in the test side. Like Saha for Dhoni! Saha is a technically good bat

  • dastunta on February 9, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    The typical Indian attitude of defensive play in that situation when R. Sharma got out is why they get buried when they play overseas. If you have the skills you have to be confident and go for it. What is the point of defending a few more overs, keeping the pressure on the Indian team and letting NZ continue to dominate?

    This is the brand of cricket Indians should encourage rather than condemn. Kudos to Dhoni & co. for having the guts to go down with guns blazing. Fantastic stuff.

  • on February 9, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    The big mistake Dhoni made was not sending himself up before Rahane since Rohit was forever has been struggling to hold his own. Rohit is man who has no confidence in his ability so why should the Indian Team give him any more chances ?Whether he bats as an opener or in the middle he is "Disaster" for Indian Team and should be sent for more practice matches back to the Ranji Trophy League. Why did Jadeja had to keep on attacking even after scoring 8-9 runs in the over, instead of waiting for the next few overs to carry on the job, in no way was he going to finish the match in that particular over. It is rubbish if Dhoni says he did right and got out ! Dhoni could have gone and told him alright take it easy till next over, take a breather. Or Dhoni could have sent in Jadeja,with a view to attack, ahead of Rahane to continue a Left -Right combination...but the captain has his set ideas! One needs Flexibility in strategy to win matches, it not done by brawn only.

  • on February 9, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    I think that was a brilliant move. 100+ runs to go with 3 wickets in hand, new ball still swinging and blowers just took 2 quick wickets, only bowlers left to come to bat....and some of you thought that they should have batted slowly or even drag it down to final day. First things first...just because it s a test cricket, it doesn't really mean that playing aggressively is against the nature of test cricket. And second.. in that situation it was really important to get upper hand in that situation for India as new zealand had stormed right back in to the game. Playing slowly or safely, I would rather say, would have simply just ended up in losing wickets quickly. And one should seriously stop blaming t20 for every loss or tough periods that any team goes through. Things like this were happening long before t20s were introduced and will happen in future also.

  • Alexk400 on February 9, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    I am not fan of dhoni. Attacking Jadeja was best decision for me. It put nz so much pressure when they won the TEST , you can see them as though they came out of death bed. :)

    Dhoni can manuever the team well when he bats. My problem with dhoni is his selection policies. He never take any risks.

  • pvr726 on February 9, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    Disagree.. Why try to finish the game off hitting this way when we have one more full day left? Staying power for the number of days is important in Test cricket, this has been the misgiving for Indian team for long now.

    Look at how Faf du Pleiss almost won but finally drew the test with India 2 months back - that character, which people like Gavaskar had amply in store for years, has been sadly missing in current Indian team.

  • on February 9, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    What's the hurry Jadeja has got into, to finish the match. When he was batting, India needed 90+ runs and India a day to spare and win the match. Please SRT, RD and VVS, where ever you are, please dial Sir RJ, and explain him what it takes to play a "TEST" match. Mr. Jadeja, this is Auckland "TEST" and not a CSK match. Added to this, both Rahane and Dhoni decisions are 100% oerfect examples of human errors. Hail BCCI. Great policy decisions made at not accepting DRS. Keep up the spirit. Don't worry, we only lost a "TEST" match, but not some sort of an IPL match.

  • mxnmxn on February 9, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    Absolutely. those five overs ... Brandon (and all NZ fans) were watching helplessly. They had no clue how to stop the rain. Its just a matter of coincidence that Jadeja got out.

  • zkhan1967 on February 9, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    It all happened while Dhoni was administrating the chase from the bowlers end, punching gloves with Jadeja on each shot during his short lived one day style innings and giving Zaheer khan most of the strike as if ZK will cross the target single handedly. MS was in one day mode and mood to finish the game on the 4th day. Jadeja had thrown away his wicket in exactly same fashion not long ago against SA. Test matches are not won without showing patience, perseverance and rock solid defense and waiting for loose balls.

  • ramli on February 9, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    India has started showing fight ... but we are not winning ... may be we will in the near future if we continue to rectify the mistakes ... should not get complacent or lose heart for fight at any stage of the game ... that is the lesson from this test ... the umpiring could certainly have been better ... well played NZ ...

  • ramli on February 9, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    Most Indians watch cricket not as a team sport but with individual preferences or hatred ... we want the team to win through those choice players only ... add regional bias to this ... these clouds the thinking when the result is not favourable ... this is the basic difference between fans of other countries, especially those from aus, eng, sa and NZ ... Indians must get over this muddy thinking and see cricket as a team sport ... we certainly need to back the team when it is showing fight ... not to pull it down further by petty politics ... it is a shame

  • on February 9, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    I agree with Dhoni's tactic of adopting an aggressive riposte at that stage. There were options; but not a better option! But for it, India would have lost by a bigger margin. Had it paid off, it could have created history. It is Captaincy like this, and what Michel Clarke displays quite often, which makes Test Cricket interesting. Keep it up boys. True cricket lovers do appreciate the risk-takers, but for whom Test Cricket would be run over and crushed under the T-20 army tanks and ODI bulldozers!

    I salute guys like you.

  • on February 9, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    Kohli's was the gifted wicket. Rahane was done in by a mistake not his own, Dhawan by an unplayable delivery. Had Kohli stayed for another twenty runs, they would have won this with 3 or 4 wickets to spare. Poor judgement and just before the new ball. Jadeja, Dhoni, Zaheer Khan did as well as they could

  • on February 9, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    Good job chasing amonumental score. Counter attack was the best ploy but unfortunately we could not sustain. Kholi and Jaddu got out at the wrong time. One lesson to be learnt by India is NZ is only a 105 or thereabouts team and its bowling is not menacing as we could score 350+ fourth innings. Our urgent requirement a good bowling all rounder and a back up seamer like Wagner.

  • on February 9, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    well palyed played team india exceptover no.80 onwards today.lack of experience for most of the team members cost us the match.any way this is learning and gaining process which will cost us some matches in near future.but definitely experience gained by new players in such tours will bring india back in test rankings.

  • damnhomie_1 on February 9, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    Doesn't matter what ploy was used at what time, the fact of the matter is that India should have won the test from the stage they were in. Kohli played a ridiculous shot and the rest just surrendered, you cannot complain about 1 bad LBW decision when the test was yours to lose when Dhawan and Kohli were in. In the end its well played NZ and India has lots of questions to answer.

  • PMadhavarao on February 9, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    Agree that aggression is needed at that time. Both Jadeja and Dhone are One day / T20 type players. However, it should be cautious aggression, its not like we are running out of time. so, you swing your bat couple of times in an over and once you get a boundary, play it safe next couple of balls, in this regard Jaddu should've have played it safe as he already hit a six in that over. Jaddu can grow into a great all rounder by playing responsible cricket. Overall great cricket team INDIA. Happy to see you ducking under the short balls.

  • on February 9, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    What about just one Indian supporter saying well played NZ? You have been smashed 4-0 in the one day series, and pretty much India was out maneuvered in this test match from day 1. The exception of course was India's second innings bowling performance when they decided to pitch it up!! Hasn't been a bad theory in the last 130 years of Test cricket so well done India. NZ deserve big credit for the improvement they have shown during the NZ summer. Taylor, Williamson, McCullum, Boult, Southee, Wagner, form a solid nucleus to build a decent test team around.Well done Hesson, Carter and Bond. Indian supporters your criticism of Dhoni is embarrassing and shows a lack of cricket knowledge and understanding,he is the best player in world cricket embrass him.

  • sunnybalboa143 on February 9, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    hey.. if ur delhi boys had stood till de end, den wy dependin on de csk boys..?? and if india had won wid msd and jaddu partnership, yo wud hav said it was bcoz of de stand btn dhawan and virat, and if india lose, it is only bcoz of jaddu and dhoni..

  • on February 9, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    The problem is persisting with past due date bowlers like Zaheer and not playing true strike bowlers like umesh Yadav Varuna Aaron and Bhubanesh kamar in addition to shami. These four should be played as a quartet in all away matches outside of the subcontinent. A spinner was not really needed on a pitch like this but with so much of a carpet of grass the only spinner I would expect to be able to turn the ball would be a wrist spinner and not a finger spinner

  • coldcoffee123 on February 9, 2014, 14:04 GMT

    India lost due to no contribution from Murali, Rahane and Rohit. I will atleast drop Murali and Rahane and bring sehwag/gambhir/jaffer/badrinath. A serious 50-70 contribution at that stage would have sealed the match for India. Make no mistake. There is no consolation for India from this match. A team that loses from 222/2 to 366/10, deserves a spanking.

  • on February 9, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    So the traditional ploy of building an innings, saving wickets and tiring out the opposition is stupid, even though it works 9 times out of 10? Dhoni's counter aggression is what you do when there is a time constraint, the opposition is weak or you have tail ender at the other end. Jadeja did the same stuff against South Africa. Instead of inducting a steady bat like Pujara in the One Day team, we are encouraging CSK T20 experts into the Test team.

    It's high time we have a separate captain for Tests.

  • on February 9, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Good job Jad that did make the newzealanders step back a little bit and be more cautious about you which was fantastic. Just one mishit cost you your wickets but it's alright. Dhoni is a fantastic captain a bit more consistency from his top 5 and we will be back to number 1 in test. The fight that they showed was amazing.

  • Test_Real_Cricket on February 9, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    It was a good ploy, but a little more would have made the difference. Good cricket by Indians. They are at least fighting. Not like earlier losses.

  • on February 9, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    India should think in terms of pace oriented attack - using Sami, Aroan and Umesh and give them extended run. Also they should not delay induction of Unmukat Chand, Baba aparajit, Vijoy Zol , Praveen Rasool. Zaheer should be retired honourably like Sachin. Look ahead rather than rotating the non performers.

  • dharam_16 on February 9, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Well played Team INDIA; a real character shown in first 3 ODIs and then in first test match, irrespective of the result, a tough fight is important, that will definitely help the young guns. Again, Well Played Guys

  • RaviNarla on February 9, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    Dhoni is absolutely right. He thinks according to the situation. Aggression was needed at that time. Slowly McCullum started spreading fielders. Sometimes when you make a move and it fires everyone criticizes. There were 2 reasons for this game not being won. First off a better first innings bowling. Secondly the atleast 50-100 runs more in the first innings. It is really hard for any team to come back from a huge first innings lead. Hope they bowl and bat well in the next test.

  • Rj_Kiwi on February 9, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    In all of this blaming and carrying on about the game, Ishant Sharma's performance has been lost. He was exceptional in this test match and for this he gets little thanks from fans when he bowled with such big heart. What many Indians do not seem to factor in is that Sharma has to bowl in Indian conditions which don't help his stats or his development AT ALL!!!! It's a dusty pit in Indian conditions. But now you can see in this test match he gained the most wickets plus out performed every bowler except Wagner who got one less wicket but at slightly less runs. I did a post about Sharma as a joke, but you know, I must say 'Well done to you Mr Sharma'.

  • on February 9, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    Dhoni is only good enuf for ODI and T20 captaincy. he shud be dropped for test captaincy. virat is my pick.

  • on February 9, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    I dont really understand Match Tactic of Mr.Dhoni,In ODI, very very slow start eventhough Asking rate is high. Which makes burden of midder order players.but Today Test we dont need the boost the runrate. (Wrong Decision).But I agreed some time you may need aggression to bring back the momentum for short term only.according to me the following tactics may bring good result in ODI as follows.

    Order Name Nature of play 1 Shinkar Dawan Attacking 2 Rihane/Shewag/ Defend 3 Virat Own Game 4 Dhoni Not To waste too many balls intially 5 Ifran Pathan/Ashwin Defend 6 Rohit Shrama Defend& Attacking depends on Situation 7 Binny/ Attacking 8 Jadeja Attacking 9 B.kumar - 10 Shami - 11 Aaron/yadav -

  • on February 9, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    The game of cricket is like this. It will continue to be unpredictable.

  • on February 9, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    Good match that could have gone India's way. Now that BCCI has managed to control ICC, can it turn its attention to "real cricket" and help build a team that can win consistently outside of India as well? We need 5-6 swing, pace bowlers and 2-3 good spinners including a wrist spinner. We also need at least one third of the Ranji matches to be played on fast pitches. Our fielding standards must be raised to at least NZ level and we may need a fresh person for test captaincy.

  • Dielo on February 9, 2014, 10:37 GMT

    @GermanPlayer: Spot on. Dhoni seems to thrive on making decisions based on unorthodox and sometimes mind boggling logic. When they come off, he's hearalded as a genius and visionary and people only remember the epic wins (like Joginder last over in T20 title triumph, coming in before in-form Yuvraj in ODI World Cup win, persisting with Ishant and pulling off Champions Trophy win against England, etc).

    Unfortunately with so much cricket played nowadays, no one bothers to remember the bad decisions which have costed India other matches and series.

  • analyseabhishek on February 9, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    Keeping a cool head doesn't seem to be a virtue of Sir Jadeja's. Also, Kohli must learn not to throw it away when set, playing a shot to get himself out instead of the bowler getting him out.

  • GermanPlayer on February 9, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    I am increasingly getting the feeling that Dhoni is a gambler. He makes decisions that are extremely stupid. ONce in a while they produce good results and people forget his other blunders.

  • dnsvija on February 9, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    I think our coach, Mr Duncan Fletcher, is not identifying the problems with Rohit, Dhoni, Dhawan et al...and the bowling coach...he is not identifying the fact that our bowlers' line & length are poor most of the time. With their pace, they can do well only with fuller length balls and always keep the ball on and around the off stump....over all poor show by Dhoni and his men....just some face saving at the end of not much substance...Dhoni and Fletcher should accept the blame and take better responsibility...

  • on February 9, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    India do not use technology!! they could have had several decisions overturned in this inning alone, which could have turned the game. Still, a very good advert for test cricket, shame someone has to lose!

  • anupkeni on February 9, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Dhoni should learn to bat with the tail the way VVS Laxman used to do. Giving more strike to Zaheer Khan wasn't smart cricket. VVS Laxman would never have allowed Zaheer Khan or Ishant Sharma to the opposition bowlers for more than 2 balls per over. The best example of that is the Mohali test match against Australia in October 2010.

  • androyuvi on February 9, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    Dhoni defends Jadeja? Why? Because it was his idea, his stupidity, and/or maybe he doesn't have belief in the abilities of Jadeja. Whatever the reason may be, in the end India lost, and that was no way to approach a test match when you have 3.5 sessions left. India had a realistic chance of winning when Dhoni and jadeja were still at the crease. They blunder, they defend themselves. Out of the 4 innings, Jadeja had impact on the game only in the 3rd innings. Poor team selection, poor results!

  • satchander on February 9, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    @Gautham: It is easy to say that 1 stroke by Jadeja cost us the match. I think Jadeja and Dhoni played as well as they could under the circumstances and the risks they took off paid to a lot of extent. Just bad luck that Jadeja's stroke was not timed well and he got caught. I think the team has to take blame for a very poor first innings - getting out for 202 is not acceptable. It was always going to be huge catch-up game for India and ultimately we fell short by 40 runs. As a Indian fan, I am a little happy for the fight our team put up though yes I am extremely dissapointed that this is the 10th away test match we have lost from 11 !!!!

  • on February 9, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    it was a good tactic no doubt but poorly executed by India... they can't just look to play like afridi; it l fail 9 out of 10 times... a guy like AB or even brad Hodge would have done a better job in such a situation... jadeja needed to keep a cool head as he was getting a boundary every over and there was no need for unnecessary risks... anyway it was not to be India s day and can't do much about it... better luck next time

  • SanjivAwesome on February 9, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    I agree with Dhoni's strategy to counter-attack with Jadeja. Our real problem was several other batters who were lame. And have been lame for some time under Team Dhoni and Fletcher.

  • InsideHedge on February 9, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    That's just the way Rohit looks. I wish he would have covered the line of that Southee delivery with greater care but did you see how the ball seamed away? That's an ability that our bowlers lack, esp Ishant.

    Yup, I know he picked up 9 wickets but in Tests you really need that ball to shape away towards the slips, it'll get you heaps of wickets. In defence of Ishant, he is a trier but I just can't help myself in criticising the poor fellow, even when he picks up a match haul of 9 wickets.

    Well, it turned out to be a great Test Match by all means.....could easily have been a very one sided affair. Kudos to all the Sri Lanka fans who watched ball by ball and helped the BCCI revenue. I trust it was a better affair than the contest out in Bangladesh.

  • CricActually on February 9, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    well, I dont think that was a good ploy. Dont forget it is test cricket not an ODI. One has to be patient and waiting while grasping the scoring opportunities. The right balance of attack and defense is the requirement of the test cricket. Dhoni and company failed there.

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on February 9, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    India can and should be blamed for 1st innings performance alone...they played exceedingly well in 2nd innings of however one cannot forget that the opposing team was a much lower ranked team with its own set of problems. So in perspective NZ should be congratulated and India should be criticized...there could be many bowlers in India but BCCI is busy earning money and become a bully.

  • InsideHedge on February 9, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    There you go. Logical comments from Dhoni with a clear explanation and verified by the opposition captain, McCullum.

    Seriously, if you have any knowledge of cricket, esp Indian batting, you would have been able to understand the thinking behind the counter attack. Even after Jadeja's fall, Dhoni coaxed vital runs out of Zaheer.

    Once Zaheer fell, it was going to need a miracle for India to cross the line because Ishant was not going to last. Shami bats below Ishant so he clearly can't bat.

    Dhoni would have needed FOUR big overs of solo power hitting to make that last 40 runs. Again, for the uninitiated, this is TEST cricket where you are allowed to bowl fairly wide on either side without getting called - unlike in LOIs where you are forced to bowl in the batsman's hitting zone.

    Unfortunately, our bowlers are very poor batters and in many cases poor fielders, we have a history of it. It goes without saying that we miss an all-rounder.

  • on February 9, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    India would have easily won this match had Rahane not been given out. He was starting to have a good partnership going on with Sharma and India was really on top at that time.

    The opening partnership was broken by a bad umpiring decision. Opening partners make the foundation for others and if that decision is given wrong then the team suffers a lot.

    And the real final blow was when Dhoni was given out. Dhoni alone could have easily made the 40 odd runs to drive team to victory. But he was given out even though he was not.

    This is an example of real bad umpiring which caused the loss of 3 crucial batsmen.

    Also I agree with BCCI, DRS is not ideal, most of the time only top order batsmen are able to use it and lower order batsmen does not have any reviews left.

    The best way would be to ditch umpires and rely only on technology for every decision. That would ensure that the game remains fair and is the best performer wins and that would remove any wrong decisions.

  • on February 9, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    All of Dhawan's hard work ruined because of one ill timed heave by Sir Jadeja. Aggression is great, but at what cost? Going for another lofted shot after successfully executing one a ball or two before is a tad absurd. Hit the ball if it is there to be hit; do not wildly swing at everything. And, does Rohit Sharma have any sleeping problems? Why does he look so languid and lazy at the crease?

  • on February 9, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Dhoni , Jadeja take responsibilities in middle order , very bad india , just need 138 runs with 6 wickets in hand , and loss by 40 runs ,

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  • on February 9, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Dhoni , Jadeja take responsibilities in middle order , very bad india , just need 138 runs with 6 wickets in hand , and loss by 40 runs ,

  • on February 9, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    All of Dhawan's hard work ruined because of one ill timed heave by Sir Jadeja. Aggression is great, but at what cost? Going for another lofted shot after successfully executing one a ball or two before is a tad absurd. Hit the ball if it is there to be hit; do not wildly swing at everything. And, does Rohit Sharma have any sleeping problems? Why does he look so languid and lazy at the crease?

  • on February 9, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    India would have easily won this match had Rahane not been given out. He was starting to have a good partnership going on with Sharma and India was really on top at that time.

    The opening partnership was broken by a bad umpiring decision. Opening partners make the foundation for others and if that decision is given wrong then the team suffers a lot.

    And the real final blow was when Dhoni was given out. Dhoni alone could have easily made the 40 odd runs to drive team to victory. But he was given out even though he was not.

    This is an example of real bad umpiring which caused the loss of 3 crucial batsmen.

    Also I agree with BCCI, DRS is not ideal, most of the time only top order batsmen are able to use it and lower order batsmen does not have any reviews left.

    The best way would be to ditch umpires and rely only on technology for every decision. That would ensure that the game remains fair and is the best performer wins and that would remove any wrong decisions.

  • InsideHedge on February 9, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    There you go. Logical comments from Dhoni with a clear explanation and verified by the opposition captain, McCullum.

    Seriously, if you have any knowledge of cricket, esp Indian batting, you would have been able to understand the thinking behind the counter attack. Even after Jadeja's fall, Dhoni coaxed vital runs out of Zaheer.

    Once Zaheer fell, it was going to need a miracle for India to cross the line because Ishant was not going to last. Shami bats below Ishant so he clearly can't bat.

    Dhoni would have needed FOUR big overs of solo power hitting to make that last 40 runs. Again, for the uninitiated, this is TEST cricket where you are allowed to bowl fairly wide on either side without getting called - unlike in LOIs where you are forced to bowl in the batsman's hitting zone.

    Unfortunately, our bowlers are very poor batters and in many cases poor fielders, we have a history of it. It goes without saying that we miss an all-rounder.

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on February 9, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    India can and should be blamed for 1st innings performance alone...they played exceedingly well in 2nd innings of however one cannot forget that the opposing team was a much lower ranked team with its own set of problems. So in perspective NZ should be congratulated and India should be criticized...there could be many bowlers in India but BCCI is busy earning money and become a bully.

  • CricActually on February 9, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    well, I dont think that was a good ploy. Dont forget it is test cricket not an ODI. One has to be patient and waiting while grasping the scoring opportunities. The right balance of attack and defense is the requirement of the test cricket. Dhoni and company failed there.

  • InsideHedge on February 9, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    That's just the way Rohit looks. I wish he would have covered the line of that Southee delivery with greater care but did you see how the ball seamed away? That's an ability that our bowlers lack, esp Ishant.

    Yup, I know he picked up 9 wickets but in Tests you really need that ball to shape away towards the slips, it'll get you heaps of wickets. In defence of Ishant, he is a trier but I just can't help myself in criticising the poor fellow, even when he picks up a match haul of 9 wickets.

    Well, it turned out to be a great Test Match by all means.....could easily have been a very one sided affair. Kudos to all the Sri Lanka fans who watched ball by ball and helped the BCCI revenue. I trust it was a better affair than the contest out in Bangladesh.

  • SanjivAwesome on February 9, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    I agree with Dhoni's strategy to counter-attack with Jadeja. Our real problem was several other batters who were lame. And have been lame for some time under Team Dhoni and Fletcher.

  • on February 9, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    it was a good tactic no doubt but poorly executed by India... they can't just look to play like afridi; it l fail 9 out of 10 times... a guy like AB or even brad Hodge would have done a better job in such a situation... jadeja needed to keep a cool head as he was getting a boundary every over and there was no need for unnecessary risks... anyway it was not to be India s day and can't do much about it... better luck next time

  • satchander on February 9, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    @Gautham: It is easy to say that 1 stroke by Jadeja cost us the match. I think Jadeja and Dhoni played as well as they could under the circumstances and the risks they took off paid to a lot of extent. Just bad luck that Jadeja's stroke was not timed well and he got caught. I think the team has to take blame for a very poor first innings - getting out for 202 is not acceptable. It was always going to be huge catch-up game for India and ultimately we fell short by 40 runs. As a Indian fan, I am a little happy for the fight our team put up though yes I am extremely dissapointed that this is the 10th away test match we have lost from 11 !!!!