New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 4th day February 17, 2014

Defensive Dhoni hurts India again

Is it time for a Test captain who will be more authoritative in the big moments in overseas Tests?

Unless New Zealand make a generous declaration and India bat out of their skins on day five, India will have gone 14 Tests and three years without an overseas Test win. Only Zimbabwe have a poorer record over the same period. Admittedly 14 is not a huge number, but that only accentuates the lop-sidedness of the ICC rankings, which give no weightage to how well you have performed away.

However, it is not like India haven't had opportunities to win over the last three years. They shut down a chase in Dominica when there was no way they could have lost the Test; they had an outside chance at Lord's; they were favourites to win Trent Bridge after two days; they had a good chance to put one past Australia at the MCG; and they had chances of their lifetimes at the Wanderers and Basin Reserve. Except for the Wanderers, there is a common thread running through these missed opportunities: a leadership group adamant that modern cricket is all about drying up runs, and a man signing autographs at the deep-point fence.

These turning points have been mentioned before, but they are worth repeating. At Lord's, England went into lunch on day four at 72 for 5, effectively 260 for 5. Ishant Sharma had just bowled a spell of 5-3-4-3, which included two great deliveries to get Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell out. The ball was only 31 overs old. Forty minutes later, MS Dhoni began the middle session with Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh. Yes, India had lost Zaheer Khan, but what was the harm in going down slinging if you were going down anyway?

At Trent Bridge, India had England down at 124 for 8, but fearing an apocalyptic counter-attack from Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan, India went on the defensive again, losing all momentum. In the second innings they refused to take a bona fide run-out, a last moment of inspiration that could have galvanised them. The next two Tests were just a nightmarish daze featuring Alastair Cook and an unfit RP Singh.

In Australia, India's fight lasted only one Test, but what an opportunity it was. At the MCG, you have Australia down at 214 for 6 on day one, a real opportunity in front of you, and Brad Haddin has just arrived, but you bowl to him with a long-on, a deep midwicket and a deep fine leg. In the second innings you have them down at 27 for 4 but are almost coy about attacking, thinking about saving runs and thus getting wickets. After that the tour is a recurring reel of Ishant dropping Michael Clarke, and David Warner pulverising the four Indian horsemen of the apocalypse on the quickest pitch of them all.

There is a common thread running through these missed opportunities: a leadership group adamant that modern cricket is all about drying up runs, and a man signing autographs at the deep-point boundary

In Johannesburg, Dhoni had three fast bowlers who maintained the intensity, and he broke away from type, but something about the closeness of the match told you this was the last time in a long time that he would be risking it all. Sure enough, in the second Test he refused to take the new ball until he was forced to do so after 146 overs, preferring to sit and wait than to take wickets to slow runs down, a tactic that drew criticism from Rahul Dravid, a man who rarely criticises.

Over to Wellington then. On the third morning, his quicks have nicked three men out, New Zealand are five down with about 130 required to make India bat again, the ball is about 45 overs old, and here we have Ishant bowling to Brendon McCullum with no slips and a 6-3 leg-side field. The dropped catch at silly mid-on will be pointed out, which is fair enough, in that an opportunity was created, but in the desire to place men to snap up that rarest of catches, India sacrificed the slips and not the boundary riders.

Ravindra Jadeja bowled 24 unthreatening overs on the afternoon, many of them from over the stumps, just because he was keeping the runs down. He bowled with a long-on and long-off throughout for McCullum, who was happy to milk the singles. This is not to take away from McCullum's effort, but Dhoni underestimated him, in that he tried to block his release shots, expecting a poor shot around the corner. In a marvellous innings, McCullum showed he had enough restraint and discipline to not hole out to those deep fielders. When a slip catch did arrive with New Zealand still less than 100 for 5, India had only one man stationed there, which, as William Shakespeare wrote, was neither here nor there.

It's not that this strategy hasn't worked for Dhoni, but it has worked only in home Tests, where he has actually been able to build up pressure through his spinners. It has worked for him in ODIs. Nor have developments in modern cricket been lost on this space. The bats are heavier, the batsmen are bolder, they generally prefer hitting a slightly risky four to taking four risk-free singles, so captains make them pick up the singles, and boundaries early in the innings give them great confidence, etc. Nor can it be denied that Dhoni doesn't have a Mitchell Johnson or a Dale Steyn in his attack. Or even Ryan Harris. Or even Neil Wagner.

But how defensive is too defensive? Even the fourth day began with New Zealand practically 6 for 5. It was a tense time for the batsmen, who would have had to start afresh against bowlers who had had a night's rest. A wicket in the first session would have reaffirmed India's position as favourites to win the Test. The ball was only 19 overs old. The first ball of the day hit the shoulder of McCullum's bat after seaming away a touch. Still it took India only seven overs to begin to resort to denial as a means of taking wickets. And if India struggled on day four, the seeds for it were sown on the third afternoon when McCullum was allowed to bed in amid strange fields.

It became ridiculous at times. Dhoni once asked Ishant and Mohammed Shami to bowl from round the stumps with a 7-2 off-side field. As a bowler it is difficult to keep up with such fancies. When Rohit Sharma bowled, he had a slip stationed where one would be for fast bowlers. Sunil Gavaskar was so baffled he said, "This one takes the cake. No, this one takes the whole bakery." Throughout, Dhoni kept following the ball, placing fielders wherever the shot went. Those who have watched many of these Tests at the grounds remember all too clearly how a fielder who goes to fetch the ball from the boundary rarely comes back: he is stationed there. Most memorably it happened when Jacques Kallis reverse-swept - yes, reverse-swept - Harbhajan Singh for a four at Newlands, and a deep point was placed instantly.

It has been stated previously that Dhoni is a great ODI batsman, a very good ODI captain and Test captain at home, and that he was just the leader of men India needed after the fractious Greg Chappell regime, but in overseas Tests he always seems to lose the big moments.

You can't blame Dhoni alone, though. The other half of this leadership team is a coach who can be credited with giving Test cricket deep point. Dhoni already was a captain who thought New Zealand need to be set 617 to preserve a series lead. And he met a man who defended the idea that India could lose seven wickets in 15 overs if they went for a 2-0 series win as opposed to 1-0. Between the two of them, they will go any length to save boundaries and eliminate risk.

India have been lucky that these last two "series" have each been only two Tests long. India were competitive in the initial parts of the England and Australia series too. Once they lost the big moments, the rest of those tours were a blur of defeats. India's next two assignments won't be so short. It will be imperative they win the big moments in the initial stages otherwise it is quite possible they will come back with a nightmarish haze. Have India reached the stage where they could do with a Test captain who will be more authoritative in those big moments?

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 20, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    Objective analysis by Sidharth Monga. True Dhoni's team lacks quality fast bowlers who can bowl the opposition twice, but this has always been the case even with our former captains. Dhoni is not a thinking captain for test cricket. In fact, were he to not be the captain, even his place in the test team would be doubtful, for coming in a No 7, what value can he add, and how many times has he saved a test at this level. His field placement in the last NZ test was not even school level thinking. GOD knows what made him resort to this kind of filed placement. It is about time, Virat Kohli is given the mantle. In stating this, not wanting to take anything away from Dhoni, he has been a great cricketer and done the country proud. But it is better to leave on a high then be thrown out.

  • Naresh28 on February 20, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Some fans miss the point by saying Dhoni is a good captain in all formats. Its only in the T20's and ODi's his plan works - NOT TESTS. If we look at the silverware achievements it leans to the shorter format. Sometimes we hear the commentators saying that the slip cordon and wicketkeeper is about a meter to far back. Edges fall short. Does he change this - No.STUBBORNNESS. With the speed of our bowlers this is obvious. We saw Vijay, Rohit and Kholi put down catches - DONT THEY FEEL GUILTY when we lose the test.

  • praneethtz on February 20, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    All who are trashing dhoni for overseas performance just check back on India's performance overseas in the entire cricketing history..its as bad as it is today but i guess dhoni is critisized more for over seas lossses but he doesnt have bowling attack which can take 20 wickets..he is defensive bcoz the bowlers have never showed that they are capable of bowling well..umesh has to play more test matches..he can becum match winning wit his pace..even zaheer was not consistent in his early days but u will learn by playing..!!

  • on February 19, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    Everyone should understand that the team is only as good as a captain. It applies to both bowlers and batsmen. If the captain does not have faith in his fast bowler that he can take wickets, he is going to spread the field and make the bowler look worse. Thats why no fast bowler has developed well under dhoni's captaincy though there is a pool of good fast bowlers in india now. In fact there has never been a reliable wicket taking spinner who has developed in dhoni's captaincy. This is all because of dhoni's poor defensive mentality that our bowlers are no good even in conditions abroad. Dhoni needs to be sacked from all forms of captaincy. if he remains the captain for ODI team, I am sure india will exit from the world cup 2015 very early.

  • naren1983 on February 19, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    It really raises the eye brow of Chief Selectors who now-a-days throwing out batsmen & bowlers who under perform for some time, but won't be applicable to Captain ? Still few reckon there won't be change in captaincy for next one year at-least until WC 2015, but we can expect surprises before that for test captaincy. But the real question is who will be the next captain ? Virat has yet to mature, Pujara has some experience in leading India A team, Rohit showed he has captaincy skill at IPL. But he is just started trying to justify his selection in the team. This may ask at-least Dhoni to continue for next one year. But after one year, its going to be big change neither we will nor lose.

  • Siddiee on February 19, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    First thing that needs to be inculcated in India players is that winning is the only thing one plays for. There should be no room for excuses such as less time to adapt, young team etc. Kohli, Pujara, Rahane & Shami were least experienced of the lot but most impressive over past two series, sadly they were led down by their captain.

    Dhoni has long complained about lack of fast bowlers, but is he a captain that knows how to use a fast bowler ? Clearly not as they go for runs in effort to get wickets but dhoni is too scared to go for runs. Ashwin and Jadeja - they bowl to their captain's demands and replace each other whenever one of them is out of form, are India's spin options limited to these two spinners (who only look to contain)? Surely not.

    It only magnifies the fact that dhoni is more comfortable with attacking batsmen and defensive bowlers, which is not that big an issue in limited overs cricket as in test matches.

  • santik on February 19, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    @ KamalRaghu when the opposition is 58/3 and when your highest wicket taker is bowling, common sense will tell you to be offensive.. you don't need any expert commentator to tell this..goni definitely doesn't deserve a place in the test team either as a batsmen or skipper.. one thing i agree is that there is not enough candidates as of now..

  • KamalRaghu on February 19, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    It's not the time to be blinded by the comments of commentary experts. This is a very young team and it has be recognized that Indian cricket is undergoing transition where legends have left. During this time of team building, I think its only fair to give the team more chance. Looking at this team's performance in last two overseas tournaments it is not bad when compared to the performance with the stable team (star-studded) which struggled in England and Australia. Coming to Dhoni's captaincy, I dont think there is no one more efficient or worthy enough currently to replace him. Kholi is still young and needs more mentoring before he can handle captaining. Defensive or offensive depends on the bowling resources available at the hand. In India people are restless/fast food culture and have a very bad habit to bring down their heroes/achievements ignoring the realities and assessing dispassionately.

  • on February 19, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    Kohli has to be the captain and Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay etc need to go out. Pujara and Rishi Dhawan need to play Odi and test series both

  • Sandt on February 19, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    It is high time Dhoni should step down from captaincy.He is hurting Indian cricket now.My question is when Kapil dev, Gavaskar, Azhar, Tendulkar, Ganguly, dravid and all has been lost the captaincy after some series loss why this is not applying to Dhoni.When india wins he gets all credit, but when looses he is responsible for that and he should take the responsibility.He should remove from test captaincy atleast.Even in ODI what he had achieved in last outside tours.Is this way to play for world champions.I don't know why BCCI has not taking any action. Open you eyes BCCI and see the truth or else indian cricket lovers will react.

  • on February 20, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    Objective analysis by Sidharth Monga. True Dhoni's team lacks quality fast bowlers who can bowl the opposition twice, but this has always been the case even with our former captains. Dhoni is not a thinking captain for test cricket. In fact, were he to not be the captain, even his place in the test team would be doubtful, for coming in a No 7, what value can he add, and how many times has he saved a test at this level. His field placement in the last NZ test was not even school level thinking. GOD knows what made him resort to this kind of filed placement. It is about time, Virat Kohli is given the mantle. In stating this, not wanting to take anything away from Dhoni, he has been a great cricketer and done the country proud. But it is better to leave on a high then be thrown out.

  • Naresh28 on February 20, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Some fans miss the point by saying Dhoni is a good captain in all formats. Its only in the T20's and ODi's his plan works - NOT TESTS. If we look at the silverware achievements it leans to the shorter format. Sometimes we hear the commentators saying that the slip cordon and wicketkeeper is about a meter to far back. Edges fall short. Does he change this - No.STUBBORNNESS. With the speed of our bowlers this is obvious. We saw Vijay, Rohit and Kholi put down catches - DONT THEY FEEL GUILTY when we lose the test.

  • praneethtz on February 20, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    All who are trashing dhoni for overseas performance just check back on India's performance overseas in the entire cricketing history..its as bad as it is today but i guess dhoni is critisized more for over seas lossses but he doesnt have bowling attack which can take 20 wickets..he is defensive bcoz the bowlers have never showed that they are capable of bowling well..umesh has to play more test matches..he can becum match winning wit his pace..even zaheer was not consistent in his early days but u will learn by playing..!!

  • on February 19, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    Everyone should understand that the team is only as good as a captain. It applies to both bowlers and batsmen. If the captain does not have faith in his fast bowler that he can take wickets, he is going to spread the field and make the bowler look worse. Thats why no fast bowler has developed well under dhoni's captaincy though there is a pool of good fast bowlers in india now. In fact there has never been a reliable wicket taking spinner who has developed in dhoni's captaincy. This is all because of dhoni's poor defensive mentality that our bowlers are no good even in conditions abroad. Dhoni needs to be sacked from all forms of captaincy. if he remains the captain for ODI team, I am sure india will exit from the world cup 2015 very early.

  • naren1983 on February 19, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    It really raises the eye brow of Chief Selectors who now-a-days throwing out batsmen & bowlers who under perform for some time, but won't be applicable to Captain ? Still few reckon there won't be change in captaincy for next one year at-least until WC 2015, but we can expect surprises before that for test captaincy. But the real question is who will be the next captain ? Virat has yet to mature, Pujara has some experience in leading India A team, Rohit showed he has captaincy skill at IPL. But he is just started trying to justify his selection in the team. This may ask at-least Dhoni to continue for next one year. But after one year, its going to be big change neither we will nor lose.

  • Siddiee on February 19, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    First thing that needs to be inculcated in India players is that winning is the only thing one plays for. There should be no room for excuses such as less time to adapt, young team etc. Kohli, Pujara, Rahane & Shami were least experienced of the lot but most impressive over past two series, sadly they were led down by their captain.

    Dhoni has long complained about lack of fast bowlers, but is he a captain that knows how to use a fast bowler ? Clearly not as they go for runs in effort to get wickets but dhoni is too scared to go for runs. Ashwin and Jadeja - they bowl to their captain's demands and replace each other whenever one of them is out of form, are India's spin options limited to these two spinners (who only look to contain)? Surely not.

    It only magnifies the fact that dhoni is more comfortable with attacking batsmen and defensive bowlers, which is not that big an issue in limited overs cricket as in test matches.

  • santik on February 19, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    @ KamalRaghu when the opposition is 58/3 and when your highest wicket taker is bowling, common sense will tell you to be offensive.. you don't need any expert commentator to tell this..goni definitely doesn't deserve a place in the test team either as a batsmen or skipper.. one thing i agree is that there is not enough candidates as of now..

  • KamalRaghu on February 19, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    It's not the time to be blinded by the comments of commentary experts. This is a very young team and it has be recognized that Indian cricket is undergoing transition where legends have left. During this time of team building, I think its only fair to give the team more chance. Looking at this team's performance in last two overseas tournaments it is not bad when compared to the performance with the stable team (star-studded) which struggled in England and Australia. Coming to Dhoni's captaincy, I dont think there is no one more efficient or worthy enough currently to replace him. Kholi is still young and needs more mentoring before he can handle captaining. Defensive or offensive depends on the bowling resources available at the hand. In India people are restless/fast food culture and have a very bad habit to bring down their heroes/achievements ignoring the realities and assessing dispassionately.

  • on February 19, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    Kohli has to be the captain and Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay etc need to go out. Pujara and Rishi Dhawan need to play Odi and test series both

  • Sandt on February 19, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    It is high time Dhoni should step down from captaincy.He is hurting Indian cricket now.My question is when Kapil dev, Gavaskar, Azhar, Tendulkar, Ganguly, dravid and all has been lost the captaincy after some series loss why this is not applying to Dhoni.When india wins he gets all credit, but when looses he is responsible for that and he should take the responsibility.He should remove from test captaincy atleast.Even in ODI what he had achieved in last outside tours.Is this way to play for world champions.I don't know why BCCI has not taking any action. Open you eyes BCCI and see the truth or else indian cricket lovers will react.

  • on February 19, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    Very thought provoking comments. I couldn't agree more about the IPL casting a shadow on test cricket. Test cricket is a different ball game not an entertainment like IPL where someone dazzle and money rains. Dhoni should learn a valuable lessen if he still wants to stick around. If success/ money has gone to his head he or rather BCCI should consider his position as captain in near future.

  • HopefulIndianCricFan2 on February 19, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    We lost the first test because our Indian batsmen failed in the first innings and tried their best and were good in 2nd innings. Our bowlers were pedestrian in 1st innings and great in 2nd innings.

    We drew the 2nd test because our Bowlers were excellent in 1st innings but got carried away in the 2nd innings. Thankfully Batsmen did not implode in the 2nd innings

    So our batsmen were good 3 out of 4 innings but our bowlers were good in 2 innings and pathetic in the other 2. Zaheer was toothless almost the entire series. Ishant was OK in 1st innings of 2nd test.

    I think we should go with younger and fast bowlers like Ishwar Pandey in fast & pacy tracks. Dhoni should trust in young guns and should take the gamble. He has lost all the series so what more can he loose.

  • cmili on February 19, 2014, 2:20 GMT

    No victories for last 12 international matches for India (4 tests + 8 ODIs). What a shame for world champions.This is due to overconfident of Dhoni.

  • on February 19, 2014, 1:33 GMT

    Only top teams like OZ always have one foot on the door either to make a small gap into a big opening and barge in. They have the wherewithall to do this - batting and bowling. Remember the famous chase against Pak sciptted by Gilchrist coming in at No7. india always waits for things to happen instead of making it happen. It is becuase of poor bowling resources. You cannot go into a Test with 3.5 bowlers - Ishant the unreliable, Zak the old horse and Shami the game trier and delives not and a half bowler (all rounder!!!!!) "SIR". It is nothing but providence that we got them out for 192 with such wonerful resource. We never press for win the moment we smell it. As said by someone here, we have to replace 5 and there are 50 promising names at least.

  • gmsjgmsj on February 19, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    For all ye India bashers and rational Kiwi fans:

    If India are flat track bullies, then the rest of world are flat track sissies. England in the CT finals played in England could not chase 120 in a T20-like match. Why? They were really watering the pitch because they saw some spinners!

    For Kiwis and Windies, all you need to do is to tell `em that this bloke is a spinner and they crumble. A rank straight one from a part time spinner becomes a magical doosra !

    Aussies, ahem, the only Aussies worth mentioning are Border's men who had the guts to fight out in dust bowls. Clarke's men (with Mojo) would still get pulverised 4-0 even today. Such is also England's state today that they will get beaten by an innings in every match they play on the sub continent.

    Message of the tale - in Test cricket home advantage has most often gone with the hosts. Thats the real reason why ODIs came into the picture in 70s to neutralize and provide packaged cricket for masses on weekends.

    God bless.

  • johnpravinking on February 19, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    Our Indian bowlers and batsmen can't play well in conditions which they are not used to. This is a known fact. We haven't won very many overseas test matches outside India in the last 30 years,which is another known fact. Our Indian bowlers bowled their heart out in the 2nd test but they were not good enough and the Kiwi batsman played well knowing the conditions. Just by changing the captain things wont change. This article might have highlighted Dhoni's inability to counter attack/mistakes but Dhoni knows his bowlers and their workloads better than the author and the average Indian cricket fans. So rather than asking for change in captain I would rather ask BCCI I to create pitches which would help Indian bowlers to learn swing and seam. If bowlers could swing and seam then our batsman would naturally will learn to play that.I would also ask cricket writers like Mr Sidharth Monga not to waste his time speculating and criticizing the captain who can only play with what is on the table

  • on February 19, 2014, 1:03 GMT

    Mickey Arthur can be fired; Andy Flower can be fired. What prevents from Duncan & Daws and Penny getting fired. If at all there is any, I don't see their contributions.

    At least on the TV, I often see them sitting lethargically in the back rows in the dressing room. As lethargic as Zaheer strolling down to stop a ball speeding to the boundary. As lethargic as almost all Indian fielders in Test matches. Their electrifying fielding can last just for 20 overs, and if stretched bit, may be for 50 overs. Just don't have the strength, energy or intent to last 5 gays?

    These are additional handicaps India have, in addition to:

    a) A defensive Captain, whose tactics can work, only when the opposition batsmen have to take a risky route.

    b) Lack of any set of bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a match, any where, more so, overseas.

    c) Lack of a proper pair of openers, for Test Matches.

  • ram_fantastic on February 18, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    Dhoni should go. When NZ were still trailing in the second innings he did not have a single slip while the fast bowlers were operating against Brendon. Captaincy is not all about. Intuition. It requires brains as well. Make Kohli the captain.

  • cricpanther on February 18, 2014, 22:35 GMT

    Continue Dhoni for just CSK but rest bring back Sehwag, Gambhir Raina, Yuvraj. Try Gambhir for Test and Odi captain first choice. Second choice Raina as Odi captain. Third choice Rohit sharma as Odi Fourth choice Pujara as Test/Odi 5th Sehwag 6th Yuvraj 7th Dinesh Karthik

    If Dhoni continue as captain for 2015 world cup, high chance India will be out of quarterfinal. He has done for two world cups now give chance to others too.

  • on February 18, 2014, 22:34 GMT

    Our Aussie team are one win away from the number two Test Cricket ranking in the world... Get used to being the number three team India... Then again, you may get back to number two if we can hammer those Saffers enough to set them back for years like we did to England. Cheers Indian fans...

  • on February 18, 2014, 21:44 GMT

    @Sri Ram, what do you expect the bowlers to do when your fielders drop sitters and your captain doesn't have slips in place? These are the same bowlers (except shami) who won tests in Australia/South Africa/New Zealand/England 4-5 years ago. All of a sudden these bowlers are termed bad. An attacking captain like Ganguly won tests in Australia against an all time great Australian line up in 2002/03. It all depends on the attacking instincts of a captain. Had he kept slips for his bowlers at all times, we could have won the test.

  • on February 18, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    One day &t20 are essentially about scoring the most runs, with wickets less important. In test cricket, you MUST take 20 wickets barring your opponent declaring, otherwise you can not win. Drying up only works when the opposing batsmen are undisciplined and impatient , and you have lots of effective slow bowlers- fast bowlers will tire before a batsman who doesn't have a chance to run. Aussies may loose disasterously with an immature team, as in the past, but go in aiming to win and on average win more than they loose. Draws are seconf priority, rather than first.

  • dabbadubba on February 18, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    bring back kumble, we are missing him more than the fab 4.

  • jimmyvida on February 18, 2014, 19:15 GMT

    What the heck, drop all of Dhoni's CSK connections from the team. Sorry Jadeja. Pick another captain, but play Dhoni. He may be good at first slip. We next get rid of Zaheer, Inshant and one of the opening batsmen. OH! and sorry, let's not forget Rohit. The certains are: Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Shami. That leaves us with 5 new faces. That's for Indian fans. But for me, I would play Ashwin and Jadeja in every game. I do not think the average person realizes how good a batsman Ashwin is. He has to learn from someone like Chanderpaul, put a high premium on your wicket. Don't lose your wicket because you are batting with the tail.

  • TusharG on February 18, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    Its time for selectors to take a call on Dhoni as test captain. On merit he does not deserve to be in playing 11. Its time to be ruthless, we have the best resources in cricket: a pool of talented batters , a pool of good, bowlers but lacking the killer instinct because of captain's own insecurity in a test side. Its hard to digest defeats from mediocre sides.

  • Texmex on February 18, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    I hope this is the last test captained by Dhoni. I am tired of his defensive mindset. I can count many times even in one dayer's as soon as a wicket falls he will bring part timers. Also I don't think he is good at motivating fast bowlers like Umesh and Aaron who can win test matches in flat wickets if they gain experience.

  • on February 18, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    Isn't it weird, according to the author, a guy is a very good test captain at home a poor one overseas. After all it is the same format played under the same rules. How can one be aggressive in India and defensive overseas. The answer I believe is just one word "Bowling". In India, he has got spinners who will work magic whenever called to.Overseas he does not have fast bowlers of the same caliber. If captaincy is so important to win a test match, then I wonder why Clarke who is supposed to be light years ahead of Cook as a captain was such a failure in India and Cook a success. The answer is again the same word "Bowling". Cook had Swann and Panesar while Clarke had Lyon and Maxwell.

  • gdalvi on February 18, 2014, 17:33 GMT

    I don't think Dhoni was ever a good test caption - the superstars in Indian test team made him look like one. I think he himself believed he was responsible for the victories and that he could win with any team. Now the reality has sunk in - he is at best a below average test caption. I don't understand how he can go into the test match India needed to win to level the series with just 3.5 bowlers? Does he not know that you need 20 wickets to win any test match? He should have dropped Vijay or Rohit and gone with Umesh or Varoon - that too on wicket which was supposed to be green top. Also use Mishra instead of Jadeja. If you are riding a bicycle and air in back tire ("bowling") is weak - the right thing to do pump up that tire. Not add more air in the front tire ("batting") hoping things will balance out.

  • Mittaraghava on February 18, 2014, 17:23 GMT

    India had an opportunity to win both these tests against NZ.In the first test India had to score403 to win and fell short by 40 runs.. If only one of them,Pujara or Rohith sharma or Rehana had scored well and finally even if Jadeja played carefully .India could have won.In the 2nd test India was short of one bowler and dropped Meccallum's catch.The Indian bowlers could not run through the remaining 5 wickets of NZ in the 2nd innings ,inspite of having 2 day's play.Dhoni could not help as the batsman failed to earn us a victory in the 1st test and the bowlers failed in the 2nd innings of NZ in the 2nd test .But hats off to a once in a life time innings played by B.Mecallum.M.Crowe made a correct remark that Aswin has been left out of the Indian team was a surprise to him.Jadeja cannot replace Aswin as a bowler.

  • crindex on February 18, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    Ashwin is partly to be blamed for this and SA loss . Had he performed well in SA(jo'burg), the go to man for Dhoni would still be in NZ series. Without Ashwin , Dhoni has no one to turn to in crisis situations. That's why he does defensive field placements. Ashwin would have got B Macullum easily as he has done in the past. But media and Indian fans would not allow him into the team after Jo'burg. Dhoni needs some guns to fire by his side.

  • BTyagi on February 18, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    I think BCCI and Dhoni priority do not lie in test simple as that. Public memory is short...bang-bang cricket will start in a few weeks time and everything will be forgotten..fake heroes will emerge and Indian fan eyes will be lit-up again. How else you explain India's preparation for these away tours? There were no fast bowlers groomed...even after 8-0 drubbing in previous season you are going with an againg fast bowler and an unreliable the meanwhile you got lucky to find Sami. Not to spinner worth his salt to peform on away conditions. As much i like Dhoni for his ODI exploits..i think he symobize India's 'chalta hain' attitude in tests. Indian cricket should be driven by excellence and success will follow - and - for BCCI - there is no evidence to suggest that money don't follow excellence!! Strive for excellence first and you will find even more money.

  • on February 18, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    Some of the comments on MSD lack objectivity and more sentimental on Dhoni. People remember his winning the World Cup and always feel that his bowling is not good enough. It is a very unfair criticism on our fast bowlers. Just recall the following. In overseas test matches since 2011, In England Petersen scored 2 double centuries, Alister Cook 293, Ian Bell 235, in Australia, Clarke scored 329, 210, Ricky Ponting on the eve of his retirement 210, Warner 180, now Brenden Macculum a double century and a triple century. Dhoni gifts cheap runs to the opposing batsmen and goes on the defensive immediately like in a ODI. He is a good one day captain but he plays a test match like a ODI. That is his problem. Can any Captain play without any slips or gully when Ishant and Umesh were bowling at Melbourne at speeds exceeding 145 Kph and some balls were clocking over 150 Kph. How many Indian fans ever realize that the problem is not lack of fast bowling but bad handling of our fast bowling

  • on February 18, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    rohit sharma should be the captain for tests.responsibility of captain could bring the best out of his talent. it looks that he has a fear of failure while batting and mentally he's very defensive.captaincy could give him confidence and he could play fearless. just imagine if rohit sharma makes full use of his talent,he could be the next sachin tendulkar.

  • on February 18, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    Its time to look forward not only dhoni coach duncon fletcher has had to go

  • on February 18, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    Dhoni & fltchr need to re-invigorate their team composition and plans.The current lot of players are xtremely talented and equally good when it comes to performance barring a few.Team India needs a fast bowling all rounder outside asia otherwise our 3 fast bowlers will break down with the load and ashwin is not a good enough spinner outside asia to take wickets or contain.Bring in ojha & bhajji.Need wickts in middle. Dhoni & Fltchr need to build on stuart binny or rishi dhawan into a fast bowling all-rounder for away tours. Now that Binny is in the team its hight time Dhoni gets his plans right and make him play as a specialist all rounder for his 130kph pace swing bowling will add a new dimension to the tired attack and his positive intent batting will add just that missing flair of never to give up sehwag approach into the batting line up. Selectors should convey to fletecher & dhoni to deamd proper chances be given to players in the 15 man sqaud and to to gieva break to CSK players

  • GAUTAMKUMAR on February 18, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    So Indian Cricket Team was earlier losing due to Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Gambhir, and Tendulkar (chronological order) who were very old to save singles or last 5 days. Now Indian Cricket Team is loosing because Raina(2006), Rohit(2007), Ishant (2007), Dhawan(2009) and Jadeja(2009) are young and still learning cricket. Hmm so the conclusion is that we will loose with oldies and with newbies. I wonder if now is the time to question the oldies of current team to retire afterall. In the history of Indian cricket for the first time we are across a captain who seems to have nine lives but what baffles me is continuation of coach after such debacles after debacles. I think both shall now accept that india didn't win in West Indies and lost in England and Australia not because of oldies but because of listness captaincy and coaching devoid of tactical acumen. And I think Dhoni shall be grateful that the indifference he shows to Amit Mishra and Ishwar Pandey, was not shown to him by a certain S

  • on February 18, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    I fully agree with Sid Dhoni has produced unbelievable test match A side with average batsmen batting for 210 overs horrible test A batsman like Brendon McCullum and the rest of Kiwi batsmen who average below 40 in tests were dictating terms to India Ishant dropping Mccullum as he could not see the ball due to his long hairs unbelievable, Zaheer in 1st inning and Ishant in 2nd inning opened bowling and went wicketless Dhoni is not attacking sorry but India will see more such defeats in long tours like England and Australia and even if Dhoni is a good one day captain what has India done in SA and NZ is for every one to see I CANT BELIEVE NEW ZEALAND SAVED THIS MATCH ITS SO HUMILIATING FOR INDIAN FANS

  • thinkgood on February 18, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    Why do to you insult the captain for the ills of the team ? The captain does not have faith in this bowling attack. Dhoni needs a better and new set of bowlers who can bite into the opposition. Only Ashwin delivered that kind of bite that Dhnoi is expecting a few times. Other than that blaming the Indian captain for poor attach battery is pointless. I dont think Dhoni would mind leaving the test captaincy to someone else. I dont think he is the kind of guy who would exceed his welcome anywhere. Its the selectors and BCCI which need him to stay. Not Dhoni.

  • Vitruvius on February 18, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    Dhoni should continue as the ODI captain, but not as the test captain. He is too passive and looks hapless when situation becomes desperate. I don't put the entire blame on Dhoni though, because India has the poorest fast bowling attack in the world. God knows what BCCI sees in Ishant Sharma to have persisted with him since eternity. I say this regardless of the 5-wicket halls he took against NZ. The 2nd innings showed just how ordinary a bowler he is. Regarding spinners, India should play leg spinners outside India not finger spinners.

  • oms342000 on February 18, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    experiences make people wise/stupid (depends on how u want to look at it). When Dhoni knows that his bowlers could not get him wickets in a particular situation (First Test match in SA is a case in point) he will know its best not to rely on them to finish in a similar situation. Yes, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity. so he goes back to what works for him (in India at least)... that is restricting runs. If Virat Kohli misses a dolly form McCullum when he was on something like 10 and then goes on to score 300, what can Dhoni do? Placing Kohli in that particular position was itself a good tactic, what he did not budget for was one of his best fielders dropping a dolly. What can he do but go back to defensive tactics. All this criticism against Dhoni feels like witch hunding of sorts. Someone must always take the blame, and since we do not have anyone right now.... therefore the captain. And do not forget this is a new team still trying to find its feet...

  • jerryman on February 18, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    India must analyse their results and do some changes . Believe it is too much for Dhoni to captain in all 3 formats . to relive pressure Dhoni should captain in just the ODI format . The Test and T20 can be captained by different players . T20 may go to Kholi and tests maybe to Pujara . Will need to find a good spinner for overseas tests . Jadeja cannot play as a spinner , unless they select him for his batting .. Good luck in the rebuilding process .Just play to your strengths , players in form should be selected and not just favorites . Non performing players must be benched. Fielding must improve. Catches win matches and was the difference .. Otherwise may have had a chance in tying the series . Please stop objecting to the use of DRS ..

  • on February 18, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    You believe it or not, below should be the future.... Coach - Steve Fleming Captain - Test - Pujara Captain - ODI - Kholi Captain - T20 - Rohit

    India's concerns 1. All formats - India struggles after first 20 overs, since they do not have a proper attacking plan. Indian bowling attack is better than NZ,SL, WI and BANG. Despite we give 300+ runs easily in both ODI & Test. Ca

    2. India does have quality all-rounder, but not making it to the team. Because selectors don't understand what a all-rounder means. Selectors expect him to be the best batsman as well as best bowler. You are not going to get one.

    3. India is too optimistic on certain players saying they are match winners. But they are not. Some of them are Rohit in ODI & Test, Ishant in Indian bowling condition & Ashwin-Jadeja (Pairs). Try different players in their respective spots, it will do miracles for India. Because india is optimistic on certain layers, players like DK are ignored despite performing well in alien condtion

  • on February 18, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Dhoni has never been a good test captain. Even test matches in india which dhoni won are not examples of good captaincy. He is a defensive captain who can easily draw a match from winning position whether its india or the other team in winning position. he has shown that ability in south africa and west indies test series away. Dhoni needs to step away from the test match captaincy and focus more on the ODI captaincy for the world cup 2015. Dhoni says a new captain for 2015 world cup is not right idea but it was a new captain who won the t20 world cup for us in south africa. long time wait for test captaincy change has not happened. Even ODI captaincy should be seriously reviewed if dhoni is adamant about playing XI where majority of them would be from chennai super kings team.

  • santik on February 18, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    goni was never a good test batmen..his record in overseas tests are pathetic..his tactics abroad has been negative and awful..its high time that india replace him with a good wicket keeper batsman and give the leadership to somebody else.. no doubt goni is better in the shorter formats..

  • absoni on February 18, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Dhoni is a good captain and there is no denying it. But maybe we dont need a good captain, but an inspiring captain who is ready to take more risks now. Our away records are abysmal to say the least in the last 3 years. It is time for Virat to take over in Tests, atleast. His maturity as a cricketer is for everyone to see and it is important that we take this step, NOW!. Or else, IPL will come and all things will be forgotten exactly like it happened last time after the drubbing in Australia. Virat sets very high standard for himself and was evident with his muted celebration today post his 2nd innings century (lets not take away the fact that it saved the match for us or else who knows what would have happened). Hope the BCCI takes a strong call on Indian Test cricket, exactly the way it has been taking when it comes to world cricket

  • PerfectTen on February 18, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    There's absolutely no doubt that Dhoni comes across as 'Captain Cool' in the limited overs formats of the game. This is a big asset there as the pressure keeps shifting from one side to the other and the man in charge should not panic or over react. In test matches, although it is said patience is the virtue, pressure on the opposition has to be relentless, especially when your side is bowling as the batsmen are expected to curb their enterprising instincts. This is where Dhoni loses the plot. Looks like he feels the fatigue of captaincy in the longer version and it shows in the face too. We are unnecessarily pushing a man to take charge of the team in a format which he himself doesn't enjoy playing - which for obvious reasons, he won't admit. He's ok with tests in India since they hardly go to an intense 5th day on the turning wonders. Also, to blame is of course, the coach. BCCI should make it mandatory for the coach to face the media everyday to keep him involved throughout.

  • SinSpider on February 18, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    To be honest, this article is a bit too harsh on Dhoni. A captain is only as good as his team is.. and India's nightmare is its bowling. Top teams have at least one ace bowler who can pluck wickets in most innings. E.g. Johnson for Aus, Steyn for SA, Anderson/Broad for England. Dhoni is forced to extract the best from a mediocre pack, whose bowling skills overseas are not good enough. Ishant Sharma's selection is surely the mystery of the century. Zaheer is way past his prime and it is time for him to hang his boots

  • Leggie on February 18, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    @Brendan Elks: There is a reason for the Indian supporters to be upset about 12 overseas Test matches without a win - and the article rightly sums up with reasons. The Indian supporters are used to much better performances from their national team. Between 2000 and 2011, Indians won Test matches *in* every Test playing nation - England, Australia, SA, WI, NZ, Pakistan and SL. Every nation is judged by overseas wins, and Indians had every reason to be proud of it. Dhoni took over the side on it's ascendancy. Sadly, the overseas record has taken a beating with a 0-10 record in 12 overseas Tests. People's memory is short, and the talk about India being flat-track-bully is gaining ground. This statement is far from reality and the real reason is the team's inability to finish matches - thanks to unimaginative captaincy. The Indian overseas performance over the last 2.5 years have diluted the glorious performances of the past. There is every reason for an Indian cricket fan to be pained !!!

  • on February 18, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    There's too much of a history there to suggest that Dhoni just isn't lucky. Even the lay-analyst can tell you that this is developing into a trend, and one that is too often being masked by some great performances by a young, yet highly talented, batting unit. The bowling is just not penetrating, and the foot is constantly being lifted from the pedal when it comes to putting an opposition team away. One cannot deny that Dhoni has fewer, and lower quality, bowling resources to work with, but then he needs to constantly attack, or push to play an extra bowler to make up for the difference. India weren't just outplayed by NZ, the bowlers were just not up to scratch! And they haven't been for some time. Doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity - it's sure driving me crazy at least!

  • mayurnandan on February 18, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    In my view, Dhoni is very Stubborn. He doesn't like to make changes to the playing X1 even after successive failures. Players need to learn from their previous mistakes be it a bowlers or batsmen. You have seize the big moments in order to win. In the 2nd Test in SA, India were in a commanding position after Day 1, they were 1 down for 187 after day 1, from der on they need to capatalize from dat position and were needed to put atleast 450-500 run total to put SA under pressure, but the reversed happened, and again they falter in the second innings to lose the match & the series. These moments r hard to get so these moments needs to be won. Similar things happened while batting in 2nd innings in 1st test vs NZ and while bowling in 2nd innings in 2nd test. Give new players chances if they r placed in the squad as this is the right time for them to learn & gain experience. Cheers for future :)

  • ankitkhare19 on February 18, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    Bang on! Though, I was not able to watch the whole match but whatever I saw, I too felt that same..why Dhoni is not attacking? I was really amused. Coach should be also equally blamed. Sad to see India giving away victory, when they need them the most.

  • FarSight on February 18, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    Good incisive analysis by Sidharth Monga. At various times cricket lovers expressed the genuine cricketing opinion that Dhoni is not test class in wicket-keeping and batting. He is not a captaincy material or leader of men. He is not the best wicket keeper in the country at any time during his career. His batting has no technique. His captaincy has no strategy and cricketing thought process. In short, he should never have been in the test team. He is probably the greatest one day player of his generation however. Is it a taboo to state openly that Indian cricket is run by and for people whose only interest is making money?

  • freedomofspeech2 on February 18, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    Dhoni needs to go. I always felt he is a lucky captain and now all of a sudden his luck has deserted him. People were praising Dhoni for his world cup and T20WC achievement as if he ONLY has done that single handedly. So by the same logic,Dhoni alone should take the flak for 10-0 dismissal performance not the poor bowlers. A good captain is as good as the team. Do you think If Dhoni has captained a team like Kenya or zimbawe,He would have won cups after cups?? He is a very negative captain.

    Even in One dayers,We have been humiliated by lowly ranked NZ team. Dhoni scored 50 in almost every game but never tried to accelerate or take risks. Even against N.macullum he was very subdued even after 45th over. Jadeja,Ashwin and other tail enders came and went after the ball right after the word go but Dhoni was content with rotating the strike.

    Can anyone remember any match winning innings or atleast match changing innings played by Dhoni in Tests? and also in any recent ODI's?

  • timepass2014 on February 18, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    I agree with the author. Dhoni is out of ideas at crucial moments. He does take those gambles at times but those gambles will work in limited overs situation not in longer format where batsmen is not worried so much about runrate. Plus our bowling choices don't help either. I saw 3rd & 4th days play, we did go past the bat on occassions and even grassed some but the pressure was being let off bu giving them the opportunity to turn over the strike plus the bowlers were getting tired. Dhoni doesn't believe in horses for courses theory for which he paid dearly by loosing the opportunity to win game overseas. Plus Dhoni is rigid and stubborn when it comes to making changes to playing eleven, we were losing and Kiwis were winning in ODI series, even then Kiwi's showcased so many fast bolwers when they had no reason the change the winning eleven. whereas we had every reason to make changes as our bowlers were not doing the job we persisted with more or less the same playing eleven.

  • Nisha_Paru on February 18, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    I just do not understand 1 thing. Rather than saying previous players who are currently out of form to be asked to play, why not support these new and young players? And Varun Aron and Yadav all played last match, but then still there were no changes in bowling. First some said bring back Zaheer and he will be the best, but I do not see any difference from him and other bowlers. Just support these young talent. Give Dhoni and his co about 6 months time, I am sure they will come back with a bang

  • ut4me87 on February 18, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    England lost one series and changes happened. India last won a test match outside India in 2011 and Dhoni is still the captain. About time, Dhoni is relieved of Test Captaincy and replaced by somebody else, may be Ashwin who has a brilliant brain and a good batsman overseas. Regarding coaches, India will have to find a new one. Before India travels to England and Australia. I don't think that Ganguly was allowed to fail so many times as Dhoni has been allowed.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 18, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    Part 8: Competitive sport is a mind game at the highest levels. In the world of cricket today, the opposition has now come to believe that the Indians are incapable of taking 20 wickets in a Test match and definitely can't bowl at the opposition if the opposition decides to grind it out for 2 days on 4th and 5th day pitches! That's the biggest damage this SA-NZ tour has done to Indian cricket. But that's just one side of the coin! The fact that the Indian confidence itself is absolutely dented was visible on the 4th day of the 2nd NZ test match, when our bowlers were listlessly bowling and the batsmen were at will scoring sometimes 10 runs/over. Brendon hit sixes to reach most of his landmarks during the epic 302! What does that say our bowlers ability and the will to fight that has got punctured? This is now affecting batting morale! We need to overhaul the bowling attack completely. Need fresh blood... and that doesn't mean bringing Nehra, RPSingh and Agarkar back from retirement!

  • on February 18, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    Dhoni and fletcher need to re-invigorate their team composition and plans.The current lot of players are xtremely talented and equally good when it comes to performance barring a few.Team India needs a fast bowling all rounder outside asia otherwise our 3 fast bowlers will break down with the load and ashwin is not a good enough spinner outside asia to take wickets or contain. Dhoni & Fletcher need to build on stuart binny or rishi dhawan into a fast bowling all-rounder for away tours. Now that Binny is in the team its hight time Dhoni gets his plans right and make him play as a specialist all rounder for his 130kph pace swing bowling will add a new dimension to the tired attack and his positive intent batting will add just that missing flair of never to give up sehwag approach into the batting line up. Selectors should convey to fletecher & dhoni to deamd proper chances be given to players in the 15 man sqaud and to to gieva break to CSK players or non performing players.

  • Lalz on February 18, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    With Dhoni's one dimensional approach with current set of players, India will win 1 out of 20 matches and that will give the Dhoni confidence to play the same set again. We still have not much choices to WC 2015 just because he denied chances to bench players nor did selectors cared about Indian cricket future. With so many young talent names floating around medias, they could have tried atleast half of them resting seniors on each match or series. Now we don't have that liberty too with Asia cup squad already selected, WC T20 squad also selected, England and Australia tours to come next which selectors won't experiment on captaincy and players. Look at the 30 T20 probables listed, where we can't find players who are recently in form or are threat to current set of players. But our domestic talents have enough time to impress the selectors with domestic limited over season set to begin . Now or later Dhoni's favorites have to make way for young talents which we can't ignore lot....

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 18, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    @Part 7: Look at our fielding! In any given innings, we give away 40-50 runs too many compare to the opposition. Brendon scored 302 and after 770mins of batting, came on to the field and was running with alacrity behind the ball in the out field as also doing the slide stop! Can you imagine the Indians being that fit? Ha! The Kiwis consistently showed that SPIRITED fielding can save 40-50 runs even in the ODIs. Why is it when Indians dive at the boundary, they either dive OVER the ball, or they are sooo focused on the dive that their hand completely misses the ball? All the younger Indian players are guilty of this! The bottom 3 of the Indian batting line-up have for FOUR DECADES now been the WORST batsmen and the WORST fielders, when you consider the top 6 international test teams. What a record! My chest fills with pride! The Indian coaches must be so proud of this achievement! They show no commitment to the team cause. No understanding of match situation and swing the bat at will!

  • janareddy08 on February 18, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    aiyo plz dnt compare dhoni with any other ..... without jhonson clarke is empty without styen and abd or amla smith is empty ... and dhoni is not one dimension two dimension etc etc ... without so called dimensions he would not have come this long (nearly 7 years as captain) with different generation players... just give 6 more months for this team with gambir in ... ! lets w8 and pray as fans ...

  • Leggie on February 18, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Or is it a collective decision - that also includes Duncan Fletcher. It's fair enough to give players an extended run, but the team also need to be aligned to an overall strategy and not the other way where a strategy is formulated on the teams composition. In Dhoni's case, it seems to be the latter, and the results are there to show. Dhoni would do well to look at how Sourav and Dravid altered the team's compositions and even the likes of Sehwag, Kumble, Harbhajan, Srinath et al sat out of test matches so as to give the "team" a better chance of winning,not just defending. This is where one has to question the wisdom of the support staff and in particular - Duncan Fletcher. Do they go with Dhoni's views or is it that Dhoni overrides them and they remain silent spectators?

    Dhoni has a great quality of not panicking under situations and is truly seen as a leader. But he has a long way to go in becoming an aggressive Test captain. I hope BCCI helps in transforming him to a great captain

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

    Part 6: Our Indian batsmen think they play spin well! What a delusion! The evidence shows otherwise! Swann and Monty of England, Ajmal and Co of Pakistan, Lyon of Australia, 2nd tier spinners of West Indies and South Africa and even part time spinners like Clarke of Australia have terrorized India causing batting collapses! The English spin and bowl at a faster speed. Our batsmen aren't used to that, of course! Indians "flight" the ball, giving it "air". They still follow the old Bedi / Prasanna school of thought and consequently find they are lofted for sixes at will! Guile and surprise is part of spinner's armory, but these days of ODIs and T20s and video records, every spinner's guile is open secret. You need to be REAL THING to be successful. Taking wickets on a crumbling Indian Test track does not count for talent! That's the reason our spinners face a reality check overseas. Where are the genuine Indian spinners whom one can count on overseas to take wickets?

  • on February 18, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    At this stage we are blaming our bowlers and it is quite true also ,but who is responsible for this ,only MS Dhoni and Coach,who were not wiling to give single chance to quickest india's Umesh yadev ,and young and promising Ishwar Patel and even not to Amit Mishra .Dhoni has created sub- team within the team india and both Sharma,Ishant and Rohit ,Ashwin ,Jadeja ,Zaheer and Raina are within the group.on other side Dhoni responsible for non utilising the qualities and talent of Amit Mishra,Umesh Yadev Varun Aron ,Manoj Tiwary,Pragyan ojha ,Ambati Rayudu .Unlike Ganguly Dhoni has no faith in new promising cricketers ,if he continues as captain we could never see Kuldeep yadev or Sarfaraj in tram india,infact it is right time to sach Dhoni as a test captain and Fletcher as a coach.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 18, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    Part 5: I remember Munaf was successful when he first came into the scene because of his accuracy and stump to stump line. Within 2 years of his Test cap, he was "all over the place". We see the same thing happening with Shami. Who is advising them? The other seniors(sic) in the team? Doesn't the Indian team have a bowling coach? Have the Indian team yet not understood that you NEVER bowl short of length and ALWAYS bowl closer to the batsmen (than you do in India) when you bowl overseas? You create movement for the ball and allow it to do the talking, especially when the Indian pacers (sic) can't ramp up pace at 140+. Likewise, the Indian batsmen MUST NEVER hang the bat out overseas. And play slowly for at least for the first 90minutes of the day. That gives the openers to study the bowlers' length, pace and well as the opposition's strategy for them. Learn to rotate the strike. Yes, for that you will have to run a lot of singles and 2s! Learn to bat like Cook in Eng!

  • on February 18, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    why murli vijay is in team him with gambhir ..gambhir is 100 times better than him and same with suresh raina,ashwin,jadeja...dhoni select only CSK players


  • Leggie on February 18, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    I concur with Sidharth's views and would like to add one other dimension of Dhoni's captaincy that's really weird. He sticks to a certain 11/12 through the series and rarely tinkers with the team composition. In the 4 Test matches in SA and NZ, the only change happened was Ashwin replaced by Jadeja. This rigidness to not try something different hurts as well. For example in this series, it was not clear why Umesh Yadav was never played. Till the time he got injured, he was by far the fastest of the Indian pacers. His spell on a slow Ahmedabad was appreciated by one and all, and suddenly seems to have gone off the radar. Was he judged on the basis of runs scored in ODIs or the way he bowled in the nets? Whatever it is, I see a similarity between the way Umesh is handled now and what happened to Steve Finn. In my opinion, there was an opportunity to rotate pacers and give Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav a go. It needs to be investigated if this is Dhoni's strategy (to be continued).

  • Naresh28 on February 18, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT 4 bowlers will not take the 20 wickets. India struggles with even 5. If one of the 4 is having a bad day it means we are effectively only using 3. Team selection needs improving - Rohit, Vijay, Ishant and ZAKs will only give the once in while good performance. We need better gutsy players - why do we always have the same 11 when guys like YADAV and PANDEY are there warming the bench and the end result is the same!!!!!

  • sal7 on February 18, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    He mentions 4 close matches. What about the rest where India was trounced by huge margins? No captain could have saved those tests. Oh, but BECAUSE Dhoni lost those big moments in a few tests, "the rest of those tours were a blur of defeats." Woah! Stand back! You forgot to add- "In My Opinion"!

  • here2rock on February 18, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    India's problem is an unimaginative captain and bowlers. Dhoni is one dimensional as a captain. They run out if ideas when things are going against them. I see so many posts about lack of speed for Indian bowlers but they generally bowled quicker than NZ bowlers. The main problem is lack of planning against each individual batsman and executing those plans. The biggest problem is lack of variety in the bowling department, no leg spinner, fast bowlers not having the skills to bowl that lethal bouncer or yorker. A fast bouncer is a must overseas but none of the bowlers bowl that effectively.

  • kiwicricketnut on February 18, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    from a nz perspective, it simply looks like they don't have specific bowling plans for each batter, dohni just follows the ball which is 2nd grade club captaincy really, i don't blame dohni alone, there are meant to be coaches behind the scenes coming up with these stratagies, so what are they doing for there pay? shane bond is brilliant in this aspect as must be hesson but not only are these guys good at coming up with ways to get a guy out our bowlers are brilliant at implementing those plans, we arn't blessed with a johnson or steyn either but they have been just as effective recently because they are out thinking the opposition, this is what indias attack seriously lacks.

  • on February 18, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    Team India at the moment desperately needs an extra batsman and while Suresh raina has failed miserably in all series so far, it is probably time to give Binny a chance, as he seems to be a much better batsman and his medium-pace bowling could prove to be handy on the Overseas turf as well. Binny has impressed a lot while playing for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy and his recent powerfull all round perforamnce in irani trophy and also the IPL. The right-hander can not only pick wickets with his genuine swing, but can also score consistently with the bat as well. Binny has also been an integral part of the Rajasthan Royals squad where he got to play with world class players like watson who would have mould him into a better all rounder. Its time Dhoni & Fletcher inculcate new plans than actualy surrender to there redundancy.Now that the team is struggling to find its rhythm overseas, Dhoni should give chance to binny to prove his mettle and show confidence in his swing bowling.

  • SudeepSonawane on February 18, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    Agree with Sidharth's views generally. Don't agree with "but in overseas Tests he always seems to lose the big moments". He will never get the few big moments in Tests because as captain he cannot work out small moments with his bowlers. He cannot effectively lead in five-day cricket because he cannot plan for unlimited overs unlike ODIs and T20s. Tests require sound education in tactics, approach, player management and final XI selection. This kind of education is available in Bombay, Bangalore, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Baroda, Delhi, Madras, Lucknow, Pune and to a limited extent in Rajkot, Nagpur, Guwahati and now Cochin. Certainly not in Ranchi which is known for hockey more than cricket. Dhoni has honed his basic skills away from some the aforementioned cricket nurseries. Most division and first class coaches from the big cities teach boys how to approach and win a match. Arguably Dhoni did not learn these lessons while playing in Ranchi. This shows in his repeated failures overseas.

  • ooper_cut on February 18, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    @ Test_Cricket_Lover_India ---- Those are amazing tactics, confirms why I have been having that lost feeling for so long.

  • ooper_cut on February 18, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    We do not have any senior players in the team, so no changes expected. Also Dhoni is Srini's pet, so don't even think about it. If possible, he will be ICC team captain as well with Clarke as No.2.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 18, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    Part 4: It is really funny how for many many years, our Indian cricket experts, players and commentators, blamed the pitch and Indian weather conditions for the lack of movement by our Indian pacers (sic). That's the biggest joke! Little wonder, our pacers can't take wickets. Kapil took 300 odd wickets not because he was a great bowler of international class, but because he was the best pacer India had ever produced. When our pacers don't move the ball, little wonder that our batsmen struggle to play the moving ball. Ordinary bowlers of the opposition, suddenly turn deadly against the Indians in overseas conditions. Vijay, Rohit, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Dhoni are clearly unfit to handle the moving ball. Can we send Jadeja up the order and ask him to anchor? It will be worthwhile checking his technique tho' he seems to lack the batsman temperament. I think Raina should be tried in Tests. He started off well in the last Eng tour before succumbing to "dressing room depression".

  • Kangroos.Proteas.Monkeys.Lions on February 18, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    It is bad bowling more than dhoni that hurts indian cause both at home away. At home england beat india because they had better spinners and india did not despite laying the pitch at their will. Dhoni adds his part even in this innings when india were 3 down dhoni was in everyone's mind who could come out and save it for india. Dhoni attack from his side but a captain is as good as its team.

  • on February 18, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    Dhon, Fletcher and Selectors should now srsly ponder on bringing in a seam bowling all rounder at NO.7 position. Either that has to be stuart binny or rishi dhawan. Foremostly dhoni should infuse faith in them and once they are included in playing 11, dhoni should use them judiciously. It is only then we can hear dhoni not cribbing anymore of not having thatall rounder. The problem is with dhoni's attitude, he cribs for one seam bowling all rounder, selectors gave him one for the NZ tour in Binny, he never utilised him at all. and thereafter without having any shame keeps on cribbing in the post match presentation of not having a seam bowling all rounder. Imagine the state of mind of that poor stuart binny. He should be judiciously utiliised at least now as he is selected for the Asia cup and the t20 world cup..Play him instead of raina at No.5 position and give him his full quota of 10 overs and dhoi should stand way back behind the stumps so that he could bowl expressively.

  • on February 18, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    While I accept the bulk of this argument, you should not include the Dominica test in your analysis. While it appears that India abandoned the chase, it must also be pointed out that India was already 1-0 ahead and this was the last test and while you believe that they "could not have lost", we must remember the old cliché that cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties....

  • raghoo1 on February 18, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    Im glad the selectors and the management of BCCI do not read this article or the SackTheEntireTeam and BringBackTendulkarGambhirSehwag comments. N Srinivasan persisted with MSD even after the Eng and Aus losses and we won the World Cup. Knee jerk reactions never brought results. Look at England, except KP, they are backing their boys. Learn from that. This is the best batting lineup India has had in the last 6 or 7 years and we now have the best captain India has ever had in our history, though our bowling cupboard is completely bare. To everyone who wants Sehwag over Vijay, check how these 2 have compared in the recent IPL auctions. DD themselves dont want Viru and pick Vijay for 5 Cr when Viru gets 3.2 elsewhere. Those teams are putting their money where the mouth is

  • IndCrab on February 18, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Sachin came to scene as a 16 yr old and see his records. We have very talented lion hearted Cricketers in India: For eg Manoj Tiwary , Irfan Pathan , Sreesanth , Varun Aaron , Ishwar Pandey , Jiwanjot Singh , Unmukt Chand , Umesh Yadav , Iqbal Abdullaha , Anwar Ahmed , Pravin Kumar , Sanju Samson. But Dhoni , Rohit , Vijay , Ashwin , Zaheer , Fletcher and all staff must be out from Test Team. Other wise team India will lose 23 - 0 in tests. Now it stands 13 - 0. Common change before the series in England ,,, pommes are done and dusted , we must win 3 - 1 against them

  • Hasun888 on February 18, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    India will not get a better leader than Dhoni. The true problem is the bowlers. Lead bowlers in Zak (33 avg) and Ishant (38 avg)...both have pace below can swing only one way (Ishant)...neither bowlers have something it bounce or skid...neither bowler is really fit...both a liability in the the captain has done his India his batsmen can score a billion runs and win...but it is really hard for Indian batsmen to score 500 every time to have a chance to win overseas

  • Nathan74 on February 18, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    I don't want to take away McCullum's achievement of 302. It was a remarkable innings. But I have a question. Did Dhoni drop the catch just before his 300 to give McCullum the chance to achieve the 300. And then @ 302 Mccullum gifts his wicket. We will never know. The spilling of the catch looked little devious to me. Only two will know truth Dhoni and McCullum.

  • on February 18, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    I would like to know and ask anyone what's ishant's wicket taking delivery before this test series i was expecting him to not get any wickets so that india can get rid of him. I think shami is a good fast bowler but obviously he needs a partner who can i take wickets or contain runs. Don't understand why can't we test varun aaron or umesh yadav they are fast and wont be worse than these boys and what's wrong with amit mishra as a wrist spinner finger spinners can take or taken good wickets overseas except saqlain mustaq.

    Dhoni play jadeja a bowler who can stop runs and may pick odd wicket why not try and give mishra same number of opportunities like ashwin and jadeja.

    India'a batting is the best line up in the world most of the time they score runs last 4 test matches are proof of that. Most of the top order batsmens scored centuries one or the other match. India's problem is not dhoni's captancy by favouritism to CSK players.

  • fairfan70 on February 18, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    Dhoni needs to go, at least as a captain. His decisions are always defensive, lack imagination and boldness to take Indian cricket forward.

  • umalik712 on February 18, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    Dhoni has the same share in overseas loses as coach. Dhoni is too defensive specially outside india. good point by Siddharth NZ were 6 for 5. still they need 300 or so to make it a draw. Rohit is getting sam type of turn as jadeja in this match. fielding settings made easy for B Mac. As we play cricket games in our pc hit 4 to cover & fielder will be there with third man empty, score to third man & then cover will empty. If this test was played in eden gardens india would have win this by inn & 50 runs. Defensive approach cost the match & it converted win into draw. I agreed with other users comments one young aggressive coach is required instead of old horse fletcher. Ganguly is good option, kapil, Sandeep patil and many more old indian seniors can be good coach for india. Do not take foreign coach now will be best for future of indian cricket.

  • alfaomega on February 18, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    Time for change? For sure...but who will be the change? Who among the present team could be given the reins of the Test team? The only player that could be considered is Virat Kohli, who again is pretty raw himself. Let him sink into his role as a run maker first and foremost. Maybe its time to think bold and radical...get in Sehwag as opener in place of the unreliable Murali Vijay and also make him captain. If Dhoni has a problem playing under Sehwag, get in Dinesh Karthick who is a more solid batsman overseas and probably a more agile keeper. Would probably give Viru that bit of spark and motivation in the twilight of his career. Gives us another option as well...Rahane opening and Viru in the middle-order. And please let's find 1 bowler who can bowl consistently at 140-145. For all the hype, Shami was bowling at around 135-140. To put that in perspective, Zaheer was bowling at 130-135. Boult and Wagner, both short and averagely built guys were bowling at 140+

  • IndCrab on February 18, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    Time to take out Dhoni capitancy along with the graceful exit of Ishant , Rohit , Zaheer , Vijay , Ashwin , Dhoni , Fletcher and Joe Davies from the Team. England will slaughter this toothless attack

  • JJJake on February 18, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    It was the same with England in Australia. They tried to play slow, boring ,defensive cricket and just got blown away.

  • Test_Cricket_Lover_India on February 18, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    200+ partnership in test matches against Indian captains:

    M S Dhoni - 17 S M Gavaskar - 8 Sourav Ganguly - 6 Kapil Dev - 5 Mohd. Azhar - 4

    The above statistics proves the point what Sidharth Monga is writing about. M S Dhoni is a remarkable batting skipper but he is prone to brain fades as a fielding captain.

  • on February 18, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    Problem is Dhoni is stuck in a rut in terms of being imaginative about strategy, after a couple of days into the test, it seems like he is mentally jaded and very predictable, time for him to take a break maybe ??:)

  • VickGower on February 18, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    Believe me, I so want to blame Dhoni, but when I pause, cool down, and look rationally, there is just no way you can blame him.

    Indian bowlers gave away nearly 500 runs for the loss of 1 wicket. That should not happen even on the flattest of wickets. It took India 10 wickets to make less than that in comparable conditions. Even if there were only two players from the fielding team on the field -- the wicketkeeper & the bowler -- even then there are at least 3 very viable ways you can get a batsman out. BJ Watling set a record for maximum number of catches in a series by a NZ wk. So it's not as if finely placed fielders all over the place were taking all kinds of catches.

    Let's get real here. Ishant-Zaheer-Shami-Jadeja are the worst bowling attack India has had in quite some time. Ishant needs perfect green pitches, Zaheer is finished, Shami is still green, Jadeja - well, spinners are never going to be as effective overseas, and Jadeja is just serviceable.

  • mrbaddy on February 18, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    The article pretty much sums up the feelings of the cricket lovers in the country. I think pretty much nothing will be changed in Indian Cricket about people that are related to CSK in one way or the other, till the IPL investigation results are public which I think wont happen till IPL is over.

    However it is nice to see lot of people venting their frustration. I'm thinking this might be among the top commented post in cricinfo.

  • SabyS on February 18, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    Fact is that Dhoni's style of captaincy is what's causing these problems in Test cricket. His style of leading has always been defensive in all formats and this can happen to you if you play so many T20 competitions and ODI cricket wherein containment can be the only option. The same style surely cannot work in Tests as we're seeing for a few years now. Initially India, under Dhoni, won Tests primarily due to the stars in the team, but slowly but steadily with the likes of Kumble, Bhajji and the fab 4 gone his captaincy has come into the spotlight wherein his defensive decisions are taking a toll on the team's performance. I believe it's too late for him to change his style, something which has given him so much success in the shorter formats. Therefore, its best that Kohli takes over and lessens the pressure on him so that he can focus on the ODIs and T20s.

  • on February 18, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    "This is the umpteenth time I am saying this. This is definitely the last. Dhoni stands about 2-3 yards further than he should be behind the stumps. As a result, in every test match two to four catches fall short of him. That's one. The second is that the slips are also 'too far' because they take their cue from the wicket keeper. So in every test, at least 10 possible chances go down the drain. Am I the only joker saying this. No! Sunil Gavaskar made the same comment recently." - Jimmyvida took the words right out of my mouth. As a keeper myself keeping to 125k balls i can tell you he is hardly even club standard team selection- seeing NZ getting an all seam attack, why not take the cue? NZ are the home team after all! Even if he gets banned for over-rates, im sure India won't do any worse. No overseas centuries in all the series he's played! Except for one scratchy chancy innings in england ages ago. And to add to that is his captaincy. How many more reasons do you need to sack him?

  • on February 18, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    All the blame shuld go to Dhoni.. why read the follow, Under dhoni we played away series england 4 test , Ausies 4 test , SA 2 Test nd NZ 2 tests,, in those 12 tests Ishanth played 12 tests, Zaheer 8 tests, Ashwin 5 tests, Shami 4 tests,jadeja 3 tests, so why not dhoni played with other bowlers, why he selected ishanth nd the csk two spinners, Why dhoni not requested fr more practise matches on bouncy tracks bt he failed to do two day matches could not save us, dhoni likes ipl he shuld hav asked BCCI to send our bowlers nd batsmens to english counties why he has not recomended it, Dhoni has failed has a test batsmen ofter playing 83 tests stil he could not scored a century on bouncy tracks, As captain dhoni good at subcontinent pitches bt on bouncy tracks he failed to do so nd as a batsmen he could not scored match wining inings, dhoni defencive attutide failed to succeed, as T 20 captain dhoni won one wc bt last 3 wc india failed to get semifinal nd dhoni till now failed to score 50 runs in t 20s nd his strike rate 101, how dhoni in the wc squad..

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    True Dhoni cant bowl for his bowlers but he can nurture and groom fast bowlers. This can only happen if you give youngsters like Ishwar Pandey, Umesh Yadav and Aaron a chance. Instead of playing Ishant over and over again or Jadeja. Thats where Ganguly was miles ahead of Dhoni. He didnt win a world cup but made a great team that went on to win the 2011 World cup.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 18, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Part 3: Dhoni needs to come to terms with the lack of ability of Indian bowlers when it comes to maintaining line discipline and that includes the spinners. For all Indian bowlers - pace and spin, you need to have a long leg at the boundary to stop 4s. The pace bowlers don't deserve anything beyond 2 slips. Dhoni and the slip fielders need to stand closer than they do currently for the pacers, who seldom bounce the ball correctly, if at all. Too many catches fall short of the slips. Don't place people with a paunch (Ashwin), people who strut around (Dhawan) and who can't dive forward (Vijay), in the slips. Nor should people who don't have a stable attention span (Rohit) or hyper people (Kohli) ever find a place there. Try Pujara or Rahane instead. Dhoni should also dive a lot more. While he is very good at stumping, he is seldom agile as wicketkeeper who dives to take catches. If age is catching up, then bring in Karthik Karthik can open in Eng. Drop Vijay, who is in bad form!

  • SeanB on February 18, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    1. Congrats Brendon and the NZ team for a fantastic batting effort and for believing that they can do what they did. 2. Congrats to the writer for putting it out boldly - MSD is defensive and his team is carrying players who do not contribute. A test team with only 4 bowlers - no genuine all rounder - should have the 4 best bowlers. Jadeja is a good spinner, but is picked for his batting more than his bowling. Ojha is probably the best, but a wrist spinner like Amit Mishra could have more impact as well. Not sure Zaheer can be aggressive yet. Team needs one or two quicks like Yadav or Aaron and not 120 k bowlers on flat pitches. And Rohit needs to be told that scoring once in 10 innings is not okay. Openers worked okay, but have to improve. 3. This game made me stop follow all forms of cricket. Team India has to win an overseas test to get be back. Hope it will be soon, but until then, bye cricket.

  • Vitruvius on February 18, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    It was funny how some of the Indian fans got carried away after Ishant's uncharacteristic 5'fers this series. The 2nd innings proved just how ordinary he is.

  • rajuramki on February 18, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Dhoni is a good captain only when his team is performing . He is absolutely clueless,when his team does not perform and the going gets tough . Dhoni was more intent on drying up the runs rather than going for wickets, when NZ was on the mat at 98 for 5 . India comes next to BD in losing matches from winning positions. Example are the recent tests in SA and NZ. Let us please try out a more dynamic leader for the test matches.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    I am never a fan of Dhoni as a captain not because his defensive but because he always comes up with excuses like umpiring was unfair, pitch was not right, conditions were not suiting etc..

    BUT if you ask me he is defensive, i really don't agree since he does not have bowlers to take 20 wickets in a match. Give these bowlers to Clarke and he will suffer too. Indian captain should not change, if anything has to change its Indian system who revolves around turning pitches and developing batsmen ONLY..

  • 11_Warrior on February 18, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    There is no point in in putting your thought here, as it is not going affect any one. Indian cricket needs changes at all level. BUT in this platform one cricket fan write something and another read that. THAT'S ALL.

  • rshan on February 18, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    I think Sidharth is spot on. Dhoni is good in India. He reads the Indian wickets well and his bowling changes and field placing comes through experience having played enough cricket in those conditions. His captaincy overseas has been dismal for the simple reason of not been aggressive. When chips are down attack is the best form of defense, if not always, at-least once in awhile and you got to try it. You should look to build pressure all the time. That's what a good captain would do and Ganguly was one of them. Attacking would leak some runs but definitely creates more opportunities to taking wickets. This is where Dhoni failed and results are there for all to see. Looking at the current side, I think Rohit Sharma is the only serious contender to be considered for captaincy. I'm very impressed the way he led Mumbai Indians at the IPL last year. He has in him some qualities of Ganguly, fearless to take risks.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 18, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    Part 2: Our Indian commentators and experts are never ever critical of our toothless pace bowling attack. It's the elephant in the room nobody wants to acknowledge. Ishant seems to think he has done well in NZ. The 2nd innings of NZ will not destroy the illusion of the impotence of his bowling. Who cares about "bowling" your heart out! How is Southie able to move the ball every time he bowls and even on the 5th day while Ishant never can! Shami used to be an accurate offstump bowler who got wickets because of his accuracy! He was a breath of fresh air! Who corrupted him? Why does Dhoni keep 4 slips and no 3rd man, when the Indian pacers (sic) can't move the ball? Zaheer was bowling at 125kph. No topnotch batsman will fall for him at that pace. Ishant can never be bowling length and to the wicket! He claims he is the same man who took Ponting out. Maybe he should go study those videos and see how he got Ponting out. He may learn something!

  • EldoPaul on February 18, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    MDS more worried about CSK in the coming IPL than what happens to India, country is taken for granted, he will love to have the Indian team same as CSK minus the foreign players....what a disgrace . He wants to be captin till next world cup so that he can build another palace and buy another 50 bikes........There will other players from small towns across India if not more talented but defanitly more dedicated , Seelecters please find them or send the current U19 team for futher overseas tours

  • vish57 on February 18, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Dhoni's reluctance to change playing XI is one of the reasons for poor show. Jadeja as front line spinner is indeed a question; he is a fit fifth bowler like Watson or Kallis. Teams have started reading Ashwin well though he is still good in India. Unable to understand why we did not field Amit Mishra at SA or NZ; their weakness towards right arm leg spin is at par with Indians playing Swing bowling. Except Kohili and Rahane no one can claim their place in team with such a mediocre performance as one occasional innings in 5 tests cements their place in playing XI.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    If india need good bowlers dhoni shuld leave test captaincy,, BCCI shuld send our fast bowlers nd batsmen to counties in england, This is the only solution..

  • SanjeevHN on February 18, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    My Team for Test tour of England

    Team For England Test Matches 1.K.L Rahul 2.Shikhar Dhawan 3.Pujara 4.Kohli 5.Rohit Sharma 6.Rahane 7.Dinesh Karthik 8.Jadeja/Ashwin 9.Umesh Yadva 10.Varun Aaron 11.Shami 12.S.Thakur 13.I.Pandey 14.S.Gopal/A Mishra 15. K Jadhav 16.S.Samson 17.Dhoni

  • ramsrr on February 18, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    Its high time steps down from Captaincy ,,Let us analyse the downfall in Indian Team especially in Overseas Records We have lost almost 11 out of 14 Test matches and of which 2 were drawn in Oveseas recently lost in SA 1-0, NZ 1-0 We lost ODIs in England 2 years back 5-0, lost to SA recently 2-0 and now NZ 4-0 Now our winning streak bet 2005-2010 not only in India but overseas largely due to composition of internationally experienced and a stable team for a long period..Gambhir, Shewag, Dravid, Sachin, Yuvarj Singh , Kimble, Zaheer for longer period One of performance from Jadeja , Rohit, Vijay, in Overseas are not good.. We need of blend of experienced and young team (Dhoni's experiments ) in overseas not worked out Bring back Gambhir, Shewag, Yuvaraj, Harbhajan(can Bat too) and build a stable unit ,, Shewag can be a Captain in Test format, Kohli should take over ODI and T 20s as he is most consisitent of lot.. Dhoni can only be a batsman as he lacks winning instincts

  • ARUP1962 on February 18, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    You have hit the nail on the head. He played under Ganguly and Dravid when they were Captain. Yet he learnt nothing. Actually Srinivasan has spoilt him. He is always reassured, that come what may, he will never lose his Captaincy till that "Madrasi" is the President of BCCI. So we have to just live with this.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Oops.. I made a mistake in the stat.. Zak has played only four of the five games.. He was out for the Oval game with an injury.. There is another thing very striking apart from those huge scores and Ishant and Dhoni being the only two common factors.. Harbhajan has played only two of those games and so has Amit Mishra.. But, each time such a debacle has taken place, like the draw against SL in Ahmedabad where Jayawardene made the 275 and the horrendous Oval test where Cook smashed 294, there has been only one common striking change in the bowling unit.. Mishra was dropped for the next test.. Mishra actually got Jayawardene in that test match with a beauty.. Albeit after he scored 275.. He had made a solid 84 in the Oval test as well.. Says a lot about team selection..

  • JAWADRCB on February 18, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    As a captain Dhoni has done a great job he kept well he batted well but i think in such a flat track we miss a good spinner like Ashwin it was not a turning track but he has the ability to take wicket with his flighted deliveries,after Kumble and Harbhajan we are lacking a pair of quality spinners, in batting department we are still struggling for openers Murali Vijay is not in form try some other to open the innings.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 18, 2014, 5:32 GMT

    The only fault which I find with Dhoni is that he doesn't keep a 3rd man and ends up gifting the opposition at least 50 runs in every Test inning! That's an expensive gift and if stopped can help India win quite a tight Test match. That said, I can only say this after watching Indian cricket for more than 4 decades...our fast bowlers are useless! They are way below mediocre and seldom take wickets because of their ability. The wickets fall into India's lap because of unforced errors of the opposition batsmen. Our catching needs to considerably improve. I have seen more catches put down by the young brigade (Kohli, Rohit, Dhawan, Vijay) than Dravid in his entire career, with a longer career span than these 4. Ishant and Zaheer need to be dropped for the good of Indian cricket. These guys will not be able to take England all out for less than 500 runs in any inning in England. And this would put our batsmen under pressure. Excepting for Bhuvi, these bowlers can't move the ball! Sigh!

  • Mayank_Saxena1286 on February 18, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    I think Dhoni Should not be Caption in any format, Virat Kohti should be the caption, Dhoni should take Retirement from Test Cricket that should be better for him & for Team India, Parthiv Patel or Dinesh Karthik Should be Wicket keeper in Test Matches and Dhoni should Play ODI & T20 Format as a Wicket keeper & not as a Captain.

  • veerajai on February 18, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    Dhoni, no doubt as captain should be held responsible along with the support staff. But, when we won matches abroad it was because SRT, RD, SG, VVS and Veeru were at their best and Anil and Zak were at their peak. Now, u have Zak who is fading, shami is hardly in, Jadeja is not yet fully recognised as a tet spinner and pitiably Ishant is our best bowler. It takes time for Virat, Shikhar, Pujara, Rahane to perform consistantly abroad. Bowling is major worry. If it India were to win its only on batting. We need to be patient with our batsmen and ever optimistic with our bowlers. Get rid of Fletcher and bring in sourav Ganguly.

  • kingsachin on February 18, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    there were many occasions in shorter versions where Dhoni drags the match to last ball and win some of those. And in tests, he somehow makes the winning position become loosing by pathetic bowler selection and field positions. Even under 19 player can win the match from those winning positions forget about Dada and Kapil...

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    the problem is that he can stay there in the team even as a wicketkeeper leave alone batsmen or captain. This shows how bad the bare cupboard situation is as far as wicketkeeper goes.

  • MiddleStump on February 18, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    Dhoni is part of the problem, but not the major part. The talent is simply not there and even the limited talent available is not utilized correctly. With the retirement of Kumble and father time catching up with Harbhajan and Zaheer, the bowling is simply awful in both pace and spin. England beating India on turning pitches would have been unthinkable even a couple of years earlier. A set of young pace bowlers must be sent for intensive training with someone like Lilee and likewise a group of spinners must train with members of the famed spin quartet. At Wellington in a must win situation India went into the match with just 4 bowlers who average about 3.5 wickets per test each. So there was no plan to get 20 wickets. Yet that was the best 11 in whom Dhoni had confidence. Remember he watches everyone in the nets daily. The batting is slightly better but it is far from the quality seen during the days of Tendulkar and Dravid. India is rebuilding and it seems it will take a lot of time.

  • ab_cricket on February 18, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    Said it earlier, he is far too defensive in Tests as he lacks experience of playing longer form of cricket. People who play first class cricket as captain always believe that there is a wicket around the corner, that belief becomes your style of play in Test match cricket. Dhoni has played only 40 odd first class matches and never captained in them. Whatever he's win in India is because of the better bowling and batting in home conditions due to flat wickets and inability of visitors to play spin bowling. My point can be proven if for a Test series Mohd. Kaif is made the captain of India say for example in England later this year. He might not get you runs but he'll always attack and that would bring more chances for India to win.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    yes, it is easy to point out Dhoni for loosing overseas and yes, he has made many wrong decisions which usually go his way in a T20 or a ODI, but we should also credit our bowlers performance a bit. We don't have a team, we have individuals working together and whi rarely come together. You can easily judge that whenever India is looking down a defeat and how the body language changes among the players....especially towards each other.

    We have never been a great fielding side and it seems like horizon to me. The fielding standards are also responsible equally. I was amzed by Indian fielding during the 2011 WC, when even a Munaf Patel would come running from deep fine leg and pick the ball single handedly and throw instantaneously.

    I lovecmy team and want them to win each and every time......but I too am a practical person and don't see it happening, at least consistently, in near future

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    I have been saying this since his first inclusion as a Test captain in Mohali. He is and always have been ultra defensive. His tactics work in subcontinent because his spinners deliver for him. But outside Subcontinent spinners are not as much effective and he does not seems to have Plan B. The perfect example set by Australia beating South Africa, they did not allow the batsman to settle in and capitalized on their weakness, Johnson leaked runs but that did not stop him to take wickets. At the same time we allowed them to settle in although not allowing them to score runs by bowling tight line rather nagging line. We all are blaming our bowler for being toothless, but again its the plan of captain how to ask them bowl. Bowler like Shami or bhuvi should be very effective under a good attacking captain but here they are just blocking runs bowling tight lines later they get punished as the batsman settle in. I completely second the article. India need an attacking captain to succeed away

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    I do agree with the author.

  • raghoo1 on February 18, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    When people talk about the 10 over seas losses, they forget that the first 8 of those were due to non performing, over aged seniors who clung on to their places. I think this young talented lot needs more time in away series before they will start performing. There certainly is more promise in this team and we have seen in the past. We do lack bowlers who can take wicket abroad and other than that, we are a good team

  • crick_sucks on February 18, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    I have said this ample number of times and still repeat, Ind should have separate Test and Limited overs teams. With the abundance of talent pool and financial security provided by IPL it is high time IND looks at having 2 completely different Test and limited overs teams. Dhoni can be in charge of the limited overs team and have Kohli as the captain for the test team. This way Dhoni can satisfy his CSK buddies and we test lovers can see a decent performance from the test team.

  • CurrentPresident on February 18, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    Has anyone compared the bowling performance of Indian team overseas with respect to the two innings? All the good performances have come in the first innings. and in the very same match, the bowlers are bossed around in the second innings, even by the lower order batsmen.

    What would it take to understand why this is happening? You don't need big data analysis or laptops or spreadsheets. Can't you tell your limited bowling resources are getting tired? It's almost idiotic to handicap your bowling resources and then complain about them not taking 20 wickets.

  • balaji28 on February 18, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    From now on india should go on with 2 specialist spinners and 3 seamers in each and every overseas test match and odi.While in sub continent wicket india should go on with 2 seamers and 3 specialists spinners.While india should play with 5 specialist batsmen which includes a specialist wicket keeper batsmen.May be dhoni can retire from test and concentrate on odi and t20 as he is aging. BCCI should make india A tour arrangements for the best ranji performers before the test series against england and australia.It's high time to drop rohit sharma,ravindra jadeja,ishant sharma and zaheer khan from the test squad.India's 16 squad members for overseas tour should consist of virat,pujara,rahane,dinesh karthik,shikhar dhawan,murali vijay,ishwar chand pandey,shami,ashwin,pragyan ojha,other 6 players should be selected based on overseas india A's best performers.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    Well, India had to pay the price for losing a game that was there for their grab. Instead of attacking and with the bowlers bowling to a no plan territory it was a sad end. It is starnge to note that none of the bowlers could manage to bowl any yorker. Zaheel may have taken five wickets but at what price. It is time he hangs his boots. Kumar and Ashwin should have been in the team to bolster that proper attack. Hats off to Brendon for his triple century which has been a superb gift from the Indians on the field. Virat has once again proved his assets. He is a class nobody can match. Finally someone has commented that Rohit is not fit to open the ODI innings. He is good at no.5. He simple cannot play swing bowling. Very poor technich indeed ! Jadeja may have scored a few triple tons in the domestic circuit. But internationally he does not seem to be that good enough. Rahane and Dhawan have matured well to prove their worth. One can look for a better partner for Dhawn to open the innings

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    We cannot Blame only Dhoni because of his captaincy. Presently Indian team having the problem with bowling Department. We don't have any consistent bowler in indian line up. Ishanth bowled superbly in First innings, But what happened to him in second innings. He bowled 45 overs in second innings and take any one of Newzland batsmen. Some of indian Batsmen are become experienced with away conditions and some having still problems. Have any bowler experienced with away condition indian line up. Anyone can describe such guys. Indian bowlers having Skills But they are not hard workers and having poor guidence from team India. Who is the bowling Coach of India? What is his Experience And track Records? Previous Indian teams had atleast top class spinners. But now they don't have spinners also. India Cannot come back in away conditions Untill they will find out hard working consistent bowlers

  • Vitruvius on February 18, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    Dont worry Mr Dhoni. All it takes is a couple of sixers in IPL and the Indian people will forget and forgive everything.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Dhoni is no good as a test captain. And while we're at it, Duncan fletcher is no good as a coach either.

  • crick_sucks on February 18, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    Dhoni's pathetic attempt just shows how significant Ganguly's contribution was as a captain. At one end of the spectrum you have Ganguly who instilled among the ranks the will to fight and succeed overseas and then there is Dhoni at the opposite end of the spectrum who by far is the worst test captain Indian has had to endure, especially overseas. Where does his street smart thinking which is so ample in the ODIs stint disappear suddenly in tests arena? Or is it Duncan "white-wash-coach" Fletcher to blame? How long do we have to endure this pathetic couple at the helm?

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    Indian team cannot play outside their yard! thats all what i can say! they dont have bowlers ! their bowlera seems like to be bowling in Nets for practice

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    Don't blame MSD man. If you were to give clarke smith or cook our bowling attack they would be clueless. Such an awful bowling attack it is. Sack Fletcher dhoni is not the one that decides everything i mean selection and all that. I bet it would have been fletcher's move to do that as well. Dhoni's captaincy has been priceless. Did you look at McCullum's face when his bowlers gave away 438 in the second innings. Every country in the world has a bowler who can strike when needed but dhoni doesn't. He has ishant sharma who is good at relieving opposition when they are in tight sitjation. A 35 year old zaheer khan who made a couple muscles in framce and thought he could once again be in his prime. And shami who is too erratic and so inaccurate. We need to get sharma out of this playing 11. he is just not good enough. I know selectors won't go by this ridiculous article. Because it sure doesn't make sense.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    India has one of the worlds worst bowling attack in overseas condition and it is a fact. Zaheer Khan is post his prime and there is no more Kumble or Harbhajan who used to pose some threat. Winning a test match involves taking up 20 wickets and that too in minimal time and we don't have the bowlers who can do it consistently.

    Now with such a bowling attack, what can Dhoni do? Can anyone say that if instead of Dhoni, suppose this same team with such a spineless and inconsistent bowling attack was led by Ganguly, Ponting or Steve waugh, would the results be any different?

    Yes, we always need a scapegoat, and who better suits it more than the captain who had made us the No.1 test team and bought the World Cup, T-20 World Cup and Champions trophy home.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    you cannot win a test match with just 3 genuine fast bowlers and a part time spinner the selection of the team is ridiculous.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    Monga - Your article is good, but a one sided view. Think of it from another angle. Dhoni is Just a Captain who make moves, its left to the team to execute. You should realize the fact that Dhoni does not bowl on behalf of bowlers, Field on behalf of Fielders and does not even umpire on behalf of Umpires. If it was not the umpiring mistakes that all went against India at crucial times, this would have been a victory test series for India. Since you work at ESPN, Can you please pull up the recording footage and see how many times did Neil Wagner stepped the side line, making those deliveries No-Balls / illegal balls, and how many times did the umpire call them No-Balls. Dhoni is not working with a team that has a lot of Test exposure - he is trying to build a test team and also working on a plan to defend WC. Please write an article highlighting what the umpires were doing with out doing their job against Wagner and write an article on the Indian fielding coach, who can not do his job.

  • Vitruvius on February 18, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    Its time to make some serious changes in this Indian side. And don't tell me this is knee jerk reaction and all that cliche things. 14 away Test matches - 11 Lost and 3 Draws. How much more can a fan endure?? And if the selectors/BCCI doesn't wake up now, then it will be very obvious that these people do not care about India losing/winning. All they care about is money. Majority of the cricket fans in India do not care about IPL, what matters is how the national side plays. If they keep letting the supporters down, then people will start looking at other sport.

  • on February 18, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    The best critical analysis over the captaincy across 4 test series.

  • varunb1404 on February 18, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    Well written article...I'm glad somebody has the guts to call a spade a spade.. I agree with the point that MSD is probably the best ODI and T20 captain...He is however at best a useful Test batsman who can keep as well. Shame we couldn't finish off the above test matches which were mentioned in this article. As an Indian cricket team fan, it is easy to blame bowlers for not taking wickets, however I see a huge problem with the captain and the confident which he exudes on them. I wonder when this 'royalty untouchable' attitude towards MSD in test matches is going to end. The problem is we will forget all this when we win the Asia cup and when IPL starts. Might sound absurd, but it's time for Kohli to be tried out as a captain of the test side. SA did that with Smith. All I can say is, it can't be worse than this

  • on February 18, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    A Captain can do nothing when 2 catches have been dropped on the Mcculum so early in his innings and than eventually he scored 300 runs and only he stood between indian victory but had any of those catches held than it was going to be an easy indian win, Dhoni did all the right things in the entire match till this record 6th wicket partneship

  • vishu1234 on February 18, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    I think it is very easy to blame a captain. But , one should remember that a captain is as good as his team. One will have to give credit to Brendan Mccullum and BJ Watling for batting as long as they did. Had the chances that came their way been taken, then it would have been a different story, especially the one which virat dropped. The comments would have " Excellent captaincy, for keeping a short mid-on". But Alas.. that was not to be.

  • sandeepsingh19 on February 18, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    Crux is only, we lack in killer instinct...dnt blame Dhoni for everything. MJ use to bowl around 140 and Shami also, the problem is in line, he targets body and the batsmen but we target only stumps. I dnt knw when they will learn to clinch the benefits, they always allow the opposition to come back. This time only fielding was the culprit. Vijay last time & this time Kohli and Ishant. This time both the catches was not so difficult but they dropped and match is dropped by them. Otherwise change is require immediately at grass root level, prepare fast tracks, send the whole team to Australia to learn frm Hayden/ Hussey or invite them, hw to deal with bouncers. I dnt think anyone will deny to support the cause. Avoid tests at home till tracks are ready, and I dnt think this exercise will take more than 6 mnths. Because without TESTS there is nothing for a batsmen or bowler to prove....and we are lacking behind in this and loosing again and again...this will happen again and again..

  • on February 18, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    What a rubbish article.Rather than blaming captain, India should try to find out Good bowlers who can take wickets. Dhoni is doing best with limited bowling option. There is no point of attacking fielding if bowlers are not giving edges.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on February 18, 2014, 4:37 GMT

    @Raju_Iyer: "The real truth is that Dhoni knows the limitations of his bowling attack and tries to live within those.." My dear fellow, you're talking about an attack that had bowled out New Zealand for scores of 105 & 192 and had them at 94-5- all in consecutive innings. What more does Dhoni need?

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on February 18, 2014, 4:34 GMT

    Spot on Mr. Monga. Despite squandering countless opportunities, Dhoni simply refuses to learn from his mistakes. I think far too often the bowlers take the flak for their lack of firepower, but what can any bowler do when the captain hasn't even positioned a single catcher at slip? If India's bowlers are regressing, the blame in no small measure lies at the doorstep of the ultra defensive captain.

  • gadfly on February 18, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    Sidharth, you are right on. Dhoni has to go. He has cost us several matches and key ones too. It is not often that one gets opportunities to win an away series in SA esp. and Dhoni was guilty of frittering away both the test and one day series on the 2010-2011 trip. The Newlands match that you allude to is a classic example. Letting an injured Kallis use the reverse sweep to negate a reasonably threatening Harbhajan was criminal, not to mention allowing the likes of Boucher & Steyn to make merry. How do we as a team consistently allow teams to get back into matches after taking the first 5-6 wickets fairly cheaply? And with so many runs in the bag, what prompts Dhoni to set defensive fields when he should be attacking with all that he has? There is something to be said for the complete lack of professionalism on display in the recent SA series as well as in the NZ series. How on earth can our tail simply swish their bats in a carefree manner when they are representing the country?

  • astopal on February 18, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    Also Dhoni's magic wand haha very funny he never had one. Gangulay made the team what it was with strong selection choices often putting his neck on line. Dhoni is a Sir jadeja backer in test matches what do you expect of him huh! Dhoni is a one trick Pony. No leadership skills for test matches and real cricket.

  • NarayanNallappa on February 18, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    India won test matches at home and overseas not because of Dhoni's captaincy, It was VVS Laxman who played some important innings to make india No.1 in tests. When England toured India, Dhoni objected VVS playing in that series and paid the price, lost the home series. Dhoni is only lucky captain and very defensive . He is so arrogant and adamant in selecting the playing eleven without using brains. Eg. Jadaja in the eleven in place of Ashwin who has just taken 100 wkts in 18 matches, is not in the eleven, Jadaja is a half bowler and half batsman like Madanlal and Binny not at all worth in playing in test eleven. It is high time that selectors should wake up and look for an alternative captain in tests.

  • Dinkepo on February 18, 2014, 4:18 GMT

    Those who do not agree that this article then what else they expect, continue losses in abroad and whole indian fans head down! why can not Dhoni,coach and BCCI to step down as taking responsible for this continue failures then who should be responsible! do you see oveseas countries either political or sports they decently quit the post if something failure under their management, why Indian cricket board very special and nothing moved even have big losses.

  • Udendra on February 18, 2014, 4:17 GMT

    why not appoint Srinivasan as captain? He is good at bossing-around people.

  • on February 18, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Dont worry my dear writer and indian fans

    Now WE ( The indian team) are in big three, we have dictated the world of cricket. I asked the BCCI to work on home series. Forget the tours. Only play the cricket in India, which is beneficiary for cricket and our team too. If we play our all cricket at home soil, we should be No. 1. There is no need to visit other countries and put our repute at stake.

    Just play home cricket and enjoy it

  • on February 18, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Now we need new team for every format, and 1 think we need cold mind batsmen and bowler for test not angry players. who had stenght to stand on pitch

  • on February 18, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    India should consider doing some things right way : 1) dhoni should be dropped from test cricket 2)drop zaheer khan for heaven sake. if he wants to mentor bowler make him the bowling coach. 3)make kumble mentor all the capable spinners in the country 4) Umesh yadav, shami and Aaron must be in for the England series 5)make pujara the test captain

  • luvmyindia on February 18, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    When india wins at home everyone criticises india but when other teams wins at home everyone praises that team.Wow!! Why everyone is praising NZ?They lost to bangladesh 5-0 and then 4-0....

  • on February 18, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    dears can u seen Australia, SA, NZ,PK faster bowling attack, they almost bowled one bounce, two short, one yorker, one straight delivery in a over why Indian bowler try only bowled on line and length why not give some surprise to batsman. This time we need to improve our fast bowling attack, cause of we use same bowling attack then next Australia tour we not cross 222 runs in inning and not all out full team, think now and do change in team. why not play Ozha he is now good experience as test bowler. why dhoni think only Chennai player are good find all over India, u got impressive bowlers I suggest Dhoni watch U19 WC team playing how they can doing good performance.

  • Azamcricketer on February 18, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    @CricketiloveU , I think has old tactics and its modren cricket thats why he should resign from captaincy for the better of cricket.

  • NP_NY on February 18, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    One has to mention, all criticism of Dhoni and Indian bowling aside, due credit has to be given to NZ. Two teams any world cricket fan would like to see do well are the West Indies and the New Zealand. They play entertaining cricket and they always seem to play the game in good spirit. Way to go Baz (what a fantastic tripe that was!) and the Kiwis!

  • dnsvija on February 18, 2014, 4:07 GMT

    This is well put. From positions of strength Dhoni, his team and management have given away matches with over defensive tactics and many times very poor bowling and very bad field placements. Dhoni and his team need to realize that the best form of defense is attack. Dry up singles with some controlled off stump line and closer field placements. Then the opposition has to make some risky strokes to earn runs. Also it is absolutely essential to have a deep third man at 45 and deep fine leg at 45 all the time in the match as the indian slip fielders are hardly able to stop leaking boundaries in these areas. deep point is hardly necessary. If at all it is required we can put a zaheer or Ishaanth or Ashwin in that area as they are hardly able to field. And one thing that needs to be done is put Rohit Sharma under the combined tutelage of Sachin/Dravid to inculcate a spirit of responsibility as he rarely takes responsibility and tries to put the blame on his bat for getting him bowled time

  • NP_NY on February 18, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Defensive Dhoni? Agreed to a certain extent. But where are the Indian bowlers? Tell me one bowler in India right now who will make it into any team in the world. How is any captain supposed to win with that? A team can't bowl 120 overs without taking a wicket and expect to win or draw. It is a miracle that India even drew a game in SA and now this game. There is a fundamental problem in India that almost never gets mentioned. The fast bowling culture does not exist! There is so much focus on batting and hitting sixes in the IPL. Look at the prices for the batsmen versus the bowlers. The format itself lets the bowlers down because a bowler can only bowl 4 overs whereas a batsman can play as long as he can. Indian cricket role models are all batsmen - Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, etc. It's been a long time since young Indian kids had someone like Kapil to look up to. Unless bowling somehow becomes more glamourous in India, India won't win a series in NZ, Eng, SA or Aus.

  • JustAnObservation on February 18, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Absolutely brilliant article. Not only is the captain at fault, but also the coach. These two sentences say it all, "The other half of this leadership team is a coach who can be credited with giving Test cricket deep point. Dhoni already was a captain who thought New Zealand need to be set 617 to preserve a series lead." Let us hope that all those who matter in selecting the captain and the coach and assessing their performance read this. You get a 5 star rating for your article.

  • Hardy1 on February 18, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    He'll go through to the 2015 world cup & call it quits after that in Test cricket completely & maybe give up the captaincy in the other 2 formats. Unless India lose 4 or 5 nil in England without putting up a fight I can't see him not captaining for the Australia series. It's pathetic & passive but it seems that no one involved in the Indian set up cares about losing ODI & Test series away to England, South Africa, New Zealand & Australia as long as the money keeps coming in when they win at home. My biggest qualm is not the defeats, but the fact that no fight or intelligence was shown when needed.

  • on February 18, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    if dhoni had been defensive or if was a intelligent captain he would have good on with a extra fast bowler !what the hell Umesh yadav doing sitting on the bench ! he is the fastest bowler India has got for heaven sake! where is varon Aaron! get rid of zaheer khan! make kumble bowling coach! its high time dhoni should retire from test cricket

  • CanadaCan on February 18, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Indian cricket fans! If you care for your national cricket team, you should boycott IPL both on the ground and on the TV.

  • gmsjgmsj on February 18, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    @@Iyer_brain: The point that Dhoni is ill fated to continue the 7 batsman combo was marked in my previous comment. Further, am an admirer of Dada though it can be argued that he too had a big -ve in the Sydney (Waughs last) Test and in WC finals.Cost us big glory. Like i said it only looks worse in hindsight. Inspite of all his failings Dhoni has given us 2 WCs, a feat that no Indian captain achieved.

    Nothing is taken off from the greatness of Dada and his Fab Five team nor what they achieved and their blueprint which is the reason on which Virat, Dhawan and Jaddu have come about. Maybe even Dhoni as a captain. Is is also fair to say that he sailed on the platform of his predecessors. He also put in his brand where he could.

    But to be accepted is that fact that unlike other test playing countries, India do not have any international class bowler today who can walk into any side. Thats the hard truth and a captain can only have that much freedom as a bullock tied up to a stake.

  • fudgys11 on February 18, 2014, 3:49 GMT

    I have said early last week that we need a new captain for Test matches who tries to create situations rather than react to situations, after the horse has bolted. There is no strategising in any situation. If the conditions are suiting the bowlers, they would take wickets otherwise God help India or the batsmen take pity. But if the bowlers are not very capable , captain should come in. This sort of captaincy can be done by anybody. In 210 overs , how many overs have been bowled by non-regular bowlers as a change. You cannot take wickets if you are only treating this as a One-day match. BCCI please treat this as a request and change our captain.

  • shiraz210 on February 18, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    spinking ,, gopi...

    you guys should accept this truth that india can play only in home grounds.. no doubt india is very good team but only in INDIA.. check the statistics....NZ players are in form or they grow up on this kind of pitches.. all are stupid excuses

    Players are professionals. they are getting a large amount to play for country..

  • on February 18, 2014, 3:41 GMT

    IF u want a test win improve your test ranking.Score triple hundreds, centuries and IF your bowlers want wtkts Play with us (INDIA)

  • on February 18, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    @ZainE111 - Varun Aaron against NZ in ODI was bowling 150/kph consistently, then We have Rahul Shukla in domestic circuit who bowls 145+, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, and im sure if go to north India we can find plenty of fast bowling talent, but the thing is, out captain is obsessed with playing mediocre medium pacers and spinners, and he never give other an opportunity to show their talent.

    Latest example is of Stuart Binny, he played him a match and bowled him for just an over and he was bowling Ambati Rayudu in that same batch who is a part-timer.

  • on February 18, 2014, 3:35 GMT

    I don't think he is captain cool...He has become "Captain Cold"

  • inswing on February 18, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    Finally an article rightly criticizing Dhoni's captaincy. He is actually a poor captain inside India too, it is just that the Indian players play better in Indian conditions. No skills are required form the captain when the batsmen are making runs and spinners are taking wickets. But people have very short memories. There was 0-4 loss to England and then 0-4 loss to Australia, and all was forgotten as soon as a couple of OIDs are won inside India. This poor captaincy will be forgotten too. You will see a repeat of this defensive and negative captaincy in England. But after that they will come back to India and play a weak team and win a few games, all will be forgotten.

  • on February 18, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    @Devesh Patalia Dhoni is gr8 in limited overs(especially 50 overs) and has a gr8 record in that format as a batsman .So I think he should leave tests .He had only told he might have to give up one format to lead India's defense on the title in WC 2015 .I think now is the correct time to leave overseas tests.

  • tausif.khalil on February 18, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    First ever seen turning match, from inning winning position to defeat. shame on Dhoni and co.......

  • myStraightTalk on February 18, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    Its time for Dhoni to retire his captain from all format. His 1day captainship is equally worst like test captainship. Some one please show him the door. Look at the fact on his 1day captainship.. He keep blaming bowler or batsman for his failure..

  • on February 18, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    MSD has always been a defensive captain. The only time he gets to be attacking is at home where the spinners are 'turning it on'. Our team selection itself is flawed with 6 batsmen a wicket keeper and 4 bowlers of which one (jadeja)is a bits and pieces bowler and not a frontline spinner. Time and again we have squandered our chances of going for a win because of MSD's defensive ploys. 5 years for any captain is a long run, even goverments are changed after this period in our country, time for a new Captain I say!

  • tausif.khalil on February 18, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    First ever seen turning match, from inning wining position to defeat. Shame on Dhoni and co.....

  • free_spirit on February 18, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    Team selection for 2nd test was defensive. Needed to go in with four fast bowlers and a spinner. Current squad would have been ideal if India had won the first test and just needed to draw the 2nd to win series. Getting 20 wickets in tests is too much of a burden on 3 fast bowlers since spinners don't get many wickets in overseas matches.

  • on February 18, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    1)India shud pull out playing tests unless they find bowlers to take wickets and embrass our country in the world 2) Dhoni shud be sacked form test squad and kholi shud be given captaincy..

  • Dinkepo on February 18, 2014, 3:03 GMT

    Monga you beauty, what an article such a great observation as per indian cricket lovers heart, your observation 100% correct so many times MSD wated our chances otherwise he don't have such a poor losing record, if he won few matches in between nobody blame him, why he stubborn and stick on his own policy which hurt the team and whole indian nation! What happened to selectors and BCCI, is it Srinivasan let MSD due to he is in part of his own IPL team or Srinivasan focus only revenue instead of team winning strategy, pls publish more such this article to indian people get awareness about BCCI,

    Monga i really appriciate your brave to publish such a realistic article and i recommend BCCI to read this kind of article which sufficient to manage the team instead of fight for their place in the commitee also to take immdiate action on current team what other countries step in if team not performance well, for example England and Australia recent changes.

  • on February 18, 2014, 3:03 GMT

    Oversea Tests doesn't seem to be his piece of cake.

  • AlbieIndia on February 18, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    Truly speaking a captain can be good if his team is good in terms of performance. Indian batsmen have not been involved in great partnerships in this tour be it ODIs or tests but the New Zealand batsmen have been better than the Indians in the same.Dhoni and Virat were the only two batsmen who did something with the bat with Jadeja aiding them in a couple of occasion.So the team has failed as a unit and no individuals can be blamed. In the ongoing test where McCullum scored buckets of runs the Indian batsmen again find it difficult following him .Every thing is same, the pitch ,the ground . One thing that we have to admit is that this Indian group of batsmen are flat track bullies except some of them.The last three years have are the witnesses for this statement.

  • on February 18, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    If only my boy didn't drop a dolly McCullum offered up, this match would've been over days ago.

  • on February 18, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    Please add the last test on Srilanka tour in 2010.We had Srilanka at around 120 for 8 on a difficult pitch.Then Mendis comes to bat and scored 80!! We almost lost that match but for an amazing century by Lakshman.Dhoni is a poor captain in Tests and even poorer as a test batsman.He needs to go.

  • on February 18, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    Prescription For India If You Want "No 1 Slot" Back

    1. Kick Dhoni Out 2. Appoint Virat Kohli As Captain 3. Bring Gautam Gambhir Back In Place Of Vijay 4. Bring Harbhajan Back In Place Of Ashwin 5. Start Blooding Likes Of Parvez Rasool, Rishi Dhawan, Baba Aparajith

    Dhoni May Be A Good Batsman & Skipper [ That Too In ASIA Only] In ODI & T20...But He Is A Burden In Test Cricket...

  • tausif.khalil on February 18, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    ICC should stop team India's test Fixtures. Very soon Indian fans will see disgrace even in home.

  • on February 18, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    The biggest problem is that all this will be brushed under the carpet once IPL jumboorie starts and then we invite some meek opposition and win against them. Then we hail all the good about dhoni . Until and unless that culture is not completely dissolved , there will be no improvement in the performance . Dada was also a limited capability batsman (in tests) but he galvanised the team to such an extent that each one of them would look upto him and perform beyond their capabilities . Where as with Dhoni he would give all the non-performing players opportunities for lifetime. Dinesh Karthik was in supreme touch in CT (in England) . Where did he go ? How come he was not in the team for a single match afterwards ? How come Rohit Sharma is still in the team after 6 years of non-performance? Same case with Ishant Sharma ? How do you justify having Jadeja in the team when your main spinner is sitting out ?On what basis are we selecting Vijay match after match ?

  • tausif.khalil on February 18, 2014, 2:47 GMT

    i don't think indian team is that capable of facing the fast bowlers away from home even the condition is also like the same as india

  • Johnny_129 on February 18, 2014, 2:41 GMT

    A lot of people are calling for Dhoni's head after yet another abysmal performance by India. I am definitely a disappointed and although I am not a fan of Dhoni's captaincy, I feel removing him will be a step in the wrong direction - India will go back to the olden days of playing musical chairs with captaincy! Also, all Indian captains have been affected by burden of captain after an initial high - India can't afford to compromise a specialist batsman with burden of captaincy. Sadly, Dhoni has to remain captain. Here are my humble thoughts: 1. Remove Fletcher and appoint a new foreign coach (always foreign, at least for the next 20 years until a couple of generations have learnt all the tricks of the trade from foreign coaches - India still has a lot to learn). India's demise has coincided with Fletcher's appointment after the WC win. 2. Remove inconsistent Ishant and aging Zak and replace with Yadav and Aaron - India require pace. 3. Play an extra bowler by dropping a batsman.

  • bjcm12 on February 18, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    Very good to see Indian dominance is only in their back yard. Very poor captaincy by Dhoni. Clearly visible when chips are down.

  • on February 18, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    dont worry Dhoni ..your great friend Srinivasan is BCCI PRESIDENT and ICC to you.Along with Indian captaincy shortly you will be leading world XI too !!!! what terrific record ...Go Dhoni Go..keep on emulate more and more defeats..u r a gretest captain.

  • Mail4kar on February 18, 2014, 2:30 GMT

    New Captain (Kohli or Pujara) and New Coach (Sourav or Dravid) also new Bowling coach can be the direct possibilities to bring best in the team's performance in Overseas tests. Otherwise the mindset of young guns will only work on to go for defensive play. BCCI needs only money not Victory of India it seems..!!!!!!!

  • Steve_Stifler on February 18, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    Forget the BCCI sacking Dhoni. With Srinivasan at the helm, thats never going to happen. How about, for a change, Dhoni steps aside, on say, moral grounds. Or better, on ground of incompetency!

  • on February 18, 2014, 2:26 GMT

    Dhoni hardly understands test cricket. Look at his legacy. Six years as test captain and yet to find the right balance for the team. Even in ODI cricket he was a great match winner as an individual but not a good strategist. No other Indian captain was given such a long time to settle. One more instance, yesterday Virat kohli fielding at silly mid on and Ishant was bowling bouncers.Is there communication gap between captain and the bowler. Dhoni is master in giving excuses. He will blame umpire, pitches, bowlers, batsman, fielding and so on. The bottomline is he is clueless about test cricket. Time to sack him and move on. Indian cricket has hit rock bottom that we would never miss Dhoni in test matches

  • sray23 on February 18, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    Blaming Dhoni is the easy way out. If I was capt'n, I too would have been horrified at the lack of bowling power at Wanderers. When you have 5 sessions &450runs to bowl a side out and end up tying the match, it says a lot about the (lack of) quality of the bowlers. It is no wonder Dhoni is a defensive captain - he simply does not have the bowling firepower. A capt'n can inspire the bowlers with attacking fields to some extent, but at the international level, it's more often that good bowling inspires a capt'n to attack. No bowling power, no attacking captaincy - simple as that. Changing capt'n will not change anything. Why not? Because when have Indian captains been attacking? Answer: Rarely to never. Reason for that? India has rarely to never had a good bowling attack. It is nothing short of disgraceful that a country with such financial power & resources cannot fix such a basic aspect of cricket. No wonder BCCI was seeking Test relegation protection with such uselesss bowlers.

  • on February 18, 2014, 2:09 GMT

    I'm a Sri Lankan, but I like to wish New Zealand team for playing marvelous cricket these days. You're absolutely brilliant than Indian team. Have a nice and successful one day serious guys..

  • on February 18, 2014, 2:02 GMT

    Dhoni is adamant with his thoughts and decision. He keep persisting with his ideas for too long. Seems if plan A fails, he does not have a plan B. He hardly changes the playing XI unless the team management force him to do so. High time he be removed from the test XI. If you could not muster a win in the last 14 outings abroad, then it is time to take stock of the situation.

  • on February 18, 2014, 1:58 GMT

    assesssment z worth...but is it gng to mke any change.? i see the response from Smith after losing first test..yes he praised the oppositon effort..but graciously accepted the defeat..nd was confident enough to make sure that they will bounce back in the series..unlike our captain cool who will blame that pitch bcame easy to bst on on day 3 and 4. and again became tough to play on day 5 during india's innings. he always finds an execuse in test defeats..he wont accept failure on his part in making decisive changes..never saw him accepting simple reason of defeat-we played badly..yes he z exceptional in shorter format..where his waiting gives him somr edge..but in longer format waiting for thngs to happen is like bowling a low full toss on legs in death overs expecting the batsman to miss hit..which happens but not often..

  • Raju_Iyer on February 18, 2014, 1:50 GMT

    As ridiculous an article as you can expect from armchair critics! When India wins - Dhoni is the best! they win in England - hey that was not Tests! Come on, can you separate a person into compartments and say this is good, we take it, this is not good, out you go?! Dhoni is no better or no worse than anyone else. In this very test, watch how defensive McCullan has been. The real truth is that Dhoni knows the limitations of his bowling attack and tries to live within those. It is easy to ask for Dhoni's head- who else do you have waiting to replace him? Virat Kohli ?? He has been the most irresponsible/indisciplined player on this tour, so wonder how he can even be thought of as future captaincy material.

  • JoieDeVivre on February 18, 2014, 1:46 GMT

    While defensive captaincy is hurting India, where are the bowlers who can seize the moments? I mean our bowling attack overseas quite frankly has been pedestrian to say the least. If at all we have been competitive in South Africa and NZ albeit for a brief period it's because of batsmen. MSD has to take fair share of blame for this but why spare Duncan Fletcher, Joe Dawies and Trevor Penny? The fielding and bowling coach in particular have done little or even nothing if you are brutally honest. Yes the fielders and bowlers have a job to do but you don't see the effort nor you see any of them using their brain. What India needs is a captain who is ready to give the players a kick on their back side and a support staff who is worth every single dollar that is paid to them. Hopefully this tour is one such moment when the BCCI wakes up and makes some long awaited changes. As a true Indian fans we can only hope and live under the illusion one day things will change.

  • on February 18, 2014, 1:30 GMT

    At present Murali Vijay is the one who needs a break. Though Shikar Dhawan played well only in couple of matches, I believe he will be fruitfull.

  • rcmaiden on February 18, 2014, 1:25 GMT

    I disagree.So ur saying that dhoni was defensive by spreading out the field rather than attacking the batsman.this is of course under the assumption that the bowlers are able to find the outside edges on a regular basis.could you tell me how many times have our bowlers managed to find the outside edge when the field was defensive? the answer is can u expect a captain to keep attacking when his so called bowlers r so hapless and clueless? as a test captain, there is only so much u can do as far as an attacking filed is concerned while the bowlers are conceding atleast a boundary per over.The answer to our problem is simple.India needs to start breeding new young fast bowlers who can bowl consistently over 140 kmph.To those who feel the captain shud change, no one has played enough number of tests barring dhoni n zak to b named as a captain.Also, changing the captain isnt gonna make shami bowl like waqar or zak bowl like akram. This is test cricket.U cannot have a newbie as captain

  • legfinedeep on February 18, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    If any other country had a captain that led their team to this many defeats and "non-wins" in Test cricket, his head would have been served on a platter by now. One walloping by the Aussies to SA and so many calls for Graeme Smith's head to roll even though he has had a stellar record in the recent past. I think Dhoni should pass the baton on to Pujara. I know many people say Kohli should be groomed for the role but I disagree, let him have free reign to bat as well as he has been doing. He is a bit too hotheaded for captaincy. But really, please, enough of Dhoni, he has had way too many chances.

  • saikapian84 on February 18, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    @satchander. I fully agree with you bro.Its an open secret that Dhoni dislikes test. He himself has aknowledged that tests are not so interesting for him. No wonder his captaincy fizzles out after just day one of a test match. Anyone who says he is a good test captain should paste this article on their mirror. Alas, all these articles and comments are falling on deaf ears. As long as BCCI (read SriNi) doesnt want, there is no way Dhoni can be unseated. Dhoni is taking full advantage of this by making maverick, illogocal decisions. He knows there is no one to question him!

  • on February 18, 2014, 1:21 GMT

    I don't think the essence of this article is to hold Dhoni responsible. It was probably expected that we will not do too well given our lack of strength in bowling. This article fairly criticizes Dhoni who as in charge of the side, has only done more harm to aggrevate an existing problem than good through baffling selections and defensive captaincy. Even if Dhoni had won critical moments in the game and if our scoreline was 7-3 instead of 10-0 we wouldn't be having this discussion!!

  • on February 18, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Glen1..what are you talking about? Pakistan does better in test cricket thank India? BL and seriously no comparison!

  • VJGS on February 18, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    I can understand if you blame Dhoni's tactics in terms of field positioning, bowling changes etc. but what amazes me is the sheer number of people who comment against his team selection - especially of Ishant and Zaheer. Weren't these same people hailing Ishant after his first innings performance? Now, one innings later, it is sack Ishant again? What a bunch of clueless folks!

  • spinkingKK on February 18, 2014, 1:13 GMT

    The writing was on the wall, even in the New Zealand first innings. It as reported that Zaheer Khan kept one end tight so that Ishant Sharma can attack from the other end. Please! Ishant is a good bowler. But, he is no Dennis Lillee. In any case why do you ever want to keep one end tight in a first innings of a test match? When wickets falling, all-out attack from all the ends is the way most of the captains do. Unless, of course, if you are playing only with one champion fast bowler and all the others are part-timers.

  • SanjeevHN on February 18, 2014, 1:09 GMT

    Really good article. He is very defensive and also very biased in his team selection. I wonder why they are taking Murali Vijay and also they persisted with Abhinav Mukund. Both doesn't have technique of a opening batsman. And also why they are not selecting Dinesh Karthik. I guess Dhoni feels insecured when Dinesh Karthik is around. Everybody knows about Ishant Sharma and Suesh Raina. So many opportunities and sill not a single matc winning performance. And there is one more. Dhoni's fondness towards mediocre bowlers like Mohit Sharma, Jayadev Undakat, Vinay Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Bhuwannesh Kumar (all put together doesn't reach 140km/h). I wonder why Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron is kept out. Incase of spinners Pragyan Ojha doesn't deserve a place in the squad(Especially one who can't play in overseas conditions. Why they are persisting with him is still a million dollar question). Three persons especially Ishant Sharma, Suresh Raina and Pragyan Ojha doesn't deserve a place in the India

  • Mr_Anonymous on February 18, 2014, 0:58 GMT

    Great fightback by the NZ team especially McCullum. When the going gets tough (and it has happened multiple times in the last few years where opposing batsmen pile up huge scores), Dhoni seems to go into a shell thinking that he should just defend and play out for time or expect a mistake from the batsmen rather than making something happen with aggressive field placings. In a limited overs match, this approach can dry the flow of runs and put pressure on the batsmen. In a Test where the opposition can bat for 200+ overs, this can be counter-productive. It means that batsmen can bide time and have a go at tired bowlers. If Dhoni is to continue, he needs "go-to" bowlers who can deliver wickets every time he requests help (Ashwin/Ojha play that role in India). I am baffled by his non-selection of Umesh who could have been this bowler. Bhuvi, Umesh and Praveen Kumar need to be considered for future overseas Tests. Also, a pace all-rounder would give the side balance (Rishi Dhawan?).

  • on February 18, 2014, 0:54 GMT

    India's problem is the inability to find a bowler who can be a bully and physically intimidate the lower order. How often have we seen zaheer think out the top order and the lower order rescues them. They need a 150kmph bowler, even if not the most accurate. Now the question is where to get one? The problem is a role model. Gavaskar set the stage for young kids to play long innings and that generated dravids and pujara. Tendulkar inspired Sehwags and Kohlis. Kapil Dev inspired numerous medium pace bowlers. Now they need a Indian Mitchell Johnson or Waqar Younis to inspire young kids. Unfortunately there is no recipe to make freaks. It just happens, just like Shane Warne happened to Australia.

  • on February 18, 2014, 0:50 GMT

    Dhoni is a fighter. Many a battle he has won and gave much credit to India. This is a testing time for him. he does not lack leadership aptitude at all. Captaincy need not be changed. The players in the team are not upto the mark. They are not targeting properly. Batsmen bowlers have all failed in their approach. What captain can do at this moment. Changing the captain is not the remedy. Players have to be reshuffled. Take a list of failures in players and virtually remove them unceremoniously without love or regret. Give a new blood a chance like other countries and succeed. This test with New Zealand is not within us. It has already gone beyond hope

  • on February 18, 2014, 0:48 GMT

    dhoni is not good captain now gambhir is best last time in new zelend but dhoni not like gambhir he like csk plyaer

  • Temuzin on February 18, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    Oh Boy. here you go again. Monga has provided a perfect platform for Dhoni bashing. Dhoni this and dhoni that and bla bla bla. If you here 1.2 billion expert on this thread then you will assume if Dhoni is removed then all problems of Indian team will be solved. Bowlers will become unplayable and batsmen will not get out before scoring double and triple centuries. No team can beat India any where on this planet and may be on Mars and Moon too. So Remove Dhoni is the chant of the day from all cricket expert on this thread. Every real and imaginary reasons are cited for team's failure was due to Dhoni. There was a time when team India was winning all matches and series abroad. Gangully, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laksman, Kumble, Srinath and Harbhajan were invincible. Their team won all matches and series in England, Australia and South Africa. Check the record, if you dont believe. It was hundred percent win record, till Dhoni became captain. And lo and behold, team India started losing...

  • cruisecontrol on February 18, 2014, 0:20 GMT

    What an understatement of a headline!

    A lot of chance. A lot of astrology. A lot of embarrassing (misplaced) gumption. Boundless pretense and superficiality. In short, no substance and no style. Will Ishant Sharma get a haircut now, please? I don't want to state any more of the obvious stuff. As for Dhoni, if he were a leader -- a true, visionary leader so lacking in India -- he would urgently hand it over to Kohli and after a few games, just step aside from Test cricket. He has made enough money and he can make still more in other forms. So, please, please, Mr. Dhoni, won't you let it be, wont you let it be?

  • varunam on February 18, 2014, 0:16 GMT

    I really admire Dhoni for what he has acheived so far,he is a great finisher India could have.but post world cup he has favoring a lot to his little buddies..This Match Could have been over a long time back if we have a geniune spinner in the team(leg spinner)..we lost a winning test(from winning position) and losing a winning test this series..

  • on February 18, 2014, 0:13 GMT

    Surely Doni and fletcher have blown it now? I think their positions are untenable. Losing the first test to NZ so badly was bad enough after 4-0 drubbing in the ODI's but how on earth could India let NZ off the hook on the second test?This NZ performance is unprecedented. I don't think Mc Cullum in his wildest dreams would have ever dreamt of beating India in a such fashion. This India team is supposed to be the dream team of all time. Player for player they are all match winners! Therefore where did India go wrong? Few words springs to mind for me which are overconfidence, lack of perpetration, lack of game plan and under estimating the ability of opposition more importantly lack of DRS! Serves you right!

  • anisaraus on February 18, 2014, 0:11 GMT

    Dhoni is the best caption India ever had, but as per nature of india public they forget everything he did good and start blame if lose single series, this is the only NZ who played best cricket so that is not dhoni fault.

  • on February 18, 2014, 0:10 GMT

    Great article! But one thing skipped here about dhoni's defensive mindset is how he goes in thinking he can win a every overseas test match with just 3 bowlers! He always has a spinning allrounder no mater how infeective they are on these types of pitches in the side. Didnt Brendan Mccullum drop sodhi for the final test and bring in a seamer instead? Wouldnt it help to have a fourth genuine fast bwoling option to win a test instead of just a run restricted spinner who could be milked anywhere creating no pressure. Dhoni needs to trust his batsmen and understand tht he needs to go with four real bowlers based on the pitch conditions and the fifth bowler could be a part timer otherwise India would have a hard time winning a test match overseas!

  • BangbangKohli on February 18, 2014, 0:05 GMT

    Dhoni needs to go, he was due long time to go. He won all the trophies because of players like Kohli, Yuvraj, and Sachin. Dhoni is passive, defensive, partial, cold blooded, and clueless when it comes to strategies. Lately his form is downward too. He ruined lot of players, like Umesh Yadav, Irfan, Gambhir etc. It is high time that Kohli be Indian captain, since he is positive and aggressive. Need to say bye bye Dhoni.

  • IAS2009 on February 18, 2014, 0:04 GMT

    this articles means nothing when india go home and beats teams on dust bowl pitches with Dhoni as captain. it was mind boggling captaincy from a team captain who is behind in the series, all they need is 5 wickets with 2 days to spare, they are in the position to buy wickets but they did not. singles have be given with players on boundary. you need to think that NZ is playing for draw why would they try to loft the ball to long on when there is a fielder there. for god sake please explain.

  • SilvaStunner on February 17, 2014, 23:57 GMT

    Test cricket is all about your defensive strategy and attacking point if you loose it when to attack you can not win a battle having half a sword. Dhoni always wait for something to happen that will work in one-day and t20 but test cricket is a different world and he had enough learning as a captain never shown his experience as a captain very poor performance to hold chances.

  • on February 17, 2014, 23:54 GMT

    The article is apt. Indeed Dhoni is a good captain but appears to be a bit overconfident at times. Unlike the other captains who keep conversing with their bowlers ball after ball Dhoni does not do. Probably the captain cool tag is overdone.

  • LivingDead on February 17, 2014, 23:52 GMT

    @ZainE11: Hi, you want to know why Indians can't produce good bowlers? Look at the fan's reactions here. They are mercilessly pounding Shami, Zaheer and Ishant. NZ played really well, rather than accept that, they are kicking their bowlers when they are down. I have seen the whole test match, and even NZ commentators were commending Indian bowlers' commitment.

    One of my friends uploaded a photo on FB with Ishant, and people just put so much filth in the comments abusing Ishant, language that cannot be written here. There is no support for bowlers - not from BCCI, not from captain, not from role models, but most of all - NO SUPPORT FROM FANS. No wonder, all the kids want to be Sachin.

  • on February 17, 2014, 23:51 GMT

    When is it going to happen that, as cricket playing nations, we should enjoy good cricketing moments - some fine swing bowling, some fine crafted shorts, some terrific catches etc.

    Instead of thinking of axing players, replacing them, who is winning, who is losing and why -

    A sport is a sport after all. It is a game and one is bound to lose. Posting comments, thinking of strategies, and suggesting selection of players, is far easier than playing out in the field.

    Whether it is Test cricket or World cup, it all depends, how good a player plays on that particular day, no matter who you select, from which part of the country, and however talented he is.

    Dear friends, let us enjoy the cricket, whether it is McCullum or Yuvraj, we get to see some fine batting after all.

    Let us make it a sport, not a war.

    And leave selecting the players to the selection committee and the captain.

  • satishsasikumar on February 17, 2014, 23:50 GMT

    My point is if you have to select Zaheer, Ishant and Shami as bowlers, Rohit and Vijay as batsman to draw or lose a test why not give opportunities to others who are warming the benches? Who knows we could find a player worthy of playing test matches?

  • S.Jagernath on February 17, 2014, 23:39 GMT

    M.S Dhoni is a brilliant captain in India conditions,the surfaces & the spinners make his job very easy.When he needs to strategise for a seam attack,he is lost,his wicketkeeping has always been poor,but his field positioning is terrible.His team selection can also be really poor,Cheteshwar Pujara,Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane all had to wait for chances after consisten failiures by Suresh Raina.Ishant Sharma is still persisted with after all these years.India tend to also play in a complacent fashion due to his supposedly 'coolnees'.Sourav Ganguly,Rahul Dravid & Anil Kumble built a proud record of away performances for India in the last decade,it's such a shame that their success was not built upon by Dhoni.

  • on February 17, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    Dhoni has been far overrated as Captain Cool. It's gone to his head. But you can not just blame him, the team as a whole is responsible. Take example of dropped catches in this series; it cost them 1st test by Vijay dropping Williams at crucial time and he went on to score 113 odd. If that catch was held then the outcome would have been different. In this match 2nd innings; Kohli dropped a simple catch when McCulum was on 9. When you watch the replay it looked like Kohli was playing a friendly game in the park. Another chance went begging on 36 when Ishant dropped McCulum again. Result he went on to score 302. Had Kohli or Ishant held those chances this game would have been over in 3 days with India levelling the series. Also when Watling and McCulum were piling on the runs Dhoni just used his main front line 4 bowlers. He did not try the part timers. May be he forgot that some of the other guys can bowl a bit. After all the captain must take the blame. Time for Dhoni to go.

  • jjoy14 on February 17, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    India needs a new and bold captain, Dhoni should quit or be removed from test side since it is better to loose with new/younger captain who will at least try to be bold. Zak needs to retire, Ishant should be dropped, Shami, Varun, Umesh and Pandey should be allowed to play for 3 or 4 overseas series since anyway India is going to loose. This way the young fast bowlers will learn and come good for 5 to 6 years. Dhoni is past his best before date in Tests and if you analyze NZ one day series it is clear Dhoni never took risk against lone spinner Nathan M coz he was in early 20's or 30's thereby increasing the required run rate exponentially which couldn't be achieved. Dhoni was only looking to complete his half century so no one blames HIM rather than win the game for India in one dayers. He is gone over cool so time for reality check and take One day captaincy too away from him.

  • spinkingKK on February 17, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    I forgot to mention one thing. For those who thinks that India have just squandered a winning position, wait until the match finishes. There is a good chance that Indian batsmen will give you a surprise. They will most likely crumble to give the Kiwis an unexpected win.

  • getgopi on February 17, 2014, 22:43 GMT

    It's not Dhoni's fault. These NZ players grow up playing on exactly these kinds of pitches. The "issue" has to do with three factors coming together: NZ's batsmen are in form, they seem to be consistently applying specific plans against India and the Indian "pacers" bowling speeds' are slower by 10 - 25 km/hr and are incapable of hitting the deck hard (when they do, they lose balance and fall flat on their faces when a return catch comes their way).

  • spinkingKK on February 17, 2014, 22:42 GMT

    Even though I don't agree with all the criticisms in this article, I agree that there is something really wrong with Dhoni's captaincy. The truth is, Dhoni shouldn't have been made the test captain in the first place, home or away. It was the wrong choice at that time itself. For some reason, the writer seems to agree with his captaincy in Johannesburg. It as one of the most foolish and dormant captaincy I have ever seen. Zaheer Khan was just giving easy runs to the two settled batsmen and Dhoni decided to give him an extended spell to ensure that both batsmen scored their centuries without any stress. That match was a setup. I will never forget that, just like I can't forget Parthiv Patel's keeping in the home series against the Aussies in 2004. Now, India got a team which hasn't got a proper captaincy candidate. If Gambhir or Karthik were there, they could have taken over. But, if there is no other choice, a young Kohli could be tried out.

  • on February 17, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    The good old days of fighting Indian cricket ended in 2011. Between 2001 and 2011, India competed on overseas tours, under some aggressive captaincy. Even MSD won the CB series in 2008 (his first as captain). But, under Dhoni's obstinate yet defensive captaincy with a toothless bowling attack, India has gone back to the dark ages. A pattern has developed: N Srinivasan runs BCCI and owns CSK. Dhoni remains a key player in his machinations. There's a pattern, a trend. Change is needed; from the top down. Fletcher's time is up. We need someone fresh. Dhoni needs to limit himself to limited overs cricket. He has been a fantastic ODI player for India and we salute him. But it is time he hung up his Test boots. We also need to put huge effort and money into a pace programme. Having said that, the spinning cupboard too is not overflowing. Brendon McCullum and NZ have deserved all the accolades. They have played very very well, and have put India to shame...again. All hail Dhoni...not!

  • ramtheruler on February 17, 2014, 22:19 GMT

    Dhoni is the greatest captain ever lived in any sports..EVER!He is captain cool, captain grace, captain with most trophies, captains like Chappel,Clive Lloyd,Steve Waugh Nad Imran Khan looks like sissies infront of DHONI.

    MSD need our support at this time, there is no doubt in my mind that MSD will win India the comming 20/20 cup as well as 2015 WC.

  • on February 17, 2014, 22:17 GMT

    In order to resolve this stigma of losing away test series, BCCI should consider appointing Virat Kohli as captain for away test series while retaining great Dhoni for the rest of the games.

  • sizor on February 17, 2014, 22:17 GMT

    It is so easy to blame others...I think u shud come down and play on the ground before commenting

  • on February 17, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    Dhoni and too a large extent the Coach is too reliable on batsmen to win the test. In this series, the bowlers bowled well in short bursts. Having 3 specialist bowlers with 1 semi specialist spinner, things can only go so far. They just ran out of gas to turn the screws. Dhoni and team mgmt needs to trust their bowlers and having one less batsman doesn't hurt their scores (at-least one batsman fell cheaply in all the innings). Umesh Yadav or Amit Mishra (NZ don't play leggies well) could have given them vital weapon and could have allowed other bowlers stay fresh. Black Caps figured that easiest way to beat India was to make the bowlers toil hard. It worked twice. India could have been 2-0. Both 500+ scores were for the same reason.

  • CricFanKrish on February 17, 2014, 22:13 GMT

    It just goes to show that Dhoni has no confidence in his bowlers whether they bowl well or not. He believes that a test is just a set of five one day internationals strung together. He believes if the team scoring more runs are the winners, he could contain them. Though that is not the case in this test, most draws would be Indian wins with that criteria. However, this rule will never come into Test cricket. You have to take 20 wickets to win a test. You need the batsmen to put up a defendable score, the bowlers who take wickets and fielders who latch on to catches and run batsmen out. Not the least, you need a captain who can back his bowlers. Sadly there are neither bowlers who can take 20 wickets, nor a captain who shows faith in his bowlers. If we continue at this rate, I don't see India winning a single test away from the subcontinent in Dhoni's captaincy.

  • RK.Chandru on February 17, 2014, 22:12 GMT

    Truly, Dhoni's magic wand is deserting him these days. He's bereft of ideas when the going gets tough. Basking still under, "Who will bowl the last over?..." even after a decade isn't going to help any more. There have been numerous false moves since then which have cost the team very badly. His liking for a few players has only denied the chance few other players deserved. He has made it amply clear by defending Jadeja going aggressive when he had a set batsman at the other end for company and ample time (more than a day left if I'm correct) at his disposal. Ashwin would have made a difference had he played the first test as Ashwin is better equipped as a test batsman and has a level head to play according to the situation. And even in this test, MSD wants reasonable numbers for Jaddu and he proved it by bowling him more than any other bowler as he wants a few more wickets in his tally with which he can play a few more series. I bet on any day, Ojha is a far better bowler than Jadeja.

  • Kelum_w on February 17, 2014, 22:08 GMT

    @ZainE111 waqar younis has a theory about this, the current crop of cricketers in India & SL (aged 17-28) grew up idolizing batsman, where as in PAK they were idolizing fast bowlers like Imaran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aquib Javid etc. Because of this Ind & SL kids preferred batting like their idols and PAK kids preferred bowling. You can see this on how SL & Ind have produced stunning batsman in the last 15 years (Sachin, Darvid, Laxman, Mahela, Sanga Kohli etc) while PAK have produced great Fast Bowlers. There was a piece on cricinfo earlier about how Ind may not produce a Wasim and PAK may never produce a Sachin which emphasized this point.

  • dastunta on February 17, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    I have followed cricket (not just Indian cricket) for 25 years. I used to stay up watching Aus-Eng test matches - all 5 days. Being originally from India, I think there are a few things that are "cultural" traits in the Indian cricket team -

    1. Lack of discipline. Indians are generally laid back and go about tasks in a half-hearted fashion. NZ is dominating India not with talent, but with discipline - have a plan and execute it. 2. Lack of killer instinct. This is what makes Aus such a good team - when the opponent is down, they know how to squash and bury them. 3. Not enough desire for self-improvement. If I were a batsman and I knew Gavaskar was in the same city, even 10 minutes with him would make a whole world of difference. At least go back and listen to his commentary. Before an away tour, I would practice on concrete/green/bouncy pitches. 4. Treating batsmen like quarterbacks - Bowlers don't get the limelight so top talent goes towards batting. Vicious cycle starts.

  • on February 17, 2014, 22:04 GMT

    Selectors need to show leadership but srini will not let them do that . Remember what happened to amaranth as he wanted to replace Dhoni as captain ?? It is a pipe dream onwards to England and let us loose some more . He once hinted on quitting but like any good leader I don't think he will I

  • PACERONE on February 17, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    Teams ranked lower than India and others have had chances to win matches and have collapsed to lose.The same is happening to India and recently to England.With all the facilities, organization and money they will all play poorly at some time.

  • on February 17, 2014, 21:46 GMT

    And even in the world cup, it was gambhir and kohli who soaked up the pressure and laid a platform for India.. For all the form Yuvraj was in, he could have come before dhoni to make a significant contribution.. but Dhoni had to steal the limelight.. and kudos to the way he did.. Astute... Dhoni has been good and lucky.. his defensive captaincy stops him from being great , he lacks the ruthless killing instinct of Ponting...

  • AbuUSA on February 17, 2014, 21:36 GMT

    If Kohli not played unnecessary shot in 2nd inning of first test, there was plenty of time to play right ball and score. India would have won 1st test. If same Kohli not drop easy catch of McCullum when on 9 in this 2nd inning, India would have won this test also. India would be 2-0 up. This article would have talked different things.

  • Starvybz on February 17, 2014, 21:23 GMT

    so let me get this straight when you do not have world class bowlers you blame your captain a guy that carried that same team through numerous positions to victory but at that one moment your bowlers fail you forgot what a gift he is and how many other countries yearn for someone like him

  • on February 17, 2014, 21:16 GMT

    agree that dhoni is defensive in general, but thats not true in this case. i mean that wicket has become a road and NZ wickets have the tendency to do that on 4th and 5th day. even recently WI were able to draw a test from nowhere against nz with bravo scoring 200 and even England last year the way they drew on a highway wicket and that when mccullum is the most aggressive captain at the moment. i think in general wickets should assist more as the game progresses and not the other way around. Nz played way more aggressively and outplayed india throughout the series and they deserve the credit for it

  • gr8-cricket on February 17, 2014, 21:15 GMT

    It is time for Dhoni to step down, but I do not see that coming till next three years.

    Two things that need to be done here.

    1. Accept DRS 2. Remove Dhoni from captaincy.

  • Adoh on February 17, 2014, 21:14 GMT

    I'm an Aussie supporter but I find myself admiring the NZ team for their recent performances against India. Perhaps it's 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' scenario. Regardless, Brendan McCullums innings was bloody fantastic. What a player is this guy! Agree about the strange ICC test team ranking system. Surely away games are worth more for a win than home games - unlike other sports like rugby or football, familiar conditions are very much an advantage in cricket. One day the BCCI will wake up and realise that the only way the Indian team will ever get more success abroad is to develop more variety in their home pitches and give the team more experience on more varied tracks - this will also develop their fast bowlers. This would be good for world cricket.

  • on February 17, 2014, 21:09 GMT

    You absolutely nailed it, from the day he allowed Kallis to settle down by going defensive in newlands it was all over for me w.r.t the captaincy of Dhoni in Test cricket. If we see, Clarke, Mac Cullam, and to some extent Smith (i still think smith needs to be a bit more agressive), they are all looking to be aggressive take that initiative and win those big moment. England, and India both have defensive captains, and that is why they are not able to close the games. It was such a huge pain for us to see NZ close out india in this test match, we should have won by max lunch time on 4th day.

    The bowlers i would say did almost everything they could do, but sometimes the captain needs to come up with different things, not follow the ball... have Shami and Ishant bowl from round the stumps to thier body with leg slip silly mind on and two man for the hook, have this go on for 10 to 12 overs to see if they make a mistake, the captain needs to try these things and make things happen

  • Vish.Madishetty on February 17, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    Story of Mr. Cool to Mr. Fool

    When World Class players were in the team India was in TOP Position then Dhoni got all the Credits and Named Mr.Cool, now when India Team is going down we should Blame Dhoni not Coach and Need to name him Mr. Fool

    Dhoni is the Coach/Great Captain/a Critic after match...

    Dhoni picks the team form CSK, he think best players are in CSK...

    He will never bench Vijay... because he is from CSK

    He was successful Captain and he was Mr. Cool Just because he had a team with many World Class Players before, when you have World Class players in your Team then you will have positive results and anybody can become MR.Cool...

    Example: He do not like to keep Gambir in the team just because he is not from CSK and he can be a Threat to his Teat Captaincy…

    He screwed up lot of Good Players Career…

    All I can say is, He is Luck to be Part of India Team and Very Lucky to Lead World Class Players.

  • SagarKhanvilkar on February 17, 2014, 21:04 GMT

    @ZainE111, Yes, I too wonder why India doesn't produce quality fast bowlers. Some of the reasons I could think of are: most beginner cricketers are looking to be batsmen, Most role models are batsmen, pitches are spin friendly (if not dead tracks) and not fast bowler friendly, less incentive for bowlers.

  • Indgetreal on February 17, 2014, 21:01 GMT

    All giving lame excuses for not winning overseas tests under Dhoni like India has no bowlers - well how are these pace bowlers so bad compared to what Ganguly had. With such a big lead and opposition 5 down around 100 Dhoni decides to remove fielders from slip positions to restrict runs in a match where India still has to bat and many catch chances go waste. Compare this with NZ captain in last match who under pressure when India is scoring quick runs in last innings cutting into the lead persists with close in fielders and never releases the pressure and eventually won the match.

  • ProdigyA on February 17, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    U might scream as much as u want, nothing is going to change. Neither is Dhoni going anywhere nor his stubborn team selection. It's complete anarchy going on with Team India right now.

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:57 GMT

    @Brendan Elks; It is 14-0 soon man. If we don't criticise now then when? Also It has been going on for last 2-3 years. It is the same motions. No change. They even try their hardest to field the same team. That is why we fans are crying for one MSD's head even though credit is very much due to New Zealand team. But I fear if left unchecked we will soon see even associates beating India. And I think may be it is a good thing that we are not touring Bangladesh any time soon. Because seeing their form and ours I fear the outcome

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 17, 2014, 20:56 GMT

    One sentence - Dhoni needs to be dropped. He isn't test match material.

  • CurrentPresident on February 17, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    @VickGower: Repeat after me: Even a thoroughbred will be reduced to a mule if you put blinkers on it and weigh it down with a ton of bricks.

    Indian bowlers are not too great, but they are not as bad either. Dhoni's tactics sap all confidence out of them and reduces them to mules. In SA, the bowlers struggled towards the end of the first test, yet he did not pick a fresh bowler or an extra specialist bowler. Same mistake here.

    If you tell your bowlers that the only way they will pick wickets is by a batsman felling tied down and making a mistake, they will lose faith in themselves.

    Yes, McCullum batted very well, but there was no leadership from Dhoni that would arrest the slide and re-motivate the young side. Now the bowling unit is so demoralized that even Neesham can come smack a fast hundred.

    You will see that McCullum will struggle to hit a hundred every test (let alone a double hundred) other than against India. India need a fresh test captain. Even Harbhajan would do.

  • pcraju on February 17, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    Good statistics from the article on missed opportunities by India. Any weaker team also would capitalize on the chances they created initially. Not to blame the bowlers, they've worked hard, but without thinking? Since the captain himself doesnt wear a thinking hat, players would certainly follow him. I've never seen Dhoni attacking the opposition. That could be his nature. Coach should tell him at least. If coach or the captain could not do that, it should be brought up in team meetings at least. Dhoni and boys seem to be playing more of a friendly game and it appears they just want to finish the NZ series because it is on their schedule. No intensity to win and No game spirit. Dhoni brought part-timers after 146 overs. Couldnt he think of the same at least after 100 overs? Bringing part-timers is not for taking wickets but for variation and disturb the rhythm of the batsmen. Indians play like a dead game, by just finishing their routines time to time. Problem with being cool-headed?

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:47 GMT

    I have been telling no. of times, all media and pandit given too much wight to dhoni. he got labelled captain cool. win world cup for india and all.. but did he use his brain/batting to achieve this? he is more lucky to have players like sachin, dravid, sehvag was playing. how many matches he won on his hand outside india? in wc 2011 he was super flop till final. what was his contribution. it was others who played brilliantly and india reach in final. now people remember his one innings but not others conribution. he is totally flop in test matches at both places.. in last 2-3 years. no. of players dropped on performance. why not dhoni? he should be in there in test team at all. entire test team changed except dhoni/zak/ishant. now its time to replace this three with good players.

  • ZainE111 on February 17, 2014, 20:42 GMT

    I am a South African but I follow the Indian cricket team closely. I just have one question: why is India unable to produce great quality aggressive pace bowlers regularly? Note the "regularly". With a population of more than a billion I'm sure there are hundreds of kids out there who could grow up to bowl the way Johnson or Steyn bowls.

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    You Indian supporters are so brutal about your team. Don't blame Dhoni, blame NZ for playing some really good cricket. In fact, blame Brendon McCullum and the BCs for having out strategised India on almost all fronts across ODIs and Tests. India have played well, but the game has been won off the field in planning. India have also had the rub of the green with all the toss wins too - to come out like this after being sent in on the green ripper on day one is a testament to that.

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    And please people who are criticising Ishant and Zaheer, they were selected by Dhoni not the other way around. He selected them from a group of six fast bowlers available for him to be selected. At least they appear to be better fast bowlers this time around not like RP Singh from vacation in the last England tour. So selectors at least did their job. But what about the captain who go with the same squad again and again. What can they do about him. Why sack him of course.

  • satchander on February 17, 2014, 20:37 GMT

    @VickGower: Don't blame the system. There are many bowlers who can be given opportunity and tried. Dhoni just does not want to do that. He has stubborn and inflexible ideas and that is ruining Indian TEST cricket. Umesh, Varun, Ishwar etc unless you give them opportunity, how will you know who is the next Srinath or Zaheer for that matter. Remove Zaheer from side and make him the fast bowling coach and get Umesh, Varun, Ishwar and others groomed under him. Create competition for places among bowlers. Look at Ishant - once he was dropped from ODI side, his performance automatically improved in the Tests. Dhoni is unwilling to drop players and that is costing us matches overseas. We need a new captain. Period.

  • rahul.singh on February 17, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    every good thing has to end one day. Dhoni has been a good captain esp in shorter versions of the game, got India all the three ICC trophies. in tests he has been below par as captain, batsmen and wicketkeeper. Time for him to step down in tests to elongate his limited overs career and improve India's abysmal overseas test record.

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    IS Dhoni's Lucky Era is coming to an END, at least in Test Cricket..????

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:31 GMT

    It's true that the Captain knows better how to sail any ship. But it's bowler who control a batsman. Dhoni should consult bowlers to set field, without asking them to do something where they don't feel so comfortable. Besides, India need practice a lot more on fielding. They need some higher degree of confidence and be aggressive when situation requires. Instead, they are very happy with tons of Rupees they are paid even for their shameful poor results at foreign grounds!

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:29 GMT

    If you need a good bowler then you need to encourage and bring up one. I saw one Zaheer Khan and one Harbhajan Singh come up under the captaincy of Ganguly. Who do you see coming up under Dhoni? True they had Srinath and Kumble to lead them. But Dhoni had Zaheer and Harbhajan. But still he needs Zaheer Khan to help mentor his fast bowlers. Please remember he has been captain for over 5 years now. Is he still learning that he needs a senior bowler to hold his hands in terms of leading his bowlers? Who will grow up under a captain who will constantly put down his bowlers. He has dropped Ojha after being the highest wicket taker against England. He keeps own giving non performing Ishant chances while others wait in the wings. True he performed this series. But after how long? I think he can be considered a non performing senior now. A description used by many for Sehwag, Laxman and Gambhir when they had won and drawn matches for India. What has Dhoni done of notice(we are discussing tests

  • satchander on February 17, 2014, 20:23 GMT

    Good article...but articles such as this will keep coming for next 3 years and we will still be seeing Dhoni captaining Indian side overseas in Test matches...I have always said Dhoni is a very poor test player and captain overseas...Every Indian fan knows that but BCCI and Srinivasan have have more important stakes than overseas wins for India and so I do not see Dhoni getting sacked by BCCI anytime in next 3 years....HOPE I am proved wrong and sincerely hope someone else (say Kohli) takes over the captaincy of Indian test side otherwise we will continue to lose miserably overseas (Aus, Eng, SA, NZ and maybe WI) !

  • glen1 on February 17, 2014, 20:23 GMT

    Ok, my dear India friends, it is time to say good bye to test cricket. With all the technology and pitch preparation, there is no more room for surprises but to think inwards. Without going into major worldly issues, let's accept the fact that T20 suits the West Indians both in style and abilities, One day cricket suits the Indians (India, Pak, BL, SL) both in style and abilities, and test Cricket suits the style of the Europeans (Eng, Aus, NZ, SA) both in style and abilities. You decide what you want to follow but don't ask for everything. You cannot compete in 100m, 800m and marathon at the same time; case closed!

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    Thank you Sidharth Monga for finally writing this. Someone had to say it. Dhoni is practically useless as a batsman/captain overseas. Alright, he had one good knock last innings, but before that, he has never been able to play consistently. And he encourages Jadeja to go all guns blazing and reasons that is the only way to reduce the run deficit. That shows he wants to lose by a low margin than to play a solid knock and win the game. Jadeja is someone who has triple 300s to his belt, which means he is someone who can play a solid innings. And what we witnessed were some fireworks and then the inevitable loss.. Really pathetic to keep losing overseas.. A change is necessary soon.

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    after this showing dhoni needs to be removed as captain of the test team...but srinivasan will never let that happen...icc rankings is a big farce...india keeps losing tests outside the sub-continent with monotonous regularity...but icc still thinks india is a top test side...and now a team with such a poor test record abroad is going to rule world cricket alongwith australia and england...if performance of the test team abroad was a factor india could be clubbed alongwith bangladesh and zimbabwe

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    I think Dhoni has done wonderfully well. He can be as effective as the resources at his disposal. He cannot win you test matches with one and a half bowlers. Ishant is no good, Zaheer is well past his prime and shami is a mediocre bowler with no express pace. The decline of Indian spin department has contributed as well. In addition Indians have never been a great side overseas. In fact, they have hardly won abroad. Even their World cup win in 2011 was largely because it was a home tournament. Else they can very well be beaten by minnows like Bangladesh.

  • kahvas on February 17, 2014, 20:10 GMT

    I really dont understand what the coach's role is. I mean this coach has been a failure during his days, so he has no spine to teach anything. I guess what he can do is help push Dhoni select the right team, but again he is another yes man. What a coach should really do is help strategize. Look at how the kiwi's frustrated Virat, especially in the 2 ODI's continuously bowling wide on off side and setting the field. Agreed, with Kohli's class sooner or later he will figure out, but we lost the series since Virat got out cheaply in 2 ODI's. This is exactly what the coach should be doing, looking at opposition batting/bowling videos. I think India should get rid of so called complacent Yes men.

  • tanmayvs on February 17, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    instead of criticizing, dhoni one should praise excellent application and determination shown by Brendon and BJ watling

  • LivingDead on February 17, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    Quiztime -

    1. When was the last time India took 20 wickets in an away test? (8 tests ago in Australia - 1st Test, Dec 2011).

    2. In last 14 away tests, how many times have India taken 20 wickets? (only twice)

    Yes we have bad bowlers. But even after 14 tests we cannot come up with a strategy or players to take 20 wickets?

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:05 GMT

    Good article.... most of them are correct....Its like the captain and Coach is out of ideas and very very defensive in away tours.... Dada and Rahul's captaincy away was much better to watch....when playing away....A couple of ppl spoiling whole teams effort and a country's love for the game.....

  • VickGower on February 17, 2014, 20:02 GMT

    Repeat after me (and confirm with Rahul Dravid too): It is NOT the captain's fault. It is the bowlers. It is the system that has not been able to give him at least one good seamer. Something, nearly EVERY captain has had before him.

  • remnant on February 17, 2014, 19:55 GMT

    Playing 4 bowlers in all, is itself an extremely defensive strategy. 3 seamers + 1 spinner is hardly an intent of a winning mentality. Get a walking wicket of a batsman out of the team and get in a bowler. At least that bowler would be scoring more than ducks and even if he did, it won't be contrary to expectations!

  • on February 17, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    The black caps played with great character. I must confess I was one of those who supported the idea of two tier test system and probably would have had NZ in the lower division. I think the focus before this tour was on England tests which stars in June. This tour was almost seen as warm up. But given how NZ have dominated India it is fair to say they have earned respect.

  • Sachin_The_Greatest on February 17, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    I see so many ppl saying captain is only as good as his team ..agreed but selecting team is captian's job isn't it?

    If you say u have a toothless bowling attack & bowling being week link then man add more bowlers to make it stronger.

    i was disgusted with our bowlers performance, but hey because of our defensive captain, our fast bowlers are bowling more number of overs then any other team.

    as somebody very rightly said use them as race horse not like donkey.

    you can not simply win a test match with 3 and half bowlers.

  • Alexk400 on February 17, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    Please please stop blaming bowlers. Blame dhoni. Period. We all know india do not have 150kmph. We do not want to blow out team , we just need to compete. So please please do not say india has weak bowling attack. I think the problem here is low expectation of dhoni. If we expect india to win , we will know who is at fault. Its not bowlers in this inning. Bowlers bowled heart out. I saw ishant sharma bowled full speed at his 38th over and to stumps. No short ball no spraying. Also sami bowled as fast as he could. The problem is tactics. Every one know Mccullum playing out his time. We agree pitch is flat but you can make batsman score uncomfortable runs. Make changes that can confuse batsman. I know what dhoni is thinking , if i make changes and still no one gets out , all swords will be at me. Why take risk. This is the problem of dhoni. His first goal is protect himself. With that attitude , there is no chance for india to win. Even lucky dhoni can not win if he do not take risks.

  • JaiHOBharath on February 17, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    Don't worry! they will be soon heroes in IPL.......All in all, we have a good IPL team playing in TEST cricket to get match practice

  • on February 17, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    captain cool doesn't have the capacity to captain the test team. team selection by him is very poor. why is he keeping ROHIT SHARMA for past five years he has not performed outside India (only in IPL). Basically he is not technical sound batsman. captain should lead from the front he has not done once in test cricket. today we saw Brendan doing it for NZ he deserves to be the captain. Dhoni is not positive enough his lack in performance shows in captaincy as well. it's time for dhoni to step down may be from test team as well. due to his defensive mode we are about to lose the match today from winning position. dada taught us how to win test matches in abroad. I don't want India going back to same old days...

  • JAYPEs on February 17, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    Tooth less bowlers + Home condition only batters + fielders with big holes in their hands + Hopeless Captain and a No authority coach makes the current INDIAN setup. it is going to be a big ask to win test matches with this mix. I have no hope for India until they drop under performing players soon after every match. Ganguly as coach might bring winning ways back to the team. India really need a home grown coach just because they can't replace Indian players with foreign ones. Favouritism rules in Indian team that is why players like Amith Mishra, Pragyan oja even Dinesh Kartik not playing any matches. There are wasted talents and potential in the current team like Jadeja, He should be batting top order instead of his current makeshift slogger role. Remembering his consecutive domestic 300s. You do not see any responsible batting in Rohith Sharma compare to Shikar Dhawan.................. Look like Indian Team on bachelors group holiday away from home............... let them enjoy.

  • RaviNarla on February 17, 2014, 19:38 GMT

    Dhoni is not to blame here it is the selectors. India is a country where repeated failures get more chance than merit. Raina and Yuvraj got more chances in test whereas Badrinath gets only one. Rohit inspite of his repeated ODI failoures stays in the side whereas Tiwary gets dropped after scoring a century. Ojha Gets dropped after good performances against England in India whereas Ashwin and Jadeja who failed miserably with ball stay in. Amit Mishra who is the best leg spinner in the country will sit out. If Agarkar had played 60 tests he would have performed 10x better than Ishant. I don't what is the yardstick for performance here. But it is clearly double standards and Nepotism.

  • on February 17, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    Excellent point being made in the article. The other issue is of Dhoni's technique to survive as a batsman overseas. How many hundreds have dhoni scored overseas?What is his overseas average. Also, in the 1st test I thought it was strange that dhoni kept taking single's of the first ball of ever over when he was batting with Zaheer, when zaheer was clearly struggling to survive. If Dhoni was not the captain, I would pick Dinesh Karthik as a keeper/batsman because he has better technique to survive overseas conditions.

  • TRAM on February 17, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    @Arjun Calidas, nice stat. Didn't know Dhoni, Zaheer, Ishant trio have such a reputation !!

  • on February 17, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    I don't see Dhoni learning any thing even after 14-0. So I hope the selectors will continue with their rare effectiveness and remove one capt cool and bring some one more suited to the job than just being cool under situations

  • ShashidharHundi on February 17, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    This frustration is mother of all frustrations we have seen in last couple of years of test matches. If Sourav Ganguly was captaining this side, India would have won this match by Tea on 4th day. If it was Michael Clarke they would have won by Lunch on 4th day. With Dhoni, India will be losing the match by end of 5th day. Brendon will continue batting and score 300+. This bowling unit is good but need better support from the captain. Time for limiting Dhoni for ODI's & T20's.

  • SanjivAwesome on February 17, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    A well reasoned article. Can I start by congratulating the Kiwis. They have been amazing. They have played with great spirit and have shown their fans what it means to play for your country with responsibility. Team Dhoni and Team Fletcher should be assessed against their overseas performance. I am unclear on the accountability framework for this team, however. Who holds them accountable for under-performance? Where is the pain for them if they fail so miserably despite their fat riches? As fans, we can see the errors both Dhoni and Fletcher are repeating. Note, I say "repeating". These are technical errors in field placement and game- reading. Such errors should have been eliminated at Club level cricket in India itself!

  • LivingDead on February 17, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    Those saying captain is as good as the players. Then what really is the role of a captain? Is he there just to make bowling changes and field placements? As a captain - he can ask for an extra bowler, remove one batsman to take on a 5th bowler. He can emphasize to the selection committee the need for a fast bowling allrounder.

  • on February 17, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    For people asking for better team, what about Dhoni's inability to pick a better team? Please don't make excuses like India don't have a better team to select from. He is the captain and given 15-16 players. These players as far as I can see are selected according to Dhoni's whims. This can be seen in the non selection of one Praghyan Ojha for this series. Also the selectors are more proactive compared to the previous panel. They dropped non performing seniors and build a horses for courses squad when Australia came to India. They removed Ojha from the squad when they saw that Capt. cool is not going to give him any chance. They gave him allrounder when he asked for one(Binny). Now also he has all rounders to choose from although may be not seaming all rounders (Ashwin and Jadeja). But does he select the best team.He could have gone for 5 bowlers(1 spinning all rounder and 4 fast bowlers). From what I understand doing one thing again and again won't win you matches.

  • LivingDead on February 17, 2014, 19:28 GMT

    Indians weren't bowling bad, targeting off stump channel and not giving freebies. But Baz and Watling ground Indian bowling down. Look at their strike rates. It's just that sometimes these partnerships do happen, and this is the reason you need a bowling allrounder or a 5th bowler to keep everyone relatively fresh.

  • FSL2013 on February 17, 2014, 19:26 GMT

    Kohli is a lot more aggresive captain compared to Dhoni. Not asking to replace Dhoni right away but in a test series last match or in an ODI series last few matches should be given to Kohli to groom future's captain while Dhoni is still around. One thing no one is understanding is that once focus switches to home series, everybody will start performing again and then all criticism will wash away.

  • on February 17, 2014, 19:26 GMT

    Dhoni defence or aggressive do not blaming on him indian bowler zahir ,ishant . Sami need to improve their bowling so much they even not touch up single bowl over 140km/h

  • crindex on February 17, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    Indian cricket team hs the weakest attack. How can you be attacking with this weak bowling attack ? No captain can win with this spineless or toothless attack. We should be grateful to be having someone captaining this bunch regardless of all these bad press.

  • crindex on February 17, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    Stop crying guys. Dhoni is by far the most tactical aggressive captain India has ever seen. Give him a good team and if he still fails then it makes sense to blame him. When you are stuck with lemons - like our team - you make lemonade out of them. That's all one can do. Let Dhoni do his job of making lemonades with these lemons (useless ones) until some good apples are in the basket.

  • jimmyvida on February 17, 2014, 19:15 GMT

    So we got rid of Ashwin. Two more and India will start winning. Kohli may start fielding like a test player. Who says drop ZAK. Zak will play until he retires. Same with Dhoni. Tour of England in the horizon. two or three more changes won't do the trick. Unless the fielding......Joke! Keep your trousers clean boys. That's what mama says.

  • ADARSH100 on February 17, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    India has not won any match in 2014 :O

  • Dysan25 on February 17, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    How about dropping Dhoni from the Test Team and giving Parthiv Patel a chance ? .. Parthiv's been captaining the Gujarat team pretty decently over the years and hence captaincy shouldn't be a problem to him either .. and he's taken quite a few bold decisions in Ranji (4-day) matches over the years .. So no problem in experimenting .. Regarding the fast bowling options .. we saw what Australia did after the likes of McGrath, Fleming and Lee retired .. frequent rotation of 10-11 fast bowlers in Tests, ODI's and T20s .. which paid off pretty well .. why can't Indian Team Selectors do the same here ? .. rotate Mohammad Shami, Pankaj Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and few more potential fast bowlers .. keep Zaheer Khan permanently in the team for 2 years to mentor them before he retires .. drop Ishant, Jadeja and Rohit for 2 years completely (they are around 25, they can always come back) .. and bring Ojha & Mishra in their place ..

  • StreetView on February 17, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Dhoni's problem is his fixation with the 2 Sharmas. People who say Binny must be brought in must realise he is just another of the plethora of trundlers we have. Just kick Nohit out and bring in a spinner in sub-continental conditions and Umesh Yadav overseas. Doing so , India can play 3 spinners+2pacers at home and 4 pacers+1spinner or 3pacers+2 spinners overseas. Ashwin , Jadeja and Bhuvi are better than Rohit and Ishant any day.

  • baskar_guha on February 17, 2014, 19:00 GMT

    The real point is that Mitchell Johnson and Dale Steyn don't take wickets because the field is set right. They intimidate batsmen into submission who rather exit than fight. India has never had such a threat or someone even close. That is a national shame.

  • smtaimoor on February 17, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    I always said that Misbah is a defensive captain but after today captaincy of Dhoni i must say that Misbah captaincy is much much batter than Dhoni. His today strategy was poor and India needs a new captain and Ghambir, B Kumar and Harbajan should be included in team.

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    Fed-up with dhoni's defensive captaincy.Best example was the 2008/2009 indian tour to NZ , the author has mentioned. Having taken a lead of 1-0 , and a comprehensive lead in the first innings, he made india bat to pose a 4th innings target of 617, Match was drawn as kiwis made 281/8 on final day. Similar thing happened in WI where we tied a test match against a weak side. Captaincy change is a must for indian test side. ICC rankings should justify the real talent of the teams. Dhoni better be a ODI/T20 captain. I thing our no.3 has alredy been arrived to take test captaincy., Yes.. He is the ONE

  • big_bond75 on February 17, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    Ganguly by far was the the most aggressive overseas captain!! but he was fortunate to have Kumble, Harbhajan, Srinath, at there peak performing for him!! As far as Dhoni is concerned. He is playing his One day eleven in a classic test series which is not going to be a "cake-walk".

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    This whole thread is becoming too random.. A place to blame MSD, and some others. Comments on dropping Zaheer, Ishant. Seriously?? On a flattening pitch Zaheer got three wickets. This is not a comment to support the bowlers, but to explain the attitude of the (so called) fans. Everyone wanted Zaheer in the team and Bhuvaneshwar out (bcos of his inability with old ball)before SA series. Typical of Indian fans to blame someone and provide random suggestions like bringing Harbhajan, Binny and more. Accept the fact that bowling is toothless unless the conditions are extremely friendly provided whoever the bowler you bring in. Comparing Ganguly with MSD is absurd too. Ganguly had the best team which was in its prime, but he did a great job bringing them together. MSD went with fab four to Eng 2011 and Aus 2012, what happened. We lost there too. Comparing a captains during different periods is absurd. NZ were great PERIOD. Stop blaming the captain and some players who are performing well

  • Blucap on February 17, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    Its not about the captain or coach. We are losing because we are playing only with 4 bowlers which includes 3 tired medium pacers. To add to this, there is no DRS due to which we have lost at least two series one in SA and one in AUS.

    The author seems to have forgotten to mention the team combination.

    You play another 100 test matches with this team combination under any captain, you have less than 1% chance of winning a single test match (except for an extraordinary performance by an individual).

    This is exactly why we couldn't get the teams out though we were able to pick first 4 to 5 wickets reasonalble quickly even in England.

    We could win with 4 bowlers in India because of 2 spinners bowling on rough pitches which is not the same when you tour abroad.

  • OldCricketer on February 17, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    It is easy to go critical when things are not working well for the Captain. Bowlers did a good job on a true batting pitch. Taking catches is very important at the top level cricket. The bowlers are tired midway through the match. So, they have lost the sharpness, but, they have not lost the line and length. Great cricket teams of the past always had five full time bowlers. They used to sacrifice a batsman for a full time bowler. Knowing that it is going to be a fast bowler pitch Indian team going into the match with three fast bowlers instead of four is a mistake. Had Kohli took the Mac's catch we would not have noticed this mistake. It is better for Indian cricket that this kind of situation came up. The India's fastest bowler is itching and crying in the pavilion. I believe India has very class fast bowlers, but, they need to be used like race horses not like Donkeys.

  • cricisme on February 17, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Dhoni is running out of creativity. Captain cool is too cool and this was his test, when things don't go right - YOU JUST HAVE TO BE AGRESSIVE" - No more cool guys please.. BCCI please bring back Gautam Gambhir and give him his captaincy he deserves. Combination of Gautam G and Virat Kohli as VC is Lethal. Just think about it. GG may not have performed lately with bat because he under pressure to prove and probably not able to play his natural game.. Some how I feel comfortable with him being in the team. Hope there are more poeple agree with me...i have heard lot of nay sayers but you need to be bold to take bold decisions.

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:25 GMT

    Its high time. Dhoni, Fletcher and the selectors need to inctroduce stuart binny into Test aswell as the odi matches as the seam bowling all rounder and infuse confidence in him by making him bow his full quota of overs( and for god's sake dhoni should be standing way to behind the stumps not xctly behind) and bat him at no.5 position(raina) . Otherwise we could only hope in despair to win abroad.

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    its the hard truth for Dhoni fans... but lets just face it.. I feel Duncan Fletcher has to go in first place as he seems to have no control over the team strategies. . he leaves it all on Dhoni to decide as Siddharth pointed out.. Dhoni fails to capitalize on those moments in big matches. the coach shud also have a say in decision making .. the way Kirsten handled the situation of team India. .. we were actually winning away matches then.. now its time where the team is crippled. .. a younger coach might actually b better n a good strategist ... mag be the tactics wud change. ..n the game .... looking forward to something like that.... probably Dhoni shud step down as test captain. ..but will he... will he b that responsible? ?

  • HM-Carson on February 17, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    If not MSD then who? Don't lay all the blame on Dhoni as Indian fast bowlers are toothless. What good is a 400+ score if your bowlers cannot get 20 wickets? Team needs balance - India should stop thinking they can offset their weakness in bowling posting 500+ runs. Bring Bhuvi into the mix to strengthen the attack. Lastly, can someone tell me when India was a star performers away from sub-continet? Even if you can find a couple of instances they're exception to the norm. What we're seeing is the norm for Indian cricket - sorry.

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:18 GMT

    yes, i agree!!! we need KOHLI as captain...sooner we can do it better it is going to be...!!

  • Dev_Anand on February 17, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    With the kind of bowlers and fielders we have it doesn't matter who the captain is. Don't tell me that fielders would have magically held catches if we had a different captain.

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    dhoni is very poor captain i have never seen this type of captain he is also involved in match he win in their home .....and if goes overseas their are no opportunity to fix match ,so he lose matches.... first india to do that change coach and then virat should be captain of INDIA ....because he is very aggressive captain like ganguly ....

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    Oh yes for sure India need another captain

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    I don't understand why Dinesh Kartik,who scored two back to back centuries in England is not provided with an oppertunity in Test team.India need a new leader in away tests, Rohit should only play in subcontinent and Murli Vijay needs to be dropped from the team.It's high time for BCCI to find raw fast bowling talent from all across India and groom them properly, otherwise India will be back to it's position it was 10 years back.

  • Aatif925 on February 17, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    As a Pakistani fan of Indian batting, I'm really disappointed. It can be argued that whether or not this is the best 2nd innings rearguard batting effort. But no way can we argue with the fact that it is the worst 2nd innings bowling effort in the history of Test cricket. Seriously, India should give nationality to some Sri Lankan or even BD bowlers - as they'd not to any Pakistani due to political tensions between the two countries - if they really want to perform better outside India. Current Indian bowling is a disgrace to the great sport.

  • kahvas on February 17, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    Dhoni not only makes mistakes in selection, but he is not even willing to correct it. Why include ZAK, when he has been a toothless bowler pretty much throughout his career. I dont understand the exclusion of Bhuvi, who can swing the new ball effectively. Jadeja can now be considered a good all rounder for ODI's and tests coming at #8, though pitches in NZ need wrist spinners so he is pretty much ineffective. Its crucial now to bring Gautam Gambhir in the team, not just as a player but as a captain. He is very aggressive and bold. He was not the only failure in England, but since he was a big challenge for Dhoni's captaincy he was axed. India needs Gauti to open in tests and #3 in Odi's. His presence especially in ODI's is so reassuring and takes the pressure off Virat.

  • s382412 on February 17, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    Bunch of Jokers....... Forget about Wining abroad then can't even resist against lowly ranked team like New Zealand. Era of Fabulous four, except Kohli and to an extent Pujara, i don't see anyone of international class.

  • prasanna_79 on February 17, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    @NAREN KUMAR.., a good captain is the one who should bring the best out of his players..,unlike dhoni who pulls the legs of his players in public thereby shattering their morale ( Ex. Bhuvi ).. A good captain is the one who gives his all to the team's cause & leads by example..,unlike dhoni who cannot grind out a good half-century under testing conditions in test matches..,pl check out his test stats outside the sub-continent.., has he ever retrieved India from a position of dire-straights to a position of strength in test matches abroad.. Even BJ Watling has a better temperament when compared to dhoni.. As a captain its his responsibilty to make the bowlers understand what your plans are & if the bowler errs its his duty to make him know about that.. Why have a deep point & a deep mid-off for a player who has just come into bat..? Whatever the reputation of the player..,he still starts from 0 & needs time to settle down..!! DHONI SHOULD GO..!!

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    cool down people stop worrying coz ipl is near and soon we'll all forget the past when dhoni and co starts hitting sixes and fours on flat Indian pitches.

  • nlight on February 17, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    India is not producing good enough seam bowlers. That's all.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    High Time to think for a formidable team with enough reserves, killer instinct than a lackluster waiting for things to happen.BCCI needs to wake up ..creating future leaders, teams rather than just flexing its financial muscle.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:52 GMT

    MSD has been given too much freedom. He has quietly worked with the top brass of BCCI and virtually got everything he wanted. He is cool. He is a great man manager. Etc etc have been spoken of him. Initially yes till 2011 but after that he is not hungry. he might have a team of obedient youngsters. But then we know history tells a different tale. So while this all seemed great and worked for a while, reality is different. One can also see that MSD is more keen on a young and obedient team rather than overseas wins for India. This is quiet politics. This is how some reputed brands operate. Like educated politicians cheating. First gain reputation and then do whatever you want. IPL has a serious damaging role. imagine if not for IPL, people would have asked questions. How lucky is MSD! but before 2011, Dhoni was all we think and hear of him. Has the WC win made him less hungry? less answerable? more powerful? Fletcher - my God why is he getting free money? India lost to Eng even at home!

  • Shahid06 on February 17, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    Please don't mention Australia being on back foot and then being let to come back into the match.. This is their mental strength and die hard approach where even if they are 9 down, they will not give up. India is not the only team that has been at the receiving end against Aussies (When they are in dismal situation) .. I have grown up seeing this happen again and again to all teams.. I don't think any other team has the same approach as Aussies...You saw what the world number 1 SA did to save that test match against India just lately..The real number 1 of our era was well and truly the Aussies...and they are again going in that direction very quickly!!

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:43 GMT

    Dhoni is adamant in his selection, that is the only major problem. He never use to shuffle team that is a good strategy but according to the situation he has to change but he never do.. Poor Ojha surely the best overseas spin option he is not at all considered. Even Binny can try for few matches but not done. Let's waste our time by complaining each other nothing going to happen..

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    Wonder what the author would have said just in case India had held on to the catches of Mcullum?? A captain is only as good as his team, in this case the bowlers. They are not just game enough to last two innings with the same intensity. Maybe it is a fitness issue.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    "Throughout Dhoni kept following the ball, placing fielders wherever the shot went."

    who says he is a great captain in Home tests??? he did the same in India against good opposition. I still remember the Mumbai test where England was on a turning track batting second, where KP and Cook had a great partnership, and basically KP played a innings of this decade? but still, at one point, Ojha was bowling with a short cover, KP played a flat batted 'stand n deliver' six over cover. Next ball a fielder was there in deep cover. Next over a slog sweep for four, next ball a fielder was there in deep square leg boundary. Always an irritating defensive captain. Can't believe he is playing at the same time Michael Clarke is captaining. He has Mitchell Johnson now, but still brave enough to declare @9wicket down in 1st innings, or declare emphatically in the last test in England.

  • Vijay_P_S on February 17, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    I don't agree with every decision Dhoni makes but making him the scapegoat is unwarranted. What about the toothless bowling attack that fails to make an impact even when attacking fields were set? What about the fast bowlers lazily walking back to starting positions causing a poor over rate? Even with 3 fast bowlers, the over rate was pathetic which is the reason why we never go with 4 fast bowlers. 4 fast bowlers would have been more impactful. What about the dropping of catches? Even if one of those were taken, Ind could have won. Had Kohli took BMac's catch, everyone would have praised MSD for that particular field set. He doesn't have faith in the fast bowlers and they are not doing enough to keep faith in them.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    Until 2015 world cup selectors not going to take any call on Dhoni, Only after the poor outing at World cup they will sack everyone and include new faces. Till that we have to wait..

  • Vikram_Rathore on February 17, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    @gmsjgmsj - An extremely vain defense of Dhoni. Don't you remember in England, Australia & Canada, Ganguly played 3 Fast bowlers, 2 military medium all rounders & a spinner. That's how we started winning away Tests. In West Indies remember he setting an completely offside field to get Lara out caught at short cover? Ganguly also had under performing middle-order (including Tendulkar), but he did not let opposition score as many 300s in ODIs or as many 500s in Tests.

    Dhoni got a great test team handed over to him in a Platter by Ganguly. He just traveled along with that great team & got all the records under his belt, without building a team like Ganguly did. Now, you can see there is nothing he can do to win a Test match, 5 Series Drubbings in a Row!!! Thanks to Dhoni, the next Captain has to pretty much build a team 'from the scratch'... All Dhoni's fans please stand up on the bench, & if you still have a positive opinion of him, please raise your hand & place it over your mouth.

  • jimmyvida on February 17, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    This is the umpteenth time I am saying this. This is definitely the last. Dhoni stands about 2-3 yards further than he should be behind the stumps. As a result, in every test match two to four catches fall short of him. That's one. The second is that the slips are also 'too far' because they take their cue from the wicket keeper. Do you have to be a rocket scientist to understand this. So in every test, at least 10 possible chances go down the drain. The batsmen are not lucky. They are given that escape route. Am I the only joker saying this. No! Sunil Gavaskar made the same comment recently.

  • Selfishkar on February 17, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    All criticism of Dhoni is warranted, lest we not forget much hyped Ganguly captaincy never won never won series outside sub-continent. And the one that that takes the cake, the bakery, the flour mill and the warehouse is Tenudular's captaincy where India were thoroughly embarrassed equally at home an abroad including 66 all out in SA.

  • Aussasinator on February 17, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    Agreed. Dhoni should no longer be the Test captain. High time we had skipper with a match winning approach. We have lost quite a few matches which we should have won.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    It is not about captaincy alone. It is about team game. See the other teams like Aus, SA, Eng, NZ, etc. every one in the field needs to be aggressive. What does a captain do if a batsman dropped twice on 9 and 72 and nearing to a triple ton in flat track? What does a captain do if none of his bowlers wants to bowl different lengths to bounce a batsman out or to york a batsman out? What does a captain do if his spin bowling option is just used for contain the runs? India is clearly lacking a good aggressive pace bowler. A captain cannot do anything by just making a aggressive field. Bowlers needs to make their captain to think that aggressive field will work for them. Can Indian bowler bowl a single ball like Neil Wagner produced a brute of the delivery to remove the strongly going Dhawan in 2nd innings of the 1st test? Or like the snotter produced by Southee to remove just in Kohli in d 1st innings of the 1st test match? Suddenly all started blaming against Dhoni.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    @yorkshirematt, if there was to be a wrestling match between Dhoni & Cook, well 100 matches, score still would be 50-50. Because both of them will wait for other to attack.

  • Alexk400 on February 17, 2014, 17:27 GMT

    Dhoni is not stubborn as people assume it to be. Dhoni do not like to take risks and get stranded. By taking risks he open himself for attacks. Now people have not much to complain about except dhoni is stubborn. If he made his moves and still lost , all swords will be drawn for his head. I understand dhoni completely. He has survived this long because he is damn lucky and conservative and also common sense talker.

    That said its high time India have to make change to captaincy overall. Dhoni can not bring overseas win. Period. Never gona happen with his "Protect SELF" methodology. We need younger blood because they like to risk to show off their ability. And india is lucky to have many leadership type players. Kohli , Pujara , rahana ( all 1988 dragon in chinese astrology). Dhawan not much of a leader. He is highly productive franchise type player like sachin. I will dump murali vijay ( enough chances) now. Rohit sharma can not play if pitch is not flat. He has to go for me.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:27 GMT

    It is not about captaincy alone. It is about team game. See the other teams like Aus, SA, Eng, NZ, etc. every one in the field needs to be aggressive. What does a captain do if a batsman dropped twice on 9 and 72 and nearing to a triple ton in flat track? What does a captain do if none of his bowlers wants to bowl different lengths to bounce a batsman out or to york a batsman out? What does a captain do if his spin bowling option is just used for contain the runs? India is clearly lacking a good aggressive pace bowler. A captain cannot do anything by just making a aggressive field. Bowlers needs to make their captain to think that aggressive field will work for them.

  • drnaveed on February 17, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    well , i think selecting the team's combination is the main problem with this indian side. when playing matches on indian tailor made pitches, which is right of the home Country to prepare pitches according to their own bowling strength, they are able to thrash their opponents , but when they go abroad they suffer by losing in almost all the matches ,especially test matches.they win matches on home grounds , with the help of 2 to 3 spinners in their side ,whereas ,on foreign pitches , they cannot win maches with 2 spinners,and the bunch of medium pacers. their choice of team selection is not right.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    Why is he even in the team.... Ishant troubled macullum with his out swinging deliveries and msd asked him to ball completely differently.. Why can't u take the attack to the batsmen rather than waiting for him to make a mistake especially when ur bowler is in great form

  • Indiaforever on February 17, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    I am hoping that Dhoni resigns or gets sacked soon after tomorrow is over. We have had many chances away from home and have been in good positions, as the writer has said, and we still haven't been able to take this advantage due to Dhoni. I also believe that Fletcher should get sacked and we should employ one of the former players, supposedly Sourav Ganguly. Also, his batting away from home isn't really good enough. He will score a quick 50 odd but cannot go and score a big 100 away from home which we have missed many times. I also believe that he should go back to domestic cricket and prove himself as a batsman and a wicket keeper, in the mean time get Saha or Karthik to come into the team and hand the captaincy over to Kohli.

  • iyerk on February 17, 2014, 17:23 GMT

    From what I have seen so far, Team India has been very lathargic through out the tour. The fielding especially has been sloppy. Some catches were sitters that just makes me wonder how they can miss these catches or for that matter even running between the wickets were below average where the batsmen could have got three's they settle for two's. The only saving grace was some great individual performances every once in a while from the bowling or batting department that made the match more entertaining. Yesterday all of a sudden the team could not get any wickets for various reasons and this match is turning out to be tame draw. All in all a mediocre performance through out the tour. As far as MSD captaincy is concerned, he is going through a bad time and every move he makes is back firing these days. I strongly feel he should consult some senior people like Sunil Gavaskar and the likes who are constantly observing him as a commentator and get some feedback and take corrective measures.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    Lets face it--Dhoni is the most resilient captain we ever had. He has led the team thru 4 different formats with the most demanding schedule Indian cricket ever faced (including the farcical T20), kept the regionally fractious Indian team going with the patience of Job, and has a stellar record (except in the tests overseas record among the top 3, where India have not won a series for decades! He has also had to do with lazy, complacent bowlers and been forced to call on Zaheer. There is no evidence any of the other players can do half the job he does. Kohli is immature, impatient and unnecessarily aggressive. He would be a disaster as of now. Mark my words--if Dhoni is sacked, Indian team will fail because there is no worthwhile leader in the present team. Kohli, Jadeja, Dhawan--are all show-ponies. Pujare could be tried--he has captained well in some A teams overseas but we need someone like Dada. Nothing less. Not Kohli.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    Its high time India decide on setting up a new captain as well as a new coach...after the 2007 world cup debacle in west indies,India did change its whole think tank process and desired to become the number 1 team in the world...soon the team went on to become the number 1 ranked test side...those high standards were also influential in guiding the team towards the 2011 world cup win as well...the role of the captain and coach plays a huge role in the building of team character...We can get better combinations than Duncan fletcher and dhoni...its high team the Indian cricket team see something new and fresh...moreover what Srinivasan has to keep in mind is that these 11 players who take the field represents a billion people and a billion pride...

  • arup_g on February 17, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    Dhoni has always been considered a 'lucky' test captain. In my opinion, he inherited Ganguly's test team with the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Zaheer and Harbhajan in his armoury, but once those big guns have gone, we've not seen anyone really take over except for Kohli.

    In the ODI game, Dhoni is a far better captain with his inventive changes and risk taking decisions. He also has a better array of players of to choose from so no doubt he should continue, at least until the 2015 World Cup in Australia.

    It may be a good idea to look at Kohli slowly replacing Dhoni as the test captain, but I wouldn't do it when we're due to tour England next. Let Kohli take over during a home series, to establish himself first infront of his own people. He is the right long term choice, but shouldn't be rushed just because Dhoni needs to go. We don't want to make the same mistake we did with Sachin taking over, when Azhar was sacked.

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    Every country INDIA has toured in last 3 years this discussion has been repeated...Infact I will another instance where due to MS Dhoni's ultra defensive captaincy INDIA won a golder opportunity to win a series in SA......2011 tour 3rd test.....SA 100/5....Kallis plays one or two reverse sweeps to dismantle a dangerous Harbhajan.......Dhoni immediately puts a fielder in the boundary for the reverse sweep and the match is gone........SHAME for cricket lovers like us.....

  • thinkgood on February 17, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    Stop this witch hunting Dhoni. If its not for Dhoni, we would not even won any overseas tournament such as Champion's Trophy in 2013. His hands are tied because we dont have a fast bowling all rounder like other teams do. You cannot compare today's cricket talent around the world with the one existed in the past when Ganguly was the captain. There are more fast bowling all rounders around the word in each and every team except India. We have not produced even one credible fast bowling all rounder after Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabakar. This is the real problem. Give the man correct tools before complain about his work.

  • Sultan2007 on February 17, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    Acutally, I wonder if India can sustain a 3 match series at all. With a 4 man attack, they will likely lose steam. For this reason alone, I worry about their chances in England this summer. The team really needs to do their homework on how they will get 20 wickets in each game over such a long series. The only thing I am sure of is that Ishant and Zaheer wont be able to do it.

  • wolf777 on February 17, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    Dhoni says two things happen when India plays four fast bowlers in Tests or ODIS, India loses and the Captain gets banned. Oh well, India is losing with three fast bowlers too. Looks like only thing Dhoni worries about is not getting banned for slow over rates. When to marriage is not working divorce is the best option at times. If Dhoni does not want to divorce his strategy of picking six batsmen and only 4 bowlers (with not more that 3 fast bowlers), may be then it is time to divorce Dhoni.

  • Sultan2007 on February 17, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    By saying that Dhoni's tactics have worked at home because he uses spinners to create the pressure is also the answer to the question of Dhoni's strategy. He just doesnt have the bowlers to force the issue overseas. 4 bowlers can get you early wickets but not sustain through. Sometimes you can get lucky with a helpful wicket like at Basin Reserve but then you lose steam in the 2 nd innings. I dont envy Dhoni because in the absence of a bowling all rounder he has no choice but to go with 7 batsmen. Also, after the drubbings in England and Australia, he can be forgiven for being a little gun shy and therefore, somewhat defensive. To be fair, at the Basin Reserve he had attacking fields till the bowlers strarted flagging

  • Fan1969 on February 17, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Nice and easy to slam Dhoni. A captain is as good as the resources and execution. I saw slips, close in fielders, attempt to have a steady 7-2 field bowling a steady line and length. What do bowlers do, bowl on the wrong side and get creamed for a 4. Pressure builds for 2 overs and then the guy bowls two half trackers.

    Also today India had hard luck. Inside edge missed the stumps, catch balloons to no man land, edge falls short etc.

    Let us face the facts, India has won tests in SA, NZ with Prasanna, Kumble and Harbhajan. Not only are the pacers as a group in the bottom 3 of the top 8 test playing nations but even Jadeja/Ashwin can rarely beat the bat, intent on defense in overseas conditions.

    Line and length for a spinner can stop runs but not get wickets. I can send comments written by me in 2012-13 that India's problem is as much lack of quality spinners as much as pacers.

    This is not to suggest get Harbhajan back as he now bowls "yorkers" better than offspin. Find more talent

  • sreehk on February 17, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    At least 4 players should not be in the current team. Rohit, Dhoni, Ishant, and Zaheer. There is no value for Indian test cap. I do not understand why MS Dhoni must be wearing it. Does he deserve it?? Look at his pathetic batting figures in tests and look at his pathetic abroad performance. If he is not resigning then he is shameless and greedy of power. Look at people like Dravid and Tendulkar who shunned captaincy if they could not perform. But feel pity for Zaheer that he worked so very hard to get back into team but he is on wrong side of thirties. Ishant is an immatured bloke. What was he lashing out at selectors after one random good performance. That is no way enough. He should now take ten consecutive 5 WI hauls to justify and then talk.

  • gmsjgmsj on February 17, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    Mr Monga and all others waxing eloquent of defensive Dhoni, lend me your ears:

    1. Who are the great current day positive captains - Clarcke, Smith, Sanga, Cook? Smith called off the chase when it was just 16 off 2 overs, Clarke cudnt do it in England and Cook cudnt do it in the first two Ashes tests when he had Auusies on the mat. Please remember that a cricketing decision taken at all those points looked worse only in hindsight.

    2. The only fault that can be placed on MSD and indeed previous Indian captains is that they have relied too much on the 7 batsman strategy abroad. I fail to see what the 7th could do your top six cudnt?! If you cant take 20 wkts, you can never win anywhere.

    3. Test match requires consistent focused thinking and action over 5 days. That seems to be missing with young Indian cricketers bred on T20.

    4. Inspite of being labelled defensive wicket keeper-batsman MSD made a double ton against Aussies at Chennai being very positive and set the tone for 4-0.

  • chinnu_rocking231 on February 17, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Main problem for dhoni is whoever he backed up and retained thy never performed in crunch situations or did well wen req.. take case of Vijay unless it is India he will never going tpo be re;liable opener(u can rem aakash chopra dropped after seeing of new ball ,thy said he need to sore runs but wat abt vijay now) Raina-Hes no way a consistent unless he improves his short ball phobia..hes only good fr t20s and odi at best Jaddu-utter waste ,.,dhoni gave him numerous oppr to perf and he will deliver once in 15 matches and he will be persisted again... ash-he brought in to indian tema after bhajji lacked wkt taking cap,now ash not evn taking wkts and not even containg whih bhajj did well ishant-worthless cricketr in team ,hes hard worked but unless he improves his skill he should kept in nCA fr ever .. Rohit-Huge waste of talent.. nbever gets going wen req and i eel hes best of all of dhonis buddies so dhoni frget brining thm up try to b innovative and improve ur game and captancy fst

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    MSD has sreenivasans backing and in no way he is going to lose out captiancy to kohli..he will hang on till the next world cup..he will have his dream team of jadedja, ashwin, raina in the odis and test...pity that selectors dropped raina..well!! mishra, ojha, sehwag, gambhir, abhishek nayar, pandey, rasool etc wont get a chance unless dhoni gives up captaincy....14 tests without win...where are the selectors????

  • prasanna_79 on February 17, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    As I have been commenting for the past 3-4 months..,dhoni is a decent captain.., but only in INDIA..,where he can use his spinners well & tighten the screws & win consistently.., he carries the same mindset with him wherever he travels.., he always sits back & wait for mistakes from batsmen rather than forcing them to commit one.. He is not a good ODI captain too..,always backs the wrong players based on whatever silly reason he may be having ( eg. Rohit as an opener abroad is definitely going to be a disaster if its continued till WC 2015, playing 2 spinners rather than a pace bowling allrounder/specialist batsman even though the spinners are ineffective , continuously picking Ishant,Raina in ODIs,etc.., ) & criticizing young players in public ( Bhuvi doesn't have pace, he need to learn to bowl with the old ball, Players shouldn't play for their reputations ( @ Shikar ) etc..,) TIME FOR A CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP , BUT WITH MR.N.SRINIVASAN @ THE HELM ,ITS ALMOST CLOSE TO IMPOSSIBLE..

  • on February 17, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Dhoni should not be in the team, forget about captaincy. There is nothing exciting in his captaincy. Only he was lucky to have a great combination of batsmen players all this while.

  • sreehk on February 17, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    3 years and 14 tests since India won abroad. 10 losses. For such a performance, in Australia the captain would be dropped for lifetime. Dhoni's mindset is reflected in the things around him: an aging fast bowler in Zaheer, a toothless spinner in Jadeja, an inconsistent Ishant, a parasitic Rohit Sharma who has busy job counting his stars still to be in the team. Finally, a non-performing and an extremely passive captain himself. It is clear that Dhoni is not really cool instead he is a lazy king who does not do his homework, waits for his soldiers to work and his opponents to come to him. Selectors, should drop Dhoni, to start rebuilding the team.

  • TRAM on February 17, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    @Sidharth Monga, thanks for writing this. Finally I am seeing an article pointing strongly at the coach (as well). There is really no surprise here. Dhoni is a T20 captain and that is it. All the players will be from T20 and his approach would be to "dry up the runs". From team selection to on-field, his approach is T20 only. He wants 11 all rounders rather than specialists in a test team. No team can win with 4 bowlers. Even teams with great bowlers like SA, Eng dont do that. Specialist bowlers like AMishra, Chawla would be permanent players if they were born in other countries. Specialist batsman Badri never got chance in spite of 50+ score against SA. So many careers have been wasted like this.

    Having said all that I think India can try DKarthik as test captain. More than better keeper, he is a daring captain in leading TN in Ranji matches. He went for winning rather than drawing them. And a better batsman in foreign conditions.

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    This is going to seem funny.. But these are scores of over 250 made by a player against India when Dhoni has captained..

    275 Mahela Jayawardene in 2009/10 (home) 253 Hashim Amla in 2009/10 (home) Alastair Cook 294 in 2011/12 (away) Michael Clarke 329 in 2011/12 (away) Brendon McCullum 281* today (away)

    Lets get one thing straight.. All of them are fine batsmen.. Some of them probably the finest batsman their country has ever produced.. But one thing is striking.. Of the five odd years Dhoni has captained the test side, let's assume he started in that famous series in 2008 when Ganguly and Kumble decided to call it a day, he has conceded a 250+ score a year.. It must be the worst for a captain.. He has also fielded Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma in all of these games which is interesting as well.. Only Dhoni, Zak and Ishant are common to all these scores..

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:52 GMT

    It is such a pity because I have always been a great fan of MS Dhoni. He transformed this Indian side into world beaters - barring the mediocre attack. For some reason, its not working for them any more in 'Away' test matches. The writer was spot on and i personally feel that Dhoni should give away test leadership if India wants to better their 'Away' record. I think its high time that he should let go captaincy in the other 2 formats as well and groom another player (not sure if VK is the ideal candidate - he needs to calm his attitude and nerves)

  • Waves239 on February 17, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    I wanted to take this discussion in some broader perspective!

    Current Indian team has got the potential and team is not that bad to lose away tests these many. The major concern in my view this current team facing is adjusting to the conditions. It requires different skill-set priorities playing in swing favourable conditions to fast and bouncier tracks and so to spinning ones.

    Why can't our batsmen and bowlers spend a couple of seasons in English county cricket. It at least make them taste about the conditions and build the skill-set that required. Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Wasim, Waqar etc., all sub continent players have done the same in early stage of their careers. I am not opposed to IPL or CLT20 league, they do assist players financially, keep the work and momentum going but it doesn't develop essential skills and awareness about foreign conditions.

  • Aniruddha_K on February 17, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    A very good article to illustrate the bare fact...DHONI IS A POOR TEST CAPTAIN period. Just to add a few more instances of Dhoni's ridiculous captaincy in tests, the last test of the Sri lanka tour in 2010 comes to mind when after having Sri lanka in dire straits, he inexplicably let them off the hook and let Ajantha Mendis score a 70 to get Sri lanka out of trouble. It was then left to VVS to score a glorious 4th innings century to ensure a series tying win. In 2011, with the series tied at 1-1, he let Kallis and de Villiers off the hook by suddenly resorting to outrageously defensive fields. Well Kallis got a hundred in each innings and India had to bat out the 5th day to save the game. Not to mention the last 2 tests of both the 4-0 losses against England and Australia which are still painful memories for every Indian fan just because of the way the team folded... In India, it's the spinners and the reverse swing of Zak that have bailed him out of trouble many times...

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    why do need injured players and old people in the team? Zaher not able to run and take the ball and dhoni favoring lot to CSK players he should have picked mishra this test.

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    It's not reactionary to call MS defensive if it's backed up with facts. The truth is that Dhoni is a truly great captain and batsman in the limited overs versions of the game, but in Tests, especially overseas, he is criminally defensive. And before anyone says "But he's lost 11 out of 12, how can he be anything but defensive", I'll remind you, as Siddharth has done, that his refusal to chase 180 in 45 odd overs against WI was before any of these 11 defeats.

    Dhoni is the greatest ODI captain of all time (not just of India), and he'd walk into my all-time ODI XI, along with Gilchrist, but if it was a choice between them, I'd choose Dhoni.

    BUT. He's a bad Test captain, even though he's hamstrung with a bowling attack slightly worse than Bangladesh's. Certainly nowhere near Saurav in Tests.

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    yup. certainly it is time for a change in test captaincy... enough of his defensive techniques hurting India's respect, which was earned by Ganguly and his other successors till Dhoni....... According to the current scenario, Virat should be the captain of the test and T20 teams........ cricinfo pls publish.....

  • ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP4. on February 17, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    Dhoni should resign as a test captain. When you have already lost bunch of matches...loosing another one is not a big deal. Be aggressive. Indian team as a whole don't know how to close the matches. it has been a problem from long time. Seems like tradition continues. ........ Not sure who in the current team can be a good captain. Also coach should go. Need a coach who can scheme and plan. Also need a bowling coach like McDermott or Mcgrath. Mcgrath was very effective and threatening bowling even at 130K s. None of the Indian bowlers look effective...not sure why? Same bowlers were great in the first innings. Beats me.

  • Sudhir65 on February 17, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    I have read reports that Dhoni is "stubborn" and does not want to change. Well, if you are losing you have to change or make way for another leader. Same goes for Fletcher.

    In ODIs, even after losing the series and his bowlers not achieving much , he continued with same team and not even gave Mishra and Pandey one chance.

    Recently Australia, despite on a winning streak in Ashes, continually benched its best players , either to rest them or give others a chance. Dhoni and India do not want to rest or change players even after a embarassing losing streak.

  • sreehk on February 17, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    People say arm chair commentary is easy. Perhaps MSD is doing arm-chair captaincy. MS Dhoni is a very stubborn captain who, in the disguise of cool temperament, has been very cold as far as captaincy is concerned. He waits for everything. As his day in Captain's office he literally does nothing. No specific strategies, no particular plans for opponent players, no mind games, no change in team combinations, and no proactive field placements, no change in approach. If he was in a corporate he would be thrown out and jobless by now. Time for MSD to be "rested". India MUST MUST MUST play 5 bowlers to take 20 wickets in test match. Even by simple math of averages, 4 Indian bowlers will not take 20 wickets. I wonder what do all those experts in the think tank do!! It is no rocket science. India have no other option to try 6 to 7 fast bowlers and bowl 4 of them abroad. MSD has forgot that he is playing a sport and that the simple idea is to win.

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    Agree with the article. Plus Dhoni is missing a seming allrounder. But based on his comments, he may not pick one because of the slow over rate. So two wrongs make a right then?? Improve your over rate and get a rishi dhawan or even stuart binny in the test team. Maybe even have Bhuvi because he can definitely bat. He would have been better choice than Jadeja

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    it's an unfair criticism.. he may be defensive but tat may be the circumstance which forced him to . when your bowler is not able to pick up a wicket the entire day .. as a captain he only has to play the waiting game . the bowlers too should have the responsibility of picking up wickets . it is not the captains work alone... if the attack goes wrong it's the same critics who again criticize.

  • rocket123 on February 17, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    What is India going to do when they go to Australia. We are currently seeing how MJ (the firecracker and missile thrower) is making the best of the best hop around and edgy. On top of that, India does not have the bowling attack to counter all that. Given how India has beeb playing abroad, I hope MJ is not in the form or India will be in trouble. I have always been saying 4 pace bowlers of MJ quality and Indian batting line up will collapse. And for that matter in the current form that MJ has, I guess MJ will be more than enough with those 95 mph missiles directed at rib cage and throat. ICC must reevaluate its ranking system because team like India can not be No.1 or 2 in its dreams. You got to be like Aus or WI or X-factor Pak (though nowadays Pak lacks that X-factor) to make cricket worthwhile instead of lopsided rankings and bravado and money power.

  • HM-Carson on February 17, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    Indian culture is defensive and focuses on reduction of risk. Look at how much gold they buy!! MSD is under too much pressure from Indian media but I have always thought of him as a fearless Gladiator however I should take a closer look at MSD the test captain. If India defeats its fear of losing, it will start winning overseas and yes playing with 4 fast bowlers is a good idea may be evern 5 (no spinner needed in NZ).

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    Dhoni is a good ODI and T20 Captain. Has proven it many times not just in India. But not a so good as test captain. If any other teams like England, Aus or SA or may be even NZ, had lost as many matches as India under Dhoni, either the captain of the team would have stepped down or he would have been removed. But not so with Indian team. With N. Srinivasan at the helm of BCCI, Dhoni's job as captain/player is secured for all format of the game, even if we meet 16-0. Our next stop is England for 5 test series, it will be humiliating for us fans to watch the whitewash.

    But the million dollar question remains that do we have a choice ? I do't think Kholi is a captain material for 3-4 yrs. He does't have that calmness reqd for a captain and I do't think that will change for him near future. Maybe Pujara. But only if he matures himself a player over next year or two and be consistent in performance and fitness and someone in BCCI has to recognize that.

  • rvndas on February 17, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    Remove Dhoni from test captaincy and give either gauti the mantle. That will definitely work and do wonders

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    So is this the country who have not won a single away test in 13 tests that has got themselves voted as one of the big 3 at ICC? Hilarious.

  • AjaySridharan on February 17, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    Dhoni can be credited to have built a good team...or re-built should I say. One major area of weakness is fast bowlers. So his defensive mindset overall is understandable. But it is inexcusable to not go for the kill when you have the momentum on your side and a vulnerable prey. He has done this time and again. Is he too stubborn to be coached? Is he too arrogant that he won't listen to his deputy? That begs the question - what was Virat Kohli doing in these moments? As the heir-apparent did he not read the situation well enough either, to go up to Dhoni and give him a different perspective? Is Virat even captaincy material if that was the case? We had Dravid, Sachin, Kumble - all great readers of situations even when they were not captains. What about this team? Is everyone just busy preserving their place in the side and refuse to see the bigger picture of the match situation?

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    It is tiresome watching India fritter away good starts. Time and again they show a lack of getting things done. They lack the toughness to get things done. Dhoni is too defensive as a captain. The fast bowlers and Jadeja, bowled 146 overs before he decided to try something else and by then New Zealand batters were well entrenched. The coach needs to light a fire under Dhoni and some new thinking is needed. Get some" fighters " in the team, Gambir, Harbajan or some one with spunk.

  • Sawankumar21 on February 17, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    Let's do two things 1) Give the current Indian bowlers to Ricky Ponting , Imran khan or Clive lloyd and replace Dhoni with any of them and they will beat any team on any ground on the planet. 2) Give McGrath , Lee and Warne or Wasim , Waqar , Akhtar and Saqlain Mushtaq or Holding , Marshall , Garner and Roberts to Dhoni and Bangladesh will beat them . "An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep."

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    It is a poor decision to play Jadeja in this pitch and not playing Bhuvi or Ishwar. Dhoni please retire from test cricket and make VK as the new captain.

  • on February 17, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    Still too soft an article. Dhoni has beena great gift to India, but he has been hurting India in aways Tests. Just not this one, since the last tour to West Indies.

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    Sidharth, your analysis is spot on.

    Dhoni is too defensive as a Test Captain and as a result Indiia is lacking aggression that you would associate with Pak or Aussie teams who in my opinion are the 2 best all round teams in the World. Only NZ seem to be trying to win the game whilst it seems Dhoni is content to lose just by 1-0 and then it will seem that Indian young team did well in Tests agains SA and NZ ie didnt get whitewashed. India missing the pace and reverse of Yadav and some mystery from Mishra. Give Pak this same NZ side and it would be 3-2 in ODI and 1-0 to Pak in tests. In fact that was the scoreline in the last series Pak played in NZ.

  • rooney xl on February 17, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    if his problem is he does not has good potential bowler means , he is the only man to blame...he is the captain, he chooses his bowlers ..n now he blames then..its his lack of captaincy that hurts our team during foreign tours..did dravid has bowlers lyk Johnson,steyn in his team when he defeat england,s Africa,w indies at there home..wit new comer sree santh n with out of form Zak he did it..tats great captaincy.. winning with star team is not a Gud captainship..doing wit h nothing is where captainship please dhoni resign your job..let others to do..remind Mr dhoni,its not IPL...

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    @bappcric : MS Dhoni himself is a good example for a good wicket keeper captain, (win all d major tournaments (t20 world cup, icc world cup, icc champion trophy))

  • myStraightTalk on February 17, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    We have lost 13 away matches badly. I wish I have a job like that where my higher manager does not care about my result under my management(captainship). Who is the higher manager for the captain/selector ? INDIAN PUBLIC?

  • NarayanSaraaf on February 17, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    I believe we have most sound batsmen from 1-6 when compare to last decade. We need a good captain who takes a bold decision not defensive when we have lead of around 250. Ishant bowled so well in first innings and in second due to bad and defensive field setting he lost confidence. We need a right captain with right aggression and bold decision. Don't we have a captain player in India ? Why no one is questioning BCCI? IPL, money, power all is fame in Indian cricket. Dhoni please step down from captaincy and save Indian test cricket.

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Dhoni is the best captain India ever had!! Indian academies should produce some pitches to rebuild their bowling squad! The whole world is blaming India's bowling but what can those bowlers do if they always bowl on flat pitches? India is very keen to produce batting legends & to be honest India has so many batting talents. What India needs is some good bowlers! Shami & Kumar look very promising! India should work on making their bowling squad all strong & lastly please don't blame Dhoni. Right now! Dhoni is the best captain ever!!

  • DanielRob on February 17, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    It is high time now that MSD should be "kicked out" from this team. First off, he is not a captaincy material in Test matches and secondly he does not possess proper batting technique against the red cherry. His batting record at home is not that good and his away batting record is "abysmal". He keeps on playing players who is struggling. Just dont understand the need to play Zak when you hv bowlers like Umesh & Aaron. With due respec,t Zak has clearly past his prime and Ishant doesnt deserve to be in the squad leave alone in the playing XI, still MSD persists with these two, also i fail to understand the need to play a spinner in these tracks. There r other wicket keeper batsman with proper technique across the country much better than MS in a 5 day format..they should be given a chance like DK, Saha and if team mgt doesnt find a captain then bring back Gambhir..give him one more chance to prove himself..who knows if captaincy is thrust upon him we can hv our old Gambhir..

  • TommytuckerSaffa on February 17, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    Excellently said Farce-follower.

  • wolf777 on February 17, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    Dhoni is married to 6 batsmen, WK and 4 bowlers strategy. He would rather not win than to pick up an extra fast bowler. Forget about winning, there is no way you can draw a Test match with only three bowlers. Dhoni went in with only 4 bowlers in Lord's Test despite knowing that Zaheer Khan was coming back from an injury. The game was lost as soon as Zaheer pulled out. The next Test at Trent Bridge, the partnership between Broad and Swann blossomed as Indian attack started to wear out from continuous bowling. The contribution from the extra batsman Suresh Raina? A whopping 13 runs! The same story repeated many times during the Australia tour. Either Australia piled on after early losses once Indian bowlers got tired or partnerships developed, Indian bowlers got tired from relentless bowling and Australia piled on more. As an India fan, it is sickening to see the repeat of the same on overseas tours. It's like the movie 'THE GROUNDHOG DAY' except that the movie was funny.

  • Dilbar786 on February 17, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    I think its time ind shudnt play overseas

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    Excellent article.... True to the core.... Though MSD is a true champion and a great leader, yes its time for a switch/change.... Aggression, killer instinct and shrewdness is missing in his captaincy atleast in tests atleast in tests overseas..... As MSD was picked for the leadership from nowhere when the time of FAB 4 we should look for a real leader not from the current team as the entire bunch would have the characters of MSD and will value those as their biggest assets... Need of the hour is one man who has his own aggression and ideas... If Virat comes out of MSD's shadows and goes through with his own innovation with that oomph factor we might have another real leader.... Else, I would vote Gauti.. Bring Gauti and give him the captaincy and I am sure that his form would catch fire and his captaincy as well....

  • AsherCA on February 17, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    @Chikuta & others blaming Indian bowlers - The travails of the Indian bowlers this series (based on facts) - One of the bowlers made way for a batsman, making it 6 batsmen. At least 2 of the batsmen have dropped sitters (I am not talking about the Jonty Rhodes class of catches, I am talking about catches that my grandmother would take in her sleep). To top it, these same batsmen did nothing of note with the bat that most bowlers would not have done. Dhoni has suffered outside India for a basic set of reasons - he has been mollycoddling & protecting batsmen who don't deserve their salary...worse Dhoni has been blaming bowlers all the time those good-for-nothing batsmen do not get the blame for their muck-ups. Dhoni's only crime - he has never spoken like Ranatunga (1996 WC) - Yes our bowlering is weak, but our batting is strong. If batsmen outscore one run more than the opposition, we win...Dhoni appears gutless to demand that the batsmen deliver.

  • chikuta on February 17, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    For all practical purpose Dhoni's win and Ganguly ' are not very different if we exclude Zimbabwe and Bangladesh , Ganguly had Zaheer at his peak, Kumble ,Javagal srinath ,Tendulkar,Dravid,Lakshman - all the overseas wins were by batsmen and not bowlers ,may be 1 or two. Gavasakar should see his record as captain before he comments .

    What MS has achieved with this team is outstanding. ESPN cricinf is becoming like crappy times of India , when Dhoni is in trouble ,you color it even more. When the team wins - The best captain- T 20, champions league ,IPL,no 1 test team, World Cup etcetera - be balanced if not please stop writing.

  • bappcric on February 17, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    5) And the GREAT VIEW thing ( for a wicket-keeper ) is highly over-rated. When your entire BRAIN is involved in making sure you are doing your OWN JOB WELL every ball ( it is more true when the wicketkeeper does not have natural talent or is not good ), it CANNOT SEE the batsman's weaknesses. Remember we see with our brains - the eye just collects the information. If the brain throws it away because it is TOO BUSY thinking about the wicket-keeping task at hand - then there is no use for that information about the batsman's latest faults.

    To sum it up - notwithstanding the good record in Tests at home - where the cracks and dirt on the pitch THINKS for you - TIME for a CHANGE in Test captaincy. And time to say good-bye to Fletcher for good.

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    Excellent article.... True to the core.... Though MSD is a true champion and a great leader, yes its time for a switch/change.... Aggression, killer instinct and shrewdness is missing in his captaincy atleast in tests atleast in tests overseas..... As MSD was picked for the leadership from nowhere when the time of FAB 4 we should look for a real leader not from the current team as the entire bunch would have the characters of MSD and will value those as their biggest assets... Need of the hour is one man who has his own aggression and ideas... If Virat comes of MSD's shadows and goes through with his own innovation with that oomph factor we might have another real leader.... Else, I would vote Gauti.. Bring Gauti and give him the captaincy and I am sure that his form would catch fire and his captaincy as well....

  • chapathishot on February 17, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    Dhoni is a defensive captain but what do he have in his armour ,India never had bowlers to get 20 wickets abroad.This happened numerous time even before also.Only when Zahir,Nehra ,Sreesanth ,Kumble and Harbajan played under Ganguly /Dravid ,India could get the wickets otherwise invariably in every tour there will be one batsmen who could not be dismissed by our bowlers.Clarke in Australia,Cook and Bell in England,Macullum in Newzeland Devilliers in SA.When Sreesanth was at his best he would invariably get the best batsmen in the other team eventhough he may go for plenty.So we need someone like.Also its time for Dhoni to go as Test Captain and also as test wicket keeper .He can prolonge his one day and T20 life also.

  • Desihungama on February 17, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    From Pakistani - Problem with India is they have good bowlers but don't have an all around bowling attack which is needed in Test Cricket as opposed to shorter format where one's brilliance on any any given day can win you a game but in Test, there has to be complementary bowling from the other end which India seriously lacks due to always looking to play that extra batsman. Also, India and it's fans have begun to treat cricket as business rather than sports which is why there are no more head rollings even after a dismal 0-14 record abroad.

  • harishchandran on February 17, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    I agree to post here, Dhoni needs to eliminate in this young group the fear of losing only then will this group start to play upto its potential; Because if this trend of playing safe continues for another couple of years until Dhoni retires, this Young bunch players will have that etched on to their mind and will continue to play safe in future as well.

    Batsmen should bat to win, which does not mean attack.. attack, always, but thinking on how to play in different situations which will not grant advantage to opposition. Blowers should attack, make the opposition batsmen play with the fear of getting out; Dhoni should encourage this kind of blowing by not setting fields for bad bowling, ask his bowlers, bowl to take wickets.

    I still believe Dhoni is the man who should lead this team and develop then fighting spirit and fearless brand of cricket, cause he has the colut and the command that is required to justify his decisions. But again for that to happen he has to read this comment

  • AHKhan121 on February 17, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    @immi2711 unfortunately india r not bothered to look for bowlers, they r just greedy for 6 hitting batsmen, and will wait for bowlers that can buy their way into the team. there is a reason y I sharma is still playing after his poor performances against Australia and South Africa, because he can buy his way into the team

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    bcci, please change the captain immediately, otherwise we will blank all the series abroad. dhoni strategy is pathetic. other side coach is simply sleeping. do it fast otherwise India reach 10th rank in all formats

  • thejesusofcool on February 17, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    I'm wondering why India couldn't find room for a 5th bowler, with Jadeja at 6?

    How many triple centuries is it he's scored in first-class cricket-3 or 4? Wouldn't having him at 6 be enough insurance for any batting line-up?

    You still have to face the fact that NZ have once again come up with a supreme effort to get into this position, and great credit to them for it. But, would they have been able to against a 5th bowler?

  • chikuta on February 17, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    Ganguly: 12 (Zimbabwe - 4, Bangladesh - 3; and one each against - England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indi Dravid: 5 (Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, England) Dhoni: 5 (New Zealand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies) MAK Pataudi: 3 (New Zealand - 3) Bedi: 3 (Australia - 2; West Indies - 1) Wadekar: 2 (West Indies, England) Gavaskar: 2 (New Zealand, Australia) Kapil Dev: 2 (England - 2) Azharuddin: 1 (Sri Lanka) Kumble: 5 (Australia, Sri Lanka) Sehwag: 1 (Bangladesh)

  • csowmi7 on February 17, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    India needs to sack Duncan Fletcher and appoint a coach who is not afraid to take risks. Gary Kirsten worked wonders with India and helped us play well abroad and win the world cup. He took South Africa to the top of the test rankings as well and with his departure it looks like South Africa are not the same side they used to be under his leadership. As for Dhoni I feel he needs to step down as captain and give the mantle to a more aggressive player like Kohli. India has bowling talent and good fast bowlers but we choose to stick with bowlers who have failed again and again like Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma. Their time is up and I feel the likes of Bhuvaneswar Kumar Ishwar Pandey Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav should be given a decent run in the side. There is no point if the bowlers take wickets in meaningless situations when they cannot close out matches. We need a bowler capable of crossing 145kmph consistently and can wipe out the tail quickly. Varun Aron and Umesh Yadav fit the bill

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    Replace Rohit Sharma with Ashwin and everything will fall into place. Rest are OK.

  • Manoj1234 on February 17, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    Dhoni needs to go ASAP. His personality is not suited to test captaincy. India should set the expectations low and not try to be some test superpower. It is a team full of guys each of who is worth over 100Cr. Asking them to play a 5 day match somehow does not suit Indian players. They should concentrate on dominating ODI and T20 and maybe build a completely separate more labour oriented test team

  • arunsubbu on February 17, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    i dont agree with@prabhu.dhoni has to be blamed coz he persisted with jadeja and murali vijay.except dhoni no one can explain why he thinks vijay is better than gambhir or a test material.jadeja is at best a part time spinner and part time batsmen.his batting is not upto international standards.instead of taking such half baked players dhoni should take a full fledged bowler.try amit mishra or pandey.but try at least.

  • truebleue_cricfan on February 17, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    You come into a test match with 3 fast bowlers and one spinner. That is 4 bowlers to take 20 wickets? How can you even hope to win a test match with this kind of an attack? It is this pop gun attack coupled with poor catching that has prevented India from being in a winning position in this test. Not Dhoni. Why dont we give the same attack to South Africa or Australia and ask them win test matches? Think about it.

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    Problem is not limited to defensive on field tactics, Dhoni's team selection is even more defensive..............You must go in with 4 complete bowlers at least one of them must be intimidating undeciplined one like Johnson ............................................... Ind in this test opted for safety & played 2 bowlers only Jadeja is a part timer & Zaheer is just a bowling mentor.

    Ind must select Aaron and Yadav Sharma / Shami & Ashwin as aswin is good enough test alrounder.

    U must not set same fields as you would for Mc Grath who could swing balls both way at will & ball all 6 in same spot............Attacking fields must be set based on bowlers peak delivery & Peak delivery for all Indian fast bowlers is In swinger. With Inswingers slips r just a waste. With inswingers u can only get batsman out either lbw or caught fending a bouncer. So Dhoni must attack with leg side & straight attacking fields like he did in this test but Mc Cullum got dropped at short mid on

  • Amit_13 on February 17, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    Before a captain change, two unbreakable bowlers (under normal workload) would be a great start. If he attacks with Ishant Sharma, there is danger of killing someone in the crowd with either boredom or a brutal McCullum six. Zaheer Khan looks spent... fitter in body but worn in the shoulder. His test captaincy is borne out of insecurity in his abilities as a bowling unit. It would also help if every spinner we find doesn't turn into a batsman. Dhoni has got what he asked for... he wanted bowlers who could bat, not specialists. Well, he has that now!!! As for the not so quick department, shame that Yadav is on the bench still. I'd have him, Zaheer and Shami bowling in New Zealand.

  • LivingDead on February 17, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    I think every team and every captain faces limitations in terms of resources. (except probably Ricky Ponting in glory days of Australia). Managing the resources well and coming out with a win is what makes a good captain a good captain. For far too long we have blamed lack of quality bowlers as an excuse. Well, if that is the case, why not go with 5 batters, wk and 5 genuine bowlers?

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    India simply doesnt have talented enough fast bowlers. Give people like Steyn or Johnson to Dhoni and he will be as attacking as anyone else. The problem is neither Dhoni nor the fast bowlers have any confidence in their abilities. I am really at a stretch to remember when was the last time India didnt give more than 400 runs in a test match in atleast one innings. You cant win test matches by giving 400-500 runs every time.

  • yorkshirematt on February 17, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    It always surprises me how defensive Dhoni can be sometimes given his reputation as a batsman. Some of his decisions make you think Alastair Cook has turned up and decided to captain India for the day

  • iruku_rocks on February 17, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    I agree Dhoni was a great captain. India won multiple championships under his leadership but we have to look at present and plan for future. India under his leadership lost 14 overseas tests, lost ODI series in England, Australia, South Africa and NZ. Also lost T20's. Let's not blame bowlers for everthing. Dhoni is fixated with picking CSK players in the team even though they are not capable to play in the team. Vijay , Jadeja and Ashwin are not giving much in tests. And Raina is not doing much in ODI's. It is also a shame on BCCI for not doing much to improve the quality of bowlers. We have a billion population and Cricket is the only sport we play and it is really shame that we cannot produce 5 good bowlers. Being a cricket fanatic nation we should be capable of having 3 or 4 teams that can compete at a high level. The way i see BCCI is making fools out us. I am not sure who can lead India but the way it is going right now i dont think Dhoni is a right guy to lead. Just play IPL.

  • bappcric on February 17, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    continued ..

    This is why you DON'T want a Wicketkeeper as captain -

    5) On a lighter note, a wicketkeeper simply DOES NOT look SMART or INSPIRING in that SPACE SUIT. He DOES NOT look ONE of US to others.

    6) History is against wicketkeeper captains. Can anybody remember any wicketkeeper who was successful as a captain.

  • bappcric on February 17, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    This is why you DON'T want a Wicketkeeper as captain -.

    1) His EFFORT is called for in EVERY BALL. He himself is EVALUATED EVERY BALL. So he has to CONCENTRATE on his OWN performance EVERY MOMENT of every ball. Means NO TIME to think about OTHER MATTERS.

    2) He is FAR from his bowler and in today's OVER-QUOTA and FINE-HUNGRY times, it is DIFFICULT for anybody behind the wicket to ADVICE his bowler IMMEDIATELY or OFTEN.

    3) His CUMBERSOME GEAR restricts his mobility even more. Makes him even more unlikely to go and advice - again considering today's fine-hungry environment.

    4) It is very very TIRESOME - especially in Tests. Couching down every ball for spinners, being involved from the moment the ball is bowled to when the fielder makes the throw. 140 kmh balls hitting your hand all day long. And all the time carrying that SPACE SUIT and feeling restricted. TIRED BODIES DON'T THINK CLEARLY. Period.

    To continue ..

  • santanuXI on February 17, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    Its real tragedy for Indian Cricket that despite these things happen again and again, no one can touch Dhoni because he knows Srinivasan is there to back him. Whatever great performances he has given over the years his rigidity is difficult to accept. He is the primary reason for our poor recent record overseas. Its becoming very difficult to endure these persons...Dhoni, Fletcher, Srinivasan. But there is no sane voice in the cricket establishment in India... the lure of money has taken away all the senses from Indian cricket. Even the world cricket is now dancing to the tune Srinivasan...even god will not be able to save this game.

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    always believed Dhoni to be a too defensive captain.... that he has won the most matches for India is because of most of the wins coming against minnows at home. Its high time that on account of his performance and his alleged involvement in the IPL controversy he needs to be thrown out of the team.

  • stalefresh on February 17, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    MS Dhoni is obsessed with winning the toss and bowling first. Batting last is never a good idea. Secondly, he is to be blamed for lack lusture India bowling. As a captain he should be demanding match winning bowlers (those 140K plus bowlers, mystery spinners, etc.) I am sure they exist in India somewhere - uncoached - and that is the need of the hour. Pakistan bowling is an example of it. Lastly, his captaincy is very weak. I am amazed after so many lossed he is still at the helm. Indian media is also very soft on him.

  • GRVJPR on February 17, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    "I don't have bowlers" is the lamest excuse a captain can give. In 2002 world cup, both kenya and India, did not had the greatest of bowlers but their captains lead the way and team reached semis. In 1983 world cup who were the bowlers for India. Yes kapil was there but even he wasn;t the worlds top bowler, but the was good captain. MSD was lucky to have yuvraj singh who made his career by gifting him world cups. He needs to be kicked out of team immediately. Mohinder Amarnath was one of the most gutsiest character in Indian Cricket, and he said it right.

  • LivingDead on February 17, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    Oh Dhoni, I was a such a big fan of yours. Whenever people criticized your defensive tactics, I blamed it on the players. But after watching these crucial moments being squandered away test after test, I have to agree with others. This one in particular was agonizing. The batsmen batted well, the bowlers also toiled hard. Even the fielding wasn't too bad. The defensive tactic was the only culprit left to blame this time. Apart from defensive fields to BMAC, selecting 4 bowlers (one of them a spinner) was in itself the biggest defensive move. The workload becomes just too much for 3 pacemen in the event of a big partnership. We need another pacemen or at least a fast bowling allrounder to make sure we get 20 wickets. Otherwise we will always play defensively!

  • chikuta on February 17, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    I doubt whether Siddarth Monga would have written this 3 day ago. The media was all about Ishant's new avatar .Did anyone talk about defensive captaincy then? . Let's not fool ourselves ,I don't know why we have Zaheer khan who is well past his prime And Ishant who bowls well once in a blue moon. What MS is doing is a great job with the lousy bowlers. Can you please tell me how many matches our pace bowlers have won overseas? Or for that matter our spinners ? . Please don't compare MS Dhoni with Bishen Singh bedi who can't even bend to pick the ball, MS has lost because of poor performance and ego of players like Sehwag,Gambir, Yuvi.

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    By loosing just one series... Wake up Raj Lakmin... We have lost 13 away matches badly... even we lost some matches, which we should have won it easily..

  • thaikkathameed on February 17, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    Great joke of the decade. If he takes takes 4 fast bowlers, he will be banned for slow overrate. LOL. Australia, England, SA, WI and even new playing with four and five bowlers, but they complete the overs in time. The culprit for slow over rate is Dhoni himself. He does not have any urgency to start the new over immediately. Look at ADB, once the over is completed he runs to the other end. Even Watling is doing the same. But this guy Dhoni he just strolls as if he is on a beach. Please do not try to fool the public and become a BIG FOOL yourself.

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    He's a rubbish test captain. Good odi one and of course csk but not a test captain.

  • on February 17, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    It feels reactionary when an article like this comes right after India let another one slip out of their hands. However, what is written in the article is very true. MSD has proven himself to be a great ODI captain but he has left much to be desired in tests. I do not agree with his team selection for tests. If you know your bowling is weak then you have to take more bowlers and demand more from the batsman to equalize. You are not going to win if you take only three specialist bowlers and one all rounder spinner. Especially if the pitch stops assisting. Furthermore he just baffles me with his defensive field placement in tests. Time to look for and groom a separate test captain and team. BTW, I agree that coach needs to be changed too.

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on February 17, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    One cannot escape the result of past mistakes...Same is happening to Dhoni...He failed to groom good bowling line-up...he was always a proponent of less amount of tests, so this is quite expected..Zaheer, Ashwin and Jadeja, all three were made to bowl in a defensive manner...This strategy is not good for pitches where you do not play regularly... Dhoni himself will find it easier if he is removed from captaincy and wicket keeping ( if possible) in tests and field a more aggressive captain. He is still one of the finest ODI batsmen and captains that world has ever seen....Can be compared to waugh and Imran and kapil about whom I know for certain that they were very good.

  • CricketMaan on February 17, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    Baz form must please Dhoni, his new skipper at CSK. On the other hand, does anyone think Kholi is ready for next step? i think he has to start with T20 captaincy? Smith did that when he was young, but can Kholi do it. What strikes me was that Dhoni keeps complaining that we dont have seam bowling allrounder, is he expecting a Kallis will emerge from nowhere? if so why not try Binny, sure he wouldnt have done badly than Rohit. To ask 3 bowlers to bear the brunt is too much, especially when 1 is 35 yrs old and the other young one has been bowling non-stop.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    Need Of The Hour Is Fired Duncan Fletcher From His Job Recruit A Aggressive Coach To Refresh The Team.........

  • sandy_san on February 17, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    Current Indian Bowling attack + (dhoni or any captain) = lose overseas ,as simple as that !!. No point in blaming Dhoni !!

  • immi2711 on February 17, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    From Pakistan ... Just watching the game, becos Pak is not playing, couple of points, sometimes the cards are stacked against you, no matter what you do, it does not work. Having said that, I think Ishant, Sami, are good bowlers...But India needs a Steyn, or a Johnson, or Shohaib Akhter type of bowler, which teams are scared to face.......So far the life of me, I cant understand, that for a a country as big as India, with gazillion people, you cant fish out a bowling talent. I refuse to believe that there is no fireballer in India....FIND HIMMMMMMM

  • anilkp on February 17, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    Sid, a thorough analysis this; but you will agree that Dhoni has had no choices. There is no point in saying retrospectively who should have, or not, been in the playing eleven. Jadeja was unthreatening; but so has been Ashwin! Ishant did well before this innings. Shami is trying hard. Even Zaheer reached almost 140kph. No matter how bitter this is to swallow, but they tried their best and still failed to succeed. They might lose the match tonight. But where are the options? Another captain would have infused more muscles into the tiring legs and shoulders. Office-room analyses are always far from reality. The solution is not for the captain, but for BCCI to chalk out a visionary plan to shape meaningful pitches and to produce quality bowlers. It may take a decade to take effect; but it must start now. Rather than demanding the captain's head--which will not change anything--the journalists should instead try to instill some sense into the collective heads of BCCI.

  • MaruthuDelft on February 17, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    Being defensive is like running 10000m; it requires less physical energy but also less mental energy but more determination, stamina and clever pacing. Attacking is like 100m; it requires everything within those 10 seconds. Since Dhoni has to lead India out onto the field all year around so he has settled onto the 10000m mode. He can't do it like 100m because there is too much cricket. Pups case is different. His bowlers can attack. In India's case Dhoni has to attack with risky field setting with poor bowlers which is infinitely more difficult. There is an excuse for Dhoni. However for his bad results he must resign now. Fletcher must be sacked.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    I'm sorry Mr. Monga. This looks like a wayward article. I'm pretty sure you would have been on the other side of the grass if MSD had taken a decision to attack and failed. Same would have been the case with his batting if MSD's and Jadeja's counterattack had badly failed in the last game. If you are not getting any assistance from the pitch you are literally draining out your bowlers. Three fast bowlers have bowled 70% of the bowling in the 2nd innings, if you can see the stats. All these three are rhythm bowlers but not fierce bowlers like Steyns, Morkels. They seem to be no where when they leak to many runs. So you got to be a little defensive to keep their confidence going with the pitch giving no assistance which is what MSD did. Please come to reality, the pitch has become so flat which is why BMc is not declaring. And bowling your quicks more than 70% is would be an absurd idea. No captain would have done that considering the fitness level of our bowlers. Pitch is Flat. PERIOD

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:51 GMT

    First of all I believe Dhoni does what he thinks will best work for the team. He is a great ODI batsman, good ODI captain and good Test captain in India. It is true that at times in overseas Test's he has been overtly defensive that too at crucial moments. But given the ever changing landscape and inconsistency of Indian bowling resources, it's a tough call to make. Post Zaheer's prime (which coincided with decline of Harbhajan's game), we don't have a bowler who can be relied to some extent in all conditions. Until we find a exceptional bowler or two who can physically and emotionally take the toll of Indian cricket, we will see Dhoni being this way. For that matter any other captain who will fill in Dhoni's shoes will also turn out to be the same. Last few years greats have retired, not-so greats lost their game (Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer, Harbhajan) - our record is supposed to be horrible and it is. Given the situation, Dhoni is trying to salvage all he can and build upon that.

  • crindex on February 17, 2014, 14:51 GMT

    What do you do when a pipe is broken at home in the middle of the night until plumber arrives in the morning? You try to do patch work and minimize the leak until its really fixed by a plumber in the morning. This is the case with Dhoni also. He is dealing with a lot of broken pipes - mostly abroad (middle of the night) and with our team (tapes and torn clothes) . He is also missing his no. 1 go to man - Ashwin although I doubt Ashwin would have got much purchase on this pitch. The pitch it seems must have turned flat and our bowlers don't have enough pace to make a dent . Period.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    before first test with nz i posted a comment ..india should be attaking and.if dhoni will not take ishwar in place of rohit then he will do a big mistake....i think i was right...why dhoni n flecher can not understand this simple fact..

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:49 GMT

    Don't forget that MS is greatest captain and the only captain who have one All 3 Major ICC events Dhoni is performing but he not have support for bowling department

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    For Dhoni to have aggressive field placements, bowlers have to inspire confidence. He is a man who lives in the present rather than thinking about winning the matches or series. May be, we could just try to bring in a change in leadership to see how it goes, though I do not think there will be any change in the result. But Dhoni and Fletcher have been building a team, which is showing signs of improvement overseas. May be we should give them one more opportunity in England to see if the improvement they are showing turns into performance.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    good caption excellent article

  • thaikkathameed on February 17, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    Please remove Rohit, Jadeja, Ashwin and Ishant from the team. Bring in new bowlers and batsmen.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    Captain is like professor (Brearley) who can drive everything out of the students (Team). Other lecturers and principle forms part of team guiding the students (Coach, Team Manager, batting & bowling coaches and physio) however professor is really there with the student. I don't think Dhoni neither knows the technique nor is interested in knowing the technique throw him out of captaincy every thing will fall in line but who will become captain probably a big question. People may say Kohli but whether he has captained any other team other than RCB at at least 3 day or 4 day match the answer is know. Indian cricket is poorer now without proper captain who can guide the team and players of fab four. Need a quick revamp and remove the CSK power in the Indian team bring sanctity to the entire team without quota system. Test match is a different ball game need to have those who vouch for making 400 runs as a team and taking 20 wickets.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    do we really guts like Aussie sacking Aurthur before Ashes , and bring in lehmann , yes we know lehmann is good batsman and led hyderabad to win . Now look at Aussie team they are destroying every team and see mitch confidence why can't we sack fletcher straight away and bring in ganguly , because he is only one who bring that kind of killer instinct in to our team . it would do a whole lot of good and new freshness , why we keep sticking to same old guy where his strategies are just like 70 yrs old which no one wants bring in dravid as batting consultant and ganguly as head coach , and use McGrath expereince in NCA . if we go with this kind of performance for sure it is very very hard to we win next world cup . the best example is faulkner from now where he became hero , and we are aware of the fact that how well he demolished our bowling line up . if we don't have that 1 player forget about winning matches overseas . hope things go for good .

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    There is no doubt that India still miss Ganguly's aggression when it comes to 'big moments' in winning abroad ! Dhoni has been at the helm for long enough now to realize that he needs to step down from Test captaincy, as he is clearly not getting the results abroad that India so desperately needs ! Maybe the aggression of Virat is what is required to close out matches !

  • usernames on February 17, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Honestly, I've been a massive Dhoni advocate in the past, but the time for a new captain has come. We have a very decent side in progress, and we are creating opportunities, but whenever we need to take the lead and dictate the game, our captain prefers to let the game drift. That's not acceptable. In 2011-12, I thought you couldn't blame him because the team he had failed to perform collectively.

    Now, that's not the case. Players are doing well, but we are somehow still losing from positions where you apparently can't lose. We don't have a good bowling attack, yes, but if you keep giving chances to the likes of Ishant after he's proved to be far from good time and again, you can't use that as an excuse. There are bowlers in the domestic circuit... in fact, there are bowlers in that squad who should be playing if your current set isn't doing well.

    I'd hand over the captaincy to Pujara and let him build a team. There are two important away tours and this is the best time for him.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    Dhoni's defensive mentality begins with his stubborness to pick even 4 specialist bowlers. I dont consider Jadeja a specialist bowler on seaming tracks. Enough is enough. Please can we get back Gambhir and ask him to Captain? Its too early to make Kohli Captain as he is yet to stamp his authority in the Test arena and lets not straddle him with captaincy.

  • RAJA_06 on February 17, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    The time when Sehwag hit into form with a century against England, he is being dropped immediately and replaced by Vijay, who is not at all a test fit. May be Sehwag is no more athletic and reflexes have come down in the fielding...but he's game changer on any day....Vijay, Shikar can never make up for Sehwag and Gambhir and neither Jadeja nor Ashwin can replace Harbhajan or's only few times they click but can't be consistent as the former spinners.

  • thinkgood on February 17, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    Sidharth, INDIA HURTS don't need anyone to do that for India. The moment India rose to number 1 position in tests , the bar is raised for them around the world- especially in leading test playing nations such as England, Australia , SA and NZ. It can happen in WI also the next time we tour there. What India needs is a calm and cool headed captain and coach to wade thru this challenge. Dhon and Duncan are are only slowing down the hurt by being defensive - if you want to call that. What else can you do with such low quality pitches in India which is batting friendly ? You will only produce sub standard bowlers and batsmen who can flourish in such flat pitches. I am truly tired of this captain bashing for the long term problems facing Indian cricket. We will never have a balanced mind to look inwardly at the ills plaguing our cricket than simply pile it all on the poor captain.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    @bappcric We all wonder who you are talking about? If it is MSD then you do not know what cricket is? Have you even held a Bat or ball ( Cricket only ) in your hand ? Or are you from Sunderbans jungle where there is no light ? MSD's record is unbeatable as a wicket keeper.

  • Night.angel on February 17, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    Sidharth, Thank you for this article

    Yes, the defensive tactics of Dhoni is absolutely hurting the team. Besides, he shows favourtism and dampen the spirits of youngsters by not giving any opportunity to develop their game.

    To win an OVERSEAS test series, you need 4 FAST BOWLERS, not 3 fast bowlers + 1 spinner. Some people were even suggesting to include Ashwin in place of a batsman to play 5 bowlers. GUYS, Ashwin and Jadeja CANNOT TAKE WICKETS like fast bowlers do.

    My suggestion: drop Dhoni to accommodate a technical correct W/k batsman like Saha/Rayudu/Samson/karthik and drop a top order player to accommodate a bowler OR BOWLING ALL-ROUNDER

    India have only two Bowling all rounders, one is I.Pathan and other is Rishi Dhawan.Binny is not a bowling all rounder but a batsmen. Rishi is the highest wicket-taker in Ranji. He is the best swing bowler

    Team: Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli (c), Rohit/Tiwary, Karthik, Jadeja, I. Pandey/ Rishi Dhawan, Ishant, Shami, Zaheer/Yadhav/Aaron.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    One striking thing about his captaincy is that he is simply reacting to situations. I don't even see Dhoni make a very simple plan such as bowl wide outside off with fielders at catching similar to start kiwis did with Kohli playing with patience when there is not much happening. He is only reacting to where the ball was hit last. This amateurish stuff which reeks of unprofessional attitude is what irks me. Dhoni was probably past his sell by date after home series losses to England and Pakistan. Today only reaffirms that notion.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    All the comments above are tipical and understood when you are loosing, but the bottom line is that India never could play in conditions outside of india, yes they have moments and win a session or so but that's it even when the greats tendukar and dravid were playing. Everyone is blaming MSD but he don't select the squad he has to work with what is given to him. I have heard so many time that the indian slow fast bowlers are excited to bowl on fast pitches, but with their pace the balll comes on nicely on to the bat. For India to compete they need to play two genuine spinners an off spinner and a leg spinner and no I don't mean ashwin or mistra these two are below av bowlers and two swing bowlers and an allrounder who can bowl left arm spin. India should play at their strenght which is good spin bowling and do't get carried away with the so call fast bowlers they have presently. India needs MSD!!

  • RAJA_06 on February 17, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    This is the worst team in recent years.....Dhoni has made his team and forced seniors like Sehwag, Gambhir, Harbhajan to stay from the team....what's the result? We've been tamed time and again....a par lowly ranked NZ is dominating us in every format....pity!!!

  • hari7ajay on February 17, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    @Ravi Darira: When bowlers single handedly brought india back in the first test bowling a test side out for a mere 100 odd..... what happened then?? ...

  • Coolcapricorn on February 17, 2014, 14:31 GMT

    In any other team having such a disastrous losing record like this, they would have been drastic changes including get rid of the captain. Can see what has happened to England after just one bad series loss but we have lost a lot more very badly but nothing is done! Seems our selectors are as spineless as our bowlers! MSD astonishingly fails to adapt when playing outside the subcontinent, never seems to learn from his losses in choosing the wrong players & wrong team composition - so the losses sadly continue. Choosing only three seamers or two spinners in both SA & NZ in either Tests or ODI's is ridiculous - hence we lose badly or throw away a winning opportunity. Even when a series is lost, he doesn't give his reserve players a chance in a dead rubber match to see if they can do any better. He has become arrogant from winning a few trophies for India & it has gone to his head! With two impending series in England & Australia, time has come to perhaps choose Pujara as captain.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    Very well written article Sidharth. You nailed it exactly why India has been doing so poorly. I have no idea why DHONI goes defensive as soon as no.6 and 7 batsmen comes and then he bring his part timers and spread the field.

    The only era we did well overseas was when Ganguly was captain, even if we didn't win series or won many test matches, but under Ganguly's captaincy team always looked aggressive, because Ganguly was naturally aggressive in his nature.

    I'm sure even after our worst overseas performances, still nobody will ask a single question to Dhoni

  • sajumhdsa on February 17, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    this article should have written two years ago india got best batsmen best bowlers and poor captain who is always blaming his batsmen and bowlers

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    A pang of realization that all explosive stuff in IPL is just nothing. I am not sure I ll be as keen to watch IPL after such a disappointing performance. I am sure many Indian cricket fans would be feeling the same

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    Think the criticism is a bit harsh. There was intent to take wickets throughout the day. But once the ball got 15-20 overs old it stopped doing much. You can blame the bowlers for lacking in quality but not effort. Bowling 40 overs each has to commended. It would have been a different game had some of the chances stuck on day 3. Dhoni had at least 2 slips and a gully and catchers in unorthodox positions throughout the day, albeit not for mccullum. And SGs comment was not for the slip being there but the location of it, almost a fine fly slip.

  • Buttax on February 17, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    Finely written and I don't think anyone will argue that Dhoni is a defensive captain but with the bowlers at his disposal, what else can be expected. Since he took over as captain in 2008, India have a bowling average of 42.46 overseas at a strike rate of nearly 75 (excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh). Only the West Indies and Sri Lanka are worse. Also (as many have stated here), its a classic TINA (there is no alternative situation). Its too risky to blood Kohli or someone else as captain on a tour of England (which is India's next challenge).

    The better solution would be to demand more from the batsmen, and play five bowlers. Dhoni, Ashwin, and Jadeja at 6,7, and 8 should be more than capable of providing buffer.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    The Fear of losing and failure...muddles,crippes and blanks out ones mind to such a can no longer can all comes to knowing and best we can control the process and what we do..not the outcome....and reacting quickly and in right the events on the field...comes down to not only knowing your game..but being on top of it..along with figuring out the opponents..thought process as it plays out...

  • rmaganti on February 17, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    I agree Dhoni is the most defensive captain India has ever produced after Bishen Singh Bedi. I think the time has come for him to go. It is good to lose by trying, not by not trying. Along with Dhoni I think it is time for Duncan Fletcher to also go.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    Agree with most points here. He has to change the way he leads in overseas tests. But, I wouldn't want to give this lot to a new captain, Kohli, who himself is just 25 tests old, trying to establish himself as the world's best. why the burden? It has to be Dhoni himself who has to change the way he leads.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    why we keep stickinng to dhoni series after series , first thing dhoni don't have killer instinct and he is very much out of ideas and it is high time that we need to look forward to kohli even though he do not have experience but for sure he he have the guts and aggresiveness which every fan wants to look . this is more frustating stuff when you have chance to equal why you threw it away with your lacklusture performances , what these coaches fielding and bowling guys are doing once in fullmoon day we can't come up and say we are the best , if we want to prove that we are best , it is time we need to change the whole setup and bring in more aggessive players who want to prove and show what they are . one must remember always we have billion people supporting us we need to give the best does not matter whether we lose or win but we need to fight and give our best , looking at this test match until we come up with wonder show we can only leavel series .

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    The great problem that we face as fans is that we tend to forget all these things the moment they come back home and win. The quality of our players will not improve unless they are given those conditions here esp. the pitches and the current players are forced to play a mandatory amount of regional cricket that will not only improve their standard but also the standard of our future cricketers.

  • Prats6 on February 17, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    Well, its not that everyone does not know about MSD being a defensive skipper. But he has an even bigger mentor in Duncan, who is the king of the defense academy! And it's not that MSD does not have it him to be bold, but he has completely forgotten it. He is so scared of loosing that he will do all it takes of not loosing and thus miss opportunities. Its time to sack Duncan, so that he gets the message. Unfirtunately, we really do not have anyone to replace him as the skipper in Tests. In ODIs, T20s - Yes; Tests - No. Probably even the selectors needs to be bold. Let's have some shake up. We have a good team, but it is simply not playing to its potential.

  • thinkgood on February 17, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    The wicket at Wellington has turned flat guys. There is nothing in there for bowlers. This is the reason B Macullam is hesitating to declare . If he declares, Indian batsmen will flourish and can pass the lead easily on this flat pitch . Sitting at home and watching the match on TV set does not make one an expert to comment on a good captain that Dhoni is. Its not about the captain. Captain is only as good his team. When will Indian media and fans will realize this. If BJ Watling can score a century so can our batsmen on this pitch. Get real guys.

  • bappcric on February 17, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    And the STRANGE part is when he BATS, he is a DIFFERENT persona. When things are down during batting - I would want NOBODY else but him - not even Tendulkar.

    So what happens when he takes the field - the FIGHTING PERSONA VANISHES. I think it all comes from his VERY WEAK wicket-keeping. He knows in his heart his wicket-keeping is NOT even county standard. That bothers him I think.

    Personally, I don't like wicket keepers to be captain. They have the best view of the deliveries but they have too much to think about their OWN performance EVERY BALL to think about others.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    The simple solution is with Indian society. A revolution is required. One doesn't need to understand the nuances of Napiers triangle or zero gravity or isopropylene bonding to gather the simple fact that MSD alias Dhoni must first be removed from CSK if he is to play for India again.

    2011. Gary Kirsten with MSD became formidable.

    Then suddenly the entire monument that was built since 2001 when ganguly and the rest took over started collapsing like a sand bank. Losses in Eng, Aus, SA, and even in India should have shaken them up. But MSD has insisted on seniors going. Dravid, VVS, and Sachin obliged. Shewag, Yousuf, Irfan, Dinesh, Gambhir, Harbajan, and many more have been stifled. Many more have been forgotten. Yes MSD has his own team. This team some cricinfo fan commented has their own style! That style seems to be "losses"! India yes have failed overseas but not so continually. And the hardwork India did to get to the top with wright-ganguly-gary-MSD is gone. Time to change.

  • shabbasus on February 17, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Well Since india is part of big 3 , they should confirm this with every other board that they'll only play test matches and big tournaments in india and not abroad..whenever they'll get tired of playing in their own homeland they'll see if they wanna have a trip abroad and play ....

  • haseeb72 on February 17, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    India need simply good and effective bowling attack to win every where like pakistan

  • shashri on February 17, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    Dhoni plays to his script and it is unchanged for different conditions. In ODI's he rarely gets the opposition out before 50 overs are completed. Instead he tries to control the flow of runs. May be he thinks his bowlers dont have the ability to get the opposition out inside 50 overs. When he encounters a flat track abroad, or when his bowlers leak runs, he switches to the run control mode instead of wicket taking. No discussion with the bowler during the game. His script suits the formats where you can win without bowling the opposition out. Always try to bat out the opposition in flat tracks. In friendly tracks abroad, the Indian batters out perform their opposition once a while and produce a classic contest. Just like the script, bowlers are very predictable and rely on 'pitch' and/or 'conditions' instead of creating the conditions to win.

    Thinking long term, India needs its players to play more county / leagues abroad but it is sad they dont even play domestic games backyard.

  • vrkp on February 17, 2014, 14:06 GMT


    You missed an important point i think. In 90s, we may not have won (m)any tests away from home but at least we were not thrashed 0-3, 0-2 and 0-4s.

    Vs NZ - we lost twice 0-1 out of three match series. Vs Eng - 1990 and 96 - we lost twice 0-1 out of three match series. Vs SA - we lost 0-1 in 4 match series and 0-1 out of 3 match series. Vs WI - we lost the series 0-1 (3) in 97.

    Even though the total no. of tests without win may be 22, we drew almost 50% of those matches.

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:04 GMT

    This article makes a sense !! I felt especially in test we need a strong aggressive captain like Clarke or Mccullum to take risk to either go for a win or loss rather a defensive captain like Dhoni or Smith !! Kohli might be the seriously good aggressive candidate in future for India !!

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    i've watched many Indian captains and Dhoni tops all in terms of being defensive. He is the worst test captain from India in the last 2 decades. no doubts about that.

  • StreetView on February 17, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    Kohli can be made captain for tests and Fletcher needs to be sacked for God's sake. Wish we have a proactive coach! But the problem is people will criticize Kohli too when he loses. The truth is our bowling attack is consistently inconsistent and we select players like Rohit,Ishant time and again. (Ishant has bowled better this series but he was given an extremely long rope)

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    It reflects on his team selection as well.. Ashwin,Jadeja and Ojha over Mishra who probably is the most attacking spinner if not bowler in India at present.. We have one of the quickest bowlers in India if not the world, in Yadav sitting two test matches in NEW ZEALAND out.. Yadav was the most impressive seamer when England lost to India in the first test a couple of seasons ago.. He hurried the batsmen and put the pressure for Ojha to do his bit and nip the English out.. And if Jadeja or Ashwin needs to play, one of them must play as India's fifth bowling option, they should bat at 6 or 7.. Rohit Sharma needs to sit out.. For the talent he has, he should be notching up 150s and 200s every other match if the commentators are to be believed.. Vijay was magnificent in SA, don't know what happened to him.. But he does merit a place in the team.. Dhawan has made it count in this series.. Only Rohit has failed in both series.. You cannot score just one fifty in 8 innings..

  • haqster499 on February 17, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    For winning Tests overseas India needs a captain who knows how to coach pace bowlers. Batting is great, Ind bowling unit needs new ideas.

    Make Zaheer Khan - test captain. He is more senior than Dhoni and is experienced. It will also allow Dhoni to focus on batting and keeping. Zak and MS can groom Kohli who can be VC.

    Left field choice --- but Imran, Kapil, Willis, Walsh and even Sammy are good captains who knew how to set fields and take wickets. And for Test cricket you need 20 wickets to win the game....

  • on February 17, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    Overall, I have to agree with most of the points made in this article. Dhoni, however, has been THE leader for India during some of their most triumphant moments (Including the World Cup, T20 World Cup, Champion's Trophy and India's rise to the number 1 Test Ranking), so I can see why the BCCI would be hesitant in replacing him. The one thing I have to disagree with though is your criticism of him not taking Ian Bell's run out at Trent Bridge. I would argue that's not him being defensive, but being a good sportsman. I'm a Pakistani, and we love to take jibes at the Indians (and vice versa of course :P), however, I had to stand and applaud Dhoni's decision for that one. Outside of that detail, really well written! Whatever happens in the future, may it be in the best of cricket's interests!

  • bappcric on February 17, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    When bowlers are unable to get wickets - what does he do ? He takes off his gloves and start bowling to INSULT our bowlers even more. Hardly the mark of a fighting or inspiring captain. And this team is too young - nobody else is willing to give advice either. Nobody thinks they are senior enough to give advice.

    When Australia were flaying Ishant in the ODI last year, one had to see Dhoni's eyes - about to CRY. We need a leader of STRONG MIND and proper ANALYSIS ability. Just being aggressive won't do it if fielders are all at the wrong close-in places - though better than nothing.

  • anshul_abhinav on February 17, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Well, come on guys, I agree that Dhoni is definitely not the best of captains but when you have got a bowling attack like we do, even Alexander would think twice before attacking. I think its a combination of 75% bowling limitation and rest 25% captain's "on-field strategy". And if it is a strategy failure, what the hell are the dozen of support staff doing sitting in the pavilion, sipping iced-tea ? They can't possibly go wrong every time. So, please don't try to nicely wrap our poor performance on strategy, this is sheer lack of talent/ability, in most cases, and lack of self-belief, in other cases.

  • GoCho on February 17, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    Cant agree more with @Farce-Follower. Beautifully put

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    India ready for another historic lose

  • ravi_hari on February 17, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Spot on Sidharth! India needs a Clarke or atleast a Smith. How long will we continue to bask under the home advantage glory? Dhoni goes to the extent of doctoring pitches to win at home. What a shame? Are you preparing a team to win against any opposition anywhere or do you just want to make money by winning at home and giving it away overseas. India became No.1 because they played equally well at home and overseas. The Big5 ensured that. Today you are finding it difficult to save a test. Out of the 14 India has lost 11! Just look at how NZ have fought in this test. They might still loose this test if they declare ovenight, but the way they kept Indians at bay for 2 full days shows how determined they are. It is because the leadership is aggressive and result oriented. Dhoni has never inspired as a test captain. He has never created opportunities. Some have fallen on his lap and many have been because of brilliance of Big5. Time for Kohli to take over and Dhoni to retire after WC15.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    Every one is blaming the captaincy, but can any one see that our bowlers are utterly hopeless? Time and again we let go off match winning situations due to poor bowling. Dhoni cant be spoon feeding them at this level. What can a captain do if bowlers cannot take wickets, forget wickets they cannot bowl to a fixed field. Also, we dropped simple catches from mcculum when he was at 9. Dhoni HAS TO GET DEFENSIVE once the bowlers are tired and in effective. What do you expect 3 slips for Zaheer khan???

    India has a history of doing poorly abroad. We have NEVER won consistently, and that is always due to our 3rd class bowling. Bring in any captain and results will simply not change until we get match winning bowlers. India never had good fast bowlers, but now we do not have spinners as well. You can make Dhoni the scape goat and change him, but the results WILL NOT CHANGE.

  • bappcric on February 17, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    Not being able to get the tail-enders out has been a problem since - India started playing test cricket. Unless bowlers learn to bowl Yorkers and In swinging fuller balls - that will continue. Tail enders CANNOT be got out with good-length or short-pitched balls - because they DO NOT have any PRESSURE to score runs and save their place. They can wait for ever.

    We can't see what happens in between overs due to commercials - but have anybody seen Dhoni give any advice to his bowlers in between overs. A captain has to be able to analyze things/weaknesses - I don't think he has that ability. He is like a STATUE on the field and his performance behind the wicket will hardly rejuvenate/fire up any team.

    And who do we have as coach - the GREAT Fletcher from Zimbabwe - a cricket playing powerhouse who have THOUGHT OUT oppositions time and again. Remember India 17/5 at T. Wells and what happened next. It is repeating over and over again now. We are at the receiving end now.

  • vrkp on February 17, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    We need 5 bowlers. Whats the point of Rohit if he is going to bat poorer than a no. 11 player? At least we should have replaced him with Bhuvi/Yadav.

    Dhoni should understand that our bowling line up is not same as Aussies when Mcgrath, Gillespie, Lee and Warne were bowling. Each one of the bowlers in that line up were capable of taking 10 wkts on their own.

    unless some drastic change happensin the team selection, 0-11( out of twelve) will soon become 0-22 by the end of Australia tour. Eng team may not have KP & Swann anymore, but they still have Anderson, Broad, Tim Bresnan etc and Cook, Bell and may be even Trott will make a comeback when he sees easy runs vs Ind.

    But the big question is who can be the next test captain?

    Kohli - is no better than Dhoni. When he had a chance to lead in Zim, he fail to try out new players like Rasool. May be bring in Gambir and make him the captain. But will the team accept it? thats a big ? mark. Rohit - may be bcos of IPL success.

  • Rajeshj on February 17, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    Less criticism about Jadeja not taking a wicket and many mention that he is not to be blamed for this.. Quite ridiculous.. The pitch was even flat at Johannesburg, with no assistance to spin and yet Ashwin bowled tidy, attacking bowling to De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis.. Still he was criticized for not taking a wicket there.. But, what about Jadeja now.. Why no one is blaming him for not taking wickets.. It is rank stupidity to brand Ashwin as an India-only spinner and expect him to take wickets in all overseas pitch which doesn't assist spin.. After just one test, he was needlessly sacked.. there is a lot of bias in people's mind.. we are wasting a talent available with us.. And Jadeja cannot be counted as a best bet in test arena.. He is too one-dimensional and suited only for the shorter version..

  • mrcool on February 17, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    His luck is running out..His instinctive decisions not working.He is very predictive captain..Also he likes his favourites rohit sharma,Raina,Jadeja,ishant and ashwin in playing 11 always and new comers like yadav and ishwar pandey warming the benches..In odi too, for some player he gives extended run and Good players like Robin uthappa not getting even a single chance for Comeback in 6 years..As long as srini is there,he won't go.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    Dhoni is a lucky Captain, not a good Captain. India cannot break through with him at the helm.

  • vishalsoni12 on February 17, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    Sidharth Monga I salute you for this article. I was surprised from long time that why no expert is criticizing Dhoni in test matches. Zaheer is same who was under Ganguly. At that time Zaheer,Bhajji were always dangerous on foreign pitches. What happened to same bowlers now? All becoz of Dhoni, I am surprised that no one talks about his batting in test matches. I have hardly seen Dhoni spending 30-40 minutes on pitch when bowl is moving. He is good in India only and one days. Also he has his favorite players like raina,Jadeja,Ashwini,Rohit....Gautam who has proved himself on foreign pitches is not in team. India was not able to win any game in SA(in one days also) and same in NZ..I think it is more than 15 matches that India has won any game...

  • rajuramki on February 17, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    If Mccullum declares the innings now and puts India to bat , he will find that India will be struggling to save the test by lunch time . Dhoni can never be a good test captain outside India . He always tries to dry up the runs, hoping that the batsmen will make a mistake and in the process lose momentum . Matches which should have been won by India in SA and now NZ will be losses, thanks to Dhoni's ultradefensive approach .

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Very rightly said in the end.. Thankfully for India this series and the one in South Africa have just been 2 test series thus not really reflecting enough evidence to cause enough concern. all the talk about "a captain is as good as his team" comes to nothing when the same team wins nearly all the matches at home but 14 test on the trot without a win away from home is just INCREDIBLE.. rightly said we have always created terrific moments and match changing moments but then how can it be that for 14 tests None have shown on the result. I agree the team doesn't have the best bowling attack but there is definitely something that is wrong. And I believe it has been rightly pointed out in this article.. its time we give a little shake to the team.. just because the team keeps wining at home, all the failures have gone unseen.. Truly the team does not live up to its ranking..

  • StreetView on February 17, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    Though Dhoni's continuous persistence with Nohit,Ishant has to be blamed, I still think even Ponting cannot achieve anything with this toothless attack either.

  • sherishahmir on February 17, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    A very well written article showed the reasons of Indian overseas defeats, mainly due to defensive captain ship of Dhoni. India who ranked 2(117 Points) should have find no difficulty in beating NZ who ranked 8(82 points) in test cricket as literally NZ dont have any world class batsman other than Ross Taylor, but the class shown by young Williamson, Watling and captain B McCullum is something exceptional and it v likely that team India might have 2-0 whitewashed at the end of series.MS is no doubt a wonderful cricketer and most successful captain for India, who have all titles of cricket under his belt but he needs some relief from 3 formats captain-ship. I think time come at least he quits from t-20, which should be given to Rohit or Virat and MS limits himself to ODI and Tests only.

  • TNAmarkFromIndia on February 17, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    There needs to be a sense of accountability. We're not Bangladesh, and this is not the 90's anymore. Losing 10 games in 11 away tests is simply unacceptable in this day and age. Dhoni can't keep picking his favourites and get away with it after repeated failures. He can't keep being defensive and expect good results. If things keep continuing the way they are, the BCCI will have to consider dropping him as Test captain. Truth is Dhoni probably wouldn't be able to keep his place in the Test team based on his batting.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    I am a Dhoni fan, but I feel now that he should be replaced in tests. He has not been inspirational during the last few series as a captain and even his batting has not been good, except for a few innings here and there. However he should stay in 50-over and 20-over games.

  • cricfansince91 on February 17, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    Very well put and finally someone has raised that change is required in Captaincy.. how can you explain having only one(sometimes even none) slip when you have over 100 runs' lead and have to take only 5 wickets to win?? Apart from favoring his selected few (Rohit Sharma, Raina, Ashwin, Jadeja & Ishant) Captain M.S.Dhoni is guilty for wrong moves at wrong times, he experiments too much when Conventional method is the need of hour & lets things drift when "out-of the box" thinking is needed.!!! His wrong moves did'nt came into light in earlier tours because their were seniors in prime to cover up [like Harbhajan & Gambhir in NZ(2009) Sachin in S.A(2010) and Dravid in W.I(2011)] The time to do away with Dhoni as captain and Fletcher as coach and start building for future with fresh faces and don't worry about WC in 2015 because under leadership of Dhoni & Fletcher and consequently rats overseas (viz Rohit, Raina, Ashwin) India WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DEFEND THE WORLD CUP

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    please change dhoni as captain and gv virat the charge , we need fresh ideas and this 7/4 does not work we should go 6/5 bowlers , see the state now , dhoni is only gud for odi and t20 captain

  • lefthandopener on February 17, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    Make kohli captain in all formats dhoni is worse captain I have seen so far.make dada the coach

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    the thing with dhoni is he relies on insticts... He doesnot have the cricketing brain similar to fleming,clarke or mark taylor. some people will remind me about the world cups he has won for us.i would say it wasnt because of his brilliant captaincy but just because of the team he had in those conditions.He made some huge errors in the final of both the world cups.playing sreesanth in place of ashwin and giving his one of his many favourite sharmas the last over. gambhir should be back in the team in place of vijay and he should be made captain.

  • HarrowXI on February 17, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    Anand Bhardwaj is not going to happen untill dhoni is captain. He keep playing Ishant rohit,ashwin. He is waiting for miracle to happen by picking same team again and again.

    It doesnt work for last 14 test and its not going to happen in future. TEAM NEEDS CHANGE. TEAM NEEDS FRESH IDEAS. TEAM NEEDED KILLER INSTICTS. TEAM NEEDED HUNGER TO WIN OVERSEAS.


  • Mushtanda on February 17, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    Abroad? Even at home. The second test against England was lost due to poor captaincy and defensive mindset.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Yes we need change in leadership when things are going wrong. But we still need Dhoni in the team. Dhoni is defensive in team selection, Toss and on the field too. So it's better to go for a young captain who brings attacking approach into the team. India have plenty of cricketers who can perform at big stages but Dhoni still sticks to the people never perform expecting them to perform!! God only knows when people like Rohit, Raina, Vijay, Ashwin, Ishant will win games for India!! Each one of them have already played enough games for experience in all the conditions!! Still Useless!!

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    goes to say why MS Dhoni is unfit to lead India-at home give him a chance even Ishant Sharma will lead the team with the doctored pitches and spin tracks-abroad-he is actually unfit as a batsman in Test Cricket alas he continues to be glorified as the captain-can't wait to watch India tour Australia..Mitchell Johnson will teach a thing or two about just walking into a Test team like that with no technique or temparament whatsoever...

  • Jason_Key88 on February 17, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    The chances of India winning tomorrow are slim so that will make 14 away Tests (June 2011 to Feb 2014) where India has not had a win. But this is nowhere near India's record. From Aug 1993 to Jan 2000, India went 22 Tests away without a win . From July 1986 to July 1993, India went 26 Tests away without a win. From Feb 1981 to Jan 1986, India went 25 Tests away without a win. And from June 1932 to Jan 1968, India went 43 Tests away without a win. So from June 1932 to Jan 1968 (36 years), India had 43 away Tests for no wins. And from Feb 1981 to Jan 2000, India had 76 away Tests for 3 wins.

  • HarrowXI on February 17, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    Time to replace Dhoni with DK or Sanju samson or Raydu as wicketkeeper and Kohli as a capation

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    It seems to me that some one forced MSD to handle the test captaincy and he doesn't show any interest to lead a team in the crucial moments. Ofcourse he doesn't have bowler in the class of Steyn the thing hurting more is we are loosing the match from winning position. It is the time for BCCI to change the supporting group need more fresh thoughts may required. MSD need to be honest and time for him to take a call whether he will continue in tests or he will quite test and focus more on shorter form of cricket.

  • HarrowXI on February 17, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Nice article but it doesnt mentioned about Dhoni defensive team selection. I remember in overseas test when opposition play four seamers to take advantage of helpful seaming wickets. Dhoni keep playing two spiners (always CSK Jadeja & Ashwin)

    Not giving youngsters enough chances when they are performing wel and warming the bench. Indian team doesnt take overseas win seriously. The whole mentality should be changed. And change must start from sacking Captain and coach.l

  • Hello13 on February 17, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    Remember, MSD was going to be sacked, but Srini stepped in. its pathetic. Seriously, India had really good chances of winning in SA and in NZ, but Dhoni's defensiveness is hurting badly. It is time for him to be sacked. As a player, he's not even worth his place in the overseas test team.

  • PunzS on February 17, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    @Farroq3 - You are right. India does not have an intimidating bowling attack. But nevertheless its not so bad even. With the right field position and attacking strategy even a toothless bowling attack could look dangerous. Not to forget that we are an excellent fielding side too. We can take example from the first inning when NZ were castled for 192 runs. The field was attacking.

    Mr. Monga - This is a brave article. Dhoni should really change his attitude for test cricket or he should let someone else run the show for India. Its so sad that we being a very quality side haven't won a game overseas for quite some time. Critics blame our bowling but I don't agree that we are a bad bowling side. All we need is a push...A Little push will cause good ripples.

  • luks on February 17, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    This article is unnecessary. Dhoni himself said during the Australia tour that he doesn't care for overseas Tests and Test captaincy. He has more important things to do. And, fair enough. The question is why are the selectors forcing him to do what he doesn't want to do?

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    i agree with everyone... i luv dhoni's captaincy in ODI's and T20 but test either he is too defensive or too agressive and no imagination to place unorthodox fields... i think this is the Right time to bring some other captain who has that kind of imagination..... but when u look at few wins abroad these are the decisions that won the game..... but still you need to adapt to the situation and change ur plans...

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    Dhoni should play county cricket to be habitual about ptiches outside India especially Eng and Aus. It seems that he has completly lost the focus and golden touch in test cricket

  • caught_knott_bowled_old on February 17, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    "Dhoni already was a captain who thought New Zealand need to be set 617 to preserve a series lead. And he met a man who defended the idea that India could lose seven wickets in 15 overs if they went for a 2-0 series win as opposed to 1-0". Scathing, but this is true. However, the other truth is India's bowling attack is poor. Just poor.This would put any captain in the most defensive mindset ever.

  • Sudhir65 on February 17, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    After Aussies suffered 4-0 humiliation in India, there was lot of outcry and call for changes. And they did at least fire their coach. But with India, it is almost a cult status for captain and coach no matter what the results are. This will all be forgotten when India win a match in Asia Cup, say against Pakistan. Dhoni and Fletcher will be worshipped.

    India team selection and bowling quality are also to be blamed.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    Changing the captaincy because of one series loss. That is ridiculous, we all got to accept the fact that a team can't win always, its the nature of sports.

  • vargheseaniyan on February 17, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    For the second test against new Zealand there should have been 4 fast bowlers... Dhoni is afraid of being getting banned, rather than to win match. I think Dhoni is not playing for team India, but Team India playing for Dhoni.. If he had played sensibly India would have won the first test it is almost 10 years after his debut and he is yet to score a century outside Asia..

  • ArvinLuvsCricket on February 17, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    We are going to lose 12th test out of 14 abroad tests. It is time to change the leadership. Period.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on February 17, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    Wow, he bowled a finger spinner for 24 overs in the afternoon!

  • Rags57 on February 17, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    Can't agree more with you, Sidharth. Dhoni is the exact opposite of Michael Clarke - Clarke is a positive captain who prefers to control the game and make things happen than let situations drive knee-jerk reactions which is what Dhoni does for a living. How else would you justify a three bowler one restraining spinner theory for an overseas test? Does he expect his three pacemen, of which one is aging, one is a new comer and the other a veteran of 50 tests who refuses to learn, to take twenty wickets? With this strategy, you have lost the test match even before you have begun. If the batsman are so good why go with a weak four man attack? If Sandeep and Co really want to lift the spirits of the die hard fans, they should act by getting rid of Dhoni from tests. We have better wicket keeper batsmen in Dinesh Karthik or Saha who should be given a chance.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    pls. don't blame Indian bowlers. In so many occasions where pitches help fast bowling they had done enough. But due to dhoni's tactics backfired. I won't blame Ravindra Jadeja. But dhoni has to play atleast 4 fast bowlers in such a pitch. u cannot think that an international batsman will not show fight. After that much efforts it is natural the bowlers would tire. In all the sessions of play there were several times bowlers were 'unlucky'. Actually, all the above figures would definitely shows that Indian bowers outside the country are not that much bad u r criticising it is due to defensive field set and shouldering overload upon them every time India has to be suffered

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    You have forgotten Virat Kohli bowling immediately after lunch in the first test , where Newzealand had lost 3 wicket before lunch. Has Dhoni been questioned about such tactics like bowling Suresh Raina in the Lords test after tea or Virat Kohli bowling immediately after lunch on the first day of a test match. Dhoni is stubborn with his ideas. This is the first time someone has written critical piece on his test captaincy

  • SaraJahanSeAchha on February 17, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    Forget chance for India to draw this test now, given the the time 6 sessions spent over 2 days in fielding, they could be all out as well giving 2-0 to NZ. Once again Mc Callum got away with dropped catches. His leadership skills have to be seriously questioned now and so is his contribution to team selection. Where is the 4th specialist bowler especially in a TEST? Given relatively better batsman over overs he should have 5 bowlers. Had India won this TEST, everyone would have forgotten his record with last 13 tests. Now it's imperative that India loose so his track record of 14 losses stays. He is the reason to have not opted for either Sehwag or Gambhir.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    useless dhoni has to changed dont mind seriously he is unfit as test captain its righht time to change test captain

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    Easy to blame MSD by picking out some moments in a test match to prove a point but the fact is that the captain is only as good as his team and frankly India never had a good bowling attack to win in overseas conditions consistently.

    Once in a while, somebody will pick up six wickets (remember Agarkar?) and we will rejoice over an overseas victory. That's how it's going to remain, mate.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    That is hitting the nail right on the head. Dhoni needed to go long back, after 0-4 in Aus. And we know the truth that he was saved by Srini then. Also if we need a bowler bowling at 130 (read Ishant), why not try some one who actually swings the bowl (Bhuvi, Ishwar). We were hard done by when Ishant got a 6 for in Auckland. Here in Wellington, any good bowler could have got a 5 for on green grass. Just lucky we did not batted first, otherwise test would have been over by now. Bowlers are poor, and captain makes them bowl like they are bowling in a 50 over match. We also have few other notable issues. 1) Slip catching and general catching. 2) Fast Bowling all rounder. Rohit did not did anything in 4 away tests. That spot should go to Rishi Dhawan or Abhishek Nayar. 3) Last but not least, in fact most important, change in leadership.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    you can only work with what you've got, give the best captain in the world the indian bowling attack away from home and they will struggle

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    Why doesn't he learn from the past mistakes ?

  • Suggsy on February 17, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    Dhoni should contiunue in limited overs test matches, time has come for someone more agressive to take over in Tests. I think Dhoni views tests as 540 overs of cricket and thinks, 'ahh... loads of time... wickets will eventually come, lets all just relax a little bit'. Dhoni is great, as aggressive as his batting can be, one wishes that he could be a bit more proactive rather than counteractive with his leadership too. You may say that no one else in the team is experienced enough, but I think the pro's of a fresh captain completely outweigh the con's of inexperience specifically for India right now. India hasn't achieved anything in tests since Perth 2007 and this has to change. Fans can not go another 7 years without a win overseas against a powerhouse team. It is Kohli's time now. He has played 23 tests, yet he bats like he's played more than Dhoni. He's one man that I have no doubt has enough necessary anger and desire to succeed, which will spill out with team members if he leads.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Great article ... India should really change Dhoni's captaincy .. Poor test captain ... 4-0 loss against england , 4-0 against aussies , 1-0 against SA , 1-0 against Nz ... dont blame Dhoni alone .. whats the hell coach fletcher is in team ... change the whole team management bring young bloods .. most think hurting for india is a fast bowling all-rounder ,, india should give chance to Rishi dhawan or shukula else generate new all rounder .. no use of playing ashwin , jadeja in fast friendly wicket ... Dhoni should captain only in ODI's ... Kohli can become a gud test captain because of his aggression ...

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    "Maybe it is time to look for a Test captain who will be more authoritative in those big moments?"Absolutely nailed it. We just need to look at Clarke even when his team was failing miserably in INDIA he never shield away from attacking in every given opportunity.

  • ThePacifist10 on February 17, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    We're all thinking it. We all want to say it. So we might as well do so. MS Dhoni should quit Test cricket. Make Saha the keeper. As for Dhoni's successor, it's pretty straightforward. The time has come for Virat Kohli to lead India. He had a nightmare of a captaincy debut against SL, granted. But he personally led his team from the front and finished on top of the Tri-series table in the Caribbean. He then whitewashed Zimbabwe in their backyard. He's also naturally aggressive, making him a perfect fit for the job. VK for captain!

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    so true...bring back dada....make ganguly coach/manager/mentor/ya kuch bhi banao bas usko team k sath losing faith on dhoni n his leadership skills in tests overseas....time to look for a new test captain again....kohli/pujara/jadeja/rohit....rohit can be good option as he has ability to raise his game with added responsibilities....there was a time when dhoni was considering retirement from dhoni should think over it seriously...

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    The root of the issue is presumption, avoidance, and arrogance. Like the headline of this article and the angle of the piece, Dhoni and the Indians always look at what they have done wrong and not what the opposition have done right. Maybe give credit where credit is due? It will stop you missing the red flags on real issues and you might have karma go your way because you have finally demonstrated the kind of graciousness required - as losers - to be deserved champions for an extended period when coming out the other side of a bad patch. The bad patch will not stop, unless the opposition is learnt from. Dhoni does not decide to have no all-rounder in Indian cricket (he seemed to have no confidence in Binny) did he? Why don't you start there? Why don't you stop using pitches found nowhere else and being so IPL-focused? Dhoni being 'too defensive' - often a perception only - is down the list of problems'. NZ have staged an historic comeback. Avoiding that fact IS the issue!

  • Farce-Follower on February 17, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Like it was often sadi in the Lord of the Rings, a dark shadow has enveloped Indian cricket. Vested Interests and a total lack of accountability in the 5 day game has meant that mediocrity in the Test format is tolerated to begin with, and then ultimately forgotten when the IPL prices grab the headlines. MSD is a hopeless captain and very often I find Cricinfo hesitant to criticize him or even carry comments critical of him. Let's see if this makes the cut.

  • on February 17, 2014, 12:59 GMT

    Dhoni lacks imagination to win tests abroad. I think in the post azharuddin era, he has the worst foreign tour record. Dhoni should stick to leading limited overs cricket, and an alternative option should be considered for tests. If we are performing like this against a nz, can you imagine the carnage against a rampaging aussie team?

  • PPL11 on February 17, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    All in All Best thing would happen in indian cricket is take off Dhoni from Test and let him play only in T20s and ODIs

  • Rajiv007 on February 17, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    At last an article form a brave heart. People think as Dhoni won us the can say anything against him. With all due one can match Dhoni in ODI's and T20...but TESTs are different ball game. We want aa attacking captain for TESTs...either bring back Gambhir and make him captain or go for Virat....Please no more politics...Even BD are making fun of us. We were champions for god's sake.

  • Farooq3 on February 17, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Don't blame Dhoni for this - India has suffered from this chronic disease of toothless bowling attacks since eternity! Especially when playing outside their country! The good thing is that they will lose the series 1-0 instead of 2-0!

  • on February 17, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    It is just the matter of time.I don't think dhoni has changed,it is his time that has changed.similar decisions made him the superstar,now the same decisions are making him look hopelss and helpless.

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  • on February 17, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    It is just the matter of time.I don't think dhoni has changed,it is his time that has changed.similar decisions made him the superstar,now the same decisions are making him look hopelss and helpless.

  • Farooq3 on February 17, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Don't blame Dhoni for this - India has suffered from this chronic disease of toothless bowling attacks since eternity! Especially when playing outside their country! The good thing is that they will lose the series 1-0 instead of 2-0!

  • Rajiv007 on February 17, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    At last an article form a brave heart. People think as Dhoni won us the can say anything against him. With all due one can match Dhoni in ODI's and T20...but TESTs are different ball game. We want aa attacking captain for TESTs...either bring back Gambhir and make him captain or go for Virat....Please no more politics...Even BD are making fun of us. We were champions for god's sake.

  • PPL11 on February 17, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    All in All Best thing would happen in indian cricket is take off Dhoni from Test and let him play only in T20s and ODIs

  • on February 17, 2014, 12:59 GMT

    Dhoni lacks imagination to win tests abroad. I think in the post azharuddin era, he has the worst foreign tour record. Dhoni should stick to leading limited overs cricket, and an alternative option should be considered for tests. If we are performing like this against a nz, can you imagine the carnage against a rampaging aussie team?

  • Farce-Follower on February 17, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Like it was often sadi in the Lord of the Rings, a dark shadow has enveloped Indian cricket. Vested Interests and a total lack of accountability in the 5 day game has meant that mediocrity in the Test format is tolerated to begin with, and then ultimately forgotten when the IPL prices grab the headlines. MSD is a hopeless captain and very often I find Cricinfo hesitant to criticize him or even carry comments critical of him. Let's see if this makes the cut.

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    The root of the issue is presumption, avoidance, and arrogance. Like the headline of this article and the angle of the piece, Dhoni and the Indians always look at what they have done wrong and not what the opposition have done right. Maybe give credit where credit is due? It will stop you missing the red flags on real issues and you might have karma go your way because you have finally demonstrated the kind of graciousness required - as losers - to be deserved champions for an extended period when coming out the other side of a bad patch. The bad patch will not stop, unless the opposition is learnt from. Dhoni does not decide to have no all-rounder in Indian cricket (he seemed to have no confidence in Binny) did he? Why don't you start there? Why don't you stop using pitches found nowhere else and being so IPL-focused? Dhoni being 'too defensive' - often a perception only - is down the list of problems'. NZ have staged an historic comeback. Avoiding that fact IS the issue!

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    so true...bring back dada....make ganguly coach/manager/mentor/ya kuch bhi banao bas usko team k sath losing faith on dhoni n his leadership skills in tests overseas....time to look for a new test captain again....kohli/pujara/jadeja/rohit....rohit can be good option as he has ability to raise his game with added responsibilities....there was a time when dhoni was considering retirement from dhoni should think over it seriously...

  • ThePacifist10 on February 17, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    We're all thinking it. We all want to say it. So we might as well do so. MS Dhoni should quit Test cricket. Make Saha the keeper. As for Dhoni's successor, it's pretty straightforward. The time has come for Virat Kohli to lead India. He had a nightmare of a captaincy debut against SL, granted. But he personally led his team from the front and finished on top of the Tri-series table in the Caribbean. He then whitewashed Zimbabwe in their backyard. He's also naturally aggressive, making him a perfect fit for the job. VK for captain!

  • on February 17, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    "Maybe it is time to look for a Test captain who will be more authoritative in those big moments?"Absolutely nailed it. We just need to look at Clarke even when his team was failing miserably in INDIA he never shield away from attacking in every given opportunity.