2012 Review

All tunnel, no light

In 2012, India sank to nadirs long unvisited, and the future doesn't look much better than bleak either

Sharda Ugra

January 1, 2013

Comments: 154 | Text size: A | A

India nipped out four wickets in quick time on the fourth morning, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 4th day, December 8, 2012
India fell further on the Test table in 2011 and didn't do anything special in the limited-overs formats either © BCCI
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
Teams: India

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound

Everybody look what's going down

-- "For What It's Worth", Buffalo Springfield, 1967

This is about Indian cricket in 2012, right? So who the blizzards is Buffalo? How many Tests did he play?

Between the entire band, zero. Their 45-year-old song, though, does talk about the environment around the Indian team in 2012.

The Test team's results went dramatically southwards in 2011, and defeat to England at home in 2012 was the denouement no one was waiting for. This was India's first defeat in a home series in eight years, the first time to England at home in 28.

In the shorter game, though, India at least won more than they lost. In ODIs, the record before the series against Pakistan was nine wins, six defeats in 16 matches. Fourteen T20 internationals yielded eight wins and six defeats.

In Tests, all numbers and hopes stood upended. Three wins, five losses, one draw from nine Tests. India's year began with three straight defeats in Australia, was followed many months later with a 2-0 soft-focus victory over New Zealand, and ended with a 1-2 bucket of cold water over the head against England at home.

Through half of 2011 and most of 2012, the Test team suffered a cringe-inducing year-long denial disorder. The side's virtues were rapidly depleted due to a condition that has many euphemisms - transition, generational change, consolidation. The margins of defeat served as reminders of blunter truths - innings and 68, innings and 37, 298 runs, ten wickets, seven wickets. Still, captain Dhoni believes a Test series defeat at home is "not even close" to being knocked out of the 2007 World Cup. The young players coming through into the Indian dressing room today deserve both extra attention and some sympathy.

In addition to the defeat came what can only be called the BCCI's thought-policing. During the India v England series, the TV commentators on the world feed were issued an unwritten diktat from a faceless Propaganda Committee (Prop-Comm): there is to be no talking on air about the DRS and no talking about selection. Raising the question: then why keep score? Scorecards and stats are so damned inconvenient on the screen. Get the numbers out of the way and all the questions will vanish.

Controlling the message is a hazardous business in sport, because sport at its best is an uncontrollable theory-buster. Silencing debate and refusing to answer or deal with awkward questions is not a sign of real power or authority. It ends up, like it has in this case, as growing evidence of feeble and feudal minds. A team struggling to find its feet again would at least want to be considered man enough to handle the flak. If 2011 brought the first signs of trouble, 2012 offered proof that hell has officially broken loose in MS Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher's India.

In this season of festivity, a fleeting piece of Prop-Comm-approved "good news". That India is flirting with the world No. 1 ranking in T20 cricket. Their more serious relationship is with the fact that they had better accept being a middling Test team. From December 2009 to September 2011, India loved being World No. 1 in Tests. They must now accept the ICC's current assessment that they are the No. 5 Test team in the world.

This ranking implies that India's Test cricket can safely get them past West Indies and New Zealand in Tests at home. Send them away to Sri Lanka and who knows. They haven't won a series there since 1993. There are only nine points between Nos. 5 and 6. Were the World Test championships already in place with the criteria that only the world's top four nations can contest, India as they stand today would not make the cut.

Now while none of this is a DRS-related crisis, it certainly is about the options for selection. The openers' run of partnerships this year is: 0, 18, 4, 24, 26, 14 (in Australia), 49, 5, 77 (against New Zealand at home), 134, 4, 30, 47, 86 and 1 (against England at home.) With the retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman (thank you, gentlemen), India's Test middle order is now without two of the most experienced and successful players in its history. Its most prolific and most experienced run scorer, Sachin Tendulkar, is in the middle of a deep form funk. When up against batsmen of calibre, India's spin-twins, Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin, who took 73 wickets in their first five Tests together, struggled even at home against England. Zaheer Khan was sent back to first-class cricket but his replacements are dogged by injuries.

Censoring a debate in public can only be brushed aside once the issues it centres on are quickly fixed in private. Three spinners and a single medium-pacer played England in Nagpur. That is no radically astonishing strategy, nor is it a sign of going forward. Short of sending up a rescue flare, 2012 did all it could to give the Indian Test team and its governors every sign that a leadership change - captain and/ or coach - was required in time for the next series, against Australia.

Cheteshwar Pujara got past 100 for the second time in the series, India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 1st day, November 23, 2012
The return to Test cricket of Cheteshwar Pujara was one of India's few causes for cheer © BCCI

As an ODI team, India's mettle outside its comfort zone was tested once in 2012, when the world champions played the CB Series in Australia at the start of the year. Winners in 2008, they ended up with a 3-4 result from eight matches and missed out on the final. In the subcontinent they scored a 4-1 series win over Sri Lanka and failed in their defence of the Asia Cup, winning two of three matches in Bangladesh but not making the final. The next test of the depth and strength of the Indian ODI team will come only in the 2013 Champions Trophy, in England.

Two days before Christmas, Tendulkar announced his retirement from ODIs and gave the selectors a chance to get the team ready for the 2015 World Cup in Australia. Central to that team's chances will be the growth of Virat Kohli, whose batting produced sustained, consistent impact for India in 2012. Kohli scored 1026 runs from 17 ODIs in the year. Of these he was central to six successful run-chases in 11 matches when India batted second, hitting three of a total of five 2012 centuries when batting second, at a strike rate above 98.

Given that T20 is held responsible for much of India's other failings, India's current standing in T20 internationals can, at best, be called weak. After winning the 2007 World Twenty20, they have not qualified for the semi-finals in the next three editions. Pakistan, whose players are steadfastly held off from competing in the cash-dizzy IPL, have made all four semi-finals and two finals since 2007. Sri Lanka have fought their way into the last three semi-finals and played in two finals. Australia have given themselves a shot in three out of four semis. West Indies have reached the semi-finals in 2009 and won 2012.

Overall these are skewed T20 results for India, regardless of weather, the fates and other international conspiracies that Prop-Comm may want dished out as reasons. In 2012, India tied three two-match T20 series, in Australia, and against England and Pakistan at home.

In 2012, India became somewhat precious in their cricket. They asked for too much - perfect wickets, perfect umpiring, ideal weather, dream combinations, pliant opposition - and gave of themselves far too little. When faced with adversity, the team's approach had the strength and resolve of candyfloss. When the list of conditions needed to win a match began to exceed the Indian team's individual skills and its collective spirit, excuse replaced reason.

A review of India's 2012 in Test cricket sounds much like the 2011 version. Same old same old. Except, in the year ahead, there won't be much of the old to lean back on - either for runs or wickets and/or target practice.

High point / New kid on the block
A head-scratcher. When any team suffers an ear-splittingly loud bad time, it can result only in a desperate hunt for "positives". In this case, for India it is the return of Cheteshwar Pujara: to international cricket, the playing XI, with quality and general composure on many burning decks. Three centuries in the year, two versus England, including a 24-carat 135 in Mumbai. Swann and Panesar were handled with a clear head and swift feet, and Pujara wasn't easily sucked into a short-ball-pull-shot dismissal. Test batting No. 3, thankyaverymuch.

Low point
The 1-2 to England, and particularly the defeat in Mumbai. It was preceded by a moaning about the Ahmedabad wicket not deserving another look. A first-day jumping turner was duly produced and the toss won. But from then on, India were found flat-footed. By the England spin twins, Swann and Panesar, who picked up 17 of the 20 Indian wickets, and the deliberate tread of the England captain, Alastair Cook. Mumbai was distinctly starlit by Kevin Pietersen, who takes to the big stage like children do to Pokemon. It was the match that knocked the fight out of India. Said fight didn't turn up until one day in dreary Nagpur, but by then Elvis and his entourage had left the building.

What 2013 holds
The dream of a turnaround against Australia at home, if the selectors are able to give the team the shake-up it needs. The series could act as the mixing bowl needed before the right contenders are picked to head out to South Africa at the end of the year.

This could be a year of momentous departures too: the ultimate winding down of Tendulkar's international career; and another hinted at by MS Dhoni, who said he might quit "one format at the end of 2013" to take the team to the 2015 World Cup. Well, well, well.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Nampally on (January 4, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

@RajeshNaik: Sir, You are forgetting that even the best peforming batsman in India, C.Pujara, with a Test series average of 87 against England, is finding it impossible to replace any of the "Top 5" of Indian ODI batsmen, with records of 29 for 5 & 95 for 5 in 2 ODI's. What is your basis for including Badri or Rohit Sharma in Tests when both have vastly inferior record to Pujara? Talent & batting Records have been over shadowed by Favouritism & Patronage. I will be happy to see if you or anyone can define the basis for selection for India in Tests or ODI Teams. If you are clever enough to find A basis, then I will show you how many individuals who met that but never included in the Indian team.

Posted by Nampally on (January 4, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

There will be light at the end of the tunnel if & only if the BCCI does its job. India could not even make sewing needles when it became independent. Today India is amongst the Top 10 Technocrats. It has been made possible by such a large pool of brilliant talent, despite all the existing corruption. India has a 1.1 Billion population to pick & choose. Promoting Cricket culture is easy when it already has strong roots in India. BCCI needs to focus on Cricket instead of its financial bottom line. No Einstien is needed to do that. India Needs a strong ombudsman to oversee & implement a well defined BCCI Role.Standards for selection to Indian team needs to be established & strictly implemented by eliminating wide scale Patronage & Favouritism. India needs personal integrity in Cricket & in all walks of life to make this happen.Right now the ODI team can be transformed into winners by making just 4 changes via eliminating its deficiencies.If you ignore them, India will be eternal Losers!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2013, 19:40 GMT)

Don't worry, Mr Hash_Tag. They're not fans. They're jingoists. A tad like the English football fans. English football has EPL. And what does Indian cricket have? I seriously wonder if a majority of them have any love for the game, let alone understand it. By the way, I'm a cricket fan from India.

Posted by Hash_Tag on (January 4, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

To all Pakistan and Bangladesh fans my apologies. In my previous post I said that "It also really didn't help for so many India "fans" here to take pot shots at other countries fans on other forums, eg Australia, Sri Lanka, England - along the way". I should have added to that list of countries Pakistan and Bangladesh. Your countries have very fine cricketing traditions and it is a matter of honour that fans of all cricketing countries are respected win or lose. The barbarous and uncultured posts directed by some of my fellow India fans towards other cricket followers over the last 2 years is an abomination that I hope the perpatrators now regret. I hope they will learn and stop. Respect the game, respect the spirit of the game, respect others who love the game and cricket will be the winner.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

I never thought India will fall to such low depths. 2012 was the most disappointing year. and 2013 looks to be another disaster year for India. Until our selectors take some bold decisions regarding the non-performing seniors, we will never come out of the shambles.. We should develop a team to win this years champions trophy... We need players who are technically good to excel in England. I wish selectors remove Sehwag, Gambhir, Rohit Sharma from the team and play pujara, rahane in the playing X1.

Posted by UK_Chap on (January 4, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

sachin_vvsfan : Where shall I begin, you seem to have a lot of anger and resentment at some of the comments on this forum. I shall answer all of the points you made in your comment directed at me. You are correct, I am a Pakistan fan, I have never hidden that, in fact I have made that clear in a few of my other comments on other pages on this site. Besides that, what does it matter that I am a Pakistan fan ?. I love cricket and I watch all teams and these forums are there for everyone to comment, how interesting would this forum be with only one point of view?. I was responding only to Rahane-fan`s specific comments. I provided facts regarding his statement about Pak playing in Eng v Ind playing in Eng. Rahane-fan was not only talking about playing in Eng and Aus, he went onto state Indian achievements against Pakistan in the World cup which was not played in Aus or Eng. That is why I listed the Pakistan test series win over Eng even though it was not played in Eng.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

Oh, Mr Rohit Shiralkar. We - in our state of denial - must be with the Prop-Com and cull a singular objective - albeit still restrained - statement of fact in mainstream media as emotionally charged. We should not talk about the fact that the only loss in 2 out of 3 in Asia Cup was to Bangladesh which stopped us from going to the finals. We must not talk about the fact that despite winning 4 out of 5 games in T20 WC we still couldn't make the semis. Our captain had all sorts of excuses including the fact that bowling in England is meaningless for cricket. We must gloat over thrashing Sri Lanka 4-1 in a ODI series that no one remembers. We must gloat over the 2-0 clean sweep over a team that is no 7 in test match rankings out of 8 at the moment and that gets bundled for 45 against a top test team. It's a different story that this no 7 test team can also thrash us in their backyard in every test match we would play there. We must have had a great 2012 actually. Emotions must be vented.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 21:29 GMT)

India needs to find a place for both Rohit Sharma and Ajinkiya Rahane in their Test team. They are better test players than they are limited over players. India would do well to hide these two and Pujara from T20 and ODIs and let them concentrate on Test.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

India got to be No 1 at Test Cricket when a certain Gary Kirsten was Coach. Since Duncan Fletcher arrived - almost zero results - so why no criticism of his obviously poor coaching setup. Coupled with the heavy handedness of the BCCI and you have a recipe for disaster. Although DRS is not perfect, I think it has shown its' worth in the rest of the test arena to be ignored by the Indian authorities. If India continue to ignore DRS it will be reminiscent of the times when Indian Umpires stood in home tests and the quiet allegations that no foreign test side could win in India because of the umpiring.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

A poorly researched, emotionally charged article. I didn't see such a doomsday analysis of English cricket after their 2-0 home loss to South Africa.

Just to recount some facts of what happened in Indian cricket in 2012: After the loss to Australia in Australia in the test and ODI series, India's record in international cricket until the England home test series reads:

* won 2 out of 3 ODIs in the Asia Cup * thrashed Sri Lanka 4-1 in Sri Lanka in ODIs and 1-0 in the T20 * won 4 out of 5 games in the T20 world cup * clean swept New Zealand 2-0 in home tests

So basically, two bad series in a year against two top teams and you forget everything else that happened? So we lost one home test series to a team that is supposedly one of the best test teams going around today, and that counts as "sinking to nadirs long unvisited"? Sensationalism at its best.

Posted by PrabuRam on (January 3, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

Every time there is a defeat, we hear an excuse saying, "The Team is in the process of Transition..". I recall this happening ever since early 1990s when Sr. players of 80s were retiring, early part of last decade and now..!

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 3, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

@Syed Hassaan Ahmed what has democracy got to do with "trolls"?. You definitely haven't read the whole thread (or read KiwiRocker comments in all the forums ridiculing india. He appears whenever india loses and disappears (like you fans) when india wins. Please Stop preaching the equality here

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (January 3, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Looks like you may have to reprint the same at the end of 2013 too. The way 2013 started, I have no hopes of seeing any improvement. Simply change the dates and reprint the same in December 2013.

Posted by IAS2009 on (January 3, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

BCCI have such a strong grip on media and commentators on TV, I am surprised no one in media try to say anything about DRS no changes were made after 8-0 loss, players are praised too much for their one performance after many failures, I am stunned to hear the comments from people Shastri, Gavasker on tv during matches, only Sanjay Manjrekar have some guts to criticize the selection and flawed technique of players. This has been going on for a long time in India Cricket, It was masked by the genius of Dravid and Laxman in tests and Tendulkar and Sehwag in ODI. These are the main guys for last 15 years. Once they are gone they are not easy to replace. The fans on this board have criticized more than people in media. Every team go through transition so India will loose some games also but the board need to find the gems for replacement. Sehwag, Gambhir, Ashwin, Raina, Yuvi, should be out if India need to look for a decent ODI side, they need separate team/captain for all 3 formats.

Posted by Hash_Tag on (January 3, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

This article is absolutely spot on. When I look at the series results (all formats) of my team here in India recently I see this; Lost, Drew, Drew, Lost. Of the 10 games played in that sequence India have won 3 lost 6 drawn 1. And this is AT HOME..... The writing was on the wall a year ago in Australia when we were washed by a historically weak Australia Test side, then beaten in their CB series. In business in the real world losers go to the wall - but not it seems here in the parallel universe of Cricket India. It also really didn't help for so many India "fans" here to take pot shots at other countries fans on other forums, eg Australia, Sri Lanka, England - along the way. Regrettable and unnecessary. Now those chickens are coming home to roost and we haven't got a leg to stand on. Major MAJOR changes are required to the structure of our game and our outlook as a cricketting nation. Putting the IPL in its proper place would seem to be an appropriate place to start.

Posted by ChevChelios on (January 3, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Apart from transitions in the teams, one trend that has proven to be the downfall of the teams especially the subcontinent ones, is the refusal to let go the 'star' culture. Shahid Afridi & Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka), Mohammad Ashraful (Bangladesh), Gautam Gambhir, Virendar Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma (India) are some of the examples. Most of these players have consistently under-performed over many series but selectors are just too reluctant to take bold steps and instill new talent in their place. This problem is playing havoc with the performance of India right now. Young players who have been consistently performing in various domestic competitions continue to be ignored for the sake of the big names. Pujara was brought in and he duly delivered. Why not give a chance to the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Mukesh Tiwari, Unmukt Chand and see how they perform. Style (Sharma) and Potential (Jadeja) should make way for Substance & Performance! Period.

Posted by A.Ak on (January 3, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

Gutless selectors, clueless batsman, senseless captain and worthless coach. Only two players have left the team. Losing is not called transition.

Posted by sss_m19 on (January 3, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

Srinivasan will be happy proud thinking ..no other country is defeating us in IPL..India is always winning..

Posted by baranasai on (January 3, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

Indian team needs to understand they are without their senior batsmen like Tendulkar Dravid and Lakshman who did miracles at the time of the need.the young guns did fire for some time - but lack of form for Virat has done a big void in 1 down.I feel they should drop shewag for if they can loose a match very badly in spite of his presence-The reason being when he is out it throws so much stress for the rest of the team.So he should go as well as Ghambir who is not doing well.They should chnace to real youngsters like aussies so that they can mature soon in the test arena It is risky but it may be the solution as well drop Duncan as Manager as he has done nothing creditable like the Kiwi manager .Lets us face it we wont be on the top for some time so lets get prepared for the new team now than waiting for half dead shewag ghambir and yuvvy to prop up the team which is going to be difficult.As well need to do massive boost to bowling department by getting young inexperienced bowlers

Posted by Chandrurec5 on (January 3, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

I don't know why T20 is blamed. As one of the greatest cricketing minds/analyst points out in the following articles T20 is the format of the future. http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/587158.html http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/535293.html It is time for people to introspect. Dhoni is a thinking cricketer and if he does not fair well in a format, then it means that format has to be bad after all. Then why have it at all!

Posted by YogifromNY on (January 3, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Sharda, how dare you point out that the emperor has no clothes? Don't you buy BCCI's and their minions' story that this is just a team in transition? That Gambhir is really not the clueless, scratchy amateur that he has appeared in almost every single match against every single type of opposition? That Sehwag is not really like spoilt milk left standing on the shelf? That Rohit Sharma's supposed "talent" and "great batting in the nets" (this last from Gambhir, wonder if there was a vested interest in saying that in Australia, hmm?) should prevent his booting from the team, despite a total lack of results? That Raina and Yuvraj are at their best only good for T20s and some ODIs? That Tendulkar should have done a year ago what Michael Hussey has done, and retired gracefully from all forms of the game. That the team's whole approach is a shambles - to fitness, to fielding, to tactics, to team selection, to cricket in general? The apple is rotten to the core. Great article, by the way!

Posted by greatshinwari on (January 3, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

india is the most supported team from ICC...ICC supports indian cricket board at every step they take....personally i feel happy to see indian cricket crisis...i hope it will continue in the next home series agianest aussies...i hope aussies beat india at home and their proud will be ended....best luck aussies...my prayers are with u guys......

Posted by Dandy_s on (January 3, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

This is really a sad sad situation for indian cricket ..its not only that we are lossing but the way we are loosing , No fighting spirit at all. Guys like Sehwag, Gambhir shlould be dropped to play some domestic cricket and work on there problems, Ashwin IMO also needs to be dropped to work on his bowling on a pitch where pak spinners were unplayable and even jadeja got 3 wkts ashwin was a total failure. We need to give chance to Rahane, Rayudu,Pujara, Shami Ahmed, Shabaz Nadeem in ODI's Also when fit again Manoj Tiwary should be in the ODI team and hopefully some time off will help sehwag, Gambhir and ashwin to get into some kind of form

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

India does not realize this, but when "The Wall" retired, I knew this was coming. He should not have retired after a couple of losses. He could have still contributed, and act as an anchor from one side.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

@sachin_vvsfan .. yes drawing a 2 match away series with a mediocre batting lineup IS an "achievement". If India continues to play like this, soon they'll be deprived of this "achievement" too. Isn't it ironic that Indian fans despite hailing from so-called world's largest democracy, are in reality so insecure that they call anyone criticizing team India as a "Troll"?

@kalyanbk .. Pak fans just like other Cricket lovers reserve the right to comment/praise/criticize any team, be it Pakistan, India or Bangladesh.

@golgoal .. really? .. Sure you're not yet_another_troll_Indian_fan hiding behind "golgoal" ???

@KiwiRocker .. Agreed, apart from Pak kicking out Aussies in CWC 2011 .. Actually Pak beat them before their semi encounter with India.

@UK_Chap .. spot on!

Posted by MinorityView on (January 3, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

Honest article and reflects what the majority of fans fear - where is India headed? Yes we are in transition but its been handled poorly. Is there no accountability for the BCCI president? The ex-cricketers on the board have been reduced to Yes-men while the ones with guts to speak out being marginalized. And where is the Dhoni of 2007? Who is this defensive, callow, unimaginative stuck-in-a-rut fellow? Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

Posted by dcindia on (January 3, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

I am tired of MSD style of leadership. Losses do not seem to stir him, make him rethink anything. According to him, observers unnecessarily complicate issues. After all, according to MSD, cricket is simple. If that was ever true, Tendulkar would not have to bother about perfecting his techniques. The only area MSD improvises is in field setting and in choosing bowlers, often defying logic.

But lets be fair. I am not a great cricketer or do not claim to have any great insights, but certainly expect that someone asks MSD this question: what were you thinking when you made that fielding change and chose that part-time bowler over that regular bowler?

It is also time to tell Gambhir that the time to hide behind averges is over. He needs to refocus his aggession into correcting his batting weaknesses. Because we fans do not wish to support a team that do not apply themselves hard enough.

Posted by CricketChat on (January 3, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

Sachin, Gambhir, Shewag, Dhoni, Zaheer could all be out of test team before the end of 2013. Harbhajan might have already played his last in 2012. Yuvraj too, looks like he is winding down in tests and ODIs. Ind selectors must blood new players as the old stalwarts are phased out. I expect a completely new look team in 2014 led by Virat.

Posted by cricpolitics on (January 3, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

The whole world has been cautioning India for years now, not to get too arrogant over their IPL and financial clout in the cricketing world. Things don't remain the same. There is also too much Bollywood in the Indian team that needs to be separated.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

Being a srilankan i am really happy indian poor performance. It is good for cricket!?? It is the result of their arrogance. Their media is equally responsible for their slump.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

Enough has been said and written about the Indian Cricket teams failure in the recent series of test matches and ODIs. Is it not time to put this sport in hold for some time now? Can we not think of some other sports now, probably the amount of money which is being spent on cricket and cricketers, if the same money was spent on other sports we would have been better of.

Posted by dharsanti on (January 3, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

Ajanke should open, pujara one down, followed by raina and then dhoni. this will give stability and fire.raina has very good technique and can play very sensible game.

Posted by landl47 on (January 3, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

India has a slightly better chance against Australia in India, as Australia doesn't have two spinners of the quality of Swann and Panesar. India also has a reasonable chance in the ODI series against England in India, because England is not bringing Anderson, Swann or Panesar. However, even if India does win these two series, or either of them, it will just be masking the real problems. England and Pakistan have shown that against full-strength sides neither India's batting nor its bowling is good enough. That's the case even in India- outside India, the record speaks for itself. Not a single win in any format in England in 2011, a test whitewash in Australia and failure to reach the final of the CB, Asia or T20 World cups.

India will come back again, but there needs to be a rethink of the process and priorities. As for the DRS- Dhoni making the review signal when a Billy Bowden decision went against India tells you all you need to know.

Posted by Gumshuda on (January 3, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

After seeing the past statistics, I am not too surprised to see the result. No matter what Indians do, it will take them 20 years to come even close to Pakistani wins against them. However, I would like to mention here that India team is proud and plays with over confidence. They are too commercial for a gentleman support. I think they should learn from cool heads of Pakistan. Very simple and with feet on the ground. Wow!!!!

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

Dhoni is a good player but he is not a captaincy mterial. He should play as a player in all three formats. Virat kohli is a potential candidate For Indian Team.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

Poor performance of Indians is contributed by many factors. But the most important two are; BCCI and IPL. The feeling is spoken by many former players as well. Poor planning of tour, selection of players on reputations ( that too on IPL, Neglecting local tournaments), regional factor in selection. Ranji, Duleep and Deodhar trophy lack any interest and shadowed by IPL. Effects of this are clearly visible now after retirement of Saching, Dravid and Laxman. Even it was not necessary to organize this tour of Pakistan by BCCI so horridly. We should follow examples of other broads in selection policy of players.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 3, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Dhoni has to go. Ship is submerging. Abdandon the ship. :). Some time when things gets stagnant. What it say is that dhoni method never changed from beginning to now. It is just that players are not playing well because they do not think their job on the line. I really would bench half the team against england and blood youngsters. Yuvi again no good against england with swan spinning. Kohli captain and remove dhoni from odi also bring in dinesh karthik and give kohli complete new team to manage and get ready for 2015

Posted by atuljain1969 on (January 3, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

Indian selectors wasted an excellent opportunity to blood young talent, which cannot play worse then the current lot, who has lost any motivation to play good cricket, now that their future is secured in IPL hands.

Now Australians are coming, so far we could not play Fast bowlers outside India, then England proved that our batsmen cannot play SPIN even in home conditions. Now Aussi pacers will beat us 4-0 in home conditions, and with that whatever is left of Indian cricket shall be burnt to ASHES.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 3, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

@KiwiRocker "Pakistan has actually drew their last series against Australia on seaming wickets in England. Now one would call it a huge achivement as Australia is more at home in UK than Pakistan."

Drawing a 2 match series is an achievement ?

My complain is that trolls like you (who copy paste the comments with all your hatred in multiple forms) should not be allowed to post such distorted views/stats.

@UK_Chap you are another pakistani fan. please check that what rahane-fan wrote was in response to another pakistan fan (about paks performance in Aus and Eng not in UAE).

I agree India is not the best outfit out there but so is pak and their fans better be praising their own teams victories rather than derailing indian and indain fans.

Posted by golgoal on (January 3, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

@KiwiRocker -- "KiwiRocker" really? Sure you are not Mohamed Abdullah or some such thing? Very ashamed of being a Pakistani??

Posted by Rahul_78 on (January 3, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

It will be total failure on part of selectors if MSD manages to retain the leading duties past 4-0 drubbing against OZ and Eng overseas and 2-1 loss against Eng in India. Selectors are a professional bunch with a duty to select best possible XI to represent the country. The results clearly indicates that Captain, Coach and the selectors have totally failed in the job assigned to them. Investments in to Pujara and Kohli have started to reap benefits and in case of Rohit, Raina and Yuvraj it has failed when it comes to test cricket. So where are the others in the wings? Rahane, Tiwari and Co must be at their wits end to know what needed to be done to break into a team whose batting has consistently failed to post 400+ runs in home and away conditions. Who is breathing down the neck of Ashwin and Ojha to warrant a selection as specialist spinner? None! What is BCCI doing to heal the weakness in spin department? Has anybody bothered to call one Mr.Kumble.

Posted by Nampally on (January 2, 2013, 20:30 GMT)

There is lot of light in the tunnel right now if Selectors switch right bulbs ON!. It is right Leadership that will switch such bulbs & light up India.The real problem is the POLITICS - which always ruins everything.The situation would be lot different even if steps were taken before the England Tour. Instead of sending a team of Cripples,they could have sent young, Fit & talented guys. Winning attitude starts with the selection of a good balanced team. Lessons learnt from each loss needs to be implemented immediately.The Selectors failed each time as recently as after the Mumbai Test. By finding the opposition weakness & exploiting them to your advantage is half the battle.But if wrong players are put in to execute the job, then you fall flat on your face.The Selectors, Team Captain & full team has to be of right composition to win. India never picked such a combo & hence failed miserably.Even the 2nd ODI Team Vs. Pak. proves this point - the best guys available are omitted -POLITICS?

Posted by WAKE_UP_CALL on (January 2, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

Atleast ganguly can be given credit for changing the indian attitude towards playing in foreign lands who had eyes of an hawk to spot the talent whereas dhoni seems a one eyed monster cyclops who has taken back the team to 90,s era.everyone who says that dhoni had a weak team to play for has a head of an ostrich buried deep in the sand.dhoni is sorely responsible for crippling indian cricket.everyone knows how much power he possesses as revealed by mohinder amarnath.he gets to choose as one can see jadeja even after playing more than 50 odi has still not produced one happy memory about his effective contribution.only dhoni see's sobers in jadeja.dhoni as a batsman does backs himself with some gritty innings but his tactics as a leader and visionary only reflects his limitation to club level.everyone hated greg chappell however he was the first one to point out the significance of shaking the casual attitude of senior players and as a result he was thrown out.

Posted by CricOr on (January 2, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

Comparison of Test Series Defeat at home to the World Cup Defeat in WI by the Indian Cricket captain speaks of respect for true cricket present Indian players have.

Posted by VickGower on (January 2, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

Why are we bent on doing with Dhoni, what NZ did to Ross Taylor, which is to shoot the wrong guy for the evils of a team in transition/with mediocre performers. Show me a team with this quality of test bowlers/batsmen/fielders and I will show you a captain who is no punter (who actually was no punter either when he lost his big guns). Even with the kind of bowling unit Australia has (every single bowler better than India's) they are a 3rd ranked test team, aren't they. So let us get real folks. Give Dhoni a team that has at least one functioning unit before we punch him silly and drive him out of cricket.

Posted by WAKE_UP_CALL on (January 2, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

contd..which any spectator can make out.he is the sheer negative energy in indian cricket team.Sehwag has always played the way he has but atleast he has the capability to play match winning innings and since sachin will retire very shortly so india should back sehwag for couple of years maybe py pushing him down the order.bowling was always a concern for india but the fab 4 always shadowed it by scoring huge pile of runs everywhere in the world.what worries me now is that there is not a single spinner that one can throw a ball to in indian pitches.ashwin is more of a one day bowler and a bit overrated.ojha still not capable of being the strike bowler.kumble and harbhajan of past always made sure the overseas batsman bite the dust on indian pitches but now its the opposite.india team doesnt need quality players it already has .bring in unmukt chand in odi and then groom for test as an attacking test opener in future.also baba aprajit an off spin bowling all rounder should be groomed in

Posted by 30-30-150 on (January 2, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

@MiddleStump.. PRAGYAN OJHA is No.9 in ICC Test Rankings and he happens to be a spinner :)

Posted by WAKE_UP_CALL on (January 2, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

George Washington once said "Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses" and that has been the true story of indian cricket who have fallen on its face time and again.teams loose and yes there are whitewashes faced by many test playing nations however what really hurts as a fan is that there was no shame in some of the players (esp gambhir)and the outgoing selection committee(srikant now a guest on news channels poking mistakes at current losses) and no one is learning from the fact that it if the team is under transition then HELLO deserving young talents(who are turning old without given a chance) must be welcomed with complete backing.And for god sake what is there in gambhir.man he has nothing done special in test cricket for india and he braggs that so what he hasnt made a century.one should punch on his face and tell him that its about averages also which is pathetic and more disgusting is the selfish display of his batting which

Posted by UK_Chap on (January 2, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

Rahane-fan : I almost forgot, Pakistan also beat England 3-0 in a test series in the UAE in early 2012. There is no need to denigrate the achivements of others, just exalt the achivements of your own team like many other Indian fans already have on this forum.

Posted by UK_Chap on (January 2, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

Rahane-fan : There is no need to throw your toys out of the pram, it is good to have a lively debate. You do need to get your facts straight though. You are correct in saying that Pakistan lost their last tour to Aus and Eng in 2010. What you neglected to include was that they drew a test series in the same year in England against Aus 1-1. They also beat Aus 2-0 in a two match T20 series in England in the same year. Since then, they have also won the Asia cup. Coming to your point about the Test series in England, throughout the 80`s and 90`s Pak toured England four times and they won three consecutive series, in 1987, 1992 and 1996. During the same period in time India toured England four times and won one series in 1986. Finally in late 1998/9 Pakistan beat India in the Asian test match Championship final to win that cup.

Posted by aravabalaji on (January 2, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

For India to succeed in Tests, we need players with solid technique and temperament to stay long. The middle order should consist of players like Badrinath, Pujara, Rahane & Tiwari and not Raina, Rohit or Jadeja. Our policy of picking players on ODI performances should change. For years, Dravid & Laxman were never part of ODIs. While the flashy players always make the cut, it is really baffling to see a player like Badri being treated indifferently. In 2010-11, he scored 1200 runs @ an average of 110 with 5 centuries & 5 fifties but was never given a Test outing. Whereas players like Murali Vijay enjoys the backing in spite of indifferent performance. Ridiculous.

Posted by gbqdgj on (January 2, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

@Rorzz - mostly good posts but your response to the Sehwag debate just had me in stitches....seriously, just because someone has scored huge hundreds in the past (and I am a huge fan of his batting) it doesn't mean he still is. If that were the case then I think England should sort out their number three batting conundrum by recalling Gower...I mean in the last 30 years he has scored some magnificent hundreds and double hundreds and is one of the most graceful batsmen around...BTW to the other poster on here who said that Dhoni is the 2nd best keeper batsman in the world...to my mind he isn't even in the top 4 and even if he were he is that he is so far behind Prior and ABdV (in tests, though I absolutely agreeabout his quality in ODI & T20) that he would need a Michael Clarke type year to get elevl with them.

Posted by ProdigyA on (January 2, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

From the intoxicating highs of 2011 to the wreched new lows of 2012, who would have thought. I do not agree that there no light at the end of the tunnel. If anybody watches domestic matches, believe me, there is tons and tons of talent in Indian cricket just going to waste year after year after year, not sure how many Sachins we have lost. All it needs is some bold and brave decions from the BCCI. Its now or never.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

i dont think india cricket future is bleak..instead in my opionion we have great talented young players in domestic arena than any other cricketing nation..,if we groom& build good bunch of fast bowlers for test team who can destroy any batting line up..india will again definetely regains its number one spot..in test cricket..,there are many bright young bowlers like ishwar pandey,shammi ahmed,awana,b.kumar,rp singh,aron,.. they must be carefully groomed and picked at right time..,the vacant slots of rahul,laksham in batting will be filled in due course as india a vast pool of great budding young batsmen.. just selectors must pick best out of good young players....

Posted by ganesh_indian on (January 2, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

why young indian players not opting to play in the english county?? that could be a great exposure to a totally different pitches.and ranji trophy points allotment must be re thought.almost every team play for 1st innings lead.and ranji trophy pitches most of them are flat encouraging only the batsmen.i feel sorry for the young pacers in india.they cant get wickets on such flat track and they get frustrated and either lose their pace or line.Nurture the bowlers from the domestic circuit that could be the only solution.

Posted by 30-30-150 on (January 2, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

@Cric_info_pak.. Pak haven't done any better than India, in England and Australia.. Pak in Aus 2010- 3-0 whitewash.. Pak in Eng 2010- 3-1 loss.. India won the Test series in England in 2007 while Pak have been totally thrashed throughout the history in England. Even in Aus, India would have won the Test series in 2008 had it not been for the poor umpiring at the Sydney Test. A month later, they showed their class by winning the CB series beating australia 2-0 in the "Best of 3 finals".. India were No.1 Test team for 2 years :) India also won the 2011 wc after thrashing Pak in the semis. got any excuses for that too?

Posted by venkatesh018 on (January 2, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

i agree with Arvind Singh: India should stop playing Test matches. They are only degrading the Test game by their pathetic attitude towards it.

Posted by hnlns on (January 2, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

They need to shunt out non-performers first if they want to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If they stick to past records and retain non-performers, then the tunnel might not have no end to see any light. Our selectors need to be harsh and decisive in this regard.

Posted by Cricketfan101 on (January 2, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

@ middlestump ohja is ninth icc test rankings care to justify that?

Posted by annys on (January 2, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

Indian Cricket is in a phase of transition and i can understand that its not easy for these youngsters. The fact i cannot understand is how poorly BCCI runs cricket even after the poor results in England, Australia and the home series loss to England they have not learnt their lessons.Just take for instance India 'A' team selected to face England,Mukund and Vijay have been selected as openers,now how did that happen:). BCCI needs to appoint a cricket director suggest Kumble/Ganguly for that role, we need to have seperate batting,fielding and bowling coaches for all three formats, Rahul dravid, laxman sivaramkrishnan,vvs laxman, kapil dev ,Amarnath,Binny are fews names which come to my mind. we need to have a special programme for pace bowlers coz for winning in tests abroad they are crucial.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (January 2, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Sure way to get India back on track - Indian cricket FANS SHOULD QUIT IPL!!! Ranji players should be compensated a reasonable amount instead of IPL riches.

Posted by SamRoy on (January 2, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

The biggest problem are the selectors. They are paid good money but still don't know how to select a good team. Still pick Tendulkar and Sehwag who have nothing more to give. Still pick Gambhir for test matches (and now there is a rumour that he is going to captain in tests) when he hasn't scored a test century in more than 3 years. Drop all these 3 and bring in promising youngsters and next year will be far brighter than this year. And remove Dhoni from test captaincy. Give it to Ashwin.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 2, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

@Kalyanbk, You are absolutely spot on.Even i have noticed....there are few people here including KiwiRocker, their sole purpose is to demoralize Indian cricket team and fan whenever they gets a chance.Why don't they simply concentrate on their own team's performance???

Posted by kalyanbk on (January 2, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

One really feels for people like Kiwi Rocker. How can one be so consumed by hate towards a particular country or team that one has to obsessively follow all posts of that team and make disparaging remarks. A much better life can be had by instead supporting the team that you like instead or even better going out and enjoying life and not worry about the team you do not like.

Posted by bmans on (January 2, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

Its high time now that BCCI should stop controlling things and handover to the best in business. Look at last 1 and half year and you'll see there were too many mistakes made by BCCI/Indian Selectors. It all started with BCCI selecting a wrong coach for the job. Only God knows the reason behind this. Then it was continuing Dhoni as captain of tests after the 8-0 loss to Eng, Aus. Then it was sticking to same opening pair of Sehwag-Gambhir even when they were not able to make any runs. CHANGE is ESSENTIAL and its time now BCCI should look further. What is the reason for Robin Uttappa not able to make it to the Indian team?? Is it because of a SPAT b/w him and Dhoni few years back or because Dhoni doesnt like him.

Dhoni is a good captain only when PLAN A is working for him.

India should drop Rohit Sharma and try Robin Uttappa or Unmukt in ODIs and T20's and try Wasim Jaffer or Rahane as test opener. Irfan Pathan should be back for limited overs. Groom new spinners. Look beyond...

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

@ kiwi_rocker.... yeah, talking about 1982 drubbing...great....you need to go back ages to find such an instance... n how come pakistan kicked out australia in wc2011??? i thought india kicked australia out in quarters, n owned pakistan in semis??!!!! lol....get the facts right man...

Posted by Bruisers on (January 2, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

@KiwiRocker- It wasn't Pakistan.. It was India who kicked Australia out of 2011 WC, if it's the cricket World Cup you're talking about.

Posted by Edassery on (January 2, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

Well, the recent slump or downfall of Indian cricket is purely by design as BCCI's priorities are around IPL and making the Indian body the richest in the world. They are hardly bothered about India's long term cricket and test cricket in particular.

Dhoni's comparison of World cup exit in 2007 (where he himself played irresponsibly) with where the test cricket stands today sums up things. Everyone - BCCI, players and average Indian fan - is interested in only shorter formats that make quick bucks through instant heroes.

Posted by Bruisers on (January 2, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

@KiwiRocker- You are talking as if Tendulkar will never play for India again. Relax mate, he has retired only from ODIs, he will continue playing Tests. Moreover, he gets the 'standing ovation' every time he comes out to bat. So nothing more he can wish for, to be honest.. He will get the farewell from the team when he retires from Test cricket as well.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

As long as there is I.P.L. Indian cricket will not look upwards.Due to this 20-20 format Players are losing all the abilities to survive in the longer version of cricket -that is TEST CRICKET-the ultimate in cricket.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 2, 2013, 9:04 GMT)

Shan156: This review was for Indian team and not Pakistan. You are in wrong section mate! Agreed that Pakistan has a poor record against Australia in Australia. There is no denying that and part of reason has been Pakistan's poor batting. However, Please get your facts right. Pakistan has actually drew their last series against Australia on seaming wickets in England. Now one would call it a huge achivement as Australia is more at home in UK than Pakistan. Australians are reluctant tourists to Pakistan but Pakistan had white washed Australia in 1982. If Pakistan is poor in Australia then Australia is no better in Pak either. Actually Australia is Pakistan's bogey team now a days.Pak kicked them out of WC2011 and T20 World cup! Siatuation with India is different. India lost to England 4-0, to Australia 4-0 and to add more insult lost to England at home too 2-1.Now that is some drubbing! sachin_vvsfan : What are you complaining about? This featured comment is a great idea by CricInfo!!!

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

"Complacency breeds stagnation" is the right phrase to describe the state of Indian Cricket Team. Almost every Indian player seems to have reserved their place in the team for at least 10 years irrespective of their performances. For example, look at Gambhir, he hasn't evolved himself as a batsmen in facing the throat high rising deliveries from fast bowlers nor improved his footwork playing against top swing & spin bowlers. He times the ball al-right but it looks as if though he has applied some glue underneath his shoes which doesn't move much and remains stuck in the batting crease. It's time now for the selection committee to apply strict policies such as if any player failed to perform in 3-4 consecutive matches must be dropped immediately from the side. In this way, no player will take his place in the team for granted and strives to perform his best in every match. THIS IS CRICKET & NOT A GOVERNMENT JOB TO FIX YOUR PLACE UNTIL YOU RETIRE!

Posted by mlkt on (January 2, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

ONLY THING IN WHICH OUR TEAM EXCELLED WAS THEIR STATEMENTS IN PRESS CONFERENCES......remember gambhir and ishant in england, rohit sharma in aus(even before the start of series), then again ashwin in australia, AND ABOVE ALL, our captain MSDHONI.. his media statements were always full of excuses ranging from conditions, weather, pitches, injuries, etc......

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 7:53 GMT)

2013 will be no different from past two years, If the BCCI and selection committee do not wake up and do the necessary changes. What the team needs is a healthy competition among players which is not present now, axe those who are not performing and build up strong bench strength with rotation policy. If these are not done then 2013 will be much worse, Indian team may end up at bottom of table in all formats.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

This is a very well written article and I thoroughly endorse its sentiments.In addition I wonder if the financial rewards are taking the ability to cmpete out of the cricketers.Why slog when you can earn easily ?

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

In eve of second one day its my analysis; i think two change i reckon virat replace to rahane and rohit place to amit at same side i reckon two change in pak team azhar ali replce to ahmad sehzad and irfan replaced by wahab riwaz and m hafeez batted should number4 and yonous khan is number3 as sehzad opener. As India side Dhoni come as Number 4 he is ur best in form batsman so should come up in the order and yuvi 5 ashwin 6 raina 7 and amit as number8 if india follow that number strong posiblity to win the match.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 2, 2013, 7:35 GMT)

The coach needs to be sacked immediately.IPL started way back in 2008 and if that would have affected our performance that much then we couldn't have won the test matches against Aus,SA,NZ,WI,SL apart from WC 2011. I think this coach is too busy transferring his salary back home.Indian team really needs strategy/skills/motivation/planning and above all good dressing room environment.All these are the duties which a head coach is supposed to do.But going by the attitude of our team......all of these are missing in our team.Remember in what circumstances John Wright took-over and changed the course of Indian cricket which resulted ultimately in India Winning WC 2011.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

I think we need scouts like they do in US to spot talent in rugby or baseball. our selectors are incapable of finding good talent especially in the bowling department.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 2, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

First Drop Fletcher, his contribution is Zero. Appoint Ganguly as team Manager, Tendulkar Mentor, Dravida Coach as well as Batting Coach, Zaheer Swing Bowling Coach, Shaun Pollock Fast bowling Coach, Shane Warne (Leg-Spin Coach) and Murli (Off-spin Coach), Jonty Rhodes Fielding Coach and Robin Singh: Assistant fielding Coach, Klusner (finisher coach) and Adam Gilchrist WK coach. Gilchrist. Its high profile coaching XI, but if BCCI really wants to improve the cricket in India than they can afford this or more than this eg. special coach for every player.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 2, 2013, 7:05 GMT)

@Alkais:I agree on the fact that Rohit Sharma should be given a chance in test cricket.He looks a much established test batsman.But it's absolutely ridiculous that he needs a long rope.He has been consistently given a chance since his advent in T-20 WC 2007.The amount of opportunity he got in ODIs & T-20,nobody would have got in the history of Indian Cricket.Nobody should be allowed to take his place for granted as far as their selection in Team India is concerned.

Posted by soumyas on (January 2, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

Some one at the top order should stand long enough to score 100's and to hold innings to post winning totals, Before it used to be Sachin,Dravid,laxman,ganguly. Recently it used to be sehwag,gambhir,kohli. But now former 4 are gone, later 3 are not in form. So whatever the efforts from remaining batsmen aren't enough to post winning total. Bottomline is "Top order should fire". How to fix it ? Leave deaf leopard sehwag, get Rahane in his place. Include Pujara in ODI team. Wickets are still important in ODI's. Never go for Jadeja in any formats, we have lost too many matches over 4 years due to his poor performances at critical times. forget Rohit sharma too. Bring Yadav back in bowling, also need one more fresh fast bowler.

Posted by UglyIndian on (January 2, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

@valleypf - Thank you for mirroring my sentiments to the core. I've been saying this for a while now, and it is reflective of not just Indian cricket, but India as a nation itself. Too much self-congratualtion and adulation, and too much in-your-face jingoism, a relfection of a very unhealthy society.You got it absolutely right, when you said India is a bubble. There is no structural and more importantly 'leadership' support to sustain this.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 2, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

@KiwiRocker "If you include 2011, Indian test team has now lost 10 of their last 13 test matches"

DOn't write rubbish. I haven't even bothered to check stats but i remember we won NZ 2-0 and won 1 against Eng and drew 1 that itself makes the count (matches that we have not lost) 4 How about writing some stories about your own pakistan team which is yet to play in Aus and Eng. Lets c how shameful your batsman perform in overseas.

And whats this new Featured Comment? Just to stir things more?

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

The problems in Indian Cricket can only be rectified if the concerned people accept the problems that exist today. At present, the team ias well as the authorities are in denial. The team is jumping from one fixture to another and from one format to another. Just as a test series is finished, we now have a surfeit of limited over games till the next test series starts at the end of February. When the test series against Australia finishes IPL begins and I bet all the problems will be swept under the carpet. The culture has gotten so bad and this has spread from BCCI to the team and everybody concerned.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

We are not recognizing the real problem in Indian cricket demise viz IPL. Players no longer have the will and eager to play for nation as they get crores with mediocre performance in IPL. Indirectly people of India who watch IPL and support it have to be blamed. If there was no IPL players will take test and India cricket seriously as there is no other source of popularity. So its peoples choice that they want Indian team to fall down and see IPL.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

There is problem right now in almost every department...openers not firing, middle order is inexperienced, fast bowlers are well mostly injured & spinners are no more the "fear factor"....this whole 2012 has been one of the worst for team India....but given the talent we have in our country, we can surely look forward to a bright future...only question is properly utilization of the talents

Posted by venbas on (January 2, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

If only Mr Pawar, Srinivasan and co. of the BCCI can tranlate their misplaced optimism and words into hard nosed actions, there can be some light at the end of the tunnel...else whatever light that comes across will only be that of another passing train to quote the inimitable Sidhu. The current team needs a major shakeup no less starting from the Test captain, Coach and down to the last bowler. Unless that is done, the excuses will continue to flow until the day BCCI would be forced to schedule test matches with weaker Associates just so that India can get some wins!!!

Posted by postandrail on (January 2, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

It seems to me that Indian Cricket reflects the Nation as a whole. I hear Indians boasting about being a World economic superpower when most homes don't have toilets, children are used as cheap labor, millions live under pieces of tin and education is simply a dream. A small success in any field and Indians suddenly are leading the World in their own opinions, but actually not in anyone else's. It's all an illusion, a bubble that has no sustaining substance and is quickly pricked. Just being picked in the Indian Test Team makes a player a National Hero, he doesn't need to do anything else. In SA and Australia he not only has to get into the Team, he must stay there and be a champion for a decade before he becomes a hero. Too many little Kings in Indian Teams and Administration. Too many little Kings who reach the foothills of Mount Everest and stop there and never realize that actually climbing the mountain is what success means.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

Probably makes sense for the Indian players and selectors to accept the simple fact that the golden period, featuring some of the all time greats of Indian cricket, is finally over. The time for rebuilding and a complete overhaul is now ! We can either select youngsters and watch them stutter before reaching heights of success over the next few years or continue with some tired horses who will drag the team under for a few years before the whole wagon stutters to a stop and the rejuvenation period only starts after the 2015 WC or so....this is going to be an interesting year either way...for all those saying what is the worst that can happen after 2012...well hopefully we won't find that out !!

Posted by xylo on (January 2, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

So, can I assume that this author always thought of the team as a unit when going gaga over the 100th 100 that was, surprise, in a losing cause?

Posted by here2rock on (January 2, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

India will stop playing Test Cricket in the next 5 years. It is not on the top of the BCCI's priority list. The main objective is to generate more revenue. It is not run as a sports body but more like a business enterprise. It makes more sense to play longer IPL and T20s tournaments. There is no major market for Test Matches in India. We will continue to see it struggle in this format.

Posted by Alkais on (January 2, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

Dhoni shud be blamed for destroying Rohit,Rahane as Test player. Both these players should have been selected in the team when they were playing in Australia. Now in the last test, Ravindra Jadeja was selected as specialist batsmen. Ridiculous selection. Rahane should have been selected , but didnt. Rohit was in best form before australia series, he was part of the Touring Test Side. He should have been selected. Atleast chance should have been given in Last test in Adelaide, but not given. They should have been given chances to fail. Thanks to his liking for certain bits and pieces player like Ravindra Jadeja. Its time, he is sacked as Test Captain. Give the reins to guy like Gambhir, but even he is not contributing to Team's cause. He is not playing well. Maybe captaincy will make him more responsible. Rohit,Rahane,Tiwary,Pujara are the future of Indian Cricket. Rohit is too good a talent to be wasted.This is the right time invest in Rohit,give him long rope.

Posted by Lovetesh on (January 2, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

With the retirement of Legends - Laxman, Dravid, Sachin and the poor results at overseas and home, Team India is now in rebuilding phase. Instead of having high hopes for 2013, management should look for new talents. Pujara and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar are two good finds in the past couple of months.

Posted by ruester on (January 2, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

It's good to see that a lot of fans don't rate kholi as a test player, the reason that the commentators laud him up is because the BCCI tell them to. They know they need to hype up the next big thing to replace Sachin so they can negotiate the huge TV deals. When Sachin finally decides to retire the BCCI do not have a box office name to negotiate with. It looks to me that Kholi has been chosen to be the next Sachin. Shame he has not got the technique or temperament to be a test player......but at least he can slog in IPL. He must be a great talent then! Pujara is the only player that looks like he can do the job for the Indian test team. I have a question.... Where has he been for the last three years?

Posted by wake_up_india on (January 2, 2013, 3:08 GMT)

Indian cricket (at least the Test version) may be headed where Indian hockey and football went decades ago.

Posted by Shan156 on (January 2, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

"Swann and Panesar, who picked up 17 of the 20 Indian wickets", Panesar took 11 and Swann took 8. That is 19 out of 20 Indian wickets.

@KiwiRocker, perhaps India's recent results are really poor but every team has its share of an humiliating stat piece - Pakistan have lost 13 and won 1 of its last 14 test matches against Australia. That one win was in 2010. Their last test win in Australia was nearly 20 years ago and their last 3 visits to Australian shores have resulted in 3-0 drubbings.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 2, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

kalyanbk: Yes and may be Indian blind team's win too..ehhh! You are clutching on straws mate! Indian Under.19 team was no more than a fluke. They lost their league matches. Actually, Indian blind team looks more promising. Surely, they can not do any worse than India's legends and swaggers who were all bundled at 29/5! I have a feeling that blind cricketers may play swinging bowl better than Yuvraj and Sehwag!

Posted by kalyanbk on (January 2, 2013, 2:25 GMT)

The article conveniently forgets India's Under 19 World cup win in Australia. It was away from home and in bowler friendly conditions.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

In my view, IPL is the future of the Indian cricket followed by T20 internationals and ODIs. These are the formats that are more exciting and entertaining. These are the formats suit the modern life style better. That's where the interest of the Indian audience lies too.

I hope that the BCCI, the selectors, captain and coach recognize this changed reality and take bold, decisive decisions. Test cricket should be played only for the sake of preserving an old tradition. India shouldn't play more than 6 tests in a calendar year. The focus should be on IPL and on the T20 and ODI World Cups. That's where excitement is, that's where entertainment is and that's where the Indian audience interest is.

English and Australian audience still like test cricket and these countries can play Ashes as often and as long as they wish. India doesn't need to copy England and Australia. A sports primarily needs to be local and suit the local interest.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (January 2, 2013, 1:24 GMT)

Rorzz on (January 01 2013, 15:30 PM GMT) I wholly agree this IPL adrelanin rush is only needed in a country devoid of contact sports at a competitive level. This in turn seems to have led to very unsporting crowds at tests, ODI's with no acknowledgement of opponents bowling, batting or fielding so different to the cricket loving Indian public we are repeatedly told about.

Posted by nyc_missile on (January 2, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

Fair analysis! But as most people pointed out,only if present setup persists.To me,Dhoni's impact(negative) in tests is not just the humiliating losses home & away,its also the fact that he almost destroyed Rohit,Tiwary and Rahane as potential test players.Everybody including Ian Chappell were crying for Rohit & Rahane to be included after 2nd test in Sydney,he still stuck to the same combination that failed miserably in 6 straight losses.He clearly has favorites but too bad they turn out complete misfits thus hurting the team more often than not.Ganguly also had his but they all deserved it.That's the difference,Dhoni is an awful spotter and if given options,a pathetic selector of talent too.To add to these,his utter spinelessness,indifference and lethargy on field as captain deflates the team.Unfortunately for Indian cricket,the keepers and guardians of it are themselves inept and shortsighted.New captain and gutsy selections needed ASAP!

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

PESSIMISTIC VIEW: To add to Sharda Ugra's writeup:

Sambit Bal wrote, some time ago, that India's 8-0 loss in England & Oz was due to: (1) India lacked energy and fitness, (2) skills were waning with advancing age, (3) the players didn't give themselves the best chance to prepare, (4) the fast bowlers had regressed and (5) the spinners couldn't spin the ball anymore".

To that article I added (6) Lack of honest self assessment (7) Megalomania of Board members and their feudalistic arrogance, (8) Excessive conflict of interest among people in power (9) Key commentators (who had the competence to give honest feed back) but unwilling, fearing loss of big $'s (10) thoroughly ineffective coaching staff - Chief , Bowling & Fielding ones (11) Poor talent scouting, (12) Risk averseness in trying out new talent (13) Poor mentoring, if & when new talent is found(13) Inadequate and infrequent use of a ''A" teams & (14) Refusal to retirement by guys beyond shelf life (15) Spineless selectors.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 23:39 GMT)

We hear that to INdia tests don't really matter, now T20's not really that important. How sad to have to devalue most of the game of cricket just to keep your pride in a failing team. You undervalue cricket as much as you sell yourself short. To these "50 over only matters - the rest was just a joke to us...honestly guvnor" Indian fans...What happens if you lose the ODI's ?Will you all then go back to Hockey and claim that cricket was just a laugh? You wallow in the idolization of retired heroes, reflecting their glory on current players with no where near their ability while pawning your dignitywith delusion and self deceit. And it is SELF deceit, because for all you blustering and protesting, the truth is crytal clear to just about every none INdian cricket lover in the world. Your current team is no where near as good as the team you had 10 years ago. It's as simple as that.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 1, 2013, 23:36 GMT)

I have never been a fan of Sachin Tendulkar (Tendulya). He has failed to win matches for India and failed to perform against the best bowlers of his era ( Wasim, Waqar, McGrath, Donald etc. However, I always admire longevity and endurance in any sportsman. Roger Fedderer has it...Boris Becker did...and Steve Waugh had it. I admire this quality in tendulya too. For me the lowest point in Indian cricket was when Tendulya had to retire after 23 years of service to his country without any standing ovation! This was a sad scenario. The man deserves a one last final farewell. This shows that how badly Indian selectors handled the whole situation. Dhoni and selectors are responsible for this. Even now, selectors need to talk to Tendulkar and ensure that series against AUstralia is his last series and he ends his career like Ponting did and deserves a final farewell for devoting 20+ years of his life to his country.I hope it does happen or else Tendulkar's legacy will become his biggest enemy!

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 1, 2013, 23:30 GMT)

Year 2012 had to be one of the worse years for Indian team. However, year 2012 busted many myths and exposed many weaknesses of Indian team. If you include 2011, Indian test team has now lost 10 of their last 13 test matches. I do not recall any top cricket playing nations having such a shameful record in recent history. India's openers are unfit non performers. India's overall bowling looks one of the worse in the field. However, as Sharda points out that biggest concerns is that Indian team and fans are in denial. India never deserved to be ranked No.1 in tests as a flawed ranking system pushed them upwards, however, they lost the plot and India's bench strength is non existant. Where is next Laxman, Dravid? Zaheer khan? Pujara is good but he has yet to play outside India. He is being over hyped. Blame lies with Indian selectors who could not drop Tendulya and has meant many promising players losing their oppertunity.Indian selectors need to show courage and make tough calls in 2013!

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 23:22 GMT)

The india of the 2000's was a strong batting line up with one or two world class spinners. They eschewed fitness and coaching in favour of the "cult of personality" Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Kumble, Baja ..... At the top of their game superb naturals that needed little tinkering and were best left to their own devices. Most teams are rarely blessed with such a huge abundance of talent in one go. New players with far less talent are now in the side and think that " a quick net and a chat with the coach about the weather" is how it's done. Not for them it isn't!. Now India have a top 6 with players no where near as talented as those of 5 years ago acting as if they can cruise through. They are mistaken. Caught up in their own hype and found wanting, India are notoriously "hard to coach" (to put it mildly) big ego's and big bellies - that's not going to be good enough for the next decade.

Posted by bonobo on (January 1, 2013, 23:19 GMT)

My view was, Dhoni should drop the gloves and focus on the Test captaincy and his batting....and hand over to Kohli the ODI captaincy. There is no ready made replacement at Test level, Kohli is still really proving himself, and Gambhir and to a lesser extent Shewag, are less certain of their places. But if, as hinted Dhoni, really is planning on packing on Test Cricket at the end of the year, because reduced formats are his priority....then just let him go. I would give Sehwag the job,w ith Kohli he deputy....and it would be a shame, Dhoni is 31, a very talented batsman in his prime, and India in transition cannot really waste that talent at test level....bit each to his won

Posted by EnglishCricket on (January 1, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

India has no chance against England we're too good for you guys in Cricket and can only beat us once in a blue moon.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 20:20 GMT)

Too late for a journalist like sharda ugra to take a stand on captaincy and coach. The biggest fault of dhoni has that he has failed to cultivate the habbit of practicing exceptionally hard before and during a marque series. After the melbourne test, he led the entire team to a frenzy holiday of 5 to 6 days. After the mumbai defeat the same thing happened with he himself taking off to attend a wedding. The lack of preparation, which in turn is because of the state of denial is the main reason for indian cricket's sorry state at the moment. Needless to say that a coach that is not capable to take a stand against all this should be sacked...

Posted by alfredmynn on (January 1, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

India have never been good enough to field a whole team of world-class test players. They've always lacked athletic ability in fielding and pace and rip in bowling. Until recently, the rather amateur fitness standards of cricket in general helped India compete with and occasionally challenge top teams. The gap between them and the top nations (in all formats, but especially in Tests) will only widen as cricketers approach the standards of athleticism expected in professional sports like tennis. They can probably hold on to a mid-table ranking if they try hard, but given the amount of money, ego and nationalism they have invested in the game, they'd need to believe they are the best. Test cricket has the irritating habit of only rewarding natural ability and dedication, and is therefore not optimal from the Indian point of view. What's required is a stage-managed local tournament where an Indian team always wins. Oops ... they already have that, and it's called the IPL.

Posted by Leggie on (January 1, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

Every team goes through a transition, and India's case is just the same. In Tests, though India were ranked #1, and had victories abroad vs WI, NZ, Pak, SL, SA, Australia and England, India never managed a series victory vs South Africa and Australia in their respective soils. India also had series defeats in SL, Australia and SA. While the #1 ranking was a "comparative" ranking, they were never a team that would bulldoze their opposition like the great teams of WI or Australia. There were always chinks in it's armory, but got covered by some fantastic individual performances. This transition is only magnifying these weak links. But I wouldn't go to the extent saying that it's all very dark out there. There is definitely talent - the likes of Unmukt Chand and Harmeet Singh being prime examples. What's really needed is some clear thinking on the part of Indian cricket administration and work on getting their priorities right. Currently there seems too much focus on IPL. This must change

Posted by rosh280 on (January 1, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

Indian cricket really has great future but there should be willingness to adopt changes in the selection process. They should atleast consider ranji and other class matches just like we judge school kids performance from marklist. We should play some of the great players like MURALI VIJAY, PUJARA, JALAJ SAXENA, BABA APARAJITH, ISHWAR PANDEY, BHUVANESH KUMAR, I D SINGH, NAMAN OJHA, PANKAJ SINGH, SUNNY SINGH, SUDEEP TYAGI, DEEPAK CHAHAR, RAHUL DEWAN, MURTYUJA VOHRA, SURYA KUMAR YADAV, MANISH PANDEY, MANDEEP SINGH and many young players but we should have strategies in picking players. bhuvanesh kumar is definitely a good talent. similarly we should also understand that he is a great batsman of suresh raina standard. similarly jalaj saxena, sunny singh, i d singh, manish pa ndey. we should never forget that we need great openers. no doubt MURALI VIJAY and PUJARA can be the great openers india can watch for. There is no point in trying simply sehwag, rahane, gambir. we need to nurture new

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

well for Indian team to recoup the following team should be selected for test matches(ODIs will take care of themselves if test cricket is given the respect it deserves)..Openers--Rahane/Viru(yes hes in the side just for captaincy we need to wait till Kohli/Pujara comes up..he cant do worse than hes doing now ..also the likes of Murali Vijay are even worse)..Pujara.Kohli.SRT(if hes in form against AUS we need him in SA if at all he proves good..again just no options right now).Dinesh Kartik.Bhuvider.Umesh/Aaron/Ishant,Ojha,Aswin (in India dont take him outside anywhere)..i know this wont happen but as a famous Hindi song goes...whats life without dreams..

Posted by Cric_info_pak on (January 1, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

@CricIndia208 wht u still beleive that india is most talented country.... well no fast bowler no good spinner,,, batman only bat on flat tracks... and talk about some defeats 4-0 in england 4-0 in austraila like bangladesh style ... just win one game in super six in Last 3 T-20 world cup.... now lost in your home ground against england and pakistan .,... well that is some talent....yeah i agree with u india got losing talent

Posted by Rorzz on (January 1, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

@The Rising Team. You say that tests are dead. Well the BCCI is trying to kill it as they'd rather get your money watching the IPL as an Indian team will win and you don't need any bowlers. Will suit them fine. If that's what you want to watch that's your prerogative. Though it's sad the IPL has stopped the SL/WI test series and in response the BCCI are paying those 2 boards off with a tri series that stops the SL/SA tests. So the BCCI hopes by killing most test cricket that you won't care that you'll never be any good when you don't produce fast bowlers and your spinners forget to take wickets. But the Ashes and SA will keep playing tests. We don't want to watch IPL. Smith's playing for Surrey instead. We watch football, rugby, Aussie rules instead. And the 200+ football countries won't ever get into T20, as football's a much better way of spending 2 hours watching sport. Test cricket may be dying in Asia, killed by the BCCI, but Eng/Aus?SA know only test cricket counts.

Posted by dailycric on (January 1, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

finally, finally, someone on cricinfo has come out and said that the captain and coach need to be changed, now! thank you, sharda!!!! and, what took so long? (was it prop-comm?)

Posted by Rorzz on (January 1, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

@Ravis123 - why do you think Kohli can keep carrying the team forward in test matches. Name me one truly great test innings he's played. Vs Aus, he played on a pitch that saw Ponting and Clarke score 200+ each. Vs Eng, he played on a pitch that saw Bell and Trott also score tons, MSD 99 and even Swann got a 50. His only other ton was vs NZ. And he's never scored more than 116. He's never been the highest scorer in a test match. And people think he'll be a great test captain? How can you be a great test captain if you've never been top scorer, never converted a ton into a big score, never scored a ton when it mattered in a series against a decent team? Pujara, on the other hand, will be an all time great. Bats like Dravid - a proper test player. Kohli's a great ODI slogger - a true great who may score 50+ ODI tons. But he's not a good test bat. But the BCCI won't let your commentators discuss this. No other sports body in a democracy tries this. Banana Republic CI.

Posted by Rorzz on (January 1, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

@Ruester - I'm English and Sehwag is a great because in the 10+ years at the top he's got 23 test tons at an average of over 50. Almost 45 away, over 55 at home. (44 vs Aus, 50 vs SA, 91 vs Pak.) I know he doesn't always play sensibly and is a lazy runner but you can't argue with those scores. Kohli, who everyone loves, averages less than 40. If you take out 3 home tests vs WI+NZ, who had no bowlers between them and one match was on a pitch which scored 1,000+ first innings runs, with 11 batsmen getting 50s, Kohli's test average is less than 30. Pujara's is 58. This is why Viru is a great, Pujara will be a true great and Kohli shouldn't even be in the test team, let alone captain. Great one day player, he may beat Sachin's 49 ODI tons, but he's never played a truly great test innings. Other than his 103 vs NZ, he's scored 116 vs Aus and 103 vs Eng, in the last test of the series when the series has already been lost. Why do people think VK should be capt? No good at tests.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

@ruester on (January 01 2013, 13:45 PM GMT)

It looks, you noticed / read mostly the sycophantic postings from the fans of Sachin & Sehwag. An equal number of Indians, if not more, had been asking for their retirement (voluntary or otherwise). Many of us had been asking for the ouster of Gambhir too, after his attitude has become lackadaisical, over the past year or so. It is more noticeable in his fielding. While batting, his personal desire to amass runs for himself is still visible, but often at the safety of the batsman at the other end...

Posted by Rorzz on (January 1, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

This ranking implies that India's Test cricket can safely get them past West Indies and New Zealand in Tests at home. ..... As I say, if you take those 3 matches out, Kohli's test average is 29.5 I can't believe people want his as captain. Pujara will be a true great at tests, Kohli won't. All 3 of Pujara's tons have been big. Kohli's top score in 116. This is the trouble with the BCCI stopping debate. They don't want you talked out of giving them your money. Forget Kohli's great one day tons, and think about tests only. Name me one truly great innings he's played. His 3 tons are 116 vs Aus and 103 vs Eng and NZ. That's it. Pujara has 135, 159 and 206 n/o. His 206* vs Eng, like KP's 158 at the Oval or Cook's 235* at Brisbane showed his talent. But forget all his ODI tons and tell me one test innings that made you think him a potential great. Because I haven't seen one. And according to the stats, he hasn't played one. 2 tons in the last test vs Eng and Aus, 1 vs NZ

Posted by Rorzz on (January 1, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

This ranking implies that India's Test cricket can safely get them past West Indies and New Zealand in Tests at home. ..... And when you take the 3 matches Kohli has played at home against WI and NZ out of the equation, his test average is less than 30. He's a truly great one day player but I can't believe people want him as test captain. Pujara averages 58 and will be an all time great test bat. Wait for him. Kohli's only played two good knocks, his tons against Eng and Aus. But even then, in all his 3 tons he's never scored more than 116. (Prior, for example, has never scored more than 136, but he bats at no.7 and of his 6 tons, 4 have been unbeaten.) MSD is the 2nd best wkt-kpr bat in the world and shouldn't be sacked for a) not being Gilchrist and b) not having any bowlers as the IPL is producing a generation of part-time spinners who are part-time sloggers but not good enough at either for test matches. People like Yuvi, Raina, Ashwin, Jadeja etc. This isn't MSD's faul

Posted by CricIndia208 on (January 1, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

What rubbish. India are the most talented team around. Few losses cannot change facts.

Posted by ruester on (January 1, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

Good article, as an England supporter I was delighted by the tepid performance of the Indian team but saddened by the blinkered views of many supporters and the BCCI. Why is Sehwag lauded by fans and commentators? He contributes rarely and fields worse than a sixty year old club cricketer. How can a national team allow for a player to field at slip (a vital position) who does not even crouch down in readiness to catch the ball? It is pathetic that the selectors and supporters do not see the need for Sehwag to be replaced. The same goes for Sachin after the 4 - 0 thrashing in England it was obvious that his time was up, he got humiliated against Australia and again in the recent series against England looked a shadow of himself. I am sick of the supporters saying keep Sachin he is a god and will come good. Please face it, he won't! Drop him and the rest of the old boys and build a decent test team again. I want to see a competitive Indian team for the good of world cricket.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (January 1, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

@HJ_verdict - He makes a very good point and you are aware its ODIs that makes Cricket by far the most revenue? does the 50 over world cup remind you of anything? just curious. Its true though that there are more than 40 Africa countries and only 1 plays it full time, more than 50 European countries and only 1 plays it full time etc just shows how unpopular Cricket really is in the 'real' world.

Posted by SeanoN on (January 1, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

Post Tendulkar all will come right. This overstated "HERO" SRT must go and go now fully! Even his bit by bit retirement ploy is causing more damage to India. Everyone plays in his shadow... Even though this shadow is running light in these quiet days.

Come on Tendulkar just go man. During these past 3 years India has been obsessed with your hundred hundreds and all else has faded into the background. One day someone in the distant future will write about your unlikely poor contribution in your twilight years to Indian cricket.

Posted by Prats6 on (January 1, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Let me put it this way, its not the failures which antagonize the fan; its the constant excuses that are given by BCCI. I was hoping that even if publicly BCCI are giving out excuses (and lets be honest, they cannot convince even a single soul out there), internally they knew that we are in dire need of direction and leadership. I am still hoping the same. We need to acknowledge that there will be failures in building a team, we should be prepared for the same. Lets start looking long term for Indian Cricket's sake. The IPL riches wont help the Indian Test team.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (January 1, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

I fully endorse Nutcutlet's views and would like to say that I enjoy Test cricket because that was the ultimate benchmark when I first started watching the game.While the shorter formats are also interesting, I must say that when I watch them I still look for the cricket skills in those games. No the marketing gimmicks. In regard to Indian cricket, I feel it is something similar to when Navjot Sidhu walked out because of differences with Azharuddin in the mid 90s. Then three great batsmen joined Tendulkar in 1996, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman and Indian cricket slowly started rising. It looks the same to me now. The names that we will hear about are Pujara,Kohli,Rahane,Unmukht,Bawne,Tiwary,and some others in batting,Bhuv Kumar,Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron,Shami Ahmed,Ish Pandey,Sandip Sharma,in pace bowling Harmeet Singh,Shahbaaz Nadeem in spin and Smit Patel in keeping. Some of these will become stars and will last a generation. I think Indian cricket is not badly placed at all.

Posted by ravis123 on (January 1, 2013, 11:58 GMT)

The future is bleak if BCCI fails to weed out the payers who have taken their places for granted. The future is bleak if players and officials in the BCCI continue to play politics at the cost of Indian cricket. The future is NOT bleak if the current state of affairs is seen as an opportunity and people like Suarav, kumble and Kapil are brought in to head the Selection panel, rather than have some BCCI cronies to head the game. Like Zaheer and Bhajji, it is high time to weed out non performers like Gautam, Sehwag, Sachin and Rohit from the test team and induct Rahane, Badri, Unmukt, Rayudu, Aparajit, Sandeep Sharma, Harmeet, Gautham and Satish, who along with Pujara, kohli can carry the torch for India going forward, in Test cricket. For unless slots are vacated, there is no way new talent can be TESTED. How long are we going to continue with stars who live on reputation rather performance? The future seems bleak bcos, Sharda, you seem to suggest that BCCI is unwilling to mend itself.

Posted by bala_kbs on (January 1, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

yes it is true india is heading to darkest of the tunnel.Till now we were proud of our spin attack atleast at home but look at the stats of this years first class season only one spinner in top 30 bowlers and that too ranked 29th very very shame.yet we dont produce quality fast bowlers despite top 30 being medium pacers.also look at batting charts there are either discarded or never get chance of their age or some in the current failed teams or some youngsters who perform like passing showers.I dont think in near future the gap of famous four as well as age old shewag,gambir,zaheer etc will be filled.very bad times ahead for indian cricket.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 1, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

@The Rising Team: the US has an end-of-season World Series in baseball, yet the world does not play baseball. We understand & do not object to the use of their traditional series' title. I think you need to understand that when an article appears on cricinfo - or any cricketing site - there's an understood shorthand: 'the world' means the cricketing world. Now, to turn to your next inaccuracy: it's just not a convincing argument to make an assertion (TC is dying & nobody cares) without evidence. You, and those who think as you do, are not everybody! And I am most certainly not nobody! Now, it's quite ok not to enjoy TC & prefer the bashing game; I happen to think the opposite & this world(!) is such a wonderful place you can enjoy your fun & pyrotechnics & I too can satisfy my intellect & be emotionally enriched by following TC, as I have for a while now. If you want my considered opinion, I believe that cricket will evolve into 2 forms: t20 & TC. ODIs cd be close to their sell-by.

Posted by Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on (January 1, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

Remember - Whatever goes UP must come DOWN !!! .... and apparently India are still on their downward journey !!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 1, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

A terse, timely article from you , Sharda. Thank you. I have long suspected that the BCCI is a place where massive egos compete, where deals are struck, where political alliances are made & just as quickly unmade if a better offer comes along & where the real competition has little or nothing to do with cricket. I have, I confess, been reading G. Haigh's Sphere of Influence. Now I have the authentic overlay of this article, to update Mr Haigh's professional journalistic expertise. The interests of Indian cricket, the planning & nurturing of young talent required for future success in all forms of the game - these are matters that are peripheral to the business of the BCCI. At a shrewd guess, their time is currently taken up with the machinations of extracting as much profit from the upcoming IPL & wondering how the impending departure of SRT from TC can be milked to the max. Indian cricket matters to the cricketing world; it really does. It's going nowhere until the house is cleaned.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

The team India must consist of all rounders rather than some batsmen, some bowlers attitude. Batsman like Sehwag may be having batting records superior to other members in the squad. But of late, he is off color and a big zero in the fielding. Members like Kohli, if he does not excel in batting, will contribute in fielding or bowling. So, the selectors must bear in mind to expel out of form batsmen and include all rounders to the squad

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (January 1, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

Its funny this article mentions the word 'world' sorry fact is the 'world' does NOT play Test Cricket nobody even shows up and watches it what is it? 10 countries of more than 200 says it all with 2 of them hardly play it anyway so technically 8 which just shows how bad of a state test Cricket is at the moment. Future belongs to ODIs and T20s especially in this day and age, Test Cricket is dying nobody cares.

Posted by BobCo on (January 1, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

While its been a low year, there were some positives to come out, and some things have become pretty clear, hopefully even to the crass BCCI and its selection committee (they banned the media discussing selection issues?! Wow!!). For one thing, the post-Dravid/Laxman era isn't going to be quite as bleak batting-wise as one might have thought. Pujara is definitely test class, and Kohli looks the part too (he'd be even better if he could tone down the ego!). Also, Dhoni needs to be moved on as test captain (Kohli, without that ego, is an excellent prospect there too) and Gambhir is just resting on old laurels; time to drop him and try one of the 6/7 openers knocking on the door. Zaheer, too, looks to be ailing. Thats really where India's problem is going forward -- bowling. There are several good prospects, but none have really stepped up. A nucleus of Dhoni, Pujara, Kohli, SRT (for a short time), and Sehwag looks ok to me, but start blooding some bowlers, please!!!

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

Since I started to see some serious crickets around the world cup happened around years 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007, 20011 and the following seasons 1996-97, 1999-2000, 2003-2004 is repeated here.. following the year 2011-12, Lets see How it goes till 2015.. We need to stay together to improve our performance... The only system[even without DRS] the rotating team players by giving rests, was helping Indian cricket to lift the WC, after that we only played, played, played only fancy cricket, debated our teams performance while there should have been plan to improve youngsters through regular 4 day matches [rather than T20.] Please don't ask the players to get discouraged, but list out the action need to be taken to sustain the existing skills and improve on it actually to improve before 2015 WC. Thanks

Posted by Selfishkar on (January 1, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

Beyond selectors, please get rid BCCI paid honchos in the commentary box - Gavaskar, Shastri, Ganguly.

Posted by Rags57 on (January 1, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

The best that needs to be done for the series against Australia is to have two new opening batsman - have Rahane and Murali Vijay/A Mukund open. Get Bhuvanesh Kumar to open the bowling with Umesh Yadav. Have a spin bowling coach (no one better than Kumble). Have Kohli take over from Dhoni as captain. I would give Dhoni a few chances purely as a wicket keeper batsman without the captaincy head ache and if he does not deliver get some one like Dinesh Karthik or Saha to come in his place. This will be a great team from a grooming up for the long term perspective. Hope Sandeep Patil and Co make these bold decisions. I see India doing really well against Australia with these changes.

Posted by shabbir on (January 1, 2013, 8:05 GMT)

There is light at the end of if Indian batting improves, we knew about the woes against the fast bowling, but spin was our hallmark and our batsmen are unable to play spin at all and are at sea against Monty and Swann and now are clue less against Ajmal and Hafeez. Less said about bowling be its fast or spin. Batting is just risty they should come out of it if they practice but the bowling needs time and very good bowling coach to go with as we have talent but are unable to deliver.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

There IS light at the end of the tunnel, IF YOU ARE WILLING TO LOOK FOR IT. For example, Ajinkya Rahane & Cheteswar Pujara can easily replace Sehwag & Gambhir as India's openers! Some may say they are NOT regular openers! So was the case with Sachin-Sehwag combo, who exploded on the ODI scene and continued their dominance for so many years! . Now it is their turn to pass the baton to a new young, talented and hungry pair.

For bowling options, look beyond the tried and tested (discarded & recalled). Look at the Under 19 team which won the world cup in Australia. Look at Harmmet (spin), Sandeep (pace). Look at new boys coming up like Ishwar Pandey. Look at a new Jadeja, a debutant who spun out six wickets in an innings on a pitch where Pujara got a double ton, where he scored the last 50 in 17 balls. Look. Instead of despair. Experiment boldly. Instead of retiring with a feel of gloom and doom.

Selectors. Shed fear of BCCI. Shed nepotism. Shed hero worship. Do good for Indian cricket

Posted by balajit on (January 1, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

Well, There is light at the end of the tunnel. The future is not that gloom!

The writer forgot one silver lining for Indian cricket i.e Under -19's win in Australia. It shows Indian cricket does not lack talent. Players like chand, harmeet, sandeep sharma are surely future India players if handled well.

Also selectors who are paid, need to consistently watch domestic cricket to spot talented players who can play for the country.

Indian cricket will continue to come up with exciting talent, however it would be important that the powers that be handle these talent well(especially fast bowlers), groom spinners & plan properly for any overseas tour ( have ample practice matches) & ensure to hire a proactive coach but also entrust him with proper powers to run the team.

BCCI also would do well to embrace DRS.

Hoping to see better performance from Indian cricket Team in 2013.

Wishing all fellow Indian cricket fans & all cricket lovers across the globe a happy new year 2013.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (January 1, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

India does have very good batting talent coming through , the real problem is in 2 areas - one- our openers are consistently letting team down with poor starts , may be its time we go back to old ways where openers can blunt the new ball attack rather than try and score at 7 rpo... second - we need to find at least 2 international quality fast bowlers , our best time in tests came when zaheer was going gr8 (with occasional good spells from sreeshant and ishant)..

Posted by spinkingKK on (January 1, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

To me, Tendulkar's retirement from the ODI's is just an eye-wash. It makes no sense. He doesn't play many ODI's anyway these days. He is only struggling in tests. In fact, he is still a very good ODI player and there is no need for him to retire to prepare for a world cup which is a millenium away. When the team lose, it becomes a culture. India should have fielded their best team in all the ODI's to stop the decline of the team morale. The writing was very much on the wall that India was going to lose to England at home. I was surprised when they won the first test and made me rethink about the skill levels of Ashwin and Ojha and the form of Sehwag. The truth of the matter is, India dragged on with their old batsmen too long and they are not prepared to learn on that subject unless it was VVS.Laxman, who never had the privilege to stay in the team past his best. They are still carrying the baggage of Tendulkar and Sehwag that the youngsters can survive with 1 century every 5 tests.

Posted by wakaPAK on (January 1, 2013, 4:36 GMT)

Are you kidding me? BCCI stopped commentators from talking against DRS or selection?????????????? Was it really 2012 or India back in stone ages? This is so unfair, I wonder why no one took a stand against it; Maybe India was a better team but it was due to those people in BCCI wit such ridiculous views that India nosedived after whatever it have achieved before that. There are some very negative minds in BCCI but let me tell them if you so believe in your principles than at least have the guts to give your orders in writing. BCCI, you are pathetic! I will never say one more word because it will be a Pakistani talking against BCCI.

Posted by jimbond on (January 1, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

I don't agree that the future is bleaker. I think this is the lowest point for Indian cricket. The positive signs are: -because of this beating, the teams will undergo dramatic change and the deadwood will be cleaned- and replaced by new guys, who obviously cannot do worse - There are good players who are yet to get a run in International cricket- such as Rahane, Jiwanjot, Ishwar Pandey, Rishi Dhawan, B Kumar etc -Some of the old injured will be soon back-providing bench strength- Praveen Kumar, Sreesanth, Yadav, - even Pankaj Singh, and the new guys such as Sandeep Sharma and Sandeep Warrier, who cannot be worse than Ishant/Dinda -Fletcher's uninspired regime is almost over, and the new coach can only be better - Dhoni's limitations in test captaincy are exposed, and we would be having at least a new test captain, who may not be as bad (this point is however quite doubtful)

Because of these changes, there will be much to look forward to in Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 3:57 GMT)

India are now like the English team of the 90's, lot of promise , money that attracts foriegn talent to play county matches but results that were at below par.. the resurgence started with a coach and a captain desiring change.. India has this oppurtunity .... Fletcher must go ..you need a different captain for T20.. and also Gambhir, Sehwag and Rohit must be dropped for good.. Sad to see a player of Pujara's calibre not getting an ODI chance while you have Rohit with zero results playing again and again..get a new T20 team ready.. with only 3 players at the max from the main team.. let them loose but atleast try for a different result

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