Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, PSS, Colombo, 4th day August 11, 2008

India's cracks were everywhere

The defeat ultimately came down to a batting line-up that couldn't pull its weight
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Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were among the few bright spots for India in the series © AFP
 

India are regularly talked up as the team most likely to knock Australia off their perch but, on a day South Africa formally completed their seventh Test series win in eight, India's claim became that much more tenuous as they hurtled to their fifth defeat in their last 10 Tests against the strongest sides in the world [Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka]. The factors for losing this match, and the series, cover almost every aspect of India's cricket.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" said Benjamin Franklin a couple of centuries ago, sage advice that the Indian cricket board blithely ignores time after time. Prior to the Boxing Day Test last year, India had just one warm-up game and barely a week of acclimatisation. It was little surprise, then, when Australia romped home by nine wickets at the MCG.

On arriving in Sri Lanka last month, the Indians again played just one practice match, and left the SSC after an innings-and-239-run thrashing. Why do they never learn? Why is the itinerary always adjusted to shoehorn in meaningless one-day series? The lack of preparation becomes especially acute when the stalwarts of your batting order are no longer part of the one-day side. As long as the priority is quantity [and revenue], the team will continue to have all the substance of a plank of plywood.

The batsmen started in wretched fashion at the SSC, and with the exception of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, there were few silver linings as the series progressed. India's batsmen made one hundred [Sehwag's monumental 201 in Galle] and seven half-centuries [four from the openers] in the series, and didn't cross 330 even once. Sri Lanka had four centuries at the SSC alone, and they comfortably outbatted India in the series decider.

Australia conceded first-innings leads in every Test back in 2004, but still prevailed because their batsmen stockpiled seven centuries and four 50s. Without someone to dig deep and bat like Darren Lehmann and Damien Martyn did on that tour, India simply didn't have a chance. First-day scores of 249 don't win you Test matches on placid pitches, as Anil Kumble was to admit later.

The bowlers were just as culpable though. Barring Harbhajan Singh, who took 16 wickets, no Indian bowler averaged less than 30. Harbhajan and Kumble took 24 wickets between them, two less than the remarkable Ajantha Mendis, whose off breaks, peculiar googlies and carrom balls dismissed VVS Laxman on five occasions, and Rahul Dravid four times. After his exertions against Pakistan and Australia, Kumble appears to be running on empty, and the series against Australia could well be a watershed as far as Indian spin is concerned.

The pace bowlers had their moments, but couldn't summon up the consistency or the venom to break open the series. While it's true that slow bowlers tend to be the game-breakers in Sri Lanka, two of the sides to win here this millennium have shown the value of pace and seam movement. When England triumphed in 2000-01, Darren Gough took 14 wickets at 19.57 and Andy Caddick nine at 25. Three seasons later, Australia were indebted to Shane Warne's 26 wickets, but just as crucial was the contribution from Michael Kasprowicz [12 wickets at 25.16] and Jason Gillespie [10 at 31.6].

Enough has been said about the fielding shambles. Having given his all during one-day tournaments of paramount importance in Bangladesh and Pakistan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to give this trivial Test series a miss. His replacements were shocking, both with gloves and bat. Prasanna Jayawardene, the most under-rated wicketkeeper in the world, was immaculate with the gloves and also contributed 107 runs with the bat, including a priceless 49 at the P Sara. Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel aggregated 50 over six innings, and seemed to fluff more chances than they took.

Muttiah Muralitharan finished with 21 wickets at 22.23, par for the course in a home series, and India tackled him as well as could have been expected. What will really rankle, though, was the abject surrender - Sehwag and Gambhir apart - against Mendis, the only other bowler of substance in a wafer-thin attack. Chaminda Vaas wasn't the force of old, while Dammika Prasad will bowl a lot better and go wicketless.

Mendis and Murali wheeled away for an astonishing 324 overs and, aside from the openers, no one managed to collar them even once. When it mattered, they would either come up with an unplayable delivery or one of the fielders would pull off a stunning catch. The half-chances that invariably slipped through Indian fingers inevitably stuck in Sri Lankan palms.

Ultimately though, it came down to a batting line-up that couldn't pull its weight. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly finished with fewer runs than Prasanna, and when two of your biggest wheels fall off in such fashion, even the mightiest juggernaut will only end up in a wayside ditch. Beaten, broken, and ambushed by a man who likes to flick the ball with his middle finger.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Frank2008 on August 18, 2008, 12:50 GMT

    Another match,another pathetic performance by the indian batsmen.How could any1 have expected anything else.When india could not defend against mendis and co in the test series how can you expect them to attack.From the looks of things the only thing standing between India and a 5-0 drubbing is a certain Sehwag and Gambhir getting their act together.Unfortunately for India Sehwag might not even play the next odi.Its quite evident that India are only playing with 2 batsmen.With Sehwag out ,only Gambhir and upto a certain extent Dhoni look capable of countering the sri lankan spinners.The rest of the batting lineup is there only to make up the numbers.Dhoni should really consider coming in at no 3.He was the only one who played mendis with some degree of certainty in the asia cup final.Im really wondering why the indians are so reluctant to use the sweep shot.Get your front foot outside the line of the offstump and sweep as hard as possible especially the left handers would be my advice.

  • Maddysdad on August 17, 2008, 7:16 GMT

    The main reasons for the loss: "Decline of stalwarts (Sachin, Dravid & Ganguly). India should look beyond and start giving Yuvi, Rohit & Kaif more chances.

  • bat_and_ball2012 on August 15, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    As an Indian, I do feel incredibly disappointed at the loss. India is a great team with incredible potential, unimaginable amounts of talent, and we've managed to produce some of the greatest ever. So what has happened to us? We're put against a team of remarkable players... Murali and Mendis shining, and suddenly the greats of the world are crumbling? Tendulkar should pick up his game, he HAS potential, but he's just not playing! Same goes for Dravid and Laxman. The Wall and VVS did great things against Australia in Kolkata, winning after following on, why can't they pull it off again! People hear India and they think "cricket!", now if only our team can live up to that honour.

  • Cannuck on August 15, 2008, 5:52 GMT

    Thank heavens you cleared the air for the rest of us, that you are not an Indian. "PHEW" what a relief, I didn't know your real name was Darryl Hair! Now we don't need to waste our time anymore about your posts, as nothing better could have been expected from someone who crawled out of a BUSH! Keep your dictionary to your self, and get an Atlas & learn geography, as my name should tell you where I live (not in SL). Please put down your FOSTERS & read a book or two on compassion. With all due respect to the rest of our Aussie friends, all of whom are good folks, a few bad apples with bad_vision are left from the Prison Colony that was once Australia. I for one sympathize for your ignorance in both cricket & humanity.

  • vision_beyond_view on August 14, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    Cannuck there seemed to be no adequate facility on your troubled island to teach you proper english as if you use a dictionary(that may or may not be available on your island as if not i'll send it to you for free) you will understand the meaning of my name as vision beyond view is seeing what troubled and defective people can't see. Also this jawana guy seemed to be funny. Dude what a pathetic name you have got and do you even know "C" about cricket. These remarks are not inhuman but for defective and unnatural humans who just use there disabilities in there cracked backyard to win a game or two so rather there writing crap here just move and leave the comments to be written by people who not only know but win cricket like us "The Australians".

  • jawana on August 14, 2008, 13:01 GMT

    Just some words for VISION_BEYOND_VIEW, India lost because their main bats could not face the young SL bowler MENDIS along with MURALLI. It is a fact all of you should accept. You cannot diminish SL success by lame excuses. Calling SL playrs and even the whole island DISABLE, is simply a thing even worse than the defeat against SL. But you are not so much guilty because what should an indian do when his great heroes repeatedly fail against SL spinners? In ground they are crushed every day by SL and can only do what you are doing.....just showing their hatred against others. But, you should know that it will even stimulate SL to prove themselves in field. Let me say, your statement is shame for all the indians even for all the human. Let us wait some indian to excuse the SL for such inhuman remarks.

  • Frank2008 on August 14, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    Cannuck....I share your sentiment. Vision_beyond I really hope you arent an Indian.Im an Indian myself and im upset with India's performance.But to ridicule a great player like murali is totally over the line and uncalled for.Someone forgot to tell you, it takes some serious talent,and years of hardwork and practice to pick 700 odd wickets in test cricket.Murali not only has been a great performer but he is a genuinely good human being,very humble and modest.JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE DIFFERENT DOESNT MAKE YOU HANDICAPPED!! Let me also tell you that Murali has fans all over the world including India.Murali has been a great ambassador for Sri Lankan cricket and cricket in general.As for Mendis he is a new kid on the block and hes got talent. Let us just appreciate the talents and achievements of these players and acknowledge the fact that they played better cricket than india,hence india lost.

  • TheDragonWarrior on August 14, 2008, 5:24 GMT

    it's fair enough to expect bitter response from indian fans on the lost series and on the failure of the so called "fab 4" and a great bowler like anil.but instead of seeing the glass as half empty,its every good to see it as half full.what i mean to say is that:it was as if only half of the indian team was fighting hard against the whole srilankan team and the rest were mere spectators.i would say that srilanka was very fortunate in this case and there is no need for the srilankan's to boast about.I sincerely pray to god to give some wisdom to selectors so as to tell ganguly that his time is up and its time to sit at home and watch others play.All I can say about mendis is: no need to lift him so high as we saw how he was hit for runs by sehwag and gambhir.Some people just cant see the fact that these two spinners(M&M) bowled more that 80% of the deliveries in the whole series so its more obvious that they will get more that 80% percent of the wickets(which is not possible in ODIs)

  • Cannuck on August 13, 2008, 22:45 GMT

    This comment is for no one else, but to vision_beyond. I have great respect for Indian fans & feel their pain in losing the series. We have been there our selves, & we support our neighbours. So I hope this (im)poster is NOT an Indian fan, because he has simply crossed a line. I wonder which part of the world he lives in, but calling SL players "disabled" is a pathetic, sad, & totally uncivilized comment anywhere. It's one thing to disagree with Murali's achievements, but to label him as disable is simply, inhuman. If you are an Indian you should be more ashamed as Murali is married to an Indian girl. FYI, Malinga & Mendis have no such physical issues, nor did the others who did well against India. True Indian Cricket fans on this page agrees it's a combination of India under performing & a better team winning. As your name suggests your vision doesn't seem to go beyond hatred. Please crawl back under the rock you came out of, & leave the comments to intelligent people who know cricket

  • nishant_88 on August 13, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    I guess Ganguly should be dropped. But not Sachin. We won the finals of the ODI series in Australia because of his innings. And even in the test series in Australia he scored a couple of centuries. But its high time that Ganguly and Kumble are dropped and maybe even Dravid. But Sachin and Laxman should still stay in the side.

  • Frank2008 on August 18, 2008, 12:50 GMT

    Another match,another pathetic performance by the indian batsmen.How could any1 have expected anything else.When india could not defend against mendis and co in the test series how can you expect them to attack.From the looks of things the only thing standing between India and a 5-0 drubbing is a certain Sehwag and Gambhir getting their act together.Unfortunately for India Sehwag might not even play the next odi.Its quite evident that India are only playing with 2 batsmen.With Sehwag out ,only Gambhir and upto a certain extent Dhoni look capable of countering the sri lankan spinners.The rest of the batting lineup is there only to make up the numbers.Dhoni should really consider coming in at no 3.He was the only one who played mendis with some degree of certainty in the asia cup final.Im really wondering why the indians are so reluctant to use the sweep shot.Get your front foot outside the line of the offstump and sweep as hard as possible especially the left handers would be my advice.

  • Maddysdad on August 17, 2008, 7:16 GMT

    The main reasons for the loss: "Decline of stalwarts (Sachin, Dravid & Ganguly). India should look beyond and start giving Yuvi, Rohit & Kaif more chances.

  • bat_and_ball2012 on August 15, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    As an Indian, I do feel incredibly disappointed at the loss. India is a great team with incredible potential, unimaginable amounts of talent, and we've managed to produce some of the greatest ever. So what has happened to us? We're put against a team of remarkable players... Murali and Mendis shining, and suddenly the greats of the world are crumbling? Tendulkar should pick up his game, he HAS potential, but he's just not playing! Same goes for Dravid and Laxman. The Wall and VVS did great things against Australia in Kolkata, winning after following on, why can't they pull it off again! People hear India and they think "cricket!", now if only our team can live up to that honour.

  • Cannuck on August 15, 2008, 5:52 GMT

    Thank heavens you cleared the air for the rest of us, that you are not an Indian. "PHEW" what a relief, I didn't know your real name was Darryl Hair! Now we don't need to waste our time anymore about your posts, as nothing better could have been expected from someone who crawled out of a BUSH! Keep your dictionary to your self, and get an Atlas & learn geography, as my name should tell you where I live (not in SL). Please put down your FOSTERS & read a book or two on compassion. With all due respect to the rest of our Aussie friends, all of whom are good folks, a few bad apples with bad_vision are left from the Prison Colony that was once Australia. I for one sympathize for your ignorance in both cricket & humanity.

  • vision_beyond_view on August 14, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    Cannuck there seemed to be no adequate facility on your troubled island to teach you proper english as if you use a dictionary(that may or may not be available on your island as if not i'll send it to you for free) you will understand the meaning of my name as vision beyond view is seeing what troubled and defective people can't see. Also this jawana guy seemed to be funny. Dude what a pathetic name you have got and do you even know "C" about cricket. These remarks are not inhuman but for defective and unnatural humans who just use there disabilities in there cracked backyard to win a game or two so rather there writing crap here just move and leave the comments to be written by people who not only know but win cricket like us "The Australians".

  • jawana on August 14, 2008, 13:01 GMT

    Just some words for VISION_BEYOND_VIEW, India lost because their main bats could not face the young SL bowler MENDIS along with MURALLI. It is a fact all of you should accept. You cannot diminish SL success by lame excuses. Calling SL playrs and even the whole island DISABLE, is simply a thing even worse than the defeat against SL. But you are not so much guilty because what should an indian do when his great heroes repeatedly fail against SL spinners? In ground they are crushed every day by SL and can only do what you are doing.....just showing their hatred against others. But, you should know that it will even stimulate SL to prove themselves in field. Let me say, your statement is shame for all the indians even for all the human. Let us wait some indian to excuse the SL for such inhuman remarks.

  • Frank2008 on August 14, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    Cannuck....I share your sentiment. Vision_beyond I really hope you arent an Indian.Im an Indian myself and im upset with India's performance.But to ridicule a great player like murali is totally over the line and uncalled for.Someone forgot to tell you, it takes some serious talent,and years of hardwork and practice to pick 700 odd wickets in test cricket.Murali not only has been a great performer but he is a genuinely good human being,very humble and modest.JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE DIFFERENT DOESNT MAKE YOU HANDICAPPED!! Let me also tell you that Murali has fans all over the world including India.Murali has been a great ambassador for Sri Lankan cricket and cricket in general.As for Mendis he is a new kid on the block and hes got talent. Let us just appreciate the talents and achievements of these players and acknowledge the fact that they played better cricket than india,hence india lost.

  • TheDragonWarrior on August 14, 2008, 5:24 GMT

    it's fair enough to expect bitter response from indian fans on the lost series and on the failure of the so called "fab 4" and a great bowler like anil.but instead of seeing the glass as half empty,its every good to see it as half full.what i mean to say is that:it was as if only half of the indian team was fighting hard against the whole srilankan team and the rest were mere spectators.i would say that srilanka was very fortunate in this case and there is no need for the srilankan's to boast about.I sincerely pray to god to give some wisdom to selectors so as to tell ganguly that his time is up and its time to sit at home and watch others play.All I can say about mendis is: no need to lift him so high as we saw how he was hit for runs by sehwag and gambhir.Some people just cant see the fact that these two spinners(M&M) bowled more that 80% of the deliveries in the whole series so its more obvious that they will get more that 80% percent of the wickets(which is not possible in ODIs)

  • Cannuck on August 13, 2008, 22:45 GMT

    This comment is for no one else, but to vision_beyond. I have great respect for Indian fans & feel their pain in losing the series. We have been there our selves, & we support our neighbours. So I hope this (im)poster is NOT an Indian fan, because he has simply crossed a line. I wonder which part of the world he lives in, but calling SL players "disabled" is a pathetic, sad, & totally uncivilized comment anywhere. It's one thing to disagree with Murali's achievements, but to label him as disable is simply, inhuman. If you are an Indian you should be more ashamed as Murali is married to an Indian girl. FYI, Malinga & Mendis have no such physical issues, nor did the others who did well against India. True Indian Cricket fans on this page agrees it's a combination of India under performing & a better team winning. As your name suggests your vision doesn't seem to go beyond hatred. Please crawl back under the rock you came out of, & leave the comments to intelligent people who know cricket

  • nishant_88 on August 13, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    I guess Ganguly should be dropped. But not Sachin. We won the finals of the ODI series in Australia because of his innings. And even in the test series in Australia he scored a couple of centuries. But its high time that Ganguly and Kumble are dropped and maybe even Dravid. But Sachin and Laxman should still stay in the side.

  • MKEdude on August 13, 2008, 14:27 GMT

    Why India lost? I think it is obvious: the world's greatest batting line up (at least on paper) didn't do its job. The middle order failed and I just get the feeling that it is just about time for Sachin & Saurav to get out of the Indian team. It no longer makes any sense to rely on them to deliver. Get better replacements for keepers & batsmen into the team. A country of billion people ought to produce at least 2 quality cricket teams, so it is not like we dont have the talent. We are just not able to find them.

  • keshav_kulkarni on August 13, 2008, 13:00 GMT

    Why India lost? Its not a rocket science. 1. Middle order is old and is shadow of itself. Dravid, Tendulkar (even he does not become highest run getter in world, it should not matter), Ganguly and Laxman should be dropped with immediate effect. 2. Dhoni should be brought back not only as wicket keeper, but as a captain. 3. Kumble should be dropped with immediate effect.

    As long as Indian team has famous 5s, we are not going to win any more series (except Bangladesh).

  • Farce-Follower on August 13, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    When the moment of truth is upon us, we fail to act. Sachin is in search of a record, Saurav is in search of relevance. These two will never be able to win us matches. However their lobbies will see to it that they are foisted on us for at least a couple of years. Till then just hold tight and grimace when we hear the 'form is temporary and class is permanent' yarn.

  • vision_beyond_view on August 13, 2008, 9:40 GMT

    What a ridiculous piece of report. Dileep Premachandran seems to be to much obsessed with the Sri Lankan series win. Just to provide an insight i ask him to check Sri Lanka record in Tests away from there home where they can't make pitches helping there bowlers with disabilities(twisted arm, slinger or tilted wrist). I was always amazed as how do Sri Lankans always get so many disabled people in there team probably because not much of abled people left in the troubled island. Even author must look Sri Lanka test record against India forget Australia and South Africa, its ridiculous. You can't match greatness of Shane Warne with Murlitharan as Murli is just a disabled bowler and because of defectiveness he gets extra spin that is by no means natural. Lets not mention about Malinga and Mendis. Sri Lanka must try to win with NATURAL AND ABLED cricketers then only they will come to know the greatness of Australia, South Africa and India. Best of Luck for Abled Players Sri Lanka and Dileep.

  • rajeshmc on August 13, 2008, 8:06 GMT

    India played quite well unfortunately one bad session took the game away where sri lankan low order batsmen scored runs.Test cricket is the standard and its here the actual talent and hardwork lies.More importantly mendis is quite new and he can continue his form till champions trophy,he will be a threat in ODI series as well.If india wants to win the ODI series it mainly depends on three guys to score runs sehwag,gambir and dhoni.

  • harimenon on August 13, 2008, 7:54 GMT

    I simply fail to understand the over reactiveness about the Indian Team's failure to win the series against Sri Lanka. In sports both failures and success are common and a team has to win for others to loose.

    Blaming the great four (4) for the failure is too much to digest as they have been the pillar of the Indian team for years. Sachin especially had a bad series, I must admit, but is he not entitled to poor form at times.

    No one can argue that he was not instrumental in bringing up India's name in the world of cricket and I personally think he deserves a chance to redeem himself against the Australians.

    I am sure he will know when to quit rather than people asking him to quit. Do not just sacrifice a master batsmen beause of off days in Sri Lanka. He deserves better than brickbats.

  • RoshanF on August 13, 2008, 7:26 GMT

    Would have been a good critique of the test series if not for a glaring bit of comment. After saying that India had now lost to the "three most strongest countries" namely Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka the writer still critizes India roundly for what - failing to beat Sri Lanka (one of the top three) in their own backyard. I think the article is way off in that regard. In fact we here are chastising the Lankans for not winning it 3-0.

    As for the curator at Galle, Warnaweera, well he deserves a good rest from duties after preparing a wicket to last just 4 days (according to him). Simple fact was that had Sri Lanka won the toss then they would have won at a canter. The toss does play an important part of most matches but it should not be that decisive a factor. Even then had SL included a real pacie such as Prasad in the 2nd test the result may have been a lot closer.

  • mdrlakmal on August 13, 2008, 7:13 GMT

    I think the Sri Lanken team was never stronger than this as a bowling side. Not evan when they took the world cup in 1996. It will be much leethal with Malinga comming to the side and if Vassi can teach all the things he know about the art of fast bowling to Dammika Prasad. Now what we need is another confident batsmen like Aravinda or Sangakkara to beat any team in the world.

  • vamsi.g on August 13, 2008, 6:43 GMT

    we need to give the golden oldies a fair trial here.Let us see how they perform against the oz in november and come to a conclusion.

  • jedi11 on August 13, 2008, 6:22 GMT

    While we dig deep down to find reasons and excuses for our loss to Sri Lanka, we fail to give the lankans due credit. They beat us hollow! In my opinion the only reason for our failure, is not getting MSD to play in this important fixture. He may have made the difference both in front as well as behind the stumps. His unorthodox batting, could have easily upset the spinners, similar to what Shewag had done in the 2nd test. Better balance, and more depth in batting. But to MSD credit, being a student of the game, had anticipated personal failure and opted out. He knew for sure, his average would drop and chose not to play. Selectors beware, if you allow the players to pick and chose their games, you are sure to see a repeat of this.

  • HameedMittu on August 13, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    any reason for not posting my comments......????????? :(

    Yesterday I post it.....

    Are you guys afraid to pin point umpiring errors happend in the series? What is the difference btw australia series (Sydney) & here. Actually in sydney its human error we can accept but here after so many replays the baised had happen why no one even commentators afraid to express?? I believe cricinfo should consider posting my earlier comments.

    Mittu

  • Tomorrow_Never_Dies on August 13, 2008, 6:12 GMT

    I ask all of you don't criticize Sachin, Sourav and Dravid. They are greats in the world cricket. Just they are out of form. Of Course, SriLanka deserves the victory. But they are not the best team ever. They have good batting line up and bowling. You can see Dilshan for example. He was out of form before the test series against India. But recently in this series, he is back to his form. They played Murali, the great bowler in the world superbly. But not able to tackle Mendis factor as he is a new find and it will take time. A kind request to public - Please control yourself and support our players.. Chak De India!

  • visionary on August 13, 2008, 5:45 GMT

    The mindset of individuals as 'holycows' regardless of their manifest mortality or inability to raise the level to overcome situations is the bane of the Indian selection policy which is rooted in the 'celebrity syndrome'.

    It does appear that the interests of sponsors and other commercial entities dictates the selection policy so that individuals who have been 'invested in' continue to stay in a team bereft of performers even when national pride is at stake.

    In the modern era, cricket has transcended the 'village green' pastime to ruthless professional contest where individuals are required to be at their best in each and every game as the Australians demonstrate and is the secret of their domination.

    Living in past glories is no longer a tenable formula for future success as has been demonstrated by Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly et al. If they are past their prime, then it is befitting that they gracefully quit rather than face the ignominy of the axe.

  • luey on August 13, 2008, 4:50 GMT

    First of all to say that the team was underprepared because none of the star bestmen werre in the one day team , is to say the least , laughable. I think this should have given them more time to prepare themselves for the series. Its only now that such a big hue and cry is made of match practise at international level. There was a time when one team played only two test series a year or less. Besides playing one day and test is different thing. I dont think that australian media would have ever said that since steve waugh is not in the one day side his test game will suffer. Every one gets to do what is best for him, and every place gets what is best for it.

  • Ajay42 on August 13, 2008, 4:32 GMT

    Never has our middle order performed this consistently poorly, true. But what about the bowling? Without Ishanth Sharma, the attack looks toothless and surely, the great Anil Kumble is in the twilight of his career. Even Harbhajan disappointed and was consistently outbowled by Mendis and Murali.While accepting that the batting was below par, not enough credit is being given to the Sri Lankans, who consistently outbowled, outfielded and out reviewed us. In fact, even the second test win was due to one great innings (Sehwag) and one great spell of fast bowling (Ishanth Sharma).

  • SGBatsForever on August 13, 2008, 3:19 GMT

    Those yapping about dropping Saurav and Sachin are out of their clueless minds. Both of them were India's best performers in the recently concluded series against Australia and South Africa in just the last 6-7 months. Why do desis always over-react so much? One good innings against Australia in November and the same guys will be calling Sachin the "master" and Saurav the "maharaja." This yo-yo of emotions on these two is getting really tiresome. They have both earned the right to retire when they are ready in a couple of years. Till then SHUT UP.

  • Tiasha on August 13, 2008, 2:30 GMT

    It's just that the better team won the series. And the better team was surely Sri Lanka. Just because India loses a test series it doesn't become the end of the world. And anyone who thinks India are the World Champs and that they should win every match they play, has got it wrong cause 'India' ARE NOT THE WORLD CHAMPS JUST BECAUSE THEY WON THE T20 WORLD CUP and thay can't win every match they play. Success as well as Defeat is common to everyone and India is no exception. TIASHA from COLOMBO, SRI LANKA

  • indusmicro on August 13, 2008, 1:16 GMT

    I think india have already missed the trick by picking "old 4", same time not grooming the youngesters, now these are paracites and will suck the fresh blood of indian team.

  • Breathe000 on August 13, 2008, 0:38 GMT

    Theres only 1 reason SriLanka won - Ajantha Mendis. It is due to him that the 'Fab Four' looked like kids playing in a park. Sure people say 'Sehwag and Gambhir's didn't look troubled', but ones got to understand that most of their runs came either from the fast bowlers or from the spinners bowling with a not so roughed up ball. Murali got all his wickets thanks to Mendis as well as with Mendis tying up one end and constricting runs, Murali was able to do what he does best- Aggressive bowling while the batsmen are trying 2 scavenge runs. I don't think Raina, Badrinath or Rohit Sharma could've survived this SriLankan series onslaught so I say give the 'Fab 4' and the oldies one last chance against Australia. If they can prove themselves against the world's best test team (Like they half did against the world's second best), then we know that Magical Mendis was the true difference in the 2-1 loss at Srilanka. If not, I'll eat my words and accept that the 'Fab 4' are Fab no more!

  • ardentcriclover on August 13, 2008, 0:01 GMT

    Itz very sad to see laxman under the scanner again. He is not so bad as the other big3 in this series. Some of the people are of the opinion that there should be major changes in the batting line up. Test cricket is not a joke. With out experience any test team would be thrashed. Remember that one bad series doesn't make a team or individual below par. And Indian public should learn to control their emotions when India wins or losses. Just simple as that.

  • aryan_kb on August 13, 2008, 0:00 GMT

    Whats wrong in cricket fans when they demand dropping of the Fab 4?? Isn't performance the sole criteria of part of the team. Surely, Sachin played very well in Australia but in the last five years there have been more failures than coming good by him. Apart from ODI hundred in the finals and innings against Pakistan in 2003 I cannot recall a single significant innings by him. Moreover, in the last 5 years the Sachin and Ganguly have failed all too frequently at critical junctures. Its always been Dravid and Laxman who carry the failures of Sachin and Ganguly. Now since Dravid and Laman are beginning to fail the failures of Sachin and Ganguly along with Dravid and Laxman is collectively hurting India.

    This is a golden opportunity to get rid of these players. Australia did the same with Mark Waugh, Ian Healy and a host of other players. We need to take a leaf out of Australia's book.

  • Parth_Pala on August 12, 2008, 22:39 GMT

    In all these comments people are trying to grab for some sort of solution. But realistically there is none until we can change this Indian mentality towards sports. We lack the talent and where we don't lack the talent we lack the work ethic. Michael Jordan was the best at what he was cause he worked right, throughout the season and then he trained harder in the off-season (weights, skills etc). Can you see any of players giving up their bollywood rendezvous or their parties or preparing for anything more two weeks before a series? Money isn't the problem Lebron James highest paid player ever, yet he works as hard as anyone can. Dhoni every day you see him in the news going to some party instead of working to make sure he is in peak form physically and mentally. At the end of the day youth doesn't have the experience, and the old horses aren't cutting it anymore. But all of this doesn't matter cause none of them have the drive, that make players great in sports . unfortunate but true.

  • SriUSA on August 12, 2008, 22:11 GMT

    Take it is easy guys. It is just a sport and someone has to loose for the other to win. Unfortunately Dravid and Tendulkar both failed in this series and that was the difference and ofcourse Mendis. Dravid brought down his own down-fall by rejecting the captaincy. I should say the board didnot treat him well for all his honesty. Laxman should have been sent at No.3.

  • thaneshk on August 12, 2008, 21:38 GMT

    Can we get a new post called "Why Sri Lanka Won?". I am not sure why there is so much focus on India when it was very clear that Sri Lanka played a better brand of cricket and the team work was much more consistent and also led by a great aggressive captain.

  • r1m2 on August 12, 2008, 19:52 GMT

    Only one person needs to be replaced. That's Ganguly. He can still play well, but his time is up. Someone else needs to come up and he needs to make way. One day if 3 of the 4 retires at once, then India will suddenly have a terribly weak middle order. While some are suggesting that knee-jerk reaction may not be the way to go, but one need to realize, the conundrum facing the selectors if the older players continue to perform well. Eventually they retire and then you're left with the scraps. This is a great opportunity for the selectors to drop Ganguly, permanently at last and bring in Rohit Sharma or Suresh Raina to help them grow into the role. Dravid should also consider retiring if his form does not pick up in the next series. Let's not forget that he has been under-performing for the longest time. His average has been on a steady decline since his monumental performance in the West Indies. Give him and Tendulkar few more chances, before forcing them out. But Gangs needs to go now.

  • AnandRamsy on August 12, 2008, 19:40 GMT

    Hi Dilip,Ram here...what u say is absolutely true.Congtats to sehwag, Gambhir and Bhajji.We all love our great players - Dravid, Tendulkar, laxman,Kumble & Ganguly.What ever they have done for the game is great and due recogonition has been given to them. Now its time that they think themselves as to when they should stop.Rahul and laxman were batting as if they never wanted to face mendis... the looks on the face were like, they were put inside a pressure cooker.. the body language was pathetic. Saurav looks lost... where is his positive and aggressive cricket?? what abt sachin?? nothing seems working for the little master. If batsmen are out of form, we agree that they will have 2- 3 bad knocks, but this is 6 innings without runs and that too for the so called FAB4 which lost the series. They were FAF4.Why was Rohit Sharma not given a chance??Kumble...i feel that he was stretching his bowling too much for getting himself a wicket.I think Dravid would have done a better WK job..Huph!!

  • riverlime on August 12, 2008, 19:38 GMT

    Three key failures. One, Kumble had no ideas as a captain (he should have asked Mahela). Two, Karthik needed a net. Three, Tendulkar is more focussed on a record than the game at hand. Solution: replace all three!

  • Addepally on August 12, 2008, 19:24 GMT

    yeh... You guys are correct... fab 4 would have definetly performed if they had played against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or Windis. Perhaps thy should choose which series to play so that they can break the records... Common guys they have to learn... they were not able to read Mendis or Murali... they need to concentrate

  • raghuvir007 on August 12, 2008, 19:22 GMT

    main reasons a) lack of preparation-We somehow did not look like a test batting uni at all specially against spin. Not much use of the feet, lack of looking for singles and more or less bereft of any plans to counter the mauling SL bowlers b) special srillankan spinners- ONe has wondered at times how murli would with another quality spinner at the other end. Someone even like a vettori saqlain and not neccssarily warne or kumble. and one got the answer:-).the duo outclassed and out shone the fab four...i would say they would have been a handful for the 3Ws also in these conditions. C) Captaincy-Mahela because of his form looked confident and walked the ground as if he owned it while kumble looked a shadow of the man we saw in australia. maybe the lack of wickets is affecting him finally d) the fab four hve lost their position in the ODI and 20-20 format( barring sachin and laxman was never in the pciture in the first place). that seemed to be weighing on their minds

  • STM65 on August 12, 2008, 18:47 GMT

    If winning is the way to judge a player's performance, ( I need to state this upfront) this "famed" middle order( RD, ST, SG, VVS) has never driven the TEAM to a consistent set of Test wins. Records and "elegant strokeplay" don't win matches. Frankly in sport, you are only as good as your performance on any given day.

  • BapiDas on August 12, 2008, 18:39 GMT

    When will we learn to accept defeat? Sri Lankans prepared themselves better, applied themselves better, executed their game plan better. They deserved to win the series because they played better. Unless you take 20 wickets you can't win a Test match. ODI and T20 matches can be batsmen's games but the Test match can be won only by taking 20 wickets. Holding on to catches, converting half chances into dismissals, bowling with a plan and at the right places most of the time are the secrets of success. Blaming is easy but not the solution.

  • Cannuck on August 12, 2008, 18:26 GMT

    Based on some comments here I think India as a whole are concentrating too much on batting or bowling. One of the main areas they were behind SL was their fielding. It's not the seniors alone who messed up in this department. I wonder if a player like Dilshan would have ever made the Indian team. There are better batsmen in SL than Dilshan, but he made the team mostly due to his fielding merits. He is a role player, which India lacks. I also have to agree with a few of you, that although Sehwag & Gambhir scored well, as test openers they did not stay at the crease for long. Their shot selections better suited ODIs, & in the 3rd test they didn't stay long enough for the injured players to even recuperate. They need to know when to be aggressive & when to dig in. Finally I have to disagree with Ajay_P's comment that India is a young country gaining reputation Globally. Really? I guess Maha Bharath, Ramayana etc. were published recently on a blog eh? I for one respect your history more.

  • techmine on August 12, 2008, 18:15 GMT

    We must admit that we are not the best test team or not even the number 2. The way Sri Lanka played the series is way too much for Indians to handle. I mean if India had got such an advantage (of two lethal bowlers) we would still have faltered. Because we don't blv in perfection. We are complacent and sometimes arrogant. Sri Lanka never let the series slip away from them. A brilliant double ton by sehwag was the only innings (thing) that left them wanting a series white wash. Harbhajan's heroics would not have made any difference. So thank you Mr. Sehwag. Its such a jigsaw puzzle for India. When we have middle order strong, we don't have openers and now we have good openers, our tail starts from number 3. Struggling batsman, Struggling bowlers and spilled catches were the highlights for Indian team.

  • Rahul_crick_talk on August 12, 2008, 16:31 GMT

    Listen guys, your disappointment is justified, but I think it's useful to remember that the team and the players will be the most disappointed. I'm sure they will use their poor performance as an impetus to win in the next series. Dropping is a solution, but dropping Ganguly or Tendulkar at this stage may dent their confidence further and to an extent where it becomes difficult to get back in the team. Those who are entertaining thoughts of dropping Rahul Dravid are perhaps looking for fault with someone, rather than being rational.

  • UMcricket on August 12, 2008, 16:11 GMT

    This dismal performance could be the result of too much cricket throughout the year. How can the players be expected to perform everywhere in everything - Twenty20 for their rich owners, Test matches, ODIs and cope with injuries, added pressure of someone breathing down your neck. After giving their best in Australia, Pakistan and Asia Cup, apart from Sehwag and Gambhir and maybe Ishant and Zaheer, the Indian engine seemed to be running on fumes. The Sri Lankan team on the other hand had extremely fresh players - Prasanna Jayawardene, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera, Malinda Warnapura. Dhoni is lucky enough to be indispensible to the team but can the rest of the team afford to do that and risk losing their places? Secondly, we have to come to terms with failure too. No team gets blasted as much as India does and for a cricket-crazy nation, it isn't easily forgotten. This is the reason why we see pressure getting the better of talented layers like Karthik or Raina before the Asia Cup

  • UMcricket on August 12, 2008, 16:02 GMT

    The first point I would like to address is that of the 'fab 4' failing. I would like to remind the critics that it wasn't a while ago when Sachin shone against Australia in Australia, when Kumble relished the captainy and performed and in Pakistan, Ganguly rescued India from the depths of 50 odd for 4 with a sparkling 239. These guys have proved time and a again that they can come back from failures. The lack of form can be easily explained from their absence in the Asia Cup and one warm-up game is never enough to acclimatise and find some form. Kudos to Sehwag and Gambhir as they have been in form for as long as I can remember and we wouldn't have won the second test if not for them. However, how long can we go on with the veterans? We need to inject youth as soon as possible for them to gain experience. Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina have been waiting for ages to be given a chance. These guys would be the ideal replacements for Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman respectively.

  • sadhubaba on August 12, 2008, 15:17 GMT

    Sometimes i feel vexed when i hear the extemporaneous remarks submitted by the cricket fans of our country.Not even three months have passed when glittering performance of 'Mumbai Maestro' shut the mouths of his booers when team India toured Down -Under.He outclassed all the youngsters like Yuvraj,Dhoni who were struggling there.Just its a series failure where most of the Indian batsmen failed apart Sehwag and Gambhir.Also indian team was underprepared and master had a bit of injury problem.Remember he was the highest run getter in almost every tournament India played last year so please bid him a little time friends.Fans just breathe a while ,and you will see the master recuperating with a bang in upcoming series against Aussies.

  • Ranil24 on August 12, 2008, 14:49 GMT

    India Face the truth your cricketers are highly overated specially the fab four. Greg Chappell was right. He tried to introduce youth to the side but was sacked for it. In essence Sri Lanka's bowling led by Mendis & Murali made the difference. On top of that Sri Lanka's batting line up was better than India's. To win sack the fab four and build a young team around Dhoni. Rm

  • Cannuck on August 12, 2008, 14:47 GMT

    First, I am a SL fan, but also a fan of all Cricket. I do not know the ins & outs of BCCI so I can't comment on them. But all of is in the subcontinent are always infected with corrupt, greedy politicians & officials. It's a given. It's not long ago SL Cricket faced similar pains in selecting players & teams. SL still hasn't solved this, but we also have a lot of past Cricketers in the right places to solve the problem to some extent. We have also had solid Captains in Arjuna & now Mahela, which I think India needs to find. Someone who can rally the troops & unite, which wasn't visible with India. May be it's Dhoni, who looked sgood during the CB series. Also SL & India love to worship their greats & heros, but forget that nature catches up with everyone. If not, Aravinda would still be playing for SL, cause he was that good. Finally I was hoping to read comments from Davesh_the_analyst who loves to put down SL & Mahela awlays. I guess it's harder to criticize your own team's failures.

  • tusharkardile on August 12, 2008, 13:50 GMT

    Sri Lanka had better bowlers in Mendins and Murali, hence they won the series. Sachin, Rahul and Saurav were complacent and couldnt sort themselves out in front of Mendis. I guess it was something psychological problem. These are the same set of guys who have performed well against SA, Pak, Aus, Eng at home and away over last 2 years. In this series it looked like Indians didnt have any gameplan at all, and middle order looked totally clueless. Its just a matter of time before they start firing on all (fab) 4 cyllinders. But then its evident that they are not going to drive India too much into future, and its right time to start planning phased rotation towards ultimate phase out of the 4. Only problem being we dont have 4 able replacements.

  • KrisMan on August 12, 2008, 13:47 GMT

    Dear friends I read most of ur comments. I think what Dilip says is true. We all love our players. we are proud to have the greats of Dravids(The Wall),Tendulkars and Gangulys.Let us not sit on the Laurels that they did way back. True of what they did was great. But let us accept the truth now we were beaten badly. Do we have any power in our bowling? Do we have any strength in our batting? Failure in a test is fine and the next test is also fine, but not all the tests. When some one like Gautam plays so well coming into the tests why cannot these big guns play? I heard about some one saying that all the 4 failed in t-20 at home before, that would have also impacted. They are in the end of their careers and it good for them making way for the new comers. Had Dhoni would have been in the team, it would have been diff.Dinesh is good for Ranji and not for tests. If we all watched the seires,we lacked in confidence. We did not prepare well for the series.

  • SPTalluri on August 12, 2008, 13:38 GMT

    If Sehwag didn't score all those runs in the 2nd test, India would have lost the series 3-0. India's batting left a lot to be desired. Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly are all struggling against both pace and spin. I think their reflexes have slowed down a lot. All the three should retire from all parts of the game and give chance to Raina, Sharma and Badrinath in the batting line up. Laxman is ok to pursue for one or two more test series. Kumble should go as well and should be replaced by one of the two up and coming spinners. Dhoni should be made captain for both test and one-dayers. The team for Australia test series should be: Sehwag, Gambhir, Raina, Rohit Sharman, Laxman, Badrinath, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Ishant, Zaheer Khan, Ojha, Chawla, Srinath, RP Singh

  • AtticusFinch on August 12, 2008, 13:37 GMT

    I have two comments to make. With regards to 'having short memories' and not 'respecting our heroes', what do we as Indian Cricket supporters have to do? Do we continue with the 'Fab Four' till they decide to retire into the sunset whenever they want to and we continue losing series abysmally or is there some pride in us that we need to win all series that we play and try and upstage Australia in the near future to the one day spot? This blind idolisation of our players is an Indian psyche which needs to change. The second comment that I wanted to make is with regards to Anil Kumble. As Captain Courageous in Australia, one was proud of him leading the Country's Cricket team. But in Sri Lanka, he looked like the peevish old man, scowling and berating his players instead of playing the senior statesman and marshalling his forces. His Tirades on live TV especially against Karthick (who probably deserved all that and more) was pathetic. Its time he went!

  • Ajay_P on August 12, 2008, 13:26 GMT

    If Sri Lankan board gets so much money they would have been World champions, Not Australia. Shame on our Old gentleman's for keeping their interest before their countries. Anil, Sachin, Dravid and Sourav, Please for the sake of our country,retire now. If you want to learn from contemporaries, learn from Michael Vaughn. You guys are setting a wrong example for the country and no one will rank your records more than our own country.Today, we other sports have won and Cricket has lost in India.

  • Ajay_P on August 12, 2008, 13:25 GMT

    90% of the money is with Cricket and just 10% of the money is with other sports put together. Still out of this 10%, people like Abhinav have risen above all and given us the 1st Gold metal of Olympics.India is a young country and also gaining reputation Globally but our cricket is plagued by a few very greedy OLD people. The greed for money is so much that these gentleman's can go to any extend to get it. Even if they get defeated by a small Island country like Sri Lanka, our oldies will get the money from sponsors / Indian people.

  • Dayar on August 12, 2008, 13:08 GMT

    Why many Indians think that India must win every game when they play Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and some other countries? Here everybody seems to assume that India must win and try to find reasons for their loss. Why cannot they consider at least the two teams are equal? It is only a game and it is Cricket. Why there is a lack of the point of view that "How or why Sri Lanka won"? Nobody can win every game and India were playing in Sri Lankan home grounds. So definitely Sri Lanka had the advantage. BCCI seems to be so greedy of money and promote one day and twenty cricket more than test cricket. Lack of practice of long version of the game also contribute to the loss. Could these critics play and win? They may some times and lose some times just like the Indian team. So instead of chewing them let us appreciate them for entertainment provided.

  • ashwingirish09 on August 12, 2008, 12:49 GMT

    Main people responsible for india s loss 1.......ganguly's miserable run... 2.......sachin's irresponsible strokes to get out...it looked like he wnted to get out 3.......Mendis factor...he was literally unplayable.. 4.Catches win matches....indians dropped lot of catches...for a team to win...should take half chances... 5.keepers were horrible...both parthiv n karthik were bad with bat as well as behind the stumps.... this shows india has only one keeper...i.e dhoni...cant rely on others... Dravid and laxman were bad...but not worse as ganguly and sachin....!! Hope indian team correct their mistakes..

  • shenbaga on August 12, 2008, 12:45 GMT

    SL bowlers made the difference. Gotcha, 100% right. M&M dished out consistent attacking bowling with guile and variety through out. But, does it end there? The openers were on top of them almost throughout. Its when Fab4 succumbed in 6 innings, SL bowlers made the difference. The million dollar question is what's that openers had which Fab4 didn't have? My argument is that openers played for team score and safety that it gives. They ran singles, twos and scored 4s and tried to take team score to safety. The Fab4's motto was score for themselves and that even 167/1 team score didn't give them safety. But, isn't the way they played for years? Sustained aggressive bowling and Fab4 exposed. There's another damage Fab4 bring about:- Play Fab4, you play only 4 bowlers then.

  • venkattraman on August 12, 2008, 12:43 GMT

    Typical article that is expected when a team loses a Test match. Sachin not good enough, Dravid a shadow of the past etc etc. The same person will eulogize the two greats, especially the former, once he hits a couple of tons against the visiting Aussies. Didn't we see articles praising Sachin in the series down under. As regular readers we have got used to such articles. In the past it used to be irritating!!

  • PPD123 on August 12, 2008, 12:28 GMT

    Agree with some of the comments that we need a bowling alrounder. That is what should help balance the side. If we are not able to find one, then we should go with 5 batsmen, 5 bowler strategy with Dhoni coming in at no 6. (in the sub-continent atleast to start with). This will show aggressive intent and will also put the onus on the batsmen to take more responsibility. Openers did provide good starts right through the series, but barring sehwag at galle the openers did not go on a get those big scores. 60-70 is no more any good in intl cricket and unless 1 of the top 3 or 4 do not get 150+ regularly, we will be in trouble most of the time. Look at Aus, 1 or 2 among the top 4 usually scores big and the rest play around him. It is not rocket science.another point of concern is the lack of back-up in the WK dept. If Dhoni is not fit/available we seem to have a huge hole to plug. Finally, I do feel Yuvi should be back in the side.

  • Frank2008 on August 12, 2008, 12:24 GMT

    As disgusted as I am with the indian performance, I dont really think the solution lies in sacking the fab 4. Not so fabulous of late,they have been great players in the past. If India had good replacements it might have been different. But lets face facts,Mendis was the main difference and Im struggling to think of any young indian batsman (raina,yuvraj,rohit,badrinath) who would have fared better than the fab 4. Im not a big supporter of yuvi anyways because of his apparent weakness against spin.I still feel Tendulkar and Dravid have a few years left.Ganguly and Laxman I think deserve another chance.Also Kumble is not a very proactive captain. He hardly used Sachin and Sehwag both of whom can turn the ball more than him on a given surface.The most neglected aspect of Indian cricket is the fielding.Who knows what would have happened if India held their catches,effected the tough run out chances and took advantage of the half chances.

  • Sidupachisri on August 12, 2008, 12:07 GMT

    It is disappointing to see a strong batting line up collapse, esp ,which is known to be masters in tackling spin. SL played brilliantly and the credit should go to them. India did bounce back in the 2nd test, but was not good enough in the 3rd. Introspect and need to prepare very well for the forthcoming tournaments.

  • Percy_Fender on August 12, 2008, 11:59 GMT

    I find it hard to believe that despite past experiences, the BCCI assign such a low priority to the itinery of tours and the choice of venues. This is in stark contrast with how England, South Africa and Australia prepare, sending out their own recconaiscance teams well in advance to ensure that their teams are provided with a level playing field. I fully agree with you in this regard. The irony is that whether it is Lele or Shetty, the Secretaries of the BCCI think that the press and the people have no business questioning their ineptness yet arrogant outpourings.On the cricketing front, the Sri Lankan series may have been disappointing with our so called Fab Four failing so collectively if the third test were to be ignored. But I do think that Mendis is a phenomenon who can never be sorted out in a hurry by anyone if he is kept out of the ODIs. Besides, the fact that he cannot speak English will ensure that he can never be boastful or media savvy, the two sure ways down the drain.

  • Nibsy on August 12, 2008, 11:54 GMT

    Tendulkar will crawl to 12,000 runs and it is patently obvious that he should be dropped. Dravid has lost confidence along with Ganguly. Dropping all 3 would make India's batting much stronger. Look at Gambhir he has done well, Rohit Sharma and others must be drafted in.

  • cosair89 on August 12, 2008, 11:36 GMT

    India lost to a better team, who used the conditions prevalent to the best of their advantage, albeit the Sri Lankan wickets are tailor made for the host team. India needs to get rid of the so call star batsmen as they seem to take things for granted and think that their place is cemented irrespective of how they perform. Sachin picks and choses when he wants to play. His performance has been awful and he should seriously consider retirement. Furthermore he is injury prone. Ganguly has lost his form and perhaps age has caught up with him. Dravid has lost confidence and is not suited to being the third in. Laxman is inconsistent. Spin which was the main thrust of Indian bowling is now at its weakest. Kumble has lost his touch in taking wickets and should be dropped. Unlike the team composition of youngsters in one dayers, there needs to be an injection of young players into the team to replace the ageing ex stars. This will see an improvement in fielding and running between wickets

  • indianpunter on August 12, 2008, 11:30 GMT

    Its is time! to make a few hard calls, to sit down and have a chat with the fab four. and fab, indeed, they have been. let's give credit where it is due and the little tap on the shoulder when needed.Dravid has been out of sorts for a long time. it started in South Africa in 2006. Only one laboured hundred in 2 yrs after that. Him and ganguly have to go.Tendulkar should take one hard look at himself and maybe call it a day after the aussie home series and probably so should laxman and kumble.In India, the trouble is no one retires with grace.they all have to be dumped.

  • Twenty20virgin on August 12, 2008, 11:25 GMT

    I don't agree SL is tougher to beat at home than the aussies are. The openers are their weakest in recent memory. While the 2 spin bowlers looked class, the pace department was inadequate even by Mahela's admission. The Indian team regularly does a Jekyll-Hyde act. Check their record of first tests of a away series or tests played after an intense win - complacency looms large. That does explain the fielding debacle. But it still doesn't explain the vaunted middle-order predominantly playing pad-first to spin. Was it age and the accompanying conservatism sweeping through the team?

  • Vishi on August 12, 2008, 11:18 GMT

    The reason why India is just because of two reasons. Mendis and the Referral system. Even if they had been a month earlier to Sri Lanka, they would have still lost. Indians actually did pretty good winning the 2nd test. Mark this day, Mendis is going to be fastest to get 100/200/300.., if hes not troubled with injuries. And please dont be so dramatic of the famous four. Indias problems were all along bowling and never been batting.. And now the bowling is coming up to Test standards..

  • umesh_srinivasan on August 12, 2008, 11:05 GMT

    The Sri Lankans had a definite plan for our famed batting line-up (Double M)and our guys just kept saying it could be overcome. Atleast some lessons could have been learnt from the Galle victory, were Mendis got his first 10 for in a test.Injury to Ishant was a great drawback no doubt, but there were three other bowlers of repute.Dravid and Laxman tried to score some runs just to prolong their stint in the middle order, not to save the team.I personally expected a few retirements after the series, but nobody wants to go though form clearly shows some of them in very poor light.

  • maulikshah17 on August 12, 2008, 11:00 GMT

    India lost because of its overhyped middle order and the lack of guts on the part of the selectors to drop these seniors.

  • Cric_monk on August 12, 2008, 10:46 GMT

    I dont think Indian batting was as bad..It was the quality bowling by Mendis and Murali that made all the difference..and the reason Sehwag and Gambhir scored more runs is because they got to face SL seamers on spinning tracks and that made getting runs a lot easier as compared to the middle order who had to come in when Mendis and Murali were settled in their spells and working the magic.Laxman had a couple of good outings and Tendulkar and Dravid still have a lot to offer..I think Ganguly needs to take a call.he has served India well,but maybe it is time to make a decision in the best interest of Indian cricket..

  • srini701 on August 12, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    Let's admit we lost to a better team. We were thoroughly under-prepared and save for Sehwag and Gambhir, could not read Mendis at all. The middle-order is beginning to show signs of age and I sincerely think its time to phase them out, since we can't afford to let go of all the seniors at one go. Ganguly might well have played his last Test and before the year's out, we might well see Dravid and Kumble announce their retirements too.

    Dravid and Kumble both had fantastic careers and they deserve to go out on their own terms and on a high. With Australia and England due to tour India this year, we might well see these two come roaring back for one last hurrah.

    It's clear India cannot hope to rival Australia in the rankings and we are well behind South Africa too. Would like to see Sri Lanka win more away series if they are to be counted as serious contenders.

  • Tomorrow_Never_Dies on August 12, 2008, 10:33 GMT

    No doubt India played badly throughout the series.Even though, Sehwag and Gambhir played good innings they did not take it as a test cricket.They can play their natural innings.But the approach they took was wrong.Mendis is a bowler who cannot be read very soon because he has varieties in his bowling. So, for any team, it would be surely difficult to tackle him.Remember,Tendulkar was in form before the series started and managed to get the highest run scorer in the practice match.But after the unlucky dismissals in both the innings of the first Test, his confidence in his shots seemed to very low.Dravid played his part in the final test.But still, the fab four's part throughout the series was bad.The skipper Kumble cannot be cursed as he bowled good spells but not that lucky to get wickets. In a test match, young players would not be added because experience plays a crucial role. Rohit Sharma who is a young player in our side misfielded for a couple of times which isn't acceptable.

  • Sheela on August 12, 2008, 10:32 GMT

    Indian selectors should be blamed for selecting such team and all of them should submit their resignations forthwith. One can understand a couple of dropped catches in a series but the Indian team in Sri Lanka do not have the interest in taking catches. Players who have shown distinct disinterest in fielding were selected and who is to be blamed for this situation, other than the selectors. Probably because most of the selectors themselves were lousiest fielders during their time including the Chairman of the selectors.

  • abhijithsimha on August 12, 2008, 9:49 GMT

    In my view defeating SL in SL is more difficult than defeating AUS in AUS especially with the addition of the mystery spinner to their armory. There is no real need to feel as if all hell is falling on us, I am pretty confident that this same team will do well in the series against AUS in IND.

  • Krishna2007 on August 12, 2008, 9:42 GMT

    Some very good arguments ere. Are the seniors finished? They have always come back and answered their detractors fittingly. The Aussie series in India should be the last chance for them. At the same time the way Dravid played and the way Laxman battled his way showed that all is not lost.

    The biggest error ould be to make that no talent Dhoni the captain for tests. He is one person who is not fit for any responsibility. The selection of the one day team has been influenced by him completely. The South has been ignored completely. That Badrinath came in is merely a stroke of providence. Do not expect him to play in the one days as that no talent captain is scared of anyone who has talent. Dhoni's technique is hopeless both as a batsman and wk. The only thing to his credit is that he is better than Dinesh Kaarthick was in Lanka.

  • Ankitsteam on August 12, 2008, 9:35 GMT

    Reading the comments on the blog makes it evident that we do have a very short memory and we dont respect our heroes,and that's the reason we have so few of them.I would love to read the comments of the same people when india won in england and drew the series down under.Sachin was GOD,Dravid was the wall but one series and they have become traitors. First of all lets congratulate Srilanka on what was a truly fabulous performance.I know Indian batsmen were not at their best but the reason theyweren't at their best was not their poor form but the guile and incessant pressure applied by M&M.Hats of to the Lankan spinners.

  • appajik on August 12, 2008, 9:22 GMT

    There are times even great batsmen like Lara, Richards were not able to get a single run on the board, still managed to comeback quite strongly. We don't need to criticize our big guns. Sachin is no doubt the best batsman in the playing world. We don't need to question his technique and his match winning capabilities. Sachin was the only icon of India for more than 10 years of his playing career. No doubt he is not in his best form from 2003, but he adopted so well to the situation. Instead of getting hundreds, getting more fifties with his sensible cricket. His average is still on par in any form of cricket. Dravid, I pity you. You were the wall for more than ten years. Still people are not satisfied with you. I hardly saw Dravid struggling for form. Second in his career I guess. First was against Akhtar in Pakistan. He can come back in next few months.Nobody is saying something to Ponting, inspite of his worst form. Stop bugging the greatest cricketers of all time.

  • Sudzz on August 12, 2008, 7:34 GMT

    The one factor I will single out would be the captaincy or the lack thereof. All things remaining equal I did not see Anil Kumble doing anything very different. It's a different matter that he was let down by the bulwark of his team.

    While I don't think Anil Kumble could do much else because the team was under prepared. But as a captain it is precisely in these situations that one can make a difference by some intelligent selection or taking some gutsy calls.

    Why was Rohit Sharma not played in any game one would never know and there were other passengers on the trip as well.

  • Frank2008 on August 12, 2008, 6:42 GMT

    First of all, let us get one thing straight. India are not the team to displace Australia from the top of Test cricket. India are nowhere close to being a top team in world cricket. With batting that does well occasionally, bowling that lacks potency, barring a couple of bowlers like Ishant and Zaheer, and fielding that is terrible to say the least, India's so-called race to No. 1 is a joke. I think it's safe to say that India are one of the worst fielding sides in world cricket at the moment. I can think of only Pakistan and West Indies who are at par with India in terms of fielding. Second, I want to highlight the fact that, not for the first time, that Laxman ignores his responsibility when batting with the tail. Don't get me wrong, he is a great player but also a selfish one. He should have been taking most of the strike in the second innings of the third test match.Yet we saw him taking a single of the first ball of the over a few times.

  • Gjacob123 on August 12, 2008, 6:33 GMT

    Putting aside the injuries and horrid keeping, I would say that India lost this series because of the 'Fab Four' and Kumble. They may not have been in form, but in at least one Test of the three, Ganguly and Sachin should have performed. I think Kumble's time is over, and he should gracefully retire. Dhoni should be appointed Test captain, as he would do a much better job. Sachin, I believe, still has a good chance of coming back. The rest of the 'Fab Four' should be under serious review. There are many capable younger players waiting for their turn - Badrinath, Raina and the like.

  • aliasgarap on August 12, 2008, 6:17 GMT

    I believe it's good that India lost the series, otherwise the drawbacks would have never been surfaced and India would have drafted the same team for Australia series. According to me, there are three areas of concern: middle-order batting, spin bowling and a bowling allrounder. I would take Rohit Sharma and Badrinath for Dravid and Laxman, and Yuvraj or Raina for Ganguly. I am not in favour of removing all the senior players. Sachin and Dravid have some cricket left in them, provided they are 100% fit and they can help groom the incoming younsters. Laxman/Ganguly have to be seriously thinking about their fitness and form to stay in the team. Kumble looked totally out of sorts and he should make way for Ojha or Chawla depending upon the pitches we play on. Also, the major worry for India is a bowling allrounder like Flintoff or Pollock. Irfan Pathan could be a very good choice if he gets his swing back with a penetrative pace to trouble top order batsmen. And finally get Dhoni as captain, then we can move ahead with a good Test side.

  • sanjbudd on August 12, 2008, 6:13 GMT

    The truth is Sri Lanka are under-rated and India are over-rated. India's famed batting consists of 2 twenty players who are good but could get out at any moment if they aren't scoring 7 an over. Tendulkar and Ganguly are Scandanavian - Finnish! Laxman is okay but needs to bat higher and Dravid needs six years to get into form - maybe they should have 30 bowlers bowl to him continuously for three months prior to a series - maybe he'll find some touch.

    There is no alternative to Dhoni and while the pace attack is decent enough on reasonably responsive pitches, the Indian spinners just don't win games for them anymore.

    The gap between Australia and the rest is closing and India are probably about fourth-best with the current team. Time for some young guns to have a go but I'm not sure the Twenty20 development route will bear much more than sporadic success and some entertainment in the long term.

  • avssrs on August 12, 2008, 5:12 GMT

    Dileep's point about South Africa being the No. 2 team (and not Sri Lanka) is probably down to the fact that Sri Lanka have a dismal away record. To win away, a team needs not only good spinners but a good pace attack as well. If guys like Dammika Prasad continue to support Murali (class, isn't he) and Mendis (I wish he was born in India) when it matters, Sri Lanka might improve their away record in coming years. Till then I'm sorry it's South Africa or India at No. 2. As for India, it's time for Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly to give BCCI a plan on how they would like to be phased out, one at a time. These guys have been great for India and should be given that option. I've excluded Laxman from this list because at 33, he still has a couple of years to offer in Tests.

  • friedmaggi on August 12, 2008, 4:57 GMT

    Ask any international bowler abruptly awoken from a deep sleep: Which is the most over hyped batting lineup in test cricket? The answer would be same each time. It is a deadlock situation. No selector or board member of the BCCI has an answer to this, or rather they don't want to answer the question.This was evident when Sourav Ganguly was dropped last year.Even Kumble now looks exhausted.One thing is for sure. The seniors cannot keep fighting their own battles with form and fitness at the expense of the team which is way bigger than each one of them.They must be the fuel on which the team machine runs, not the unbearable load on the shoulders of the team.

  • Karthijagadeesh on August 12, 2008, 4:31 GMT

    Unless the selection team focuses on talent rather than experience, this story will continue without any doubt. Moreover the whole strategy of practice has to be changed and the team has to get more sessions, not like the ones which happen now, but a military practice session where all the players will be considered as the new entrants and the training has to get them into form. Another important thing for the team is to find a quality pace bowler and a consistent allrounder. An alternate wicketkeeper for MS Dhoni has to be found as well. All this can be achieved only in long run. So the team has to focus on the players who play in the Ranji and has to develop local cricket, like the county teams, and bring it to the international level.

  • sray23 on August 12, 2008, 2:55 GMT

    It's commonplace to call for the seniors' heads in the face of a heavy defeat, but the reasons for India's consistency are complex and go back a long way into history. India has never been a consistently world-beating Test side and for people to talk like it's going to happen at the slip of a finger is farcical. Australia, by contrast, has historically produced a champion Test team every 20 years on average. No matter how much people try to escape it, the responsibility has to start at the top, with the BCCI. Aside from their talked about blunders when designing the itinerary, it is a disorganised entity. When your parenting is errant and inconsistent you will raise an errant and inconsistent child, and the same holds true for the BCCI. It is raising an inconsistent cricket team due to its leadership and lack thereof. But then, it can also be said that the BCCI is only one institution in the whole of Indian society. Defeats like this are food for thought for all Indians.

  • vakkaraju on August 12, 2008, 2:50 GMT

    It was clear from the start of the series that India were ill equipped to play Test cricket. Fitness and fielding were clearly the main drawbacks. The openers still played with a gusto to dominate the bowling and not with the kind of stuff that makes Tests different. 'Stay at the crease and score steadily' should have been their motto. Less said of the out-of-shape middle order batsmen the better. They want to continue playing, but somewhere their emotion was lacking. Recently, India had done better with faster bowlers and their reliance on spin seemed to create nostalgia than to beat a good team. Overall, the much-hyped players lost to a better team.

  • RohanKapoor on August 12, 2008, 2:35 GMT

    I stay in Australia and, trust me, when you take the name of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, the other word used with their names is 'legends';. I agree that this series has been a disaster however these guys have delivered and won us matches and series for the past 6-7 years. We can't be so short on memory that we shun these players out of the system. That's where teams like Australia and India differ. Do you think that Vengsarkar has spoken with Dravid, Laxman & Ganguly as to how long they think they can carry on playing and what plans they have. Unless selectors get down to this important job of talking with players, we will always have retirements which will in most cases be forced upon. Don't you think that Dravid and Ganguly deserved a hero's farewell from the ODI arena? However what they got was for everyone to see. People talk about dropping Kumble - I reckon he has been the epitome of Indian cricket.

  • raajpappu on August 11, 2008, 23:43 GMT

    Complacency, overconfidence and overdependency on the so called FAB FOUR who are way out of sorts for the past couple of series. It has been a tradition with India that you win ONE match and thats it do not win the next one it is not in our blood to win back to back we are just flash in the pan and yet people make the mistake of comparing us with the best in the world.

    Come on pal who you fooling. No team work or discipline and you expect them to win consistently? Big dream that never will come true.

  • Lucky16 on August 11, 2008, 23:43 GMT

    I think Indian cricket selectors are famous for doing mistakes they never tell seniors to take retirement on time so that younster takes on before the team lost compeletly. I think now it is the responsibility of senior players to take retirement with respect so that people can remember them with good memories.

    In current series no senior player look to be a part of the team including all five. I think Yuvraj or Dhoni should be given responsibilities to take care of the team for test and one day.

  • mcji5sa2 on August 11, 2008, 23:02 GMT

    I have to say that this column pretty much sums up how the cricket world looks at sri lanka. whenever SL win, ppl talk about how poorly the other team played, and despite being (Debatably) the 2nd best team in the world SL are never a team thats hyped up much. No doubt the indians played badly but it's being made to look like they are the worst team in the world now that they have lost to SL in SL!? could it not be that SL actually play well to win a game rather than the other team play poorly?? the worst perspective of the cricketing world is brought out in this column... sorry dileep...

    not to mention the huge exaggeration of india's underperformance keeping in mind literally almost half their team got injured during the last match...

  • maddy_cric on August 11, 2008, 22:56 GMT

    Very nice article....but i thought i could just point out a factual error in that India were beaten by 337 runs at the MCG and not 9 wickets as mentioned above..not that there is much difference in the grand scheme of things :D

  • USCANSL on August 11, 2008, 22:29 GMT

    This sounds weired and unacctable to most of our fans. Anyway, I am going to share what I feel about the Indians cricket team. Shewag and Gambir are the most 2 responsible batsmen for Indians' collapse. Why?. they tried to play test cricket with a one-day attitude which increased the opponents desire to take and break wickets and the same time it gives other batsmen in the team some kind of misjudgement about test cricket. If the openers played more test like cricket than one day cricket in thes test matches, these games should have been different. Why all the 3 test matches finshed in 4 days because Indian openers tried to play it like one day games. I think they are partly responsible for their disaster.

  • s.jaya on August 11, 2008, 22:28 GMT

    One main reason for India's defeat in this series was due to the lack of form from some of their key players, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. A great portion of the team's (India)positive performance laid soley on the two openers, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir whose great batting performance which was shown throughout the series help to lay a sort of solid foundation for the Indian batting line-up but unfortunately the middle order batsmen didnt maintain this total with the exception of V.V.S. Laxman who seemed to be the only batsman of the middle order to be consistent.

  • tutul on August 11, 2008, 22:16 GMT

    India have to move away from Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid trio. This trio is no longer a viable option and look for new blood and new middle order batsmen. Why can't they play Mendis? Their reflexes are slow and years piling over them now including Laxman. I agree that test cricket is the bottom of list for BCCI and they are ONLY after revenue. Do they actually understand cricket? can they separate Money from Cricket? I doubt it. India playing away from home is always a sorry state why? I am tired of listening about Indian greats, time has come to look for new blood and leave those greats of past behind.

  • Dejected_Indian_Fan on August 11, 2008, 22:01 GMT

    All I can do now is pray to God that Sachin, Ganguly, Kumble, Dravid and Laxman announce their retirement. I would rather happy to stomach defeat with young stars in the team rather than these old guys who drag on with no purpose and cannot even play one match saving let alone match winning knock. Had this been the case with any other country they would have been kicked out of the team long back. Enough is enough.

  • anirban.mitra on August 11, 2008, 21:25 GMT

    The biggest factor behind India's loss in this series is Mr Anil Kumble. I simply dont understand why the hell is he playing cricket when his days are over, and why the hell Indian board has appointed him the captain ?? He is constantly occupying one spinners place and talented players like Prgyan Ojha or Piyush Chawla is out in the cold and dont get to play. Also previously when he was just a player, atleast he could have been dropped as he is a liablity to the team , but now being the captain there is no one to drop him and he obviously wont drop himself. We lost the Ahemedabad test under kumble and when Dhoni Captained in the Kanpur test , we won the match. Also a point is that he is the worst batsman in the Indian tailenders and he would come the first at the fall of 6th wicket instead of no 11.

    Hence the biggest factor in india loosing is Anil Kumble. If he is out of the team we can look forward to good series against Australlia and England.

  • destined on August 11, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    Middle order and Kumble failed miserably. Kumble could not remove any top order players, and had to settle with some tail-ender's wickets.

    Gautam Gambhir needs some serious counseling. If he can not convert his great form and his starts in big 100s and 200s, he will never excel. He will never create a reputation for himself. Eventually, he will go through a lean patch, and the selectors will not remember any special innings from him, which will make them retain him in side. The reason they are "big 4", because they made big 100s when they were in good nick.

    Gambhir needs to learn quickly that there are not many opportunities when you are in form of your life, in conditions that suit you, and an attack that you are reading well.

    Tendulkar, Ganguly and VVS have been very selfish over last 3-4 years, and try to keep their place and averages. Dravid is selfless, but out of form.

    Future: 1) Drop Ganguly, get Badrinath 2) Make Dhoni captain, then Kumble's place in XI is not guaranteed

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  • destined on August 11, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    Middle order and Kumble failed miserably. Kumble could not remove any top order players, and had to settle with some tail-ender's wickets.

    Gautam Gambhir needs some serious counseling. If he can not convert his great form and his starts in big 100s and 200s, he will never excel. He will never create a reputation for himself. Eventually, he will go through a lean patch, and the selectors will not remember any special innings from him, which will make them retain him in side. The reason they are "big 4", because they made big 100s when they were in good nick.

    Gambhir needs to learn quickly that there are not many opportunities when you are in form of your life, in conditions that suit you, and an attack that you are reading well.

    Tendulkar, Ganguly and VVS have been very selfish over last 3-4 years, and try to keep their place and averages. Dravid is selfless, but out of form.

    Future: 1) Drop Ganguly, get Badrinath 2) Make Dhoni captain, then Kumble's place in XI is not guaranteed

  • anirban.mitra on August 11, 2008, 21:25 GMT

    The biggest factor behind India's loss in this series is Mr Anil Kumble. I simply dont understand why the hell is he playing cricket when his days are over, and why the hell Indian board has appointed him the captain ?? He is constantly occupying one spinners place and talented players like Prgyan Ojha or Piyush Chawla is out in the cold and dont get to play. Also previously when he was just a player, atleast he could have been dropped as he is a liablity to the team , but now being the captain there is no one to drop him and he obviously wont drop himself. We lost the Ahemedabad test under kumble and when Dhoni Captained in the Kanpur test , we won the match. Also a point is that he is the worst batsman in the Indian tailenders and he would come the first at the fall of 6th wicket instead of no 11.

    Hence the biggest factor in india loosing is Anil Kumble. If he is out of the team we can look forward to good series against Australlia and England.

  • Dejected_Indian_Fan on August 11, 2008, 22:01 GMT

    All I can do now is pray to God that Sachin, Ganguly, Kumble, Dravid and Laxman announce their retirement. I would rather happy to stomach defeat with young stars in the team rather than these old guys who drag on with no purpose and cannot even play one match saving let alone match winning knock. Had this been the case with any other country they would have been kicked out of the team long back. Enough is enough.

  • tutul on August 11, 2008, 22:16 GMT

    India have to move away from Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid trio. This trio is no longer a viable option and look for new blood and new middle order batsmen. Why can't they play Mendis? Their reflexes are slow and years piling over them now including Laxman. I agree that test cricket is the bottom of list for BCCI and they are ONLY after revenue. Do they actually understand cricket? can they separate Money from Cricket? I doubt it. India playing away from home is always a sorry state why? I am tired of listening about Indian greats, time has come to look for new blood and leave those greats of past behind.

  • s.jaya on August 11, 2008, 22:28 GMT

    One main reason for India's defeat in this series was due to the lack of form from some of their key players, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. A great portion of the team's (India)positive performance laid soley on the two openers, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir whose great batting performance which was shown throughout the series help to lay a sort of solid foundation for the Indian batting line-up but unfortunately the middle order batsmen didnt maintain this total with the exception of V.V.S. Laxman who seemed to be the only batsman of the middle order to be consistent.

  • USCANSL on August 11, 2008, 22:29 GMT

    This sounds weired and unacctable to most of our fans. Anyway, I am going to share what I feel about the Indians cricket team. Shewag and Gambir are the most 2 responsible batsmen for Indians' collapse. Why?. they tried to play test cricket with a one-day attitude which increased the opponents desire to take and break wickets and the same time it gives other batsmen in the team some kind of misjudgement about test cricket. If the openers played more test like cricket than one day cricket in thes test matches, these games should have been different. Why all the 3 test matches finshed in 4 days because Indian openers tried to play it like one day games. I think they are partly responsible for their disaster.

  • maddy_cric on August 11, 2008, 22:56 GMT

    Very nice article....but i thought i could just point out a factual error in that India were beaten by 337 runs at the MCG and not 9 wickets as mentioned above..not that there is much difference in the grand scheme of things :D

  • mcji5sa2 on August 11, 2008, 23:02 GMT

    I have to say that this column pretty much sums up how the cricket world looks at sri lanka. whenever SL win, ppl talk about how poorly the other team played, and despite being (Debatably) the 2nd best team in the world SL are never a team thats hyped up much. No doubt the indians played badly but it's being made to look like they are the worst team in the world now that they have lost to SL in SL!? could it not be that SL actually play well to win a game rather than the other team play poorly?? the worst perspective of the cricketing world is brought out in this column... sorry dileep...

    not to mention the huge exaggeration of india's underperformance keeping in mind literally almost half their team got injured during the last match...

  • Lucky16 on August 11, 2008, 23:43 GMT

    I think Indian cricket selectors are famous for doing mistakes they never tell seniors to take retirement on time so that younster takes on before the team lost compeletly. I think now it is the responsibility of senior players to take retirement with respect so that people can remember them with good memories.

    In current series no senior player look to be a part of the team including all five. I think Yuvraj or Dhoni should be given responsibilities to take care of the team for test and one day.

  • raajpappu on August 11, 2008, 23:43 GMT

    Complacency, overconfidence and overdependency on the so called FAB FOUR who are way out of sorts for the past couple of series. It has been a tradition with India that you win ONE match and thats it do not win the next one it is not in our blood to win back to back we are just flash in the pan and yet people make the mistake of comparing us with the best in the world.

    Come on pal who you fooling. No team work or discipline and you expect them to win consistently? Big dream that never will come true.