South Africa v India, 1st ODI, Johannesburg December 5, 2013

No point blaming schedule - Dhoni

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Cullinan: Indian batsmen need to use their feet more

India captain MS Dhoni has called for his new-ball bowlers to step up after his side was thrashed by 141 runs in the first ODI in Johannesburg. The visitors were typically underprepared, having spent only two-and-a-half days in South Africa before going into the match, but Dhoni said the schedule couldn't be helped.

"It is difficult [to play without warm-up games]," Dhoni said, "but at the same time, when you know the schedule, you have to mentally prepare yourself. If you ask some of the experienced players, they will say a lot of cricket is played mentally. We had two to two-and-a-half days, which gave us time to prepare ourselves mentally for the ODI."

Dhoni said he would have loved to have spent much longer in the country before playing the first international match, but said it was not possible in the present day. "What can be done?" he asked. "You'd love to come here, practise for a few days, play a few games, but nowadays the international schedule doesn't really permit that. We play throughout the year.

"If we need to get in those extra days, you don't know where they will come from. We played West Indies, had two or three days off, and came here. You have to adapt to conditions. Let us not complain about what is not there. Of course it would be lovely to get a few practice games, but at the end of the day what is important is what is in your hand."

When asked if the captain couldn't try and ensure his team had the right schedules, Dhoni's response was curt: "You keep talking about the schedule. What schedule is there, you have to follow."

What Dhoni did want his team to do, though, is not ask the batsmen to score 300 every time. "Overall it was a bad performance," he said. "It started with the bowlers initially. This was not really a 350-plus wicket. We were supposed to bowl it up, and the wicket would have done the rest. We didn't get the kind of start that was needed. At the same time we should have backed it up with some good batting, but we weren't able to do it."

The difference lay in knowing the conditions. Dale Steyn's opening spell, during which he seemed to beat the bat with every other delivery, was in stark contrast to India's bowling performance. "That's crucial. They know the conditions better than us," Dhoni said. "They know what lengths to bowl. That is one of the reasons why I want our bowlers to step up, so that you don't give away 300 runs. That puts pressure on the batsmen because they have to go after the bowling right from the first ball, which was not easy on this wicket against bowlers like Dale Steyn. If you see how he bowled to Rohit, he didn't move away from the good areas. We will have to step up overall."

Dhoni's beef was not with the death bowling - though India conceded 100 in the last six overs - but with the new ball, when the bowlers were either too full or too short. "Death bowling - over the world bowlers are going for runs," Dhoni said. "With the extra fielder inside and the fast bowlers are not able to get reverse-swing. It is the new ball that is important. Conditions will help. Bowl in the right areas, let the batsmen play good shots. Don't give them a gift."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Just_Sam on December 11, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Most of the posts here are of the opinion that Indian bowlers go for runs because they lack speed. But this is not the case. Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron have consistently bowled over 150+ in the past but went for easy runs. The faster the bowl comes the easier for a smart batsman to pick easy runs. Today's batsmen are not afraid of speed. Look at Shaun Tait & Tino Best who average around 150 but go for plenty of runs. On the other side Glen Mcgrath & Shaun Pollock who averaged around 128-129 kmph not only got wickets but were also very economical. When once asked, Mcgrath revealed the secret "Accuracy , Off stump Line and Bounce" . We need bowlers like them. Bhuvneshwar is one but he needs good support from the other end.

  • Just_Sam on December 11, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    Basically, the problem with India is there bowling. At the back of their mind all the Indian batsmen are aware that their bowling is grossly incapable of defending even a 350+ target against any side on foreign land. So this puts extra pressure on them apart from alien conditions and they become extra cautious or aggressive. The need of the hour is to get a good bowling coach i.e. Bruce Reid of Aus, Evan Chatfield of NZ or Aquib Javed of Pak. Choose one of them and Indian bowling problems will be gone.

  • Naresh28 on December 10, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    @nampally - so correct again. Without a change in attitude of captain and selectors we will go no where. Choose batsman who are tall and have good foot movement. Indians need to study the likes of AMLA, De Kock - although these guys may be having it easy due to our poor bowling. Yadav bowled fast but was bowling short,giving width and brainless. Shami was accurate at times and the best. He needs support from the other bowlers. Jadeja showed glimpes towards the end of returning back to his best - the stumping of De villiers.

  • pull_shot on December 7, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Indian bowlers should be selected on basis atleast 135+ as average speed no point bowling 125-135, i cant believe how vinay kumar,undhkat were selected they hardly bowl 135+ balls and no disrespect to ranji but we need to extend window for a series with good performers in ranji and mixed atleast 4 teams to play on different surfaces and with conditions to take atleast 5 bowlers in every team

  • lokesh0210 on December 7, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    will have to say that even in Aus test series, it was only R Ashwin who showed better technique and footwork than our mainline batsmen. I remember one of the commentator also stated that Indian batsmen who're failing should put their ego aside and ask R Ashwin what special he's doing that he stays longer on wicket than them & scoring runs and that too on his first tour and esp under immense pressure when the whole batting has collapsed. Even in 1st ODI, we all saw the elegance in his batting, his use of wrist and footwork. Sorry to say Sir Jadeja can hardly bat against international bowling attack and it's the high time Sir Raina is also sent to practice hard on short balls, if Viru and Raina both are flopping then they must go wth Viru cos he has experience and has also done decent in past in SA.

  • on December 7, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Why cant India develop fast bowlers? Every other test playing country has at least one bowler who can consistently touch 140mark. I dont remember a really quicky we had since Jawagal Srinath.

  • Al_Bundy1 on December 7, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    This is what happens when our selectors keep selecting club level bowlers like Mohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Unadkat, etc. We have better bowlers in Rishi Dhawan, Pankaj Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Imtiaz Ahmed, etc. but they don't get selected.

  • on December 7, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    India needs to bring Yadav and Zaheer Khan. Mohit Sharma is not better than a club bowler.

  • Temuzin on December 6, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    India's main problem is their bowling. Unless they improve/work/find talent and groom them. They will suffer in two ways. Not only Indian bowlers will be hammered away for 300 plus scores, they do not provide their batsmen enough practice either. Result is both suffer in their performances. India must prepare fastest and bounciest pitches at a few of their centers to provide practice to their batsmen before they embark on overseas tours. The selection of batsmen should be based on their performances on these pitches against best Indian bowling.

  • jerryman on December 6, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    might as well break records , if india cannot win , they should allow SA to get over 400 .. I think the highest is 434 ..

  • Just_Sam on December 11, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Most of the posts here are of the opinion that Indian bowlers go for runs because they lack speed. But this is not the case. Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron have consistently bowled over 150+ in the past but went for easy runs. The faster the bowl comes the easier for a smart batsman to pick easy runs. Today's batsmen are not afraid of speed. Look at Shaun Tait & Tino Best who average around 150 but go for plenty of runs. On the other side Glen Mcgrath & Shaun Pollock who averaged around 128-129 kmph not only got wickets but were also very economical. When once asked, Mcgrath revealed the secret "Accuracy , Off stump Line and Bounce" . We need bowlers like them. Bhuvneshwar is one but he needs good support from the other end.

  • Just_Sam on December 11, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    Basically, the problem with India is there bowling. At the back of their mind all the Indian batsmen are aware that their bowling is grossly incapable of defending even a 350+ target against any side on foreign land. So this puts extra pressure on them apart from alien conditions and they become extra cautious or aggressive. The need of the hour is to get a good bowling coach i.e. Bruce Reid of Aus, Evan Chatfield of NZ or Aquib Javed of Pak. Choose one of them and Indian bowling problems will be gone.

  • Naresh28 on December 10, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    @nampally - so correct again. Without a change in attitude of captain and selectors we will go no where. Choose batsman who are tall and have good foot movement. Indians need to study the likes of AMLA, De Kock - although these guys may be having it easy due to our poor bowling. Yadav bowled fast but was bowling short,giving width and brainless. Shami was accurate at times and the best. He needs support from the other bowlers. Jadeja showed glimpes towards the end of returning back to his best - the stumping of De villiers.

  • pull_shot on December 7, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Indian bowlers should be selected on basis atleast 135+ as average speed no point bowling 125-135, i cant believe how vinay kumar,undhkat were selected they hardly bowl 135+ balls and no disrespect to ranji but we need to extend window for a series with good performers in ranji and mixed atleast 4 teams to play on different surfaces and with conditions to take atleast 5 bowlers in every team

  • lokesh0210 on December 7, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    will have to say that even in Aus test series, it was only R Ashwin who showed better technique and footwork than our mainline batsmen. I remember one of the commentator also stated that Indian batsmen who're failing should put their ego aside and ask R Ashwin what special he's doing that he stays longer on wicket than them & scoring runs and that too on his first tour and esp under immense pressure when the whole batting has collapsed. Even in 1st ODI, we all saw the elegance in his batting, his use of wrist and footwork. Sorry to say Sir Jadeja can hardly bat against international bowling attack and it's the high time Sir Raina is also sent to practice hard on short balls, if Viru and Raina both are flopping then they must go wth Viru cos he has experience and has also done decent in past in SA.

  • on December 7, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Why cant India develop fast bowlers? Every other test playing country has at least one bowler who can consistently touch 140mark. I dont remember a really quicky we had since Jawagal Srinath.

  • Al_Bundy1 on December 7, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    This is what happens when our selectors keep selecting club level bowlers like Mohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Unadkat, etc. We have better bowlers in Rishi Dhawan, Pankaj Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Imtiaz Ahmed, etc. but they don't get selected.

  • on December 7, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    India needs to bring Yadav and Zaheer Khan. Mohit Sharma is not better than a club bowler.

  • Temuzin on December 6, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    India's main problem is their bowling. Unless they improve/work/find talent and groom them. They will suffer in two ways. Not only Indian bowlers will be hammered away for 300 plus scores, they do not provide their batsmen enough practice either. Result is both suffer in their performances. India must prepare fastest and bounciest pitches at a few of their centers to provide practice to their batsmen before they embark on overseas tours. The selection of batsmen should be based on their performances on these pitches against best Indian bowling.

  • jerryman on December 6, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    might as well break records , if india cannot win , they should allow SA to get over 400 .. I think the highest is 434 ..

  • jerryman on December 6, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    on pacy wickets India will not win.. They cannot handle short pitched bowling .. Good luck SA thrash em outta the park

  • lokesh0210 on December 6, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    Thats when you realize the importance of technique and experience. And the masters of the same were our Sir Dravid & Sir Tendulkar. Missing them.

  • Nampally on December 6, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    Indian problem with poor bowlers is NOT NEW! But the resigned philosophy of accepting has been strong batting masked poor bowling. Whilst most Nations have a plan of action + performance expectations from their bowlers, India does NOT. This is proven by Ishant Sharma & Vijay Kumar bowling erratically for years yet no penalties. They both retained their spot in the XI despite scores of poor performances. What message does this send ? Select the players based on their Fitness, Form & performance. If they don't perform, they are OUT. That is where India needs to start from to improve. Right now 3 best seamers for SA are Shami, ZAK & possibly Yadev because of his pace. Also India needs a proper #4 bat- Pujara- arguably one of the best in the world but not Dhoni's favourite!. Yuvraj is a #7 batsman. In SA conditions, even Ashwin has better footwork than Yuvraj & Raina.These are hard truths Dhoni must accept. Put the personalities aside & play the Best XI. I blame the XI - not the schedule!

  • Imad_K on December 6, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    Agreed with KricketWicket. Armchairjohnny - you are missing the point. It's not the fact that whether the South African batsmen may have scored the same kind of runs facing their own bowlers - even though they have shown against the Aus and Eng bowling attacks they can bat. It's obvious that virtually every Indian batsmen is struggling against the pace and bounce when they play outside the subcontinent. A team that can blitz runs in India against most attacks - but outside a team with such great batsmen - get completely anihilated. Look at when they played against England and Australia a couple or so years ago - they were losing by huge margins. Unless they address the problem of dropping guys that are so scared/inadequate of facing the short ball or coaching their players on how to play in those conditions then they will fail. The point is not so much about losing overseas for a team but at least put up some kind of fight, come close - especially when you are ranked so high up.

  • on December 6, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    we lost the game But i think our batsman were looking good. They would Hv gained a lot of confidence and they will bounce back in the next match for sure.

  • armchairjohnny on December 6, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    I wonder if people even bothered to read the article in its entirety. If you read it properly, you realize that Dhoni is not making excuses. Yet so many posters are accusing him of 'making excuses'!.

    Dhoni is being a realist and realizes that unless a fast-bowling culture emerges in India, the team will be powerless overseas. Fact is the Indian batsmen are just as technically equipped as any other international batting lineup, but they lack the bowling resources to make life equally difficult against the opposition in helpful or sporting conditions. There's no way South Africa would have made 350+ if they were facing their own bowlers. The Indian batsmen similarly, would have hammered their own bowlers for a similar score on the same pitch.

  • Temuzin on December 6, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    @Giri Jagannathan: No Dhoni really cant say NO to BCCI. He will be immediately removed. I rememebr 2-3 years back when Dhoni was complaining about too many matches and too much work load , then BCCI vice president Rajeev shukla had replied on national TV that, those feeling over worked can opt out and then he further mocked players by saying , but no one wants to lose money so every one wants to play. Dhoni opted out for one good series. But BCCI kept its tight scheduling to mint more money.

  • KricketWicket on December 6, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    I agree with Dhoni. No point blaming the schedule. But as a fan of Indian cricket, I am used to seeing this happen overseas time and again. The thing we need to blame is that Indian batsmen hardly ever stand up when they are met with conditions where they can have things their own way. Where is the spine? Even if they had lost, but faught to say 300 or 320, which would have been possible had they shown more courage to stick around, we could have taken something away from the game.

  • BigINDFan on December 6, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Interestingly Misbah gets to play with a misfiring batting line up and does not get criticized as much as Dhoni does for losing one game. The difference is Pak knows their strength is bowling and sticks to it. For Ind the strength is batting so why did MSD put SA in to bat first? So that his batsmen can chase any total or hope his bowlers will do better first up than defend? He is right in not blaming schedules since there is too much cricket which players want so they can earn more money.

    Get good bowling coaches and groom the fast bowlers and spinners. Bowling is horrible whether with new ball or death bowling. MSD should stop whining about the new fielding rule, get used to it since other teams are. Accept that the bowlers are pathetic now bowling yorkers or using change of pace.

    Get Zaheer back into the ODIs and use him to bowl first change and at the death. He has variations not speed. Bowl out Bhuvi and Shami first up. Get Ashwin to learn the doosra and other variations.

  • Biggus on December 6, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    Yep, no point in me blaming the schedule, but if I mention it the fans will do it for me. Then I can look all diplomatic and.....blame the schedule.

  • on December 6, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    No negative comments please, we are playing in SA and not in India.

  • Nabeell on December 6, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    I have noticed that in recent matches Indian Batsmen tend to get Run Out whenever they face a tough bowling attack, is that a way to keep the critics away?

  • devil_in_details on December 6, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Getting early wickets is crucial but limiting death overs damage is also important. I wonder who we have for guiding these young bowlers. Dhoni was let down by his new ball bowlers and Ashwin. Out of this I believe Bhuvi and Ashwin will learn and turn in better performances next match. Mohit though does not seem to have the ability at least from the limited matches he has got. If Yadav can come in and bowl the right lengths and Bhuvi improve, the SA score can be limited to a large extent. As for batting we can not have Yuvi, Raina and Jadeja all three with limited technique in the same batting line up . Its time to give one or both of Rahane and Rayadu a chance. Regardless of who is selected though a much increased level of commitment and energy would have to be shown by the whole team to win the series from hereon.

  • vrkp on December 6, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    When wii our bowlers learn to pitch up? The same story repeats in every away series. As soon as the they see pace and bounce in a foreign pitch, our bowlers try to bowl short pitch without realising that you need to bowl at more than 140K in order for the short pitch deliveries to have any effect. Our 120K trundlers such as Bhuv & Mohit should stop pitching it short and bowl to their strength.

    Secondly, at least one of Yuvi/Raina should be dropped and Rayudu should play. Rahane is not great either against pace. He is one of the overhyped batsman.

    Thirdly, if it comes between Jadeja or Ashwin, then I would say keep Ashwin in the team. In bowling, the both are performing almost same but Ashwin is far better batsman than Jadeja.

    Finally, please don't bring back Ishant. He had many chances but failed to take it properly. My XI for the next match:

    Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli, Rayudu, Dhoni, Raina/Yuvi, Ashwin, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Shami, Yadav.

  • 30-30-150 on December 6, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    This should be Indian ODI XI for the NZ, ENG, AUS tour next year as well as the 2015 WC: Pujara, Dhawan, Gambhir, Kohli, Rohit, Dhoni, Jadeja/R Dhawan, Mishra, Shami, Yadav, (vacant slot for fast bowler).

  • on December 6, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    I could n't agree with Dhoni here, Indian Team must have arrived at-least 10-15 days prior and should have payed 2-3 warm matches which would have given some sort of confidence and touch to both fast bowlers and batsmen, in the current situation I would be surprised if India would be able to won any one-day match or even draw a test match.

    Also playing 2 test matches in South Africa is not going to help, BCCI should have added more test matches in tour which have really provided the exposure to this young Indian.

  • on December 6, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    one game and out comes the anti-india comments. These same people will disappear when India wins the next game.

  • on December 6, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    ROFL. Can't Dhoni say no to the schedule? The BCCI will listen to him. Why play the WI or Aus in meaningless ODIs? India must go 2/3 weeks before to practice. OR PREPARE bouncy sporting tracks at HOME so that the team is sort of okay. Even that wont work. For example if Aus play in Perth and go Wanderers, they will still need a game or two before taking the field.

    Some Indian batsmen did practice with tennis balls, wet balls, taped seam balls, against the bowling machine, against the locals bowlers at nets in Aus or SA or Eng...

    The results were okay. Wonder what's happened to that.

    All is well with IPL but not Indian Cricket.

  • ac_Indian on December 6, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    @Bladerunners: Again please read before starting your blade and running away. He is not blaming the schedule.

  • Bladerunners on December 6, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    I am surprised that india is now blaming they arrived two days before!!!!!!!!!!!!is that sa or others fault?did someone tell bcci to host windies?indian r really talented!

  • ac_Indian on December 6, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    @ Mayank Pahuja @Bokesh: Read carefully dude. He is NOT blaming the schedule

  • RMCroos on December 6, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    India will not pass 250 in any format in south africa!!!!!

  • Bokesh on December 6, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    Agree with you all. MS should stop blaming schedule every time, and instead, try to strengthen the bowling there are other bowlers also who are bowling in death overs. Squandering almost 100 runs in the last ten overs is criminal.Unless and until bowling is improved the same story would be repeated. That's why they are called meows when they are playing on green tops.Wake up MS, every time you won't be playing in sub continent.

  • Yogesh_Sawant on December 6, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Dhoni is right here putting the blame on bowlers..Good batsmen and good bowlers read pitches quickly..It shouldnt have taken them 10 overs to realize that bowling full is the key on such pitches. It takes about and over to understand the bounce and after that you have to adapt. If the bowlers are ignoring this then what are they actually thinking? Shami got swing just because he allowed the ball to be in the air. At @ 130 kmph kumar and sharma are no way going to push batsman back and take the edge by bowling short..Amla and de Kock were given plenty of short and wide deliveries early on. Moreover having both Ashwin and Jadeja is creating problems.. They may appear to have given away lesser runs than the seamers but imagine a better seamer playing...Yuvi is out of touch for long but he is in limelight just because no one performed..Previously we were winning despite his underperformances.so he reached SA..time to give a break to rayudu or rahane. eventually they will be playing Wc-2015

  • SanjayOkhade on December 6, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Dhoni has tendency to blame whenever he fail to deliver.Now this the real test for him n team as well.We still waiting for series win SA in test & odi

  • on December 6, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Indian could not bat against good bowling side, same happened even in India when Pakistan visited there. If you look Indian batsmen averages many of them stays under 40s which is not understandable and their bowling is always an issue. No genuine seemer after Kapil.

  • Imad_K on December 6, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Sometimes I think these players and coaches live on a different planet. To be honest I hardly follow cricket but look at my comments I posted before the Indian series in England and Australia. I categorically stated that India would get thrashed. Same excuses last time - schedule, preparation etc. Stop making excuses and blaming the bowlers. The reason India get hammered is purely because Indian batsmen can't bat outside the subcontinent against teams that have good bowling attacks. Pitches that have pace and bounce - that is the FACT. Look at people like Yuvraj, Raina etc - when Yuvraj is taking the ball on the gloves hiding his face that has nothing to do with schedule etc. In the whole Indian team probably just 1 maximum 2 batsmen look anything but comfortable with against the quick, short ball. Instead of making excuses that is the reason otherwise why is it that this very team chases down the biggest scores in India but can hardly score any runs outside the subcontinent.

  • Jai_India on December 6, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    I am an Indian and I am very happy that they are playing in SA even if they fail now a bit. SA played really well. Congrats. I feel India needs quick bowlers. Dhoni might have missed a trick on this track by including 2 spinners. Jadeja would have done the job with Umesh/Isanth instead of Ashwin. I expected a lot from Bhuvi in SA. But he had a wayward performance with the new ball. Only Shami was a bit good with the new ball. I think considering the type of wickets, Ishanth is not a bad option since he is able to generate pace and bounce. Umesh has to be preserved for the test matches i think.

  • on December 6, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Based on one match, you can't decide which team is good or bad. Every team has its home ground advantage. SA knows the pitch well and how to restrict the scoreboard in the game, same applies to INDIA in the subcontinent. Its pretty difficult for the bowlers to quickly adapt to the situations around, since majority of the matches were played in the subcontinent this year. So cheers team INDIA..! long way to go..! #Bleedblue

  • on December 6, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Dhoni should call zaheer and ishant back in side for the next odi they can make a big difference in Indian blowing

  • Minnow_Team_Fan on December 6, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    Taking into consideration recent South African performances at home, Steyn may only concede 30 (+/-5) runs in ten overs. Other two bowlers (McLaren and Morkel) will give away 80 (+/-10) runs only. So Indian team can only make 110 runs in 30 overs against SA in this series. The rest twenty overs can be crucial for both India and SA. In order for India to post reasonable total to defend, they have to make more than 160 runs in 20 overs bowled by other 2-3 SA players. It is unlikely that India will exceed considerably from this total of 270.

    Now question is, with Indian bowlers' current form, is this total sufficient to win the match? I don't think so.

    In my opinion, India is going to lose this series 3-0. Period.

  • on December 6, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    He always has excuses up his sleeve. I cant remember West Indies making any despite a hastily planned tour!

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on December 6, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Bad news for Ind is it's just game 1 of series . Still 2 ODIs and tests -2 of them much more spicy pitches - to go . It is just the 1st thrashing in 1st match of tour and look well out of depth. Still more games to go . Just wish all the luck!! Need it ,does Ind ! -:)

  • on December 6, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Don"t forget Ist ODI Pakistan Vs India in India, all great batsmen, Sehwag, Kohli, Sharma, and Yuveraj were out on 29/5. Even in India on good pitches and against good bowling they are regular batsmen.

  • PanGlupek on December 6, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Dhoni's right, India can't complain about the schedule at all - they didn't have to speedily arrange 2 games against weak opposition at the last minute at home - they could have been in the South Africa much earlier. The choice of their board, I'm afraid.

  • on December 6, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    This a problem with Dhoni, He always blame other matters regarding his team fault. Now he is blaming time given to his team in SA. Before he is use to blame fielding restriction rules whenever he is loosing match. Its not fair. His bowlers bowelled very bad and got punishment. Batsmen are use to play more cricket in India on flat pitches and they are heroes in india. Its 7 time more than 300 against india in last 9 matches, and its due to week bowling. Inian batting compensating this in India but I is difficult for them to do same in SA. Change bowling and bring more spinners if they want to win in SA, like Pakistan.

  • on December 6, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    All India needs to do is to take Ishanth and Umesh for next ODI and keep bowling fast .South Africans are equally vulnerable against pace bowling like what happened to them against Pakstan.Also amit mishra for jadeja would make a lot of difference.I am confident that with these changes India can win. Ganesh

  • on December 6, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    all the best team india... one day will come.. you ll start winning... but before that select the right crop of players and persist with them... no myths please.. only talent, confidence and application can bring wonders... fight as a man... leave away the fear and cowardness... we ll surely rock soon... everywhere ....love cricket..

  • on December 6, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    First Dhoni should stop backing his CSK players, any one of Mohit or Bhuvi should have played. Dhoni should also back Bhuvi the same way he backs Mohit (CSK), instead he adds extra pressure on Bhuvi.

  • on December 6, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    No Team in world is destined to win every game. We Indian Cricket Fans also needs to adapt to this truth. And look at our players, they too are human beings. They play round the year and still Dhoni is saying that this is not an excuse. They are trying their best with available options but It's our selection system as well as talent grooming which needs to be updated. Make more overseas tours, let them loose but at some point of time, they will adapt to those and start winning. The wait can be longer but worth to implement.

  • harshavardhan2000 on December 6, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    @tienne marrie-its not the WI series kept to bid the farewell of the so called ONE MAN,Its the BCCI whose inserted it due to take revenge upon CSA appointing haroon lorgat.Know it.Chill guys,why blaming out our team.India are poor starters to any tour.We need to support our team.But just needs a few changes and it will be done for sure.We should not except every day the batsmen to score 350+ indeed the the bowlers leak runs always.there needs to be 1-2 changes in the top 7,they would be ryt.everyone is blaming our team.we need to support them.India rockzzz..

  • student_ofthe_game on December 6, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    Today match is another question mark on the governing body's (this case BCCI) management skills rather than the players themselves. Even dhoni's remarks had a lot to say if you read between the lines. How hard is it to understand a simple fact that Indian team does not to well outside not only because we lack bowling talent but we are always under prepared before a major tournament, may it be England in 2011 which was just after the world cup and IPL, or may it be South Africa now. We need more creative and intuitive decisions by BCCI. Not saying that it will make everything all Hunky-dory but at least the effort would count. Like sending key players a week ahead to prepare better or hire a bowling consultant for the series from that country or some one with a lot of recent experience for that one series. BCCI with all their financial muscle can make it happen. All they need in an intent or are they waiting for one of our players to go on a stress leave before they make any change

  • iambanker on December 6, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Bolwers win you matches. Indian bowling line up is just next to nothing. India can win series on home pitches and sub-continents. an odd series or tournament once in a while outside & couple of odd games on lively surfaces of SA, NZL, Eng & Australia. Nothing more than that. Period.

  • on December 6, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Now everyone knows that how powerful is PAKISTANI bowlers.

  • Teja_Smart on December 6, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    I agree with Dhoni that IND not bowled well. But the selection of bowlers for the match is wrong. Mohit and Bhuvi are having well enough talent but they are not quite well for opening spell in these kind of pitches. Umesh will be the better option, he's having good pace n bounce. Also Ishant is better option, experience will play a major role here. Hope Dhoni will come with Umesh n Ishanth in the second ODI. Shami is doing his job.

  • Asimaasi on December 6, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Is this the Same "Worlds BEST Batting" dancing around on the pitch who used to chase down 350+ easily few weeks back????? After facing the worlds best bowling attack of Pakistan in last 15-18 matches, SA must be feeling the indian bowlers like school kids.

  • Amol_Gh on December 6, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    Of course there is no use blaming the schedule, Mr. Dhoni, because...you all and the administration were always afraid of the hiding that you were going to get here in SA. That is the reason why you all trimmed it and inserted the weak WI tour in between so that you all can blast the WI bowlers and bloat your own batting averages before getting them pricked empty in SA.

  • Pankreap on December 6, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Let me put it this way:Indians has been playing in the subcontinent pitches for so long that they just could'nt adapt that easily in the south afr. Pitches.Just look at the bounce they were getting.Even good length deliveries were coming at waist/chest height.How can they just adapt so quickly without even being given 2/more warm up games to assess the conditions better and play accordingly. Having said that i would recommend:Ishant(he can extract pace and more importantly that extra bounce) for mohit(Just not understandable why he's in the team looking at his e.r over 7 and 1/2 wicket in last 4 or 5 matches.).ALSO bring in umesh yadav and play with one spinner rather than 2.Playing with 2 spinners seems to be the worst tactic. Finally,how can expect our batters to score 350+ in alien cond. First up.This is just ridiculous.

  • Amol_Gh on December 6, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    As an Indian, I believe other than the great Sachin Tendulkar, no other Indian batter deserves to boast off their one-off double-century individual scores. They all are pretenders and were exposed pathetically on a fair pitch.

  • Just_Sam on December 6, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    As per stats, in ODI's Team India has got maximum 300+ scores in the world. Also maximum wins while chasing 300+ scores (14). But on the other hand is also culprit of losing lots of matches (6, next only to England's 8) while defending 300+ scores. This tells me that our batting is on the right track but bowling is very bad. In order to produce good fast bowlers, there is a strong need to review our Domestic Cricket System. At present we all are aware of the heroics of 14-15 year olds Prithivi Shaw, Armaan Jaffer & Sarfaraz Khan, who all have gone past scores of near 500 or more and also under twenties Unmukt Chand & Baba Aparijith. But there is no talk of any fast bowler, because there is none. Loophole - our system only focuses on BATSMEN.

  • himanshu.team on December 6, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    I agree with just_sam: If India has been facing the problem of poor bowling line-up since the days when it was ranked the no.1 team in test cricket, we should have sorted the matter by now. However, all we keep doing is bring in young faces and hope that they perform at the highest level. We do not seem to have any plan on how to groom these bowlers. I am sure that these boys who have been bowling almost all their lives, would be able to bowl to a plan and consistently. The task is to train and groom them in that fashion and for that we need a proper bowling coach who has experience of bowling fast and accurate at International level. Donald would be the best to do it. If he is unavailable try to recruit McGrath, McDormet, Walsh, Ambrose etc. But no Akram, Shastri, Kapil Dev etc. who are too theoretical and less practical.

  • sachin_vvsfan on December 6, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    @Brenton1 I agree this should have been a 5 ODIS, 3 test series atleast. That would have given proper exposure to our bowlers and batsmen . The short tours will not add any value.

  • raj_n on December 6, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Indian bowling will never change. If someone can bowl fast he will be made the 12th man at best. Line and length is more important for the captain. As far as batting goes Dhawan should have taken first strike since he tries to score. Rohit only goes for singles early on. Also Yuvraj and Raina are playing too high in the order.

  • Shiva62 on December 6, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    There is no meaning in giving reasons for the failure.....Umesh, Shammi, Bhavaneshwar can form a better combination. They need to practice in the nets and work hard.......in the batting Yuvi need to be dropped....Rahane can come in the playing eleven.....that's it.......Mohit out and Umaesh in....Yuvi out and Rahane in....certainly our players will bounce back.....

  • Fahii on December 6, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    With 3rd class bowling line you cant defeat a side having strong batting line up.

  • Just_Sam on December 6, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Surprised - Why Pujara is not selected for ODI's.

  • on December 6, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    India needs to bring Rishi Dhawan, Varoon Aroon with Umesh Yadav and Mohd Shami, if they want to pose a threat in foreign conditions. It is not possible in this series. But selectors should be ready and cull those fellas from the squad who are not ready for international exposure. Although Rohit Didnt score yesterday against Steyn, but he was doing right he got more into pressure becuase Dhawan was not rotating a strike from another end, if Dhawan would have done so it would have been better as Steyn would have to bowl from different angles for both the batsmen. Still happy for Rohit and Kohli, they should what they have in them, Rohit will only improve from here on, if it would have been old rohit he would have got out in very first over and postive intent was showed by Virat. Raina himeslf got runout and made Rohit runout to avoid the strike. So in next match India should do atleast 4 changes drop Yuvi, Raina, Mohit and Bhuvi and bring in Rahane, Rayudu, Umesh and Ishant (?).

  • Just_Sam on December 6, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Hence proved - Yuvi & Raina cant play Fast Bowlers on Fast Tracks & Spinners on Spin Tracks.

  • Just_Sam on December 6, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Just cant make out one thing. From Captain to every Tom, Dick & Harry is cribbing against inferior Indian bowling, but nobody seems to be doing anything to improve it. I suggest Change-Of-Bowling-Coach. Appoint either of the following - Evan Chatfield, Glen McGrath, Aquib Javed, Chaminda Vaas, Ian Bishop. My first choice - Evan Chatfield.

  • Ddna on December 6, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    I see everyone blaming bcci but it was the sa cricket board who annouced the tour and match dates without consulting with bcci. Also players performance is nothibg to do with the boards. I hope india will bounce back in the second match.

  • on December 6, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    India must reshuffle its bowling attack. Shami, Yadav and Ishant must be there in the bowling lineup. Dhoni should do his best to optimize his resources.

  • Raggie on December 6, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    Drop Yuvi & Raina, inplace of rahane and rayudu, bring on rishi dhawan as an allrounder and varun aaron for pace.

  • Just_Sam on December 6, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Indian team mamagement is to be blamed for yeaterday's defeat. When you continue to play Out-Of-Form batsmen and bowlers then this kind of result is expected. I very well knew that if top three fail, then India will fail. On the other hand bowlers bowled as expectedly. If India had played Zaheer & Umesh in place of Bhuvi & Mohit and Rahane & Raidu in place of Yuvi & Raina then result could have been different. Lets face the truth - Yuvi is over.

  • ragupathi84 on December 6, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    i think we need fast bowlers , because yesterday our bowlers very very worst performance. most one important please give rest for ROHIT SHARMA, because he is not good batting, please wait for him batting coming 20 matches he is not taken highest run . yesterday he touch the first ball 13 delivery. what a poor batting . we dont need quick run , but touch the bat after u take run . rohilt is a worst performance

  • GRVJPR on December 6, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Which was the bowler who got Hashim Amla out in Champions trophy MSD? Answer: Umesh Yadav, Play him. Basically India should go for wickets. No more than 230 to chase in any game.

  • on December 6, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    We can't blame the batsmen,because every day they can't chase 350 plus scores in ODIs.And its not also because of the flat pitches made in India,when they get exposed to bowler friendly wickets they leaked so many runs at the opening and death overs.I think Indian selectors need to take care off recruiting fast bowling guns for team.It's shame for a World No.1 team to say that we don't have quality pace bowlers who have decent pace in 140s and swing.If we can't produce quality bowlers,there is no point in conducting IPL rather than making many potential batsmen for the Team.Being a great fan of Cricket,it is tough to suggest that better BCCI give citizenship to good bowlers who were playing for Other countries so that they can be brought to Indian side.Many examples can be found from International side,say Dirk Nanes,Boyd Rankin.

  • on December 6, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    What bothers me is that slowly and gradually international cricket is getting divided into a house-of-lords and a house-of-commons. Teams like India, England and Australia can complain about improper scheduling and lack of warm up games blah blah while other teams r traveling and playing the same way left, right and center of the world. With Pakistan playing everywhere but home, constantly traveling and performing, excuses like lack of warm up matches shouldn't be brought up.

  • Brenton1 on December 6, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Of course the schedule cant be blamed. Its the BCCI that had India playing a ODI without proper preparation. They were the ones who arranged for the WI tour for Sachins 200th Test and they are the ones who curtailled the SA tour for it. I hope it was worth it. Its only the dissapointment of world cricket fans that such an epic tour is now only a 3 ODI and 2 test affair

  • akilan666 on December 6, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    any how we still having a opportunity to improve our bowling form . .ishant,yadav, are capable of bowling a good bouncers with 140 + and batsmen should practice for swing and bounce balls .

  • himanshu.team on December 6, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    @Rohit Rathi: You call Dhoni technically crap, yet he scored almost a run-a-ball fifty, was the highest scorer, by far, from India. If he can do that in his third day into SA, and after practicing with red balls on the eve of the match, I don't think you should call his technique 'crap'. Not everyone needs to bat like Boycott or Gavaskar to prove he has got a good technique. As far as Dhoni's comments are concerned, they are bang on. The bowlers need to lift their game. Everyone knows that in these conditions, you need to pitch the ball up and make batsmen drive. You can not get players out by tempting them to cut and pull. Steyn was unplayable because his grouping to Rohit Sharma was just perfect. Indian bowlers, on the other hand started by bowling short and wide. That is neither the line nor the length that will give you wicket. I have not played competitive cricket but I know at least this much. this bowling unit must get its act together and fast.

  • 11_Warrior on December 6, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    We need to have some expirience in pace department, if we are thinking of coming back in to the series. It may sound bitter but both Bhuvi & MM Sharma was strugaling yesterday. India will paly with another Sharma i.e. Ishant & Umesh Yadav in the next match. Yuvraj will have make way for either Rahane or Rayudu.

  • vinodkd99 on December 6, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    England came to Australia 20 days before 1st International Match. Here we go 3 days before 1st match starts and expect wonders.

  • on December 6, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    what a bad team selection it was? MS ur playing in SA not in INDIA. he went with mohit n bhuvi just b'coz not to change team from last win, but conditions are not suitable for them. he has to quickly realize and get rahane,umesh n ishanth for yuvi,mohit n bhuvi..it's only 3 match series n ur in knockout situation..

  • pitch_curator on December 6, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    @ Tiene Marie - The mighty proteas - winners of...oops.. they havent won any world cups is it? OMG I see that they have been thrown out of World cups in the first knockout game EVERY SINGLE time. Still, all hail the mighty proteas.

  • on December 6, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    @rohit rathi...Dhoni is not a technically crap batsman for your kind information. You must get the definition of "Technically Sound" batsman correct. Whether a batsman who plays a shot and looks good and does not score is a technically sound or a batsman who play shots and does not look good but scores runs is a technically sound one. Dhoni has been India's mainstay of the batting line up and a technically crap one can never be one. A player who is in the top 10 of ODI rankings for last 5-6 years definetly says a lot about the technical capabilities of dhoni.

  • sanh on December 6, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    India NEEDS Pujara in ODIs.... Selectors please wake up.

  • caldruid on December 6, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    Why is Dhoni even suggesting/whining about the schedule ? The fallout from playing Aus/Wi on dead tracks is just starting. The best the team can do from here is to take each match as it comes and at least fight.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 6, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    @ Atifkhan3489. This is a worst performance by India, we agree. But have you checked the scorecard? India gone past 200 unlike your team who struggle to score even 150! Four of our batsmen out for 0 and only 3 - Dhoni, Kohli and Jadeja have a convincing inngs. So, even with worst performance India can score 200+. So, better look at own side and find few batsmen before criticizing others.

  • on December 6, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    No need to thrash India yet. We have won Twenty20 world cup in South Africa and in England. Dhoni's chennai super kings won champions trophy in South Africa. Last time, the test series in south africa was tied. One bad game does not mean much. South Africa were low on confidence from one day front. So they dished up a spicy pitch and made India play on it. I would not blame south africans. Inida would have done the same if they were in same situation. Dish up a pitch that turns squarely and put visitors in. The commentators themselves told that the matches played by Pakistan were in pitches which spun more and suited Ajmal and Afridi rather than suiting Steyn and Morkel. Wanderer is all together a different prospect. No team would have scored 358 against that SA attack on that pitch. Regarding bowling, this is all we have for now. When you do not have good bowlers then where can you bring one from ?. It is not India's fault that we are No 1 in ODI. We welcome other teams to be No 1 als

  • Biggus on December 6, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Funniest thing I've seen in years, India's batsmen so terrified they were prepared to run each other out to get to the other end.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 6, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    First of all Congrats to SA. We accept defeat gracefully. From the team selection itself it went wrong. Whats the purpose of two spinners in the team? Also, there wasn't an experienced fast bowler. Umesh would have been a better choice than Mohit. And Yuvaraj, it is the time to take a decision. Management should warn him him to perform or drop him. I am happy with the performance of Dhoni, Kohli and Jadeja with bat is good based on the face that they were direct in to the game without any practice match. Even if four of the batsmen were out for 0, there was not anything shameful like the neighbors did. India gone past 200 even with a worst batting performance. Thats a positive. Not bowled out under 100 or 50 as predicted by some neighbors!

  • TheLeague on December 6, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Good to see that Dhoni is not making any excuses and trying to run away from this situation. I hope India will bounce back so that we get to see some good cricket.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 6, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    I think a lot of people here are unfairly blaming Dhoni as if he is offering excuses. It seems NONE of them have even made an attempt to read the article. Dhoni CLEARLY points out that he is happy with India's preparation for this tour. He also states that in the current day and age, it is impossible to have a long preparation time before overseas trips. Still, some people come on here and talk trash about the Indian captain. WOW ! Even hating has to be done reasonably.

  • on December 6, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    Indian batting is alright but if they aren't able to produce fantastic pace bowlers in the likes of Pakistan and SA, then they are doomed and only flat pitches can serve them well

  • joseyesu on December 6, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    That's a CAPTAIN speech,,,

  • Just_Sam on December 6, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Cause of India failure - Did not Bat to potential but definitely Bowled to potential

  • on December 6, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    What next by indian board dont play steyn , morkel or AB I can only Laugh off

  • on December 6, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    Dhoni needs to realize that he cant go in with three batsmen (Dhoni, Yuvraj, and Raina) who are technically crap. Yuvraj and Raina need to be dropped immediately. They will not average more than 10 in SAF. Dhoni on the other hand can adapt. He needs to quickly fly in Pujara and another sound batsman. Even Sehwag would fare better than Yuvraj here. Also, zak needs to play in the ODI series.

  • on December 6, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    Ag please, cry me a river! Go thank your BCCI who decided that its more important to schedule a few games at home for ONE MAN. go thank them. your short comings as so-called world champions are being exposed, and now you are feeling the wrath of the MIGHTY PROTEAS. proper cricket, against proper opposition, on proper sized cricket fields, with proper wickets.

  • on December 6, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    So India got their first heavy defeat after boosting a lot by chasing over 300 at home. This is a diferent pitch. Let's see if Dhawan can cope. It's easier at home but one must prove his standard away. They lack in the bowling department. Ashwin couldn't get what Ajmal and Afridi was geeting. This is where you compare standard. Let's see the next 2 remaining matches.

  • on December 6, 2013, 2:57 GMT

    What would be your next step Mr.Dhoni,to ask for Jogindar Sharma & Praveen Kumar ?Let the real bowlers play the match.

  • SANATP22 on December 6, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    Mohit & Bhuneshwar both fail with ball. Cant produce early break through and in slog over all pacer ball very badly. Need experience of Zaheer in ODI also. Yuvraj.... timing is running for you? ope india will won next game . good luck

  • on December 6, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    India have played their best...but has yo improve in their death bowling....iit has to be taken seriously.....

  • Atifkhan3489 on December 6, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    Now all indians should realize the difference between pakistani and indian bowling attack.15 days earlier, everybody in india was praising shami but where is shami now.he was thrashed by AB and Co. Be in your limits and play outside subcontinent.then you should khow the real cricket.

  • on December 6, 2013, 2:01 GMT

    Indian bowling doesn't have enough teeth for a team which stands 1st in the ODI ranking. What happened to Zaheer Khan? Is he not supposed to play ODI's?

  • on December 6, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    Right from the beginning, things went haywire for India. Bhuvaneshwar went for 10 in his first and Mohit couldn't scalp any. Shami was easily the best. He should be given the new ball. Umesh Yadav should be brought in for Mohi/Bhuvi. What surprised me is the total lack of application of the Indian batsmen to stay for 50 overs and get invaluable time in the middle. A score near 300 without being bowled out should've been the strategy after they lost Kohli. It should be a strategy in future high scoring matches too.Rohit is ill equipped at No.1. Would be better in middle order but no choice! No Gambhir in team! Yuvraj looks totally out of sorts. If he is not bowling either, should be replaced by Rahane immediately. Or else, it's a great injustice to the country as well as Rahane's talent. Similar is the case of Raina. Since the management intends to project him as No.4 for w.cup, he may be given another chance and if fails again, Raidu should be given the node.

  • DAVIDforpak on December 6, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    More bad days ahead for dhoni and his men...things won't get any easier...

  • on December 6, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    good and apt analysis by team india captain.let us not be nervous and disheartened with the first sa outing in johansberg for 1st odi.captain cool and other support staff with coach will give the boys proper advice for the future matches to the boys who are visiting sa for first time.if they follow the advice properly and improve their performance in the coming tour this should be a learning lesson for youngsters/first comers in sa for short and tedious tour.any way better luck for future tour matches.it should always be remembered that 80% team members are having their first south Africa tour.

  • on December 6, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    You had at your disposal, one of the quickest bowlers in the world, Umesh, one of the most effective one day format spinner in the world, Mishra, warming the benches.. I love how the Indian team manages to do such things and get away with it at home.. Mishra and Umesh were warming the benches last time India toured SA too.. It was disastrous in the first test where they were beaten comprehensively in Jo'burg again.. Hopefully they correct themselves..

  • on December 6, 2013, 1:22 GMT

    Great show by the Proteas. Poor India....the champion..Wait for another kick on 8th December.

  • rajrandom on December 6, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    Dhoni has approached it the right way. No excuses for the team. Basically telling them to pull up their socks and perform.

  • on December 6, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    May be Dhoni needs to bat at no. 3 to feel what it is like to face a fiery Steyn. He comes at 6 when the ball has already lost its lusture, the bowlers somewhat not energetic and 3-4 th change bowlers bowling.

  • on December 6, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    These are the lame excuses. India can never perform better outside his home that is the fact. Dhoni has to accept the reality as Pakistan team played T20 recently with 1 day gap upon its arrival in SA. Tendulkar, kohli and so on willl make and break batting record as they play alot of cricket in India. Now i must say hats off to Pakistan team since 2009 they never have a single match in Pakistan still their performances are remarkable :) cheers

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 6, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    MSD is not known as Captain Cool without a reason. He wouldn't mind this loss as long as his bowlers learn from their mistakes. Clearly, India lost the first ODI because of their bowlers. The batsmen got overwhelmed chasing a stiff target against Steyn and Morkel on a bouncy pitch. Not just India, even SA's batsmen would have struggled to chase down 358 batting second. So the onus is now on India's "fast" bowlers to salvage some pride. The series is still alive and India CAN come back to win it. Chin up boys and make amends.

  • Al_Bundy1 on December 6, 2013, 0:00 GMT

    If Dhoni wants to win outside India, he needs to let go of his 2 pals - Yuvi and Raina.

  • Hash_Tag on December 5, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    MSD says do not blame the schedule, but then he goes ahead and blames it anyway. India not at the races here. Oh my god what a thrashing. ODI is supposed to be our strong format - what will happen when we play the test matches?

  • on December 5, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    No matter what these bowlers do they can never stop the runs leakage, Its 3-0!! Go SA!!

  • on December 5, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Why does it come as a surprise that the bowlers have allowed over 300 runs yet again? India doesn't have a Mohammed Irfan, Ajmal, Junaid and other young pacies who bowl in the right channels. The batting will come around and they will score more runs, but if they have to consistently score more than 300 in every match, the batsmen will not succeed. My prediction is a sweep by SA of both the ODI and Test match series which will be good for team India to start thinking about overhauling a domestic system that is severly broken. It's amazing how weak they are in overseas conditions. How about preparing pitches in India with bounce tha encourage more fast bowlers? Indian batsmen are truly flat track bullies at home and could be helped by learning how to play on bouncier wickets.

  • on December 5, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Dhoni is right and also he picked the wrong bowlers for the new ball. Shami and Ishant should open, Umesh 3rd, Ashwin 4th, and Mohit 5th. India will do well with the right combination.

  • AjaySridharan on December 5, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Yeah right, blame the schedule, blame the rules...what about the team selection? what about Rohit's batting and attitude that dampened the run chase straightaway? what about the poor fielding and missed chances? what about Yuvraj's form and his baffling inclusion in the team...is he in on sympathy vote? Didn't expect you to chase 350 every time...fans just want a competitive game.

  • on December 5, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    Well , Pakistan lost to South Africa in UAE and then won the one day series, so the onus is now on India to make a comeback. After all, they did beat Australia in their home turf, so if they dont want to be labelled minnows in foreign territory they have to win no excuses. This is professional cricket and having less match practice is very weak argument , they had time to prepare for the one day series and knew it was coming.

  • RaviNarla on December 5, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Ever since Yuvraj came back he has scored 2 scratchy fifties out of the 15 innings he played. He is not the same player he used to be. Nothing to take away from Yuvraj for what he has done but he is shadow of himself. And Raina, the very first ball he faced he wanted to get away from the crease and eventually ran Rohit out.He played for himself rather than the situation. In fact Jadeja played far better than Raina. Replace Yuvraj and Raina with Rahane and Rayudu. Bring in Umesh in place of Mohit. Umesh did well in Australia. He might do well here too.Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli, Rahane, Rayudu, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, B Kumar, Shami and Umesh.

  • sysubrceq0 on December 5, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    Correctly said, dont blame the batsmen they cannot chase 350+ everytime.

  • Chris_P on December 5, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Best look to your own board for the reason, son. They did schedule the retirement tests for SRT instead of a decent tour to one of the toughest places to travel.

  • Jonah58 on December 5, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Of course you could get there early enough to play practise matches. If you don't arrange pointless vanity matches at home. Or even if you prepare cricket wickets and not roads for your players at home. You wont be able to recreate the Wanders granted but you could at least prepare something that gives your bowlers a chance to learn to bowl on a proper wicket. i am astounded that in a country the size of India there is not one wicket where the bowlers are given a surface they can work on.

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  • Jonah58 on December 5, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Of course you could get there early enough to play practise matches. If you don't arrange pointless vanity matches at home. Or even if you prepare cricket wickets and not roads for your players at home. You wont be able to recreate the Wanders granted but you could at least prepare something that gives your bowlers a chance to learn to bowl on a proper wicket. i am astounded that in a country the size of India there is not one wicket where the bowlers are given a surface they can work on.

  • Chris_P on December 5, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Best look to your own board for the reason, son. They did schedule the retirement tests for SRT instead of a decent tour to one of the toughest places to travel.

  • sysubrceq0 on December 5, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    Correctly said, dont blame the batsmen they cannot chase 350+ everytime.

  • RaviNarla on December 5, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Ever since Yuvraj came back he has scored 2 scratchy fifties out of the 15 innings he played. He is not the same player he used to be. Nothing to take away from Yuvraj for what he has done but he is shadow of himself. And Raina, the very first ball he faced he wanted to get away from the crease and eventually ran Rohit out.He played for himself rather than the situation. In fact Jadeja played far better than Raina. Replace Yuvraj and Raina with Rahane and Rayudu. Bring in Umesh in place of Mohit. Umesh did well in Australia. He might do well here too.Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli, Rahane, Rayudu, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, B Kumar, Shami and Umesh.

  • on December 5, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    Well , Pakistan lost to South Africa in UAE and then won the one day series, so the onus is now on India to make a comeback. After all, they did beat Australia in their home turf, so if they dont want to be labelled minnows in foreign territory they have to win no excuses. This is professional cricket and having less match practice is very weak argument , they had time to prepare for the one day series and knew it was coming.

  • AjaySridharan on December 5, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Yeah right, blame the schedule, blame the rules...what about the team selection? what about Rohit's batting and attitude that dampened the run chase straightaway? what about the poor fielding and missed chances? what about Yuvraj's form and his baffling inclusion in the team...is he in on sympathy vote? Didn't expect you to chase 350 every time...fans just want a competitive game.

  • on December 5, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Dhoni is right and also he picked the wrong bowlers for the new ball. Shami and Ishant should open, Umesh 3rd, Ashwin 4th, and Mohit 5th. India will do well with the right combination.

  • on December 5, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Why does it come as a surprise that the bowlers have allowed over 300 runs yet again? India doesn't have a Mohammed Irfan, Ajmal, Junaid and other young pacies who bowl in the right channels. The batting will come around and they will score more runs, but if they have to consistently score more than 300 in every match, the batsmen will not succeed. My prediction is a sweep by SA of both the ODI and Test match series which will be good for team India to start thinking about overhauling a domestic system that is severly broken. It's amazing how weak they are in overseas conditions. How about preparing pitches in India with bounce tha encourage more fast bowlers? Indian batsmen are truly flat track bullies at home and could be helped by learning how to play on bouncier wickets.

  • on December 5, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    No matter what these bowlers do they can never stop the runs leakage, Its 3-0!! Go SA!!

  • Hash_Tag on December 5, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    MSD says do not blame the schedule, but then he goes ahead and blames it anyway. India not at the races here. Oh my god what a thrashing. ODI is supposed to be our strong format - what will happen when we play the test matches?