West Indies v India, 3rd Test, Dominica July 5, 2011

India favourites in Dominica's Test debut

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Match facts

July 6-10, Dominica
Start time 1000 (1400 GMT, 1930 IST)

Big Picture

India are 1-0 up with one to play, and with better weather might have sealed the series in Barbados, but the scoreline obscures some worrying realities. In four innings they have not once reached 300, that despite inordinate contributions from the old firm of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. India's IPL generation, with the notable exception of Suresh Raina, has stumbled in what is arguably the easiest overseas assignment a Test side can currently hope for. It is a cause for some concern, considering the inevitable change of guard the middle-order will go through in the next couple of years.

The story is inverted in the bowling department: the youngsters have pulled their weight, while the spearhead hasn't. Praveen Kumar has impressively transferred his seam mastery to the red ball; Ishant Sharma has banished the pain of two seasons of under-achievement, with a series of sparkling spells from which there should be no turning back. Harbhajan Singh, however, has slipped into a comfort zone - both for himself and the batsmen facing him. There is a chance he will not reach the 400-wicket milestone in the Caribbean, despite having needed only seven wickets to get there at the start of the series.

After the crushing disappointment in Jamaica, West Indies have plenty of positives to take out of Barbados. Fidel Edwards, on a comeback trail, is a work in progress, but there was enough evidence to suggest he is close to the finished product. Ravi Rampaul and Devendra Bishoo have stuck to the task, rarely allowing India's line-up to dictate terms. The problem for the hosts, though, lies in the batting and there were signs of improvement in Barbados. Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo - two players who exemplify the flamboyance of Caribbean batsmanship - showed they have the ability to grind out innings. It is a crucial step forward, given Ramnaresh Sarwan's alarming decline, Chris Gayle's continued absence and the drop in Shivnarine Chanderpaul's once-immense powers. Can Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath follow the example set by Bravo and Samuels? If the openers continue to wobble against the new ball, expect India to make it 2-0 without much strife.

Form guide (most recent first)

India: DWDWL
West Indies: DLLWD

In the spotlight

MS Dhoni has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. His comment on umpiring standards in the first Test may have hastened Daryl Harper's retirement. Dhoni's batting has been an advertisement for shoddy shot-selection, and his drop of Carlton Baugh in the final session in Barbados potentially cost India a win. To make matters worse, his bowlers maintained such poor over-rates that he is now one infringement away from a match ban. His captaincy has, however, remained sharp judging by his field settings and the enterprising declaration in Barbados. Can Dhoni make a significant contribution as a player in Dominica?

Ravi Rampaul may not have the natural talent of the men who set the Caribbean ablaze in the 1980s, but he has heart and discipline - both crucial ingredients for a side seeking a revival. Rampaul's skidding action combines well with his tendency to whip the ball in, short of a length, almost inevitably on the seam. In his last four Tests, he has struck in his first over in four innings, a stat that makes him a nightmare for top-order batsmen.

The doosra is a thing of the past. The floater he mastered in the pre-doosra years has fizzled into a poorly disguised topspinner that doesn't trouble set batsmen. The bounce is sporadic, the flight and loop conspicuous by their absence, the turn is not sharp and the drift is harmless in the absence of the other factors. After 95 Tests, and in his 14th year of international cricket, Harbhajan Singh finds himself stuck in a dangerous cycle of under-achievement, perhaps ushered in by over-exposure to the shorter formats. He has the tenacity to rediscover his magic, but the first step to redemption will be admitting that he is in a slump. Does Harbhajan have it in him to confront reality?

Team news

Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar were involved in a minor collision while playing football during a training session, but both should be fit to play. Dhoni has a few tricky decisions to make ahead of the toss. Abhimanyu Mithun's honest but underwhelming effort in Barbados, coupled with the over-rate threat, could tempt him to bring legspinner Amit Mishra back, unless the pitch is unduly grassy. M Vijay and Virat Kohli have had poor series, and have subsequently lost their spots for the England tour. Will they be motivated enough to perform in the decider? Or will India be better served using Parthiv Patel and S Badrinath, who will be fresh, and eager to prove a point since they aren't in the England squad either?

India (probable): 1 Abhinav Mukund, 2 M Vijay / Parthiv Patel, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 VVS Laxman, 5 Virat Kohli / S Badrinath, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Abhimanyu Mithun / Amit Mishra

With their new-ball pair working so well, West Indies may once again choose to bench Kemar Roach. Kieran Powell will make his Test debut at the pivotal No. 3 spot, but he can do no worse than the disastrously out of form Sarwan, whose place he takes.

West Indies (probable): 1 Adrian Barath, 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Kieran Powell, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Marlon Samuels, 7 Carlton Baugh (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Fidel Edwards / Kemar Roach, 11 Devendra Bishoo

Pitch and conditions

The Windsor Park at Roseau, Dominica, is set to become Test cricket's 106th venue. It has been more than a year since the ground hosted the last of its four ODIs - a high-scoring thriller involving South Africa and West Indies. The more accessible - and given the happenings in Barbados, more crucial - variable is the weather, and the forecasts aren't promising: showers are predicted on each of the five days of the Test. The curator, though, says the ground has excellent drainage facilities.

The curator and West Indies captain Darren Sammy have both said there will be bounce in the pitch. "There is some moisture and that should help the faster bowlers early on," Sammy said. "Normally, it turns later on in the match, so both the pacers and spinners can expect some help."

There was a four-day match played at the venue between England Lions and Windward Islands in March in which two left-arm spinners - Gary Mathurin of the hosts and Danny Briggs of the visitors - shared 19 of the 39 wickets to fall in the match. The seamers got carry and bounce from the pitch in that match, which produced a result early on the fourth day.

Stats and trivia

  • India have never won two Tests in a series in the West Indies. Excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, they have not won more than one Test in an away series since Pakistan in 2004

  • Harbhajan Singh is now two wickets away from becoming the third Indian bowler and 11th overall to reach 400 wickets

  • Shivnarine Chanderpaul averages 33.00 so far in 2011, the lowest he has averaged in any single year since 2001

Quotes

"His body position used to force his grip to change. Now he's more upright, and his wrist is in a better position. Only when you are confident about the technique and start bowling at the pace you are capable of, can you be at your best."
Eric Simons is pleased with the changes in Ishant Sharma's action, and the consequent results

"I have played four tours here and these have been some of the toughest tracks I have faced. Guys will learn a lot from this experience."
Rahul Dravid has words of encouragement for India's misfiring young brigade

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    What else do you expect from the young Indian batsmen in test match cricket, when their early development is so unwisely dominated with IPL Twenty/20 cricket, whose season sometimes seems not to have an end? The Twenty/20 format in my view is quite an unfortunate occurence that is here to destroy a great sport! Remember the role of traditional cricket was to create great gentlemen, as role models for our societies. When you read the historical background of some of the greatest names that ever traversed this earth, it was the game of cricket that made them. The game helped them first to be proud nationals representing their nations. It helped them to develop their intelligence both individually and collectively in a way that they could strategise for success. The main goal of the Twenty/20 format seems to be the production of rather rich and arrogant youths who have no commitment to anyone but themselves. We see how seriously such attitude is threatening the survival of the real sport.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 6, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    As I said before, there is only one weak area in the bowling and that is harbhajan. The penetrative couple of wickets or the wiping off the tail that can ensure victories - all have vanished. He is a routine economy bowler now and not suited for Test matches. For future tours he may well turn out to be an emabarassment for the team. India drew the last test because 3 wickets didnt fall. Those were the three wickets Harbhajan would have taken a few years ago in a normal spell. He should be axed before we lose a couple of series.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | July 6, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Wi batting may be weak but their bowling attack is pretty good, atleast for the rookies playing their first overseas tour. So I am not really worried about the batting. As for bowling, good to see Ishant pulling himself together at the right time. Best of luck for the England tour folks! Make us proud!

  • POSTED BY drtrinileggie on | July 6, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    As long as Sammy is captain we will lose

  • POSTED BY WestIndianInDA on | July 6, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Well we are in the rain season, been rain down here for the last 2 weeks, so I don't expect a full 5 days. Sun is out now but weather is overcast as well.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    Shivnarine Chanderpaul has served West Indies well and we are please with his long contribution but however his batting chart speaks for itself. He is a declining batsman. That is just the fact. Its true commentators gives raving review of him and that is fine but I think he has reached a point where he should retire. Nothing personal, I like the guy.

  • POSTED BY Chn1974 on | July 6, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    @Ram Jegendran.. My friend why should someone talk about Ashwin? He along with his friend Murali Vijay are more of Chennai Super Kings players than Indian players. They are in the team only because of K.Srikanth's curtsy otherwise they are most useless players to be in a test team. Please note I am also from TN and i don't have anything against them but facts are facts!!!

  • POSTED BY Agni2 on | July 6, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Phew, glad somebody has noticed that our spin spearhead is blunt and that the emperor has no clothes!

    To the apologists who give us one off performance stats, please check out Harbhajan's record in 2010 and ask yourselves if that is the record of the strike bowler for the #1 test side in the world. Sooner we get this guy off the park, the better.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    why no ojha in place of amit mishra hes definitely a better bowler and always take 2-3 wickets each innings

  • POSTED BY hellraiser.. on | July 6, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    HARBHAJAN.... for more than last 14-15 months hes bowling at an average of 39-40. So, how many more more years he need to improve his bowling. So, its better to go with his replacement.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    What else do you expect from the young Indian batsmen in test match cricket, when their early development is so unwisely dominated with IPL Twenty/20 cricket, whose season sometimes seems not to have an end? The Twenty/20 format in my view is quite an unfortunate occurence that is here to destroy a great sport! Remember the role of traditional cricket was to create great gentlemen, as role models for our societies. When you read the historical background of some of the greatest names that ever traversed this earth, it was the game of cricket that made them. The game helped them first to be proud nationals representing their nations. It helped them to develop their intelligence both individually and collectively in a way that they could strategise for success. The main goal of the Twenty/20 format seems to be the production of rather rich and arrogant youths who have no commitment to anyone but themselves. We see how seriously such attitude is threatening the survival of the real sport.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 6, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    As I said before, there is only one weak area in the bowling and that is harbhajan. The penetrative couple of wickets or the wiping off the tail that can ensure victories - all have vanished. He is a routine economy bowler now and not suited for Test matches. For future tours he may well turn out to be an emabarassment for the team. India drew the last test because 3 wickets didnt fall. Those were the three wickets Harbhajan would have taken a few years ago in a normal spell. He should be axed before we lose a couple of series.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | July 6, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Wi batting may be weak but their bowling attack is pretty good, atleast for the rookies playing their first overseas tour. So I am not really worried about the batting. As for bowling, good to see Ishant pulling himself together at the right time. Best of luck for the England tour folks! Make us proud!

  • POSTED BY drtrinileggie on | July 6, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    As long as Sammy is captain we will lose

  • POSTED BY WestIndianInDA on | July 6, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Well we are in the rain season, been rain down here for the last 2 weeks, so I don't expect a full 5 days. Sun is out now but weather is overcast as well.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    Shivnarine Chanderpaul has served West Indies well and we are please with his long contribution but however his batting chart speaks for itself. He is a declining batsman. That is just the fact. Its true commentators gives raving review of him and that is fine but I think he has reached a point where he should retire. Nothing personal, I like the guy.

  • POSTED BY Chn1974 on | July 6, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    @Ram Jegendran.. My friend why should someone talk about Ashwin? He along with his friend Murali Vijay are more of Chennai Super Kings players than Indian players. They are in the team only because of K.Srikanth's curtsy otherwise they are most useless players to be in a test team. Please note I am also from TN and i don't have anything against them but facts are facts!!!

  • POSTED BY Agni2 on | July 6, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Phew, glad somebody has noticed that our spin spearhead is blunt and that the emperor has no clothes!

    To the apologists who give us one off performance stats, please check out Harbhajan's record in 2010 and ask yourselves if that is the record of the strike bowler for the #1 test side in the world. Sooner we get this guy off the park, the better.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    why no ojha in place of amit mishra hes definitely a better bowler and always take 2-3 wickets each innings

  • POSTED BY hellraiser.. on | July 6, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    HARBHAJAN.... for more than last 14-15 months hes bowling at an average of 39-40. So, how many more more years he need to improve his bowling. So, its better to go with his replacement.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    sammy is ok as a 5th bowler 3rd seamer , no way !!

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    My main concern going into this test match is not the Indian middle order but Harbhajan's form. I know he has almost got 400 test wickets to his name but in the last 1 or 2 yrs he just hasn't looked the part. Even though conditions in England don't favour spinners too much i think he will be key to India doing well there because i'm still not convinced that they are good players of spin bowling.

  • POSTED BY 30-30-150 on | July 6, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    west indies will have a serious chance of winning this match if they REPLACE SAMMY WITH ROACH.

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    No one is talking about Aswin???

  • POSTED BY Geeva on | July 6, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    I dont understand y people are calling for Harbhajan to dropped.His bowling won india the test at Durban against SA 2010 and he took 7 wickets in SA =2nd innings.If Kallis didnt score a 100 indian would have won the test and test series.Think Indian fans should stop watchn IPL and follow Test Cricket cause they seem to have forgotten the last test series India played!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 6, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Harbhajan served India for a longer period of tym n we sud nt frgt his cntrbution dor team India. He is still a champion bowler. "Class is permanent bt da form is temporary" so no way to drp him. Its certain and sure dat an xperienced bowler lyk him will bounce back soon. No doubt Kohli is a class batsman bt may b he needs more tym to cope up with test cricket and shud b given a short break. Dhoni shud bring in P. Patel, Badrinath and Munaf (if fit)/Mishra inplace of Vijay, Kohli and Mithun.

  • POSTED BY SUNILDASWANEY on | July 6, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    NADAL ADMITTED AFTER HIS RECENT LOSS TO DJOCKOVIC THAT HIS GAME DID NOT HURT THE LATTER IN ANY WAY HENCE HIS DEFEAT TO HIM.THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS SCREAMING THE SAME THING ABOUT HARBHAJAN SINGH.IT HAS REACHED A STAGE WHERE HE HARDLY TROUBLES THE TAIL ENDERS.YET FOR SOME NON-UNDERSTANDABLE WE REFUSE THIS NON-PERFORMER.DO WE HAVE TO GET CRICKET'S EQUIVALENT OF SHREE ANNA HZARE TO GO ON A FAST BEFORE WE RELENT AND DROP THIS GROSS LIABILITY?????MY TEAM FOR THE 3RD TEST WOULD READ AS FOLLOWS: 1.MUKUND 2.P.PATEL 3.DRAVID 4.LAXMAN 5.BADRINATH 6.RAINA 7.DHONI-C/WKPR 8.MISHRA 9.SHARMA 10.MUNAF PATEL-IF UNFIT MITHUN

  • POSTED BY yocasi on | July 6, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    Raining heavily in Grenada now so I'd be extremely surprised if we get any play in Dominica on the first day. When it rains in Grenada, it pours in Dominica. Drawn test is my prediction.

  • POSTED BY Deepkar on | July 6, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    Rahane, dhiraj jadhav, rohit sharma, raina, pujara, kohali, mishra, ishant, pravin kumar, vinay kumar, iqbal abdull, deepak chahar and so many r there then i dont understand why everyone think that Indias future is in dark gambhir, dhoni, sehawagh will be there for around 8-10 years.

  • POSTED BY Leggie on | July 6, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    @NRI, agree entirely with your thoughts on the bowling department. However on the point related to trying Badri as an opener, I think it will not be fair to Badri - the middle order batsman. A failure in an unfamiliar opening slot will literally kill his international chancer. It is more of the mindset that he will not be accustomed to, increasing the probability of a failure. Badri's domestic performance deserves a chance in the Indian batting position of his choice that he may be most comfortable with (middle-order positions 5 or 6). It is in this context that Parthiv Patel should be tried as an opener - the position that he is comfortable in ODIs. A little break will also help Kohli take stock of his performance thus far and provide him an opportunity to correct himself. I personally feel that a three-day we've had between Tests is too short a time to correct this. Kohli is definitely bound for greatness but needs a break.

  • POSTED BY anurag4u10 on | July 6, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    @ prakash mishra and becoz of d poor form india will lose its test status and become an associae country where teams like ireland and scotland will deny india a world cup spot and one day d world will end blah blah blah............ ha ha ha what a piece of fantasy . nice imagination i must say

  • POSTED BY xenon555 on | July 6, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Sammy cant be a specialist test bowler. Too much pressure on Edwards and Rampaul

  • POSTED BY LittleFinger on | July 6, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    @prakash_mishra - Are you taking bets? Where can I sign up for like a gazillion dollars?

  • POSTED BY triassicpark on | July 6, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    @prakash msihra. Normally I do not throw vitriol at other's comments. I am sure other readers feel like me when they read your post. Your comments have been noted hahaha. Where can I find you if these 'predictions' do not happen ??? or for that matter if they 'do' happen !!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY kingcobra85 on | July 6, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    @NRI You dont have a clue on assessing performance. You dont compare current players performance with someone who played in 5 years ago. You compare performance by taking two spinners who played int he same match, It might be two opposition spinners or two spinners on the same side....because cricket depends so much on conditions that you cant compare across time.

    Compare oppn spinner Bishoo (Who is a rookie) to that of harbhajan in this series.In the series before compare vettori's performance with harbhajan..you will see what people are talking about... Reputation is the only thing that is carrying harbhajan through

  • POSTED BY thaikkathameed on | July 6, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    I do not understand on what basis Harbhajan Singh is in the team now. He is not a spinner any more. He does not spin the ball, it would have been wiser to have Amit Mishra and Progyan Ojha in the team. Harbhajan has now become "the only spinner in the world who does not spin the ball". He should not have been selected for the England tour. It is really a waste and also denying a chance for a genuine spinner.

  • POSTED BY RISHI2016 on | July 6, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    don't agree with the author about the tour being easy assignments... West Indies team has bowled brilliantly... And they earn RESPECT for that... A team in turmoil figting wid world number 1 team should be given more respect. Besides, did not Dravid say that he is playing in one of the most difficult pitches he played at...? Does the author and critic of Harbhajan expects him to take five wickets every time he bowls ?

  • POSTED BY schathuranga on | July 6, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    WI will fight hard to win this match.darren bravo can do it for WI

  • POSTED BY NageshBhargavaLucknowi on | July 6, 2011, 3:28 GMT

    weather God should favor the playing conditions this time and tha umpires remain nuteral than only one can expect visitors having a chance

  • POSTED BY redneck on | July 6, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    india have not won more than 1 test in an away series since 04!!! what a stat! not what you expect from the no 1 side! this proves beyond doubt that india are not in the same league as past west indies and australian no. 1 teams!

  • POSTED BY wifan69 on | July 6, 2011, 1:34 GMT

    congrats shiv on being the west indian with the most test matches to your name...we as a west indian public is very proud of your dedication towards our cricket. thank you!

  • POSTED BY kitten on | July 6, 2011, 1:22 GMT

    "I am hoping the pitch will have the same pace as was seen in the first two Tests", words spoken by Darren Sammy on the eve of this third test. If I remember correctly, both Darren and their coach, Otis Gibson, criticized the curators for preparing pitches that always suit the opposition, and now it's a different tune. What happened? When WI lost the first test, all the criticisms started, now they want a similar pitch. I am confused. Could any of your readers please enlighten me as to what brought about this sudden change?

  • POSTED BY CheetosRule on | July 6, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    We need to make 3 changes -- Munaf / Mishra if fit should replace the ineffective Mithun, Parthiv should replace Vijay, Badrinath should replace Kohli (just so that Badri gets one last chance to play a test for India).

  • POSTED BY NRI- on | July 5, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    Why not try Badri as an opener instead of Vijay? Mukund and Kohli deserve another chance as they played all right in the 2nd innings. Patel is neither specialist batsman not specialist opener nor even a truly specialist wk - just a utility man for ODI's. Mishra for Mithun is a must even if there is some grass - WI would like to bowl first for the grass and Dhoni would like to bat first to allow Bhajji and Mish a chance to get 4th innings wickets - give Mishra more experience (English wickets will have grass) and the chance for Bhajji to get some wickets & confidence - Bhajji was good in SA and great in one of the ODI's - what's this about a loss of form? On wickets fit for pace overseas, how effective were even greats like Kumble and Murali - not that much. Let's remember that before writing off Bhajji. Even Swann had an ordinary series in Australia and against SL. Now with Praveen and Ishant bowling well, our excessive dependance on ZK & HS alone to win matches will reduce.

  • POSTED BY Surrin on | July 5, 2011, 23:43 GMT

    WI will lose. Sammy is being played as a specialist bowler at number 8 in the lineup. The 6 best WI bowlers are Edwards, Bishoo, Rampaul, Russell, Roach and Taylor. Sammy is only bowling well because the all the pitches so far this season suit the bowlers. He's standing in the way of youngsters like Roach and Russell!

  • POSTED BY on | July 5, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    @prakash_mishra...I don't you've been watching too much cricket recently! Very ill-informed I must say.

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | July 5, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    @touqeer i completely agree... Tendulkar/Dravid/Laxman have been class acts since the 90's and played with the greats. None of those guys are present in any of the squads now except for Kallis. There is no more Lara, Murali, Warne, McGrath, Waqar, Wasim, Jayasuriya, Inzamam, Fleming, Bond or any of those old greats except for Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, and Kallis. 3 of those 4 are playing for India, giving India a huge advantage. When they retire (and trust me they will retire withing 2-3 years), India will be in huge trouble, because the youngsters (with the exception of Raina, Rohit, and Ishant) do not look fit for test cricket

  • POSTED BY touqeer777 on | July 5, 2011, 20:23 GMT

    India is number one test team only because of three experienced trio Sachin,dravid and laxman for their class act in pressure situations.Indian dominace will be over after these three world players will retired soon because they could not able to develop back up due to IPL dominance.IPL has affected the temperament of players thats why its too hard to be patience at test level.I think england is the best team at test level due to their county structure and indian team going to face hard time in england but it is going to be very very good contest between world two best teams.as long as harbajjan is concered he is consistently inconsistent.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | July 5, 2011, 20:17 GMT

    Ind should shore up bowling dept. Bring in Patel for Vijay, Mishra for Mithun, Munaf for Kohli. I don't think WI will crush Ind with their bowling unless the pitch is out and out fast track. It is their pathetic batting that is giving Ind undeserving advantage.

  • POSTED BY Ellis on | July 5, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    Another premature view of Harbhajan Singh's demise. He has a role to play in India's attack and he does it well. He will get 400 wickets and help India to win the Test, weather permitting. Kohli is a very promising batsman and will benefit from the experience of the tour, as will Vijay. Too much of the " what have you done for me lately" syndrome in Nitin's writing. Dhoni is a very good captain and always delivers when the chips are down. Laxman and Dravid are showing that class always comes through in tight corners. Too much impatience from Indian fans and writers. No side is going to play dead because they are playing India. WI are on the long road back and will not give up without a fight. WI have put up a better than expected performance and India have done well with a weakened side. The greatest pressure for the Indian team comes from it's fans and over-hyping from Indian writers.

  • POSTED BY maninthewoods on | July 5, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    Happy to see so many people criticizing Bhajji! He has to be one of the most inconsistent (in terms of taking wickets) bowler/spinner in today's cricket but he will still be in the Indian team for another 6 years irrespective of his performances. Why not give chances to young spinners like Ojha, Ashwin etc so that he can regain his form by working hard in the nets and getting some peaceful rest.

  • POSTED BY Raj12345 on | July 5, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    Selectors please don't select Vijay anymore, because of Vijay failures, other failures never come out to public.

  • POSTED BY on | July 5, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    if not of Bhajji India would have lost the first test , also its not easy for spinner's to get wickets , and in WI def lot difficult , remember in last innings even bisho did not get a single wicket in second innings , also Mishra has yet to prove that he is the best spinner in test matches , also taking 400 wickets is not a joke , no matter what the average , just on his batting bhajji can be in the team , and don't all the over seas matches India has won , bhajji has taken wickets , like New Zealand , Sri Lanka last year , South Africe , also Murli played on dirt tracks , even kumble was lucky when he played , bc pitches were made to suit spinners , they used to be dust bowls , now you cannot do that , so being a spinner is not easy these days, probably bhajji will be last Indian spinner to take more than 400 wickets.

  • POSTED BY maninthewoods on | July 5, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    Happy to see so many people criticizing Bhajji! He has to be one of the most inconsistent (in terms of taking wickets) bowler/spinner in today's cricket but he will still be in the Indian team for another 6 years irrespective of his performances. Why not give chances to young spinners like Ojha, Ashwin etc so that he can regain his form by working hard in the nets and getting some peaceful rest.

  • POSTED BY cgtboy87 on | July 5, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    big west indies fan but india should wrap up the serious easy.without gayle and the even slumping sarwan there is no chance...everyone get on shiv for batting slow but what choice does he has when the top order weight always falls on him...coach gibson has been horrible and the board and him are in bed along side with the ceo. its ashame to see how this is working out for the carib poeple..all my friends have no interest in west indies cricket anymore..i am the only loser i guess...with sarwan its a mental think with him..coach got into his head and i guess he can't deal with the pressure like shiv is. he wil be back no doubt

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | July 5, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    I TOTALLY disagree with Nitin in this article. This is NOT as EASY an assignment as Nitin pointed out because the WI are still a cricket team and they played very well in the 2 tests. Besides that the pitches have been sporting wickets and good bowling will always ensure lesser than 300 scores. That has nothing to do with the batting OR the IPL. This Indian team is young and inexperienced. In spite of that I thought they performed decently in all departments. I don't get it when the press is harsh on this Indian team which to me is going to be THE TEAM to beat in years to come. I see this Indian team as the next greatest team after the WI and Australia of yesteryear.

  • POSTED BY on | July 5, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    His only significant contribution in the recent past is the 90* in the World Cup.

    That 90 got you the World CUP

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | July 5, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    Well said that he might not be getting his 400th wicket in the carribeans.That sums up his effectiveness against a team weak in handling spinnners where the likes of Saeed Ajmal, Mohd Hafeez created havoc not to speak of Abdul Rehman of pakistan but still he is considered as the strike bolwer.. that should be a joke, where a bolwer is unable to take 7 wickets in 3 tests. Just look at the confidence with which murali said he will take 8 wickets to make to 800 wickets that too against a team like India who are masters in handling spin, that shows the real self confidence in one's abilities no matter who is the opponent... and it was not just talk or arrogance but he proved it, that shows his mettle....Harbhajan to me looks like he has past his sell by date so instead of persisting with him (Dhoni listen) please give others chances and let them flourish even if they fail they cant get worse than Harbhajan and those failures might teach them and will help them build their future.

  • POSTED BY prakash_mishra on | July 5, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    Indians are going to loose 3rd test for sure. West Indies batting will fire for sure and I expect them to score 350-400 + in their first Innnings. I am so sure that Barath,Simmons,Powell,Bravo and chandrapaul and samuels all will hit essential runs tomorrow.They will plague Indian batting and restrict them to somewhere 170-220 in first Innings. West Indies will then bat and score 300 + and declare the innings.now India will have to score 430-500+ in fourth innings and we all know what will happen after that. yet I predict a margin of 200-300 runs defeat to India. This demoralized side will loose all three tests in england and that shall be end of Dhoni as captain.Many players will loose their position like Bhajji,Dhoni,Sehwag,Gambhir,Raina and Yuvraaj.And this shall continue for next few years and India will be ranked below Bangladesh in ICC rankings.Mark my words, this is what is going to happen.

  • POSTED BY Mike_Oxlong on | July 5, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    How is this the easiest overseas assignment? I would imagine playing Bangladesh, Pakistan's mediocre spinners and seamers on flat tracks, or Sri Lanka's bowlers in Sri Lanka would be easier than facing guys like Edwards, Rampul and Bishoo on difficult pitches that afford bounce and movement to bowlers on all 5 days. Didn't Rahul Dravid say these conditions were some of the toughest he has faced?

  • POSTED BY serious-am-i on | July 5, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    Give Harbhajan a break guys, we need an all rounder who bowls a lot and can bat a bit, not an all rounder who would score runs but not take wickets. Harbhajan is just 1 step away from becoming another Irfan Pathan. As far the team is concerned, Parthiv should get a chance for sure, I am not sure team management would test with Badri as he struggled with the short-pitch stuff in the ODI's. If its a turning track Mishra is good else, what happened to Munaf Patel ?

  • POSTED BY Deepkar on | July 5, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    i think badrinath should be in for kohli and patel for vijay. patel should keep wickets and give chance to dhoni to conc. on batting and over-rate. also bhajji should be droped bcoz from start of 2009 he have taken 84 wik. in 21 mat. at 36 ave and 75 s.r. from start of 2010 its Worse 55 wik. in 15 mat. at 39 ave and s.r. is 81. even in this serise bisshu taken 10 Wik. at 25 Ave and s.r. is 46 while bhajji took 5 wickets at 36 ave. and s.r. is 81. look bhajji bowled against wi batsman who r not good against spin and bowled in 4th Inning twise? PLEASE DONT TELL ME HE BATS AS ITS ONLY BONUSE HIS MAIN ROLE IS TO TAKE WICKETS. what if raina takes 5 wikets and scores two single digit scores will he be in team?

  • POSTED BY on | July 5, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    Wake up youngies..:) Vijay needs to step up now.....BIG time...GO indiaaa Goooooooooo......

  • POSTED BY vikicork on | July 5, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    I hope parthiv ,badrinath and amit mishra all play instead of vijay,kohli and harbhajan /mithun .

  • POSTED BY bhanuks on | July 5, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Read the comment somewhere that the batsmen are playing Harbhajan "defensively" and are being careful not to take chances against him - hence he is not getting wickets. This is the most laughable comment - all batsmen play not to give away wickets, I thought?

    In that case, why bowl him at all? If he is unable to plan a batsman out (whether he is defensive or not) even after 390+ wickets, you would rather bowl a bowler against whom batsmen will take their "chances" and get wickets for India.

    Errr,... is the plan to play Harbhajan or to get wickets in a Test?!

    Currently Harbhajan is the biggest liability and is in no way the best spinner/bowler India has. India should go with 4 pacers or Amit Mishra - the best spinner on form.

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | July 5, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    I don't see the point in bringing in Badrinath or Parthiv. I could accept the latter but not both. Agree with the possibility of Mishra over Mithun. I want to be wrong about Mithun but I don't see him being a success, he's fairly ordinary. Can we find an Indian pacer who shapes the ball AWAY from the right handers? I'd rather see Vinay Kumar in the future, Mithun may well be consigned to history. Lastly, the BCCI has seen the team experience success on the field more thru coincidence than planning. They will find themselves in deep trouble if they don't change their ways. Preventing players, for instance, playing in England for counties is a silly decision. Even this season, if some of the bench players were playing county cricket, the national team would have some backups. Even Lanka has Maharoof and Vaas playing for Lacs and Northants respectively. And just about every Pak player plays for a county, this despite their board being even worse than ours.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 5, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    India should replace Vijay with Parthiv patel as opener. In bowling if India plays a single spinner, it should be Mishra. While young Bishoo made the ball almost talk in Barbados test, Harbhajan struggled like a "Rookie". Forget his 400 wickets, He will be lucky to get any wickets the way he is bowling - consistently poorly. India has to accept the end of Harbhajan era and bring in Ashwin. Kohli has a lot of talent both as a batsman and as an outstanding fielder. He should retain his place. After his brilliant form in ODI, he seems to have lost his confidence a bit. Dhoni has been a bitter disappointment as a batsman. He needs to get back to form with England tour ahead. Good form of Dravid & Laxman is heartening for the England tour where a number of batsmen like Gambhir, Tendulkar and Yuvraj will be starting without any practice for the past few months.Hostile English pitches will be exploited fully by Tremlett & Co. India will have a tough tour ahead facing pacemen in England.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | July 5, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    I wish they would take Amit Mishra in lieu of Mithun, who definitly has to work under a good coach. He is a natural inswing bowler and will always threaten left handed batsmen because of his accuracy. Bu he needs the ability of brining in the ball to left handers. He could be very good if he masters that and some other variations as well. I am hopeful of him for the long run because he is a tough younster of 21 who has an excellent work ethic and can bowl for long periods. He needs to be given the confidence that he is on the short list.

  • POSTED BY on | July 5, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Not only will Harbhajan Singh become the 11th person to claim 400 test wickets, he would be the one among the eleven to have the worst average

  • POSTED BY swayambu on | July 5, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    I agree cent per cent on what is written about Harbajan's bowling these days. He is no more a strike bowler. He is a struck bowler-struck in the quagmire of self doubt,lack of effort and overconfidence with a friendly skipper. Drop him forthwith

  • POSTED BY indiaforcup on | July 5, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    Dhoni has been due as a batsmen for quite a long time now. His only significant contribution in the recent past is the 90* in the World Cup. Hope he doesn't go the way Sourav Ganguly went. After a very astonishing beginning he fizzed out as a batsmen but remained to be a very good caption. Lets hope that Dhoni finds back his batting form. His shot selections in the last few games would ve put even a tail ender in shame.

  • POSTED BY Triple_A on | July 5, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    Dhoni should give Patel and Badri a chance...There is no point in flogging the dead horse(s) (Vijay and Kohli: atleast on this tour) Badri should be able to atleast try and silence his critics on what may be his last international game. And anyone will do better than Vijay at the top right now!! I would also play Mishra as extra support for Bhajji instead of Mithun (Dhoni might be tempted too if he wants to play the Lords test!!)

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  • POSTED BY Triple_A on | July 5, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    Dhoni should give Patel and Badri a chance...There is no point in flogging the dead horse(s) (Vijay and Kohli: atleast on this tour) Badri should be able to atleast try and silence his critics on what may be his last international game. And anyone will do better than Vijay at the top right now!! I would also play Mishra as extra support for Bhajji instead of Mithun (Dhoni might be tempted too if he wants to play the Lords test!!)

  • POSTED BY indiaforcup on | July 5, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    Dhoni has been due as a batsmen for quite a long time now. His only significant contribution in the recent past is the 90* in the World Cup. Hope he doesn't go the way Sourav Ganguly went. After a very astonishing beginning he fizzed out as a batsmen but remained to be a very good caption. Lets hope that Dhoni finds back his batting form. His shot selections in the last few games would ve put even a tail ender in shame.

  • POSTED BY swayambu on | July 5, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    I agree cent per cent on what is written about Harbajan's bowling these days. He is no more a strike bowler. He is a struck bowler-struck in the quagmire of self doubt,lack of effort and overconfidence with a friendly skipper. Drop him forthwith

  • POSTED BY on | July 5, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Not only will Harbhajan Singh become the 11th person to claim 400 test wickets, he would be the one among the eleven to have the worst average

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | July 5, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    I wish they would take Amit Mishra in lieu of Mithun, who definitly has to work under a good coach. He is a natural inswing bowler and will always threaten left handed batsmen because of his accuracy. Bu he needs the ability of brining in the ball to left handers. He could be very good if he masters that and some other variations as well. I am hopeful of him for the long run because he is a tough younster of 21 who has an excellent work ethic and can bowl for long periods. He needs to be given the confidence that he is on the short list.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 5, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    India should replace Vijay with Parthiv patel as opener. In bowling if India plays a single spinner, it should be Mishra. While young Bishoo made the ball almost talk in Barbados test, Harbhajan struggled like a "Rookie". Forget his 400 wickets, He will be lucky to get any wickets the way he is bowling - consistently poorly. India has to accept the end of Harbhajan era and bring in Ashwin. Kohli has a lot of talent both as a batsman and as an outstanding fielder. He should retain his place. After his brilliant form in ODI, he seems to have lost his confidence a bit. Dhoni has been a bitter disappointment as a batsman. He needs to get back to form with England tour ahead. Good form of Dravid & Laxman is heartening for the England tour where a number of batsmen like Gambhir, Tendulkar and Yuvraj will be starting without any practice for the past few months.Hostile English pitches will be exploited fully by Tremlett & Co. India will have a tough tour ahead facing pacemen in England.

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | July 5, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    I don't see the point in bringing in Badrinath or Parthiv. I could accept the latter but not both. Agree with the possibility of Mishra over Mithun. I want to be wrong about Mithun but I don't see him being a success, he's fairly ordinary. Can we find an Indian pacer who shapes the ball AWAY from the right handers? I'd rather see Vinay Kumar in the future, Mithun may well be consigned to history. Lastly, the BCCI has seen the team experience success on the field more thru coincidence than planning. They will find themselves in deep trouble if they don't change their ways. Preventing players, for instance, playing in England for counties is a silly decision. Even this season, if some of the bench players were playing county cricket, the national team would have some backups. Even Lanka has Maharoof and Vaas playing for Lacs and Northants respectively. And just about every Pak player plays for a county, this despite their board being even worse than ours.

  • POSTED BY bhanuks on | July 5, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Read the comment somewhere that the batsmen are playing Harbhajan "defensively" and are being careful not to take chances against him - hence he is not getting wickets. This is the most laughable comment - all batsmen play not to give away wickets, I thought?

    In that case, why bowl him at all? If he is unable to plan a batsman out (whether he is defensive or not) even after 390+ wickets, you would rather bowl a bowler against whom batsmen will take their "chances" and get wickets for India.

    Errr,... is the plan to play Harbhajan or to get wickets in a Test?!

    Currently Harbhajan is the biggest liability and is in no way the best spinner/bowler India has. India should go with 4 pacers or Amit Mishra - the best spinner on form.

  • POSTED BY vikicork on | July 5, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    I hope parthiv ,badrinath and amit mishra all play instead of vijay,kohli and harbhajan /mithun .

  • POSTED BY on | July 5, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    Wake up youngies..:) Vijay needs to step up now.....BIG time...GO indiaaa Goooooooooo......