Dhoni’s Incompetence Gifts England The Opening Test

Posted: July 26, 2011 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, India in England 2011

 Srikrishnan Chandrasekaran

 26 July 2011

Once again on a last day of a batting-friendly pitch Indian batsmen failed to put up a fight. All the top order batsmen played very silly shots and threw away their wickets. Dravid knew the first session was crucial and has failed in other test matches like this in earlier years too. He would have tried out an option of retiring hurt for an hour or so and came back to bat again from second session. After being well set, losing wickets on a final morning is really losing the test match. D & L clearly knew Gambhir and Sachin can’t bat for a long and they would have played much better cricket than what they actually did.
Even though we have got strong batting line up, it might have been a better practice to deploy a bowler to play after the fall of Dravid’s wicket in the first session as the first session on final day is very crucial.

Dhoni had to bowl himself with India a bowler short.

Raina played a very good innings but there has been not much support from the other end. Bhajji as usual at a crucial time of the match played a rubbish cricket shot to throw his wicket. It is not ideal to expect a bowler to play decent cricket, but can try not to play some loose shots to throw their wickets. No words about Dhoni, time and again he is proving that he is not even an average batsman in test cricket. Even in our last tour to WI, he didn’t score much runs against a lesser attack. Few years back, he averaged over 50 in test cricket and today it is 32. It clearly shows how much contribution (or the lack of it) he is making for the team match after match, series after series.

India need to really work hard in next few days and come up with a fresh mind to compete well this tour. Indian selectors should consider basic changes. They should think from a basic standpoint and need to make the following changes which will really help India to fight back:

  • Bhajji with Amit Mishra / Ashwin (Probably Bhajji can retire from test cricket, since he is good only on spinning tracks and not on other ones)
  • Zaheer with Munaf Patel  If he is not fit then bring Sreesanth (Sreesanth has got pace, line and length, but problem is consistency, field behavior and long spells. On other hand, Patel is slow medium bowler and it is difficult on England conditions but very effective as he put the batsmen to play at least 4 out of 6 balls which really makes huge difference in test cricket)
  • Dhoni with Yuvaraj Singh (Since Dhoni has not done much with bat / keeping / captaincy over the last few years in test cricket. Just for the sake of attending the toss, press interview, these things he can do without playing the match also)

Even as an Indian, in one way am feeling happy with result of first test match, otherwise the whole world would still believe Dhoni is a good test cricket captain too. He still has the excuse to say some players got injured and we have played in a different batting order / umpiring decision against us etc.., so couldn’t win the test match. Dhoni’s inner stuff will tell clearly that he lacks the basics of captaincy.

There is no need of blaming the umpire when we play a match, since it is regularly happening over the last 2 decades in every match for us. We missed several chances and those were very costly.

England might be dreaming that they are No 1 etc.. and even their senior retired folks will be day dreaming that they are the best test team. The headlines talk about Indian batsmen playing some loose shots to throw their wickets which shows that they haven’t got the wickets through their real bowling class. The bottom line is their bowlers are clearly not up to the mark for a test match against India. This is really the true side of England team, so this is an advantage for us to be positive and look for a better display on the next test match.
Few positives out of this match for both teams:

Positives: England

· Broad finding his form both with ball and bat
· KP’s turnaround with a double hundred
· Prior with a century
· Anderson with a five-wicket haul

Positives: India

· Mukund got off a good start in both innings which will give him and the team lot of confidence in the coming up matches even if Sehwag isn’t fit
· Rahul, Laxman played some good innings
· Raina played a fighting innings, deserved for a century but missed it
· Praveen & Ishant bowled some good spells


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