Friday, August 29, 2008

Who needs the famous five?

It's a pity Dhoni let the Sri Lankans off the hook in the last ODI after having them down on the mat six down for a little over a hundred runs. His inexplicable denial of three overs to Munaf Patel showed a lack of killer instinct that has characterised Indian sport over the years. But no matter. I think Dhoni and his young team have again shown they are - on current form - playing better than their more illustrious counterparts in the Test team in all aspects of the game. I think it is Dhoni who should lead a young Indian Test team to take on the visiting Australians later this year. More on this in an article I wrote for DNA: Now change the Test team.

20 comments:

Buzzz said...

The guys like Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina should play Tests against Australia when they dont have sense of responsibility to stick to wicket and play out "threatening" Nuvan Kulasekara ?

Or the likes of Yuvraj Singh who has been very consistent in offf the field activities rather than being consistent in thing he ought to do the best ?

Ottayan said...

Sumit,

I wonder whether their replacements are ready.

Sumit said...

buzzz, thanks for the visit and comment.
my view is that there seem to be different standards for the old and new. one good performance in a blue moon by the old is praised sky high, while a few flops by the new are enough to forget their successes - T20 World Cup, first triseries win Down Under, IPL, first series win in Lanka in 25 years...
in any case, we're flopping in one test series after another, so what is there to lose by giving the younger lot a chance?

Sumit said...

more than ready, ottayan, and long overdue already

Trideep said...

Sumit,
The test team should change gradually. India cannot afford to change the whole test team and that too for the series against Oz. We need to replace our seniors but gradually and I guess it would be better to introduce some of these youngsters against England than against Australia.

Sumit said...

trideep, do you think dravid is playing better than rohit, that ganguly is looking better than raina, that kumble will take more wickets than mishra (or even ojha)?

Trideep said...

I am not saying that Sumit. What i am saying is that changing the whole test team completely would put enormous pressure on the new team and that too against a team like Australia. Moreover it is a home series. So we can atleast bank on some of our senior players to contribute. My point is that the change in the team should be gradual.

Sumit said...

trideep, i think dravid and kumble should be retired because of prolonged non-performance. between lakshman and ganguly, it's a toss-up: i would go with lakshman. playing both is not on, considering the liabilities not just in batting form but also fielding and running between the wickets. as for sachin, i suppose he can't be dropped until he finally crosses lara!

Anonymous said...

i can't agree more with sumit's post and his article in DNA. It is refreshing to finally read someone talking sense about the Oldies. When will the selectors stop being in denial about the Fab Four? Sachin, Dravid, Sourav and Laxman have blocked the middle-order for ages now, their repeated non-performances notwithstanding. To the argument that a young team will lose to Australia, i can only say that if we are going to lose anyway (i can't see the unfit/semifit Oldies taking us to a series victory), then it is better we lose with a young team as the experience will go into building the nuclear of the future Test team. Whats this rubbish about changing the Test team "gradually"? The best way to blood youngsters is through trial by fire. If they can beat the Aussies in a One-day series in Australia, it is moronic to suggest that they won't be able to handle them in a Test series on India pitches. In fact, this home Test series against Australia is a god-given opportunity to inaugurate India's Test team of the future. They may lose the first test, as Dhoni's men did in the ODIs in Lanka, but they are fast learners, and they will definitely beat the Australians. I simply can't see a Kumble-led team of the ageing oldies beating Australia - we might as well stop dreaming along those lines. At another level, as a spectator, who wants to see Dravid bat for five hours to score 7 runs and then get out? Make Dhoni the Test captain, and blood Raina, Badrinath, and Rohit Sharma in place of Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman. In fact, i would go one step further and say that Sachin should be dropped and someone like Shikhar Dhawan should be given a chance in his place. He deserved to be in the ODI team any way in place of Virat Kohli who was damn lucky to get in ahead of him.
But then, our selectors have rarely been imaginative enough to make such bold selecions.

Trideep said...

Sumit,
We can start by dropping Dravid and replacing him by Badri. I dont think any other player can replace him at this moment. However, Badri has not played enough ODI's and I doubt whether the selectors will include Badri in the squad or not. Kumble should not be dropped atleast in this series as Kumble on a 4th & 5th day Indian pitch is still dangerous. Amongst Laxman & Ganguli I would prefer to keep Laxman as he is the one who has shown some respectable form recently.

Trideep said...

Anon,
Its always refreshing to read about including the new players. If u take out some time to surf more blogs you will find that there are many blggers who have continually written about the retirement of the fab-4. The fab-4 have 'blocked' the middle order for a long time. That is because there performance has been godd enough. Infact this was the same team who played against Australia last year and performed so well in their own home. If you look at the ODI team that beat Oz, Sachin was the player who was instrumental in our victories. The other players who gave him ample support were Dhoni & Rohit Sharma. Dhoni still hasn't proved his worth in the test side. Rohit is yet to prove his worth in the domestic 4 day games. The only player who can be thought of as an able replacement is Badri who has somehow skipped the eyes of selectors. So blooding all these youngster at the same time against the mighty Aussies will be nothing more than a disaster which may even lower this teams confidence in the ODI's. Hence i would prefer a gradual change. Moreover in the Indian conditions, Kumble & Bhajji are still dangerous. Also much of the failure of fab-4 agaisnt Sri Lanka is attributed to Mendis whom they could not read. But there is no mystery in the Aussie lineup. They are the same players against whom we won. Hence I feel it will be a better performance from our oldies.
But I also feel that slowly the test team will also have to be changed. Hence trying out one youngster per match in place of these seniors is an option.

Anonymous said...

Trideep,

This is Anon of above. It is not cleat to me on what basis you are stating that the Fab Four’s performance has been good enough. Let us not forget that we lost the series in Australia last year – have our expectations dipped so low that we keep congratulating them for their individual performances despite the team failing to win consistently abroad? As for sachin being instrumental in our ODI triumph in Australia, well, that is the magic of wrought by his loyalists in the media. Fact is, India won the two finals (where Sachin scored) due to the bowlers, who got Australia out for a manageable score. Sachin simply stayed put – and even if he had gotten out – anyone else could have hung around (as Dhoni repeatedly demonstrated in Lanka) and taken India home. But the credit for the wins have gone to Sachin. Instead, if the Australians had ended up scoring 300 plus, as they routinely do, Sachin wouldn’t have saved us. It is a fallacy to say that sachin was instrumental in India winning the ODI tournament against the Aussies. Also, you say that in Indian conditions, Kumble is dangerous. The last time the two played in India conditions, against the South Africans this year, Kumble was a monumental flop (pls check out his figures) Amit Mishra certainly deserves a break in place of Kumble (the fifth Oldie I forgot to mention in my earlier comment).

Trideep said...

Anon,
The basis on which I am saying that Fab-4 has performed consistently over the years is their records over the years. I hope you have already checked that out. Moreover on what basis are you saying that India has not performed well consistently. We have won series abroad unlike any of our earlier teams (barring this recent Sri Lankan series).
As far as our performance in Australia is concerned, we really did well. We lost the series 2-1, though the result could have been different if some of non-cricketing factors were with us.
As far as the ODI is concerned, How can u not say that SRT was not instrumental. In the first match, India chased down their total. The only recognised batsmen left were SRT & Rohit Sharma. Everyone else had got out. In the 2nd match again it was SRT who scored. If he had stayed a little longer we could have scored much more. The other players couldn't carry ahead his good work. I agree that MSD has been playing well in recent tournaments. But his performance down under was always found wanting. Please check the scorecard of the concerned matches.
As far as our spinners is concerned, the pitches in India helps spinners a lot with unpredictable bounce and turn. That is when Kumble becomes dangerous.
I also want youngsters in the Indian team. I would prefer if the fab-4 retires rather than kicked out. But you cannot throw all these youngsters in the fire all at once. You gotta give them time. Let them become accustomed to the longer version of the game atleast in the domestic circuit. Otherwise we will find each of our young talent becoming a Yuvraj.

BTW.. Sumit I am really sorry for taking so much of your space not once but twice... Hope this is the last time.... Let good sense prevail!!!

Buzzz said...

Sumit,

Have a 1 on 1 look at the performers who got India through in the triumphant series :

CB Series : It was Tendulkar brilliance in the finals which got India through. He was the MoS.

Do you find any 100 against worthy oppositon from this "youth" ? Any worthy consistent performance from the replacements ? Heck no.

I dont believe that a sports writer is holding on to this exterme views which are more like a bluff. Dravid and Kumble as non performers ?

Its ok to be carried away with the enthusiasm of ODi success, but calling them replacements of batting stars is something like a dream in day light.

And would you think Mishra and Ojha are replacements for Kumble ?

Swaminath said...

I agree with Sumit. The only good thing the fab 4 and Kumble bring to the test team right now is experience. And what good is experience if it doesnt translate into performance? The same fab4 with all their experience struggled against a newbie (Mendis), a bowler whom they have all faced since the time they made their debuts (Murali) and a rookie (Prasad).

We need young blood against Australia. Dhoni and his boys can give the Aussies a run for their money. And why this mental block against letting the seniors go?

Straight Point said...

it is not only mendis...if you all remember shashtri's famous comment 'paul was treated like lord'...SA series?

i will take 40 odd runs from kids than a pro anyday...and that's what they are making at this moment albeit with great difficulty...

i wonder how a player looking to cement his place in tests can play mendis better than the collective experience of over 100 international centuries?

signs are there for everybody to see...its another matter if we decide to look in other direction...

Naked Cricket said...

Hi Sumit,
do drop by at http://boredcricketcrazyindians.blogspot.com/
cheers!

A Bisht said...

I agree with you Sumit--selections should always be based on current form; but whether the current team is a good replacement for their illustrious seniors is a point of debate

Sumit said...

to all the ayes and nays, let's move the discussion to the next post which is on the same subject.

Sumit said...

naked cricket, had already dropped in and blogrolled you. cheers.