Home > Features >

A statement is needed whether we are done with Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan in ODIs

A statement is needed whether we are done with Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan in ODIs

The last international match Virender Sehwag (left) played was against Pakistan on January 3, 2013. Whereas, Zaheer Khan’s last international match was against England on December 5, 2012 © AFP

By Harsha Bhogle

We need to be a little careful about reading too much into this One-Day International (ODI) series, India were always expected to win this one.

The news channels are already saying all is well with Indian cricket again. But we need to be very careful about what conclusions we draw from a series against an English side that has played quite poorly.
India seems to have found the right balance, but in Indian conditions we have always been a balanced team. The big test will come when the team goes overseas.

I still think India need to find a permanent solution to the opening slot. We need a statement on whether we are done with Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan in ODIs. Or are we going to look back?

We tried Ajinkya Rahane, gave him a couple of games and then said thank you. It may look like Rahane got a very short run, but it all depends on what the captain’s perception is. If the captain rates a particular player and thinks he is the future, he will get those two more games to prove himself. Rohit Sharma took his opportunity well, so now it is only fair that he gets a run as opener.

Gautam Gambhir is struggling even in these conditions. When India played their best one-day cricket, they had a stable opening pair in either Ganguly and Tendulkar or Sehwag and Tendulkar. India now needs to take firm decisions and find a stable opening pair.

India’s bowlers have done well and Mahendra Singh Dhoni has not had to resort to his part- timers too much. With Ravindra Jadeja scoring runs, you can straightaway see the comfort factor that Dhoni has playing with five bowlers. Ishant Sharma has done decently, but is this good form an indicator that he has arrived? He has shown good form and he has shown terrible form in the past; he has not been consistent. With his numbers, nobody would get the number of chances he has got. So it is up to him to stay right and better start making use of this opportunity.

Jadeja has been collecting wickets with arm balls. And it makes you think about Ravichandran Ashwin. Initially people did not quite know how to read him with all his variations, but now the pressure is back on him. It happens with a lot of players, they enter with a bang and then suddenly hit a plateau because people figure out how to play them. Ashwin is an intelligent man who thinks deeply about his game and will be the first to say that he’s not bowling as well as he can. It will be very interesting to see how he plays in the next 12 months, because his challenge begins now. But he is smart enough to know what to do about it.

I cannot say the same for England who have rested so many key players that I do not feel they have taken this series very seriously. The only plus for them is Joe Root. In the Tests you looked at them and said, “Wow, this is a team that is on its way up here.” In the one-dayers you look at them and say, “England have done nothing in this series.” The margins in their last three bilateral ODI series in India have been 5-1, 5-0 and 5-0. This is like the world No. 1 sweeping off a qualifier in the first round of a tournament in straight sets. This should really become 4-1 from here. England have not been competitive after the Rajkot game and it has hurt them.

Their priority is clearly winning the Test series in New Zealand and so they have managed their workload, pulling out key players like James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Jonathan Trott from this tour. With them playing, they could have followed up on their historic Test series win and won this ODI series if not have made it closer.

(Harsha Bhogle is respected mediaperson who, over the years, has given commentary on All India Radio, Australia Broadcasting Corporation, British Broadcasting Corporation, ESPN Star Sports and many others. Harsha has also authored numerous cricket books and is the Cricket Brand Ambassador of castrolcricket.com. Castrol Cricket is the official performance partner of the International Cricket Council)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Deodhar Trophy, 2014-15

Nov 29, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at TBC

More

Afghanistan tour of UAE, 2014

Nov 28, 2014  at Dubai

United Arab Emirates won by 5 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 21 runs

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

Phil Hughes passes away: Video tribute

Sean Abbott will find the road ahead a living nightmare

Phillip Hughes’ death: What happens to India vs Australia Test series?

Phillip Hughes 63 not out, forever

Phil Hughes: Remembering his most memorable knocks

Phillip Hughes passes away: Crying for Phillip Hughes

Australia England India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Death Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes Sri Lanka

India tour of Australia 2014-15: 1st Test set to be rescheduled as David Warner, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin not ready

UAE beat Afghanistan by 5-wickets in first ODI at Dubai

Bangladesh edge out Zimbabwe by 21 runs in 4th ODI at Dhaka

Phillip Hughes was destined for greatness: Steve Waugh

Afghanistan set 249-run target against UAE in 1st ODI at Dubai

Brendon McCullum smashes fastest Test century for New Zealand

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day Two: Statistical Highlights

Phillip Hughes’ death: Cricket resumes, but with a heavy heart

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 4th ODI at Dhaka: Highlights

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mahmudullah record second-highest fifth wicket partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Fawad Khan Birthday Special: 7 reasons that make him the ONE you have been waiting for secretly!

‘एक्शन-जैक्सन’ मूवी के लिए अजय देवगण ने कैसे वज़न घटाया

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

वज़न घटाने का नुस्ख़ा #43: वज्रासन से वज़न घटायें

Priyanka Kothari Birthday Special: Sexy looks of the hot actress (In Pics)

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: Ali Quli Mirza left alone, Gautam Gulati gets special present from Diandra Soares

Bigg Boss 8: OMG! Gautam Gulati draggd to the bathroom by Diandra Soares

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here