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 England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Photos

Aaron Finch's record 156 vs England in T20I

Videos

Trent Bridge cricket ground: A small tour

Zimbabwe vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, 3rd ODI at Harare: South Africa win by 61 runs

England, take ODIs seriously if you want to win

Hiralal Gaekwad: the southpaw who lost out to Vinoo Mankad

Lord Ganesha XI: Eleven cricketers who were named after the elephant God

Suresh Raina’s new avatar on India’s tour of England 2014

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Rajinikanth finds a fan in Ross Taylor!

Prosper Utseya’s hat-trick in vain as South Africa clinch 61 run victory against Zimbabwe in 3rd ODI

India tour of England 2014: Alex Hales wants to play Test cricket

Aditya Verma: Will oppose N Srinivasan or BCCI if AGM is delayed

Ian Botham rules out England’s chances of winning ICC World Cup 2015

Rilee Rossouw’s golden duck feat

Rohit Sharma’s injury gives Murali Vijay a new lease of life in ODI career

Prosper Utseya prospers for Zimbabwe

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Key clashes

National Sports Day: Cricket’s television revolution has inspired other sports

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

666 Posts | 6 Fans

12 runs in one ball

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon were spotted without wedding rings

Nokia’s HERE maps brings offline turn-by-turn navigation to Samsung’s Tizen-powered Gear S smartwatch

Why Vivian Dsena and Drashti Dhami may never work together again?

NGOs pursue education for all

Darren Lehmann takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Ganesh Chaturthi 2014: Rani Mukerji seeks blessings from Lord Ganesha – view pics!

Apple iPhone 6 photos with full casing leaked ahead of September 9 launch

What is the Ebola virus disease survival rate?

Watch Stephen Hawkins endorse the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here