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Must win at Nagpur: A matter of pride for Indian cricket
India lost the test match at Eden Gardens in almost the same way as I expected. What was unexpected to me was the retention of the captaincy by M.S. Dhoni and the wrong team selection.

MAY BE my expectation was too demanding but change in the leadership sometimes turns the fortune. If one remembers, the same thing had happened when India had lost the home test series against South Africa under the captaincy of M. Azharuddin and immediately Saurav Ganguly was appointed as the new captain. That bold decision of selectors helped India to win the one day series (3-2) against South Africa.

The Indian team is desperately needing a new leader who can guide them in a similar way as Alastair Cook is doing for England. Yuvraj and Harbhajan Singh have been dropped without any valid reason. If the performance is the parameter then Yuvraj’s 76-run innings helped India to gain a 500 plus total at Ahmadabad. His ability as a left arm spinner was not utilized by Dhoni while on the other hand Harbhajan Singh played just a single match in which he had been given only 22 overs to bowl.

R. Ashwin has been retained in the team more because of his batting ability rather than his off-spin bowling skills. R. Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha were not good enough to bowl out England for under 400 runs except at Ahmadabad. English batsmen have understood how to tackle them - after playing them at Mumbai and Kolkata.

The legendary batsman and a true gentleman Sachin Tendulkar and his retirement has become matter of debate these days. So far, he has not scored well in 2012 and after a lot of expectations and criticism, he resisted and scored 76 runs at Eden Garden but it was a show of playing below pars your reputation and skills. Former cricketers and media is blaming his age for his poor batting but for me its all about the confidence level and the luck.

Still, I am sure that if he gets a big 100 at Nagpur then all the retirement demands will be silenced for a year again. If age is so critical for the batting performance of a cricketer then why the same thing doesn’t seem applicable for Shiv Narayan Chanderpaul and Jacques Kallis who are top class batsmen.

The team that was selected for the Nagpur test match exposed captain Dhoni’s defensive and negative attitude as he preferred to select part-time bowlers; R. Jadeja, P. Chawla and P. Awana, who can also bat. A team playing with 11 top class batsman, cannot win a match.

Dhoni will be soon known for his awkward decisions. He went with four spinners on a track which has a history to help pace bowlers. If India could have played two pace-bowlers they could have taken 3 to 4 wickets before the lunch on day one itself. However, Dhoni prefered to include his favorite Ranindra Jadeja into the playing 11 at the cost of fast bowlers. Jadeja had got many chances in One-day and T-20 matches but was never successful.

The fourth and final test match at Nagpur is still open and England have done well so far to reach a decent total. Things will become more clear when Indian batsmen will come to bat against the quality pace and spin bowling attack. Lovers of Indian cricket are expecting a must win at Nagpur to save pride and record at home grounds.

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