With Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir at top, all India needed was a good solid start: Gavaskar

With the kind of batting line-up, including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni himself, all India needed was a good solid start but that didn’t happen and when they had reached the halfway stage of overs, writes Sunil Gavaskar in The Times Of India after India’s dismal performance in their last game against Australia.

Gavaskar adds, “The worry was that they wouldn’t last the entire innings which is exactly what happened. India are shell shocked as far as their batting is concerned. No player is looking to settle down and play himself in and give himself some time out in the middle and then look to attack. It’s almost as if, if they don’t get boundaries from the word go then they won’t live up to their expectations.  India have also paid for being stubborn about certain players and while it is expected that every skipper has a bit more faith in some players than some others, the way Manoj Tiwary has been totally ignored is inexplicable. Now Tiwary may well play in what will be India’s last game on the tour and if he fails they will say “see he is not good enough and that’s why he was not picked”. If only Tiwary gets the number of chances that some others have got.”

Meanwhile, the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ bogey was raised again at the SCG during India’s defeat to Australia on Sunday, writes TOI. Twin incidents involving David Hussey during Australia’s innings, and Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal when India batted, left Indian captain MS Dhoni fuming about getting the wrong end of the stick when it comes to ‘sportsmanship’.

The first incident, in the 24th over of Australia’s innings, saw batsman David Hussey blocking Suresh Raina’s throw to the wicketkeeper with his hand while short of his crease, prompting MS Dhoni to appeal for obstructing the field. Two of the most experienced umpires in the game, Simon Taufel and Billy Bowden, referred it to third umpire Simon Fry instead, who refused to rule the batsman out even though new rules for obstructing the field — and laws for ‘handling the ball’ dismissals — were all in India’s favour. Dhoni, who later said the batsman was out, had an animated chat with the umpires on the field.

In the second instance when India batted, Sachin Tendulkar was declared run out by square-leg umpire Simon Taufel although pacer Brett Lee ran across the pitch, stood midway and appeared to block the batsman from making his ground. By that time, Warner ran in from point and hit the stumps with an underarm throw. An unhappy Tendulkar left the ground shaking his head. In this case, Tendulkar was out as per the laws of the game but shouldn’t the Aussies have recalled him, purely to ensure India were not cheated of a wicket?, reasons TOI.

Dhoni also took exception to the fact that Simon Taufel took the decision to rule Tendulkar out though the other on-field umpire Billy Bowden was nearer to the actual incident, says a report in The Tribune.

"It was unjustified for Tendulkar because he had to take an extra yard to run. I think Billy (Bowden) should have said something because he was in a better position to see where exactly the bowler was and where he stopped. It was really difficult for Simon Taufel to take a call because he would not know which angle the batsman was running and where Lee actually stopped," Dhoni said.

Meanwhile, MS Dhoni said that he "can't pinpoint one particular reason" for his team's failure in the ongoing ODI tri-series where they have lost their fourth match, reads a report in Indian Express.

"I can't pinpoint one particular reason. We need to bat well. Also I have lost most of the tosses and we have had to bat second under lights which is a difficult thing. We haven't been able to perform to our potential," Dhoni stated at the post-match presentation ceremony.