International

No current live series

News

We have to move on: Dhoni

Indian skipper says he stands by his decision to press charges against Anderson

The last couple of weeks in the England-India Test series have been marred by the Trent Bridge controversy between James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja. MS Dhoni was very vocal about his displeasure over Anderson’s actions and was firm in his support for Jadeja.

However, Gordon Lewis, the man who investigated the matter, declared both Anderson and Jadeja not guilty at the end of it. Dhoni said the decision was a result of the lack of evidence and now all they can do is move on. “It’s mostly on the lines of lack of evidence and its time for us to move ahead,” he said.

When asked if the after effects of the incident will linger in his mind, Dhoni replied in his usual witty way.

“Hangover? Usually I don’t drink and so I don’t get hangovers.” On a serious note, he said it was important not to let the off-field matter have an impact on the cricket. “In a similar way when we deal with social life, it is important not to drag one thing into other.

“Irrespective of what has happened and what will happen we are concentrating on cricket. So that’s a good thing. Once you’re a part of the Indian team you do that very well because lot of things float around cricket whether we are at home or outside. So it really teaches u to focus on the game,” the captain said.

Despite Anderson getting away unscathed, Dhoni was happy that at least the 50 per cent fine imposed on Jadeja was waived off.

“The good thing that came out of it was that Jadeja’s fine was called off. As I had said earlier, there wasn’t even one per cent mistake committed from his side. After that it becomes all about evidence and would be really interesting to see what David Boon found out on the basis of which he fined Jadeja in first place.”

While Dhoni said strong characters like Anderson are needed in the game, he also felt the umpires must step in when the line is crossed.

“Strong characters are needed in the game. And it doesn’t matter whether it is him (Anderson) or a player or some other side. It can be someone from my side as well. But the need is for the umpires to step in when the individual crosses the line. What matters is that they stay within the guidelines and that’s important for the game and the spectators,” Dhoni said.

“There is no need to control Anderson really. There was a vast difference in the way he played the first Test and the next two. He only needs to be controlled if something wrong is happening. You don’t want everyone to be the same because individuals bring character to the side. Everybody is different in their own way. But there are certain guidelines need to be followed and as long as they are following that it is okay,” Dhoni said.

India might not have gotten the result they thought was just in the case. But Dhoni said they don’t regret pressing the charges against Anderson and going for the appeal, because they did what they believed was the right thing to do.

“I did something that was right and I stand by it,” Dhoni said. “If something wrong is happening I will go against it irrespective of who is doing it. If one of my players gets fined and if he is within the boundary lines definitely I’ll go and defend him. But if he crosses that line I he will go alone and face the consequences.

“We brought forward something we thought was unacceptable when it comes to game of cricket. Beyond that it is not in my jurisdiction to punish or award penalties. It is up to the ICC and others to decide on the matter,” the skipper said.

Dhoni said the basis of their report was the physical assault and not the sledging. “It was the physical contact that we had problem against. We never said anything about sledging. Quite a few harsh words spoken on the field as well but we didn’t report that.”

News

Preview: England vs India, 4th Test

Team India look to ‘change’ for good

What

Fourth Test of the five-match series between India and England

When

August 7 to 11, 2014

Where

Old Trafford, Manchester

The Teams

India


How things change. More than a fortnight ago the talk was about an epic victory at Lord’s and India going to Southampton with their noses in front. A week and five days of Test cricket later it is the home side that will walk out at Old Trafford with an upper hand. England had won thirteen sessions out of the fifteen at The Rose Bowl; India were found wanting at every department of the game. Dropped catches, batting and bowling failures plagued India in the third Test and come Thursday, India would look to make amends in every department. First up; the changes – The buzz is about Gautam Gambhir who could make his way into the playing eleven after Shikhar Dhawan’s poor show with the bat in six innings. If at all Gambhir does play at Old Trafford, it would be his first Test match since 2012. It could be a refreshing change to the Indian batting line-up that wouldn’t mind the experience of Gambhir at the top. With the pitch again touted to play a vital role in team selection, R Ashwin could be drafted into the side to add more variety with the ball. Whether he would replace Rohit Sharma or Ravindra Jadeja will be known only after the flip of the coin. With Ishant Sharma being ruled out of the fourth Test, the onus will still be on India’s leading wicket-taker this series – Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Kumar did have a swollen ankle but if the word from the venue is to be believed, the speedster has looked comfortable in his stride. Mohammed Shami is expected to share the new ball with Kumar and it is a toss between Pankaj Singh and Varun Aaron to don the role of the third seamer. Whether India will make bold changes in their line-up in anticipation of a result in their favour will be worth a watch.

England

The smiles are back in the England camp. Their senior-most players who were going through a bad run of form thus far have suddenly found their mojo. Alastair Cook is amongst the runs and that was enough to lift the entire side to put up a match-winning show. Ian Bell has begun to find the sweet spot of his willow and the young guns are firing away to glory. It just took one Test for both sides for things to change; fortunately for England things changed for the better. Credit to England to come back strong after having their backs against the wall and they would be having a spring in their stride on Thursday. England do not have much of concerns before the fourth Test; a complete paradox to how they walked out on the field before taking guard at Southampton. Just an injury concern for England as Liam Plunkett is ruled out due to an ankle injury. Steven Finn has been roped in as replacement. England have a range of fast bowling options and have the liberty to pick and choose from them for the third and fourth seamer’s spot. The spin department looks secure in Moeen Ali’s hands especially after he troubled the batsmen considered the best players of spin in the third Test. The very fact that the Indian batsmen were practicing the sweep shot in the nets would make Ali smile and have his collars up when he walks out to ball at Old Trafford.

Key Players

India

At a time when the big names like Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli have found the going tough, Ajinkya Rahane has stood tall with his intentions to bat long and appetite for big runs in the series. Rahane has an average of 54 this series with a century to his name. He has looked in good touch and is now looking to make that place in the middle-order his own. With Kohli, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja looking patchy with the bat, Rahane has looked the binding force in the middle-order. He has got starts in the series and converted one into a big score at Lord’s but India need a lot more from the rest of the batting order and Rahane himself if they were to post a huge total on the board.

England

India are walking into ‘James Anderson territory’ quite literally as they step foot on the speedster’s home ground for the fourth Test. Spin is expected to play a part at Old Trafford but at the same time the seamers are expected to make a mark at the venue. With the talk of ‘live grass’ on the pitch, Anderson would be licking his lips to instill maximum damage on India. Anderson has 16 wickets in three games and India have found the going tough against England’s ace speedster thus far. With Indian bowlers tiring and finding it difficult to sustain themselves in the series, Anderson has been an opposite of sorts spitting fire and looking to take a wicket every time he has walked out to bowl. Without a doubt he is India’s biggest threat and Cook would yet again look towards his ace speedster for early breakthroughs in the innings.

Stat Overview

1. Average first innings score at Old Trafford, Manchester:

Overall - 330

Since 2000-373

2. Average second innings score at Old Trafford, Manchester:

Overall- 270

Since-302

3. Result summary at Old Trafford, Manchester:

Matches

Won by side batting 1st

Won by side batting 2nd

Drawn

Overall

27

13

35

Since 2000

4

3

3


4. Head-to-head:

Matches

Played

Ind won

Eng won

Drawn

Overall

110

21

41

48

In England

55

6

28

21

At Old Trafford

8

0

3

5


5. Last meeting between both sides at Old Trafford, Manchester

Brief scores:

9-14 August 1990

England 519 & 320-4d; India 432 and 343-6. Match drawn

6. Form guide (most recent listed first):

India: Lost, Won, Drawn, Drawn, Lost

England: Won, Lost, Drawn, Lost, Drawn

7. Pace vs Spin at Old Trafford

In last 5 Tests:

The Squads

India: M.S. Dhoni (C & wk), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Naman Ojha, Pankaj Singh

England (4th Test): Alastair Cook (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Steven Finn, Jos Buttler (WK), Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes