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India's #6 batting spot- a revolving door that shouldn't exist?

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Two groups or spots in the national side have often been rotated regularly, to the point of being revolving doors. One is the roster of pacers, which should have been locked firmly. The other, is the number six batting position. This one shouldn't have been there at all.

The position got opened up after Ganguly's retirement. Here's what it looks like. They have tried more than a few batsmen, but none have been impressive, bar Laxman again. A collective average will make it look like the position average is 40, but take Laxman out of it and it falls to 36. Clearly, any batsman at six struggles. The same batsmen, promoted higher up, are thriving- like Kohli and Pujara. A few advocate Badrinath and Tiwary there, but it will not make a difference. Already Badrinath, with just one innings at six, is out of contention for the Test side. Another point to note is that apart from Dhoni, a full-fledged wicketkeeper, none of these blokes address the concern of an overworked, weak bowling attack- while four bowlers manfully sweat it out sending down thirty overs an innings, these blokes won't even go beyond three.

It's a position to call upon only when there is trouble, with wickets falling. In the past, that man was VVS Laxman. Now, it is someone not good enough to fit in the top five. When things are going good for the batsmen, this bloke won't be needed at all. In fact, Dhoni is sufficient. However, those are also the times when the bowlers struggle, and the number six becomes a waste of space.

Dhoni himself averages 37, and Ashwin, over 40. This should open up an alternative to a batsman at six. They should scrap that position altogether and play a full-fledged bowler there. You have options other than Irfan, Yusuf and Jadeja- Ashwin is a much better bowling option at present, and you have a choice between Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Rishi Dhawan in the domestic circuit. It will, at the very least, take off thirty overs from the regular bowlers' stock, so they can stay fresh, and not beg for rank turners or seamers between 22 yards. As for the batsmen, let them work harder for places in the top five.
 

NasserFan207

International Vice-Captain
I know he's hated for some reason but why not pick Irfan Pathan? He's your best bowling allrounder IMO.
 

Howe_zat

Audio File
Aswin looks like the business with the bat afaic. If anything your problem with the extra bowler would be that Dhoni can't hack it.

Unless you have some seriously deserved bowlers who can't fit into the side then an extra batsman is going to be more use to you then an extra bowler.
 
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Prince EWS

Global Moderator
Not sure what we'd do with a extra bowler, especially at home tbh.
Yeah you'd probably get more use of the fifth bowler away from the subcontinent but batting Dhoni at six away from home would be absurd. It's not really going to be a serious option IMO unless you cop a real flat wicket at home or India are 1-0 down going into the last Test of a series or something. I'm very much a six proper batsmen guy, and Dhoni ain't it. I wouldn't have any beef with Ashwin batting seven at all but Dhoni isn't a Test number six's backside.
 

Cabinet96

Global Moderator
I find it ridiculous that with 4 batsmen averaging around 60 in FC Yuvraj is still in the side. I know it's a fairytale that he's even playing, but he's simply not good enough. Either one of Badrinath, Tiwary, Rohit, or Sewhag at 6 with Rehane opening would do a better job IMO.
 

Howe_zat

Audio File
I still think Yuvraj can be a decent player. He's not pulling his weight now but I think it's unfair to pull up any half decent domestic bat and say he's obviously inferior.
 

Prince EWS

Global Moderator
I find it ridiculous that with 4 batsmen averaging around 60 in FC Yuvraj is still in the side. I know it's a fairytale that he's even playing, but he's simply not good enough. Either one of Badrinath, Tiwary, Rohit, or Sewhag at 6 with Rehane opening would do a better job IMO.
To be fair, Yuvraj averages 55 himself in Indian domestic cricket. It's actually quite amazing how little domestic First Class cricket he's played though; it's no wonder he's developed into such a limited overs specialist. He was a victim of the fact that he developed more quickly as a limited overs batsman than as a First Class cricketer as he got fast tracked into the ODI side, developed his technique to suit that as a young man and was generally too busy playing ODIs for India to get any consistent First Class cricket under his belt. I don't think there's a case quite the same.
 

Cabinet96

Global Moderator
To be fair, Yuvraj averages 55 himself in Indian domestic cricket. It's actually quite amazing how little domestic First Class cricket he's played though; it's no wonder he's developed into such a limited overs specialist. He was a victim of the fact that he developed more quickly as a limited overs batsman than as a First Class cricketer as he got fast tracked into the ODI side, developed his technique to suit that as a young man and was generally too busy playing ODIs for India to get any consistent First Class cricket under his belt. I don't think there's a case quite the same.
Ah, I apologise to the man then. When I looked at his FC record I hadn't stopped to think how many of his FC matches were tests.
 

Prince EWS

Global Moderator
Ah, I apologise to the man then. When I looked at his FC record I hadn't stopped to think how many of his FC matches were tests.
Yeah, it also includes a dreadful spell for Yorkshire. Worst overseas player ever and all that. It's not like Tiwary has been made to do something like that though so it's still an unfair comparison as such.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
I know he's hated for some reason but why not pick Irfan Pathan? He's your best bowling allrounder IMO.
Ashwin, as of now, runs rings around him. Let him finish a season with Baroda winning the trophy, then he's a contender for Tests. He would have been, if not for Ashwin.
Not sure what we'd do with a extra bowler, especially at home tbh.
Unless you have some seriously deserved bowlers who can't fit into the side then an extra batsman is going to be more use to you then an extra bowler.
The bowling attack is just too weak to go in with just four bowlers. They can be competitive on a very, very dicey deck, but we don't know if curators will continue preparing such pitches, depending on orders from the captain or Board officials. If it isn't a seriously bowler-friendly wicket, they will struggle, and a fifth bowler can add some strength to the attack. You don't have an attack here that can take ten wickets for under 200 regularly like a Steyn-led South African attack.
Yeah you'd probably get more use of the fifth bowler away from the subcontinent but batting Dhoni at six away from home would be absurd...
Dhoni is an under-achiever with the bat. If he spent more time in the middle and took the initiative to score big runs, he'd know what's lacking and work on it, and help his team so much more. He can do so much more even with limited technique, but by hiding at seven, he's never tried to improve his game. Compare that with Saha and Dinesh Karthik, who are getting big scores now, and are still decent keepers, while Dhoni's uniqueness- a superior strike rate- has now dipped. In fact, you'll be much more satisfied playing five bowlers in the same side as Saha or Karthik than Dhoni, based on current form.
I find it ridiculous that with 4 batsmen averaging around 60 in FC Yuvraj is still in the side. I know it's a fairytale that he's even playing, but he's simply not good enough. Either one of Badrinath, Tiwary, Rohit, or Sewhag at 6 with Rehane opening would do a better job IMO.
Badri, Tiwary, Rohit and Sehwag will suffer at six. Look back at Kaif- a promising Test career cut drastically short by the Number Six position. None of these blokes will survive that position. Kohli and Pujara earned their promotions into the top five, but were lucky to have Dravid and Laxman vacate their places. Yuvraj wouldn't be in the side if not for his bowling- and he actually did well with the ball in the tour game.
To be fair, Yuvraj averages 55 himself in Indian domestic cricket. It's actually quite amazing how little domestic First Class cricket he's played though; it's no wonder he's developed into such a limited overs specialist. He was a victim of the fact that he developed more quickly as a limited overs batsman than as a First Class cricketer as he got fast tracked into the ODI side, developed his technique to suit that as a young man and was generally too busy playing ODIs for India to get any consistent First Class cricket under his belt. I don't think there's a case quite the same.
Which is why I am fiercely against picking raw youngsters for the national team. Yuvraj is a clear example.
 
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Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
To be fair, Yuvraj averages 55 himself in Indian domestic cricket. It's actually quite amazing how little domestic First Class cricket he's played though; it's no wonder he's developed into such a limited overs specialist. He was a victim of the fact that he developed more quickly as a limited overs batsman than as a First Class cricketer as he got fast tracked into the ODI side, developed his technique to suit that as a young man and was generally too busy playing ODIs for India to get any consistent First Class cricket under his belt. I don't think there's a case quite the same.
His domestic FC record is a strange one tbh. He averages about 41 with Punjab which is his primary team, but has excellent records for north zone, Rest of India and BP 11. Most of them based on one or 2 big innings.
 

Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator
The bowling attack is just too weak to go in with just four bowlers. They can be competitive on a very, very dicey deck, but we don't know if curators will continue preparing such pitches, depending on orders from the captain or Board officials. If it isn't a seriously bowler-friendly wicket, they will struggle, and a fifth bowler can add some strength to the attack.
How many times has a fifth bowler ever added something to an attack? How many teams have used a five-man attack effectively?

The only times I can recall five-man attacks being sustained effectively in recent years are England in 2005 (and that only happened because of Freddie's golden summer) and South Africa (because one of the five is Kallis).

Pinning your hopes on your fifth-choice bowler to change a game when your best four aren't offering anything is, at best, blindly optimistic.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
Yuvraj just isn't a serious test bowler. Sehwag is more likely to be a threat, injuries or whatever else is the root cause of Dhoni's reluctance to use him notwithstanding.
 

Flem274*

123/5
Surely there's an allrounder in India with a decent FC batting and bowling average who sends down some mediums?
 

andruid

International Captain
I think the 5th bowler logic is more around keeping the other 4 fresh enough to be aggressive on a flat wicket than win the game themselves. Also, does he have to be a pace bowler. Maybe they ought to bowl Yuvraj more or try a Jadeja or a Chawla instead?
 

Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
Dare i say it but Jadeja would have been gun in this match tbh.

Is in good form + can bowl that quick spin that works the best on this type of Mumbai track.
 

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