Indians on a decline

Published: 19 December, 2012 08:17 IST | A Correspondent |

Sir Ian Botham puts Dhoni's 'great' team in perspective; Nasser Hussain, David Lloyd zoom in on Virender Sehwag

English cricket legend Sir Ian Botham believes Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men were a bit complacent after they won the opening Test at Ahmedabad. “There was a little bit of complacency in India after the first Test; they expected to win the series and didn’t think England could play spin,” said Botham on Sky Sports. 

India lost the series 1-2 in Nagpur on Monday.

In the red: Virender Sehwag

Botham, who made two Test tours to India (in 1979-80 under Mike Brearley and 1981-82 under Keith Fketcher) called for an infusion of youth. “We’ve got to remember this is a great India side but it’s in decline. Age catches up with all of us; your time comes, your times goes and you move on and the new brigade comes in. That’s where India have got to start thinking now; they need a new breed to put some energy back into their side,” he opined.

Nasser Hussain, who leg England in the 2001-02 series didn’t hold back the tough talk on Sky: “Their (India’s) spinners were out-bowled by England's spinners and for Swann and Panesar to out-bowl Ashwin and Ojha says a lot.

“It’s not really about pitches, old players or young players, now. It’s just England are a better side. India need to have a look at themselves.”

Hussain reckoned that Virender Sehwag should be out of the team. He said: “They’ll have batsmen, they’ve always had batsmen, and it’s time to start introducing them like they’ve done with Pujara. But I think there has to be one big call as a statement after this series - and for me that would be Sehwag, if Tendulkar stays on. He’s been a brilliant player but he has to go if they’re trying to take this team in a new direction.”

David Lloyd, the popular commentator agreed with Hussain: “Sehwag doesn’t look right. He’s 34 years of age and looks older than that; he’s totally out of condition. Rahane is an excellent player, Murali is well talked about as a younger, sparky player and Yadav would help the pace attack.” 

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