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Top order failed to deliver: Srikkanth

The former captain advised the team management against too much shuffling in the batting order and sending Dravid to open.

india Updated: May 29, 2006 17:10 IST

Blaming the top order batsmen for India's 4-1 debacle against West Indies, former captain K Srikkanth on Monday advised the team management against too much shuffling in the batting order and sending Rahul Dravid to open the innings.

"The top order failed to deliver. This is a batsman dominated game and if the upper order fails then obviously the team is going to struggle," Srikkanth told reporters here.

"I feel there should not be too much shuffling. Batsmen should not be shuffled beyond a point," the former opening batsman said on the sidelines of the inaugration of his on-line gaming website.

Srikkanth also said Dravid should not open the innings as he was the best batsman of the team.

"I feel the best batsman of the team should always come at No 3 and had I been the coach and captain of the team I would not have send him to open."

He said although Dravid scored a century in the first match while opening, the team needed his guidance in the middle order.

Asked about the reasons for the collective failure of the star line-up, Srikkanth said, "It is very difficult to point out reasons because they performed so well in the last three series. Sometimes it is difficult to adjust to slow wickets.

"But there is no need to panic. We cannot draw conclusion from failure in one series. They just need to look at their mistakes and correct it.

"He has performed so well in the ODI series and I expected him to be in the test team."

He said in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid and Yuvraj Singh would be India's key player in the Test series.

"Sachin would be missed. Just his presence in the team is enough. Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh will have to do a lot in the middle order."

Vinod Kambli, who launched the gaming website, also felt that Dravid should not open the innings.

"India has problems with the batting order. Dravid should not be sent as an opener and India should find a good opening batsman."

"Bowlers like Zaheer and Nehra had performed well and they should be tried before the World Cup," Kambli said.

He also felt that former skipper Sourav Ganguly could make a comeback to the team.

"I don't think the doors are closed on him. He should play well In England and hopefully he has some cricket left in him."

On Tendulkar's injury, he said it had dealt a big blow to the team. "What Lara is to West Indies, Sachin is to India."

First Published: May 29, 2006 16:56 IST