India lost their first bi-lateral series to England after above two and a half years yesterday. This is their first defeat in a bi-lateral series under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. England succeeded to secure their top position in the ODI ratings by the contributions of Joe Root and Adil Rasheed. Since the World Cup 2019 is less than a year away, here is the account of some of the problems India should overcome before World cup 2019.
- No.4 batsman
India tried a number of batsmen since a year including Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, and MS Dhoni since the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma proved to be successful since all these years. Virat Kohli often chooses to bat in the top order but to strengthen the frail middle-order, experts believe that the captain Kohli should bat at no.4.
Though Yuvraj Singh and Ajinkya Rahane played consistently for 9 to 10 innings but they are out of form at the moment. KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik tried to cement their position at No.4 but their success rate is doubtful since Rahul scored 9 runs and Karthik scored 21 runs in the ODI series against England.
- Overdependency on the top order
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli are one of the best top-3 combinations in the world class cricket. In the recent past, India had to struggle to survive when all these three batsmen were dismissed earlier. In the past two ODIs against England, the failure of top-order caused utmost pressure on the middle-order and this is an inevitable cause for the defeat of India in the ODI series. India could not manage to win a game if any one of these batsmen failed to score a fifty. There are very few occasions the middle order and lower order succeeded to rebuild the innings and hand the team the most needed victory.
- Reserve Speedsters
In the absence of Bumrah, India faced a serious scarcity of a death-over bowler. Umesh Yadav did consistently but he lacked support from other speedsters in the crucial moments. Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur did well in a couple of occasions but the lack of consistent pacer became a hurdle to the victory of India. Bhuvneshwar Kumar played in the last ODI but was wicketless. The workload on Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar should be reduced by entrusting a consistent pacer to avoid more blows in the near future.
- Back up bowler
India needs to work on the sixth bowler before the world cup season. Suresh Raina and Hardik Pandya served this purpose up to some extent but if they face fitness woes, the team may again fall into trouble. Hardik Pandya did a good performance with both the bat and the ball but India badly needs a backup bowler to shoulder the load of the sixth bowler. Kedar Jadhav served this purpose on a few occasions but his participation in the upcoming world cup fell into doubt now.
- Match Finisher
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the greatest finishers for India but he is facing tough times due to his poor form though he played some lightning in the recent past. Hardik Pandya did well in the no.6 position but if he faces any injury woes or poor form, the team needs to look for his replacement. Dinesh Karthik did great as the finisher in the Nidahas tournament and in IPL 2018 but he could not get many opportunities. Shreyas Iyer played at No.6 in the South African tour and Kedar Jadhav played that role before he got wounded in the same tour.
Though India might not get a sixth bowler for the upcoming world cup, the rest of the four issues should be resolved at the earliest to rebuild the team.