India lost its chances of winning the series against Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium when the team fell short by 35 runs. After a successful stint on the Australian soil and winning spree in New Zealand, Indian side was expected to handle the Australian side on the home ground well. However, after being humbled in the T20Is, the team lost the ODI series 2-3.
Given the fact, that India has to play the upcoming 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, it’s important that India get better results but the team failed to get so against Australia. Now the team is getting ready for the upcoming Indian Premier League 2019, which begins from March 23. If we take a closer look at the Indian side’s makeup over the past years, there hasn’t been much change. Taking the results of defeat against Australia into account, and combining it with the fact that Indian side is expected to largely remain unchanged when they take on South Africa in the tournament opener in England, here is what one can expect.
Opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have shown their capability to be successful in the 5 matches ODI series against Australia. With their partnership of 193-runs in the fourth ODI, the duo has become second most successful opening pair for India of all times. But, all is not good for Sharma and Dhawan as India lost their first wicket within five overs in four ODIs. Although Dhawan’s 143 against Australia in fourth ODI has been his career’s one of the best, but his overall performance has been less than impressive. Rohit Sharma has fared better with his two half-centuries and a 37. The duo is most likely to retain their places in the team when they reach England.
Middle order woes
In a desperate attempt to nail down the no.4 batting spot, India was seen experimenting with their middle order. Ambati Rayudu has taken the spot since Yuvraj Singh has abandoned it, but he hasn’t been able to fully fill the gap. Now there have been suggestions made to bring Kohli down to no.4 and let KL Rahul play at no.3, but this is a fairly risky proposition. Removing Kohli from his batting position this close to World Cup seems like a recipe for disaster.
This one is not much of a conundrum as MS Dhoni is still an available option until he decides to part ways from ODI cricket, which is most probably this World Cup. Rishabh Pant has been given a chance to fill into Dhoni’s boots but he literally lacks finishing skills. At his very best he has been able to perform during the Tests but he still needs to learn to be a more patient finisher. During the England visit, he will be under the scanner for his performance.
India is doing well in the bowling group. The testimony of Indian bowlers’ improvement is from the fact that Jasprit Bumrah is ranked No. 1 in the ICC ODI rankings. Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are also leading the team’s bowling attack well. These 3 bowlers combined took 16 wickets in the series. Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav are also supporting the effort, still, the middle order bowling woes remain as seen in the series. India is not able to contain the Australian batsmen in the middle overs, especially when they were chasing the 359 runs in the fourth ODI.
This ICC World Cup, India has a mix of experience and budding all-round talents that can be of its advantage if used right.