Australia Makes A Strong Statement; India’s Middle Order Questions Left Unanswered.
Who said bilateral ODI series are boring? Going by the decider in Delhi, the charm is well and truly alive. However, the end result was not what the home team would have wished for as Australia beat India by 35 runs in the fifth and final ODI to register their first win in New Delhi since 1998 and also secure their first series win (3-2) on Indian soil.
A decade ago Australia won an ODI series in India despite a surfeit of injuries. Numerous stronger sides have left empty handed since then, so it was with a great deal of satisfaction that Aaron Finch’s team sealed this victory from 0-2 down, the first time an Australian side had ever done so in 50-over matches, with a disciplined, determined and tactically astute defence of 272 in Delhi.
Visitors Complete Remarkable Turnaround
Being 0-2 down is something the Australians have become used to in more than one sense over the past year, missing the names of David Warner and Steven Smith from their team sheet as a result of the Newlands scandal.
Usman Khawaja struck a brilliant century to help Australia do the same and cap off a memorable series win. Khawaja’s second hundred of the series came on a challenging surface as Australia posted 272/9 in 50 overs. India were once again guilty of losing wickets at regular intervals. Only Rohit Sharma scored a fifty among the top three while the middle order failed yet again. Bhuvneshwar and Kedar Jadhav got the equation down to 50 off 25 balls with a partnership of 91 that brought the crowd to life. But it wasn’t enough to win the game, India ended up getting bowled out for 237. It is just one more failure from Indian middle order.
Teams Winning A Series After Being 0-2 Down (5+ Matches)
India’s Middle Order Woes Continue:
India’s top order has been a prolific machine, churning out runs even in their sleep. The top three have been the best in the world, they take strike, see off the new ball and all the potency, and then win matches.
We have seen in overseas conditions that our spinners have picked up wickets in the middle overs, and the seamers finish things off with ease! All very lucid, except when wicket number two falls, when the middle order needs to take responsibility. They have not looked confident, India have been splashing around for different options, almost like a musical chair, and have yet kept tumbling and tripping over.
The middle order is a problem, it has been a problem, and if the same hymn is sung, it will continue to be a problem. Since the start of 2018, India have tried 11 batsmen between 4-7 batting positions in ODIs, and yet the positions are as vulnerable as they were before the start of the year.
With the World Cup coming in a month, India faced australia in the intention to experiment their middle order. After all the ODIs, one would feel that the question remains unanswered.
Amabti Rayudu is an honest player, he will be busy at the crease, hit a few blazing strokes and get a fifty. And then he blinks and gets out, the strike rate hovers around 100. Good, yes, good enough, no!
KL Rahul is an enigma, hit or miss, hot and cold, he can be the enforcer, but does he have the mental space to walk out and face the slower bowlers on generally sluggish surfaces?
And then MS Dhoni, the man with the fastest hands in the east, the man who is getting more vocal by the day behind the stumps, is the guiding force for Kohli, Rohit, Chahal, Kuldeep, India. He looks so shaky with the bat, the greying hair an apt reflection of his prowess with the bat.
It’s time for Indian Team management to find a best playing 11 for world cup, as their middle order requires some solidity.