England’s legend Michael Vaughan, before the first ODI, pointed out India’s old-school technique of playing only 5 bowlers and 7 batsmen against Australians. Virat Kohli’s “Men in Blue” shot blanks in their first two ODIs on the Australian soil. Aaron Finch and David Warner set their camps comfortably as Indian bowlers fell on their faces in their attempt of clinching an early wicket. Australians have a 2-0 immutable lead in the three-game series and India’s loss can be easily directed towards their failure in the bowling department.
Hardik Pandya and the mystery of the second all-rounder!
Hardik Pandya, who is tipped to be one of the best all-rounders in the world, has been restricted in the bowling department due to a recent injury. Virat Kohli had Pandya as his 6th bowler but the 27-year-old’s injury only makes him fit to handle the bat for now. This is where things get a bit tricky for Virat Kohli as he can not drop Hardik Pandya because of his unrivaled batting skills in the death overs. He gave a small glimpse of what he can do when given the chance during India’s chase against Australia in the first ODI.
Hardik Pandya, however, did get suited to bowl in the second ODI. Pandya bowled only two overs in the second ODI, which was far too less to be counted as any help for his fellow Indian bowling counterparts. India’s ace Gautam Gambhir recently took a dig at Virat Kohli’s poor captaincy skills while handling India’s bowling department in the on-going series. While the fact remains that the gaffer does not have many options to go with limited all-rounders in India’s current squad.
S Badrinath analysis India’s key-problem
Former Indian batsman S Badrinath handed a very sensible conclusion about India’s struggle in the bowling department. Badrinath stated that what Virat Kohli is currently missing are top-order batsmen like Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virender Sehwag who can offer their captain 3-4 overs with the ball when needed.
“No one from the top 5 or top 6 is bowling now. If you look at the Indian teams in the past, top-order batsmen managed to bowl a bit. Sehwag used to bowl, Sachin used to bowl, even Ganguly used to bowl,” Badrinath told Star Sports Tamil.
“They used to give the captain 3-4 overs. You can manage 10 overs with them. When a bowler had a bad day, they didn’t have the necessity to give him 10 overs. India is missing that now.
“Even if Rohit Sharma returns… he is not bowling these days. At the same time, look at Australia, they have someone like Marcus Stoinis… He can bowl 5-6 overs easily. Maxwell can bowl. You need this aspect in limited-overs cricket. I think India are struggling a bit in this aspect,” Badrinath said.