Australia vs India: What went wrong for the men in blue?

Resurfacing on the international stage, India visited Australia for a long-haul series. Post the outbreak of the global pandemic, Virat Kohli’s men played their first international game down under. With a pen and paper attacking unit, India failed to prove it on the field. Aaron Finch and Co schooled the men in blue to clinch the ODI series.

Ahead of the final ODI of the white ball series, India faces an uphill task to rejig their playing XI with hopes of securing a consolation win. The Aussies’ exceptional batting, bowling and fielding overshadowed India’s individual endeavours. So what went wrong for Virat Kohli and his team?

  1. India’s dismal powerplay performance continues. With Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and Navdeep Saini opening the bowling attack, India have failed to pick up wickets. With a dead flat pitch in Sydney, the Indian bowlers didn’t have much potency in their attack. The absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar can also be a factor. With Kumar in the playing XI, Bumrah and Shami had been more successful. But India’s first ten bowling average haven’t improved. Also, without Kumar, India’s middle overs were too dormant.
  2. Spinners not getting the job done for the Men in Blue was also another pothole in their efforts. Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja were never enough potent together unlike Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. The latter duo played 27 ODIs, winning 20 and losing seven in 2019. With Kumar growing older and losing fitness, India had to make changes. With Jadeja, however, India lost that edge in the middle overs to curb runs or take wickets.
  3. Lack of bounce or height among the Indian pacers also proved a drawback. While Australia returned with key breakthroughs in the middle overs with the likes of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, Indians failed to disturb the host’s balance with their mediocre bowling.
  4. India lacking a sixth batsman has been their major concern over time. India often have to rely on their top order to set the stage or state with a bang, but a sixth batsman is undoubtedly helpful. With Hardik Pandya clicking with the bat in the first ODI and his return to bowling in the 2nd it might be a temporary relief but not long term.