With the abandonment at Cuttack, the Australians are well poised to take the one-day series. India will have to find some way of stopping the Australian batting, especially the skipper George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell who have been consistently smashing the Indian bowlers all round the park and sometimes out of it too.
The bowling of Mohammed Shami has been a positive from the washed out Ranchi game where Ashwin also bowled a lot better than in the earlier games.
India’s fielding in that game was shocking to say the least, and hopefully it was just one bad day at the office, for otherwise the fielding unit is top class with natural athletes like Raina, Kohli, Jadeja, Rohit Sharma and the evergreen Yuvraj being outstanding.
This must be one of the best fielding units in the history of Indian cricket, for there is also Dhoni as a wicketkeeper who hardly misses anything.
It was Dhoni the batsman who came to India’s rescue at Mohali when the team was tottering having lost wickets at the top, with Mitchell Johnson in particular bowling a hostile spell that had most batsmen hopping.
Dhoni’s partnership with Kohli was a terrific one, as they not only counterattacked but stole runs at will against the superb Australian fielding.
Just like his counterpart prospered after being dropped first ball in Ranchi to get 98, Dhoni too benefited from Bailey dropping him at Mohali, and he added valuable runs after that. It was all brought to nought with that spectacular assault by James Faulkner that won the game for the Aussies.
India has to sort its bowling issues pretty quickly and not rely too much on past reputations. The modern game is a fast changing one, and if the players are not ready to move with it then they are going to be left stranded.
The thinking of having players get a long feel at a particular position is sound in principle for that allows the player to play freely, but it should not block the chances for other fringe players who are in form and are looking to get in the team.
A message also needs to be sent to the underperforming player that he is not untouchable as was done last season, and we saw how that worked beautifully in the team’s favour.
The skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, for his astonishing century at Mohali, is the Ceat International cricketer of the week.
Professional Management Group