Author: Abhishek Rajan
While India’s performance in limited-over cricket had been excellent since the ODI World Cup 2019, there were question marks over the quality of teams the men in blue were playing against.
People were not convinced if the likes of Sri Lanka and West Indies had the quality to test India and if India could really make the assessments of themselves on the basis of how they were playing against that kind of opposition regularly.
However, the way India played in the ODI series against Australia and that too after going down in the first game, this is something they need to be given the credit for.
While the captain and the team management deserve the plaudits for keeping the morale high in the dressing room after the first game, the players deserve it as well for executing their skills under pressure.
Let’s have a look at the 3 positives India can take from this series –
1) Death bowling
While there was nothing to talk about the death bowling in the first game as the game didn’t go that far, India’s execution of the yorkers in the last two games of the series was extraordinary.
They made a change in the personnel as well as they replaced Shardul Thakur with Navdeep Saini and it paid dividends.
Mohammed Shami did get a few more wickets in comparison to his partners Jasprit Bumrah and Navdeep Saini, but it was the pressure created by all three in the death overs which led to Australia’s downfall.
The trio not only bowled the yorkers with pin-point precision, they bowled it at good pace too and the Aussie batsmen at times looked helpless.
2) Spinners in the middle overs
When India decided not to play two wrist spinners together and rather play the combination of finger spinner and a wrist spinner, the idea behind that was to have some control in the middle overs.
The management felt that the two wrist spinners together were giving plenty of runs and it was allowing the opposition to take the game away from India.
Not everyone was convinced about the move, but it certainly worked in the series against Australia as Ravindra Jadeja, India’s finger spinner, gave the captain the control that he needed in the middle overs.
Jadeja gave away just 102 runs in his 20 overs in the last two ODIs and took four wickets as well, to go with it.
3) Middle order batting
Nobody has ever had any doubts over the class of India’s top order, but it’s the inconsistency of the middle order which has been a headache in the last few years.
However, it was really heartening for the Indian fans to see the middle order come to the fore in this series.
While KL Rahul played an outstanding knock batting at no. 5 in the second ODI, Shreyas Iyer put on a display of strokeplay as well in the decider at Chinnaswamy.
Iyer’s knock in the third game made sure the Kangaroos didn’t get any sniff whatsoever after the match-winning platform laid by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
Featured Image Credits: New Indian Express