In the very first ODI of the year, India lost the match to Australia even after scoring 309 for 3 wickets. Rohit Sharma scored a blistering 171 and Virat Kohli scored 91, but once again India’s traditional weak point bowling lost India the match.
India in the beginning of the series lost the bowling spearhead Mohammad Shami due to a hamstring injury. Bhuvneshwar Kumar replaced Kumar replaced him. Shami’s absence made Indian bowling weak. At the same time, Ishant Sharma was also had a minor injury so he could not play the first ODI.
Virtually the match was between India’s batsmen versus Australia’s batsmen as bowlers of both sides were not experienced. After Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli exploit the situation Australia captain Steve Smith and George Bailey have built 242 run partnerships that helped Australia to win the match by five wickets.
Captain MS Dhoni realised what a mistake he made in team selection. At WACA, where traditionally fast bowler dominates the proceeding, so his decision to play both specialist spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja was totally backfired as both the spinner conceded 129 runs in 18 overs.
“When I was speaking about sharing the load before the match, I was speaking about when the fast-bowlers don’t have a very good day then I will have to use the spinner. I never thought it will be the spinners who will have a very bad day and the others will have to share that responsibility,” Dhoni said at the post-match press conference.
So, now the question is will Dhoni play both the spinner again in next match or in the series? The next match of series will be held in Brisbane which also dominates by the fast bowler. So, there is a chance that Dhoni may play Ishant Sharma in the team in place of Ravindra Jadeja. But again the question arise will Ashwin be effective in Brisbane pitch in front of Steve Smith and George Bailey who are in outstanding form against India. Neither Indian spinners and fast bowlers posed any challenge to Smith, who scored 149 and sealed the match for Australia.
The thing is that India’s bowling attack emerged blunt in the absence of Mohammad Shami. So, what Should India do to restore the parity of the series in Brisbane, which is Australia’s fortress?
If India need to do a miracle in the match then India’s bowling attack especially Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma, who is expected to play the second ODI, have to lay out a plan for Australian batsmen and execute it on the pitch.
Alongside that Indian batsmen have to rotate the strike in the slog over to put some more runs on the board. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli who played the most parts of India’s innings played 261 balls and scored 263 runs. If they rotate the strike in the slog overs with singles it could help India’s cause.
India’s fielding was also not good when Steve Smith and George Bailey after the fall of two quick wickets were at the crease. They did not opt for big shots as they tried to rotate the strike and after settling down played big shots. So, Dhoni also has to place his fielders at the right position to bloke singles.
However, the second ODI will be held on January 15. But, with three days to go bowling attack has become a headache for India.