AUS vs IND 2016: Five things India must do to keep their hope alive in the VB series

Sudipta / 16 January 2016

India faces a do or die situation in tomorrow’s One Dayer in Melbourne. Australia needs just one victory in the next three matches to win the series. So, Australia will come hard on India to seal the series in Melbourne. To win a match at Melbourne will be an uphill task for India with the fact that India bowling can’t defend whatever total India put on board batting first. So, what will India need to do to win the Melbourne ODI and keep the excitement of the series alive?

1) (If) Win the toss, elect to field first

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the last two ODIs elected to bat first winning the toss. Rohit Sharma scored back to back hundred but his ton went  in vain as Australia battered Indian bowlers and chase down 300 plus total on both occasions.

It was observed that Indian bowlers leaked too many runs in the slog overs. So, if Dhoni asks Australia to bat first then there will be a chance of getting early wickets as they host batsmen will go for big shots at big “G” to give India mammoth totals, so there will be reasonable chance of getting a wicket. A couple of maiden overs will put huge pressure over Australia that will convert into a wicket, and a wicket in the regular interval will halt Australia’s momentum of run scoring. Meanwhile, for India, the chase will be a bit easier with inform batsmen in the rank.

2) Swap Dhawan with Dhawan

The time has come to drop opener Shikhar Dhawan who failed to regain his form since the South Africa series at home. So, India should bring Rishi Dhawan in the playing XI and ask Ajinkya Rahane to open the innings. Rishi’s presence in the team will help India in both ways. Rishi will strengthen the middle order and he can bowl a few overs to bring uniqueness in the bowling department. But, for this Dhoni has to give up his own wish. The Indian captain in the last two ODIs does not consider Rishi as an allrounder. He said that if he has to ring Rishi in the team then he has to drop one batsman. So, it is a perfect time to drop Shikhar and get the service of Rishi, who yet to get an ODI cap.

3) Tight fielding

India in the last ODIs dropped three catches due to fielders’ butter fingers that badly affected India’s chance in the Brisbane ODI. When Australian opener Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch are started launching big shots Ishant Sharma dropped easy catches, later Ajinkya Rahane dropped Marsh catch in the slip and Barinder Sran missed Aaron Finch’s catch though that was rather a difficult one.

So, India must improve their catching method and alongside this, they have to block quick singles of Australia. Bailey and Smith and in the first ODI  opted to quick singles to rotate the strike  after fall of two quick wickets while chasing India’s 309.

4) Bowlers should concentrate on their basics

Indian bowlers look like straw in this Victora Beer five-match ODI series. They so far did not pose any challenge to Australian batsmen. Australian batters rotate their strike as per their wish in the last two ODIs.

Although Debutant  Bartender Sran impressed with his passion and bowling style but experienced Umesh Yadav  and Ishant Sharma disappoint India as they did not pose any challenge to Australian batsmen. Both Umesh and Ishant were inconsistent, they lost their line and length  with the ball lost its polish. So, they have to control their bowling otherwise India may have another bad day.

Alongside seamers spinners Ravichandran Ashwin  and Ravindra Ashwin must concentrate on the flight because in Australian pitches getting a turn is a difficult job so they should focus to beating Australian batsmen in flight.

5) Batsmen should rotate the strike in slog overs

Indian batsmen have to rotate the strike in the slog over and punish the bad balls to keep wicket safe  that will help middle order and lower middle order batsmen to launch big shots in the death overs. The inexperienced Australian attack has posed no threat, so Indian should play according to plan and frustrate them with singles and big shots when to require. But, fall of a wicket at the crucial juncture of the match may affect India’s chance in the match as Australian batsmen quite capable of scoring a big total and chasing down. India should score big total if bats first. 

However, the match will be a duel between Indian batsmen and Australian batsmen. Relying on bowlers will not help anybody’s cause. 

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