The fourth ODI at Ranchi was the ultimate test of the inexperienced Indian middle order to showcase their skills. On a two paced wicket, where the ball generally kept low, it was essential to keep the scoreboard ticking and also ensure that enough wickets remained intact for the last few overs of the chase. Chasing 261 on a sluggish wicket was always bound to be a big task for India, especially with Virat Kohli dismissed for 45.
The likes of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav however, couldn’t make their chances count as both were dismissed on successive deliveries. While Jadhav can be termed unfortunate since the ball kept low, Pandey’s dismissal leaves a lot to be desired. The Karnataka batsman was caught brilliantly by Tom Latham on the edge of the circle as he charged down to Tim Southee.
In the post match conference, Indian skipper MS Dhoni said that tough chases like the one at Ranchi, were needed in order to strengthen the inexperienced side. “It’s important they get games like these and finally they’ll figure out a way what suits them best to chase down a total like this,” said Dhoni, post India’s loss.
“Unless they get an opportunity like this it will be very difficult because that’s how you get experience. You can learn a lot by watching but ultimately when you feel the pressure and go through that motion, that’s where you learn a lot. It will be a good learning curve for them. Give them some time,” Dhoni added, backing his batsmen.
Dhoni mentioned that not playing enough ODI’s didn’t help India’s cause either. “If you see the last one to one and a half years, we haven’t played a lot of ODI cricket,” he said. When asked about Kohli Dhoni said “In between we had Zimbabwe, we had three games so. I can say that the stats actually don’t reflect the exact scenario because also in that period I have batted at a different position and our top order was batting brilliantly. So everything is very different. Just in this series, if you see, there have been a couple of games where the wicket was on the slower side,”
“It’s when the wickets are slow and when the required run rate is not high, you calculate and at times you play out a few overs thinking if you have a partnership at this moment, with more wickets in hand in the last few overs, you can look to chase down something that’s even seven to seven and a half runs per over. We have got quite a few batsmen who can do the job. It’s just that we have to give them more time. Batting down the order is one of the toughest things to do. You don’t get a player who’s complete, who bats at No. 5, 6 or 7, all the time,” Dhoni concluded.