On Tuesday (14th January), the hosts India suffered a big defeat against Australia in the series-opener of the three-match ODI series at Wankhede Stadium (Mumbai). Admitting that horrific defeat, Indian captain Virat Kohli doesn’t feel any danger yet.
It is the ODI series between the no.2-ranked ODI side India and the no.4-ranked ODI side Australia, and the visitors have taken the 1-0 lead in this series with two matches to go.
After losing the toss, the hosts were forced to bat first. Rohit Sharma had a forgetful start in the new year as he was dismissed in the fifth over after scoring just ten runs. However, his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan played a great knock along with KL Rahul, who came to bat at no.3. They had the 121 runs partnership for the second wicket as India once batting on 134/1. But once that partnership was broken, India lost their wickets in regular intervals and managed to add only 121 more runs as they were bundled out for 255 runs.
While Dhawan scored 74 runs off 91 balls (9 fours and only sixer), Rahul played the knock of 47 runs (61 balls) along with four fours.
The Australian pacers Mitchell Starc (3/56), Pat Cummins (2/44) and Kane Richardson (2/43) shared eight wickets while the Aussie spinners took two crucial wickets (Adam Zampa 1/53 and Ashton Agar 1/56).
But the major disaster happened in the second innings where the Australian openers David Warner and captain Aaron Finch had no mercy against the Indian bowlers. They didn’t give any chance to the Indian cricketers to celebrate in that innings. Thrashing many records, they put the unbroken 258 runs partnership as Australia chased down that target in 37.4 overs without losing any wicket.
The Player of the Match award winner David Warner scored 128 not out off 112 balls (17 fours and 3 sixes). On the other hand, the Aussie captain Finch scored 110 not out off 114 balls (13 fours and 2 sixes).
Today was one of those days when we weren’t allowed to get into the game at all – Virat Kohli
In the post-match presentation ceremony, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli admitted that the visitors totally dominated in that series-opener. Praising the strong Australian team, Kohli agreed that they couldn’t win against this team with ordinary performance.
Virat Kohli said, “We were totally outplayed in all departments. It’s a strong Australian team, if you don’t play well, they could hurt you. We saw that with the bat in hand. We didn’t get enough runs. I thought we were too respectful at certain phases and it cost us. Can’t do that against a team like Australia. This is a chance for the team to bounce back but as I said, credit to Australia today.
“International cricket is always priceless. The experience you get in any format does well for you when you play other formats. The game time you get is important. If you perform in any format, it gives you confidence for the other formats. Today was one of those days when we weren’t allowed to get into the game at all.”
I think I am allowed to experiment a bit: Indian captain
The most talkative point of the game was Virat Kohli’s changing the batting order. To give the quality opportunity to all the in-form top-order batsmen, Kohli sacrificed his place. After Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opened that innings, KL Rahul came to bat at no.3, and Virat Kohli batted at no.4. The Indian captain scored only 16 runs as Adam Zampa once again won the battle against him.
Many have already criticised of this decision as Virat Kohli is a strong batsman in the no.3 position. Though his ODI record at the no.4 batting position is also very well (average 55.21), he is irregular in this place. Also, from January 2015, Kohli hasn’t played a 20+ ODI knock at the no.4 batting position while he has batted seven times.
Virat Kohli has also agreed to rethink about this batting order issue. While he feels there is no reason to panic at the present moment, he also believes in a little experiment.
He added, “(On him at no.4) We’ve had this discussion many times in the past as well, due to the way KL has been batting. We’ve tried to fit him into the team. Having said that, it hasn’t gone our way when I have batted at no.4, so we have to see how it goes. At the same time, it’s about giving opportunities to the other guys. People need not panic for just this one game. I think I am allowed to experiment a bit.”
India and Australia will play the crucial second ODI of this series on Friday (17th January) at Rajkot. The hosts can’t afford another defeat in this series.