The deciding ODI between India and Australia took place today in Bengaluru. Australia won the toss and chose to bat.
Indian bowlers had done their job by the end of the first innings. Australia ended up making 286/9. Steve Smith hit his 3rd century against India. Mohammed Shami took 4 wickets while Ravindra Jadeja took 2.
But it was Jasprit Bumhrah who was most to difficult to score run against. He ceded just 38 runs in his 10 overs spell. Other than that both Navdeep Saini and Kuldeep Yadav took a wicket each.
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul stood for a 50+ runs partnership before Rahul was sent away by Ashton Agar. Then Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli stood the ground. Sharma hit 29th ODI hundred.
While Kohli hit his 57th ODI half-century.
In the end, Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey took the team to a victory.
Iyer hit 44* in 35 while Pandey hit the winning four.
Well, yes I just compared Indian batsman KL Rahul to a potato. Potatoes are amazing, aren’t they? They just fit perfectly with everything and so does Rahul. Rahul has shown that no matter where does the team require him to play, he will do it perfectly.
The man has played at number 1, number 3 and 5. And his performance at all three spots has been spectacular. In addition to that, he is a commendable wicket-keeper. The Indian team has been desperately looking for a replacement for the former captain and wicket-keeper, MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant was supposedly the successor.
But Pant’s consistently poor performance has been a disappointment for the team. On the other hand, KL Rahul has been doing well for a player whose playing position keeps on changing. Well, if this isn’t a sign of being a perfect potato, then I don’t know what is.
In the last match against Australia Rahul was awarded the player of the match after scoring 80 in 52 balls. In addition to that, he took 2 catches and stumped out the Australian Captain Aron Finch.
“Look I have always opened the batting. That is the position, order I am most comfortable with, and I know how to build my innings. But I get to learn so much about my skills about my batting… batting as an art when I get the chance to bat at 3 or 4 or 5,” Rahul said in the post-match press conference. “I’m kind of enjoying it (batting at different positions), I’m finding new ways to counter bowlers, new ways to handle situations. I don’t look at it as pressure, something like an opportunity and I will try to play it the best I can,” he added.
Rahul also completed his 1000 runs in one day cricket. Kuldeep Yadav also reached the 100 wicket mark in ODI’s in the second ODI against Australia.
BCCI announced the contracts for the senior Indian men players and former captain MS Dhoni’s name is missing from the list. This is because he hasn’t played a single match since July 2019’s world cup semi-final against New Zealand. Other than that, Khaleel Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu’s name too, has been dropped from the central contract list.
There are four grades: A+(7 crores), A(5 crores), B(3crores) and C(1crore).
Indian skipper Virat Kohli along with Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah have made it to the A+ grade while these are the names of the players in the other three categories:-
BCCI released the list of players who were to get an annual contract from the board and former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s name was nowhere to be seen.
Dhoni has not played a single match for India since the world cup semi-finals which took place in July 2019. BCCI has stated that his absence from the team since last 6 months is the reason that he won’t be getting the annual central contract from the board.
This tells a great deal about Dhoni’s future in the team. Fans have been eagerly waiting for his return but there haven’t been any statements as such from the wicketkeeper/batsman. When he was asked about retirement he said that it would be better to avoid the question till next year but the central contact list does speak a lot regarding this matter.
There have been speculations that he might be in the team for the T20 world cup 2020. And the fact that he is not getting a central contract anymore is a reason strong enough to assume that he might be retiring soon.
Other than Dhoni, Khaleel Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu have been dropped from the payroll.
Rishabh Pant once again failed to do anything worthwhile. He got out after making 28 runs when the team actually required him to stay and make runs.
He has scored just a single 50 in last 20 innings. In yesterday’s match against Australia. Pant got out after being hit by a bouncer on his helmet by Pat Cummins. He has suffered a concussion and has been ruled out of the second one day international.
We wish him a speedy recovery but there are some other facts that need focus. Sanju Samson, who had been waiting for a chance to play for a long time has been ruled out of the squad for the New Zealand tour. He has got no second chance whatsoever.
This looks bad at the selection committee’s part and seems as if they are favouring Pant unnecessarily. Well, let us see what happens next but the board surely needs to sort its priorities right.
Yesterday’s loss against Australia is being cosidered as one of the worst loss in past few years. Australia won the match by 10 wickets and lead the series with 1-0.
It was indeed a dilemma for the Indian captain Virat Kohli to devise a batting order as KL Rahul had been doing good at the opening position. Now with Rohit’s return it would have been difficult to chose who was to open the innings. So, Kohli experimented with his own position. Now this experiment had turned out well in T-20 matches but wasn’t a wise decison in 50 over cricket’s context.
Kohli gave up his usual spot of playing at number 3 and came to play at number 4 instead, giving up that spot to Rahul. It turned out to be disasterous as it imbalanced the entire middle order as such. Shreyas Iyer, who has been playing fairly well also failed to stay on the crease for a longer duration.
Rishabh Pant also failed to do anything considerable and Shardul Thakur who has been showing a promising game also succumbed to the pressure and got out early.
A major reason for the failure of the batting line-up was the fact that Kohli who stands as a gule between the top and middle order changed his position and extra pressure was put up on the lower order.
Besides that India’s bowling attack was also quite poor yesterday and the bowlers were unable to take a single wicket.
Hence it would be better if Kohli comes back to his old playing position and Rahul plays at number 4 instead.
The second ODI between India and Australia will be held on 17th of January in Rajkot, Gujrat.