3 things India would need to do right to win the 1st ODI
Finally, the much awaited ODI series in recent times is about to begin from the 12th of the month at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia have already announced their playing XI for the match. India had delayed their announcement of the 13, because of the controversy that surrounds KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya, after their comments on the talk show of Koffee With Karan.
The duo of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul has been suspended for now until the inquiry gets over. The suspension of KL Rahul might not affect the team because he might not have been part of the XI even if he was available, but the absence of all-rounder Hardik could affect the balance of the side.
Leaving the controversy aside, the Indian team would want to give themselves a good start to the ODI series. In this article, we discuss three things that India need to do right in order to win the first ODI.
#1 Opening Start
For the past couple of years, India has heavily relied on the top-order to give them a strong foundation to build a good score or chase big targets. As expected, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will open for the Indian team.
Both of them would like to continue their white-ball form from the last year or so. The duo has been phenomenal for the Indian side ever since they have started opening together. The duo now stands at number four for the best opening partnerships in ODI history.
They have 13 centuries partnership at the top of the innings. Shikhar would definitely want to make a mark as he has now been dropped from the test team.
#2 The Lower Middle Order
The lower middle order has been a disappointment for the Indian side. Number 5,6 and 7 are most likely to be occupied by MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, and Ravindra Jadeja in the 1st ODI. MS Dhoni has not been able to finish games as he used to, maybe 3 or 4 years ago, and this leads to extra pressure to the batsman around him.
Kedar Jadhav has been quite useful at the end when it comes to playing cameos of 30 or 40 runs, but whether he can bat under pressure and score big runs is something that he still needs to prove. He has always been injury prone, so it also needs to be seen how fit he is.
Dinesh Karthik is an experienced player and has improved a lot in the past couple of years. He has also won some incredible matches for India in the limited-overs format in the last two years.
Due to the absence of Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja might get a look in the team. He has improved a lot in his batting and has shown maturity with his shot selections. He can also hit the ball long if required. All the three players need to fire if India needs to score big runs at the death or chase big targets.
#3 Death Bowling
Death bowling might not be a concern for the Indian team since the arrival of Bumrah but in this series, the pacer has been rested. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, and Mohammed Shami might be the pacers that would be taking the field tomorrow.
While Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been a reliable bowler at the death, it is the other two bowlers that might be the concern for the team. Khaleel is quite inexperienced and with Mohammed Shami, inconsistency can be an issue. Both these bowlers will have to step up their game.