The Indian team were handed a wake-up call at Sydney on Saturday as the #2 ranked ODI side in the world stumbled to a 34-run defeat. Though the win was a confidence booster for the Aussies, it again highlighted the frailties India possesses.
Like many a time before, the visitors’ middle order failed to see the team through after their top order fell cheaply. Though MS Dhoni notched a half-century, the slow pace of his innings mounted immense pressure on Rohit, who was left to wage a lone battle.
The action now shifts to the Adelaide Oval and with the match being a three-match series, a failure to win in South Australia would condemn India to their first series defeat on the current tour Down Under.
India haven’t lost a lot of matches over the last couple of years yet the team balance and the strategies somehow didn’t look in place at the SCG. Thus, through the course of this article, we would take a glimpse at what changes India needs to make in order to emerge victorious.
#3 Bring in Siraj for Khaleel Ahmed
India fielded three fast bowlers at the SCG and went in with Khaleel Ahmed to complement the experienced pair of Shami and Bhuvneshwar. However, the left-arm pacer failed to inspire and was probably one of India’s poorest bowlers on the day.
Khaleel made his debut in the 2018 Asia Cup and impressed everyone with the zip he generated off the pitch. But, at the SCG, Khaleel failed to consistently breach the 140 kmph mark, thus becoming easy fodder for the batsmen.
Moreover, his ability to change his pace with subtlety cast him as a useful option at the death.
However, as time has gone on, people have worked him out a little and now have better game-plans in place. Though Khaleel is an exciting prospect and surely is one to keep an eye on, India needs to accord him a little time away so that the pacer can re-invent himself and become potent again. His potential replacement could be Mohammed Siraj.
Siraj was brought into the setup after Bumrah was withdrawn from the squad. The right-arm pacer has been setting the domestic scene ablaze with his displays and hence, the time could be right to gamble on him.
Capable of bowling at a brisk pace, Siraj could be a real handful on the lively Adelaide wicket. If Siraj actually comes in for Khaleel after one bad game for the latter is up for debate. Yet, on evidence, it seems that the former could just have more of an impact.