ICC World Cup 2019: Potential answers to India's old and new muddles
For India, the humiliation was complete in Delhi. A depleted Australian team playing in India could come back from a deficit of 0-2 to win the series by 3-2. A remarkable achievement by Australia. In the process, they became only the fourth team to win a series after being 2 down.
For India, this was the first time they lost a series at home since 2015 and the first ODI series loss for Kohli at home. The last time India lost 3 consecutive ODIs at home was way back in 2009 incidentally against Australia.
History suggests that whenever India failed in a series just before the World Cup, they had learnt from their mistakes and went on to put up a better performance in the World Cup that followed. In the tri-series in Australia before World Cup 2015, India failed to register a single win but in World Cup 2015 they were unbeaten until the semi-final against Australia.
Before the World Cup in 2011, India lost the ODI series in South Africa by a margin of 3-2. Later India went on to win the World Cup at home.
India went into World Cup 2007 with a lot of confidence after beating both West Indies and Sri Lanka in the ODI series at home. But they were knocked out of the tournament in the preliminary rounds itself.
India had a horror tour of New Zealand just before World Cup 2003 where they were thrashed by a margin of 5-2. But after that humiliation, India managed to reach the finals of World Cup 2003.
In all the above events, India could learn from mistakes and recover in time for the World Cup. But the big question now is whether the current Indian team under Virat Kohli is willing to learn from the mistakes. It is highly unlikely if one were to go by Virat Kohli’s statement after the series loss to Australia.
Kohli still feels that there is only one spot left to be filled up for the World Cup. He is also categorical in his opinion that the form and performances of players in the forthcoming IPL should not be considered for the World Cup selection. It remains to be seen whether this fixed mindset would produce the desired results for India in the World Cup
Now that the damage has been done already in the Australian series, it is now time to look ahead to identify solutions for both old and new problems before the start of the World Cup.
There are some old problems for India for which no solution is arrived at so far.
# The No 4 position in the batting order
#The absence of a sixth bowler
# The absence of a finisher
# The absence of a fourth seamer