With the IPL having concluded not too long ago, all eyes were on the players who had fared poorly, and well, in the tournament. Though it wasn't India's day, a few interesting patterns emerged during the team's first ODI against Australia in the current series.
The likes of Marcus Stoinis, Jasprit Bumrah and Mayank Agarwal could not quite impress as they had a few weeks ago. However, players like Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith landed knockout blows throughout the game.
On a pitch suited well for batting, the contrasting approaches from the two sides dictated the trajectory of their innings. While Australia's openers, Finch and David Warner looked to consolidate their score, the Indian top order of Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli were very aggressive.
The result was a top-order mini-collapse despite a frenetic start for India. This was in stark contrast to Australia's massive opening stand that required a review to end.
India's team balance was exposed with just five bowlers to choose from. There were no batsmen who could also bowl among their reserves either and the lack of batting security after the No. 7 position affected their top order plans too. In India's first international match since the lockdown was lifted, three players, in particular, were extremely poor.
#3 Shreyas Iyer (IND)
Virat Kohli's wicket falling sapped India of momentum. It was the perfect opportunity for someone like Shreyas Iyer to take the initiative and allow his team to keep their necks above water for the majority of the run-chase. Having bailed out his IPL team a few times in a similar situation, Iyer looked up for the challenge.
However, his innings was eventually a blink-and-miss one. Josh Hazlewood was successful at prising out his third scalp, as an ill-intentioned half-pull, half-dab went tamely to the wicketkeeper. Iyer walked back to the stands, with India in a bizarre position - quick runs on the board, but with half the batsmen back in the hut.
#2 KL Rahul (IND)
The next man in after Shreyas Iyer's dismissal was KL Rahul, one of India's young sensations over the past year or so. Shouldering the captaincy and wicketkeeping duties and also winning the Orange Cap in the IPL, Rahul was expected to come good for India in the series. The elevation to vice-captaincy was also expected to bring the best out of him.
While he was fairly good behind the stumps, taking as many as three important catches that pushed India back into the contest, his showing in front of them left much to be desired.
Just when he looked set to tee off, Rahul smashed a filthy Zampa full toss to the fielder inside the ring. His dismissal left too much in the hands of two batsmen who tried their best, although it wasn't quite India's day.
#1 Yuzvendra Chahal (IND)
Picked over his spin-twin Kuldeep Yadav for this game after an impressive IPL campaign, Yuzvendra Chahal looked to pick up wickets while the pacers held one end down. Unfortunately for him, apart from the one wicket he scalped, it was a day to forget for the leg-spinner.
His attempts to entice the batsmen with tossed up deliveries might have borne more fruit had the Indian fielding and catching not been as appalling as it was.
Glenn Maxwell, in particular, took advantage of Chahal's bowling, earning the leggie the dubious distinction of the most expensive figures for an Indian bowler in an ODI. His 1/89 in 10 overs looked even worse as his opposite number, Adam Zampa, spun a web and returned 4/54 off his 10 overs.