India's Middle Muddle: Is it solved or is it still going to haunt them in the World Cup?
With the World Cup 2019 just around the corner, every participating team is sweating out to prove themselves in the mega event and lift that glorious trophy. Every team is making their final dress rehearsal before the tournament and India is doing the same.
Indeed, India are one of the favourites to become champion being the No. 2 ranked ODI team in the world. However, there is one problem which is still haunting the team and may come in between them and their title ambitions- the middle muddle or the fragile middle order.
With Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli as the top three, India is a formidable side. When the trio or any of them come out all guns blazing it is almost certain to put a tough challenge before the opponents.
Even the middle order does equally good when the top three lay a strong foundation. But when it comes to situations where the top order is dismissed very quickly and the middle order needs to take the team to a competitive total or is chasing a mammoth one, they misfire.
The recent records also says the same tale except the last ODI against New Zeland when Ambati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar bailed out the team from such a situation. the problem is further worsened by the long tail of the team with not enough reliable batting options No. 7 onwards.
The team management needs to look after this problem and sort out the best performing middle order soon that can bail out the team from the worst of situations in such matches. MS Dhoni definitely needs to play the lead role in the middle order.
The likes of Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik -whoever will be in the playing XI need to understand what the situation demands and perform. After all, a champion team should be able to turn the tables around even when the odds are against them.