India vs Australia 2020, 1st ODI: 3 observations from India's crushing loss in Mumbai
India faced Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for the 1st ODI in a three-match ODI series. The visitors won the toss on a good batting wicket and quite expectedly decided to bowl first.
The hosts made a good start as after the end 27 overs, India were 134 for the loss of 1 wicket. KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan had stitched together a 121-run partnership before the Karnataka batsman was dismissed for 47 runs from 61 balls. Virat Kohli came out at number four and that's when everything went downhill for India.
The hosts lost both Dhawan (74 runs off 91 balls) and Kohli (16 runs off 14 balls) quickly and India could never recover after that. Every batsman after that played small cameos and Australia bowled out the home side for a mere 255. It was a below-par total from India's perspective because of the dew factor, which played its part in the evening and the visitors dismantled India's bowling attack.
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Chasing an average score, the away side won the match by 10 wickets, with David Warner scoring 128 runs from 112 balls, while skipper Aaron Finch making 110 runs from 114 balls. It was a pretty easy win for Australia and here, we are going to take a look at the three talking points from the game.
#3 India's batting experiment fails
Virat Kohli said before the match that he would be willing to bat at number four, something that happened in the match, which meant Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma opened the batting, while KL Rahul batted at number three. It was an experiment that failed, although Rahul and Dhawan were able to stitch together a big partnership.
Rahul did play well, but letting your best batsman Kohli bat lower down the order makes little sense. Also, in the context of the game, KL Rahul and Dhawan batted really slowly and their strike rates on the day tell the whole story.
Indian team management needs to make a tough decision and drop one of Dhawan or Rahul, or the latter could play at number 4 because Kohli should always bat at number three, as he is a match-winner in that position. Will it happen? Only time will tell!