Former India opener Wasim Jaffer has expressed his concerns about the Men in Blue's batting struggles following their ODI series defeat against Australia. Jaffer said that India's batting has been ordinary, leaving aside the 108-run partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul in the first ODI in Mumbai.
The Men in Blue delivered a below-par batting performance in all three ODIs against Australia as the visitors claimed the series with a 21-run victory in Chennai on Wednesday (March 22). Chasing 270 in the final ODI, India crashed to 248 after a middle order collapse, with Virat Kohli's 54 going in vain.
Speaking on ESPN Cricinfo's Timeout, the former player reflected that gone are the days when one of India's top three scored a hundred and the team used to cross 300 frequently. He called for the team to enter that zone again, especially during a World Cup year.
"The 108-run partnership between Jadeja and Rahul was a match-winning one in the first ODI, and Virat Kohli played well in this game. Other than that, there were no significant contributions from India's batters due to which they lost the series. So, they have a lot to think about on this front."
"When India were going strong, one of Dhawan, Rohit or Kohli used to score a big hundred. Hence, India used to reach 300 or 300 plus frequently. We aren't seeing that now. They have to come to that level. India lost one-day series in South Africa, Bangladesh and New Zealand. And now have lost the home series to Australia. Since it's a World Cup year, India must pull up their socks."
The hosts also struggled to chase down 189 in the first ODI and were skittled for 117 in the second. India haven't won an ICC event since the 2013 Champions Trophy and have often choked in knockout games. However, the upcoming 50-over World Cup on home soil could be their best chance to end that drought.
"Teams often make 300 in Indian conditions" - Wasim Jaffer
"Shubman Gill had an ordinary series, given the form he was in. Rohit Sharma didn't do anything special either. KL Rahul's approach was also questionable, as he played slowly. It looked as if Kohli felt the pressure."
"He recovered by hitting boundaries against Zampa and Starc. He got out after playing a surprising shot. They must improve their strike rate because teams often make 300 in Indian conditions, so if they play with such low strike rates, it'll be troubling."
India have nine more ODIs to go before the World Cup, set to begin in October.