Game of thorns

With just a couple of ODIs left for India to arrive at a conclusion to pick the best squad for the forthcoming World Cup, the shocking defeat to Australians last night at Ranchi has added more trouble. Openers Shikar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are out of touch, Ambati Rayudu is clueless what shot to play, Dhoni accumulates runs at his own pace and Hardik Pandya being still unfit must be worrying the selectors.

It was again skipper Virat Kohli, who helped India keep themselves in the hunt last night. After a sublime 41st ODI century, Kohli was dismissed and so went India’s chances. He is getting a lot of work load. And with IPL ahead, one hopes his energy is not drained completely before he goes to England for World Cup. Dhawan has been exposed of his weakness to short balls and Rohit Sharma’s loss of form meant no big opening partnership in all the three ODIs played so far against Australia in this series.

It is time selectors tried K L Rahul in place of Rayudu. He has been in sublime form in the domestic season and showed his might in T20 game. Vijay Shankar, with his heroics with the bat and ball in the second ODI is certain to be picked for the WC squad. Even in the losing cause last night, he scored a brisk 32. With two to go, hopefully Team India will get their balance right and be back to their winning ways.

NT Bureau