Confusion continues

With just a few months to go for ICC Cricket World Cup, the recent ODI series loss to Australia has put Team India in a shambles. The 2019 World Cup begins with the first match 30 May. The final will be contested on 14 July at Lord’s. After a victorious tour Down Under, Kohli & his boys were considered hot favourites to lift the cup. But three consecutive losses to the Aussies in home conditions has now led to a lot of rethinking and selectors have a big job on hand now. India squandered a 2-0 lead to lose 2-3 against Australia at home.

The loss has put the team under intense scrutiny with about a couple of months to go for the 2019 World Cup in England. The dismal form of Rohit Sharma and Shikar Dhawan, Ambati  Rayudu and their not being amongst the runs is a matter for concern. Also, the bowling looked weak with the likes of Bumrah and Shami leaking too many runs. In one of the matches, Aussies successfully chased 358 runs. It showed how toothless the Indian bowlers were. The struggles of the middle order could undermine India’s chances in the World Cup.

However, Kohli is not panicking. He says, “Hardik Pandya will come back to the team. With him, there’s batting depth, and bowling option opens up. We know where we have to go as a combination. The XI is clear in our head. We just have to take better decisions in pressure situations to go far in the World Cup.” A balanced side is the need of the hour. A confident Kohli and creative Dhoni should make it count.

NT Bureau