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Good series win but India's issues still persist

Virat Kohli could be the greatest Indian cricketer of all time. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Roar Guru
31st October, 2017
10

India wrapped up yet another bilateral ODI series win earlier this week, their seventh on the trot.

Even though this was a good series win, the New Zealand team exposed quite a lot of weakness in this Indian team.

Twice in three games, the Indian bowling attack looked clueless while defending a good total, and the batting messed up good positions to post totals lower than they should have ended up with.

India has become a top-heavy batting line up with Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli doing the majority of the work. Even MS though Dhoni has done a bit over the past year, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya do not provide the kind of stability expected from a top ODI middle order.

The other problem in this series was the team’s late-order hitting.

In the final game, India were in a position to reach 360, but lost wickets and posted 337. Dhoni isn’t a hitter anymore and Jadhav is way too inconsistent to regularly do the job. Pandya is a good hitter of the spinners, but showed his limitations against good fast bowlers, and his own bowling isn’t reliable enough for him to be considered the team’s third seamer.

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The biggest positive in the final game was the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah. On a wicket where Trent Boult had gone for 80-plus runs in his ten overs, Bumrah conceded just 47 runs in his full quota, picking up three vital wickets.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar though was inconsistent, with one good performance sandwiched between two poor ones. It is strange that Mohammad Shami, who has the incredible ODI record of 91 wickets in 50 games at an average of 25, doesn’t get a game.

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Sri Lanka arrive in India for a full series this month and it would be prudent for the selectors and the team management to make some minor changes to accommodate young players. Even though Dinesh Karthik didn’t do too badly with the chances he received, he isn’t India’s long-term solution for their middle order problems. Management also needs to get a decent number six or seven who can propel the score along if a good platform is set, even if it means bringing someone line Suresh Raina back in.

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