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It’s top three or bust for team India

MS Dhoni showed he's still got it in ODIs. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Roar Guru
18th July, 2018
20

The World Cup is just about a year away and there are problems galore for the Indian ODI team.

India just lost the ODI series 2-1 to England. They have lots to think about in terms of their team combination.

The Indian ODI team over the years has become a top heavy side. They are a team which relies heavily on Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to come good every game they play. The batting proceeding them has been lacklustre and non-existent in recent times.

KL Rahul who was promoted to number three for the T20Is ahead of the captain, once again showed how frustrating it is for the fans to constantly support him. After that wonderful hundred in the first T20I, Rahul went missing from the rest of the series.

Suresh Raina made a comeback into the ODI team but looked completely out of place with the bat and Hardik Pandya cannot be relied upon to provide consistent runs at number 6.

The biggest problem for India is the MS Dhoni conundrum.

The genial wicket keeping batsman has been struggling at the highest level for a while now and India haven’t been able to take a call on his spot. The number 4 position is still a concern and the team hasn’t been able to slot the right player into that spot yet.

The shaky middle order means that India are far away from being a settled ODI unit. The Indian bowling attack as well is looking extremely suspect.

Virat Kohli has been heavily relying on the spin twins of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to provide him the breakthroughs but when they don’t come off, the bowling looks toothless.

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The absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah hurt the Indian bowling plans and the backups weren’t able to step up to the plate.

Even though a 2-1 loss does not seem that harsh, the manner of defeats for sure is very concerning.

The India A team which is also in England right now has thrown in some very interesting names. Rishabh Pant has been brilliant with the bat in both the List A and first class games. Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill have shown that they are ready to play at the highest level.

MA Agarwal and H Vihari also had a brilliant series with the bat. There are other batsmen like Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer waiting in the wings as well.

The bowling of the A-team saw some interesting names thrown in as well like Khaleel Ahmed, Prasidh Krishna and Deepak Chahar. Apart from that we have Krunal Pandya as the spin bowling all-rounder.

He can replace one of the specialist spinners to give India the much needed lower order boost with the bat.

The Indian selectors in the coming months need to take some tough decisions. MS Dhoni has been a legend for India and still probably is India’s best wicketkeeper but his batting has declined a lot and this series has shown that India need to look for alternatives.

The selectors have a large pool of talented youngsters to pick from and I hope that they do try out some young names in the upcoming games.

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The world cup is not that far away and with limited time at hand the team is racing against time to figure out the right combination ahead of the marquee tournament.

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