When the Aussies arrived on Indian soil for the 2 T20s and 5 match ODI series, they were the underdogs. After all, just a few months ago India defeated them at home during the three match ODI series.
Aussies Get Revenge
The Aussies surprised India by winning both the T20 matches. India bounced backed by winning the first 2 ODIs and it looked like it would be another easy ODI series win. However, the Australians who never give up without a fight launched a great comeback and won the next two matches in a row to square the series 2-2.
The fifth and final ODI which took place in Delhi was the final ODI that India would play before the 2019 World Cup. The Aussies batted first and had a great start as U Khawaja once again continued his run of good form. The left hander anchored the innings and notched up a fantastic century which came at a strike rate of 94.
At one stage, it looked like Australia would get a total in excess of 300 but some good bowling saw the Aussies restricted to 272.
Batting Let India Down
India was always going to have a tough chase because the form of S Dhawan has been a concern for quite some time. Dhawan once again fell early for 12 and captain V Kohli followed a few overs later for 20. The Aussies smelt blood in the waters and they wasted no time in exploiting a brittle Indian middle-order.
The number four spot has posed a huge challenge for the selectors and the captain. This time they tried R Pant and he failed once again. V Shankar had a chance to shine and book himself a trip to England for the World Cup but he failed.
It was only K Jadhav (44) and B Kumar (46) who put on a 91 run partnership that kept India in the game. However, it was a tall order for them to chase a run rate in excess of 12 per over and in the end the pressure saw them go for big hits and lose their wickets.
The ODI series loss is a tough blow for V Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri. India does not have a settled opening pair and their number four slot is still not fixed. It is a combination of poor planning, lack of leadership and bad decision making that see India still searching for answers when it comes to finalizing their playing 11.
It is time for the BCCI to raise some questions to V Kohli and R Shastri!