Following a lengthy wait for an international fixture, Team India were subjected to a 66-run loss against Australia in the first ODI in Sydney. The five-man bowling unit turned up with an appalling effort by conceding a staggering 375 run total in the first innings. Following the loss, both Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya lamented the lack of a sixth bowling option.
Barring Mohammad Shami, the rest of the bowling attack proceeded to concede more than 6 runs an over after their allotted 10 overs. Yuzvendra Chahal got into the wrong side of history books after leaking the most runs by an Indian spinner in the ODI format. Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah’s horrid year in the format continued as the Australian batting unit handled him with ease.
The issues in the bowling were brought up by Virat Kohli after the match, where he stressed the lack of a sixth bowling option to share the load.
“Unfortunately, Hardik is not fit enough to bowl, and we don’t have other all round options to pick from either, someone like Stoinis or Maxwell,” said Kohli.
Off-spinner Glenn Maxwell and medium-pacer Marcus Stoinis bowled 13-overs across them with the latter marking his presence with a great spell. However, his outing in the second innings was cut short due to an injury which casts him in doubt for the second ODI.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya also backed his skipper’s claims and felt that a sixth bowler is needed in case one of the regular five bowlers has an off day. With India lacking any prominent bowling all-rounders, Pandya feels that it is high time that the Men In Blue start to groom one considering the need of it in the format.
“It was always going to be difficult without a sixth bowler (with the regular bowlers going for runs). The sixth bowler’s role is more to give cushion to someone from among the regular bowlers who is having a bad day.
Maybe, we’ll have to find someone who has played for India and groom him. Maybe, we should look into Pandya family,” he stated
Pandya’s absence in the bowling department has hampered India’s balance and Australia went on to take crude advantage of that fact. The Men In Blue will have to consider a tweak in the playing eleven as they have succumbed to a 1-0 trail with two must-win matches remaining to clinch the series.
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