Team India faced a 66-run defeat in the first ODI of the three-match series against Australia on Friday. After conceding a mammoth total of 374/6 in 50 overs, India could only score 308/8 in the run-chase.
India lacked a sixth bowling option in the match as Hardik Pandya was included in the side purely as a batsman. With no Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the side, the side entered the field with five bowlers and six pure batsmen.
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Bar Mohammed Shami (5.90), every Indian bowler conceded in excess of 6 runs/over in the game. Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal also broke his own record for most expensive Indian spinner in an ODI, conceding 89 runs in ten overs.
Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar pointed out the need for Indian batsmen to pitch in with some overs to aid the bowlers, and said that Shreyas Iyer could develop his spin-bowling skills in this regard.
Iyer, who is a leg spinner, has four First-class wickets and five List A wickets to his name.
In reply to a query where a fan suggests if Iyer could be asked to bowl some overs, Manjrekar says, "He must... absolutely must, develop that skill. Will enhance his chances to keep his place, it will also serve India well. Just 3/4 overs needed off pure batsmen."
He must... absolutely must, develop that skill. Will enhance his chances to keep his place, it will also serve India well. Just 3/4 overs needed off pure batsmen. https://t.co/Gd123uzMBE— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) November 28, 2020
Earlier, India were on the brink of facing a heavy loss in the first ODI after the side's top-order was dismissed early. Mayank Agarwal (22), Virat Kohli (21) and Shreyas Iyer (2) failed to make significant contributions with the bat, while wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul (12), too, failed as he batted at number five.
However, Shikhar Dhawan (74) and Hardik Pandya (90) ignited hopes for an improbable victory, but there were dismissed in quick succession by spinner Adam Zampa, who ended up with four wickets in the game.
India now need to win the remaining two games to clinch the three-match series. The second match of the series will take place at the same venue (Sydney Cricket Ground) on Sunday.