Team India faced a 66-run loss in the first ODI of the three-match series against Australia on Friday. Australia scored a huge total of 374/6 on the boardin fifty overs, and restricted India to 308/8 in the run-chase.
India's lack of a sixth bowling option haunted them throughout the first innings, as the bowlers proved expensive in the game. While Hardik Pandya is included in the side as a pure batsman, none of the top-5 batsmen in the playing XI have substantial bowling experience in their cricket career so far.
This puts Team India in a spot of bother, but former Australian cricketer Tom Moody believes that Indian captain Virat Kohli might have to roll up his sleeves and bowl a few overs to help the bowling attack.
“It will be interesting to see how they manage it,” Moody said on ESPNCricinfo of India’s sixth bowler.
“What’s the alternative option? Perhaps Kohli himself might have to bowl few of his little mediums. One of things that is becoming quite clear even though it’s early days in the tour – and I’m only talking the white-ball series – is that Australia look far more settled and organised as a unit. They’ve got all their bowling options sorted. They’ve got experience in those bowling options at Finch’s disposal,” said the former Aussie cricketer.
Indian batting order failed to step up in the run-chase, and if not for Shikhar Dhawan (74) and Hardik Pandya (90) putting on a partnership, India would've risked facing a heavy defeat.
“Their (Australia’s) batting is strong, it’s robust. They’ve got a number of players that can put together a match winning performances, whereas India I think are still finding their way with their batting order,” Moody said.
“They are clearly finding their way with regard to the depth of their bowling So there’s lots to think about and ponder for India.”