India’s top order again Succumbed to the pressure of chasing a huge score against Australia. When Australia ended up with a score of 317/7, I thought that India had done a reasonable job as at one point it looked like they would get more than 350. It seemed like a very gettable target and by no means an easy one. India lost too many early wickets to slip to 51/4, leaving Gambhir and Dhoni to perform the repair job. Apart from Gambhir, the Indian top order has been really inconsistant and has failed to deliver putting too much of pressure on the middle and lower order.
Dhoni has had no luck with the toss which has made sure that India chase in most of their games. Except for one game against Srilanka, India has failed to put up a decent opening stand in this series. Sehwag and Gambhir have taken turns in partnering Sachin in this series and it doesnt seem to be working till now for the Indians. Uthappa has been wasted down the order and has been stuck with the tail in most of the games. Gambhir has been very consistant at number three and as Dhoni rightly pointed out he would not to move him to open with Sachin. The other choice would be to open with Uthappa and Sehwag and push Sachin to number 4 in the order which might actually help him with his batting.
India has always struggled to perform as a unit in ODI’s in Australia. The problem is that there is always two batmen who is very consistant and the rest inconsistant which has always been the case when we play in Australia. In 91/92 it was Sanjay Manjrekan and Tendulkar, in 99/00 it was Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, in 03/04 it was VVS Laxman alone with the others blowing hot and cold. The problem for India is that Sachin Tendulkar who has played most matches in Australia is having a poor CB series. This is his 4th full tour to Australia adding to the 1992 WC. Australia is kind of jinx for Tendulkar as he has always struggled to be consistant here in ODI’s since the 91/92 season, where he was our best player down under.
India’s inexperianced middle order needs an in form Sachin Tendulkar for us to succeed in Australia which has been a problem for Captain Dhoni. Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Sachin and Sehwag have been totally out of form which is putting too much of pressure on Ghambir, Dhoni, uthappa and Pathan. India is going to play Srilanka in an important game on the 26th which will determine who will join Australia in the finals. The Indian Batsmen have to come to party if they have to beat Srilanka at Hobart. India would be hoping that the law of averages should be catching up with Sachin and Sehwag and this time they will fire.