It was not a good start for Virat Kohli-led Indian team in Australia as they went down to the hosts in the first ODI in Sydney by 66 runs to go 1-0 down in three-match ODI series. While the Indian team did well with the bat, reaching 308/8 in 50 despite going 101/4 at one stage, the bowling and fielding efforts left the team disappointed. Indian pacers were punished by Aaron Finch and Steve Smith, and dropped catches and misfields did not help the visitors one bit. The target of 375 proved to be too much for India to chase down despite solid batting conditions.
Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh believes that Indian team played good cricket in patches but the sloppy fielding and dropped catches affected the rhythm of the bowlers and hence, the rest of the team.
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“Things didn’t go India’s way. I would say India played some good cricket (in Sydney) but in patches. But, yeah, the fielding was a bit sloppy, lot of misfield, lot of missed catches,” Harbhajan said on India Today Live.
“In the international arena, you would want to take each (and every catch) that comes your way but unfortunately that didn’t happen today. If the fielders are not supporting the bowler, the bowler is going to get hurt. That’s what happened today,” Harbhajan Singh added.
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“I think apart from (Mohammad) Shami everyone had an off day. This was the first game and playing in Australia you got to adjust to the bounce and the conditions. What all lengths you need to bowl. So the Indian bowling line, to start with, they bowled the initial overs a bit short with the new ball,” he further said.
“Could’ve looked to bowl a little fuller for an early breakthrough, which didn’t happen, and that’s one of the reasons Australia got a lot of runs on the board which weakened India’s chances while chasing,” Harbhajan signed off.
India and Australia will play the 2nd ODI on Sunday in Sydney.