Team India had a horrendous start to their tour of Australia, losing two games on the trot in three days. Both defeats resulted after the Indian bowlers failed to contain the hosts within chasable limits. As a result, the Aussies scored 374 and 389 in the two ODIs respectively, demolishing the Indian attack inside out.
Despite having some of the finest pacers – Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami – in the line-up, India toiled hard against the Aussie batsmen. None of the frontline bowlers managed to get early wickets which took a heavy toll on the visitors.
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Such a performance has disappointed West Indian legend Michael Holding. The former cricketer stated that if the bowling unit fails to set back the opposition, the team will definitely struggle on the field.
“This (lack of wickets) is where India are struggling. If your opening bowlers aren’t able to get wickets, if they can’t set back the opposition and prevent them from getting to such solid starts in every ODI, you will struggle as a fielding team,” said Michael Holding in his YouTube video.
“Australia got a bigger score in the second game, 389! I’m not saying teams can’t chase down those big scores, but it puts extra pressure on you when you have to chase those big scores, irrespective of whether the pitch is a good one or not,” he added.
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While the seasoned Indian bowlers went for runs against the hosts, Hardik Pandya made a sweet cameo with the ball in the second ODI on Sunday and dismissed the in-form Steve Smith. Holdiing believes that Pandya, who bowled for the first time since September 2019, is ‘on his way back to taking a bigger role with the ball’.
“One thing India can look at as a positive is that Hardik Pandya, who was struggling to get back in the rhythm as a bowler, bowled four overs, which means that he is possibly on his way back to taking a bigger role with the ball,” said Holding.
After handing an unassailable 2-0 lead to Australia in the 3-match ODI series, India will be gearing for the third and the final ODI in Canberra, on December 2.