The losses to Australia in the first two ODIs in Sydney brought back some painful memories for Indian cricket fans. While the batsmen did stand up and showed some fight, the abject capitulation of India’s bowlers was similar to the stick Indian bowlers would get from the Aussies in the 1990s.
For over a decade, India has been one of the top teams in 50 overs cricket. The 2011 ICC World Cup and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy victories aside, they have won series all across the globe in the ODI format. A big reason for this change in India’s fortunes has been the rise of its bowlers.
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But their poor show this time has meant India and skipper Virat Kohli are on the verge of creating some unwanted records. India were whitewashed by New Zealand at the start of the year and they are now facing the danger of being whitewashed by the Aussies too, a team they beat 2-1 in a home series earlier this year.
Lack of international cricket could be a reason for the sluggish performance but all these Indian bowlers are coming off a long IPL season which gave them enough match practice.
So, lets take a look at a few numbers which would give us a better understanding of why Kohli and the Indian team will be desperate to win the 3rd ODI, that too at a venue, Canberra, where they are yet to register a victory.
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Kohli now has lost 5 ODIs on the trot and if he loses again on Wednesday, he will join Sunil Gavaskar as the captain with most back to back losses in one-day internationals. MS Dhoni, Ravi Shastri and Dilip Vengsarkar are the other Indian captains who lost 5 ODIs on the trot as captain.
In case of a loss, it would be the fourth time that India would have lost more than 5 matches on the trot in ODI cricket. India’s worst string of losses came in 1981 when they lost 8 matches on the trot.
India also lost 7 matches in 1989 while the last time they lost 6 in a row was in 2006. But these were times when the team wasn’t regarded as the best in the world. These were average Indian sides which were far inferior to other ODI outfits like Australia and West Indies.
Team India of today is a force to reckon with and they have stamped their quality all across the globe. Performances in the SENA countries is also weighed highly as they are difficult conditions for Indian players to perform in and Virat Kohli would want his team to rise from the ashes of this latest setback and prove to the cricketing world that this was just a misstep and not a tumble for the Indian juggernaut.