India’s 66-run defeat to Australia in the first ODI in Sydney has raised concerns over a few areas. The biggest worry for India remains the sixth bowling option, which due to Hardik Pandya’s back injury has created a void. Earlier, Pandya used fill it with his overs, but after recovering from a back injury, which required surgery, Pandya is avoiding bowling to risk further injury, because of which India have no one to turn to expect their five primary bowlers.
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Former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody feels how India tackle their sixth-bowler conundrum will be interesting to see in the remainder of the series, suggesting it may not be a bad option after all for captain Virat Kohli to himself bowl a few overs to fill the void. Kohli hasn’t bowled much of his medium pace lately for India, but if the situation demands, there’s no reason why the captain can’t throw down some of his gentle medium-pace.
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“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.”
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Moody feels Australia look a far superior side than India at the moment and if the visitors are to bounce back, they need to address a few issues. “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,” he 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.”