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How India can bounce back in series decider....

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
March 27, 2021 14:36 IST
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IMAGE: India captain Virat Kohli with Kuldeep Yadav during the second ODI in Pune on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

The Indian team may look to revisit its 50-over template while picking up pieces from the thrashing in the second match as they aim to complete a hat-trick of series wins against England in the third and final ODI, in Pune, on Sunday.


On batting belters that's been on offer at the Gahunje Stadium, England hit an astounding 20 sixes in a 337-run chase which became a cakewalk, thanks to inpet bowling from spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya.

Never before has captain Virat Kohli missed Ravindra Jadeja as much as he would have on Friday when Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes took the mickey out of India's inexperienced spin duo.

In the bowling department, Kuldeep scripted an unwanted record when he conceded eight sixes -- most by an Indian bowler in ODIs. He leaked 84 runs in the second game after being hit for 64 runs in the first. And, so did Krunal, who was hammered for 72 runs in six overs.

In all probability, the duo could be replaced by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and off-spinner Washington Sundar, who can also chip in with the bat, if needed.

From the team's perspective, it would be impossible to ignore Chahal's inclusion in the playing XI even though the Haryana leg-spinners hasn't been in the best of forms recently.

Ben Stokes

IMAGE: Ben Stokes hits out during the second ODI. Photograph: BCCI

In terms of batting, a total of 337 is certainly not bad by any standards but India need to have a strategic shift in terms of their innings building in the middle overs.

KL Rahul hit a century and captain Kohli 66 as the duo put on 121 runs for the third wicket from 10 balls. It was only the attacking approach from the dangerous duo of Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant which saw India cross the 300-run mark.

Pant slammed a quickfire 77 from 40 balls, while Hardik hit 35 from 16 balls as they helped India finish on a high, smashing 126 runs from the last 10 overs.

The Men In Blue are the only team that always believes in accelerating in the last 15 overs, a template that was set by their illustrious former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

It has worked on most occasions but recently World champions England have proved that attacking up front on batting tracks is the way forward.

Pant and Hardik with their brand of power-hitting are capable of changing the course of the innings in the death overs but India need to bat positively in the middle overs and ensure that the lower order are not burdened with scoring quickly in each and every game.

Skipper Virat Kohli, who hit two successive 50 plus scores, would be keen to convert the start into a really big total, while also ending his century drought.

The skipper has however made it clear that he is not looking at milestones.

"I never played for 100s in my life, that's probably why I ended up getting so many in such little time."

"It's all about contributing to the team cause. If the team doesn't win when you get three figures it doesn't mean anything. You're not going to sit back at the end of your career and look at numbers, it's more about how you played the game."

Rishabh Pant

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant slammed a quickfire 77 from 40 balls to boost India's total in the second ODI. Photograph: BCCI

For the record, his last century came in August 2019 in this format.

Hardik would continue to play his role of a finisher but question mark remains on his workload management considering that he bowled in all the five T20I matches but has so far not been used in the first two ODIs.

On the pace front, while India will continue with spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar, they could look to bring in yorker specialist Thangarasu Natarajan, in case they want to rest Shardul Thakur for the game.

Also, there could be a choice between Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna although Prasidh's pace is an advantage for the hosts.

Meanwhile, England would be bolstered by their super showing with the bat on Friday and the biggest positive is the return of form of Ben Stokes, who took apart the Indian bowling in the second match.


India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (w/k), KL Rahul (w/k), Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Thangarasu Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur.

England: Jos Buttler (captain, w/k), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood, David Malan.

Match starts at 1.30pm IST.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.