INDIA TREATING NEXT TWO MATCHES VS AUSTRALIA AS KNOCKOUTS, SAYS BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR

India vs Australia 2nd ODI: India treating next two match vs Australia as knockouts, says Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • India lost the first ODI by 34 runs to hand Australia a 1-0 lead in the series
  • Shubman Gill and Vijay Shankar will join the ODI team before the 2nd game
  • The second match will be played in Adelaide on Tuesday (January 15)

India lost the first match of the three-ODI series by 34 runs to hand Australia a 1-0 lead in the series.

Chasing a modest total of 289, India fell short of the mark as they could only manage to reach 254 for 9 with Rohit Sharma scoring 133 off 129 balls while MS Dhoni managed a fifty while the rest of the batsmen failed to get going.

Virat Kohli got out for 3 while Shikhar Dhawan managed a golden duck. Ambati Rayudu also couldn’t open his account while Dinesh Karthik made just 12 runs.

“It was one of those matches where the top order didn’t click,” paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.

“It can happen with you when you play so much cricket.

“So it was just one of those things … it’s very rare for us.”

“We have been in this situation before,” he said.

“We know it won’t be impossible to win the series but it won’t be easy for us as we are playing away from home.

“We are preparing in a manner where we have to win our next two matches so it’s a kind of knockout for us, we can’t afford to lose this match.”

Meanwhile, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s inability to set the pace during middle overs will remain a major cause of concern when India face Australia in the next ODI.

Hardik Pandya’s sudden suspension on disciplinary grounds has badly affected the balance of the batting order, which was apparent during team’s 34-run defeat in the opening match despite vice-captain Rohit Sharma’s 22nd hundred in 50-over format.

Dhoni’s 51 off 96 balls and failing to rotate the strike has brought to focus the rejigging that skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri will have to fret upon.

With Dhoni being slotted at No 5 even though vice-captain Rohit wants the veteran to bat a notch higher but cues from India’s training session made it clear that the team is unlikely to tinker with the batting order.

India’s batting order did come under the spotlight at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The top three (Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli) have enjoyed a fairly consistent run since 2016.

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