Australia beat India again: Why are Dhoni’s men slipping?

  • Khurram Habib, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 15, 2016 18:40 IST
Why have Dhoni’s men not been able to give their best performance in recent ODI matches? (AP Photo)

Australia put up a strong batting display to thrash India by seven wickets in the second One-Day International (ODI) in Brisbane on Friday.

This was Australia’s second consecutive win and the hosts have taken a 2-0 lead in the five-ODI series.

Here are things about India’s performance that have gone wrong:

1) Rohit’s wasted effort

While Rohit Sharma has notched up two tons in two successive matches, the debate is whether he is doing the right thing by staying on till the end with a par strike rate on great batting surfaces.

On Friday, by the time he was dismissed as the third wicket, it was already the 43rd over but India had got to just 255. In the first game he carried the bat India finished with 309/3. Would he be better off going for quick runs after reaching seventies or hundred instead of hanging around and not give time to other batsmen? India don’t need big hundreds, they need quick fifties. In the first game, Rohit took 16 balls to get to 100 from 90, in the second, he took 18 balls to get to 100 from 90.

2) Spin flops

Spinners have been skipper MS Dhoni’s main bowling strength. He used two spinners throughout the World Cup in Australia last year. However, on good batting surfaces, the spinners are proving ineffective just like they did during the World Cup semifinal against Australia. The result is that the Australians are negotiating the middle overs well without losing wickets.

India's Ajinkya Rahane, left, and Virat Kohli, right, celebrate the wicket of Australia's Aaron Finch during the 2nd One Day International cricket match between Australia and India in Brisbane. (AP Photo)

3) Lower order’s failure

While the India’s batting platform has been laid well in both the matches, the lower order has failed to provide the momentum needed in the last 10 overs. One way to look at it is that they haven’t been given many overs to settle in; the lower-order hitters need this time. While India were satisfied with 309/3 in the first match, all three -- No. 5 MS Dhoni, No. 6 Manish Pandey and No. 7 Ravindra Jadeja – fell for small scores while trying to step up the tempo.

4) Too many extras

With both the matches stretching till the last over, India could have been helped if they had kept the number of extras down. While they conceded 12 wides (out of 17 extras) in the first game, they gave away 11 wides (out of 19 extras) in the two matches.

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