India fail to address shortcomings, punished again in third ODI | cricket | Hindustan Times
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India fail to address shortcomings, punished again in third ODI

For the third time in the series, an Indian batsman’s big effort went in vain, as Australia continued their team show by notching up a comprehensive victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Ind vs Aus 2016 Updated: Jan 17, 2016 22:20 IST
Siddhartha Sharma

For the third time in the series, an Indian batsman’s big effort went in vain, as Australia continued their team show by notching up a comprehensive victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. The hosts have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five match series.

Virat Kohli’s 24th one-day internation (ODI) century, ensured India raised a challenging 295. Kohli also became the fastest to reach the fastest to 7,000 career runs (161 innings). But the combined batting performance, led by Glenn Maxwell’s beautifully woven 96, saw Australia’s middle order give the push after being four wickets down.

Read: Kohli’s century in vain, Australia beat India by 3 wickets at Melbourne

Here are some points explaining what went wrong for India:

1.Slow Shikhar: Having been out of form for a while, opener Shikhar Dhawan returned to making runs but his 68 came off 91 deliveries and was too slow to give the innings extra momentum.

Shikhar Dhawan watches a ball bowled by Australia's John Hastings during their one day international cricket match in Melbourne. (AP)

With Rohit Sharma, after back-to-back centuries, out early, Shikhar should have taken a positive approach. But his knock was more of a comeback innings in which he did not realise he might be saving one end but the run-rate was getting affected.

2. Not the ideal finish: That has been the problem with India of late. With Virat and Ajinkya Rahane managing only a run-a-ball innings, India have not been able to step up the scoring and cash in on the last few overs. With two players --- Gurkeerat Mann and Rishi Dhawan --- making their debut, they could not provide the extra push.

India's MS Dhoni hits a six against Australia. (AP)

Though Dhoni looked in his element (23, 9 balls), his quick dismissal meant India again fell short by some margin.

3. Indisciplined bowling: Two games down the line, India pacers still haven’t found the consistency needed while bowling on these Australian pitches. Being erratic is one, the other is not being able to contain the batsmen. Young paceman Barinder Sran had an off-day from the start but the experienced Umesh Yadav took no effort to realise that Australia batsmen are very strong on the backfoot. He got two wickets, but gave away freebies, at almost seven runs an over.

Umesh Yadav fields after bowling to Australia's James Faulkner. (AP)

Sran too failed to understand what was required of him. Neither did he bowl to a plan nor was he accurate at his medium pace. Unlike the Aussies, Indians have not been able to hunt in pairs.

4.Sloppy fielding: Defending just 295, a team cannot afford to give away easy runs. Australian fielders were diving around during the entire Indian innings, and must have a saved at least a dozen runs. George Bailey has been exceptional at cover and must have at least saved a couple of boundaries off Virat’s blade. For India, Gurkeerat grabbed at a chance to put down opener Aaron Finch early; Ishant Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan too made clumsy attempts while the failure to save runs inside the circle and inconsistent lines and lengths by bowlers meant there was no sustained pressure on the Aussies.

Ishant Sharma falls to the ground after bowling to Australia's James Faulkner. (AP)