India vs Australia: Numbers reveal Virat Kohli and company’s big worry ahead of Sydney Test

India vs Australia: The middle and lower order have not been in the best of forms in the recent past and if Pujara and Kohli fail to click, India can find themselves in a pickle
File picture of Ajinkya Rahane(AP)
File picture of Ajinkya Rahane(AP)
Updated on Jan 02, 2019 10:36 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent

After the win in the MCG Test, Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team will walk out at the Sydney Cricket Ground aiming to clinch the series 3-1. The bowling attack looks in fine rhythm and there have been consistent performances by Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and an impressive Mayank Agarwal.

Australia, on the other hand, will be under pressure and as such need to get their combinations right for the Sydney Test. However, not everything is as cozy for Kohli’s men.

The middle and lower order have not been in the best of forms in the recent past and if Pujara and Kohli fail to click, India can find themselves in a pickle. India’s lower middle-order (5th to 8th position) had the second-worst average in 2018.

India average a meagre 23.47 in 2018 which makes it their worst in a year since 2011 (21.88). Also, India’s lower middle-order (numbers 5 to 8) have registered nine ducks in away Tests in 2018, which is the joint-second most in a year.

One of the reasons for these numbers could be the constant chopping and changing which has been done to the players in these positions. India have used the most number of players between numbers 5 and 8. They have used as many as 14 years which is comfortably more than Sri Lanka, which has used 11 players in these positions.

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