The Foremost Reason Why India Lost the 4th ODI against Australia

The Foremost Reason why India Lost the 4th ODI against Australia

The Foremost Reason why India Lost the 4th ODI against Australia

India prepared for Glenn Maxwell’s dominance at the death overs, however, Ashton Turner came out of syllabus, who smacked Indian bowlers to all parts, helping Aussies level the series 2-2 with one final ODI left to play in Delhi on Wednesday.

Barring KL Rahul’s below-par innings of 26 runs off 31 deliveries, the hosts batted well, particularly the 193-run opening stand between Rohit and Dhawan, posting a mammoth 358 runs at the end first innings on a flat Nagpur pitch on Sunday.

Australia, in reply, showcased a stellar performance to pull off their highest successful run-chase in 50 overs, courtesy some top-notch performances from Khawaja, Handscomb, and Ashton Turner in the end.  

Now, before you call it an off-day in Indian bowling department or saying that we were 20-30 runs short, I would like you to bring notice to Kohli’s below-par captaincy skills in the match, and perhaps, we must accept that it was the foremost reason why India lost the fourth ODI on Sunday, right from winning the toss and elected to bat first.

A flat pitch which had nothing for the bowlers, the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali has been one of the most-highest scoring pitches in India. And, with the due factor coming in the second half of the innings, everybody knew it would be difficult to bowl in the second innings and opting to bat second would have been a better idea. Still, Kohli chose to bat first which eventually proved to be one of his major captaincy errors in the match.

India batted well in the first innings, posting 358 after 50 overs in the first innings, courtesy a solid 193-run stand between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. And with 359 runs to defend, Indian bowlers couldn’t have asked for anything more from the batsmen.

Indian seamers, in fact, started off pretty well, having claimed first two wickets inside four overs. Till now, India had the upper hand and looked in complete control of the match. Bhuveneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah bowled five and four overs respectively in their first spell, getting one wicket apiece. However, none of them was recalled by the skipper until the 33rd over, knowing the fact that both Handscomb and Khawaja were playing the spinners comfortably.

India were playing with only four front-line bowlers which, understandably, forced Virat Kohli to complete the ten overs of the fifth bowler from the part-timers as quickly as he can, but, perhaps it wasn’t the best of the decisions from the skipper.

Virat opted to bowl Jadhav earlier than Chahal, who could have been a better option at that time. Both Shankar and Jadhav weren’t able to fetch wickets, however, Kohli stuck with them in the middle period which actually gave time to both Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb to get settle and build a partnership. Perhaps, Australia could have been on the back foot had India got two more wickets in that period.   

India’s spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav then couldn’t cause much trouble to the duo as both Khawaja and Hanscomb managed to score one boundary in almost every over without taking much risk, in order to maintain the required run-rate.

While, both the spinners were leaking runs in the middle period of the innings, Kohli decided to persist with them and not to bring back his main bowler Jasprit Bumrah, convinced in his mind that the match will go to the last over.  

Kohli then once again missed the trick by not bringing Bumrah back into the attack between 25 and 30 over a period for a 2-3 over spell. Bumrah was eventually brought back in the 33rd over in a bid to break a 192-run stand between Usman Khawaja and Peter Hanscomb. Bumrah did get the breakthrough in the form of Khawaja but it was too late by then.

Kohli defensive captaincy can take a toll to the Indians going ahead of the World Cup. It’s up to him now if he wants to with five front-line bowlers or give up his defensive mindset and look for wickets.

What do you think? Tell us in the comment section.   

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