रविवार, 30 जून 2019

Middle Order and Aussies - They are the foes

With current cricket world cup enters into its last quarter, India remains the only unbeaten team and it gives me reminiscence of last edition where we were unbeaten till the semifinal. The pressure mounted by Australia's big total exposed our middle order batting and our campaign ended with knackered performance something similar to the 2003 World Cup final defeat against the same opponent.

Things had reasonably changed since then and Australia was no more a force to reckon with in past 4 years. Many pundits waived off their chances of winning the world cup but proving everyone's notion wrong here they mark their authority by becoming the first team to qualify for semi final and I reckon that Aussies are the biggest albatross in India's campaign especially to our middle order.

India's last to win against Afghanistan and West Indies may have provided us four valuable points but the middle order struggle against not so applaudable in comparison to Australia have provided us one more chance to ponder on our Achilles heels. Vijay Shankar has failed to play a big Knock at number four while Dhoni has been playing extra cautiously, strike rotation is a key problem for him especially against the spinners and that I think putting a lot of pressure on the other end player. If India has to chase 300 plus score in the knockout game and we lose early wickets then it would be a herculean task for us to win from that scenario even if the pitch is batting friendly, 2017 Champions trophy final against Pakistan is a fine example of it. Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya have also been inconsistent to give confidence if we are put in that circumstance.  We should expect that kind of worst possible circumstances in knock outs most possibly from Aussies.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins both improving day by day in this world cup while Jason Behrendorff's late inclusion has further sharpen their pace attack. This trio has lethal pace, precise line and length and most importantly formidable body language and they have ripped apart England and New Zealand batting line up in their last two matches. India should take it as a clear warning and be absolutely prepared not to repeat 2003 WC final or 2015 WC semi final scenario.