The second ODI against Australia will be a do or die battle for the Indians with the series being on the line.
Middle order woes do not seem to be ending for the Indian team. The loss in the opening ODI against Australia in Sydney only exposed the Indian middle order batsmen yet again. More significant than the outcome of this three-match series is the concern about India’s performance in the World Cup it these problems continue. After being 3 wickets down for 4 runs in the first ODI, India struggled right from the outset chasing a target of 289. Rohit Sharma’s brilliant hundred just wasn’t enough for India as the Aussies registered a comfortable 34-run win over the visitors in the end.
The second ODI against Australia will be a do or die battle for the Indians with the series being on the line. Players like Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja will have to step up if the situation arises. Dhoni has been criticized for his slow strike rate in the recent past where he has not managed to convert his starts into big numbers. But, when we look at the other batsmen like Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Karthik, they too have not been able to shift gears during the course of their innings and take the team across the finish line.
A look at the stats of the Indian middle order in the last few (2018) One Day Internationals
The former Indian captain batted in 13 innings and has managed to score 275 runs with an average of 25 and a strike rate of 71.43.
In the last 6 innings that he played in 2018, he managed to score 167 runs with an average of 41.75 and a strike rate of 73.57.
The left arm all-rounder has batted in 4 innings and has managed to score 68 runs with an average of 22.67 and a strike rate of 80.
Rayudu has batted in 10 innings in 2018 and has managed to score 392 runs with an average of 56 and a strike rate of 90.74.
These three batsmen have been the mainstay of the Indian middle order for the past year and it is crucial that all three find their rhythm.
Ambati Rayudu comes across as the only man who has managed to score some decent runs in his last few innings. With players like Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw and Shubhman Gill on the rise, it will be interesting to see if the team management looks to experiment with them.
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