India created history by winning the test series down under 2-1 after 71 years of agony. Now the focus shifts to the limited overs format which starts from Jan 12th. In 2016 India managed to win only a single game in the five-match ODI series. Although the scoreline reads 4-1, in favour of Australia, India had actually given a tough competition to the home team.
The pitches were flat and offered no assistance for bowlers, and therefore in almost all the games, 300 run mark was breached.
|Team||No of Wickets||Balls per Dismissal|
John Hastings was the standout bowler from both the teams both in terms of wicket taking ability and being economical. Kane Richardson was not too far behind but he was a bit expensive.
Ishant Sharma, the workhorse was the only bowler from India who was economical and had the ability to strike early for his team. But he did not get support from the other end because the likes of Barinder Sran and Umesh Yadav were not only expensive but they couldn’t make early inroads as well.
So where was the Difference?
India’s Top Order has always scored the bulk of runs for the team and the scenario was no different in this series. Actually, India’s top order was better than Australia but the middle order was slightly weak compared to Australia. Moreover, Australia’s Middle order had scored runs at a quicker rate compared to India’s middle order.
Australia’s ODI Squad against India: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa, Alex Carey (wk)
Australia enters the field with one of the most inexperienced bowling attacks. They have rested the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Patrick Cummins because right after the ODI series against India, they are scheduled to host Sri Lanka for a two-match test series.
In the current squad, Peter Siddle is the only experienced fast bowler but has no match under his belt as he is making a comeback after 9 years. Billy Stanlake and Jhye Richardson are inexperienced bowlers who are trying to establish their place in the Australian squad.
The spin bowling options do not seem all that threatening – with Zampa and Lyon included as part of the 14-member squad. Zampa has played 9 matches so far in Australia and picked 8 wickets with a dismissal rate of 60 balls per wicket. It is indeed a bit puzzling, looking at Nathan Lyon getting a call back to the ODI squad after a gap of 9 years. Australia clearly have gone in for a stop-gap solution, and it does not seem like a long-term solution.
India’s ODI squad against Australia: Virat Kohli (c ), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, K.L. Rahul ,Hardik Pandya, Kedhar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthick, MS Dhoni, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
India will not have the experience of Ishant Sharma this time around but has more than enough firepower in the bowling line-up, who possess the ability to rip apart any batting lineup in the world.
The likes of Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, and Khaleel Ahmed would be forces to reckon with given how they have performed over the past year.
A Weak Middle Order for Australia this time around
Back in 2016, Australia had a heavy middle order with the likes of Steve Smith, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh who went all guns blazing. Currently, Australia have Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh in their middle order and all of them aren’t in the best of forms.
|Average of Australian Middle Order Before Sand-paper Fiasco||Average of Australian Middle Order Since the Sand-Paper Fiasco|
Since the sandpaper fiasco, Australia has won just one game – which came against South Africa. They will dearly miss the services of players of the like of George Bailey, who is an asset in the middle order. His absence from the squad owing to poor form, and the fact that Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh are also not in good form, would hurt the Australian batting.
Top Order is not stable
How badly will Australia miss their superstars David Warner and Steve Smith? In the graph below you can clearly see a huge difference that these players have made. Till 2016, prior to their ban, both have scored 32.69 % of Australia’s total runs and the current top order combined scored has scored 26 % of the total runs.
|Average of Australian Top Order (2016-18)||Average of Australian Top Order Post Sand-Paper Scandal|
Shaun Marsh is the only batsmen in the current squad whose batting average is above 50. In the recently concluded series against South Africa, he scored a valiant century but in a losing cause.
The above graph clearly shows the impact of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the Indian team and wonder if David Warner and Steve Smith who have been the consistent run-getters for the Aussies would have played now.
The interesting part is both Warner and Rohit Sharma open for their respective teams and Steve Smith and Virat Kohli bat at no 3.
India clearly look a stronger team both on paper and on the basis of their past performances. Australia needs their batting order to click if they have to put forward a fight otherwise a serious drubbing is almost certain.
FanFight on Mobile Devices
FanFight is available on both Android & iOS. Download Fantasy Cricket App and watch your favourite cricketers win points for you.
iOS users can Download FanFight iOS App and start winning cash daily.
SUBSCRIBE TO GET THE LATEST UPDATES