IND vs AUS: 3 Reasons Why India Lost The ODI Series

image-lfkwd3ajIndia and Australian players shaking hands after Australia's series win (AP photo)

India have been dethroned from the number 1 position in the ICC ODI rankings but more importantly, this is a World Cup year and India losing a home ODI series after a gap of four years would certainly raise some eyebrows over India's preparation for the marquee event.

India lost the series by a 1-2 margin and would need to get back to the drawing board as they seem short of answers whenever they were put under the pump in the series.

Let us now try to anaylze some main reasons for India's shocking loss against Steve Smith and company. 

Batting group's failure to deliver in challenging conditions

India is a country known for its batting superstars and boast of some of the biggest names in world cricket. However, time and again whenever the conditions are bit challenging whether it is swinging or turning, India have suffered a batting collapse.

We saw the same thing happening in this ODI series, the conditions in all three games provided good balance between bat and ball and what India needed was someone to tackle the conditions with some nous and application. 

However, India's top order failed miserably against the quality of Starc and company in the first two ODIs, bringing back the memories of the 2019 World Cup semi-final and the Pakistan game in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

For a team to succeed regularly and more importantly win big events, they need someone to step up and guide the ship in sinking waters but unfortunately, India have not found players who can do that in recent past. KL Rahul managed to show the composure in the first ODI but overall in this series, Indian batters have failed to convert their starts into a substantial score. 

India suffered a batting collapse in Bangladesh when the conditions were spin friendly and they need to find ways to tackle difficult conditions if they want to be world-beaters.  

Aussie pacers outperforming Indian pacers in the PowerPlay

ODI cricket has nowadays become all about flat decks and batters piling up scores in excess of 300 on a regular basis. This series though was a breath of fresh air where the bowlers were in the game in all three ODIs. 

On such pitches, picking wickets in the PowerPlay becomes almost imperative and though India have two quality PowerPlay bowlers in the form of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, they could not match the performance of Aussie pacers in this series. 

Overall in the three ODIs, India managed to pick only one wicket in first 10 overs while the Australian pacers picked 9 wickets in the same phase. This proved to be decisive as India could not recover from the early blows in the second ODI while the Aussies scored some quick runs in that early phase with Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head adopting an aggressive approach.

Lack of clarity of player roles and overall game-plan

It is a well-known fact that Indian cricket has truckloads of talent. However, over the last few years, we have seen that Indian cricket has struggled to find right players for the right roles due to constant chopping and changing. 

The instability in selection and lack of role clarity contributed heavily in India underperforming in the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups where some last minute changes cost confusion in the side.

The number 4 position is pretty critical in ODI cricket but India have been struggling to find a stable option for that position for a long time now. India made a huge blunder in the 2019 World Cup when Ambati Rayudu was dropped from the World Cup side after batting at number 4 for more than a year in that position leading into the World Cup. It cost India heavily in the semi final of that World Cup and after that World Cup too India have tried plenty of options for the number 4 spot.

It seemed that Shreyas Iyer has more or less booked that spot some months ago but with his injury now, the Indian management is left wondering again. They tried Ishan Kishan for some games at that position and after that Suryakumar Yadav was provided two ODIs in which he failed. In the last ODI of this series, we saw KL Rahul batting at 4 when he seemed to have settled into the number 5 position.

This shows the overall lack of clarity of roles for the players and India seem to be back to where it all started in their search for a quality dependable number 4 batter.

 So, these were the major issues that contributed to India's loss in the ODI series against Australia and should be a wake-up call for the Men in Blue with the home World Cup just around the corner.