Australia vs India, 2nd ODI – 3 Captaincy blunders by Virat Kohli

Australia vs India, 2nd ODI – 3 Captaincy blunders by Virat Kohli

India lost the game and also conceded an unassailable 2-0 lead to the Aussies.
Virat Kohli (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

India’s poor run in their Australia sojourn continued. After the 66-run defeat in the first ODI, the Men in Blue slumped to a 51-run defeat in the second match at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Aussies plundered a massive 389 for four wickets.

Steve Smith notched his third consecutive ODI century against India and all the other batters, except Moises Henriques, scored a half-century. In the run-chase, Virat Kohli’s 89 and KL Rahul’s 76 kept India in the hunt, but the target turned out to be insurmountable. Australia also managed to take a 2-0 lead.

Here are the three blunders committed by Virat Kohli in the game

Persisting with Navdeep Saini despite injury and poor show in first ODI

Navdeep Saini was horrendous in the first ODI, conceding more than 80 runs. Despite his poor show, Kohli persisted with him in the playing eleven instead of the likes of Shardul Thakur. The decision backfired as Saini was once again taken to the cleaners as he conceded 70 runs in seven overs.

He was also erratic as he bowled one no-ball and a couple of wides. He was also entrusted to bowl the final over where he leaked as many as 15 runs with two sixes. That he complained of back spasms before the first ODI and yet took part in both games could raise a few eyebrows.

Not using more overs of Hardik Pandya

India faced the shortage of the sixth bowler in the opening game. In the second match, when the other bowlers were going around the park, Kohli resorted to the services of Hardik Pandya and most surprisingly, Mayank Agarwal. Hardik was, without much of a doubt, India’s standout bowler.

He was introduced into the attack as late as in the 36th over and he did an excellent job. In four overs, he gave runs at a rate of six per over. He also picked up the crucial wicket of Steve Smith, who mustered a century. Had he bowled earlier, the situation could have been different for Team India.

Too many bowling changes too frequently

The Indian bowling, yet another time, was found wanting. Even bowlers of the calibre of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami went around the park at an alarming rate. Even Yuzvendra Chahal, who has made so many crucial breakthroughs over the years, leaked 71 runs off his nine overs.

One reason behind the bowlers underperforming could be Kohli frequently brining in bowling changes. Until the 30th to 35th over, not a single bowler bowled more than two overs in a single spell. It meant that they were allowed to settle and get into a groove to make an impact.