Some questions after India’s 2-3 loss to Australia in ODI series at home

There is a silver lining in this loss to the defending world champions and the faster the Indian team management addresses the issues exposed, the better.

The KL Rahul question

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Nobody knows where KL Rahul belongs to, at this point of time. He has been getting matches but again it is not clear what will be his responsibility in the WC if indeed he is picked. For some, he is that No.4 batsman while for others, he is only a back-up opener who will chip in if any of the two established openers face a difficulty. This is again a vague situation to look at. Rahul could have been a No.4 candidate but he got to play in only three out of eight matches against the Australians (including the T20Is) and that too in three different positions (1,2 and 3). Just when the batsman was showing some regain of touch, it was not the best way to handle him ahead of the WC.

The bowlers

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

The bowling unit looks more settled for India than the batting but one also has the feeling that there are far too many candidates from whom India have to pick the best options. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are certainly top picks as pacers and Kuldeep Yadav is the spinner who will get to the WC squad. But what about the rest?

Hardik Pandya will certainly make a comeback but what if he is injured again? The management has to pick the best from the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja. This problem though looks more manageable compared to the No.4 position in batting.

Are Indian batters, including captain Kohli, floating around too much?

It is accepted that modern-day cricket is no longer about the stubbornness of the past and players have to chip in as per the playing conditions. But even going by a liberal estimate, one feels there are far too many floaters in the Indian batting line-up now – even the openers do not abide by a fixed position.

Kohli is found batting both at No.3 and 4 and from No.5, it’s a list that ignites curiosity about who is it today. Some of India’s famous batting line-ups in the past were in sync and a clear understanding of the responsibilities. One fears the lack of a solid No.4 is in a way affecting the entire order as the batter who had a better connect in the last game being sent higher up. This is certainly a gamble and is good as long as it delivers.

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