Here is Why The Rajkot Match is Do-or-die for India in India-Australia ODI Series

Here is Why The Rajkot Match is Do-or-die for India in India-Australia ODI Series
In picture: Virat Kohli
Here is Why The Rajkot Match is Do-or-die for India in India-Australia ODI Series
In picture: Virat Kohli

The greatness of cricket lies in its uncertainty. Prediction before the match is a dangerous act. When two competitive teams lock horns, then everyone hopes to see an absorbing match. Full turn out at the Wankhede Stadium and fans all over the world were dreaming to see a mouth-watering contest between the two best teams in the world. Unfortunately, the match turned one-sided as Australia drubbed India by ten wickets to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

Below par show

The below-par performance of men in blue dejected the cricket fans of India. This was a warning bell for the hosts to go for a harsh reality check before the remaining two matches. Team India needs to play competitive cricket to challenge this formidable Australian side. They have a positive attitude to fight until the end, which makes this team different from others.

Supreme performance

In the first ODI match at Mumbai, the visitors stepped out on the ground with the purpose to play tough cricket with their agility on the ground. Despite dropping a couple of catches, their clinical performance proved too hot for the hosts to handle. Their bowlers bowled on accurate line and never allowed Indian batsmen to free their arms. In the end, they restricted the home team to 255 then hammered the Indian attack and recorded a tremendous victory with just two openers.

Finch and Warner steal the show

Swashbuckling Finch-Warner duo had made the India bowling helpless. Their electrifying innings added 84 runs in the first powerplay and tore apart the Indian attack. All the bowlers failed to create any trouble or leave any impression on the two hard-hitting openers. It was a disappointing start to the series for the home team. Team India has to raise the game and put a stiff challenge to Finch and his troops in the next two matches.

Do-or-die for India

India-Australia rivalry has been heated up over a decade or so. Both sides have class players and fire in the belly to fight until the end. But it was a one-sided duel in the first ODI in which India was never really in the match. This defeat has deflated team India, and there is not much recovery time, the next game will be held on 17th on Friday at Rajkot. It would be a do-or-die contest for the hosts and go to the match with a fresh frame of mind if they want to remain alive in the series. On the other hand, Australia won’t like to stretch the series to the third match.

Pant ruled out in 2nd ODI

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been ruled out of India’s second ODI against Australia at Rajkot. He had suffered a concussion in the opening match in Mumbai after getting hit on the helmet by a Pat Cummins bouncer in the 44th overs of India’s innings. Therefore, he was off the field in Australia’s innings. The hosts reached Rajkot on Wednesday intending to square the series and keep the interest of the crowd intact. Meanwhile, Pant will have to travel to Bengaluru for rehabilitation following the standard concussion protocols. His participation in the 3rd ODI will depend on his recovery.

Middle-order needs to click

The partnership of Dhawan and Rahul was the only positive outcome for team India in the series opener. Both were cruising nicely and were set to cross 300 plus runs on the board. But the dismissal of Rahul broke the backbone of the team. The middle-order failed to capitalise on the 100 runs partnership of Dhawan and Rahul. Kohli has to think about his position, while the other guys will have to show character to cope with the strong Aussies bowling and agile fielding to set a challenging total.

Must keep in mind that the odds are in favour of the visitors, first ODI triumph was Australia’s fourth consecutive ODI victory against India on Indian soil. Therefore, Finch’s boys have a mental edge over Kohli’s men. The visitors are desperate to go for another clinical performance at Rajkot to seal the series. The hosts have a chance to roar back to settle the score and keep the series alive. Hopefully, we get a more competitive contest next time around.