Canberra, Jan 20: Hosts Australia came from behind to snatch victory off India's jaws and registered their 4th consecutive win as they defeated the Men In Blue by 25 runs in the 4th ODI today (January 20) in Canberra.
Chasing a daunting target of 349 runs, Team India was heading comfortably towards registering their first victory in the ongoing series until batters went into self destruct mode and offered the game to the hosts on a platter.
At one stage Men In Blue were at 277/1 in 38th over but a ended up 323/10 in 49.2 overs and eventually going down in the series 0-4. (Australia defeat India in Canberra ODI to set world record)
Here are the resons for Team India's loss in the 4th ODI at the Manuka Oval
1. MS Dhoni's constant failure as a match finisher:
Skipper MS Dhoni, owns the reputation of being the best match finisher in the business but he has failed to live up to his reputation, lately.
MSD promoted himself up in the order following departure of a well-set Shikhar Dhawan at 277/2 in 37.2 overs. The skipper was welcomed by the crowd with a loud cheer, when he came into the middle. But, to the crowd's shock Team India's 'match finisher' went back to the pavilion on duck after facing just 3 balls. Dhoni edged a good length ball outside off to the wicket keeper, thereby bringing the side under pressure. Rest of the team followed their captain as hosts kept losing wickets at regular intervals and eventually lost the match by 25 runs.
If there is one person who is responsible for today's loss it had to be the skipper. Dhoni's continuous bad form with the bat is becoming a cause of concern for the side. He has consistently failed in easing the pressure off the side and that is the reason why his team either failing to chase the target or putting some extra runs on the board while batting first (as was the case in the first 3 ODIs). (Shikhar, Kohli tons in vain as Australia make it 4-0)
He is the one, whom the Team really looks upon in a tight situation like today's match and there is no doubt that the result would have been in Team India's favour had he stayed on the crease till the 50th over. Even in the home series against South Africa, MS Dhoni's bat was mostly silent in the close games, which helped the Proteas register their first ever ODI series win on Indian soil.
Thus, it is high time MS Dhoni does something about his batting.
2. Middle order collapse:
If the openers and the top order batsman brought the side into the game, it was the middle order and the tail enders which failed to capitalise over the situation and threw the match away. MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane (who was playing with stiches in his palm), Gurkeerat Singh, Rishi Dhawan, and the others played irresponsible shots and lost their wickets and ultimately the match. Though, Ravindra Jadeja tried to offer some restraint at one end but nobody else stayed on the other end.
Even in the previous games, it has been the top order that has been scoring runs for the side while the middle order and lower middle order failed to put some extra runs on the score board to provide some depth to the Indian batting line up.
3. Inexperienced youngsters failed to perform with the bat:
Team India picked two young batting all-rounders in Gurkeerat Singh (5) and Rishi Dhawan (9) in today's game, but both of them played irresponsible shots and threw away their wickets. It was expected of them to atleast rotate strike to keep the score board ticking, instead they went for strokes and ended up giving their wickets. They should have played sensibly and atleast batted till the end, that would have given them some confidence but all they did was panic.
Also, it is high time youngsters like these understand that they will have to show their skills in tight situations like this, for that is the only way to catch captain, team management, selectors as well as audiences' attention. Else, the selectors will be forced to rely back over the experienced cricketers, already a part of the team, who were rested to give a chance to young bloods.
They shouldn't forget that the likes of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh were ignored to make way for them but if they fail to perform to their big break then these youngsters will be once again seen warming benches.
4. Poor bowling, a perennial problem:
Two things that haven't changed in the ongoing series for this Indian side are well crafted centuries going in vain and the bowlers going for runs. Though today's bowling looked much better in the middle overs than previous 3 games, but even today Indian bowlers hardly put any pressure over Australian batters.
Indian bowlers had their first prey in David Warner in the 30th over when the score board read 187. Eventually, the sloppy bowling performance from the Indians helped the Australians pile up a mammoth 348 runs on the board.
Unless and until Indian bowlers put a pressure over opponents, Team India's cup of woes isn't going to end.