India were given a taste of their own medicine in the 2nd ODI as the team lost to England by a comprehensive margin. They will now have to come back strongly in the last match at Leeds to win the ODI and the series along with it.
It would be the decider of the ODI series as it is level at 1-1 and whoever wins the match at Leeds would walk away with the trophy. There was a similar scenario in the T20I series when India won the 1st T20I on the back of brilliant performances from Kuldeep Yadav and KL Rahul.
While the 2nd T20I at Cardiff was lost by India, they bounced back in the third and the final T20I to win the T20I series. Many are speculating for a similar result in the ODI series as well.
India may consider this a one off blip and bounce back with all their firepower in the last ODI at Leeds. However, they have a few things to ponder upon before going in to the 3rd ODI.
Indian death bowling had been a concern for a long, long time. However, after Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar came into the picture, things improved quite a lot.
Especially, Bumrah was on-point with his variations in the slog overs and did not allow the batsmen to get away. His yorkers and his bouncers were lethal and the batsmen failed to pre-empt his variations. This is why they were not able to score of him freely.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also a bank on at the other end. He provided great support to Bumrah to put a lid on the opposition batsman and did not allow them to go hammer and tongs in the death overs.
Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya have not been able to do the job.
Over reliance on top 4
India has a very top heavy batting line up. With players like Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul at the top spots, there is always a fear of getting complacent. In matches that the top batsmen have not fired, the middle order has failed to step up to the occasion.
In the 2nd T20I as well, once the top order tumbled the middle order could never give the team the same momentum that otherwise they would have got in yesterday’s match. Once Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were dismissed Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya failed to come up with the goods as India surrendered meekly against a mammoth target.
Lack of wickets from other bowlers
One also notices in the recent times that apart from Kuldeep Yadav who has grown to become India’s go to bowler, no other bowler has retained the tendency to pick up wickets.
To begin with, Umesh Yadav and Siddharth Kaul are more focused on not going for runs rather than picking up wickets. Despite that, inevitably England have piled up 70 odd runs without losing a wicket after the first 10 overs.
This puts extra pressure on the bowlers that are to follow. Also, Kuldeep Yadav has been successful in breaking the partnership but no other bowler seems likely to take a wicket.
Indian bowlers need to work on their wicket taking abilities rather than just trying to stop runs. The simple reason being if wickets do not tumble in the middle overs, the opposition team will score a big total more often than not.