Jan 17, 2023
A 3-0 ODI Series clean sweep means that Rohit Sharma’s India has now won five of his six ODI Series in charge. He also has a win percentage of 76. And a record-breaking victory of 317 runs is a great way to start your preparation for an ICC World Cup on home soil.
So what are the areas in which India is looking to improve before the tournament begins in October?
Better Use Of Powerplay
In the past, India has been criticized for not making better use of the first 10 overs, However, in this Series, it was good to see the Captain and especially Shubman Gill take advantage of the fielding restrictions.
75-0, 51-1-, and 75-0, are really good starts irrespective of the opposition. There may be a few games where you could be 60-3, but it’s really important that they keep on trying to go hard in the first powerplay, to ease the pressure on the rest of the batters.
As far as the bowling is concerned, Mohammed Siraj seems to have done a decent job filling Jasprit Bumrah’s shoes.
33 wickets from 19 ODI’s at an economy of 4.73 is a decent stat. What is even more, impressive is that he knows what he wants to bowl, and more often than not, he executes it. Also, when you have someone as experienced as Mohammed Shami at the other end, it gives you the confidence to execute your skills and plans as a bowler because you can learn from the senior pro. In the powerplay, it’s so important for your new ball bowlers to set the tone for the innings by taking early wickets, and that is what these two pacers are starting to do, long may it continue.
Speaking about India’s veteran speedster, it is yet to be revealed when he will return, but he is still out nursing a back injury.
Middle Order Conundrum?
Another thing for India to think about is positions 4, and 5, Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav look like the ideal candidates, because of their ability to score runs in all areas of the ground at a rapid pace.
Iyer and Yadav have strike rates of 96.50 and 100.51, which is exactly what you need in the middle overs.
The other issue is KL Rahul, who is in the side in place of Rishabh Pant, who is still recovering from his road accident, which occurred on 22nd December in Haridwar, India. Rahul has been a little inconsistent with his form in ODI cricket. He is set to miss the New Zealand Series due to family commitments, thus it gives an opportunity for KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan to stake a claim for a place in the World Cup squad.
Kishan has 477 runs in only ten ODIs at a rate of 111.97 and is a left-handed batsman, which could be ideal if India wants a Left/Right-hand combination in the middle order.
The 24-year-old is an aggressive batsman who likes to score quickly and likes to deal with boundaries.
He also became the seventh player to score a double century in an ODI inning and equaled Fakhar Zaman’s(PAK) score highest score of 210.
But then the issue with Kishan is that he can sometimes be susceptible to the short ball, However, he is a highly talented batsman who deserves more opportunities in the future.
King Kohli Is Back
Prior to the Asia Cup in 2i022, India’s star batsman had gone almost three years without scoring a century. But since the Aisa Cup in September 2022, he has not looked back ever since.
Kohli also had the highest run scorer in the ICC T20 World Cup, which took place in November. The 34-year-old scored a total of 296 runs at an average of 98.66, with four half-centuries, with the highest score of 82 not out against arch-rivals Pakistan.
With 46 ODI centuries, the former Indian Skipper is just three centuries away from equaling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries. Due to his superior form right now, you can clearly see him closing in on the record, but cricket is a funny game sometimes, so all India fans will be hoping that he surpasses it sooner rather than later, unlike Tendulkar, who had to wait a whole year to reach his 100th international century. Kohli also has 27 Test centuries.
In the third ODI against Sri Lanka, he scored an unbeaten 166, which is his fifth score of 150+, with his highest score being an unbeaten 183, against Pakistan in 2012. India will be hoping that his good form continues leading into the World Cup.
Next up for India is a three-match ODI Series against New Zealand, which begins tomorrow in Hyderabad.
India has named a 16-man squad for the Series:
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat (wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik.
It will be interesting to see what combinations Sharma makes in terms of his playing XI, for all three games.
Is this the first step on the road to World Cup glory for Team India?
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