Zaheer Khan has opined that the Indian team should not be taking the excuse of the rusty bowling lineup in the first match as all the bowlers have been playing regular cricket in IPL. He added that the whole team lacked the energy and urgency required to compete against proactive Australians.
In what was a one-sided affair, team India got thrashed by the Australians by 66 runs in the first of the three-match ODI series, courtesy of brilliant hundreds from Aaron Finch and Steve Smith. Australia’s domination started right from the start as they piled on a 156 run opening stand before Smith’s explosive display with the bat to take the team to a total of 374-6.
Chasing the gigantic target, India were never in control in the second innings despite Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya’s valiant effort on the crease, managing to score 308/8 in 50 overs. Unlike the usual dominating Indian team, Indians were outplayed in all three departments as the bowlers failed to control runs, fielders dropped catches and batsmen failed to stay on the crease.
Former pacer Zaheer Khan opined that the rusty bowling unit should not be an excuse for the embarrassing loss.
“First game you would say the bowling unit was looking rusty but I don’t think that should be an excuse. Look at how things have been progressing. If you look at all the players being part of IPL, playing regular cricket, being in touch with regular practice - none of the excuses are expectable at this stage and over rate is certainly something which in your hands. You can always keep up with that and that was very poor. Shows that the overall energy on the field,” Zaheer said in a video uploaded by Cricbuzz.
Zaheer pointed out that the difference in approaches of both the teams and insisted that better standards are expected from the national team.
“The urgency which was required in the game was lacking and Aussies actually took complete advantage of that. And when you saw that opening partnership building you see the urgency in running, being proactive, strike-rotation was something that was spot-on. On the other hand, Indians all the XI looked off-touch, off-colour and you don’t expect a national team to be like this on the field,” he said.