KL Rahul, commenting on David Warner’s injury, remarked sarcastically that India would benefit if the opener is injured for a long time, but stressed that he wouldn’t wish an injury upon anyone. Rahul further spoke of the struggles the Indian bowlers underwent for a second consecutive game.
For the second match running, the visiting Indian side were mauled by a ruthless Australian batting unit and after leaking 374 runs in the first ODI, the Men in Blue plummeted further to concede a hideous 389 runs in the second ODI in Sydney on Sunday. The total, eventually, proved too much for the Indians, who slumped to a 51-run defeat, and one of the architects of Australia’s victory was David Warner. The opener, backing up his 69 in the first ODI, struck an impeccable 83 and blunted an already-tired Indian attack that looked out of sorts for the second game running.
However, Warner endured a bittersweet end to his night as while on the field in the second innings, the 34-year-old sustained a groin injury, due to which he had to subsequently leave the field for the rest of the game. Scans are expected to reveal the full extent of the injury but, as things stand, the southpaw’s participation in the final ODI in Canberra looks unlikely.
Commenting on the same, Indian vice-captain KL Rahul sarcastically quipped that he wouldn’t mind seeing Warner be ruled out for a long time, but clarified that he wouldn’t wish injury upon any cricketer.
“Would be nice if he (Warner) gets injured for a long time. I mean, I wouldn’t wish that upon any cricketer but he is one of their main batsmen, so him getting injured for a long time would be good for our team,” Rahul said at the virtual press conference post the second ODI.
Warner played a fine hand, but so did Rahul, who struck a useful 66-ball 76, albeit in vain. However, despite striking 9 boundaries in total (4 fours and 5 sixes), the 28-year-old was guilty of not rotating strike and eating up too many dots, and that eventually came back to haunt the Men in Blue in the latter stages. Rahul admitted that he ‘needs’ to work on reducing the dots and claimed that he’s constantly working on improving his batting to contribute to the side better.
“There’s always something as players we can improve on. I will personally step back and see how I can reduce those dot balls because you want to get better as a player and you want to play better knocks and give your team the best chance to win. The fewer the dot balls you play, the better the position your team will be in,” Rahul said of his knock.
But while Rahul, himself, has started the tour off in fine fashion, one cricketer who has endured a torrid time is Jasprit Bumrah. The right-arm speedster backed up his 1/73 in the first ODI with yet another aberration of a performance today, 1/79, and his inability to pick wickets at regular intervals has rubbed off on the entire bowling unit, which has struggled immeasurably. However, despite Bumrah’s struggles, Rahul assured that the ‘champion bowler’ will bounce back in no time.
“We all know Jasprit is quite fiery and he is very, very competitive on the field and he has very high standards for himself. He means a lot to this set-up and to this team and we know the value of Jasprit, so it’s about time a champion player like that will comeback and deliver and get wickets for us.
“You also have to understand in New Zealand and Australia, the wickets are so good to bat. You will see that the top bowlers not getting wickets - that’s quite acceptable.”
For the second game running, India, despite calls to make changes, went with an unchanged bowling line-up and it backfired as the visitors conceded a staggering 389, 15 more than they did in the first ODI. But despite the no-show, Rahul defended the performances of the bowlers and claimed that the big scores are more down to the exceptional batsmanship of the Aussies. The 28-year-old also described the beatdowns as a ‘learning curve’ for the bowlers.
“I wouldn’t say they (the bowlers) are struggling. It’s different conditions, different formats and the wickets in UAE were completely different to what we are playing on, now. The challenge for all the bowlers is to adapt quickly. Sometimes you just have to accept that the opposition batsmen have played really well. It’s a learning for us to sit back and think on how to better when we play on such good batting wickets.”
The third and final ODI will be played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on December 2.