Michael Holding has opined that if the opening bowling cannot prevent the opposing batsmen from getting to a solid start then the team will struggle, which has been the case with the Indian team. He added that Hardik Pandya returning with the ball can be viewed as a positive by the Indian team.
The Indian team would not have imagined such a horrendous start to their campaign in Australia as they lost the second match again one-sided, dismissing any hope for returning back in the three-match ODI series. In both the matches, Australian batsmen scored over 350 runs to set up the win for their team, smashing the Indian bowlers as easily as a walk in the park. This is despite the fact that India have two of the finest white-ball bowlers in the form of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, both of whom have struggled to take wickets.
Former cricketer Michael Holding opined that if the bowling unit fails to set back the opposition in the beginning then they will definitely struggle on the field.
“This (lack of wickets) is where India are struggling. If your opening bowlers aren’t able to get wickets, if they can’t set back the opposition and prevent them from getting to such solid starts in every ODI, you will struggle as a fielding team,” Holding said, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
“Australia got a bigger score in the second game, 389! I’m not saying teams can’t chase down those big scores, but it puts extra pressure on you when you have to chase those big scores, irrespective of whether the pitch is a good one or not.”
While the front-line bowlers went for plenty, Hardik Pandya, who made his bowling comeback after one year, emerged as a huge positive for India as he bowled 4 overs and grabbed the wicket of Steve Smith. Holding stated that Pandya might be on his way to undertaking a bigger role with the ball.
“One thing India can look at as a positive is that Hardik Pandya, who was struggling to get back in the rhythm as a bowler, bowled four overs, which means that he is possibly on his way back to taking a bigger role with the ball,” he added.
Having already lost the ODI series, India will face Australia in the third ODI on December 2 in Canberra, hoping to get their first win of the tour.