Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has slammed India’s bowling attack for lacking the bite to pick early wickets in ODI cricket. Australia’s batsmen have played ruthlessly in the first two ODIs, booking a series victory by plundering 374 and 389 respectively. Aakash Chopra underlined that if not snapped early wickets, it becomes nearly a cakewalk for the batsmen to come later.
It was the fifth consecutive ODI defeat and third consecutive one when the opposition had built a 100-run opening stand against India. India’s bowling attack, which had caused trouble in the last couple of years to every batting side, has not been able to do the same to Aaron Finch and David Warner. The duo built partnerships of 156 and 142 to set the stage for the likes of Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell to clobber some quick runs.
Aakash Chopra said that India’s bowling attack clearly lacks the ability and bite to pick early wickets. He pointed out that from the tour of New Zealand till date, it has been three consecutive ODIs since the opposition has constructed a 100-run opening stand. Hence, wickets with the new ball are crucial and proves futile for anyone to bowl if there is nothing within the first 20 overs.
“If we look at the Indian bowling, it’s clear that we are unable to pick wickets with the new ball. How much time has gone? In the last three consecutive ODI matches, India has conceded a 100-run partnership at the top between the two openers. If you don’t take wickets with the new ball, a wicket does not fall in the first 20-odd overs, then whomever you bowl doesn’t make a difference,” Aakash said in his Youtube video.
If you don’t take wickets at the top, it is not going to help in the middle: Aakash Chopra
The former Indian agreed that Hardik Pandya did take the wicket of Steve Smith; however, it was too late and that India’s frontline bowlers need to do more without increasing the burden on the support bowlers. Thus, Aakash Chopra added that if the main bowlers are unable to produce wickets early in the innings, it does not matter how many all-rounders the team has.
“Although we saw Hardik Pandya bowling but it was too late. He took a wicket as well, he dismissed Steve Smith. But if your top bowlers don’t take wickets, what will the 6th, 7th or 8th option do. So, this is a problem which is getting magnified by the lack of an all-rounder but first of all, how many of them do we have? And even if they available, where will you play them? If you don’t take wickets at the top, it is not going to help in the middle, doesn’t matter how many all-rounders you play,” he added.