Former India cricketer, Aakash Chopra has pointed out the inability of the Indian bowlers to take wickets in the powerplay has been a concern since last year. Aakash Chopra’s comments came after India lost the first ODI match against Australia in Sydney on Friday.
Winning the toss and batting first, the Australian openers cautiously saw off the new ball against Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. Post that, Aaron Finch and David Warner launched an assault on the Indian bowlers, not letting Yuzvendra Chahal and Navdeep Saini settle. The opening duo put on a mammoth 156 runs partnership.
After Warner’s wicket, the run flow indeed increased as Steve Smith and Aaron Finch, followed by Glenn Maxwell smashed every Indian bowler around the SCG as the hosts posted 374.
India got off to a flyer from Mayank Agarwal, and Shikhar Dhawan as the first fifty runs came off just 4.1 overs. However, 4 wickets, including that of captain Virat Kohli, plummeted India’s chances of chasing the target to close to nil.
Hardik Pandya’s 90 and his partnership with Dhawan gave the Indian fans some hope, but they only delayed the inevitable as the men in blue conceded a loss of 66 runs.
Australia’s opening stand took the game away from India: Aakash Chopra
In a video uploaded on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra opined that firstly Aaron Finch won a crucial toss and decided to bat first in Sydney which has been the norm over the past few years. Aakash Chopra believes that when a team puts on an opening stand of over 150 runs, there isn’t much the opposition could do.
The cricketer-turned-commentator laments the fact that the Indian bowlers have not been picking wickets in the powerplay with the new ball- a problem which Chopra believes has hurt the team since the World Cup last year. Spearhead pacer, Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t picked a single wicket inside the first powerplay in 7 ODIs this year- this epitomizes the problem conspicuously.
In his YouTube video, Aakash Chopra said, “Australia won a critical toss and chose to bat. When Aaron Finch and David Warner stitched together an opening partnership of more than 150 runs, where is the strength left in the opposition.”
“India not getting wickets with the new ball has been a problem for a very long time. India has not been taking wickets with the new ball since the 2019 World Cup. So that has been a problem area and it again came to the fore,” he added.
The 43-year-old pointed out that Chahal registered his worst ODI figures, and only Shami and Jadeja bowled well out of the five bowlers.
“The 374-score was too big a total, with Chahal almost conceding 90 runs in his 10 overs. There were only two bowlers who were economical – Shami who took wickets as well and Ravindra Jadeja but he did not have a wicket to his name,” the former opener said.
The second ODI will be played on Sunday at the same venue.