Former Australian batsman, Tom Moody has opined that India desperately needs a sixth bowling option and suggests that Virat Kohli could bowl a few overs. His comments came after India’s humiliating loss to Australia by 66 runs in the first ODI in Sydney.
With the help of centuries from skipper Aaron Finch and Steve Smith, a fifty from David Warner, and a flashy cameo from Glenn Maxwell, Australia posted a gigantic total of 374. Indian bowlers were carted all over the SCG by the host batters such that four of the five bowlers leaked runs at more than run a ball- and the fifth bowler conceded 59. Yuzvendra Chahal recorded figures of 1/89 – which is now the most runs conceded by an Indian spinner in an ODI.
For the past few years, the talking point in the Indian team has been that none of the top-order batsman bowl. Kedar Jadhav used to provide support with his spin, but he is not in the plans anymore. Hardik Pandya suffered a back injury in the 2018 Asia Cup.
While he did bowl in the World Cup last year, however, it seems that it only aggravated his injury further. Pandya didn’t bowl a single over in the IPL 2020 while he played for Mumbai Indians. He is now playing in the team as a pure batsman.
Lots to think about and ponder for India: Tom Moody
Tom Moody reckons that since India doesn’t want to tinker with the combination and wants to play Ravindra Jadeja instead of a pure bowler, then captain Virat Kohli should be bowling some overs. Only Virat Kohli in the top four currently has experience of bowling in international cricket.
Kohli has 4 wickets each in ODIs and T20Is; however, the medium-pacer hasn’t bowled in white-ball cricket since 2017. Moody observed that Australia is a better-balanced team than India as Aaron Finch has plenty of options in the bowling department.
Tom Moody told ESPNCricinfo, “It will be interesting to see how they manage it. What’s the alternative option? Perhaps Kohli himself might have to bowl a few of his little mediums. One of the things that are becoming quite clear even though it’s early days in the tour – and I’m only talking the white-ball series – is that Australia looks far more settled and organized as a unit. They’ve got experience in those bowling options at Finch’s disposal.”
The 55-year-old says that India is finding its best eleven and should focus on having a bowling depth. The cricketer-turned-commentator believes the Virat Kohli has a lot to think about the combination. India will take on the hosts again in Sydney on Sunday for the second ODI.
“India are clearly finding their way with regard to the depth of their bowling So there are lots to think about and ponder for India,” he added.