Will India turn it around in Sydney today?

kohli and shikhar dhawan










Come on India! Virat and Shikhar we need a win today!!

By Kersi Meher-Homji

So far India’s tour of Australia this month has been a huge disappointment. Magnificent starts followed by miserable heart-wrenching finishes. It has followed a deplorable pattern.

In Perth Rohit Sharma hit a terrific 171, Virat   Kohli 91 and India totalled 3 for 309. Result: India lost by 5 wickets.

In Brisbane India amassed 8 for 308 (Sharma 124, Kohli 59, Ajinkya Rahane 89). Result: India lost by 7 wickets.

In Melbourne in front of over 45,000 spectators, India totalled 295 and lost by 3 wickets.

Despite losing the series 0-3, India picked herself up and looked certain to win in Canberra.

In reply to Australia’s 348, India was only one wicket down for 277 in the 38th over. Shikhar Dhawan unbeaten on 126 and Kohli playing a sublime innings of 105 not out. Only 72 runs needed in 75 balls with nine wickets in hand. I was humming a happy victory song.

Surely India cannot lose now.

Apart from the in-form Dhawan and Kohli, hard-hitting skipper MS Dhoni, Rahane and Jadeja were still to come. Victory in the pocket for sure.

And what happened? India lost Dhawan, Kohli and Dhoni for one run within a few balls. Panic set in and India lost nine wickets for 46 runs in 71 balls.

Collapse? It was worse than that. It was suicide. Mass suicide! I cannot believe that a team as experienced as India can fold up so pathetically to a second string Australian attack which did not include their best fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Pat Cummins…

After all, India won the 2011 World Cup and had performed very well in the 2015 World Cup in Australia.

And to lose 9 for 46 to this second string attack makes one wonder as to whether they were trying their best. Funny things happen in cricket. But that funny? That tragic, from an India’s point of view?

No wonder I have been humming the Anmol Ghadi song “Socha tha kya, kya ho gaya, kya ho gaya?” by Suraiya the last three days.

But things can change for the better for India in Sydney today. They have to win today to retain their number two ranking in one-day internationals. Hope spinner Ravi Ashwin is picked today. His exclusion in the last few matches has been a mystery to me as to all cricket critics.


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