Carlton Tri-Series Cricket: Defending World Champions Almost Thrown Out!

Defending World Cricket Champions India supposedly embarked into the Carlton Tri-Series played in Australia with an overwhelming concern for the bowling department and perhaps finding a solution before the ICC World Cup-2015 begins in Australia and New Zealand. But in the very first two matches against Australia and England respectively India had all the concerns possible for its batting only. In the Melbourne ODI against Australia Indian batsmen failed to capitalize on the Rohit Sharma ton and fell short of another at least 20 runs to hope to put some pressure on the strong home side. In the Brisbane ODI today India recorded its lowest ever all-out ODI total against England and crashed to a humiliating defeat in a horribly one-sided match. On both occasions the Indian tail did not wag at all maybe to welcome MS Dhoni back into captaincy.  

Rather than writing a report about these one day encounters it will be much better to just note down the questions… and questions emerging out for this Team India of World Cup-2015. 

  •       Why captain Dhoni opted to bat first both times winning the toss while Team India has the best win record chasing targets? And also in view of the bouncy pitches and fiery pace of Starc, Faulkner, Anderson and so on.

  •      Why was Virat Kohli brought down to bat at No. 4 instead of the customary No. 3 position in which he climbed to the top spot in the ICC rankings for batsmen?

  •       Why was Sturat Binny not included in the team for the first ODI? Binny was selected for the World Cup-2015 because of his all-round ability and in the present team for the Tri-Series Team India has no all-round presence thanks to the mysterious injuries of the ‘selected’ Ravindra Jadeja.

  •         Today Rohit Sharma had an injury and the whole team was in absolute confusion with Rahane opening with the hopelessly out-of-form and yet selected Shikhar Dhawan and then Rayadu coming in to bat at No. 3. There was hardly any option for a good opener. So why such a situation was not anticipated while selecting Team India for the World Cup? Why Murali Vijay was left out in the cold despite his tremendous show in Australia for the Test series?

  •       Why was Binny, finally included in place of Ashwin , given the new ball to open the attack today against England while better pacers like Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami were available?
  •      When is Ishant Sharma is going to be fit? Such ‘injured’ players are already selected and nobody knows when they will have some practice before the big event.

  •       Is everything okay in the Indian green room after the dichotomous captaincy between long and short format?

Some smart commentators are putting the garb of ‘experimentation’ on this utter display of poor cricket by India. The best experimentation possible at this moment is to cultivate the winning habit and continue that in the World Cup too.

India is almost knocked out of the Carlton Tri-Series after two consecutive defeats. Mitchell Starc got his career best figure of 6 wickets for Australia and today Finn had a haul of 5 wickets for England thanks to ‘generous’ Indian batting. By restoring the full confidence of these genuine fast bowlers the Indians are making it difficult for themselves only in the next matches. India has also given England a bonus point which will make it extremely tough for India to make it to the final. From here on India will have to defeat Australia in Sydney on 26th January and defeat England in Perth on 30th January, better with at least one bonus point, and before that hope Australia beat England again on 23rd January at Hobart, to find a place in the final on 1st February.


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