Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Downfall Down Under

India has lost four ODIs consecutively against Australia. The margin of defeat in any match is not great but losing four ODIs consecutively is a fall.
On 12/1/2016 Perth ODI was lost with four balls to spare. India 309/3. Rohit Sharma scored 171*. Australia 310 in 49.2 overs.
On 15/1/2016 Brisbane ODI was lost with one over to spare. Rohit Sharma scored 124. India 308/8. Australia 309/3 of which 11 were wides conceded by India. Indian fielders dropped five catches.
It appeared when Rohit Sharma scores a century India lose the match. Someone wrote to go from 90 to 100 he took 16 balls in first ODI and 18 balls in second ODI.
On 17/1/2016 India lost Melbourne ODI and consequently the series. Rohit Sharma 6. Virat Kohli 117. India 295. Australia 296/7. Melbourne was lost with an over and a ball to spare. It was the third ODI of five ODI series.
Our batsmen did well. Our bowlers and fielders failed. Dropped catches cost matches.
On 20/1/2016 India lost Canberra ODI. Australia batted first and scored 348/8. Ajinkya Rahane got injured while fielding and could not hold a catch. Ishant Sharma bowled the last over and conceded 18 runs and got the wicket of Glenn Maxwell. His figures were 4/77. He became the bowler to concede highest number of runs in an ODI. India were 277/1 in 37.2 overs at one time and were all out for 323 runs in 49.2 overs. Shikhar Dhawan was out on 126. It was 277/2. Wickets started falling. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was out on 0. It was 277/3. John Hastings bowled that over. Virat Kohli was out on 106. It was 278/4. India did not recover after that. Kane Richardson took 5/68. Our batsmen did not do well to score 349 to win the match. India lost the match by 25 runs.
After Canberra ODI, Dhoni blamed himself for the loss. Previously he had blamed batsmen, bowlers and fielders.
Indian fielding was brilliant during Test series against South Africa. What went wrong in Australia?
Barinder Sran began well in Perth. He took 3/56. In the second and third ODIs he did not get any wicket. In the third ODI Gurkeerat dropped a catch off his bowling.
Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Rishi Dhawan made their debut in third ODI. Both did not do well in third and fourth ODIs.
Ravichandran Ashwin was dropped after two matches. In the first ODI he took 2/68. In the second ODI he did not get any wicket. Some say it was wrong to keep him out. Melbourne and Canberra pitches suited spin. We do not what would have happened.
Someone said good spinners like Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha are kept out. It is not performance that counts. It is something else that counts.
It was so near yet so far for India.
This is third straight ODI series loss for India. India lost to Bangladesh and to South Africa in India.
Australia has a new record of winning 19 ODIs consecutively.
India has seen many fast bowlers come and go. They begin well. Do well in a few matches. Then they lose speed and are out.
Some say DRS could have made a difference and India could have won two ODIs. George Bailey in Perth and Glenn Maxwell in Melbourne would have been given out. They are wrong. There are many cases of wrong decisions in DRS. Most famous or notorious recent case is of Nathan Lyon, in first Day and Night Test at Adelaide. On 28/11/2015 Australia were 116/8 in reply to New Zealand’s first Innings total of 202. Nathan Lyon had not scored. He was caught at slip off Santner. He was walking. New Zealand appealed. Field umpire decided not out. New Zealand appealed for DRS. Third umpire Nigel Llong watched the video repeatedly and then said there was no snickometer evidence and Hot Spot mark on Lyon’s bat could have come from anywhere. It should have been 116/9. Instead Nathan Lyon survived and scored 34 runs and had 74 run partnership for ninth wicket with Peter Nevill. Starr joined Nevill for the tenth wicket. There was lbw decision against Starr which he appealed and DRS was in his favour. He scored 24. Australia were 224 all out and had 22 run first Innings lead. Australia won the Test.
DRS could have gone in favour of George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell. India’s margin of defeat could have been more in each ODI. Australian batsmen who were out could have been ruled not out and Indian batsmen who were not out could have been ruled out. Different channels get different results of DRS. Sometimes it seems DRS is there for match-fixing or spot-fixing. India had bad experience of DRS in Sri Lanka. Boards and players of other countries also know DRS is not reliable but are afraid to speak. Sometimes some journalists speak as if they are spokespersons of companies providing DRS.
India had consolation in Test rankings. England defeated South Africa in two Tests and won the series. India attained No. 1 ranking.

Updated: March 19, 2016 — 7:15 pm

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