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MIDDLE ORDER OF TEAM INDIA DISAPPOINTS ONCE AGAIN

England ended India’s unbeaten run and kept their hopes alive of reaching the semis in the cricket World Cup, as Kohli and his men lost by 31 runs after the Indian middle order underperformed once again.

Prashant Gautam
Last updated: 01.07.2019
India lost their first match at Cricket World Cup 2019 | Sports Social Blog

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Team India suffered their first defeat in the Cricket World Cup against England at Edgbaston. India were chasing a huge total of 338 runs and the onus was on the Indian Batting lineup. After India lost KL Rahul for a duck very early in the innings, the Captain and Vice-captain stitched together a 100 run partnership. With needing around 200 runs India lost the key Wicket of Virat Kohli after completing his 5th consecutive fifty. Rohit Sharma needed support at one hand from the middle order batsman, but India’s middle order once again failed to finish in style and England won by 31 runs.


WHAT WENT WRONG IN THE MIDDLE ORDER?


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RISHABH PANT IMPRESSIVE BUT COULDN’T FINISH



India finally included Rishabh Pant in the batting lineup in place of Vijay Shankar, much to the delight of every Indian fan. Rishabh Pant had the ideal Platform that he could have asked for and the stage was set for him to announce his arrival to the world. This was Pant’s debut match for India in the Cricket World Cup and understandably he looked out of place at the start of his innings. He survived a huge LBW shout against him and also could have been run out two times in his first three balls that he faced. Once he got through the initial phase of his innings he looked assured and played some delightful strokes. The need of the hour was quick runs as the required rate was hovering around 10 runs per hour. In his short innings, Pant proved why he is the future of Indian batting as he played the lofted shot with ease and at one stage it looked as if he would take India home. But it wasn’t to be as Chris Woakes took a brilliant catch at Deep square leg, and the promising innings of Rishabh Pant ended. Pant scored 32 runs off just 29 deliveries and proved that he could be the answer to India’s number 4 problem for the rest of the tournament. Pant scored at a strike rate of over 100 which the order batsman were failing to do at number 4, and this was by far the biggest positive for team India as they look to find out their best combinations ahead of the semis. But Rishabh Pant once set need to make sure that he finishes games for India as apart from Hardik Pandya no one has looked in touch in the middle order and that was on show once again, as after India lost Pant the required rate kept climbing up and in the end, England won fairly easily. 



PANDYA KEPT QUIET AFTER A GOOD SHOW


Hardik Pandya started well against the English Pacers and India had an outside chance to chase down the massive total. But once Dhoni came in the middle, Pandya was unable to hit the ball out of the park and the last 20 runs off his innings came at a strike rate of 100 which was drastically less in comparison to the start of his innings. The fast bowlers gave no pave to Pandya and he was unable to adapt and ended up giving an easy catch at long on. India needed Pandya to Finish the game but the pressure and required rate proved a little too much for the Indian All Rounder and he perished for 45.



NO SHOW FROM DHONI-JHADAV


The most disheartening phase of the Indian innings was the last five overs. India needed around 70 runs from the last 5 overs and everyone expected Dhoni and Jhadav to score big shots and both looked out of sorts and was unable to score runs quickly. The hitting capabilities of the India middle order were exposed once again, as India only managed to hit just one six even after having a boundary which was less than 60 meters on one side. Dhoni again struggled to hit the big shots at the end of the Indian innings and the duo just rotated the strike and made England ball at just one area which shocked everyone in the ground and everyone watching at home. There was absolutely no intent shown by both the batsman and it looked as if after the wicket of Pandya, India had literally given up on winning the match. Jhadav had a strike rate of under 100 that raised a lot of eyebrows, and he looked woefully out of form in his entire innings. His performances in the World Cup so far has been unsatisfactory as he has hardly contributed with the bat. 



KARTHIK OR JADEJA IN THE NEXT MATCH?

After the Indian middle failed once again it would be interesting to see whether Dinesh Karthik or Ravindra Jadeja gets a game in place of Kedar Jhadav as India is in desperate need of someone who can provide the late flourish at the end of the innings. Kartik has shown in the past that he can be dangerous at the later stages of the innings in the IPL as well as playing for India in the T20 Internationals. Inclusion of Kartik can release some pressure off the shoulders of MS Dhoni, who will also play with freedom knowing that there is somebody that can help India finish the innings. Another option can be to include Ravindra Jadeja in the playing lineup as he is handy with both bat and ball. Jadeja can bat at number 7 and also ball overs and if the ball turns he can be a major threat for the opposition.


India needs to come up with the answers quickly as the semis are fast approaching, and with the current middle order, the top order is under the pump from the start as there is no one that can be trusted in the Indian middle order.

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