The issue of not having a sixth bowler in the Indian cricket team has become a major talking point during the ongoing series against Australia. All-rounder Hardik Pandya is not ready to bowl at the moment – which has left the Indian team bereft of any bowling option, especially at a time when the regular bowlers such as Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami are unable to pick up wickets.
This has precisely been the story of the first two ODIs in Sydney. Australia batters made the most of the struggles faced by Indian bowlers and posted mammoth totals of 375 and 390 for India to chase, which eventually proved to be too much of an ask despite solid batting performance by India.
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Former India batsman S Badrinath believes that India are missing top five batsmen like Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, who would give their captain 3-4 overs with the ball, whenever the bowlers struggled.
“No one from the top 5 or top 6 is bowling now. If you look at the Indian teams in the past, top-order batsmen managed to bowl a bit. Sehwag used to bowl, Sachin used to bowl, even Ganguly used to bowl,” Badrinath told Star Sports Tamil.
“They used to give the captain 3-4 overs. You can manage 10 overs with them. When a bowler had a bad day, they didn’t have the necessity to give him 10 overs. India is missing that now.
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“Even if Rohit Sharma returns… he is not bowling these days. At the same time, look at Australia, they have someone like Marcus Stoinis… He can bowl 5-6 overs easily. Maxwell can bowl. You need this aspect in limited-overs cricket. I think India are struggling a bit in this aspect,” Badrinath said.
India and Australia will play the 3rd ODI on Wednesday.