Friday’s result was a timely wake-up call for the rather high flying Indians. Successive wins can give a side an illusion of invincibility and can lead to over confidence. Despite the victories and the current No 2 ranking this Indian team has weaknesses and the defeat to Australia will show them up as a good side and nothing more.
For some time there were rumbles that the middle order is not settled. Suddenly it is the top order which is the subject of much concern. It is difficult to win any match when a side is 27 for three especially when the target required is a stiff 314. And gallantly as Virat Kohli and others performed truth be told the Indians were always going to fall short.
The match also did little to boost the chances of Kedar Jadhav as he tries to stake his claim for inclusion in the World Cup squad. He did come up with a cameo with the bat but was harshly treated while bowling. Jadhav in fact was badly exposed and certainly the kind of tripe he sends down is not what the Indian team requires in the World Cup. With Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya now almost certainties to make the cut there could be place for one more utility player but that is not Jadhav.
One is also concerned about Kuldeep Yadav’s form. He picked up three wickets but at a cost and the danger is that opposing batsmen are able to read him better. A chinaman bowler like him is a precious talent and perhaps he should not be played again before the World Cup.
It is a pity that a regal innings by Kohli for once had to be in a losing cause. The Indian captain is in a league of his own and the manner he is batting of late the Australians can well paraphrase something that Bjorn Borg’s opponents said in the 70s when the legendary Swede was at his peak. “We play tennis, he plays something else.’’ Kohli’s opponents could well be saying about the Indian captain that while they play cricket, he is playing something else.