The second ODI between India and Australia on Sunday ended with the Steve Smith-led side emerging as the winner after an unbeaten 121-run opening partnership between Mitchell Marsh (66 runs) and Travis Head (51). Their partnership helped Australia thrash India by 10 wickets and level the three-match series 1-1. Notably, chasing a meagre target of 118 runs, Australia cruised to 121/0 in just 11 overs. Speaking on the same, former India pacer Zaheer Khan spoke about the need for the Men in Blue’s batsmen to perform better.
While speaking about the match on Cricbuzz, Khan, who was asked if the team needs to bring in pacer Umran Malik for the final ODI, said that Umran should only be added if “there’s a niggle in the camp”. He further said that there is a need to put pressure on the batters, particularly the top three, to provide others with a solid platform.
Zaheer Khan speaks on India’s batting line-up
Discussing the performance of the Indian batters in the second ODI, Khan noted the importance of providing that kind of platform adding that the bowlers have played their role in the first match. “The last two games that have happened, you clearly know where the issue is. The issue is the first 10 overs, with the bat in hand what are you doing with it? You are not really setting the platform for your middle order,” he added.
Further speaking about Australia pacer Mitchell Starc, he said that the way left-arm quick performed during his spell provided a platform for the other bowlers to continue putting pressure on their opponents. This should be the same with batters, especially when one is losing wickets.
“How you can negate that, how you can avoid that kind of a situation is going to be the challenge. That’s why all answers in the series are lying with the batters. And they need to regroup, they need to come up with solutions, they need to plan and if they are able to provide the platform then your bowlers will step up,” said Zaheer Khan.
The third and final ODI between India and Australia will take place on 22 March at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium.
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