File photo of Indian cricket team© AFP
India on Sunday won the ODI series against England 2-1. The Rohit Sharma-led side defeated England by five wickets in the third and deciding game at Old Trafford, Manchester to end the tour on a memorable note. India were tottering at 72 for 4 at one stage but a solid partnership between Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant helped the visitors win the game. After the end of the game, former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer pointed out the failures of India’s top-order. In the second ODI against England, the trio of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli had contributed 25 runs to the total while in the third game, they had added 35 runs.
“India (have) always played well when the top three have scored runs which hasn’t happened in the last two ODIs. That’s something they need to look at. Obviously, we know Virat (Kohli) is struggling at the moment, Shikhar Dhawan is looking rusty, Rohit Sharma is also not as consistent as we want him to be,” said Jaffer during an interaction with ESPNcricinfo.
While India were bowled out for 146 chasing a target of 247 runs in the second ODI, Pant and Hardik saved India’s blushes in the final game. Pant scored an unbeaten 125, while Hardik scored 71 off 55. The duo stitched 133 runs for the fifth wicket to help the guests chase down 260 runs in 42.1 overs.
“That’s a concern (top-order failure) but if number five, six and seven are performing like this, I think it will make Rohit Sharma happy more than anything,” Jaffer added.
“The number eight position is something India need to look at. Shardul Thakur or Deepak Chahar… are the two people India need to look at because if Hardik (Pandya) bowls like this, it gives them (India) an opportunity to play an all-rounder there (number eight postion),” he added.
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