Is India's fragile middle-order a matter of concern?Last updated on Feb 16, 2018, 03:45 pm
Kohli-led India might have won the series 4-1, after their 73 run victory in 5th ODI, but all is probably not well with the Indian camp.
India have won the 4 ODIs riding on the back of the performances of only 4 players Kohli, Dhawan, Chahal and Kuldeep.
Lack of firepower in middle-order should be a matter of concern for Kohli.
Here's our take.
One man show
Each time one big-knock has helped India win the game
In the ongoing series, 3 Indian batsmen have hit centuries in 4 out of 5 ODIs. In the second ODI, the target was only 119.
Kohli has scored two, Dhawan scored one and finally, Rohit Sharma silenced his critics with his century in the 5th ODI.
Apart from these, the other batsmen haven't contributed many runs. They failed both in 4th and 5th ODIs.
Kohli and Dhawan have scored majority of India's runs
Virat Kohli has led from the front and is the leading run scorer in the ODI series.
The dashing right-handed batsman has scored 429 runs in five innings.
Shikhar Dhawan has scored 305 runs in the series. These two batsmen have contributed almost 60% of runs scored by India.
This number shows how poor India's middle order has been on this tour.
India's middle-order has failed to show up on this tour
The performances of the rest of batsmen have been brittle.
A lot was expected from India's best overseas batsman Ajinkya Rahane, but he too failed and has managed just one fifty in four innings.
One of the best finishers in ODIs, MS Dhoni too is no more the batsman he once was. MSD has scored just 69 runs in four innings.
Dip in stock
Hardik Pandya has forgotten how to use his blade
However, India's biggest concern seems to be Hardik Pandya.
The 24-year-old all-rounder has shown us glimpses of his brilliance in the past and he has often been compared to Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev. But, he has failed to live up to it.
In four innings, Pandya has just scored 26 runs. Even Bhuvi has scored more runs in fewer innings.
Kohli should tinker with his line-up for 6th ODI
With the series already in India's bag, it would be ideal if the middle order is given more batting time to get back into form before they head into the T20Is.
T20 is a format where wickets fall quickly and considering that South Africa's death bowling has been good so far in the series, runs by middle order should boost their confidence.