World Cup 2019: Sanjay Manjrekar serves a warning to India
India lost the ODI series against Australia on Wednesday. Despite leading the five-match series 2-0, India squandered the lead to hand Australia a deserving 3-2 win in the end.
Notably, this was India's last ODI assignment before the ICC World Cup 2019.
The final ODI in Delhi saw the middle order disappointing once again and former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has served a warning.
Pant fails to deliver when needed
India's middle order failed for the third time and on Wednesday the hosts couldn't chase down 273 in Delhi.
Rishabh Pant, who was fighting for a World Cup berth, showed that he is not ready for the big stage yet.
He managed a forgettable 16-run knock in the fifth ODI and was also poor with his keeping skills in Mohali.
Shankar fails to deliver while chasing
In the absence of Hardik Pandya, the Indian team went ahead with Vijay Shankar.
The player chipped in with some notable shows after getting the backing, but in the decider his contribution fell flat.
Shankar needed to produce the goods in India's chase, but he deviated from his natural game.
Manjrekar stated that Shankar should have known his limitations.
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Manjrekar disappointed with Pant and Shankar
Really disappointing with Pant and Shankar today, what a great chance to show their ability. Shankar may have the big shots but he is no Pant, must learn to keep the strike rate up by hitting more along the ground just like his captain does.#AusvIndia— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 13, 2019
India's middle order woes continue
The big problem for India going into the 2019 World Cup is the middle order.
The side has been unable to find a quality number four.
MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Pandya will be the main force, but lack of a match-winner at number four will hurt Team India.
Ambati Rayudu, who is India's preferred asset, lacks consistency and there is no solid back-up.
Can India's middle order handle the pressure?
India are dependent on their top order and this is a problem.
Virat Kohli and Co. need players who can handle pressure of a World Cup match.
And at the moment the team doesn't boast of players who can deliver in crunch situations.
There are question marks over Rayudu and Pant and the decision to ignore Dinesh Karthik didn't pay off.
Middle order could undo India
Whoever gets picked in the end, India’s middle order will be its Achilles heel in the WC 2019.— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 13, 2019
India could face issues during the World Cup: Our take
Despite winning consistently in ODI cricket, India haven't yet cracked a reliable number four. The constant trying out of new players didn't click. Hence the management will need to come up with a back-up plan. We agree with Manjrekar regarding the middle order crisis.
Australian Cricket Team
Cricket World Cup 2019
ICC World Cup 2019
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