Mumbai: In a curious replay of Australia's 66-run win on Friday at the same ground, an impudent Australia buried India under an avalanche of 389 runs in the 2nd ODI in Sydney on Sunday. In a tearing hurry to snap the ODI series, the hosts sealed the win with a resounding 51-run win. And they still have a match to spare.
Despite Captain Virat Kohli’s gritty 87-ball 89 and a 72 from wicketkeeper KL Rahul, batsmen failed to accelerate when needed as Men in Blue continued their horror-run in 2020 by squandering their sixth ODI out of the last eight matches played under Kohli.
Fickle cricket buffs were clearly taken aback and questioned the kind of cricket that is being played under Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri.
Many on social media demanded a change of horse mid-stream and asked for Rohit Sharma to be named captain in limited-overs cricket.
“The team culture has taken a huge hit and it is quite evident. Gyming together doesn't create a winning combination. It takes a lot more than that,” a furious fan tweeted.
Before the start of the series, Kohli had said there was absolutely no communication or clarity over Rohit Sharma’s fitness for the tour of Australia. On this, a team India fan raised a pertinent question, “Everyone knows Rohit is struggling with a hamstring injury. Isn’t it the captain’s duty to check on the health of his most important player?”
Incidentally, Rohit has an enviable captaincy record in both domestic and international cricket. While some feel Kohli has been let down by clueless selectors who seem to have missed the trick, a few believe the rift between the two players is now too deep-seated to be shoved under the carpet.
“Instead of Rohit Sharma declaring his unavailability via a press-release, he could have informed Shastri and Kohli,” another fan pointed out.
The drama will only get more intense in days to come as pressure on Kohli to hand India major trophies continues to mount.