Nagpur: India’s under-performing bowlers Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin on Monday had a long stint at the nets at the VCA Stadium, Jamtha here ahead of Wednesday’s do-or-die One-Day International against Australia.
India are currently 1-2 down in the seven-ODI series with just two matches remaining. They would have to win both the games in order to clinch the series. Ishant has taken only three wickets in the series so far by giving away more than seven runs per over on an average. His dismal show, especially at the death overs, has costed the team.
The Delhi bowler was also smashed for 30 runs in the 48th over of the Australian innings in the third ODI at Mohali last Saturday that India lost by four wickets from a seemingly winning position.
That particular over from Ishant, in which James Faulkner carted the Delhi bowler for four sixes to pave the way for the visitors’ victory and to a 2-1 lead, cost him his place in the playing XI in the next game at Ranchi, which was washed out. With fifth ODI also getting washed out without a ball being bowled at Cuttack on October 26, the pressure is now on the Indian bowlers, most of whom have been very expensive so far in the series.
The track for the sixth game here promises to be another high scoring match in front of a capacity crowd of 45,000, though visiting team spinner Xavier Doherty predicted it would offer some spin. The game would be the seventh ODI at this venue, and only the fourth tie featuring India, which was commissioned seven years ago.
India won the inaugural ODI here against Australia on October 28, 2009, by 99 runs and then lost the next two, both by the same margin of three wickets against Sri Lanka in December 2009 and South Africa in the 2011 World Cup.
The ground has seen four totals of 300 or above, including two by India, an usual occurrence in the current series. The other three 2011 World Cup games held at this venue did not feature India.