Captain Rohit Sharma on Sunday refused to read Indian top-order batters' struggle against Australia bowler Mitchell Starc in the first two ODIs as a pattern of failure against left-arm pacers. (More Cricket News)
Starc ripped through the Indian top order in the first ODI in Mumbai with a three-wicket burst, though for a lost cause, before his 5/53 performance, which set up Australia's 10-wicket thrashing of the home side in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
The Australian pacer's performances in the two ODIs yet again underlined the woes of India’s top-order -- stacked with plenty of right-handed batters -- against left-arm quicks, with the likes of Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi and New Zealand’s Trent Boult hurting them dearly in crucial games in the past.
But Rohit said the team management need not look into this as a matter of concern right now as he claimed that right-arm fast bowlers have also troubled the Indian batters in the past.
“When you have a quality bowler in the opposition, he is bound to take wickets. He is trying his best to get your best players out. Whether it's a left-armer or a right-armer, they will get wickets. The right-armers have troubled us well, nobody talks about it,” Rohit told the media after the second ODI here.
“We don't look too much into the left-arm or the right-arm -- wickets are wickets. If you lose wickets, it is a concern. We will look into all sorts of things: how we are getting out, what we need to do, how we can come up with better plans, better methods against the seamers.”
India did have two left-handers in the batting lineup -- Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel -- who might have been sent up the order to face left-armer Starc but Rohit said such a move could have gone either way.
“In hindsight, if you look at it, it is a possibility. It is a game where something can work for you and something will not. If Jadeja or Axar or any other left-hander would have gone up the order and got out, then things would have been spoken a little differently. That is how this game works, I know that,” the captain said.
“When things don't happen, there are a lot of thoughts that can come (in). But we try and get the best players out there in the middle to go and face this challenge. It didn't work out today for us, maybe it won’t be the same in Chennai, who knows,” he added.
He said that the top order has struggled "a little bit" in just two games.
"You know, the last six ODIs, if I remember a lot of the top order (batsmen) got big runs. When we really need to look into it, we will definitely look into it.”
With the series now levelled at 1-1 with one game left to play, the two teams will head to Chennai for the series decider to be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.