Virat Kohli ‘struggling’, Shikhar Dhawan ‘rusty’, Rohit Sharma ‘not consistent’: Ex-India star on top-order failures

Virat Kohli ‘struggling’, Shikhar Dhawan ‘rusty’, Rohit Sharma ‘not consistent’: Ex-India star on top-order failures


File photo of Indian cricket team© AFP

India won the ODI series 2-1 against England on Sunday. The Rohit Sharma-led side ended the tour on a memorable note after beating England by five wickets in the third and deciding game at Old Trafford in Manchester. India were at 72 for 4 at one point but a solid partnership between Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant helped the visitors win the game. After the end of the game, former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer pointed out the failures of India’s top order. In the second ODI against England, the trio of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli contributed a total of 25 runs while they added 35 runs in the third game.

“India have always played well when the top three have scored runs which hasn’t happened in the last two ODIs. This is something that needs to be looked into. Obviously, we know Virat (Kohli) is struggling at the moment. Shikhar Dhawan is looking rusty, Rohit Sharma is also not as consistent as we would like,” Jaffer said during an interaction with ESPNcricinfo.

While India were bowled out for 146 while chasing a target of 247 in the second ODI, Pant and Hardik saved India’s blushes in the final game. Pant scored an unbeaten 125, while Hardik scored 71 off 55. The duo shared a 133-run stand for the fifth wicket and helped the visitors chase down 260 in 42.1 overs.

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Jaffer said, “It is a matter of concern (failure of the top order) but if the number five, sixth and seventh players are performing like this then I think it will make Rohit Sharma more happy than anything.”

He said, ‘India needs to see the number eight position. Shardul Thakur or Deepak Chahar… are two people India needs to look into because if Hardik (Pandya) bowls like that, it gives them (India) a chance to play. There an all-rounder (number eight post),” he said.

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