Cricket
‘Meaningless match’: Australia pile on runs in dead rubber as India’s confidence take hit before World Cup

‘Meaningless match’: Australia pile on runs in dead rubber as India’s confidence take hit before World Cup

India conceded 352 runs with top bowlers going for runs aplenty in the India vs Australia 3rd ODI, raising question on the necessity of such a match before World Cup again.

With series already sealed, nobody seemed interested in the match apart from the full-capacity crowd at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot. The IND vs AUS 3rd ODI ended up becoming a glorified practice match for Australian batters as they piled on 352 runs opting to bat. And Indian bowlers, who were high on confidence, took the biggest hit. All except Washington Sundar gave away over 6 runs an over with Prasidh Krishna and Jasprit Bumrah being the most expensive ones.

From the onset, even BCCI considered the match as a formality. Rohit Sharma had just 13 players left in the squad to choose from with illness and rest for players. With Ishan Kishan also ruled out with a viral illness, the number came down to 12. As lack of manpower hit Team India, they were forced to recruit Saurashtra players to carry drinks and assist in fielding as substitutes in the IND vs AUS 3rd ODI.

India Squad for 3rd ODI: Rohit Sharma(c), Ishan Kishan(w), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna

Lack of intensity in IND vs AUS 3rd ODI

With all focus on World Cup, there was a lack of intensity on the field as well as bowling. None of the bowlers had a good day on a barren surface. While Jasprit Bumrah bagged three wickets, he conceded 81 runs in his 10 overs at 8.1 economy in the IND vs AUS 3rd ODI. It was his worst figures in ODIs after 2/81 in Cuttack against England in 2017. The extreme heat in Rajkot did not help India’s cause either.

To top it all, in a 353-run chase, India sent in Washington Sundar to open with Rohit Sharma.

'Meaningless match': Australia pile on runs in dead rubber as India's confidence take hit before World Cup 2023 in IND vs AUS 3rd ODI
Jasprit Bumrah conceded 81 runs in his 10 overs for 3 wickets

Indian bowlers in 3rd ODI

  • Jasprit Bumrah: 3/81 (10) at 8.10
  • Mohammed Siraj: 1/68 (9) at 7.60
  • Prasidh Krishna: 1/45 (5) at 9.00
  • Ravindra Jadeja: 0/61 (10) at 6.10
  • Kuldeep Yadav: 2/48 (6) at 8.00
  • Washington Sundar: 1/48 (10) at 4.80

There were occasional antics from Virat Kohli on the field to entertain the crowd as well as fans glued to the their screens. But barring that, the IND vs AUS 3rd ODI first half brought nothing.

Considering it was the last official match before India take on Australia in their World Cup opener on October 8, is it a good strategy?

Bumrah and Kuldeep are India’s key bowlers in the World Cup. And both went for runs. It could have a negative impact on their morale. Immediately after the match, India will travel to Guwahati to take on England in the first warm-up game. And with that, they will begin Bharat Darshan, travelling nearly 12,000 kilometers across India.

Batting practice for Australia

However, it was still a good game for the Aussies in the IND vs AUS 3rd ODI. David Warner slammed a fifty while Mitchell Marsh missed a chance to score a century. More importantly, Steve Smith returned to form with a 74-run knock. Marnus Labuschagne also scored a fifty.

Fans not happy

And goes without saying that not all fans were amused. Some called it a glorified practice match while others called it meaningless to tire players out.

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