It was an important match for India, when MS Dhoni and his boys entered the Melbourne Cricket Ground two down in the five match series. Everyone excepted a win form India to keep the series live, but things got worse for Dhoni as he lost another series. It was sixth series on trot which India lost under Dhoni.
On Sunday, in a high pressure match handed debut to Gurkeerat Mann and Rishi Dhawan and out of form ShikharDhawan retained his place in the team. Till Brisbane, it had been 13 innings without any century for Dhawan. He was just averaging 29.7 after the World Cup.
Everyone expected Dhawan to be dropped and Rahane to take his place in the third ODI. But Dhoni showed confident over him and he scored 68 off 91 balls. He was clearly looking out of shorts and played 54 dot balls in his innings.
After getting half-century in the 23rd over, he tried to accelerate but lost his wicket in a crucial moment. He should have played the middle overs with ease as it was been the issue for India in the series.
Dropping Dhawan and moving Ajinkya Rahane up, makes the number four spot available for Dhoni which he has been eyeing from last World Cup. It also allows Manish Pandey, Mann or Rishi to come to the side to solve the batting problem.
The big question arises, if Manish can be dropped in Melbourne for the team’s good, then Dhawan was not dropped for his bad form from last one year. Why team India is suffering because of inconsistent Dhawan.
Now the time will only say what happens in the fourth ODI as India will play for pride after losing the series badly. When will Dhoni drop Dhawan and move up Rahane to make batting more flexible.