Bangalore, Jan 4: Following humiliating series defeats to England and Australia overseas, Team India has been humiliated yet again at home. Losses to England and Pakistan within a month has been a worrying sign. With India losing the ODI series 2-0, the third match against Pakistan at Feroz Shah Kotla will just be a formality as India would like to win the final ODI and salvage pride.
Here are five suggestions that Team India can implement ahead of the third ODI:
1. Drop struggling Gambhir and include Ajinkya Rahane
With scores of 11 and 8 in the two ODIs against Pakistan, Gautam Gambhir has been struggling to score runs. Though Sehwag is also playing well, Team India hopes he can give them a good start. Since the third ODI is just a formality with Pakistan winning the series 2-0, Rahane should be given an opportunity.
2. Play an extra bowler - Shami Ahmed instead of Yuvraj Singh
Since India has lost the series, there shouldn't be any harm trying Rahane and Shami Ahmed. Lack of fifth bowler has been a concern for Team India since a long time and since Yuvraj is not playing well in ODIs, he can make way for the young Shami Ahmed.
3. Dhoni should bat at No 3
A look at the statistics suggest that the top order has failed miserably in the series, following 29/5 at Chennai and 95/5 at Kolkata. Apart from skipper Dhoni, no body has taken the responsibility of guiding India to a victory or post a decent total.
Due to the current situation, Dhoni could play at No 3 and ensure no more damage and co-ordinate with the opener at the crease.
4. Middle order should take more responsibilities
The two matches against Pakistan also exposed Team India's batting collapse and their inability to play Junaid and Co. Middle order should take up more responsibilities and guide India safe.
5. Need of the hour: A pep talk from a sports psychologist
Especially after successive series defeats at home, Team India is low on motivation and morale. A pep talk with a psychologist or mentor would ease the problem.
Virender Sehwag, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (Captain and Wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Shami Ahmed