MELBOURNE, Jan 16: Their bowling frailties thoroughly exposed in the first two ODIs, India are left with no option but to bank heavily on their batsmen to steer the side and upstage the rampaging Australians in the must-win third cricket one-dayer here tomorrow.
The Indians lost the first two ODIs despite setting targets of more than 300 for the Aussies, the sort of debacle which prompted under-fire skipper MS Dhoni to admit that his batsmen will have to take more pressure given that the bowlers have been a huge letdown.
Tomorrow is effectively India�s last chance to salvage any hopes of turning the tables in this ongoing five-match series.
Barring the token win in Zimbabwe, the Indian team lost their previous two ODIs played since the WC here last year, against Bangladesh (away) and South Africa (home). They are now on the brink of losing a third successive series.
It is not a comfortable position for Dhoni to be in. The calls for moving beyond his reign had grown louder with each passing defeat last year. So much so, the BCCI had to check the situation and announce him as the limited-overs� captain at least until the 2016 World T20.
Dhoni was absent from that summer tour to Zimbabwe, and as such now has back-to-back defeats. At this juncture, with his team staring down the barrel, he needs to show why he is still the man to do the job.
Of course, it will be easier said than done as the resources at his disposal don�t paint a pretty picture. He was on target in the post-match press conference in Brisbane, highlighting that his batsmen have scored 300-plus in consecutive games in Australia. � PTI
Match starts at: 8.50am