IND vs BAN: Where India lost the plot in 2nd ODI despite Rohit Sharma’s heroics

Team India’s struggle with the ball in middle and death overs and their shoddy batting display once again cost them the match as they suffered a five-run loss against Bangladesh in the second ODI at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) on Wednesday.
Just like the opening match of the series, the second ODI turned out to be a thriller but once again it was the visitors who fell short of the finishing line.

On the other hand, the hosts took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series with the win and maintained their perfect record of not losing a series at home since October 2016. Also, with the series already in their pocket, Bangladesh have sent out a loud and clear warning ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup, scheduled to take place in India, where the conditions will be pretty similar to what the Tigers are used to in their own backyard.

Meanwhile, the defeat means that the Men in Blue have now lost their second successive series in Bangladesh. Here we decode where India lost the plot in the second ODI:

India failed to capitalise on the momentum

Having reduced Bangladesh to 69/6 in 19 overs, India had the hosts by the scruff of their neck, but instead of capitalising on the momentum, the visitors displayed a laid-back attitude in middle and death overs, and were unable to land the killer blow as they let Bangladesh bounce back in the game and set a challenging 272-run target.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz stole the show

Off-spin all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz turned out to be India’s nemesis for the second time in as many matches by hitting his maiden ODI century and picking two wickets to help Bangladesh seal the series.

Miraz rescued Bangladesh from a horrible situation by smashing an unbeaten 100 of 83 balls. In the process he stitched a crucial 148-run partnership with Mahmudullah, who played a crucial knock of 77 runs of 96 deliveries, to help the hosts set a big target.

Top order flops, yet again!

India’s top order has been a major cause for concern of late in white-ball cricket. So, it didn’t come as a surprise when the Men in Blue found themselves in troubled waters early in the game as Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Washington Sundar, and KL Rahul fell within the first 19 overs.

Interestingly, Kohli opened the innings with Dhawan instead of Rohit Sharma as the Indian captain did not come out to open after injuring his hand while fielding in the slip cordon.

However, neither Kohli (5) nor Dhawan (8) failed to live up to the expectations of the fans as both the batters departed inside the opening three overs of India’s innings.

A few overs later, all-rounder Washington Sundar, who was promoted up the order given his recent robust performances with the bat in the last few innings, failed to make the most of the opportunity as he departed after scoring just 11 runs.

Also, KL Rahul, who was last match’s top-scorer for India, couldn’t shine with the bat this time and was dismissed for mere 14 runs as India were reduced to 65/4 in 18.3 overs.

Iyer and Axar resist but middle order exposed

With top order falling like a deck of cards, Shreyas Iyer, who came to bat at number 3, held the fort at one end until Axar Patel arrived at the crease and shared the burden. The duo shared a 107-run stand with Iyer hitting 82, while Axar scored run-a-ball 56 to give India hope of making it through.

However, with both the set batters departing in the span of four overs, India’s middle order was exposed with Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar failing to make an impact and missing out on the opportunity to throw in their hats for the all-rounder’s spot.

Thakur (7) was stumped while Chahar (11) holed out to leave India in a tough situation as the Men in Blue were reduced to 213/8 in 45.1 overs.

Rohit showed intent and courage but couldn’t save India

After suffering a thumb injury early in the match, Rohit walked into bat at number nine with a heavily bandaged left thumb in an attempt to take India over the line and played an unbeaten blistering inning of 51(28).

The India captain, who was dropped twice in the 49th over, smashed five monstrous sixes and three boundaries but fell short by a huge hit to see India home.

Sadly, it was the absence of a proper batter or an all-rounder which was felt on the crease when Rohit was single-handedly keeping India alive in the game with his ferocious batting as tail-ender Mohammed Siraj, who was at the other end of the pitch, was only trying to save his wicket in order to allow the India captain to take the game deep and score the winning runs.

However, the plan backfired to some extent as Siraj failed to rotate the strike and in the meantime, Mahmudullah conceded just a solitary run in the 47th over, while Mustafizur bowled a maiden 48th over to keep Rohit on the non-striker end and India on backfoot.

However, injured Rohit didn’t give up and fought until the very last ball, where India needed a six to win the game but Mustafizur Rahman’s yorker made sure that Rohit doesn’t succeed in emulating Dinesh Karthik, who had smashed a last-ball six against the Tigers to take India past the line in the Nidahas Trophy decider in 2018.

P.S. Given India’s recent performance it won’t be wrong to say that their ‘Road to 2023’ didn’t quite kick-off as they would’ve liked as the Men in Blue lost an ODI series against New Zealand before suffering the defeat in Bangladesh. Can India learn from their mistakes and rectify them before the next year’s ODI World Cup? Well, only time will tell that.

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