Rajkot: With India in a must-win situation to stay alive in the three-ODI series against Australia, former batsman VVS Laxman has advised the “Men in Blue” to go back to the tried and tested formula.

In the first ODI at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on January 14, Australia defeated India by 10 wickets. Openers Aaron Finch and David Warner hit centuries as the visitors successfully chased down 256.

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Now, all eyes will be on India captain Virat Kohli has his teammates as they play in Rajkot with the series on the line. The second ODI will be played tomorrow (January 17).

Writing in The Times of India, Laxman said Kohli should move back to his original batting position of No. 3 instead of No. 4, where he batted in Mumbai.

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“Contrary to expectations, the first clash of the titans unspooled into a no-contest as Australia lorded over India in Mumbai on Tuesday evening. Given their pedigree and recent form, a tense battle seemed imminent, but Australia proved far superior, clattering home untroubled,” Laxman wrote.

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“India missed a trick by dropping Virat Kohli down to No. 4. The best batsman in the world, Virat can set up an innings, be it batting first or second, from No. 3. He is a master at assessing conditions and situations, is full of intent and energy, and therefore creates uncertainty if not panic in the opposition ranks with every minute spent at the crease. At No. 4, the innings is already set up for him - whether he walks in at 160 or at 18. India will be better served by the captain moving back to the spot best for him and the team,” he added.

With India opting to play all three openers Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, Kohli batted at No. 4. The move, however, did not work as the hosts were kept to a below-par total in good batting conditions.



Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav.


Aaron Finch (captain), Alex Carey (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

ODI series schedule

(All matches start at 1.30 pm IST)

January 14 (Tuesday): 1st ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai (Australia won by 10 wickets)

January 17 (Friday): 2nd ODI, Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot

January 19 (Sunday): 3rd ODI, M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru