India captain Virat Kohli made it clear that he has his Plan A in place but what also became clear in the just-concluded ODI series against Australia was the lack of an effective Plan B ahead of the World Cup starting from May 30.
Who is the No.4? Who is the third opener if Shikhar Dhawan continues to fail? Will there be a fourth specialist pace bowling option? Who is the second wicketkeeper? Has Ravindra Jadeja done enough?
These five questions did not find any answers during the 2-3 series defeat.
However, the format of World Cup (round robin) is such that India will have to be at their worst in order to not qualify for the semi-finals. All they need to do is win six out of nine games and take it forward from there.
Then, it’s the matter of two good days in office and hence Kohli has fewer issues to deal with despite a patchy series for his team.
Save the skipper himself (310 runs with two hundreds) and his deputy Rohit Sharma (202 runs with two fifties), the batting didn’t come together on a regular basis.
Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav or Vijay Shankar had their moments but lack of consistency hurt the team.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni as usual, was rock solid behind the stumps, something that was highlighted even more by Rishabh Pant’s fumbles in the final two games. Dhoni’s astute cricket brain was not there to support Kohli in crunch situations in the final two games.
India wanted a few answers going into the World Cup with regards to their fringe players but there were more unanswered questions after the conclusion of the final phase of their World Cup preparations.