Another series defeat for India as batsmen flop again
Kolkata: An insipid India slumped to yet another series defeat with a pathetic display as arch-rivals Pakistan spanked the hosts by 85 runs in the second cricket one-dayer to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series here today.
Riding on Nasir Jamshed's second consecutive century, the visitors posted 250 all out and then shot out the Indians for a paltry 165 to record a convincing victory with two overs to spare at the Eden Gardens.
It was yet another woeful display by the famed Indian batting line-up, which has been struggling for sometime now and has been largely responsible for the team's forgettable results in recent times.
The huge defeat to the arch-rivals will now raise questions on the future of some of India's under-performing batting stars, who have let the team down more often than not.
Jamshed (106) notched up his third ODI century, all three coming against India, but Pakistan suffered a dramatic collapse after being at a healthy 141 for no loss at the mid-way stage. Mohammed Hafeez was the other contributor with a rollicking 76 off 74 balls.
The floodgates opened up after the dismissal of Hafeez as none of the other batsmen could hang around for long on a slow Eden Garden track, which made stroke-making difficult after the ball became older.
The Indians needed a good start from their struggling openers — Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag — but it did not materialise yet again, putting pressure on the jittery middle-order.
Sehwag (31), Gambhir (11), Virat Kohli (6), Yuvraj Singh (9) and Suresh Raina (18) perished in quick succession to give the visitors the upper hand in what eventually turned out to be a lop-sided contest.
Skipper Dhoni, who scored a heroic unbeaten 113 in the first ODI in Chennai, again provided some resistance with a cautious and unbeaten 54 but wickets kept tumbling at the other end to nullify his efforts.
The series defeat against Pakistan marks another low for the struggling team which suffered an embarrassing Test series debacle against England at home and levelled a T20 series 1-1.
Today's defeat has also rendered the third and final ODI at Ferozshah Kotla in Delhi on Sunday inconsequential.