India’s limited-overs vice-captain KL Rahul played a fantastic knock of 76 off 66 balls in the second ODI against Australia. But, it was not enough to take his team over the line in a must-win contest at the Sydney Cricket Ground as India failed to chase down the mammoth 390-run target. Courtesy the 51-run win, the hosts Australia took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Speaking at the post-match conference, India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rahul said that he is hoping that Australia’s David Warner does not recover in time for the third ODI and probably for the rest of the team’s tour Down Under. Also Read - IPL 2021 Auction: Steve Smith to Sreesanth, Five Players Who Could be Sold For Big Money During IPL 14 Mini-Auction

Australia’s swashbuckling opener Warner’s participation in the remainder of the limited-overs series against India was thrown into doubt after he suffered a groin injury during the second ODI on Sunday. Warner hobbled off the field after he struggled to get up following a dive in the fourth over of the Indian innings. A car waited outside the SCG to take the senior player to a nearby hospital for undergoing scans. Also Read - SL vs ENG Highlights, 2nd Test Report: Angelo Mathews Century Puts Sri Lanka Ahead vs England on Day 1

Rahul wished that Warner, who has struck back-to-back half-centuries so far, do not figure in the remaining matches of the tour. “It will be nice if he gets injured for a long time. I would not wish that for any player but he is their main batsman, it will be good for our team,” the 28-year-old Rahul said. Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Hails Team India; Says It Overpowered a Better Team With Their Talent And Temperament

Asked about Warner’s condition at the post-match presentation ceremony, Australian captain Aaron Finch said he was not aware of its severity but didn’t expect the southpaw to be available.

Backing his struggling bowlers to the hilt, India’s new white-ball vice-captain Rahul said that Jasprit Bumrah and Co. have endured hard lessons in adapting to conditions so far and it is not a surprise that wickets have been hard to come by on batting-friendly Australian tracks. The Indian bowlers, who did exceedingly well in the IPL before landing in Australia, have bled runs in the first two ODIs, letting the hosts run away with a decisive 2-0 series lead.

The ever-reliable Bumrah and the fiery Mohammed Shami have been made to look quite ordinary by the home team batsmen, who have scored at will.

“I would not agree when you say they are struggling. It’s different conditions, different format. It’s learning for us to sit back and think of how to do better when playing on such good batting wickets,” Rahul further added at the post-match press conference.

“In white-ball cricket, it is vital to get wickets regularly, then only you can keep the run-rate under check…We have to find (our) mantra to get wickets and the batting unit has to think about how to stretch the 30-40-run partnerships,” he assessed.

Asked if it’s just a bad phase for Bumrah, who struggled even in New Zealand earlier this year, Rahul said the speedster will come back strongly. “We all know Jasprit is very fiery and competitive on the field. He means a lot to this setup, we know the value of Jasprit. It’s about time that a champion player comes back and delivers and gets wickets for us.

“In New Zealand and Australia, the wickets are too good to bat, you will see that bowlers will not get wickets, that’s acceptable.”

The team has already lost the series but Rahul said it has not affected the dressing room morale. “The mood in the camp is still very positive, Sometimes, as a team, you can learn to accept that the opposition played better cricket. It’s home conditions for them. Quite honestly, we played 50-over cricket after a long, long time.

“We are doing lot of things right, we just need to learn how to bowl better on such beautiful batting wickets. Not a lot that we have done wrong, we need to get better with skills and execution,” he said.

Both the sides have dropped a number of catches and there have been several instances of poor fielding. Rahul said it could be because the game is being played before noisy crowds after a long time. Fans have returned to the stadium for the first time, in the ongoing series, after being totally barred eight months ago because of the global COVID-19 threat.

“It happens. I stay behind the wickets but I can tell you by my experience that when you play before crowd after a long time, it is slightly difficult to pick balls and it was quite windy too.”