Gautam Gambhir has criticised Virat Kohli’s captaincy after India suffered a second consecutive defeat against Australia in the ongoing three-match ODI series on Sunday. Gambhir termed Kohli’s captaincy as poor while adding he’s unable to understand the decisions being made on the field.

Indian bowlers were punished again at the Sydney Cricket Ground as Australia posted a mammoth 389/4 with all of their top-five batters scoring at least a half-century. Steven Smith toyed with the Indian bowlers and the field as he slammed a second successive century while David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell and captain Aaron Finch all struck half-centuries.

Gambhir was particularly critical of the strategy employed by Kohli to keep Jasprit Bumrah to just two overs upfront when the need was to keep him into the attack and hunt for early wickets. Bumrah bowled the second and the fourth over of Australia innings before being taken off and returned again to bowl the ninth over.

“I can’t understand the captaincy to be honest,” Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo. “We kept talking about how important is to take wickets upfront if we have to stop this kind of batting line-up and then you make your premier bowler bowl two overs. Normally, in a One Day game probably there are three spells of 4-3-3 overs. Or probably the maximum is four overs.”

“But if you stop your premier fast bowler just by bowling two overs upfront with the new ball, I can’t understand that kind of captaincy. I probably can’t even explain that captaincy. It is not T20 cricket. I probably can’t understand the reason to be honest because that was poor captaincy,” he added.

Gambhir also feels that India made a selection error in not including an option for an extra bowler apart from Hardik Pandya who is yet to bowl at full throttle considering his injury issue.

“They could have given someone like Washington Sundar or Shivam Dube or whoever was there in the squad to play the next game and see how they go into the one-day format. But if you don’t have anyone in Australia then it is a selection error as well,” Gambhir said.

He reckons this is something that may end up hurting India.

“Unless and until you don’t judge someone you will never be able to find how good he is at the international level. India has not taken those options to Australia and those might come back to hurt them big time,” he said.

Australia have already taken a 2-0 lead in the three-match series with he final ODI to be played at Manuka Oval on Wednesday. The ODI series will be followed by three T20Is.