Australia won the first ODI but will have a few concerns in the bowling department © Getty Images
Australia won the first ODI but will have a few concerns in the bowling department © Getty Images

Australia had a winning start to their five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against India surviving a threat posed by debutant Barinder Sran to achieve a commendable five-wicket victory in chasing 310. Their bowling seemed a concern with the inexperienced guys like Scott Boland and Joel Paris failing to make an impact. However, not much can be read into that since the Perth pitch did not bear much assistance for them. Australia may yet consider a change or two in that area in view to give Kane Richardson a go. Rishad D’Souza takes a predictive look at what those changes might be. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia 2015-16, 2nd ODI at Gabba

Top Order: It is now common knowledge that David Warner has left the squad on paternity leave and Usman Khawaja has come into the squad to fill in. It is going to be an interesting choice as to who between Khawaja and Shaun Marsh get to occupy the opening spot alongside Aaron Finch. The selectors are likely to give Khawaja the edge owing to his stellar limited-overs form as displayed in the Big Bash League games for Sydney Thunder. Also, in the recent Test series against West Indies, Shaun had to make way for Khawaja returning from injury despite having performed. The age factor could be a consideration. Marsh is in the twilight stages of his career, while Khawaja can still be looked at as a long-term prospect.

Finch did not perform well in the first game, but will retain his place owing to his experience and ability. Skipper Steven Smith will come in at No. 3. He’s been batting at that position for a good while now and has done it with distinction. Even in the previous game, he showed his worth at the position by scoring a sedate 149 in a slightly precarious situation. ALSO READ: Scott Boland suggests poor debut during India vs Australia, 1st ODI did not affect his confidence

Middle Order: There’s no reason to take George Bailey out from the No. 4 position. He’s been scoring heavily and survived an early umpiring misjudgement in the previous game to score a sedate hundred to snatch the game away from India. Glenn Maxwell failed with the bat in the previous game, but by then the match was already won and Maxwell was casually trying to close things quickly and perished in the process. He is a thorough threat with the bat and will keep down his place. Moreover, he’s probably the best spin bowler in the Aussie line up and although he did not excel with the ball in the game at WACA, Australia will need him in case of more turn-heavy track.

Mitchell Marsh has been rested for the second ODI in order to keep him fresh for the upcoming international assignments. His departure leaves room for inclusion of an extra bowler. Wicket-keeper Matthew Wade will be elevated to the No. 6 position in the process. RELATED: George Bailey in awe of Steven Smith

Lower Order and bowling: In terms of wickets taken, James Faulkner was the best in the Australian camp at WACA. He picked two including the crucial wicket of a dangerous looking Virat Kohli after the latter had reached his hundred. He later dismissed MS Dhoni to impede India’s momentum a little bit. He did not get much of a chance with the bat but his match-saving and winning abilities are no secret. He will definitely retain his spot and will be a handy bat at No. 7.

The pace trio of Boland, Paris and the marginally more experienced Josh Hazlewood is likely to see a change and an addition. Hazlewood bowled quite well conceding just 41 runs while also taking a wicket, but the two debutants seemed overwhelmed by the occasion and even lacked the venom and consistency to hit yorkers or good lengths. Boland could be replaced with Kane Richardson, while Paris might be given another go. John Hastings, who played one match in England to good success has been called up to the squad and can be played as the extra spinner.

Australia likely XI for second ODI (In batting order): Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (c), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade (wk), James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Josh Hazlewood, John Hastings, Joel Paris.

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)