2nd ODI: Australia target improvements, India need a win
India are under pressure to keep the series alive. © AFP

A winning start to their ODI campaign in an all-important World Cup year has given Australia a spring in their step, but as Aaron Finch said after the home team’s 34-run victory over second-ranked India last week, there is room to improve. Virat Kohli ’s team was hurt in the series opener, and the captain did not mince words when terming the performance as a poor one.

The second ODI at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday now becomes a must-win for India.

Australia entered 2019 having won just two of 13 ODIs while slipping to sixth place in the ICC rankings, but a win over a stronger Indian team at the SCG has put them one win away from wrapping up the series with a game to spare. After the win on Saturday, Finch lauded the batting and called on the bowlers to improve their skills, but in the performance of the rookie Jhye Richardson and ODI debutant Jason Behrendroff the team has proven it has the firepower to rattle a very strong Indian batting order. The performance of the pace bowlers and the solidity that the recalled Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb showed in Sydney gave Australia a depth and balance that was sorely lacking in 2018. Finch could really do with some runs, however. (ALSO READ: Glenn Maxwell is being wasted batting at No. 7: Allan Border)

India’s reliance on Rohit Sharma was laid bare, with the vice-captain scoring 133 of the team’s total of 254/9. Losing Shikhar Dhawan for a blob and Kohli for 3 as they slumped to 4/3 set India back massively, and the slowness of MS Dhoni – he was at one stage 9 from 35 balls – and failures of Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja left Rohit with too much to do. India have the edge when it comes to the batting, and should Dhawan and Kohli fire alongside Rohit then Australia could find themselves with too much to do.

Date: January 15

Venue: Adelaide Oval

Time: 08:50 IST

Weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 38 degrees

Team News

Australia

A big positive for Australia in Sydney was the fifties scored by Khawaja and Handscomb on return to the ODI team. Getting them firing again to allow more breathing room Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell below is imperative with an eye on the World Cup. Nathan Lyon went wicketless but should hold his place, unless Australia opt to try out Adam Zampa on an Adelaide surface that aids spin.

Mitchell Marsh trained with Australia on Monday.
Mitchell Marsh trained with Australia on Monday. (AFP Photo)

The allrounder Mitchell Marsh trained with the team on Monday and is in the mix for a recall. He missed the opening ODI with gastritis and was hospitalised, but has rejoined the squad to press his claims to play on Tuesday.

Probable XI: 1 Alex Carey (wk), 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Shaun Marsh, 5 Peter Handscomb, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Jhye Richardson, 9 Nathan Lyon, 10 Peter Siddle, 11 Jason Behrendorff

India

The allrounder Vijay Shankar has linked up with the squad and could slot in immediately as the seam-bowling allrounder option in Hardik Pandya’s absence. If Pandya would have been free to play, Karthik would not have got a game and so with Shankar available, it is likely that he plays in place of his senior Tamil Nadu team-mate. Though uncapped at ODI level, Shankar brings in a handy option having top-scored in India A’s one-day series win in New Zealand last year.

Vijay Shankar could make his ODI debut on Tuesday
Vijay Shankar could make his ODI debut on Tuesday (AFP Photo)

The other change, though slim, could be dropping Jadeja for Kedar Jadhav, which would strengthen the batting. With Shankar in, overs are taken care of and Jadhav can also bowl six or seven overs without hassle. Jadeja’s ODI batting is not what is used to be, whereas Jadhav can finish games.

While Rohit believes Dhoni should bat a spot higher, chances are that the former captain remains at No 5.

Probable XI: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Ravindra Jadeja/Kedar Jadhav, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Khaleel Ahmed

Statistics

– Australia were last beaten in an ODI at Adelaide Oval in 2013. Since then, they have won five consecutive matches there.

– Dhawan is 65 runs shy of the 5000 mark in ODIs.

Quotes

Anytime you get a team three down so early and three big guns is very important. The youngster Jhye is full of confidence and he’s some pace.” – Finch