2nd ODI: Dominant India seek improvement to extend lead over Australia

They are being spoken of as potential 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup winners and favourites for this five-match series, and the underlying truth of their six-wicket win in Saturday’s opening ODI is that India did not actually play to their absolute potential, and yet ended up winners by a good margin.

That is credit to India’s bowlers and a 141-run partnership between Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni, as well as to Australia‘s struggles as an ODI team. As Virat Kohli put it after the Hyderabad win, it was “a difficult sort of game” but one from which India rolled out handsome winners.

As the series shifts to Nagpur for the second ODI on Tuesday, Australia have to find a way to hurt India.

With due respect to Australia for their 2-0 series win over India in the T20Is last week, their loss in the opening ODI was a reminder of the team’s batting frailties and their status as No 6 in the format. On an up-and-down Hyderabad surface, only Usman Khawaja got to 50 and several aborted starts meant that Australia ended on 236, which in the end proved at least 20 runs short. (READ: India’s World Cup jigsaw almost complete, barring two pieces)

Australia will need far more to challenge India’s batting depth, which came to the fore from 99/4 as Jadhav and Dhoni scripted a match-winning stand.

Less than three months remain for the start of the World Cup, and defending champions Australia have plenty to do.

Match details

What: India vs Australia, 2nd ODI

Where: Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nagpur

When: Tuesday, March 5

Team news

India

India played what they felt was their strongest team in Hyderabad, which meant that Yuzvendra Chahal sat out. Given how well Ravindra Jadeja bowled, it it tough to see him dropped. Hardik Pandya’s absence has forced India to play two allrounders, but with Shankar conceding 22 runs in three over on Saturday, could it be that he makes way for another batsman? Rishabh Pant could get the nod in that scenario.

Rishabh Pant bats during 2nd T20I
Could Rishabh Pant make a comeback at the expense of an allrounder? © AFP

Likely XI: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Vijay Shankar/Rishabh Pant, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Australia

Shaun Marsh is likely to slot back into the team, which would mean one that Ashton Turner, who made his debut in Hyderabad, drops out.

Likely XI: 1 Usman Khawaja, 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Marcus Stoinis, 4 Shaun Marsh, 5 Peter Handscomb, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Alex Carey , 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Adam Zampa, 10 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 11 Jason Behrendorff

Pitch and conditions

Expect runs. In eight ODIs in Nagpur, six times 300 has been achieved. In 2009, India posted 354/7 and won by 99 runs, which is the highest total there. In 2013, Australia made 350 and India chased it with six wickets and three balls remaining.

The forecast is for a sunny afternoon with a high of 34 degrees.

Stats

Australia have played four ODIs in Nagpur and won just one.

Rohit Sharma needs 155 runs to get to 8,000 runs in ODI cricket.

Kohli needs 191 runs to surpass Rahul Dravid’s mark of 10,768 and move to third in India’s all-time table.

Aaron Finch has gone 20 limited-overs innings without a half-century.

Quotes

“I worked really hard to get back into the one-day team and I’m just enjoying the ride, doing the best I can for the team.” – Khawaja

“Growing up, I’ve always built my batting playing shots. When playing shots, trying some innovative shots, I feel I have a good chance of converting those innovative shots.” – Jadhav