India’s return to international cricket after a gap of more than nine months didn’t quite go according to plan. They were good in patches but that was never going to be enough to beat a strong Australian side in their own backyard. The result was a 66-run loss in the first ODI in Sydney with experts already raising concerns over India’s bowling attack and the lack of depth in it.
While pressing the panic button this early might not be the prescribed way but this being a three-match series, the margin for error is narrow and even narrower now that India have lost the first encounter.
In the 2nd ODI against Australia on Sunday in Sydney, India, therefore might want to make slight adjustments to their playing XI.
Here is India’s Predicted XI for the 2nd ODI against Australia
Mayank Agarwal: What if Mayank Agarwal hadn’t played that shot off Josh Hazlewood? India had reached 50 inside 5 overs. The ifs and buts are never-ending if you are Agarwal. But the opener has got very few options than looking ahead and come up with a big score in the 2nd ODI.
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Shikhar Dhawan: Yes, Shikhar Dhawan scored 74 and was India’s second-highest scorer after Hardik Pandya but he gave at least two genuine chances during the course of his innings which wasn’t accepted by the Australian fielders. A lot would ride on the experienced left-hander to give India a head start.
Virat Kohli: The Indian captain would be livid for the shot that he played against Hazlewood. Like Dhawan, Kohli too was dropped early in his innings but failed to capitalise on it.
Shreas Iyer: For his all his talent, Shreyas Iyer has a very Indian weakness against well-directed short-pitched bowling. He has been found out even in the past but in Australia, would be his ultimate test. In the first attempt, he left his bat like a periscope and was dismissed for 2 by Hazlewood. It would be interesting to see how he ‘bounces back’ on Sunday.
KL Rahul: Another India batsman who gift-wrapped his wicket to the Australians. Rahul hit a full toss straight to the cover fielder off Adam Zampa’s bowling at a crucial juncture.
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Hardik Pandya: The only India batsman who had a flawless night with the bat in hand was Pandya. He stitched a century partnership with Dhawan to give India hope but got out for 90 when the asking rate reached 11 runs per over.
Ravindra Jadeja: The only all-rounder in the side as Pandya is not bowling, was average with the ball and in the field. When it was Jadeja’s turn to bat, his approach was slightly confusing as he didn’t go after the bowling even when the required rate was climbing.
Mohammed Shami: By far the best Indian bowler on display in the first ODI. The only thing missing in Shami’s kitty was a wicket with the new ball. He would like to change that in the 2nd ODI against Australia.
Yuzvendra Chahal: India’s premier spinner had off day in the previous match but trust him to get back with a much-better performance in the 2nd ODI.
Jasprit Bumrah: India’s pacer spearhead was taken to the cleaners by the Australian openers. He did pull it back towards the end but India would want him to strike with the new ball too.
T Natarajan: The left-arm could make his debut in place of Navdeep Saini. It was hard to fathom why Saini was picked when he had complained of back spasms ahead of the first ODI.