A 66-run defeat is not the kind of start India would have hoped on their return to international cricket. Besides their batting showing some spark, India’s bowling was toothless and fielding abysmal. More so, the fact that one of the strongest pace attacks in the world got taken for 374 runs highlights plenty of alarming issues for Virat Kohli. There is no sixth bowler, and even if India are to play one, it comes at the expense of dropping a batsman, which is something Kohli is unlikely to do.
Having said that, with the series on the line, expect India to fine tune certain aspects. Start with the strongest suite, which at the moment is their batting. The way KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer got out, they’d be kicking themselves. With over 650 and 400 runs respectively in the IPL, India would expect better from them. Of course, there is Kohli, who looked like a million bucks barring the top edge that he survived off the rushed pull shot that led to his dismissal. The biggest plus is Hardik Pandya’s coming of age as batsman. Pandya’s innings was consumed by every single player in the dressing room and not a single Indian cricketer moved till the time he got back.
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Then there’s the fielder, which needs to tighten. The retro jersey brought out a pretty retro fielding performance from India, with catches being missed and misfields on the field. With a bit of improvement there, Kohli’s men are likely to come out better. As far as the bowling is concerned, India would be hoping for a better show from their five frontline bowlers since at the moment, the sixth bowler option is null.
Having drawn first blood, Australia hold edge over India heading into the second ODI. With another flat deck expected and limited swing on offer, their batting threat looms large on India once again. They were ruthless and robust, especially the batting and based on what the world saw on Friday, have a lot more depth in their squad, let along the XI, than their Indian counterparts. They were beaten 1-2 the last time around. Now is Aaron Finch’s chance to even the odds and dish out a fifth consecutive ODI defeat on the No. 2 ODI team in the world.
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What: India vs Australia, 2nd ODI
When: Sunday, November 29, 2020
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Time: 9:10 AM IST
India are likely to give Navdeep Saini time to heal his back spasms and hand T Natarajan his international debut. Natarajan is expected to be preferred over Shardul Thakur given his impressive form in the IPL and the fact that it gives India a left-arm seaming option. The rest of the line-up is should remain unchanged.
Probable XI: Probable XI: 1 Mayank Agarwal, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 KL Rahul (wk), 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Mohammed Shami, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 T Natarajan, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Like India, Australia are dealing with an injury issue as well. Marcus Stoinis is a doubtful started for the 2nd ODI after picking up a side strain in the first game. In this case, Chris Green is a likely candidate to be given his maiden international cap. However, Moises Henriques also appears to be a like-for-like replacement
Probable XI: 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Steve Smith, 5 Chris Green/Moises Henriques, 6 Alex Carey, 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Adam Zampa
Stats and Trivia
– India have lost their last four ODIs
– India have won just five out of 21 ODIs at the SCG
– Virat Kohli needs 69 runs to complete 2000 ODI runs against Australia and 112 to complete 12000 runs in the format