In way too many ways, the second ODI of the series between India and Australia was a repeat of the first one. Firstly, it is rare for a venue to host consecutive ODIs but given the times, the occurrence of rare occurrences seem to be the new normal. Australia’s performance, twice in a row, has been such that the heat in Sydney is not the only heat that the Indians have faced.
They won the toss and opted to bat again; Warner and Finch racked up an enormous opening stand; Steve Smith notched up a ton, and did so, adding to the eeriness, in an identical number of deliveries; Glenn Maxwell finished things off ensuring that his team left setting up an unrealistic target for the opponents; India failed to make a compelling start; the middle-order succumbed under the scoreboard pressure, and India’s horror story at Sydney – where they have lost 16 out of the total 19 ODIs they have played – continued.
“Completely outplayed”, admitted Virat Kohli at the post-match conference. Such was the dominance of the Aussies. India has conceded 374 and 389 in successive games, and have been guilty of not being able to make the move with the bat despite having the finest collection of limited-overs batsmen in their ranks. And unlike the previous tour – where India clinched the ODI series 2-1 despite losing the series-opener – they have KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya at their services.
Although, that is not the only change in the landscape as Australia is bolstered with the presence of Steve Smith and David Warner, who were absent the last season. The latter might not be a part of the set up anymore owing to his groin strain, but he has caused enough injury to India in his short-spanned presence. Further, none amongst Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood featured in that series. They are back too.
So did India beat Australia merely because of the absence of the stars in their line up? The line of argument might leave a hardcore Aussie fan grinning, but the answer is “NO”. India won for they played their best brand of cricket. They are losing for they have too many issues left unaddressed this time.
The absence of Rohit Sharma is a challenge no one has control over, but what has also not helped India is a half-fit Pandya, an off-colour Bumrah, who has taken only 4 wickets in the 9 ODIs in 2020; an equally pale Yuzvendra Chahal, whose combined match figures this series read 19-0-160-1, and India’s sheer inability to take wickets in the Powerplay, as has been the case consecutively for the last 5 ODIs now.
Astonishing as it may sound, India could not rotate the strike, something they are known to do well, this series. A team cannot afford to not score anything for 22 overs in a chase of 390. And yet that is the number of dots India played in the last game. With as many shortcomings, India’s losses should not come as a surprise to anyone. With the series pocketed by the hosts, the visitors’ aim at Canberra will be to evade a whitewash and acclimatize to the conditions before heading into another tough series ahead.
Pitch and conditions
India has lost both the matches during a chase, and Canberra’s record is not one bit uplifting for the chasing team with only two wins falling for the side chasing in the last nine ODIs. Six times in these nine games, the team batting first has managed to cross the 300-mark. With even the average score at the Manuka Oval being 310, there is no reason why the team winning the toss would want to chase. India, therefore, would be praying that the coin flips their way. There is no expectation of any trouble from the skies.
Playing combinations for AUS vs IND
With the series in their possession, Australia has the luxury to rest the pacers and give them a break. Therefore, Sean Abbott and Andrew Tye can expect to spend some time in the middle. Warner’s unavailability means that there will be changes in the top, and with Marnus Labuschagne volunteering for the job of an opener, he is expected to be alongside Finch tomorrow as Matthew Wade or Cameron Green fill in the void in the middle-order alongside the regulars.
Probable XI: Aaron Finch (C), Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade/Cameron Green, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Alex Carey (WK), Sean Abbott/Andrew Tye, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa
Bench: Ashton Agar, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green/Matthew Wade, Daniel Sams, Sean Abbott/Andrew Tye
The core of India’s failure in this series has been the bowling effort. With none amongst Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, and Yuzvendra Chahal being able to make it count, India might want to give Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav a look-in. If his luck favors, T Natarajan might wear the Indian cap tomorrow.
Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini/Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal/Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah/T Natarajan
Bench: Shubman Gill, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur/Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan/Jasprit Bumrah
Aus vs Ind Head to head
Played – 142 | Australia won – 80 | India won – 52 | NR – 10
Played – 53 | Australia won – 38 | India won – 13 | NR – 2
If he scores 33, Virat Kohli will complete 12,000 runs in ODI cricket.
AUS vs IND Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 9:10 AM (IST); 2:40 PM (Local)
TV – Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 1 HD, Sony Ten 3, Sony Ten 3 HD
Live Streaming – Sony LIV
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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