India’s One-day international campaign in Australia got off to a poor start with the men in blue tasting defeat at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday. With the World Cup round the corner, the last thing India would want is to leave Australia after a series defeat. But for Australia, the second One-day international (ODI) in Adelaide gives them the perfect chance to seal the series early. If the home team do win at Adelaide, it would definitely help them regain some lost pride as it will be the first ODI series they would have won in two years. Given the high stakes, Indian captain Virat Kohli has quite a few problems to address, none bigger than conundrum about India’s middle-order.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 14 January 2019
On the rare occasions when the top three comprising Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli failed to score big, the middle order has come under massive pressure. This has prompted concerns over who should bat between batting positions 4 to 7. MS Dhoni, who was promoted to no 5 at the SCG, scored 51 runs, but took 96 balls to get them. However, his departure left an unrealistic target for the batsmen who followed. Should he then bat at number four? Rohit Sharma certainly believes so.
Assuming the Indian think-tank goes with Dhoni at 4, then those following him could be- Ambati Rayudu at 5, Kedar Jadhav at 6 and Ravindra Jadeja at 7. Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar has been flown in to join the squad ahead of the Adelaide ODI. But it isn’t certain he will be put in the playing XI straightaway. With Rayudu being reported for a suspect action, Jadhav’s all-round abilities make him a near certainty in the playing XI.
The bowling attack is expected to be retained from the first ODI. Mohammed Shami was the most impressive among the three seamers and given how the series is poised, he will certainly not be left out.
Temperatures in Adelaide are expected to hover around 40-degree Celsius and the pitch could be affected. A dry surface also opens up an opportunity for leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. His inclusion could come at the expense of Khaleel Ahmed, who had an off day at SCG.
For Australia, good news comes in the form of Mitchell Marsh being available for selection after he recovered from an illness that kept him out of the first ODI. For Australia, a big concern is the form of skipper Aaron Finch, and he will be eager to get find some semblance of it in the second ODI.
Jhye Richardson was the pick of the bowlers in the first game with figures of 4/26. He was well supported by Behrendorff and Marcus Stoinis, who took 2/39 and 2/66 in their 10 over spells. The three bowlers are likely to be in the starting XI. The Australian team management also has to decide Glenn Maxwell’s batting position. While he plays as a floater, in the last match he could only face five balls. If Maxwell has to take the game away from the opposition he needs to face at least 20 balls. It’s not clear if the Australians can ensure that happens.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni(w), Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Vijay Shankar, K Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: Aaron Finch(c), Alex Carey(w), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Billy Stanlake, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Marsh