After facing embarrassing defeat in the first ODI match, India will play do or die second ODI match against Australia on Sunday (November 29) at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
As Australia gave a mammoth target of 375 runs, India’s bowling, as well as fielding, was heavily criticised. Also, the dearth of a sixth bowling option was a big problem for visitors.
Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dawan in pursuit of the monstrous target scored half-centuries, but it was not enough for India to take the game home. Eventually, India lost the match by 66 runs.
To keep their chances of victory alive in the three-match ODI series, India needs to win the second ODI match. Here, let’s take a look at how India’s playing XI might shape in.
India’s Predicted XI:
Mayank Agarwal, who is playing in place of Rohit Sharma, gave a gusty start but could not build a big opening partnership with Shikhar Dhawan. He was out after scoring 22 runs off 18 balls, hitting two fours and one six. In the penultimate ODI, the right-hand batsman needs to set a good base for the team.
Setting quicking firing 50 runs off 25 balls partnership with Mayank Agarwal, Shihar Dhawan was the only one in the top-order who played a gritty knock. Although he was struggling to play against Stoinis and Hazlewood, he kept the scoreboard ticking and amassed 74 runs off 86 balls before giving his wicket to Adam Zampa. However, the southpaw’s innings was not enough to take the game home.
Virat Kohli (c):
Virat Kohli was disappointed when he addressed the post-match conference. He slammed the team for poor fielding efforts while also highlighted the dearth of a sixth bowling option.
Team India captain scored 21 runs off 21 balls before Josh Hazlewood tricked him. He needs to longer in the field because the team’s success rate highly depends on him.
After Virat Kohli and Mayank Agarwal lost consecutive wickets, hopes were on Shreyas Iyer to build the match-winning innings. However, he was out after just scoring two runs.
Well, he is the answer to the long debate of the number four batting position in India. He needs to stand up to expectations against the strong team to prove his mettle.
KL Rahul (wk & VC):
Coming off from a great IPL season, everyone had high hopes from KL Rahul, but the wicketkeeper-batsman had a disappointing start of the ODI series. He scored 12 off 15 balls before giving away his wicket to Adam Zampa. After Virat Kohli, he is seen as the most potent batsman. If India wants to win this series, he needs to step in, and score runs heavily.
Although Hardik Pandya is not bowling, he proved that he is a vital cog with the bat during the first ODI. The fast bowling allrounder brought India back in the game with his power-hitting and put the pressure on Australia bowlers. He took on Hazlewood and Glenn Maxwell, but the leg spinner Adam Zampa notched his wicket. The flamboyant batsman scored 90 runs off 76 balls had he stood until the last ball the result might have been different. Albeit, India will be desperate to use him also as a bowling option, but Pandya is still not fully fit.
Ravindra Jadeja was not expensive, but he could not pick a wicket, which was the need of the hour. He conceded 63 runs in his 10 overs while also was a great asset in fielding.
When he came to bat, the match was already slipping from India’s hand. He amassed 25 runs off 37 balls before Zampa bamboozled him.
Navdeep Saini bowled some good deliveries but was not consistent. He gave away 83 runs in his 10 overs while picked only the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne. However, India is likely to go with him in the next ODI but has a good bench option, i.e., T Natrajan.
The leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is the trump card for any captain, but he was badly beaten in Sydney. He registered the costliest ODI figure by any Indian spinner, giving away 89 runs in 10 overs although he picked Marcus Stoinis wicket for a golden duck. The leg-spinner will have to bounce back stronger in the do or die match.
Jasprit Bumrah was struggling to find an accurate line and length in the first ODI which had costed the team. He picked the wicket of Aaron Finch, but the Australian captain had already done the damage. In 10 overs, he gave away 73 runs but could not give breakthroughs. The speedster will have to redeem in the second ODI.
Mohammed Shami was the only bowler who quickly adjusted himself to the pitch condition. He picked up three wickets of David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith but only after they had done the damage. For the second ODI, the right-arm pacer needs to pick quick wickets.