Australia look confident to seal series in 2nd ODI!
Australia to win this game!
It was expected that Australia would come hard at India in the 3-match ODI series between the two sides. But since India was playing at home, they were expected to have the upper hand. At least for a little while.
However, in the 1st ODI of the series itself, the visiting Australian side completely demolished India by 10 wickets, chasing down the target of 256 in 37.4 overs with 10 wickets to spare. It was a clinical performance and Australia was thorough in all the departments. India, meanwhile, looked scratchy and confused yet again in an ODI. They were too conservative in their approach and it cost them dearly against this strong Aussie side.
This Australian team will only increase their intensity now and India has a task on their hands for the 2nd ODI. Unless they don't sort out their issues and produce a team game, it will be advantage Australia for the second game as well.
Team India was bogged down yet again by a conservative approach to an ODI game. While India had a 121-run partnership for the 2nd wicket between Shikhar Dhawan (74) and KL Rahul (47), the two never showed urgency and played too many dot balls to let the Australian bowlers dictate terms. This slow approach paid the team heavily, as the two were dismissed within two overs and the Indian middle-order failed to increase the tempo. Captain Virat Kohli's decision to demote himself to the No.4 slot backfired and Rishabh Pant wasted another opportunity.
Another worrying sign is Shreyas Iyer's inability to score freely against quality fast bowling. What would concern the team management further is the performance of the bowling unit. Australia chased down the target of 256 in just 37.4 overs without the loss of any wicket. The Aussie openers looked completely at ease against the Indian bowlers.
Jasprit Bumrah hasn't looked potent ever since his return from injury. Shardul Thakur appears pedestrian against a quality batting attack and Mohammed Shami has gone back to leaking runs in an ODI game. Ravindra Jadeja yet again remained ineffective in a limited-overs game. Kuldeep Yadav bowled well but didn't have any wickets to show. Captain Kohli would need to inspire his troops to up the ante because otherwise, things aren't looking great for India in both the departments.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma(vc), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur/Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Shreyas Iyer, JJ Bumrah, NA Saini, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami
Australia couldn't have hoped for more clinical performance in their very game of the tour. They were thorough in all the departments and didn't show any weaknesses. Their bowling attack showed why its the best in the world right now as fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Kane Richardson picked up wickets in regular intervals to dent India. Even spinner Adam Zampa bowled well in tandem with Ashton Agar.
This attack really looks potent and their ability to adapt so quickly to alien conditions augurs well for the team for the remainder of the series. Australia's batting was dominated completely by their openers David Warner (128*) and Aaron Finch (110*) who shared a record unbeaten stand of 258 runs to take their team home. These two are the most dangerous openers in ODI cricket at the moment and it was expected that they would leave their mark on Indian soil has given their experience. The Warner-Finch combo will likely be the biggest threat for India in the next two matches as well. Australia also has the likes of Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Ashton Agar and Alex Carey waiting and they would prove quite a handful to this Indian bowling line up.
Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
AJ Turner, Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne, Pat Cummins, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, KW Richardson, Ashton Agar, Steven Smith, David Warner, Adam Zampa
The pitch at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot good for batting where the ball comes on nicely to the bat. It also assists seamers and spin bowlers in the middle-overs. The team batting first would like to put up a total of 280-300 at least to be on the safer side. Although that too might be chased down if dew really sets in. The weather for the match is expected to bright and cool.
In just two ODIs at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot scores of 300-plus have already been achieved twice with England’s 325-4 being the highest one. The lowest total here is India’s 252-6 v South Africa. Thus, it is a given that this is a high-scoring venue. Expect some tall totals here in the 2nd ODI between India and Australia.
The team winning the toss will look to bowl first. This is the winter season in India and there will be dew in the second innings which will make batting easier for the side batting second.
Australia has now won 4 ODIs in a row against India in India. The comfort with which they adapted in the first game itself bodes well for them for the remainder of the series. This should set the alarm bells ringing for India. They would really need to produce some special team performance to stop this robust Australian side.
Unfortunately, India continues to look unsettled and refuses to shed their conservative approach. The inexperienced and frailties in their middle and lower order is a huge concern and so is the lack of potency in their bowling. India's best hope right now is to hope that Kohli and Rohit Sharma fire on all cylinders and take the game away from Australia.
For now, though, it is advantage Australia heading into the second ODI. Back them to win the match and take an unassailable lead in the series.
Australia to win this game!