Australia clinched the first of the three ODIs in Sydney on Friday with a hefty margin of 66 runs to take an early lead. It was a near-perfect performance from Australia as all their departments chipped in with compelling performances to outplay a strong Indian side. It has set the tone for what is going to be a heated summer of cricket moving forward.
There were four chief architects of the home side’s victory – Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Josh Hazlewood, and Adam Zampa, all of whose roles were significant as everything worked in their favour. However, they cannot afford to take the foot off their pedal in the second ODI as India will bounce back hard after a humiliating defeat. Aaron Finch’s men would be aware of the threat India possesses in the position they are at.
We take a look at Australia’s predicted XI ahead of their second ODI against India:
Aaron Finch (c):
Aaron Finch began his summer brilliantly with a patient and calculated ton as his partnerships with David Warner and Steve Smith were the bedrocks of Australia’s innings. Finch brought his century off 117 balls and perished in the 40th over for 114 off 124 deliveries. The Australian captain will once again want to do the same.
It was David Warner’s aggressive role at the top that allowed Aaron Finch to play patiently. David Warner was the first Australian wicket to fall on Friday, perishing for 69 off 76 deliveries after adding 156 for the opening stand in 28 overs. The southpaw collected six boundaries in the process.
Steve Smith was the man of the match in the first ODI on Friday as his innings was arguably the difference between the two sides. Steve Smith played a largely uncharacteristic knock, bringing his fifty off 36 balls and reaching three figures in his 62nd delivery. His fiery knock contained 11 fours and four sixes as he perished to a Mohammed Shami yorker with three balls left for the innings to complete.
Marnus Labushcagne usually bats at number four for Australia in ODI cricket; however, came at number six on Friday. Labuschagne departed in the second delivery, managing only a couple of runs as he mistimed one to long-off. His batting position could yet again depend on Australia’s situation at a given point.
Not many expected to play the kind of knock Glenn Maxwell did on Friday as he played an invaluable cameo to keep Australia on track for 370. Glenn Maxwell blasted five fours and three sixes in his 19-ball 45, including two reverse sweep shots as the tourists looked clueless. Mohammed Shami took Maxwell’s wicket as he holed out to Ravindra Jadeja at long-on.
Moises Henriques could be the likely candidate that comes in for Marcus Stoinis, who picked up a side injury during his seventh over of bowling on Friday. Moises Henriques last played an ODI in June 2017 while his last international game was a few months later; however, he has ample experience in white-ball cricket. Henriques was also in fine form in BBL 2019-20, maintaining a strike rate of 148.33 with the bat.
Alex Carey played the finisher’s role to significant effect on Friday as he faced 13 balls at the back end. The keeper-batsman slammed two boundaries in a 13-ball 17 to put Australia in a position of strength. Carey also took the catch of Shreyas Iyer behind the stumps.
Pat Cummins was the only one amongst the frontline quicks who was not amongst the wickets on Friday. In eight overs, Pat Cummins leaked 52 runs that amounted to an economy rate of 6.50. In retrospect, the 26-year old was unfortunate since Adam Zampa dropped a catch off Virat Kohli’s bat via his bowling.
Mitchell Starc struggled for rhythm on Friday as he found it challenging to bowl the lines capable of threatening the batsmen. In nine overs, Mitchell Starc conceded 65 runs and got a wicket at the end of that of Mohammed Shami. The left-arm speedster would want to target being back to his best.
Adam Zampa was the pick of the bowlers on Friday, ending with figures of 10-0-54-4, claiming the wickets of KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja. Zampa would also have been relieved that his dropped catch of Virat Kohli did not cost Australia the match.
Josh Hazlewood was outstanding on Friday, easily outshining Cummins and Starc. With Starc and Cummins both struggling for rhythm, Hazlewood stepped up to take the wickets of Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, and Shreyas Iyer to peg India back. The right-arm seamer ended with figures of 10-0-55-3.