After conceding a 66-run loss in the first ODI of the series, team India would look to make a comeback against the formidable Australian side in the second ODI slated on Sunday once again at the Sydney Cricket Ground. That India made a similar comeback in the ODI series – losing the first match and winning the next two – not once but twice against Aaron Finch’s side in the past couple of years will give Virat Kohli a confidence booster.
Australian batting humbled the Indian bowling attack in the first ODI by posting a mammoth total of 374. However, India didn’t do much wrong. It was just the Aussie batters who were too good for the Indian bowlers, helped by plenty of sloppy fielding.
Openers, David Warner and Aaron Finch watched out the new ball overs and then accelerated to a huge 156 run opening stand. Steve Smith as always levelled his game up against the men in blue. Smith took little time to set his eye in and raised his way to a memorable 62-ball hundred. Glenn Maxwell seems to have regained his touch after a blip in the IPL.
While bowling, apart from the initial overs – when India raced to 50 in just 4.1 – the Aussie bowlers were always on top of the Indian team, even when Hardik Pandya was smacking sixes they kept the required run rate titled in their favour. Mitchell Starc’s could be accounted for his rustiness in the first ODI as he was playing after three months. While Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Adam Zampa were all up to the mark.
The only change that Australia is likely to make is to bring in Cameron Green or Moises Henriques for the injured Marcus Stoinis.
Plenty to ponder about for Virat Kohli’s side. From the eleven and team balance to strategies against the Kangaroo batsmen and bowlers. The Indian bowlers still – after several years – don’t have an answer to breach Steve Smith, add to it Maxwell and Finch are back in form.
The major concern for the Indian bowling is the lack of powerplay wickets. Their spearhead, Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t taken any wicket in the powerplay in 7 ODIs this year. All the 5 bowlers on Friday are coming from playing a full IPL season, eventually which was going to take a toll.
However, there were some positives in the batting department; Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya continued their rich vein of form from the IPL, Virat Kohli, despite getting out for 21, didn’t shy away from any challenge and looked to take on the Aussie pacers.
However, the batters didn’t have answers for Australia’s consistent short ball ploy- Iyer couldn’t even have a proper look at the ball, exposing his renowned vulnerability, so did Dhawan.
There have been calls for years now about the lack of an extra bowling option – as nobody, not a single batsman in the top-order bowls, or has even attempted to bowl. Even after a humiliating loss, there might not be any significant changes, maybe Shardul Thakur for Navdeep Saini, but that still won’t address the issue of just five bowling options. Also, the team needs to address the fielding lapses in the first ODI.
Australia vs India, 2020, 2nd ODI, Sydney – Match Prediction
More than defeating Australia, Virat Kohli’s side have to conquer their own frailties. If not for any bold change, such as dropping Jadeja or Iyer for Kuldeep Yadav, the team will have the same combination. On the other hand, Australia won’t be much worried even after Stoinis’ exclusion.
‘Finish the series, and take rest from the third ODI’: this would be the thinking in the host camp. And they more likely to do it rather than a strong comeback from the men in blue. The prediction is for Aaron Finch’s team to wrap up the series on Sunday.