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India won the first match against Australia very comfortably and started the ODI series much better than it had the T20 series. There were occasions where Australia seemed to be getting into competitive positions but they squandered them away. We believe the teams are closer than most people expect them to be and the next few matches could end up proving that.
The series will now move to Nagpur for the second ODI between India and Australia. The pitch in Nagpur is one of the flattest that the Australians will encounter in this series. We could have a batting fest between two strong lineups.
Can Australia win the match and keep the series balanced or are the Indians going to run away with it?
India would have been very pleased with the way in which the first match went. They put in a good bowling performance and chased down a par total on a difficult pitch without any of their top-3 contributing.
The ICC World Cup 2019 is on every team’s mind right now and the primary aim of this series is to lock down the final places in their squads for the tournament. India is looking to solve its middle order muddle and find out what the best bowling combination is.
We think that Amabati Rayadu has done enough to nail down the number four position. He has been scoring runs at an average of nearly 53 ever since he has got that spot. MS Dhoni is a lock at number 5 and Kedar Jadhav is a must in the team at number 6.
Both Dhoni and Jadhav played a very mature hand to haul India out of trouble from 99 for 4. They remained unbeaten till the end and ensured that India suffered no more hiccups. With Vijay Shankar batting at 6, India does not have a deep batting order at all and could have been in trouble had another wicket fallen.
India is missing Hardik Pandya massively and Vijay Shankar is not even close to being a replacement for him when it comes to the bowling part of things. Pandya is also better on the batting side of things and can clear the boundaries with more ease.
Perhaps this is why Yuzvendra Chahal was left out of the side after a stellar display in New Zealand. Ravindra Jadeja adds more stability to side with the bat and is a genuine spinner in his own right.
India has the option of playing Rishab Pant to add some more batting to the side in place of Vijay Shankar but that would mean going in with just two fast bowlers which is not something that Virat Kohli likes doing.
Kuldeep Yadav was good with the ball but the real star for India’s attack was Mohammad Shami. If Shami can continue to bowl in the manner that he has been during the ICC World Cup 2019 then India is going to be tough to stop. Jasprit Bumrah went for runs uncharacteristically but he is the best in the business and is going to bounce back strongly.
India is coming closer to the final combination it wants for the World Cup and we don’t expect to see any changes in the side for this match.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, V Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, V Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, JJ Bumrah.
Australia was competitive in the first ODI versus India but it kept falling short on crucial occasions. A lot of their batsmen got starts without converting them into big scores and the bowlers picked up four quick wickets but were then unable to get through the middle order.
There were some interesting selection choices for Australia as well. We don’t think the Australia ICC World Cup 2019 squad can be discussed without talking about David Warner and Steve Smith. In the current lineup, we think Usman Khawaja and possibly Ashton Turner seem the most vulnerable.
David Warner could slide into the opening slot and the middle order will shift one slot when Steve Smith comes back.
The biggest problem right now, though, is the form of Aaron Finch. He is the ODI skipper right now and is conceivably going to be the captain for the ICC World Cup 2019 as well. As the opening batsman, he also sets the tone for the ODI side.
Finch has not been able to score an international fifty in his last 20 matches across formats and the selectors must be worried.
Jasprit Bumrah has had the number of the Australian skipper throughout this tour and Finch is going to have to find some way of negotiating his bowling.
The middle order for Australia is pretty strong and that is where we think they have the best chance of winning a match. Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, and Alex Carey are all dangerous at the end of the inning.
Handscomb and Maxwell are very good against spin and it will be up to them to ensure that India’s spinners do not run away with the game in the middle overs. Maxwell was in excellent form during the T20 series, where he scored a brilliant century to help win Australia the series and looked in good touch in the first ODI as well.
These are the two batsmen that we are looking towards to have an impact in the second ODI. The flat batting wicket at Nagpur could also mean another opportunity for Maxwell to open his arms and clear the boundaries a number of times.
Australia’s bowling attack was good in patches without being match winning and we think that is down to their spinners. Adam Zampa took two wickets but is not the kind of bowler that is going to run through sides.
He is going to be much more effective while defending a big score. Maybe Nathan Lyon could get a look-in during this series as well.
Australia is not as good an ODI side as it is a T20 side and we believe there are quite a few questions that remain to be answered.
Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Nathan Michael Lyon, Adam Zampa.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
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The 2nd ODI between India and Australia is going to be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur. There is no threat of rain and temperatures are expected to be around 33 degrees Celsius in the afternoon.
The pitch at Nagpur is flat for batting and tends to remain that way throughout the match. 8 out of the ten ODI matches played here have been won by the side batting second. India and Australia have been involved in an ODI match in Nagpur where more than 700 runs were scored in 2013.
We think something similar could happen in this match as well.
India is a better ODI side than Australia right now and has a big advantage while playing at home. Both sides have a strong batting lineup but India’s better bowling lineup gives it the edge for sure. We think this is a going to a high-scoring encounter but one where India is going to eventually emerge as the winner.
Back India to win.
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