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Australians started the series with a thumping win over the Men in Blue to take a lead of 1-0 in the 3- match ODI series. The Aussies once again proved why they are a very tough team to beat in their home conditions. Indians on the other side have been on the losing side in the last six ODIs and will be hoping they can bounce back in this second ODI to level the series.

The clash is set to take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the same one as the 1st ODI was played. The Aussies after winning the toss elected to bat first and with the help of stunning centuries from their captain- Aaron Finch and former skipper Steve Smith, the team gave India a huge target of 375 runs to chase. 

The Indians did have a stunning start to their chase by scoring more than 50 runs in the first 5 overs. But their strike bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa picked up seven wickets between them and ensured the Indians were always kept in check whilst the chase. 

Though the deficit of 66 runs may look to be a huge margin, the Indians did put up a strong fight, especially the stand of 128 runs between Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya did threaten to take the game away from the Aussies at one point. For that reason, the second ODI does promise to be a thrilling one and a close encounter is on the cards once again.

Can the Aussies seal the series in their favor by registering back to back wins? Or Can the spirited team led by Virat Kohli bounce back and level the series 1-1?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 141, Australia-79, India- 52, N/R- 10

Team News

The Aussies would be dealing with an injury concern in the form of Marcus Stoinis, the 31-year old all-rounder was seen limping away off the field after suffering a side injury and few reports do suggest the Aussie may not be available for the 2nd ODI, though an official statement is still awaited. In that case, it would mean that Ashton Agar could make his way to playing Xl in place of Stoinis. 

The Men in Blue have not reported any injuries but will have some concerns with the form of a few players. Given that the players are still getting used to the away conditions after the long break could mean the management would be happy to feature the same Xl for this encounter, the only change which we could witness could be the replacement of pacer Navdeep Saini with T. Natarajan as the left-arm could add the much-needed variety in the Indian bowling line-up.

Pitch and Conditions

The pitch in Sydney as seen in the previous game seems to be flat and has nothing for the bowlers. The pitch is expected to behave the same way for this encounter and for that reason the team winning the toss will look to bat first so as to put the scoreboard pressure on the chasing team. There is no assistance for the bowlers, and we can once again expect a high-scoring game at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The conditions are once again in favor of the sport as clear skies are expected throughout the day with overcast conditions to take over around the end of the first innings. The temperatures are expected to be on the higher side, as it is expected to reach the 38-degree mark in the late noon. The humidity is expected to hover in the 30- 36 percent range.

Probable Playing Xl

Australia (Aus): Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis/Ashton Agar, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

India (Ind): Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini/T. Natarajan, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah

Key Battles

Aaron Finch (Aus) vs Mohammad Shami (Ind)

Aaron Finch Mohammad Shami India
Aaron Finch (Aus) vs Mohammad Shami (Ind)

The Aussie skipper looked totally out of form when he was playing for the RCB in the Indian Premier League. But, he once again proved why he is one of the best openers in the limited-overs format. FInch played the innings of the captain as he played a wonderful knock of 114. Though the strike- rate at which he played was very uncharacteristic of Finch, the innings did suggest he was back to his prime. 

India on the other side will know in order for them to level the series they will have to remove the opener early in the innings. India’s best bowler in the 1st ODI was by far Mohammad Shami who picked up 3 wickets and also bowled at an economy of less than 6, when most of the bowlers went for more than 8 runs an over.  He will have the task cut off this time and will be eyeing the prize wicket of Finch.

Can the Australian pile on the runs once again? Or will it be the Indian Pacer make his stay at the crease a short one?

Josh Hazlewood (Aus) vs Shikhar Dhawan (Ind)

Shikhar Dhawan Josh Hazlewood India
Josh Hazlewood (Aus) vs Shikhar Dhawan (Ind)

The Indian batting line-up did not look very comfortable, except for two players- Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya. The Southpaw opener once again played a gem of an innings for Team  India, but the target of 375 looked too many to chase down with his partners failing to give him support at the start. Said that he is in tremendous form and will be hoping he can play a match-winning knock for the Men in Blue. 

On the other side is Josh Hazlewood, the man who initiated the fall of wickets. His brilliant usage of the short ball got the Indian batsmen off- guard, while the strike bowlers Starc and Cummins found it hard to get their rhythm, It was Hazlewood who saved the Aussies. 

Can Shikhar Dhawan once get his team over the line? Or will the Aussie Pacer bowl a cluster of short balls and trouble the opener?

Prediction

It is really tough to separate the two based on the previous match analysis as India were not that bad with the bat. Despite the big guns failing, the Men in Blue were able to cross the 300 mark. Considering India are slow starters and they have the tendency to come back strong after a loss, especially in the away conditions they do hold an advantage here.

With a better bowling effort from India and better technique to tackle the short ball, Virat Kohli and Co. could prove very tough to beat.

Cricwizz Predicts India to win the match and level the series 1-1