India will look to stretch their winning run when they take on Australia in the second ODI at Eden Gardens on Thursday. India have taken a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series and extended their winning run to 10 international matches across formats. Australia will look to level the series in the second ODI but rain may play spoilsport in the Kolkata ODI. Cricwizz takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams.
Rohit Sharma’s brilliant run at Eden Gardens: Rohit has always done well at Eden Gardens across formats. Rohit struck his highest ODI score of 264 at Kolkata. He also scored his maiden Test ton at Kolkata. Hence, Rohit will be itching to do well in the Kolkata ODI.
Winning momentum: It seems no one can stop India at the moment. They have followed up their 9-0 triumph in the Sri Lanka tour with a win in the Chennai ODI against Australia. India are a strong team across all departments. And it will be tough to beat India at home. The best thing about India is that someone or the other is taking up responsibility to take the team across the finish line – it speaks volume of India’s depth in batting and bowling.
Bowling combination: India have gone with two wrist spinners in YS Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav and they have well worked as a combination, taking wickets regularly and stopping the flow of runs. Ravindra Jadeja, who replaced an injured Axar Patel, has to sit out and wait for his chance.
Complacency: The only thing that can come in between India and victory is complacency. India should not take Australia lightly as the tourists play some competitive cricket in the shorter format. It was MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya’s brilliance that saw India home in the last ODI. India must ward of any complacency that may creep into their ranks.
India squad: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, YS Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami
New-ball bowling: Nathan Coulter-Nile rattled the Indian top-order with three quick wickets in Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey in the Chennai ODI. Pat Cummins and James Faulkner also are good new-ball bowlers. India escaped in the first ODI, but next time, they might find it hard to get by. Australia bowling can pose tough challenge to strong Indian batting line-up.
Batting firepower: In David Warner, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Australia have a batting firepower that can destroy any opposition. They also have a hard-hitting batsman in Marcus Stoinis who announced his arrival with a blazing century against New Zealand recently. Travis Head will count on his RCB experience to come good in the series. Then there is James Faulkner who always reserves his best for India.
Losing key moments: Australia had India on the mat at 87/5, and then lost grip over the match as the Dhoni-Pandya partnership took the game away from them. Australia have been guilty of lessening the pressure that has helped team to bounce back. Australia need to be ruthless in their approach to give a tough fight to India.
Australia squad: Steven Smith, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mathew Wade, Pat Cummins, Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Peter Handscomb.
Prediction: India have a good record at home. They are also coming off a 9-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka. They also defeated Australia in the first ODI at Chennai. They look favourites at the moment in the second ODI at Kolkata. However, Australia would come hard at India to level the series.
Possible winner: India