After a convincing win against World No. 2 India in the Sydney ODI, Australia starts as favorites to win the second ODI and hence win the series. However, one cannot rule the Indians out of context as they boast of match-winners and would take it to their pride to come back and level the series 1–1.
The next match is scheduled to be played at Adelaide Oval on the 15th of January, a venue where Indians have already registered a win in the Test Series, and would be hoping of the same in ODI’s too, which would then, in turn, keep the series level at 1–1 ahead of the final match to be played at MCG on the 18th.
Australia would like to go unchanged heading into the second ODI, after doing so well and dominating the Indians in all departments of the game. However, as Alan Border suggested, they would be looking to work out a position for Glenn Maxwell who in the last match came to bat at No. 7. Australia have to make full use of the hard-hitting batsman and hence should promote him ahead of Marcus Stoinis who also dons the same role as of Maxwell.
India might make a change or two. The most certain player to get back into the playing XI is Kedar Jadhav, who will be vital with the ball too, especially after Ambati Rayudu was suspected of illegal bowling action. Thus, it is expected that Dinesh Karthik makes way for the Maharashtra batsman who can slog too as the situation arises. The Indians might also drop Ravindra Jadeja and Khaleel Ahmed, and in place give Yuzvendra Chahal a chance along with fast-bowling all-rounder Vijay Shankar, to give the batting line-up stability.
Middle-order on-song – The first ODI saw all of the Australian middle-order batsmen performing excellently. Much of Australia’s struggles in limited overs format in the recent past is due to the fact that none of their middle-order batsmen tend to anchor the innings, however, all the criticism was put to rest in the First ODI wherein all of Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, and Marcus Stoinis negated the Indian bowlers well and went on to score runs in heaps.
Daunting new-look pace attack – The likes of Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff and Marcus Stoinis kept the Indian batsmen at check by not bowling in a defensive line, but rather tempting the Indian batsmen to go for a drive. And this was one of the major reasons why India were left reeling at 4/3 inside four overs. Australia’s new-look pace attack is fearless and won’t mind going for a few boundaries as their main motive is to pick up wickets.
Lack of runs from the Openers – One of the major reasons why Australia have lost in recent times is due to mere fact that their openers have struggled to negate the new ball and thus lose their wickets cheaply. Be it any pair of Travis Head and Aaron Finch, Finch and D’Arcy Short, Finch and Chris Lynn or now Finch and Alex Carey, all have struggled and ended up being dismissed for cheap.
Hit-man on red-hot form – Since, the last year or two, Rohit Sharma is the only International batsman to have come close to Virat Kohli’s sensational batting performance in the limited overs format. The Indian vice-captain resumed the year 2019 with a bang, scoring 133 off 129 deliveries and he was the sole reason why India managed to reduce the deficit from the Australian total by 34 runs.
Middle-Order unable to score runs – This has been a problem for quite some time now. The Indian middle-order batsmen are unable to score runs and are one of the major reasons when India lose a limited overs match. Although Dhoni scored a valuable fifty in the last match, yet if we shed light on recent records, all of the Indian middle-order batsmen struggle to score runs and it is the top-3 who make the majority of runs of the Indian total.
We expect India to bounce back after a dismal show in Sydney, and level the series 1–1. However, toss would play a major factor in this match and whichever team bats first after winning the toss and posts 300–320 would definitely have more chances of winning the match.
Also Read, Match Report|Aus vs Ind|1st ODI