Nagpur, March 4: The Indian top order will look to get runs while the World Cup hopefuls will strive to seal a berth, when India take on Australia in the second ODI, here on Tuesday.
The Virat Kohli-led side beat Australia by six wickets in the series opener on Saturday. It was a welcome win for India after losing the T20 series 0-2. Virat Kohli-MS Dhoni Bonhomie Deepens Moving Into ICC World Cup 2019: For Indian Skipper, It’s My Way and ‘The Mahi Way’.
The bowling unit did well to restrict the Aussies to a modest score and what would be pleasing for the team management is that when pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah had an off day, Mohammed Shami stepped in to produce a fine show.
India looked to be making heavy weather of an easy chase when their top order was removed early, but Kedar Jadhav underlined his value in the team with a street-smart 81 in the company of veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni who held fort with an unbeaten 59.
With only four ODIs remaining before the World Cup, the hosts will look to finalise the "two available spots" in an otherwise settled squad.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan did not get runs in the first rubber but the team management is likely to stick with the southpaw and not replace him with KL Rahul who stacked a claim with good shows in the two T20s.
Skipper Kohli looked good for his 44 on Saturday and so did Rohit who has the ability to take any attack to cleaners on his day.
At No.4, Ambati Rayudu failed in the first game and it remains to be seen whether the team management reposes faith in him or not. With Dhoni showing that he is not finished just yet, the middle order looks in a better shape than what was thought.
On Tuesday, the Indian team could bring in the Rishabh Pant in place of all-rounder Vijay Shankar who had an off day with the ball on Saturday.
Australia, on the other hand, would look to sharpen their batting skills. For their coach Justin Langer, out-of-form skipper Aaron Finch would be a definite concern. Finch who had scores of 0 and 8 in the T20 series continued his bad run in the first ODI.
The visitors can be pleased with their bowling effort, especially leg-spinner Adam Zampa who troubled the Indian batsmen. Pacers Pat Cummins and Nathan Counter-Nile were also good in the beginning, but once Dhoni and Jadhav got going they lost their rhythm.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rishabh Pant, Siddarth Kaul, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja.
Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), D'Arcy Short, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Usman Khawaja, Alex Carey, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson, Pat Cummins, Andrew Tye, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Nathan Lyon.