After Mumbai mauling, India look to level series in 2nd ODI - GulfToday

After Mumbai mauling, India look to level series in 2nd ODI


India’s captain Virat Kohli (left) chats with coach Ravi Shastri (right) during practice on Thursday, ahead of their second ODI match against Australia in Rajkot on Friday. Associated Press

Team India will look to leave behind the drubbing they faced in Mumbai and draw level in the second ODI against Australia set to be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.

The Men in Blue will go into the second ODI on the back of a crushing 10-wicket defeat they faced at the Wankhede. The hosts will be without wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant in the match where they would be keen to prevent their second straight ODI series loss against Australia at home. Pant was struck on the helmet by a ferocious bouncer bowled by leading pacer Pat Cummins in the first ODI and was subsequently ruled out with a concussion. KL Rahul, who took the gloves in his absence in Australia’s innings, is likely to continue in the role.

However, it still remains a doubt where Rahul will bat. In Mumbai, he was slotted at No. 3 and Virat Kohli came at No. 4, which the Indian skipper himself felt didn’t augur well for the team.

With Pant not playing, India might go with all-rounder Kedar Jadhav, who can provide with more than handy bowling option.

What Team India will be more keen about in the Rajkot ODI would be to bring in more intent and aggression in their batting. They posted 255 after being asked to bat on a pitch which was generally a batting paradise.

The hosts couldn’t capitalise on a strong second-wicket partnership of 121 between Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul and a below-par performance from the lower-middle order saw them reach a modest total which was chased down easily by Australia.

“I think people need to relax and not panic with one game, I’m allowed to experiment a little bit and fail as well at times. You lose games here and there,” Kohli had said after the Mumbai loss and fans would hope that it was just a one-off performance.

On the other hand, the visitors would simply want to replicate the performance and would be unwilling to make any changes to their playing XI. Their bowling attack performed to a plan and Aaron Finch would expect his boys to do just the same.

Finch and David Warner’s tremendous centuries at the top of the order didn’t allow a chance for Marnus Labuschagne to bat on his debut, and thus all eyes will be on him in the second game.

Indo-Asian News Service

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