India vs Australia 2020-21, 2nd ODI preview: Aussies look to seal series, as Indians fight for survival
India will take on Australia in the second One-Day International at the Sydney Cricket Ground, after suffering a 66-run loss in the opening game on Friday. A win here for the Aussies would seal the series for them, as the Indians are in a do-or-die situation.
After suffering a hard-fought 66-run defeat in the opening One-Day International (ODI), the Indians take on Australia in the second game, at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), on Sunday. It is a do-or-die game for India, as a loss here would allow Australia to win the series.
The Indians lagged in the bowling department, as three bowlers were highly expensive, while twin centuries from Aaron Finch (114) and Steve Smith (105) took the game away from them. Although the Indians fought back, including Hardik Pandya's brave knock of 90, it was not enough to steer them apart. Meanwhile, we present the natch preview for the second game here.
Current form: The Indians are going through a rough patch in the format, as the loss on Friday was their fourth consecutive defeat. It was the first time since January 2016 that they have endured this phase. As for Australia, they are coming off a 2-1 series win in England and look well on course for another one, this time on their home turf.
Squad composition: Considering the composition of the squad, it is heavily balanced for Team India. Although they moved in with a similar combination on Friday, the pitch favoured the batsmen. Meanwhile, Australia have a bowling-heavy squad. Nonetheless, their batting line-up is strong enough to take on any bowling attack in the world, as was evident on Friday.
Injury concerns: For India, pacer Navdeep Saini had complained of back spasms prior to Friday's game. Although he did play the game without any niggles, provided his problem recurs, he could be replaced by T Natarajan. As for Australia, they have a concern for all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who left mid-way during the first ODI, citing a side strain. Consequently, he could be replaced by Moises Henriques.
Head-to-head: As for their head-on clashes, Australia have a lead over the visitors. In 141 ODIs, Australia have won 79, while India have managed just 52. Off the 52 ODIs Down Under, Australia have been victorious on 37 occasions, while India have won only 13. In Sydney, the sides have played 18 ODIs to date, with Australia winning 15 and India managing just a couple.
Weather and pitch conditions: Considering the weather, the Australian summer is all set to heat up, as the temperature is likely to sore up to 38 degrees, with a 38% chance of humidity. As for the pitch, it gave a different feel on Friday, which assisted the batsmen. It is likely to remain the same and any score around 300 is expected to be competitive. However, with the predicted cloudy conditions, it could suit the seamers.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis/Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Adam Zampa.
India: Mayank Agarwal/Sanju Samson, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer/Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, T Natarajan/Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Batsmen: Finch, Smith, Warner and Dhawan- Finch and Warner can provide the right start, as was apparent in the last game, while Dhawan, too, suits the top-order. Meanwhile, Smith can consolidate in the middle.
Wicketkeeper: Rahul- Although he did not fire in the last game, he is the man in form among the wicketkeepers and could dominate in both the departments, while he can bat anywhere in the XI.
All-rounders: Maxwell and Pandya- Maxwell bounced back to his much-needed form in all departments, while he was highly impressive with the ball. Meanwhile, Pandya has been in lethal form with the bat since the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), as was obvious in the last game. No doubt, he would continue with the form, despite uncertainty on if he could bowl.
Bowlers: Hazlewood, Zampa, Shami and Saini- Hazlewood can dominate with the new ball, while Shami can do the same as well, along with his deadly seam. Saini, too, was decent in the last game and is likely to make an impact, while spinner Zampa has the knack of scalping wickets on any given track.
Players to watch out
Warner: The opener was going right on Friday, only to be given out under controversial circumstances. Nonetheless, he would look to turn things around an play a big knock on Sunday.
Bumrah: World's number one pacer did not live up to the expectations, being the third-most-expensive bowler for the side. The Indians would heavily rely on his services and it's about time that he bounces back to form, with his deadly yorkers.
Kohli: The captain is the best batsman in the world. However, it is his inability to perform at the SCG that has put his side in trouble. Kohli desperately needs to brush aside his rustiness at the venue and play a match-winning knock.
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Time: 9:10 AM IST
Where to watch (TV): Sony Six, Ten 1 and Ten 3 (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Sony LIV