India vs. Australia, 2nd ODI, Kolkata: Preview

September 20, 2017

The last match between India and Australia at Chennai was much closer than it looked. Australia were on top for at least the first 25 percent of the match, until Hardik Pandya joined MS Dhoni in the middle.

Pandya is already proving himself to be a sensational new find for the Indian team, perhaps their most exciting new prospect after Virat Kohli. He hit a match winning knock of 83 in quick time and took the match away from the Aussies.

What’s more, he was effective with the ball as well, bowling with pace and control and taking 2 wickets. India has produced very few pace bowling all-rounders and are fortunate to have one of Pandya’s quality. Consider who he has replaced – the amazingly talentless Stuart Binny!

Australia have won just 1 out of their last 10 matches played away. This is their worst performance in quite a while. They were abject in the ICC Champions Trophy. Their winless run has continued beyond that. They must be wondering what they are doing wrong, considering they have some of the most destructive one day players in the world.

Almost every player in their life-up is an IPL star, and yet they cannot seem to get a win. That is surprising for a lot of cricket observers. Against India, it was clear that Australia have serious problems against wrist spin.

India’s wrist spinning due of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav troubled all Australian batsmen except Glenn Maxwell, who bulldozed his way to another smashing innings against India. Maxwell has always done well against India and he will remain his team’s greatest threat.

Now, about the teams, one wonders if Manish Pandey will get to play, given that he didn’t do much in the last game. He may be replaced by KL Rahul. Ajinkya Rahane has not done well either and his place in the one day side is in question.

As for the Aussies, their batsmen Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade were really poor against the Indian bowlers. They might consider bringing in Peter Handscomb, who has been the mainstay of their Test batting line-up.

The Teams

India: 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Manish Pandey/KL Rahul, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Peter Handscomb, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 10 Pat Cummins, 11 Adam Zampa

Match Conditions

It’s been raining heavily in Kolkata, which means there is a lot of grass. Provided the grass is not taken off, this pitch will help Aussie quick bowers. An exciting game is in prospect. Let’s hope for a full day’s play.

Watch India play Australia at 1:30 pm on Thursday live on Star Sports!

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