After the loss in Sydney, MS Dhoni again came under criticism. Many felt that his slow innings resulted in India failing in the run chase. However, batting at No 5 and with India 4/3, the former captain had no other choice than to take his time and rebuild the innings
Adelaide: After the opening game loss in Sydney, India captain Virat Kohli said he is “not stressed” about the results and the team was focused on improving. Now, the actions shifts to Adelaide where India and Australia face off in the second ODI of the three-match series on Tuesday with the visitors in a must-win situation to stay alive in the rubber.
If you go by Kohli’s post-match comments at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), the ‘Men in Blue’ will not be sweating too much over the series result. They will be more worried about getting the combination right and putting in 100% with the World Cup less than five months away, in England.
Also read: Rohit Sharma breaks records in Sydney ODI
“We are not very pleased with the way we played. I thought we were fine with the ball, score of 300-plus was par on that wicket. We thought 280 was chaseable on that wicket but losing three wickets in such a short span of time is never good," Kohli had said in Sydney after India failed to chase down 289.
(Stats compiled by Manoj Kumar)
"I think we have to take it as a day on which Australia played better than us. We are not stressed about the results, we need to figure out the things we need to improve as a side," he added.
After the Indian bowlers, in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, produced the goods by keeping Australia to 288, the batsmen failed. With the scoreboard reading 4/3, India had lost the game in the first five overs in Sydney.
Despite Rohit Sharma’s brilliant 133 and MS Dhoni’s half century, which was termed as “slow” by many, India went down by 34 runs to be 0-1 down.
It is never easy for any side to recover from a poor start. Rohit almost single-handedly took India home but the required run rate was out of reach for him and in a bid to accelerate he perished.
For the Adelaide contest, India are likely to make at least one change. Dinesh Karthik is set to make way for Kedar Jadhav, who gives Kohli the part-time spin bowling option.
With all-rounder Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul suspended and sent back home due to their sexist, misogynistic comments on “Koffee with Karan” TV show, India are struggling to find a balance to the team.
Though Vijay Shankar has been named as replacement for Pandya, the Tamil Nadu all-rounder might not play on Tuesday as he landed in Australia on Monday afternoon.
After the loss in Sydney, Dhoni again came under criticism. Many felt that his slow innings resulted in India failing in the run chase. However, batting at No 5 and with India 4/3, the former captain had no other choice than to take his time and rebuild the innings.
Now again he will be under pressure. It will be interesting to see where Dhoni bats in Adelaide. While Rohit expressed his opinion saying he would like to see Dhoni at No 4 but the team management has not said anything so far.
Ambati Rayudu has done well in patches at No 4 and he is set to retain his position in Adelaide.
With the emergence of Rishabh Pant and his aggressive batting, pressure is mounting on Dhoni. Pant has been rested from the ongoing series but the chief of selection committee MSK Prasad said he is in the mix for World Cup plans.
"Rishabh Pant played three T20s and four Test matches in Australia and that had an impact on his body. He needed complete rest for two weeks and then we will take a call on how many matches he will play against England Lions. Let me put it straight, he is very much in our World Cup plans. He is a champion player in the making and even he is not fully aware the kind of potential he has," Prasad told PTI.
Indian batsmen will be wary of Australian pacemen Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson, who rattled the top order. The visitors will be keen to show that Sydney debacle was just one-off and they should be back to firing on all cylinders.
On the eve of the match, paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar too said it was “very rare” failure.
"It was one of those matches where the top order didn't click," Bhuvneshwar told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.
"It can happen with you when you play so much cricket. So it was just one of those things ... it's very rare for us," he added.
Bhuvneshwar said it won’t be “impossible” to win the series from being 0-1 down.
"We have been in this situation before," he said.
"We know it won't be impossible to win the series but it won't be easy for us as we are playing away from home. We are preparing in a manner where we have to win our next two matches so it's a kind of knockout for us, we can't afford to lose this match."
For Australia, the worry will be skipper Aaron Finch’s form. He was dropped from the Test squad and did not have a good start in Sydney. Also, they will be contemplating on using Glenn Maxwell up the order, from the current No 7.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Vijay Shankar.
Australia: Aron Finch (captain), Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa.
Match starts at 8.50 am IST
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Last Updated Jan 14, 2019, 4:04 PM IST