India aim to bounce back; Australia look to clinch series

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Sydney: Australia are level on points with England in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League standings and will hope to win the series and top the table when they face India in the second ODI on Sunday (November 29).

Australia made their highest-ever total against India in ODIs in the first match and will be buoyed by the performances of their key players. David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell appeared to be in top nick while Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa were in equally good form with the ball.

They might have a forced change on Sunday with Marcus Stoinis suffering a side injury. The all-rounder left the field two balls into his seventh over and scans later in the day showed that he had a “low-grade side strain”. If Stoinis doesn’t play, Australia are likely to bring in Cameron Green, although his own injury management could mean he bowls less. The exciting Western Australia all-rounder was picked on the back of some stirring performances in domestic cricket and will hope to translate that into international cricket if an opportunity presents itself.

For India, on the other hand, Hardik Pandya’s terrific knock means that he will continue in the top six. However, he clearly stated after the game on Friday that he wouldn’t “exhaust” himself by bowling at this stage unless absolutely necessary.

India are not without concerns of their own. Their bowlers had an off day with both Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal going for over 80 runs in their 10-over spells. Jasprit Bumrah was largely unimpressive too, leaking 73 in his 10 overs. In 2020 in ODIs, bowling over 150 balls, Bumrah has failed to take a wicket in the first 10 overs of the match.

The visitors are likely to make a few changes to their bowling outfit for the second ODI, especially with Saini complaining of a back strain ahead of the first ODI and struggling with the ball on Friday (November 27).

Three times in their last four bilateral ODI series against India, Australia have gone on to win the first ODI. But on the previous two occasions, they conceded the next two games to lose the series 1-2. The hosts will hope they can change this wretched streak and win the match and series on Sunday to edge ahead of England in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points table.

Australia bowler Adam Zampa said, “My bowling is at the stage where I’m really confident in my game, confident in my action. I’ve played enough now [to know] what I need to do and how to get the best out of myself.”

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya said, “I am looking at a long-term goal where I want to be 100% of my bowling capacity for the most important games. The World Cups are coming. More crucial series are coming. Whenever it is required. I am thinking as a long-term plan, not short-term where I exhaust myself and maybe have something else (injury) which is not there.”

The Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (WK/VC), Sanju Samson (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan.

Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins (VC), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (WK), David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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