India put up a magnificent performance in the Hyderabad ODI against Australia to take the lead in the series. (Image credit: Twitter)
Virat Kohli's Indian cricket team had the ideal preparation for their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 during their six-wicket win in the Hyderabad ODI against Australia. With the top order not contributing much, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni strung a solid partnership of 141 runs and their fifties gave the lower-middle order stability. In the past, India were overly reliant on the top but the performance of Jadhav and Dhoni has ensured that India has depth and is ready for a situation where the top order fails. If the batting gave Kohli plenty to smile, then the bowling gives him even more reason to believe that India can go all the way not only in this series but also in the World Cup.
Mohammed Shami has been in great form ever since the series against New Zealand. Shami's 'hunger' and determination has been praised by Kohli and along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav, who also took two wickets, the bowling has variety and depth.
Heading into the second ODI in Jamtha, India hold all the aces while Australia are burdened by the weight of history and poor numbers. Aaron Finch's side has lost all three games played in Nagpur and they a loss will prolong their agony against India. They have lost three out of four bilateral series, including in India and Australia and they will be hoping to get back on level terms.
In the batting, the team has major problems. Finch has not contributed at the top while Usman Khawaja was the only batsman to reach fifty. The bowling started off well but could not maintain the intensity. Australia will have to pull up their batting and bowling if they have to stay in the series.
India might go for an unchanged combination following their win in Hyderabad but they could be tempted to bring back Yuzvendra Chahal in place of Ravindra Jadeja. Australia might be tempted to bring back Jhye Richardson in place of Alex Carey.
Australia: Aaron Finch(c), Usman Khawaja, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey/Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja/Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Who will win?
With Australia not high on confidence and with the VCA stadium not proving to be Australia's favorite, India hold the clear edge.
Pitch and ground
In two out of three ODIs at the VCA stadium between the two sides, India have crossed 350 and Australia has struggled with either bat and ball. With temperatures expected to be in the mid-30s, one can expect Nagpur to be a belter of wicket with plenty of runs on offer.
Stadium and Time
The game will begin at VCA stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur at 1:30 PM IST.