India take on Australia in the second ODI of the five-match series in Nagpur on Tuesday with a 1-0 lead under their belt.
The Men in Blue won the first game in Hyderabad by six wickets after fine fifties from Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni chasing 237.
With the ball, India were on top of their game with pacer Mohammed Shami and wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav picking up two wickets apiece. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja went for just 33 runs from his 10 overs, which was probably the deciding factor. It was a commanding effort after India lost the T20 series 2-0.
As the hosts look to take a 2-0 lead in the ODI series, we take a look at three key battles.
KOHLI v ZAMPA
Not many bowlers can claim to have a measure of India captain Virat Kohli, especially in white-ball cricket. Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa is a member of that select group of bowlers, having dismissed the Indian batting superstar four times in 13 encounters across formats – twice each in ODIs and T20s.
What’s more Zampa has already dismissed Kohli twice during the ongoing tour of India. So while the Australians enter the second ODI trailing 1-0, Zampa is upbeat about having the upper hand in battles against India’s batting mainstay.
“He’s one guy we always spend a little bit of extra time talking about in team meetings. It’s good for the confidence, it’s exciting to get a player like that out,” Zampa said ahead of the second ODI. “But it’s also one of those things where he probably won’t want to get out to me again so I don’t know if he’s going to do a bit more thinking about it. I’m going to have to bowl even better this game.”
JADHAV V MAXWELL
Both teams will be relying on an off-spin bowling all-rounder in the middle order capable of winning match on his own. While Kedar Jadhav put in an all-round show in the first ODI by picking up a wicket and smashing a match-winning 81 not out, Glenn Maxwell chipped in with a fine 40 in the first match to go with his T20 series winning century.
Interestingly, Maxwell didn’t bowl in the first ODI and if the wicket is dry on Tuesday, expect him to step up to the mark.
SHAMI v COULTER-NILE
Shami has quickly overtaken Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the second best ODI pace bowler in the team. And at times, he has bowled as well as spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, if not better. The second ODI will be another opportunity for Shami to seal his World Cup spot irrespective of what Bhuvi does when he gets a chance later in the series.
Australia quick Nathan Coulter-Nile has been unlucky with back injuries but proved he can be mighty effective in the 50-over format, picking up 2-46 in the first game. The right-arm quick proved a point to Australian selectors who had ignored him during the home series against India, saying Coulter-Nile’s fitness is not up to mark for ODIs. If he manages to complete the series, that would be some statement from him.
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