India vs Australia: India Predicted XI for 2nd ODI - With series on the line, Virat Kohli set to make big changes in Rajkot
The top-order fired but not the in the expected dominant manner. Virat Kohli dropping down to No.4 meant there was no momentum in his innings, the middle-order crumbled under pressure. The seamers were wayward with the new ball, the spinners struggled against a fire-breathing David Warner and Aaron Finch because of dew – Nothing went right for India in Mumbai a couple of days ago. The result was a devastating 10-wicket loss after 15 years in ODIs. Captain Virat Kohli mentioned that there was no need to press the panic button just because of one bad day but deep down even he knew a few changes (if not many) are needed to stretch the three-match series to the decider. The pressure – for the first time in this magnitude – will be on the hosts when they take on a quality Australian side in the 2nd ODI at the Rajkot on Friday.
With the series on the line, Virat Kohli might make some changes in the playing XI as well as in the batting order.
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Here’s India’s Predicted XI for the 2nd ODI against Australia in Rajkot
He miss-timed a cross-seam delivery from Mitchell Starc early in his innings in Mumbai. Rohit Sharma knows, he needs to bring his A-game against an opposition he loves to bat to give India the foundation they desperately need in Rajkot.
There were lot of debates on who should open with Rohit. India played both Dhawan and Rahul but went in with the left-hander as Rohit’s opening partner. To be fair to Dhawan, he didn’t disappoint at all. Returning from an injury, he scored a 91-ball 74 but got out when he was supposed to carry on and get a big one. Dhawan would hope to carry on the good work in Rajkot in the 2nd ODI and get to the three-figure mark.
Virat Kohli has to bat at No.3. The skipper himself admitted after the drubbing in Mumbai that it doesn’t quite go India’s way when slides down the batting order in an ODI. In Rajkot, Kohli is expected to take his spot at No.3. The skipper is just one century away from equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s nine centuries against Australia in the format.
With Rishabh Pant ruled out because of a concussion, there will be additional responsibility of keeping the wickets on KL Rahul. Moreover, he in all probability will have to come back to the No.4 spot in order to accommodate Dhawan at the top and Kohli at No.3. Rahul looked good for 47 in the 1st ODI but just like Dhawan, got out at the wrong time.
Amid all the Dhawan, Rahul and Kohli batting order chaos, it has skipped everyone’s mind that Iyer too has to slide down to No.5 in the batting order. He has been the answer to India’s No.4 question in the last few months but he is almost certain to bat at No.5 in Rajkot. In Mumbai, he was set up beautifully by Mitchell Starc and will have to stand up tall to turn things around in the 2nd ODI on Friday.
Opportunities come rarely for Manish Pandey and Pant’s injury might just open up a space for him in the middle order. Kedar Jadhav’s bowling has always given him an upper hand but considering the form Pandey is in and his good performance in the final T20I against Sri Lanka, the Karnataka batsman might just be the answer to India’s middle-order woes in the 2nd ODI against Australia
Despite Jadeja not picking up a bag full of wickets in ODIs, his presence in the XI is crucial for the team balance, particularly in the absence of Hardik Pandya. He too looked good in his brief stay in the middle in Mumbai and would look to carry the form and give India a good finish in Rajkot.
It is always hard to pick between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. India went in with Kuldeep in Mumbai. To be fair to the left-arm wrist-spinner, he was one of the better Indian bowlers in front of Warner and Finch but failed to make inroads. But you can’t keep someone like Chahal in the bench for long. The leggie is set to return in Rajkot.
Shami was taken apart by Finch with the new ball. India’s best seamer in ODIs since 2019, will look to get his act together in Rajkot.
It was a surprise that Saini didn’t feature in the first ODI. But after Shardul Thakur conceded 43 runs in his 5 overs, Saini’s return is all but certain in the 2nd ODI. The lanky seamer brings in that X-factor with his pace and bounce which might come in handy against the powerful Australian top-order.
Bumrah has not been at his best. The back injury has really pegged him back. But the No.1 bowler in ODIs was much better in his second spell in Mumbai, showing signs of coming back to the rhythm.