India look to level series in Adelaide

15 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

That was largely unexpected. Australia produced arguably their best ODI performance in two years to convincingly take the honours at the SCG and, as in the T20 series which began the tour, leave India needing to find a response, reports Espncricinfo.

Australia’s batting was efficient rather than electric and the question remains whether the current line-up, with Glenn Maxwell at No. 7, has the firepower to push 350 when required but in Sydney they scored enough runs and defended them impressively. It was the new-ball attack of Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson that stood out, taking six wickets between them, and providing a reminder that pace bowling is where Australia’s depth is at its greatest.

India’s performance reinforced the issues they need to resolve before the World Cup later this year. MS Dhoni’s innings fuelled the debate about whether he can still do the role needed at this level - although he entered at a very difficult time - with Rohit Sharma later saying he’d like Dhoni at No. 4. That discussion is likely to remain throughout this series and the rest of India’s matches before the tournament.

It is shaping as a season he’ll want to forget for captain Aaron Finch who collected another low score in the opening match when Bhuvneshwar Kumar nipped one back between bat and pad. Despite their victory, Australia have enough issues to think about in their side without the form of the captain heading into a World Cup year being one of them. He has plenty of time to turn it around, but starting in Adelaide would be handy.

Australia (probable): Aaron Finch (capt), Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon and Jason Behrendorff.

India (probable): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav/Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammed Shami.