(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Australia's stand-in captain, Steve Smith, won the toss and chose to bowl against India. India is going to miss the services of Jasprit Bumrah, while Australia is without Pat Cummins, with Prasidh Krishna and Spencer Johnson taking their places in the respective lineups. As the World Cup approaches, India has demonstrated consistent excellence, and their recent victory in the first ODI against Australia reaffirms their prowess. With the series still undecided and considering their form and the result of the Mohali match, India has a golden opportunity to secure an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the 2nd ODI at Indore and rest some of their important players to avoid an unwanted injury ahead of the World Cup.
However, this match holds special significance as it represents the final chance for players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Shreyas Iyer, and Suryakumar Yadav to leave a lasting impression before the return of senior players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav for India's last official match before the World Cup. Shreyas, in particular, aims to find his form after a disappointing performance on a flat track in the previous match. Designated as India's number 4, Shreyas has faced setbacks due to fitness issues and limited time at the crease. He hopes to make a substantial impact in the upcoming two games to boost both his confidence and the team's morale as they prepare for the global event.
Ashwin made a steady comeback with the ball but struggled to trouble Australian batsmen on a flat pitch. Generating little turn and offering deliveries that were easy for the opposition to handle, Ashwin's performance fell short of expectations. While the seasoned spinner still has a chance to make a last-minute entry into India's World Cup squad, the team management anticipates more from the 37-year-old.
Despite the absence of four top-tier players, including captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, India comfortably secured victory in the first ODI. They now have a favorable position to claim the series at the Holkar Stadium, renowned for high-scoring contests. After enduring unusual heat and humidity in Mohali, the players will welcome the relief brought by recent rain, which has lowered temperatures. While the previous game had several positive aspects for India, including notable performances by Mohammad Shami and Suryakumar Yadav, there are still unresolved questions as the World Cup approaches in early October.
Australia, like India, was without key players in the opening match, including Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell, and Josh Hazlewood. Captain Pat Cummins hinted at their possible return for the third game in Rajkot on September 27. Australia previously won a series in India earlier this year but now faces a must-win situation on Sunday. While Josh Inglis showed promise with a run-a-ball 45, the middle-order needs to find greater consistency.
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Key Points for the 2nd ODI between India and Australia:
-Australia's stand-in captain, Steve Smith, chose to bowl after Pat Cummins was rested.
-India is without Jasprit Bumrah for the 2nd ODI but will have him back for the final game.
-A victory in Indore will secure the series for India.
-Mohammed Siraj is expected to return to India's Playing XI, with Mohammed Shami likely retaining his place.
-Australia will continue to miss Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell, who are reportedly not yet fully match-ready.
-The 2nd ODI at Indore is expected to be a high-scoring contest, given the short boundaries at the Holkar Stadium.
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