It was another clinical performance by the Australians in the second ODI winning by 51 runs as they took an unassailable 2-0 series lead. Virat Kohli scored a captivating 89 off just 87 deliveries but it wasn’t enough as Steve Smith took home man of the match honours for the second game in a row with another quickfire century. Whilst Josh Hazlewood once again did the damage upfront with the ball for Australia.
Australia will make at least two changes with David Warner out of the remaining limited overs matches after suffering a groin injury, as he races the clock to be fit for the first Test. Whilst Pat Cummins is being rested for the rest of the white ball fixtures, as his workload is being managed ahead of the Test series. As the series heads to the nation’s capital, will the Aussies secure a series whitewash? Or will King Kohli and his troops instil some pride back in the Indian side?
3rd ODI, Wednesday 2nd December, Manuka Oval, 2:40pm AEDT
Australian Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Andrew Tye, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa
Indian Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
Australia produced another dominant performance in game two on Sunday in an almost identical batting performance to game one. Aaron Finch and David Warner had another massive opening stand of 142 runs, Steve Smith once again brought up his century from 62 balls and a Glenn Maxwell cameo (63 not out off 29) lifted Australia to a mammoth total. The interest ahead of the third ODI will be in Australia’s selection. Does Alex Carey move to the top of the order? And with Marcus Stoinis reportedly fit enough to play as a batsmen does he come back into the side, or will Matthew Wade get an opportunity? Whilst Sean Abbott, Daniel Sams and Andrew Tye will be battling for the spot vacated by Pat Cummins.
Whilst India’s bowling attack has been slightly undermanned, the Australians have done an excellent job at taking the tourist’s biggest weapon, Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah came into the series as the number two ranked bowler in ODI cricket, but he has been smashed to all parts by the Australians, returning figures of 1/73 and 1/79 in the first two games of the series. With scores of 6/374 and 4/389, Australia have virtually produced two perfect performances with the bat, however there is plenty to be improved on with the ball. Mitchell Starc has been wayward with the ball and will need to get back to his best, especially with Pat Cummins out.
Steve Smith has been in scintillating form to begin the summer with scores off 105 off 66 and 104 off 64. Much like the entire cricketing world, the Indian’s don’t know how to get Smith out. Smith has dispatched everything the Indian’s have thrown at him with ease, scoring at strike rates that many thought Smith couldn’t reach. His record against India in ODI cricket of 1116 runs at an average of 65.65 and a strike rate of 105.88 speaks for itself, Smith’s average of 98 is the most in one day cricket at Manuka Oval for any current player. Smith is in red hot form and It’s hard to see him not putting up another big score with the touch he's in. With Warner out, Smith is an outstanding choice as Australia’s top run scorer.
Sunday’s defeat made it five consecutive ODI losses for India, who are the number two ranked side in one day cricket. If India can’t right the ship quickly, their tour could be over before it even gets going. There were some positives with the bat as Virat Kohli (89) and KL Rahul (76) got their first scores of the tour, however India’s inability to manage the tempo of their innings once again hurt them. As they did in game one India got off to a flying start as they were 0/51 off 6.1 overs, however as they did in game one, they couldn’t rein their ambition as they were 2/67 by the tenth over.
Whilst there were positives with the bat, there were no positives whatsoever with the ball for India. Conceding scores of 6/374 and 4/389 is simply not going to get the job done on Australian shores. Mohammed Shami’s 3/59 in the first ODI is the only spell that has gone under a run a ball, across the first two games for India. The selection of five specialist bowlers has hindered their team balance and the poor performances of Chahal and Jadeja as the front line spinners has given India no chance of limiting Australia to a chaseable score.
Jasprit Bumrah came into the series as the number 2 ranked bowler in ODI cricket, but has gone the journey so far in this series with figures of 1/73 and 1/79 from the first two games. Bumrah has struggled in 2020 taking just 3 wickets from 76 overs, at an average of 146.33. In 2019 Bumrah took 25 wickets at an average of 24.60, with an economy rate of 4.63. Although he’s out of form, Bumrah is a proven bowler who has had success against Australia in all three formats. With multiple changes coming to Australia’s batting lineup, it’s a perfect opportunity for Bumrah to rediscover his dominance that we have seen from him over the past two years. With the awful performances of the Indian spinners so far in this series, Bumrah is a solid choice as India’s leading wicket taker.
Australia have produced two perfect performances with the bat whilst India have been solid with the bat, but beyond terrible with the ball. Australia will have some forced changes to their side, whilst it’s hard to see India sticking with the same eleven for the third game in a row. As were the fears coming into the series, India just doesn’t have the firepower with the ball to challenge this incredible Australian batting lineup, whilst the decision to play Yuzvendra Chahal over Kuldeep Yadav so far has been mind boggling, with Chahal returning figures of 1/89 and 0/71. Australia has a perfect 4-0 record in ODI’s at Manuka Oval, including a 25 run victory over India in 2016. Australia has won five of their last six ODI matches, whilst India is on a five match losing streak in one day cricket, expect that form line to continue as the Australians wrap up a series whitewash in Canberra.
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