After taking a 1-0 lead in the first ODI, India will take on Australia in the second ODI of the five-match series in Nagpur on March 5.
India almost messed up a chase that looked fairly comfortable initially but courtesy the dependable hands of MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav, crossed the finishing line quite comfortably in the end.
India decided to go in with batting depth in the first ODI but it was their bowling that won them the game according to skipper Virat Kohli. It will be interesting to see whether the management decides to make any changes to the successful combination because the Nagpur ODI will be Siddharth Kaul's last game in the squad. If the management decides to give him one last shot before the World Cup, either Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami will have to sit out.
The other person who will be keen on staking a claim is Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg spinner was rested for the opening ODI and Hardik Pandya's replacement, Ravindra Jadeja found himself in the team. The left arm orthodox bowler did pretty well with the ball in hand conceding only 33 runs in his quota of 10 overs.
While the decisions on whether or not to include the aforementioned in the World Cup squad seems fairly certain, one place that is wide open and being contested is that of the second wicketkeeper. Thus, India will be desperate to test out Rishabh Pant. He is yet to impress in coloured clothing for the country but his lofty potential has a believer in the collective wits of the Indian team management.
It will thus be interesting to see if the management decides to drop Ambati Rayudu and give Pant a go. The other alternative could be to rest Dhoni after a couple of games and give Pant two games to prove himself. Yet another option is to have Jadeja play as an all-rounder, pick Chahal in place of Vijay Shankar, rest Kedar Jadhav and play Pant at number 6.
Australia, on their part, will perhaps be looking at only one change. Shaun Marsh has flown to Indian following the birth of his second child and his selection will depend on how fit he is.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Usman Khawaja, Marcus Stoinis, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb (WK), Ashton Turner, Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff
Pitch and conditions
The pitch at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur is known to traditionally assist the quick bowlers so both teams will like playing at the venue as they boast of really skilful and quick pacers. The Indian team also has wrist spinners who can extract turn out of any surface so the batsman will have to be careful with their strokeplay. At the same time, the true nature of the 22 yards will assist the batters who will enjoy playing on this ground as run-scoring becomes easy once a batsman can get his eye in.
Expect a sunny afternoon followed by a cool evening with temperatures starting at 33 degree Celsius and expected to reach the mid-20s as the game progresses. No rain has been forecast.