3 player battles to watch out for in 2nd ODI
India secured a thrilling win against Australia in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The hosts were in deep trouble at 16/3 while chasing a modest target of 189.
However, crucial partnerships between KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya, and then Rahul with Ravindra Jadeja ensured the Men in Blue weathered the storm and won the game by five wickets.
Rahul (75*) once again proved why he is a crucial member of the Indian team in the middle order. Jadeja (45* and 2/45) won the Player of the Match award for his all-round performances.
The juggernaut now moves to Vizag for the second ODI on Sunday (March 19) and Australia will know that they have to make a strong comeback to ensure the hosts don’t take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
There are certain match-ups that made the 1st ODI very interesting and also other match-ups based on their performance history when having faced each other before.
On that note, let’s take a look at three such match-ups that could potentially determine the result of the Vizag ODI:
#3 Steve Smith vs Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami was one of the main reasons for Australia’s batting collapse in the first ODI at the Wankhede Stadium. In just six overs, Shami gave away 17 runs and picked up three wickets, proving that he becomes almost unplayable once he finds his rhythm.
The make-up of the current Australian side makes one believe that stand-in captain Steve Smith has to score big and lay a platform for other explosive batters to follow. After failing in the first ODI, Smith will be determined to prove a point in Vizag.
However, the Australian star has an interesting match-up with Shami and the stats suggest that both players have been almost equally dominant against each other. Shami has conceded 107 runs in the 98 deliveries that he has bowled to Smith in ODIs, but has also dismissed the batter thrice. The Men in Blue will bank on him to dismiss Smith early.
#2 Virat Kohli vs Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc turned back the clock in the first ODI as he seemed to be back to his vintage best. With just enough help from the pitch and the ball swinging, Starc rocked the Indian top-order, picking up wickets of Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav on consecutive deliveries.
Interestingly, it was the first time that Starc had dismissed Kohli in ODIs, proving just how dominant the former Indian skipper has been against the speedster in this format. Kohli’s head falling over while playing a flick across the line of a swinging ball has been something that has troubled him over the years and Starc will look to exploit it once again.
#1 Rohit Sharma vs Adam Zampa
Rohit Sharma will be back leading the Indian team in the remaining two ODIs of the series after being unavailable for the Mumbai ODI due to personal reasons. The explosive opener was certainly missed by the hosts in the first game and they will hope that he scores big in the remaining two ODIs.
Like Kohli, even Rohit’s game against wrist spin of late has been under the scanner. This makes his match-up with leg-spinner Adam Zampa an interesting one. Rohit has scored 119 runs off 124 balls from Zampa but has also been dismissed by him four times in ODIs. Zampa didn’t do much in the first ODI and will be keen to make an impact against the opposition captain in Vizag.