India vs Australia 2020: 3 strategic changes India should make for the second ODI
After a 10-wicket defeat in the first ODI on Tuesday, changes are likely in the Indian playing XI as they prepare themselves to take Australia on in a do-or-die game in Rajkot.
If it was a 5-match series, India might have backed the same XI for one more game. But since it’s only a 3-match series and the series is on the line now, the chances are very slim that the men in blue would go with the same selection strategy again.
The hosts have back-up options in the squad and they can make like-for-like replacements if they want. Some of the players, who had a case to be picked in the first ODI itself, might get their opportunity in the second ODI now. Here are the 3 strategic changes India should make for the second ODI –
#1 Navdeep Saini for Shardul Thakur
The last ODI India played before this series; it was against West Indies at the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack. Saini and Thakur, both were part of India’s playing XI in that game.
While Saini went for 58 runs in his 10 overs, grabbing two scalps, Thakur gave away 66 runs, adding one wicket to his tally.
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There was not too much of difference in their bowling figures overall, but Saini’s wickets made huge impact to the game as he took those wickets in the middle overs. Dismissing Shimron Hetmyer and Roston Chase in a space of two overs, he forced West Indies to consolidate rather than accelerate.
Shardul Thakur, on the other hand, got his wicket towards the end of the innings which didn’t impact the game much. However, the fact that the 28-year old played a handy cameo with the bat later and helped India win the series, the management tilted in his favour and overlooked Saini for the first ODI against Australia at the Wankhede.
Thakur was India’s most expensive bowler at Wankhede as he gave away 43 runs in his 5 overs. Replacing him with Saini might be a good strategic change for India in Rajkot.
#2 Yuzvendra Chahal for Mohammed Shami
India have refrained from playing both their wrist spinners together in the recent times, something that they did quite frequently in 2017 and 2018.
While Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are quality bowlers on their own, they look slightly more penetrative when they are bowling in tandem as they pose two completely different challenges to the batsmen in terms of the direction of the ball.
While Kuldeep’s stock leg spinner goes away from the left-hander and the wrong one comes in, Chahal’s stock leg spinner comes into the left-hander and the wrong one goes away. If they bowl in succession and find their rhythm, it's tough for the batsmen to milk them comfortably on any kind of surface.
Mohammed Shami has been pretty decent for India in ODI cricket over the last year or so, but he looked slightly off-colour in Mumbai. Playing a wrist-spinner ahead of him might be a good tactical idea.
#1 Shivam Dube for Ravindra Jadeja
If India play Chahal and Kuldeep together, they would probably not want a third spinner. In that scenario, Shivam Dube can be brought in for Ravindra Jadeja. Dube has got the power game lower down the order and he will also offer a seam-bowling option to India.
Dube has played just one ODI for India so far in which he scored 9 runs off 6 balls, batting in the latter stages of the innings.The left-hander has shown in the domestic circuit that he can hit the ball long. Although he is not as experienced as Jadeja, he might be a better bet to bat at no. 7 in Rajkot.
Published 16 Jan 2020, 12:53 IST