Ishant Sharma available for 2nd ODI, MS Dhoni refuses to acknowledge basis of Rishi Dhawan's selection
As India look to bounce back after the close defeat at Perth for the 2nd ODI at the Gabba, the main question facing the team management is the bowling combination. With both spinners Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja having gone for runs in the first match, one of them might have to make way for a seam bowling option.
Ishant Sharma has recovered from injury and is available to feature in the match, which might bring the sting into the bowling attack, which had been missing in the first match.
"India confirm fast bowler Ishant Sharma is fit and available for selection for the 2nd ODI in Brisbane tomorrow," Cricket Australia tweeted to confirm the news. He had been out of the practice games and the 1st ODI because of a finger injury.
It is unlikely, however, that Ishant will be fielded in place of either Ashwin or Jadeja, as that would mean that the batting department would be considerably weakened.
In the first match, Barinder Sran registered 3/56, Bhuvneshwar Kumar registered 0/42, Umesh Yadav registered 0/54, while Jadeja and Ashwin went for 0/61 and 2/68 respectively.
Dhoni refuses to acknowledge Rishi Dhawan is genuine seaming all-rounder
With the Gabba pitch looking to act similarly as the one seen in action in Perth, seam bowling all-rounder Rishi Dhawan is in with a shout for selection, in place of either Ashwin or Jadeja.
Rishi Dhawan opens the bowling for his state team, has an impressive domestic record, and has been instrumental in minnow team Himachal Pradesh’s prosperity in recent domestic seasons. He averages 40 with the bat and 25 with the ball - a genuine allrounder's average.
However, Indian captain MS Dhoni seemed to not see eye to eye with Rishi’s selection as a seam bowling all-rounder, ruing that Ashwin and Jadeja would probably be stuck with in the absence of a "genuine seaming allrounder".
While giving the likely combination for the first match, Dhoni had said: "Most likely it will be three-two (pacers-spinners). Because we don't really have a seaming allrounder so most likely it will be a three-two combination. Who are the players, we will wait and watch."
This is not the first time Dhoni has not been ready to give chances to all-rounders thrust in his team by Indian selectors. In the 2009 Champions Trophy, Dhoni had said that he did not know whether Abhishek Nayar was a batsman who could bowl or the other way around.