The 1st ODI did not turn out to be a happy outing for the visitors. The Aussies now have the lead in the 5-match series going into the Australia v India 2nd ODI at Gabba, Brisbane. India, on the other hand, have a number of issues to deal with in the run up to this contest. And, needless to say, the visitors need to make it a Do Or Die contest tomorrow, if they are to entertain chances of keeping the series alive for long.
Out of form Dhawan, ineffective spin attack worry India
Shikhar Dhawan’s off form has somehow managed to be the one permanent feature in the Indian batting line up for quite some time! The left hander, despite showing promises of comeback every now and then, has remained off colour for more than a year now. And this has seriously hurt India’s batting prospects, considering how important a launchpad the openers can secure in most games these days. The fact that neither Ajinkya Rahane nor Manish Pandey have much experience of expertly handling pressure in the middle order in the limited overs format adds to India’s list of problems.
The ploy of playing both spinners on Australian tracks was always a dangerous one. And, as the 1st ODI at Perth demonstrated, the tactics of the subcontinent shall hold little water Down Under. With Ishant Sharma reportedly fit for selection in the 2nd ODI, it would be interesting to see how Dhoni readjusts the spin-pace balance in the team.
Weather and pitch expected to be major determinants in result
Weather forecasts for tomorrow indicate chances of light showers in the evening, the prospects of which can well influence decision making at the toss. Batting second can thus have a clear advantage at the Gabba tomorrow, given the chances of Duckworth Lewis coming into play. Besides, the Gabba pitch is expected to assist the batsmen for the better part of the match. Yet another high scoring game looks like a distinct possibility for tomorrow.