India vs Australia: 3 strategic changes Virat Kohli and Co must make in the second ODI

India vs Australia: 3 strategic changes Virat Kohli and Co must make in the second ODI

India will be looking to make a strong comeback by thrashing the Aussies in the next game to keep their series hopes alive.

David Warner and Rohit Sharma
David Warner and Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It was a humiliating defeat for Team India at Wankhede Stadium in the series opener as the mighty Aussies chased down the target of 256 runs in just 37.4 overs without a loss of a single wicket. Openers David Warner and Aaron Finch proved too hot to handle for the hapless Indian bowlers who were left clueless throughout the Australian innings.

With a 1-0 advantage in the three-match series and an emphatic 3-2 series win last year, Finch’s men with have the edge over the Men in Blue to clinch the series once again with a win at Rajkot.

India will be looking to make a strong comeback by thrashing the Aussies in the next game to keep their series hopes alive and travel to Bengaluru with a 1-1 scoreline for the series decider. But that won’t be easy for Team India who must make certain changes and be at their very best to stop the five-time world champion.

Let us look at three strategic changes Virat Kohli’s men must make to have any chances of levelling the series against this ruthless Australian side at Rajkot:

1. Navdeep Saini in for Shardul Thakur

Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP)

Shardul Thakur who plays for Mumbai in the domestic circuit was picked ahead of Saini due to the obvious reason that the game was being played at his home turf, Wankhede Stadium. Despite impressing everyone with his bowling against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded T20I series, the 28-year-old pacer couldn’t live up to the expectations against Australia as he was taken to the cleaners by Warner and Finch (finished with the figures of 0-43 runs in five overs at an economy of 8.60).

Having proved himself with the bat low down the order against West Indies during the ODI series decider at Cuttack and against Sri Lanka at Pune in the third T20I, the 28-year-old edged over the fiery Navdeep Saini in the race for third pacer’s spot at Mumbai.

Saini who has played just one ODI in his career so far was outstanding with the ball against Sri Lanka tormenting the batsmen with his pace, yorkers and accuracy (five wickets in two matches). After failing to pick up a wicket in the first ODI despite having proven pacers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in their ranks, India might be tempted bring in a wicket-taking bowler like Saini to rattle the Australian batsmen.

With Saini in a red-hot form, it will be a decisive move for India who need to win at Rajkot to avoid the series defeat and an opportunity for Saini to extend his domination in the ODIs.