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AUS vs IND, 2nd ODI: Talking points as Men in Blue drop series after a poor display

Team Australia managed to humble India yet again in the second One Day International at the Sydney Cricket Ground as they defeated them by a margin of 51 runs after piling on 389 runs in the first innings. Opting to bat first after winning the toss, the Aaron Finch led side got off to a flier as the duo of Finch and David Warner piled on 142 runs for the first wicket. Steven Smith raced away to yet another impressive hundred (in 62 balls) while Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell played crucial roles and helped the team get close to the 400-run mark. 

In reply, the Indian batters were impressive as they got important partnerships, with Virat Kohli leading the way with a fine 89. However, in the end, the target of 390 proved too steep as the Men in Blue lost their fifth successive ODI on the trot, and their second ODI series. 

Brief Scores: Australia 389/4 in 50 overs (Steve Smith 104, David Warner 83; Hardik Pandya 1-24, Mohammed Shami 1-73) beat India 338/9 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 89; Pat Cummins 3-67) by 51 runs.

Here are the talking points from the 2nd ODI between India and Australia that was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday, November 29. 

Also Read: AUS vs IND, 2nd ODI: Men in Blue lose series after another disappointing display

The inability to pick up wickets during the first ten overs hurting India 

It was the fifth successive time in the One Day International format that the Indians were unable to pick up even a single wicket in the first ten overs of the game. Coincidentally, it was also the fifth successive ODI loss for the Men in Blue, and the relation between the two is not hard to ignore. In the first two ODIs against Australia, the Indians have allowed their rivals to score 140-run plus stands, which has given the rest of the batters a solid foundation to play aggressively. Wickets are the most important aspect in a cricket game, and the inability of the Indians to pick even a single wicket in the first ten overs, despite the presence of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, should be worrying news. 

Are Warner and Finch the best opening pairs in the world currently? 

The opening pair from Australia have been unstoppable of late, and compl;eted their third century-plus run stand with a partnership of 142 runs at the top of the order against India in the second ODI at the SCG. While Finch has been the anchor in all three innings, starting off cautiously before exploding, left-hander Warner has been aggressive from the word go. On Sunday, he was at his very best, finding the gaps and taking apart the ineffective Indian bowlers all over the park. 

Pandya returns to bowling 

Just a few days after stating that he wanted to reserve his body and only bowl in important clashes like the World Cup, Hardik Pandya, who has not bowled since undergoing a back surgery last year, surprised one and all when he took the ball in the second ODI against Australia. He was handed the ball in the 36th over of the innings, but was only brought on for four overs. The all-rounder, however, did leave his mark as he picked up the crucial wicket of Steven Smith while conceding just 24 runs. The inability of Pandya has vastly hampered the balance of the Indian XI, as no batsman in the top six can roll his arm over. The ineffectiveness of third seamer Navdeep Saini in the game meant that Kohli also had to ask Mayank Agarwal to roll his arm over. Though Pandya bowling is good news, one is forced to wonder if the player is 100% fit or if he was risked when India were on the backfoot. 

David Warner’s groin injury puts him in doubt for the remainder of the white-ball series

The Australians were already on the back foot before the second ODI against India as all-rounder Marcus Stoinis had been ruled out of the game due to a side strain.The home team have faced another injury concern as their aggressive opening batsman David Warner injured his groin midway through India’s innings and had to walk out of the field. Even if he is fit, the Australian management are unlikely to risk him for the third and final ODI, and might give the left-hander some much-needed rest from the T20 International series as well. The main priority for the team would be to get Warner fit for the four-match Test series against India that begins with a Pink Ball Test from December 17 at Adelaide. 

India continue being sloppy on the field 

The Indians have not only lacked intent with the ball but have been way lacklustre on the field as well. The side dropped as many as four catches in the first ODI, including those of Steven Smith, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell. On Sunday, the Men in Blue dropped just one catch, but it came as a shock as the player in question was Ravindra Jadeja – the team’s best fielder. Hardik Pandya bowled a slower delivery to Marnus Labuschagne, which deceived the batsman and forced him to chip it straight to Jadeja at long-off. However, the sitter was dropped by the all-rounder when Labuschagne was on 44. He eventually went on to score 70. 

Moises Henriques ensures Stoinis was not missed 

Marcus Stoinis has been in excellent form of late, and was the only player in the recent IPL to end with 350-plus runs along with 10-plus wickets. His absence from the second ODI against India due to an injury could have affected the balance of the side, but Moises Henriques, his replacement, ensured that he was on the mark as he finished his bowling spell with figures of 1 for 34 from seven overs and piled on the pressure in the middle overs.

Also Read: IND vs AUS, 2nd ODI: Very pleased to wrap it up in two games and win the series, says Aaron Finch


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