India vs Australia 2nd ODI Adelaide: It was a rare off-day in coloured clothing for a beast named ‘Virat Kohli‘ during the first ODI between India and Australia at the beautiful Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). With 10235 runs against his name at a mind-boggling average of 59.50, Kohli has set the bar very high for himself when it comes to the limited-overs format. So when he get out while playing a flick against Aussie pacer Jhye Richardson in Sydney, heads turned and time stopped because not every day you see the Indian captain walking back into the hut this quickly.
After Team India’s 34-run defeat in the opening match, Kohli is leaving no chance to fine-tune his batting skills ahead of the all-important second ODI in Adelaide. With series on the line, the Indian captain looked focussed as ever and was caught by the camera while putting in all the efforts during the nets session on Monday. BCCI posted a video of the Indian ace on their official Twitter account where he can be seen playing some interesting shots.
WATCH HERE —
BCCI wrote, “Captain @imVkohli warming-up in the Adelaide nets ahead of the 2nd ODI against Australia”.
Apart from Kohli, the form of former captain MS Dhoni will remain a major cause of concern when India take on Australia in a do-or-die encounter on Tuesday. Hardik Pandya’s sudden suspension on disciplinary grounds has badly affected the balance of the batting order, which was apparent during the first match. Dhoni’s 51 off 96 balls and failing to rotate the strike has brought to focus the rejigging that skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri will have to fret upon.
With Dhoni being slotted at No 5 even though vice-captain Rohit Sharma wants the veteran to bat a notch higher but cues from India’s training session made it clear that the team is unlikely to tinker with the batting order. India’s batting order did come under the spotlight at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The top three (Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli) have enjoyed a fairly consistent run since 2016.
But it was a rare occasion when Dhoni had to come out in the fourth over of the innings. Dhoni averages 52.95 while batting at number four, which is higher than his current career-average of 50.11 over 333 games.
It is even higher than his favoured batting positions of number five (50.70) and six (46.33) but batting lower down the order, strike-rate becomes paramount. Yet, Dhoni’s career strike-rate at number four is 94.21 is higher than his overall career strike-rate of 87.60, or at number five (86.08) and number six (83.23).
When India last played ODIs in Australia in January 2016, Dhoni batted at number four in two matches but only scored 18 runs. In fact, since that series, Dhoni has batted at number four in only eight ODIs, with the last instance in the 2018 Asia Cup. He averages 24.75 in this interim, with a strike-rate of 77.34 and a highest of 80 against New Zealand in October 2016.
India: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Vijay Shankar.
Australia: Aron Finch (C), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.
Match starts at 8.50am IST.