India look to draw level against injury-hit Australia
NAGPUR: India will be lot more confident when they take on an injury-hit Australia in the second One-Day International on Wednesday.
Apart from India’s valiant lower-order fightback, courtesy Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar, Australia did everything right and were the deserving winners in the first ODI in Vadodara.
While there is still a lot of cricket left in the seven-match series, the injuries to their frontline players have become a headache for the Australians.
Brett Lee and James Hopes will miss Wednesday’s game with elbow and hamstring problems, respectively, while Mitchell Johnson, who twisted his ankle in Vadodara, is also doubtful. As a result, New South Wales Blues’ all-rounder Moises Hendriques has been asked to fly to India as a cover for the pacers.
Australia coach Tim Nielsen is hoping that Johnson would be able to make it for the match.
“Johnson has woken up a lot better today morning than we thought. We hope that he could be drafted in for the game,” said Nielsen.
Left-arm medium pacer Doug Bollinger, who was impressive in the Champions League Twenty20 playing for New South Wales and right arm medium pacer Ben Hilfenhaus are expected to fill the vacant slots.
In that case, Peter Siddle will have to share the workload of leading the Australian attack.
India’s top-order batsmen faltered while chasing 293 in the Vadodara One-dayer. Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar looked in good touch but could not continue for long. Gautam Gambhir was the only Indian batsmen to get a half-century.
Yuvraj Singh is expected to make his international comeback after being on the sidelines with a finger injury. His presence should bolster the batting line-up.
The bowling, too, was lacklustre in the first match. Praveen Kumar was not penetrative and pressure will be on him to retain his place with Munaf Patel around.
Harbhajan might have done his bit with the bat, but he lacked the sting in his bowling.
This will be the first One-Day International in Nagpur since the new stadium was built on the city’s outskirts in Jamtha.
The city last hosted the deciding Test of the India-Australia series in 2008.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Virat Kohli, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Sudeep Tyagi.
Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Mike Hussey, Shane Watson, Tim Paine (wicket-keeper), Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges, Cameron White, Doug Bollinger, Nathan Hauritz, Jon Holland, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson.
Source : TOI