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India look to bounce back with improved bowling effort

Last updated on: January 14, 2016 18:05 IST

ravindra jadeja

Image: India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who conceded 61 runs off his nine overs, is likely to be replaced by pacer Ishant Sharma. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images.

Stung by the defeat in the series opener despite putting up a big score, India will have to plug their bowling loopholes when they take on Australia in the second One-Day International on Friday, fully aware that any slip-up will make their task of bouncing back difficult.

Chasing an imposing 310, Australia romped home with ease, registering a comfortable five-wicket victory to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series at Perth on Tuesday.

The visitors will be looking to make life difficult for Australia at the Gabba, but for that to happen Mahendra Singh Dhoni needs a much-improved show from his bowlers.

The five bowlers India played proved inadequately short at the WACA, particularly the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who had a bad day in office.

For India, there is definitely scope for permutations and combinations among the old names in the squad.

Lanky pacer Ishant Sharma is fit and available for selection. If Dhoni decides to go in with the same combination that he fielded in Perth, Ishant could come in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The WACA wicket was slower than expected, but the Gabba pitch is expected to aid pace and bounce, which provides Dhoni enough reasons to contemplate going in with four pacers.

Dhoni’s primary concern is the dismal performance of his two spinners.

Both Ashwin and Jadeja were off-colour in the series opener. While the former gave away 68 runs for two wickets from his nine overs, Jadeja conceded 61 from his nine without any success.

Come Friday, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact either Ashwin or Jadeja can make as they look to improve their record in overseas conditions.

Consistency is something Dhoni is looking for from his bowling attack. Add to it, he also does not have definitive part-time options to fall back upon.

barinder sran

Image: Young left-arm pacer Barinder Sran picked three wickets in his debut match at Perth. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images.

Young left-arm pacer Barinder Sran, who made his debut in the last match, was India's eye-catcher in the losing cause at Perth.

He picked up three wickets, giving away 56 runs, and the tall Punjab pacer will hope for a repeat performance in Brisbane.

India's other two fast bowlers -- Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav were not that effective in Perth as both failed to make an impression.

While Bhuvneswar was still economical, Yadav leaked runs, failing to trouble to trouble the Aussie batsmen.

The Gabba wicket should be more to the seamers' liking. It may not be a green top, but is expected to aid pace and bounce.

On the batting front, there isn't much to complain about.

India rode on Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 171 and vice-captain Virat Kohli's 91 to post 309 runs on the board, a feat never achieved by an Indian team in three ODIs played previously in Perth.

Thus, it can be assumed that the batsmen will be expected to shoulder even more responsibility going ahead.

Among the criticism emanating from that loss in Perth was that Rohit and Kohli did not do enough to push the scoring rate towards the end.

There is considerable talk about the top-three batsmen needing to do a bit more in terms of strike-rate, especially if one or two of them get going, like in Perth.

But it would be a little harsh to put the blame on the batsmen as Dhoni himself had said that 309 was a defendable score.

The Indians, however, will be wary about the form of Australia skipper Steven Smith.

Chasing the imposing target, Australia rode on Smith's fluent 149 to script a comfortable win in Perth.

Smith turned out to be India's nemesis again, pacing his innings to perfection. His sequence of scores against the 'Men in Blue' across formats now reads: 162 not out, 52 not out, 133, 28, 192, 14, 117, 71, 47, 105 and 149.  

To win the ongoing five-match ODI series, the visitor's will have to find a way to dismiss Smith early.

George Bailey, another centurion for Australia with a 112-run knock in Perth, too will be hoping to carry on his form.

Australia, however, will be without the services of both David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, both of whom are unavailable for the second ODI.

While Warner is away on paternal leave, (was blessed with a second child on Friday morning), and will be rejoining the squad for the Melbourne ODI, Marsh has been rested to manage his workload.

In Warner's absence, it provides a great opportunity for Mitchell's brother Shaun Marsh to sneak into the playing eleven.

In-form Usman Khawaja has also been called up to the squad in Warner's absence and will be part of the toss-up for the opener's spot as well.

John Hastings will come in to take the all-rounder's slot in the middle order as Australia look set to go in with an all-pace attack once again.


Australia: Steve Smith (capt), Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, George Bailey, John Hastings, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Matthew Wade (wk), Josh Hazlewood, Joel Paris, Scott Boland, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt and wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Gurkeerat Mann, Rishi Dhawan, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Barinder Sran.

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