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February 11, 2012
The triangular series roadshow rolls into Adelaide on Sunday, when Australia and India meet for the second time. Already Australia have jumped clear on top of the table thanks to victories in their first two games, while India are on the board having beaten Sri Lanka in Perth. Not that either team was that convincing against Sri Lanka at the WACA; Australia's batsmen struggled and India made hard work of a chase that should not have been too tricky. Adelaide Oval should provide the bats men with more comfort.
Australia have taken the opportunity to rest Michael Hussey, which should mean Peter Forrest will makes his debut at a venue he has enjoyed, at least in the longer format - he has two first-class centuries and an average of 65.14 at Adelaide Oval. Mitchell Marsh could provide some excitement if he is included. The captain Michael Clarke said after Friday's victory that while it was hard to change a winning side, it was also important to give opportunities to players, so Marsh and Forrest will both be firmly in the mix.
India are still searching for their first win over a Clarke-led side on this tour, their only victory over Australia having come in a Twenty20. The short turnaround for the hosts, who were due to arrive in Adelaide the night before the game, could work in India's favour.
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In the spotlight
The WACA is not known as a spinner's pitch but Xavier Doherty certainly enjoyed bowling there on Friday night. He turned the ball, at times immensely, and picked up 2 for 24 from his ten overs. "He was outstanding once again," Michael Clarke said after the game. "He continues to be a very good consistent performer for us. He can bowl in the Powerplay, he's spinning the ball, I think he's an important player for us and he's continuing to do a good job."
Like Doherty, R Ashwin enjoyed bowling at the WACA against Sri Lanka, where he took 3 for 32. Adelaide Oval should also offer some assistance for the slow bowlers, although they must be careful not to drop short, given the small boundaries square of the wicket.
Australia will rest Michael Hussey, who was to remain in Perth, and Ben Hilfenhaus has also been released from the squad. Mitchell Marsh will join the group after playing in Western Australia's Sheffield Shield match during the week, although it's unlikely he and Daniel Christian will both play. Hussey's absence means Peter Forrest is almost a certainty to make his debut.
Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Matthew Wade (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 David Hussey, 6 Peter Forrest, 7 Daniel Christian/Mitchell Marsh, 8 Ryan Harris, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Xavier Doherty, 11 Clint McKay.
India's rotation policy has meant changes in the top order, but a team spokesman said the policy was not rigid and the primary aim was to qualify for the finals. That could mean an unchanged outfit after their success against Sri Lanka.
India (possible) 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Vinay Kumar, 10 Praveen Kumar, 11 Zaheer Khan.
Pitch and conditions
The Adelaide Oval surface is always good for batting. That said, Victoria batted first in a Ryobi Cup match there last week and were bowled out for 123. The forecast for Sunday is for a partly cloudy day with a top of 26C.
Stats and trivia
"The feeling in the group is really good. We're showing that we know how to win games of cricket, which is good and means guys are confident."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
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