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2nd ODI (D/N), Indore, September 24, 2023, Australia tour of India
(28.2/33 ov, T:317) 217

India won by 99 runs (DLS method)

Player Of The Match
105 (90)

One last chance for India and Australia to tinker before big guns return

India will be seeking more runs from their middle order, while Australia look to fill a Travis Head-shaped hole in the squad

Sreshth Shah
Sreshth Shah

Big Picture: Last dance before big names return

With key senior players from India and Australia set to slot into their respective XIs for the third ODI in Rajkot later, Sunday's fixture in Indore is perhaps the final chance for any fringe player to make an impression.
Australia's situation is a tad more complex than India's. Travis Head's injury has left a gaping hole in their squad, and even though Marnus Labuschagne looks best set to be his replacement on form, Australia have other left-field options. With a bunch of allrounders now part of Australia's set-up, there are many ways they can line up come the World Cup, depending on conditions and oppositions, and Indore will be part of that experiment.
Also part of their agenda will be to get their batting performance right. In Mohali, six of their top seven reached at least 29, but only David Warner reached fifty. However, they'll know the wickets were a combination of incisive fast bowling from Mohammed Shami and a few fortuitous moments going India's way.
But, every strong team at the World Cup will have a Shami equivalent, and therefore a second consecutive jolt against India's fast bowlers will be a sign of worry. Mitchell Marsh, in particular, would want to settle himself in Indian conditions as the opener. Josh Hazlewood's possible return will also boost their bowling.
For India, it will be another opportunity to weigh out the benefit of three frontline fast bowlers versus the combo of two quicks and one seamer. Shami was sensational in Mohali with his five-for, but Shardul Thakur went wicketless for 78 runs. In the grand scheme of things, these are good problems to have, but the downside of too many choices is that the odds of making a wrong choice are also higher. R Ashwin's bowling will also be a key subplot.
As for the batting, Mohali couldn't have been any more clinical, with four of their top six getting half-centuries. India could try to push Ishan Kishan as opener instead of Ruturaj Gaikwad, but apart from that, their best-case scenario is more runs from the middle order. There will be special emphasis on Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav, the latter having just scored a fifty of his own in Mohali.

Form guide

India WWLWW (last five matches, most recent first)
Australia LLLLW

In the spotlight: Iyer and Labuschagne

It has been a tortoise and hare race between Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul. At the Asia Cup, Iyer slotted into the middle order before Rahul after both recovered from their respective injuries. But Iyer's subsequent back spasm opened a door for Rahul that he has grabbed now with three significant scores in four innings. Iyer, meanwhile, is now racing to prove his fitness and form, and the run-out for only 3 in the first ODI would have frustrated him immensely.
With an average of nearly 57 in the five ODIs in South Africa and a solid 39 against India only stopped by a stroke of misfortune in the first ODI, Marnus Labuschagne has done pretty much everything right since needing to come into the playing XI only 16 days and six games ago. His ability to find ways to keep the runs coming through the middle overs is unique, and here in lies another chance for him to show his worth.

Team news: Hardie for Stoinis?

India could rest Jasprit Bumrah and have Mohammed Siraj partner alongside Shami. They could also look at bringing in Washington Sundar. Kuldeep Yadav is rested for the second game as well.
India (possible): 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad/Ishan Kishan, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 KL Rahul (capt, wk), 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Mohammed Siraj/Jasprit Bumrah.
Marcus Stoinis is unlikely to play back-to-back games, so allrounder Aaron Hardie could slot in. If Australia want to go a little light on batting, Hazlewood for Stoinis is also possible. Alex Carey is set to don the gloves again, but it may not necessarily be at the expense of Josh Inglis.
Australia (possible): 1 David Warner, 2 Mitchell Marsh, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Alex Carey, 7 Josh Inglis/Aaron Hardie, 8 Pat Cummins (capt), 9 Sean Abbott, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood.

Pitch and conditions

Indore has small boundaries and the last time India played here, Gill and Rohit Sharma pumped centuries as India amassed 385. In response, New Zealand were all out for 295, but scored at over seven per over. Expect similar conditions, with the onus on batters to take advantage of the deck.

Stats and trivia

  • Shubman Gill is the only batter to hit four or more ODI centuries in 2023. His average this year is 70-plus and his strike rate is 104.84.
  • In 42 innings, Shardul Thakur has conceded at least seven per over 14 times - that's once every three games.
  • With a 4-5 win-loss record so far, Australia have lost more ODIs than they have won in 2023.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

Win Probability
IND 100%
100%50%100%IND InningsAUS Innings

Over 29 • AUS 217/10

Sean Abbott b Jadeja 54 (36b 4x4 5x6 46m) SR: 150
India won by 99 runs (DLS method)
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