Rohit Sharma will be back in the squad as India take on Australia in the second ODI in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. The skipper missed the opening game in Mumbai due to family commitments and that saw Hardik Pandya leading the team in the series opener. India defeated Australia by five wickets in a low-scoring game at the Wankhede Stadium. KL Rahul, who struggled to find form during the Border-Gavaskar series leading to him being dropped for the third and fourth Tests, scoring a patient unbeaten 75 as the hosts cantered home. Ravindra Jadeja also impressed in the game with his all-round show. He picked two wickets and scored 45 not out, bagging the Player of the Match award.
With Rohit back in the team, here is what we think could be India’s playing XI for the second ODI against Australia:
Rohit Sharma: The captain’s return will certainly give solidity to the top order, which crumbled to the pace and variations of Australian quick Mitchell Starc. Ishan Kishan is likely to make place for Rohit.
Shubman Gill: The right-handed batter is likely to retain his spot in the playing XI. He failed to provide India a solid start in the first game and would be aiming to put up a better show in the second ODI.
Virat Kohli: The star batter would look to continue his good form with the bat. Though Kohli failed to score big in the first game, he must be raring to contribute for the team with noticeable scores.
Suryakumar Yadav: A marauder with the bat in T20Is, Suryakumar is evidently still finding his feet in ODIs. He has gone without a fifty in all five ODIs this year. Surya has now played 15 ODIs (13 innings) without a score exceeding 50. However, with no timeline set for Shreyas Iyer’s return, India will keep auditioning Suryakumar for the role at No. 4.
KL Rahul: An in-form Rahul is nothing more than a blessing for Team India, who are struggling to find a wicketkeeper-batter in the absence of Rishabh Pant. With the 50-over World Cup close, Rahul would aim to keep his place in the team with some consistent contributions with the bat at the middle order.
Hardik Pandya: The all-rounder scalped the wicket of Australian skipper Steve Smith in the first ODI and scored 25 runs with the bat. He would focus on spending more time at the crease during batting.
Ravindra Jadeja: The all-rounder has had a superb return to international cricket post his knee surgery. He has been impressing across formats. In the first game, he performed brilliantly in all three departments.
Kuldeep Yadav: The left-arm wrist spinner was decent with the ball in the first game against Australia as he picked one wicket for 48 runs in 8 overs. The team management is likely to stick to the player and give him more chances.
Shardul Thakur: The all-rounder bowled only two overs in the first ODI and remained wicketless, while his batting opportunity did not come. Team India might be considering to give Washington Sundar a chance. But given Rahul Dravid does not believe in much chopping and changing, Shardul is likely to retain his place in the team.
Mohammed Siraj: The right-arm pacer provided India the first breakthrough in the first ODI. He extracted good help from the surface at the Wankhede Stadium. Siraj returned figures of 3 for 29 in the 5.4 overs he bowled in the game.
Mohammed Shami: The pace bowling veteran was on top of his game as he made the ball talk with some great swing. He picked three wickets in the first ODI which included two clean bowled dismissals.
(With PTI Inputs)