Team India, which was looking unprepared for the World Cup a couple of months ago, has seemed to complete all its preparations before the tournament starts. Playing its last series before the World Cup, the Men in Blue have demolished the mighty Australians. In a three-match ODI series, India is up two-nil. With Gill looking in sublime touch, Rahul and Kishan stabilizing the middle order, and Shami leading the bowling lineup from the front, India seems to have ticked all boxes.
In the second match-up between the best and the second-best ODI sides in the world, Australia won the toss and elected to bowl first on a flat Indore track. A pitch, suitable for batting, had nothing to offer the bowlers. India came in with one change, Bumrah rested as Krishna got some game time. Australia continues to change their team, with debutant Spencer Johnson, Alex Carey, and Hazlewood in for Captain Pat Cummins, Marcus Stoinis, and Mitchell Marsh. Having put to bat, Gill and Gaikwad opened the batting for India and started with a bang, bashing Johnson for four on the very first bowl of the match. Hazlewood with the counterattack, got Gaikwad up front.
Iyer walked out to bat and started showing his class right away. He smashed five boundaries in the first 14 balls he faced. As the team approached fifty, the opening batter started to shift gears. GIll hit the Australians all around the park, soon completing his half-century. Iyer, who was already playing aggressive shorts also joined the party, completing his fifty. The next 15 overs were a display of fearless batting by the Indians. Both Gill and Iyer scored tons and got out after. The new batters Rahul and Kishan did not allow the flow of runs to slow down, followed by a quick-fire 71-run knock from SKY. India set a difficult 400-run target for the Aussies.
As the Aussie innings commenced, they were welcomed by Krishna’s brilliant opening spell. Prasidh Krishna dismissed opener Matt Short and Captain Smith, as the Kangaroos were reeling at a score of 10/2. Warner and Labuschagne were not in a mood to give up and started rebuilding the innings. The rain interrupted and the match was reduced to 33 overs with the revised target being 317. Despite efforts from Warner, Labuschagne, Abbott and Hazlewood. The Australians fell 100 runs short of the target and India won the match by 99 runs.
The absence of the star players Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Bumrah, and Siraj did not trouble the Indian team. The Men in Blue looked quite confident and all set for the CWC next month. Despite all these positives, a small issue of concern for the hosts would be Shardul Thakur. Thakur, who comes in as a fast-bowling allrounder has been leaking a lot of runs in the middle overs. Although he delays the tail of the Indian batting lineup and is a solid batter at number eight, his batting has not been tested yet. Shardul might turn out to be a major concern for the Indian team as they enter the CWC 2023. Hardik Pandya may replace him, as he comes into the side for the third ODI.