Though India suffered a drubbing in the first ODI, it saw a lot of runs scored by the batsmen. We can expect the same in the second ODI which will be played at the same venue, the Sydney Cricket Ground on November 29.
The Sydney Cricket Ground has hosted four ODIs since January 2018. The average score batting first at this venue is 306 and the team batting first have gone on to win thrice. As we saw in the first ODI, the new ball does not swing much. So, having top-order batsmen in your side should be a given.
The pacers are likely to have a huge say in the match. Since 2018, pacers have picked up 68.4 percent of the wickets. They pick up a wicket every 39.3 deliveries. The spinners on the other hand, have picked up only 18 out of the 57 wickets in the last two years at 45.4 balls per wicket.
Since pacers bowl at the death, they are also likely to earn easy wickets when the batsmen go hard to capitalize during those overs.
While it being his home ground, Mitchell Starc has not enjoyed bowling at the SCG much. He has picked up only one wicket in three ODIs since 2018 here. And as we saw in the first ODI, he tends to be expensive here as well as his economy of 6.2 here since 2018 suggests.
The leg-spinners have taken a wicket every 25.8 balls here since 2018, the best among all bowling types. It will be wise to pick both Adam Zampa and Yuzvendra Chahal in the XI.
It is now a well-known fact that Steve Smith loves to bat against India. Against no other team he has 1,000 plus ODI runs yet. They have come at an average of 63.25 and a strike-rate of 102.2.
In the first ODI as well, he found his mojo back and the Indian bowlers had no answers to his counter-attack. Even his love affair with the SCG - the venue where he has scored the most runs - prompts for him to be the ideal choice for the captain of your fantasy team
(Criclytics project Smith to score 26-94 points)
Over the years, the SCG has not shown much help for the pacers first up which provides the opening batsmen with an advantage to get their eyes in. Hence, one of the openers as a vice-captain won’t be a bad choice.
Since there is no bowler equipped to exploit Aaron Finch’s weakness to in-swingers, he might see him scoring runs again. Moreover, when we compare him to David Warner, Finch has been more prolific at home with an average of 48.36 since 2018 than Warner’s 29.86. Hence he should be preferred over Warner if the choice is between the two.
(Criclytics project Finch to score 28-72 points)
Shikhar Dhawan is one of the most consistent batsmen for India in the ODI set-up. He enjoys dominating the Aussies against whom he has scored over 1200 runs at an average of 46.88.
Being a left-hander he is better-suited to counter Starc and Zampa from the Aussie attack. He is also in a rich vein of form since the IPL which he also displayed in the first ODI. One among him and Finch would be an ideal choice for the vice-captain as well.
(Criclytics project Dhawan to score 28-72 points)
Two years ago, Mohammed Shami was battling with injuries trying to seal a spot in India’s white-ball XI. Right now, he is one of the most improved fast bowlers being the only fast bowler to snaffle 50 ODI wickets since 2019.
Since he is capable of bowling fuller lengths useful to pick wickets on flat surfaces in Australia, he is expected to pick wickets at any stage of the innings, something he demonstrated in the first ODI as well.
(Criclytics project Shami to score 3-46 points)