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Best bets & player specials for India vs. Australia 2nd ODI

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    Second ODI - IND vs. AUS

    • Top picks for MOTM

      India: Virat Kohli - $8.50 at Bet365
      Australia: David Warner - $10 at Bet365

Thursday, September 21, 2017 – 6pm AEST – Eden Gardens, Kolkata

MAHENDRA Singh Dhoni exemplified the permanence of class on Sunday in the opening game of India’s One Day International series against Australia.

The hosts were in tatters at Chepauk after an inspired Nathan Coulter-Nile ousted Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey for a combined total of five runs.

The West Australian quick also took the catch that had Rohit Sharma out for 28 as India slumped to 5/87.

From there, Dhoni (79) and Hardik Pandya (83) engineered a stunning rescue effort with some handy help from Bhuvneshwar Kumar (32*).

That late charge proved crucial as the Indians posted 281 in a heavily rain-affected match.

Australia captain Steve Smith was left to lament a lack of sustained focus with the ball in hand.

“I think we went away from our plans a little bit,” he said afterwards.

“We were hitting such a good length and we could have certainly persisted with that length for a while with the good bouncers we were bowling as well.

“But we were trying so many things, too many slower balls, and just not hitting that good hard length that we hit early on.”

It became a Twenty20 chase for Australia, who needed to slog 164 off 21 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

The result was a bloodbath, with David Warner (25), Glenn Maxwell (39) and James Faulkner (32) the only men reaching double figures.

Pandya chimed in again with the crucial dismissals of Steve Smith and Travis Head before leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal cleaned things up with three wickets from his five overs.

As such, it is no surprise to see a few cents shaved off India’s head-to-head price for the second game of the series.

One man who knows Eden Gardens well from his time in the Indian Premier League is Coulter-Nile, who has warned his fellow Aussies to expect runs aplenty on Thursday.

“It’s flat and a very high-scoring ground,” the Kolkata Knight Riders star told the press this week.

“It gets very loud and the crowd gets right behind the home team.

“Unfortunately that won’t be us this time, but hopefully it’s high scoring and a fantastic match to watch.”

Rohit Sharma betting specials

It is quite remarkable that India’s vice-captain has played at Kolkata only once in 164 ODI appearances, but even more amazing is what he achieved in that lone knock.

Batting first against Sri Lanka in 2014, Rohit Sharma blasted 264 runs from 173 deliveries to shatter Virender Sehwag’s world-record high score.

In doing so, he also became the first man to notch multiple double-centuries in ODI cricket – a feat yet unmatched by any other player.

Although a model of inconsistency, Rohit is as damaging as any batsman in history when things click and the conditions suit.

It is also worth noting that five of his 13 one-day tonnes have come against Australia, including a barnstorming 209 at Bangalore in 2013.

On a flat wicket that will offer none of the swing or bounce we saw in Chennai, the Aussie bowlers can only pray to the cricket gods and hope for an early chance.

India vs. Australia match tip

It is difficult to take anything useful out of India’s win in the first game of the ODI series.

The bowlers will generate nowhere near as much movement off the pitch at Kolkata, which will make life a hell of a lot easier for the bats on both sides.

The opener was also heavily affected by rain, which left the visitors with a really tricky chase in tough conditions.

The Aussies do have some local knowledge in the ranks, especially with Knight Riders alumni Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins at the head of the bowling attack.

The question is whether the likes of Faulkner, Head, Maxwell and Adam Zampa can make any meaningful contributions with the ball.

The Aussies are also carrying some dead weight in the form of Hilton Cartwright, whose inclusion as an opening batsman defies both logic and belief.

India’s top order had big problems early on Sunday, but they took full advantage once opportunities started to present themselves later in the innings.

You don’t have to bowl badly at Kolkata to go the journey, so we can expect severe punishment for any lapses in concentration or execution.

It should be tighter than the odds suggest, but India have the experience and the star power to make it 2-0.

India to win – $1.62 at Sportsbet