1. What's ailing Dhoni?
Dhoni's 51 off 96 balls and failing to rotate the strike might be worrying skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri. With Dhoni being slotted at No 5 even though vice-captain Rohit wants the veteran to bat a notch higher, cues from India's training session made it clear that the team is unlikely to tinker with the batting order. Dhoni averages 52.95 while batting at number four, which is higher than his current career-average of 50.11 over 333 games. It is even higher than his favoured batting positions of number five (50.70) and six (46.33). Yet, Dhoni's career strike-rate at number four is 94.21 and it is higher than his overall career strike-rate of 87.60 or at number five (86.08) and number six (83.23). Since January 2016, Dhoni averages 24.75 with a strike-rate of 77.34 and a highest of 80 against New Zealand in October 2016.
2. The all-rounder's slot
No pre-match shortlist has been announced for the second ODI, and all-rounder Vijay Shankar has arrived on Monday in Adelaide, thus he might not be available for selection. While India coped in the Asia Cup and against West Indies at home when Pandya was out injured, playing three spinners in sub-continental conditions helped. In overseas conditions, Pandya's absence restricts the team's capability with both bat and ball. Kedar Jadhav provides an alternative option in that light and he could come into the playing eleven at Dinesh Karthik's expense.
3. Bowling combination
There is every chance that the same bowling composition as in the first ODI will be retained, despite Khaleel Ahmed being off-colour. He batted in the nets along side Yuzvendra Chahal on Monday though India have the option of bringing in Mohammed Siraj. Of the three fast bowlers, Mohammed Shami was the most impressive in the first match and given the delicate situation of this series, he will not be left out. The team management also banks on Ravindra Jadeja's all-round skills, and as such Chahal's chances of an immediate return to the side looks doubtful.
4. Onus on the top order
However, onus will be on the top three batsmen to come good once again and deflect any undue pressure on the middle order for a second game running. Kohli averages 73.44 at the Adelaide Oval across all formats, while in ODIs alone, he averages an impressive 46.66. While he would definitely strive to score runs again at his favourite venue, Dhawan's form will be in limelight. Along with Dhoni and Rayudu, he is the third batsman in the top six who didn't play any domestic cricket during the Test series.
5. Maxwell conundrum
Australia didn't announce their playing eleven for the second ODI either, but it is expected that they will field the same team as in the first match. Their biggest concern at the moment is if Glenn Maxwell is batting at his best position at number seven.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Vijay Shankar.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.
The match starts at 7.50 a.m. IST and it will be aired live on Sony Sports Networks. You can also watch the game streaming live on SonyLIV and follow it through MyKhel Live Updates.