(Reuters) – Stifling conditions forecast for Adelaide on Tuesday could delay Mitchell Marsh’s return to the Australian side after the all-rounder missed Saturday’s first one-dayer against India due to gastritis.
The 27-year-old returned to training on Monday with vice-captain Alex Carey indicating the selectors would see how he fared while bowling in the nets before determining whether he would be available for the second match at Adelaide Oval.
South Australia, however, is experiencing extreme weather with temperatures expected to hit 41 Celsius on Tuesday.
“Mitch is good … he’s back fully fit and ready to go,” Carey told reporters on Monday.
“He is going to have a bowl today and he will have a hit, so we will see how he pulls up.”
Australia can seal the three-match series and give their beleaguered side some much-needed confidence heading into this year’s World Cup after they won the first game by 34 runs.
The five-times world champions were aided by some strong performances through their middle order with Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis forcing explosive batting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell to bat at number seven.
Maxwell faced just five balls, yet still scored 11 runs, and the decision for him to bat so low in the order has led to questions being raised as to whether it was a wasted opportunity.
Carey, however, said he preferred having the explosive Maxwell up their sleeve if needed.
“To have Glenn Maxwell sitting in the sheds ready to go with two, three overs to go, I think that’s a pretty powerful position for our cricket side to be in,” Carey said.
“He has had lots of opportunities up the top of the order before … you could argue the point he should be batting higher.
“Personally … it’s pretty exciting to have that power hitting later in the innings. He doesn’t need too many balls to make a big impact.”
India’s top order suffered a rare collective failure in the first match, with Shikhar Dhawan, captain Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu all back in the changing rooms with their side 4-3 inside four overs.
Pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, however, said the collapse at the Sydney Cricket Ground was a rarity and they would probably not repeat the collapse.
“It was one of those matches where the top order didn’t click,” Kumar said. “It can happen with you when you play so much cricket. So it was just one of those things … its very rare for us.”
Kumar said his side were not concerned with the possibility of a series loss in Adelaide.
“We have been in this situation before,” he said. “We know it won’t be … easy for us as we are playing away from home.
“We are preparing in a manner where we have to win our next two matches so it’s a kind of knockout for us.”
(Writing by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)