Johnson likely to play second ODI
Australia heaved a sigh of relief on Tuesday when it was learnt that all-rounder Mitchell Johnson could yet play in the second ODI against India at Nagpur on Wednesday.
The pacer was initially ruled out of the match after sustaining an injury in his left ankle, but coach Tim Nielsen said there is a possibility that he may play.
"Mitchell Johnson woke up a lot better today morning than we thought he would be when we drafted him in the media release yesterday evening. So it is really pleasing to see him get up today and shine. We will see how he pulls up after the training session today but all the indications are that he might well be available tomorrow," Nielsen said on Tuesday.
Text: Harish Kotian
Image: Ricky Ponting wears a worried look during a training session in Nagpur on Tuesday
'Lee is out for one game and Hopes may miss next two games'
Australia's coach however confirmed that Brett Lee, who complained of soreness in his left elbow, and all-rounder James Hopes, who suffered a right hamstring injury, will miss the match.
"At this stage Mitchell is not completely out; Brett is probably out for one game and we expect Hopes to miss the next two games. It is part and parcel of the game," he said.
Nielsen said the injuries to his key players has caught the team unawares.
"It was a bit of scatter-bomb yesterday. I mean, I don't remember a team losing three bowlers in one day. It was unusual circumstance," he said.
Image: Brett Lee, who is down with a sore left elbow, goes through the paces during a practice session in Nagpur on Tuesday
Henriques to fill in for injured Hopes
Earlier in the day, Cricket Australia announced that New South Wales all-rounder Moises Henriques will join the squad as cover for Hopes, who is unlikely to be fit till the third one-dayer in Delhi.
"With James Hopes' right hamstring injury being more serious and likely keep him out for at least the next two matches it is thought adding a standby player to the squad is a necessity.
"We have taken this opportunity to add Moises Henriques to the squad until the completion of game four in Mohali, where we will again assess the situation before it is decided if he remains with the squad," Australia's selection panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said in a statement.
Henriques will reach Delhi on Wednesday and join the Australian squad when it arrives there on Thursday.
Image: Ricky Ponting shares a few notes with Doug Bollinger during practice on Tuesday
Expect another round of fireworks from Hussey
Micheal Hussey, who fired a cracking 74 from 54 deliveries in the first ODI at Vadodara, will be looking to continue in the same vein of form and help Australia to another victory in Nagpur.
On Monday, Ponting heaped praise on his middle-order mainstay, saying, "At one stage we thought we might score more than 292, but a few wickets slowed us down.
"Michael Hussey played an outstanding innings and the others too did well. Tim Paine and Cameron White played well. Of course, there is room for improvement before game two," he added.
Image: Mike Hussey during practice in Nagpur on Tuesday
Bhajji's form worries Dhoni
Can India stop the Australian juggernaut in the second ODI at Nagpur on Wednesday?
They certainly showed that they have the wherewithal to douse the World champions' fire in the four-run defeat in the opening game of the seven-match series in Vadodara on Sunday.
The hosts are motivated by the fact that the last time the two teams met at the Vidarbha Cricket Association, Australia were thrashed by 172 runs, never mind that it was a Test match last November.
Harbhajan Singh was the star performer in the match with a haul of seven wickets and India will now be hoping the out-of-form off-spinner can recreate some of that old magic.
Even though Harbhajan has enjoyed a good run with the bat against Australia in recent Tests and ODIs, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is unimpressed. He wants the experienced spinner to make a sizeable contribution with the ball.
"One good thing he is batting well, but we would like him to bowl much better than what he is bowling," said Dhoni on the eve of the match.
Image: Captain MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Sachin Tendulkar during catching practice in Nagpur on Tuesday
'Youngsters are still in the learning phase'
Dhoni said the team is going through a transformation period where more youngsters are coming into the side and taking time to settle.
He stressed that the team's recent performances maybe inconsistent, but gradually once the youngsters find their feet the team could start winning games on a consistent basis again.
"If you see this team is going through the changing period. We are missing quite a few individuals because of injuries and at the same time we have youngsters who are coming in and learning the art of batting and bowling in the one-day format; so we are going through the tough period. Of course, we have the bench strength but we want them to play more games so that they get the experience at the end of the day."
Image: MS Dhoni throws the ball as Ashish Nehra and Virender Sehwag watch on, during practice on Tuesday
Yuvraj back in the fold
India's captain is also relieved at having Yuvraj Singh back in the team after the left-hander was forced to miss the Champions Trophy and the first ODI because of injury.
"Of course, Yuvi has been the backbone of our batting line-up. I feel number four spot is important, especially with the second Powerplay coming. You have a bit of time to settle down after the ball change happens after the 34th over and, more often than not, if you are batting first. If you have an individual like Yuvraj who can capitalize on that, it is of great help."
Image: Yuvraj Singh plays football during a practice session on Tuesday