Revenge in sight as India take on Australia in series opener
Mumbai: Team India will be looking to take revenge of their last ODI series defeat against Australia when the two teams meet in the first game of the three-match rubber at the Wankhede on Tuesday.
The last time Australia played an ODI series against India in the sub-continent; they came from 0-2 behind and went on to win the five-match series 3-2. And that win will surely be on the minds of both the teams, especially the visitors who would be brimming with confidence.
The reason behind Australia’s sky-high confidence is also the return of their premier batters Steve Smith and David Warner, who both proved their worth in the ODI World Cup. The duo have been in prolific form since then and they showed their prowess in the T20I series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well.
India, on the other hand, have had good outings against West Indies and Sri Lanka in white-ball cricket in the recent times and would be raring to go. With the return of Rohit Sharma and Mohammad Shami, the hosts would feel a lot more confident, having adequate arsenal in both the departments.
For the hosts, however, it would be more about the combination they go with. Will they go with Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav or will Ravindra Jadeja and Shivam Dube get a go ahead – this remains a question which can only be answered by the team management.
Also, it will be interesting to see whether Virat Kohli goes with the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal or gives rest to one of the two.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has already predicted the 2-1 scoreline of the three-match series in visitor’s favour while stating that Indian team would be keen to “redeem themselves”.
The last time that the two teams met in ODIs was in the World Cup where India emerged out victorious. They have not played any ODI cricket since then, but they looked really balanced and penetrative in the T20Is they played against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Another interesting thing to look out for in the three ODIs would be Marnus Labuschagne who is all set to make his debut in the 50-over format. Labuschagne is coming into the series on the back of a prolific home summer in Test cricket and has been spoken of highly by everyone.
Thus, it will be interesting to see whether the 25-year-old will be able to translate his form in white-ball cricket or will he suffer on the sub-continent conditions against quality Indian bowling unit, which consists of world’s best pacers at the moment – Jasprit Bumrah.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Shivam Dube, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc & wk), Pat Cummins (vc), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam Zampa