The Indian cricket team is hugely enjoying the ongoing Australia tour. After levelling the three-match T20I series by 1-1, India recently created history by winning the four-match Test series by 2-1 which was their first ever Test series victory in Australia. Now, both teams are preparing for the upcoming three-match ODI series in Australia, starting on this Saturday (12 January).
The first ODI of the series will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (Sydney), where both the previous games of this tour had been affected due to the rain. Sydney organised the second T20I of this tour that had no result after failing to start the second innings of that game due to the repeated rain-interruptions.
The venue also organised the fourth and final Test of this tour which also hugely affected in rain and ended with a draw result.
According to the latest weather forecast, the Saturday game has little rain-threat and that too before the beginning of the day/night game.
In the upcoming ODI series, the no.2 ranked ODI side India is the favourite against the hosts and currently struggling no.6 ranked ODI side Australia. As the Sydney track always offers something good for the spinners, both sides will consider it an important part of their plans.
Both sides have many fresh players for the ODI series. The hosts Australia will have to come out with lesser experienced pace-bowling sides as the three main pacers (Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins) have been rested for this ODI series.
Like the Test side, the Australian ODI side also have a lack of international experiences, especially in this format. However, Aaron Finch’s leading side is confident to show the improving performances on the field.
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On the other hand, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are returning as the openers to the Indian ODI squad that will be led by the regular skipper Virat Kohli. In-form Ambati Rayudu is highly expected to take the no.4 position at batting while MS Dhoni is returning in the squad as a wicketkeeper-batsman.
There will be a crucial fight between Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik but Karthik might overcome due to his experiences, especially he performed very well in the T20I series of this tour.
As the all-rounder Hardik Pandya is going to face a suspension for his recent comments in a TV show, his return to the playing XI of the national squad is going to be more awaited.
It means Kohli may go with three pacers and two spinners for the upcoming Sydney ODI. As the in-form pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been rested from this entire ODI series, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are likely to take the in-charge of pace-bowling duty along with the left-arm young pacer Khaleel Ahmed.
Australia’s predicted playing XI for 1st ODI: Aaron Finch(capt), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (vc/wk), Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Jason Behrendorff and Adam Zampa.
India’s predicted playing XI for 1st ODI: Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Khaleel Ahmed.