The wait for the much-anticipated ODI series between Australia and India is over as the first ODI will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday. Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, India looking for a refreshed squad, especially in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant. Nevertheless, the Men in Blue have a strong roster, with Hardik Pandya’s return adding much-needed strength to the lower-middle order.
The likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will be playing a crucial role in deciding the fortunes of India, who will be looking to kickstart the long tour with a win in Sydney. Their opponents aren’t pushovers by any means. Along with home conditions playing into their hands, Australia, who won their previous series against England earlier in the year, looking to be a balanced squad.
The emergence of Marcus Stoinis as a finisher has added much-needed balance to a team that boasts of a lot of firepower at the top of the order. Although both teams look evenly matched on paper, you might fancy Australia given the balance in their team. Nevertheless, we should be in for a cracking start to the 3-match ODI series in Sydney.
In the absence of Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal can be expected to open the inning with Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order with KL Rahul continuing to keep wicket and bat at No. 5. If India decides to go with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, they will have to choose between Navdeep Saini’s pace and Shardul Thakur’s lower-order batting for the third seamer’s role. Also, Yuzvendra Chahal’s IPL form may help him edge out Kuldeep Yadav for the lone wrist-spinner’s slot.
Probable XI: Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul(WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur/ Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah
Steven Smith, who missed the ODI series in England with a concussion, will be raring to make a comeback in the side in place of the injured Mitchell Marsh, with Marcus Stoinis vacating the No. 3 slot in all likelihood.
Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch (C), Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Adam Zampa