After the 1-1 draw in the three-match T20I series and the 2-1 margin victory for India in the four-match Test series, the hosts Australia and the visitors India are set to begin the three-match ODI series. The first ODI (D/N) of the series will be played on Saturday (12 January) at the Sydney Cricket Ground (Sydney) that will begin at 13:20 local (07:50 IST).
The venue has already organised two matches in this tour. 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 no rain-threat as it is expected to be sunny throughout the match.
Australian cricket team
It is going to be an important ODI series for the hosts Australia, who are currently at the no.6 position in ODI rankings. As they are struggling in the present international cricket, Australian cricket team is desperate to show some impressive performances in this ODI series.
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Like the Test side, the Australian ODI side also have a lack of ODI experiences. Though there are a good number of quality batsmen in the ODI side, there are the questions on their consistency and stability.
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. Though the experienced international cricketer Peter Siddle is returning to the playing XI after around eight years later, he hasn’t played any List A matches in the last year.
As the off-spinner Nathan Lyon is in very good form with the red ball, he is ready to return in the white-ball game.
Form guide (last five ODIs; starting with most recent): Lost, Won, Lost, Lost and Lost
Indian cricket team
The no.2 ranked ODI side Indian cricket team is currently in a good form and favourite for this series too. Though the ODI side is in the good form, there is an important question on the consistency level, especially in the middle-order batting line-up.
With the limited-overs format return, the in-form set opening partners, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are returning to the squad. While both featured in the T20I series in this tour back in last November, Sharma also featured in the Test series before leaving Australia prior to the final Test of this tour at Sydney too see his newly born baby girl.
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 for the middle-order batting 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 has been suspended for his recent comments in a TV show, the all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja may earn the open opportunity, especially when Sydney provides a lot for the spinners.
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. Even if Jadeja plays the game, left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav is likely to lead the spin-bowling.
Form guide (last five ODIs; starting with most recent): Won, Won, Lost, Tied and Won
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Alex Carey (vc/wk), Jason Behrendorff, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav
Key Stats Preview:
- India has played only one bilateral ODI series against Australia in Australia which was the five-match ODI series in 2015/16 season. The host side Australia won that series by 4-1.
- Australia has played 130 ODIs at Sydney Cricket Ground (Sydney) where they have won 85 ODIs, lost 39 ODIs and also have six no results.
- India has played 19 ODIs at Sydney Cricket Ground (Sydney) out of which they have won five ODIs, lost 13 ODIs and also have one no result.
- Australia and India have played 16 ODIs at Sydney Cricket Ground (Sydney). Australia won 13 ODIs out of those while India won two ODIs (one had no results). India won the ODIs against Australia at this venue on 2 March 2008 (by 6 wickets) and 23 January 2016 (by 6 wickets).