It will be Team India’s last ODI series ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019, which is hardly three months away and it will be played against Australia comprises of five matches commenced to start on Saturday, March 2. India will be locking horns with Australia in the first ODI at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad. For India, this is their final chance to lock in on a few spots especially in their middle order.
Although the Men in Blue may be considered as te hot favorites to go into the World Cup, they are yet to find their best playing XI. With players being switched in every series, it is anyone’s guess as to who will have the flight ticket for England come May. But the World Cup is still months away, the Indian team will be now focused on winning their home series against Australia and to gain some much-needed momentum before the World Cup.
The Indian skipper, Virat Kohli must be well aware of the fact that his team can’t afford to lose that momentum ahead of the World Cup. Once India reaches the WC knockouts, it will be anyone’s game and India will then have to show their might to go all the way.
India will definitely look towards this ODI series as a warm-up for the World Cup. The players will be expected to give their best and their performances will be closely monitored. Opener Shikhar Dhawan who missed the T20I series with KL Rahul chosen above him is likely to make a comeback and will join Rohit Sharma at the top.
Rahul is getting back into his groove and he can be very crucial for India ahead of the World Cup. There have been talks of Virat Kohli batting at number four and if he is, then KL Rahul’s number three position may be pretty much cemented. Ambati Rayudu who did not travel with India to New Zealand comes back to the team and will have a point to prove before the World Cup.
While Dhoni’s selection in the World Cup is pretty much confirmed, the fight will be between Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik for the number two spot. With Dhoni getting injured during the session, there are chances that Pant will get a chance in the team. He can be the wicketkeeper pick for the first ODI. Hardik Pandya who was injured is ruled out of the series, his spot will be taken by Ravindra Jadeja who could make a last-minute case as India’s all-rounder choice for the World Cup.
Jasprit Bumrah will be leading India’s bowling attack with Mohammed Shami making a comeback into the Indian team. Shami who was rested after India’s tour of Australia will add a lot of firepower into India’s bowling attack. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are India’s natural choice for the spin.
Predicted XI Of India For The Match In Hyderabad ODI:
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami.