India and Australia are gearing up for a thrilling three-match ODI series starting on September 22 at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. However, Australia has received a setback with left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell ruled out of the series opener. The good news for the Australian side is that their captain, Pat Cummins, who recovered from a wrist injury, is set to play all three matches.
Star batter Steve Smith is also returning after healing from a wrist injury sustained during the Ashes. Starc, still recuperating from a groin injury suffered during the Ashes 2023, and Maxwell, recovering from ankle soreness, will aim to make a comeback in the remaining two matches of the series.
Pat Cummins expressed his hopes regarding their availability for the upcoming games. The Australian team has multiple objectives in this series. They want to adapt to the Indian conditions, secure some wins, and, most importantly, ensure their players are not overexerted before the World Cup.
Australian skipper emphasized the team’s intention to strike a balance between winning and player preservation, as they don’t want to exhaust their resources before the World Cup. Australia also aims to experiment with different combinations and provide opportunities to various players to assess their strengths and weaknesses ahead of the World Cup.
Marnus Labuschagne, who emerged as the top run-scorer in the recent series against South Africa with 283 runs in 5 innings, has garnered praise from Cummins. He views Labuschagne as a key player who can push for a spot in the World Cup squad based on his recent performances and impressive intent.
After the conclusion of the three-match ODI series, India and Australia will face each other once again in their World Cup 2023 opener on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The series serves as an essential preparation ground for both teams as they fine-tune their strategies and lineups for the highly anticipated World Cup campaign.