Australia skipper Steve Smith wants to end the bitterness that started in the Test matches against India this year when the two giants start ODI series on Sunday.
Smith got engaged in a verbal banter with Indian skipper Virat Kohli when Australia lost the Test series 2-1 in March. The aggressive Australian skipper said ahead of the first ODI that he hoped the five-match series would be played in “good spirit”.
During the 2nd Test in Bangalore this year, Kohli showed resentment after Smith looked up to his own dressing room while deciding whether to review an lbw dismissal. While Smith later apologized for his self-admitted “brain fade” moment, Kohli lashed-out on the Aussies at the last series press conference in Dharamsala.
Speaking ahead of the upcoming limited-overs series, Smith said, “I think it will be played in good spirit. It is a hard-fought contest playing against India. I am not too concerned about the differences with Kohli. He is obviously a very good player and has a phenomenal ODI record.”
The visitors are coming out of a tough 2-match Test series in Bangladesh that ended 1-1, are confident of doing well against the in-form hosts. The return of all-rounder James Faulkner will help them against the host, while he reckons that his IPL experience will help him to perform better.
Faulkner is set to reinforce Australia’s pace attack along with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins. While Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar and batsman Marcus Stoinis will be looking to lay their claims for a starting place.
India’s fast bowling unit looks more experienced than their counterparts after the return of pace spearhead Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. Commenting on the same, Shami said, “We have some plans for each of their batsmen — especially Smith and (David) Warner. The key is about executing it on the field. Australia is a strong team. It’s difficult to say that (a clean sweep) but we will try our best for a good show. The conditions will play a big role.”
Australia lost their ODI series in India 3-2 in 2013 but defeated India 4-1 at home in 2016.
India (for first three ODIs)
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.