India vs Australia 1st ODI: Australia have outplayed India in every department in the T20I series and the focus now moves on to the 50-over format. With the World Cup only 3 months away both teams will look to make the most of this opportunity. Australia also travel to the UAE before the Cup for a 5-match ODI series while most of the Indian cricketers have the Indian Premier League to maintain shape & form.
The Men in Blue had a successful tour down under in the 50-over format. A 2-1 win against the Aussies and a thumping 4-1 victory versus the New Zealanders must have only bolstered their confidence. The massive question, however – Can the Indian think tank manage to enter the mega event with an established combination?
The Aussies are aligned to a nicety, as far as picking their perfect 15 is concerned. The team management has shown trust on the chosen 15 in both formats and that indeed has become a massive positive. A major reason for them to ponder about will be the inclusion of David Warner & Steven Smith. A reason to ponder? That’s one duo any international unit will gleefully welcome. Every player has been assigned responsibility under coach Justin Langer and the ploy seems to have fallen into a fine rhythm. How will the Aussies take this forward?
India vs Australia 1st ODI
WHEN: March 2nd, 1:30 pm
WHERE: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
The pitch at Hyderabad is undoubtedly one of the best in the country. It’s pacy, it’s placid and seems to work brilliantly if the tweakers find the right areas. The average 1st innings score on this ground is a healthy 286. The team batting first has won 3 times while the team chasing has gone on to win twice.
Stat: Sachin Tendulkar’s 175 against Australia in 2009 is the highest score in a chase.
KL RAHUL or AMBATI RAYUDU?
What does Ambati Rayudu need to do to confirm his place at number 4? After the series against West Indies, the Hyderabadi dasher was assured a slot at number four but that has changed after the ODI series down under. The middle-order batter had a decent outing in New Zealand but after KL Rahul’s return to the Indian line-up and to some decent form, Rayudu is now considered only a probable option. India’s reserve opener or 2-drop? Can KL Rahul storm his way into the middle order or will India persist with Rayudu?
Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav are likely to be included into the playing XI & Vijay Shankar will be counted on for his all-rounder’s role. Rayudu & Rahul will fight for the number 4 slot.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), KL Rahul/Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(wk), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.
Aaron Finch has had a mediocre run in the last 25 games. The Aussie skipper has averaged a mere 22.50 in his last 10 outings. He’s had obvious problems with the ball nipping back in & with Mohammad Shami included in the squad his footwork is certain to be tested. The rest of the squad remains finely balanced. Ashton Turner is likely to make his ODI debut.
Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey(wk), Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR INDIA vs AUSTRALIA 1st ODI
In the last 13 months, India’s Virat Kohli has played 20 matches, scored 1503 runs(7 hundred & 4 fifties) and his average during this period, a gigantic 100.20. That’s diabolic, to say the least. He’s only gotten better every year and with the World Cup around the corner, we’re yet to see the best of Kohli. However, in the ODIs Downunder, his last 4 scores were 46, 45, 43 & 60 where quick short deliveries led to his downfall. In India, Kohli might not face trouble pulling and hooking short deliveries, but in conditions which assist pacers, Kohli will be put to the test. Have the pacers found Kohli’s Achilles heel?
Glenn Maxwell played one of the finest knocks in T20Is only a couple of days back and the Australian marauder is all set to lit up the ODI series as well. Maxwell has always been a ‘confidence player’ and with the ball-hitting form he’s struck in the last two games, he’ll be the player to watch out for. Marcus Stoinis & Maxwell will have to manoeuvre strike in the middle overs and accelerate at the end of the innings. Can the duo outclass the Indian bowling attack?
Maxwell in the last 12 months has averaged only 32 with the bat, but he’ll be a man to keep an eye on after the scintillating knock at Bengaluru.
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