Mumbai: The first match of the 3-match ODI series between India and Australia will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai this afternoon.
Captain Rohit Sharma is not participating in today’s match due to family reasons. Due to this, the Indian cricket team is going to field under the leadership of Hardik Pandya. Although Hardik Pandya has led the Indian team in T20 cricket, this is the first time he will lead the ODI tournament. Hardik Pandya is being tagged as the future captain of Indian team in short form cricket, today’s game could be the test of his captaincy.
Meanwhile, as the 50-over World Cup cricket series is scheduled to be held in India later this year, both the teams may try to use the current ODI series to better prepare for it. In this year, the Indian team won the bilateral ODI series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand at home. The Indian team had won all the matches in the 3-match series against the two teams.
In both the series, opener Shubman Gill was chasing 567 runs at an average of 113.40. It also includes 3 cents. His form has also gained importance in this year when the 50-over World Cup series will be held. With Rohit Sharma not playing in today’s match, there are high expectations on Shubman Gill. Shubman Gill scored a century in the 4th Test which ended in a draw against Australia in Ahmedabad. Shubman Gill may focus on continuing this form in today’s game.
Run machine Virat Kohli’s return to form has also boosted the team. Virat Kohli has scored 338 runs at an average of 67.60 in 6 home matches this year. Virat Kohli, who has crossed 75 centuries in international cricket, is expected to produce more brilliant innings in the series against Australia. However, leg-spinner Adam Zamba may give him trouble. Because Virat Kohli has been dismissed 8 times by Adam Zamba’s delivery.
With the World Cup in mind, the team management may focus on re-testing the Kuldeep Yadav and Yuvendra Chahal combination in the Indian spin department. Kuldeep Yadav has taken 11 wickets in his last 5 matches. Mohammad Siraj is likely to field alongside Mohammad Shami in fast bowling.
Ishan Kishan is likely to open the batting line-up with Shubman Gill. Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja may enter the field after them.
Pat Cummins is not playing and Australian cricket team is led by Steve Smith. The 5-time world champions are brimming with all-rounders. Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar can add strength to the batting as well as bowling. Along with these all-rounders, Steve Smith, Marnesh Labuchen, Travis Hutt and Alex Carey are also ready to challenge the Indian bowling. Meanwhile, returning opener David Warner is struggling to regain his lost batting ability. Sean Abbott is likely to field alongside Mitchell Starc in the fast bowlers. Adam can perform samba moves in the spiral.
India: Hardik Pandya (captain), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuvendra Chahal, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umran Malik, Jayadev Unadgat.
Australia: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Travis Head, Marnish Labuschagne, Alex Carey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Greene, Josh Inglis, Ashton Agar, Adam Zamba, Nathan Ellis, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc.
Retaliation?: India-Australia teams clashed on January 14, 2020 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Chasing a target of 256 runs in this match, the Australian team won without losing a wicket in 37.4 overs. David Warner scored 128 and Aaron Finch scored 110 runs. 20 runs were given as spares. David Warner is not in the best form now that Finch has retired. This time, the Indian team may try to avenge the worst defeat they suffered last time.
Time – 1:30 pm
Live – Star Sports