Chennai: Two-time champions India will play a multi-Test match against 5-time champions Australia in the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup series at 2 pm today at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Chepakkam.
The Indian team that won the title in 1983 and 2011 will be led by Rohit Sharma this time. Meanwhile, the Australian team, which has won the title 5 times including a hat-trick, is led by fast bowler Pat Cummins. India enters the World Cup after winning the Asia Cup and the bilateral ODI series against Australia.
Australia approach the global series with a series of bilateral ODI series against South Africa and India. Considering the World Cup series, the Australian batsmen have the experience of playing high volume matches on Indian pitches. All of them have played for different teams in the IPL. David Warner, Steve Smith, Cameron Green, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell have all spent considerable time in Indian conditions.
Despite losing five of their last six ODIs in South Africa and India, Australia have worked hard to return to form ahead of the World Cup series. As part of this, they won the last match against India at Rajkot.
In that match, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Marnesh Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell performed well in batting. In terms of bowling, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Adam Zamba have collectively played 16 matches in India and taken 27 wickets at an average of 30.77.
Having won the World Cup in 1983 and 2011, India have only won the ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2013 in ICC series since then. With the World Cup series being held at home this time, the Indian team will be looking to end their trophy drought in domestic conditions.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj are expected to lead the pace in India’s playing XI, while wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja are the direct choices. All-rounder Hardik Pandya will be the third fast bowler.
In terms of batting, the places of Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul will be stable. Shubman Gill is suffering from fever and is doubtful to play. Shardul Thakur will be replaced if the team management feels that a 6th bowler is required. Meanwhile Suryakumar Yadav may be given an opportunity if an additional batsman is required. If there is a need for a 3rd spinner in place of these two, Ashwin could be in place.
3 spinners?: Indian team captain Rohit Sharma says, “We are likely to field with 3 spinners. Because we consider Hardik Pandya a legitimate fast bowler. He is a great pace bowler. It can be beneficial for us. Bringing in Ashwin will add to the team’s batting depth. This leaves us with an option to field with 3 spinners. However, we will inspect the pitch before the match and take a decision. Shubman Gill is a young player, he will recover soon,” he said.
‘Know the situation’: Australia captain Pat Cummins says, “In the last 10 years, we have played more white-ball cricket in India than in Australia. Thus we know the conditions here well. The positive thing is that we have played well against India in the last few years.
Marcus Stainis has a hamstring injury. The team management is keeping a close eye on him. All-rounders are in high demand in ODIs. We are lucky in this respect. Adam Zamba injured his face while swimming. It is not to be feared. Mitchell Marsh is a powerful shot-maker. He is aiming to perform better this time around,” he said.
Rohit’s 43 against Aussies; Runs 2,332 Max 209 Cents 8; Half Centuries 2 Average 59.79
Head-to-head matches 149
How is the pitch?