With Australia winning the T20I series against 2-0 against the men in blue, the focus now shifts in the five-match ODI series in what shall be the final frontier for Team India, as they head to the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.
The first ODI is to be hosted at the Rajic Gandhi International Stadium – Hyderabad, a venue which serves as a good batting track, but has the big boundaries, which makes it quite a task for the batsmen to accelerate the runs at times.
Though the T20I defeat was a disappointing one for Kohli and his men, Team India always manage to pack a punch when it comes to ODI cricket, and their series wins in Australia and New Zealand in the last two months serves as concrete evidence to that. The top 3 compromising of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli are one of the finest trios in world cricket in today’s time, and uprooting their wickets in the early stages will be a task which needs to be done by the Aussie bowlers with utmost efficiency. Hardik Pandya might be unavailable in the squad due to a back spasm, but the presence of Ambati Raydu, MS Dhoni, and Kedar Jhadav solidifies India’s batting line-up. Vijay Shankar’s impressive run in New Zealand earned him the nod in the series versus Australia in place of Hardik Pandya, while the spin options of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ravindra Jadeja also turns the Indian bowling unit into a threat.
The inclusion of Bumrah, Shami, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar further strengthens Team India’s ability to take wickets with pace and swing.
Australia on the other hand have a captain who’s currently not in form, but can still turn out to be deadly on his day. Glenn Maxwell’s mature knocks in the T20I series now makes him more of an asset while heading into the ODI series, while Peter Handsccomb, and Usman Khawaja will also look to pile on the runs against the Indians. Marcus Stoinis will step in as the value added all rounder for the kangaroos, while Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa’s finger spin and wrist spin will look to add the pressure on the Indian batsmen. The pace attack of Nathan Coulter Nile, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrandorff, and Jhye Richardson looks as promising as ever, and hence the forthcoming contest between the two great cricketing nations promises to be mouth watering encounter.
Australia will look to carry forward the confidence from the T20I series, while the men in blue will take this opportunity to redeem themselves in order to lift their shoulders before the all important cricket world cup.
About the Author
Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.