India vs Australia 1st ODI: Preview and Prediction
India is all set to welcome Australia for a three-match ODI series in the lead-up to the 2023 Cricket World Cup. The first ODI will be staged at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali on Friday.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 15-member squad for the first two ODIs and a 17-member squad for the third ODI in their upcoming assignment against Australia.
KL Rahul is set to lead the Men in Blue for the first couple of games with Ravindra Jadeja as the deputy. Major characters that were a part of the Asia Cup triumph- Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, and Hardik Pandya have been omitted, citing a mental break.
The squad finds a spot for veteran spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin and young all-rounder Washington Sundar. The former was in talks with Rohit Sharma while the latter replaced the injured Axar Patel in the final of Asia Cup 2023.
The Tamil Nadu duo is also a part of the third ODI that consists of all the members who are a part of the World Cup 2023 squad. In addition, Maharashtra top-order batter, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Hyderabad’s middle-order sensation, Tilak Varma have found a spot for the first couple of encounters.
On the other hand, Australia will be led by Pat Cummins who was sidelined in the bilateral series versus South Africa due to a fractured wrist.. He will be greeted by the return of Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, and Mitchell Starc. All three of them were ruled out of the Proteas series due to various injuries.
Smith injured a tendon at the left wrist during the 2023 Ashes while Starc withstood groin discomfort. Maxwell was ready to participate in the South Africa series but aggravated his ankle during the practice session and later flew back home in anticipation of the birth of his first child.
The injury woes are not limited to this point for the Australian cricket community. Travis Head fractured his hand during the fourth ODI against South Africa and faces a tight deadline for a resurgence. In addition, left-arm spin all-rounder Ashton Agar incurred a minor calf tear ahead of the African series and missed the T20Is. However, his comeback in the first ODI was short-lived due to soreness and thereafter returned home for the birth of his first child.
From a positive front, Cameron Green, who suffered a concussion in the first ODI is back in the squad and is expected to fare with full fitness. Other renowned names such as David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Stoinis, and Nathan Ellis have retained their spot in the squad. Among uncapped players, all-rounder, Matt Short and left-arm quick, Spencer Johnson have cemented their position in the faction.
What have they done so far?
India is riding on the back of a successful Asia Cup stint where Rohit Sharma led the Men in Blue to their eighth Asia Cup title. They made a mockery of the defending champions, Sri Lanka in the main event of the Asian Championship, winning by ten wickets after folding them for a mere total of 50 runs.
The Rahul Dravid-coached bunch secured a final spot after drubbing Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super Four stage. However, they were pushed on the back foot in a tricky run chase of 265 runs by Bangladesh. With a lot of positives to behold, the Indian selectors rested Kohli, Rohit, Hardik, and Kuldeep to experiment with other potent candidates ahead of the World Cup 2023.
On the flip side, the Aussies have had some moments to cherish in the past few months. They clinched the World Test Championship mace against India and followed it up with an impressive Ashes, equalising the tally away from home.
Moving on, a relatively younger side with a little blend of experience white-washed the Aiden Markram-captained South African T20I side. It was followed by a couple of wins in the ODI series under the leadership of Mitch Marsh. However, they were given back by the hosts and lost the series 3-2, finishing off with a hat-trick of defeats.
Since the early 1980s, there have been as many as 146 ODI games played between India and Australia. Australia enjoy a record of 82 victories whereas their counterparts have only 54 triumphs. Ten matches did not produce results.
Although the overall record may seem to be tilted in favour of the Kangaroos, the last ten matches’ records speak a different yarn. Both teams have had a fair share of five victories in the last ten battles.
David Warner (Australia): The left-handed batter was impressive during the ongoing ODI series versus South Africa. He notched up a ton in the second ODI that saw the Aussies garner 392 runs on the board.
Warner is an experienced bloke and has accumulated a lot of runs on Indian pitches during the various editions of the Indian Premier League in the past decade. Hence, ‘the Bull’ shall be a force to reckon with in the upcoming series against India.
Shubman Gill (India): The 24-year-old batter was India’s highest run-getter in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2023. He is a tremendous batter who possesses equal calibre to counter pace and spin.
Gill must be opening the batting for the Indian team in the upcoming series against Australia and one may expect him to convert his good form into a purple patch.
Australia: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins ©, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa
India: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul © (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Australia will be looking to get their combinations right ahead of the glitterati event next month and would look to forge a formidable XI. However, India’s plans are to mix bench strength with a few of the first-choice cricketers. It would not be a surprise if Australia take an early lead in the series but KL Rahul’s captaincy would surely be tested by the Kangaroos.