India vs Australia 1st ODI: Preview and Prediction
After a drab end to an otherwise scintillating Test series between India and Australia, as the hosts retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023 after prevailing 2-1, the attention now shifts to the ODI leg of the tour.
The first match of the ODI series will be played on Friday, in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Even as Australian players were in action against India during the 4th Test in Ahmedabad, many players who are part of the visiting ODI contingent took to the field as Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis were seen training in the nets.
Maxwell, who is just returning from a fractured leg injury is just one of the players whose fitness will be a key area of concern for the Australian management. There are many other players who are not likely to be part of the Australian ODI team, with Jhye Richardson ruled out due to a hamstring issue and Josh Hazlewood also returned back Down Under during the Test series.
ODI skipper Pat Cummins recently lost his mother and is likely to remain at home with Steve Smith expected to continue leading as stand-in captain for the 3-match series.
Rohit Sharma’s men were handed a massive blow during the fourth Test as Shreyas Iyer complained of pain in his back and as per the latest reports he has been ruled out of the ODI series, with a replacement not likely to be named by BCCI, given the 17-man strong squad. Skipper Rohit himself will not be playing in the first ODI, due to his family commitments and in his place, Hardik Pandya will be seen leading the side in Mumbai.
What have they done so far?
Team India comes into this fixture on the back of a 2-1 Test series win over Australia. While the home side won the first Test in Delhi by an innings and 132 runs, they successfully retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy by taking a 2-0 lead after a six-wicket win in Delhi. Australia roared back in the series with a nine-wicket win in Indore followed by a high-scoring draw in Ahmedabad.
The Men in Blue have begun the year 2023 on a positive note, in recent months they have defeated the likes of Sri Lanka and New Zealand at home.
In their first assignment of the new year, the hosts defeated Sri Lanka 2-1 in the T20I series, before whitewashing Dasun Shanaka’s side by 3-0 in the ODI leg. Later in January, Rohit and Co whitewashed the Kiwis by 3-0 in the 50-overs format, followed by a 2-1 series win in the shortest format.
Australia meanwhile last played a limited-overs series against England in November last year where the hosts whitewashed Jos Buttler’s side 3-0.
Head to Head Record
These two sides have a long and illustrious history when it comes to ODI cricket. In total, India and Australia have squared off on 143 occasions, with the Aussies having a significant upper hand having claimed 80 victories whereas the Men in Blue won 53 games.
Interestingly, not a single game between them has ended in a draw, while 10 fixtures were abandoned without any result. India won the last bilateral ODI series fixture by 13 runs in December 2020 against Australia.
Virat Kohli (India): Having smashed a century in the fourth Test, the former India captain has finally overcome the rut across all formats and silenced his critics in style. Looking forward to the ODI World Cup 2023, Kohli’s form will be key for India’s credentials to win the coveted title and before that, the series against Australia will be the perfect way to kick-start preparations for the World Cup. The 34-year-old will be eager to keep this momentum going and help India win the ODI series as well.
Cameron Green (Australia): The Australian all-rounder has looked promising ever since he joined the squad from the third Test in Indore. He already has had a taste of smashing runs aplenty having done so when Australia visited Indian shores last year ahead of the T20 World Cup. With many key players missing, it will be an opportunity for some of the young names to carry the side and Green will be looking to do exactly that.
Predicted Playing XIs
India: Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya ©, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Umran Malik, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: Travis Head, Cameron Green, Steve Smith ©, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Sean Abbott
The Men in Blue have yet to lose a single white-ball series in the year 2023, on the other hand, this will be Australia’s first ODI limited-overs series of the year. That, and the fact that Australia has a lot of key players missing, could tip the balance in India’s favor.