India vs Australia is probably ‘The Marquee’ contest in World Cricket at the moment and two of the best nations in the 50-over format start their three-match ODI series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The hosts are fresh off a comfortable T20I series win (2-0) over Sri Lanka. That was preceded by a hard-fought ODI series against West Indies, that they eventually won 2-1.
Australia are coming off a dominant home summer where they clean swept Pakistan and New Zealand in the Tests. The success stories of those series are drafted into this touring squad, so the confidence in the camp will be high.
The familiar names are back with Rohit Sharma expected to take his spot as the opener. With KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan jostling for the lone place to be Rohit’s partner, there is a chance that captain Virat Kohli might drop down to fourth to accommodate both.
Bowling will be boosted with the return of Jasprit Bumrah, where he will be partnered by Mohammed Shami. Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini will be vying to complete the attack, while all-rounders Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja will try to expand Kohli’s bowling choices.
The return of Steve Smith and the presence of the prolific Marnus Labuschagne makes the Australian unit a very strong one. David Warner will be looking to continue his run thirst, while Peter Handscomb and Ashton Turner will provide the aggressive middle-order touch.
The Australian batting depth is complemented by their strong bowling unit. Led by the insatiable Mitchell Starc and the irresistible Pat Cummins, the Aussies have two of the best ODI bowlers at the moment. Adam Zampa enjoyed his moment under the sun in the previous series and should once again be key for Australia’s chances.
This is a massive series between two sides that look incredibly balanced. The Indians have the right batting power for the conditions, highlighted by their top-three. However, their wobbly middle-order could be a target for the incredibly strong Australian bowling. Regardless of their recent form, the Indians could be tested by Australia and don’t be surprised if the visitors start with a win.
History & Statistics
- India have lost their last three ODIs against Australia, although winning the previous three.
- Australia have won 15 of their last 18 ODIs.
- Three of the last four ODIs at this venue have been won by the chasing side.
Sharma must be fresh after being rested for the Sri Lankan T20Is. He has had a phenomenal 2019, scoring 1,490 ODI runs that included seven centuries and six 50+ scores.
Steve Smith loves playing India and that is definitely an understatement. He averages 52.15 against India (career avg. 41.41) at a SR of 98.26 (career SR of 86.32).