After winning the Test series 2-1, India will be looking to make a statement with their performance once again as they take on Australia in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.
This series will serve as great preparation for both teams for the upcoming ODI World Cup later this year. Hardik Pandya will be leading India in the first match as Rohit Sharma has taken a break due to family commitments. Pat Cummins has also flown back to Australia to be with his family in difficult times, and Steve Smith will lead them in this series.
Like the Test series, the ODIs are also expected to be very competitive as both teams are evenly matched in strength in all departments. But home conditions certainly give India the edge in this contest, and they will be looking to utilize that to the fullest effect to come out on top. In Rohit’s absence, Ishan Kishan is expected to open the innings along with Shubman Gill. India’s pace attack is pretty young, and that’s why the onus will be on Mohammed Shami to lead them well.
For Australia, the pace attack doesn’t look that experienced either. That’s why Mitchell Starc has a big role to play as he is the only pacer with good experience in these conditions. The batting unit looks pretty sorted, although David Warner’s form is concerning. But he knows these conditions very well, and he will back himself to strike form here. If he can do that, India’s difficulties will increase and the Aussies will have the edge.
Probable Playing XIs
Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya (C), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami
David Warner, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith (C), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk),Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa
Shubman Gill: The youngster has been in excellent form in all formats over the last one year or so, and he will be eager to carry that form forward. In ODIs alone, he has amassed 567 runs this year at an average of 113.40. That includes three centuries and a fifty in just six innings.
Glenn Maxwell: The all-rounder adds the X-factor to the Australian team in batting and bowling. Maxwell is known for his explosive batting ability in the middle-order, and he is also an effective part-time spinner. He averages 38.04 with the bat against India in ODIs along with an excellent strike-rate of 138.33.
Although Australia have a highly capable squad, with well-balanced batting and bowling units, they still can’t match India’s strength in these conditions. The Indian team also looks well settled, even without a couple of key players, and they are the favourites to win this contest once again.