India will be looking to carry the momentum gained from their Asia Cup title triumph forward when they take on Australia in the first ODI of the three-match series in Mohali on Friday, September 22.

KL Rahul has been tasked with leading India in the first couple of matches as Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya have rested. The squad also features names like Ruturaj Gaikwad and Prasidh Krishna. Ravindra Jadeja comes as Rahul’s deputy. R Ashwin has also returned to the ODI setup. He will look to seal his World Cup berth with good performances in this series.

Washington Sundar, who was drafted into the Asia Cup Final squad in place of Axar Patel, has also been included in the team for the first two matches. Ishan Kishan is expected to open the innings with Shubman Gill in Rohit Sharma’s absence, whereas the rest of the batting unit probably remains the same. The bowling unit will also look similar to the Asia Cup.

Regarding things for Australia, regular captain Pat Cummins will lead them. The top order looks strong, with experienced players like David Warner and Steve Smith featuring in the top four. Dynamic all-rounder Mitchell Marsh is expected to open the innings, with Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey slotting in the middle-order. In this series, Cameron Green will be Australia’s X-factor, whereas pacers like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, and Nathan Ellis will seriously challenge India’s batting unit. All in all, this will be a riveting contest between two top sides.

Probable Playing XI

India: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (C/wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav

Australia: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marcus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Adam Zampa

Key Players

Shubman Gill: The youngster has been great in ODIs this year. He recently finished as the highest run-getter in the Asia Cup and will be looking to carry that form forward into this encounter.

Steve Smith: The dynamic batter has been a great servant of Australian cricket over the years. Smith is a very consistent batter who scores runs consistently and will be looking to do the same in this match.

Match Prediction

The two teams are well-matched in every department, but India enjoy home advantage so they will enter this contest as the favourites.

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