Pad up with ODI cricket tips for the series-opening showdown between archrivals and perennial heavyweights India and Australia.
19:00 (AEDT), Tue 14th Jan @ Wankede Stadium, Mumbai
History: Played 137: Australia 77 V India 50
Last meeting: June 9, 2019 (World Cup): India d Australia by 36 runs at The Oval
Final Thoughts: Beaten 2019 ODI World Cup semi-finalists India and Australia square off in the first of three one-day internationals on the subcontinent.
Australia recovered from their eight-wicket World Cup semi defeat to England by retaining the Ashes. The national side has since won 10 straight T20I and Test matches. But this is their first 50-over foray since the World Cup.
Fresh off a dominant Test summer, Mitch Starc and Pat Cummins are expected to spearhead the tourists’ pace battery. David Warner, Steve Smith and captain Aaron Finch again underpin the Aussies’ batting line-up. But all eyes will be on new sensation Marnus Labuschagne after he averaged 112 in eight Test innings at home. Labuschagne is yet to don the coloured strip for his country.
Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Usman Khawaja were among the players axed from the ODI set-up.
India have had two series against West Indies since their shock WC semi-final defeat to New Zealand. They prevailed 2-0 at home and 2-1 in the Caribbean. India also chalked up convincing T20I series wins over the Windies and Sri Lanka recently.
The hosts boast the top two ranked ODI batsmen in the world, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and the best ODI bowler on the planet in Jasprit Bumrah. The incomparable MS Dhoni will not play in this series. Replacement Risbah Pant’s individual battle with Australian keeper-batsman Alex Carey could have a major bearing.
Aussies turn the tide
Australia came from two-nil down to win their ODI series in India 3-2 in March. That was also before Warner and Smith returned to the fold from suspension. Their three straight victories came after India won nine of the previous 11 one-dayers between the nations.
But Shikhar Dhawan (117) and Kohli (82) led India to a 36-run win over Australia at the World Cup three months later.
India start as $1.62 favourites for the series opener. It may be tough for Australia to adapt to the shorter format in arguably the most challenging conditions for a visiting team in world cricket.
Meanwhile, Warner shapes as a solid Top Batsman option. The opener scored three centuries at the World Cup, was dismissed just once in six T20I innings against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and enjoyed a record-breaking Test summer.