In-form India look to replicate Test success in ODIs
By Mandeep Sharma
After registering their first-ever Test series win in Australia, Virat Kohli’s India will look to carry the momentum in the three-match ODI series against the hosts, starting in Sydney on Saturday. With the World Cup just five months away, the series presents an opportunity for both sides to firm up their playing XIs. The tourists will look to replicate their success in Tests while the Kangaroos will aim to get back to winning ways before the home series against Sri Lanka.
Right Balance and Dhoni’s form
Besides a few changes, the tourists are expected to stick to the tried and tested combination. Bhuvneshwar Kumar returns to spearhead the bowling attack but will not partnered by Bumrah, who has been rested owing to a gruelling schedule. His absence presents an opportunity for Mohammad Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Khaleel Ahmed to press their claim for a permanent spot. For ex-captain MS Dhoni, it’ll be a chance to regain his old touch after having a miserable 2018 with the bat.
Following their controversial comments on the talk show ‘Koffee With Karan’, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and batsman KL Rahul are likely to miss the first two games.
Australia, on the other hand, are going in with wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey as opener with skipper Aaron Finch to partner him. Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis will play an important role in the middle-order and with their offies and medium pace respectively. Mitchell Marsh has been left out due to an illness while all-rounder Ashton Turner has been named as his replacement
India have won only two of their 16 ODIs at the SCG.
India (Predicted XI): Shikar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(captain), Ambati Rayadu, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed.
Australia (Confirmed XI): Aaron Finch(captain), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey(wk), Peter Handscomb, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Siddle