India will play Australia in a three-match ODI series starting Tuesday. The gulf between both sides in the ICC ODI rankings is not too much, and not surprisingly, the series is being billed as the battle of equals.
India are toughest to conquer at home, but with Steve Smith and David Warner around, beating Australia will not be easy. For India, the biggest problem will be of choosing their opening combination and whether or not to play Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal together. On the other hand, it will be interesting to see if Australia give Marnus Labuschange a go in white-ball cricket.
Before the much-awaited ODI series begins, let’s look at some of the stats and facts related to both the sides.
India have won 10 of the last 15 ODIs that they have played against Australia in ODIs. While India would like to continue their dominance over them, Australia will be keen on improving their recent record against India and carry the momentum from the red-ball cricket to white-ball format.
India start favourites as they are playing at home but the hosts will be wary of the way Australia came to beat them in their backyard last year after losing the first two matches of the series and with their main players back.
Indian team’s top-order’s batting average of 59.69 in the last two years in ODIs is the highest among all the teams while Australia are at the fourth place in the list, but with both side top-heavy, it will be intriguing to see which batsmen will fire.
Australia have their tried and tested opening combination back with Warner’s return. Warner and Aaron Finch need to add one more century stand to become the second most successful opening pair for Australia in ODIs. In fact, Australia’s average opening stand of 73.90 against India in India in ODIs is the best for any team against India in India in ODIs since 2015.
Australia are Rohit Sharma’s favourite opposition. He has amassed more runs against them than any other nation in ODIs. He is on the verge of becoming the second batsman to hit 100-plus sixes against a team in ODIs. He needs to score 56 more runs to complete 9,000 runs in ODIs. Also, four of Rohit's last 10 ODI tons have come against Australia.
India have Bumrah-Shami while Australia have Starc-Cummins and the number also backs the interesting tussle between the pacers of both the sides in the upcoming ODI series. Australia’s pacers’ bowling average of 28.50 was the second-best while Indian pacers’ bowling average of 29.39 was the third-best in ODIs in 2019. Mohammed Shami picked up 42 wickets in ODIs in 2019 which was the most by any bowler while Pat Cummins was the highest wicket-taker for Australia in ODIs in 2019 with 31 wickets from 16 matches.
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