Cricket

India vs Australia: Unsolved opening puzzle, Virat Kohli's batting position in focus as hosts have task cut out in first ODI

  • Press Trust of India
  • January 14th, 2020
  • 8:00:38 IST

Mumbai: With skipper Virat Kohli stepping in to resolve India's opening puzzle, the formidable hosts will look to ensure that their enviable home run remains intact against a full-strength Australia when the two teams clash in an ODI series starting on Tuesday.

Kohli said he has no hesitation coming down the order to ensure that KL Rahul's consistency and Shikhar Dhawan's experience are both accommodated in the Indian playing XI.

Virat Kohli and his other teammates during a training session. AP

Virat Kohli and his other teammates during a training session. AP

"Big possibility. I would be very happy to do so. Look I am not possessive about where I play. I am not insecure about where I bat," Kohli said.

At a time when bilateral ODI series are fast losing relevance, the three-match rubber between two top teams could give a fresh lease of life to the format.

The high-voltage rivalries that fans enjoy will be back as Rohit Sharma's elegance will be pitted against enforcer David Warner while the Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith duel will resume in earnest.

India's hungry-for-wickets pace attack led by Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini is ready to test the Australians with subtle variations.

On the other hand, IPL's costliest foreign recruit Pat Cummins, the crafty Kane Richardson and the ever-dependable Mitchell Starc will leave no stone unturned to make life uncomfortable for Kohli and his men.

Alex Carey's gutsy batting and faultless glove-work will face the challenge of Rishabh Pant's flair.

The young Marnus Labuschagne, easily the most exciting talent spreading his wings on the international cricket map with some stellar performances in the Test arena, would like to replicate his form in the shorter formats.

On current form, Rahul was miles ahead to partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the order but Dhawan has had a phenomenal record in white ball cricket against the Aussies.

In fact, in their last meeting in the ODI World Cup, it was Dhawan's superb hundred that paved the way for an easy victory for the Indians.

But that was a good seven months back and Dhawan, since then, endured a spate of injuries. He also lost form only to regain a bit of it by scoring a half-century in the final T20 against Sri Lanka.

During World Cup, till Dhawan was around, KL Rahul batted at No.4 as a stop-gap solution but Shreyas Iyer has made the slot his own with a string of good scores.

The Wankhede track is usually a belter and India will certainly not go with two wrist spinners considering the fate they met during the last home series in March, which India lost 2-3.

Kuldeep Yadav, who has a hat-trick against Australia, is likely to be preferred over Yuzvendra Chahal.

There is a strong possibility that this will be Kedar Jadhav's last ODI series for India unless the pint-sized Pune right-hander does something extra special.

With buzz being about his reluctance to bowl off-breaks in order to enhance his IPL career, a few good scores will be required to keep Ajinkya Rahane and Suryakumar Yadav out of equation when the Indian team for the ODI series in New Zealand is announced on 19 January.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (Wicket-keeper), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Shami.

Australia: Aaron Finch (Captain), Alex Carey (Wicket-keeper), Patrick Cummins, Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschange, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner and Adam Zampa.

Updated Date: January 14, 2020 08:00:38 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Ian Chappell says Steve Smith might get captaincy back, but only if there is no other choice
First Cricket News

Ian Chappell says Steve Smith might get captaincy back, but only if there is no other choice

Paine's performance behind the wickets and his tactics as captain in the just-concluded Test series against India which Australia lost 1-2 were severely criticised by former players.

India vs Australia: 'Steve Smith feeds off criticism, is in good frame of mind', says Tim Paine
First Cricket News

India vs Australia: 'Steve Smith feeds off criticism, is in good frame of mind', says Tim Paine

Smith has faced accusations he had been trying to cheat by scuffing up batsman Rishabh Pant's guard at the crease during the tense drawn third Test at Sydney, which left the series locked at 1-1.

India vs Australia: Steve Smith says Mitchell Starc should be fine on Day 5 despite apparent hamstring trouble
First Cricket News

India vs Australia: Steve Smith says Mitchell Starc should be fine on Day 5 despite apparent hamstring trouble

With India set a record target of 328 by Australia at the Gabba, left-arm pacer Starc clutching his right hamstring before the final day's play was a cause for concern for the home team.