Chennai: India’s home season is all set to begin with the five-match ODI series against Australia, the first of which is scheduled to be held at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on September 17 (Sunday).
Virat Kohli and his boys have been in tremendous form so far in the ODI’s this year. After a heartbreaking loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final, the Indians have bounced back and have won the ODI series against West Indies after which they humiliated Sri Lanka 5-0 back in the island nation and would want to carry on with the same dominance and authority when they meet Australia.
But Australia isn’t like any other visitor and it wouldn’t be wise to count their chances out. Although they’ve had their problems playing spin, the way they bounced back in the recently concluded Test series against Bangladesh just goes to show how determined and strong Steve Smith’s men are.
The Aussies had toured India for a limited overs’ series way back in 2013 and that series would perhaps be remembered for a longer time to come because of the many records that went tumbling during the course of seven 50-over matches . It was an absolute run-fest and both these teams put on a great show. A similar sort of thing is expected when Kohli’s men play the Aussies in Chennai. India-Australia contests are always entertaining and this series too promises to be a thrilling one.
The Indians would miss the services of left-handed opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who had voluntarily opted out of the first three ODI’s in the series to attend his ailing wife and this might just be the time when Ajinkya Rahane finally gets a spot in playing XI. The Mumbai batsman is one of the best in the country at this point of time and has made the most of the opportunities he has got in the limited overs’ format. He is likely to open the innings with Rohit Sharma and he would be determined to put up a memorable performance so as to cement his place in the ODI XI for India.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who was earlier rested for the first three ODI’s against Australia alongside Ravichandran Ashwin when the squad was announced on September 10, would now be available for selection after fellow left-arm spinner Axar Patel sprained his left ankle during a practice session and has thus been advised rest.
With the 2019 World Cup in mind, both teams would want to chalk out a perfect team through this series which promises to be a battle of the equals.
Earlier this year, it was the Australians who had stopped India’s unbeaten run in Test cricket by inflicting a heavy defeat to them in the first Test of the four-match series. The scenario is the same now as Kohli’s men are on a rampage in the limited overs’ cricket at the moment and the Australians would look forward to putting an end to it.
The probable teams-
India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia: David Warner, Hilton Cartwright, Steve Smith (c), Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Ashton Agar