5 Player battles to watch out for in the India vs Australia ODI series

5 Player battles to watch out for in the India vs Australia ODI series

From Umesh Yadav vs David Warner to Jasprit Bumrah vs Glenn Maxwell, the player battles to watch out for.

Virat Kohli India
Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Reigning world champions Australia and India are all set to battle it out from the 17th of September marking the beginning of one of the most awaited clashes this cricketing season. There is certainly no love lost between the two nations who are apparent from the colourful history (read: sledging) they share over the years. Instances of sledging, on the field arguments, have been rampant which is an indication of the intensity they share. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting described India as the “final frontier” which if breached could propel the Australians onto the glory of being “invincibles”.

The battle for supremacy has been going on over the years with the honours evenly shared. While Australia triumphed over India in the finals of the 2003 50-over World Cup, hosts India certainly extracted the revenge due beating Ricky Ponting led Australia in the 2011 World cup semi-finals which incidentally marked his last One-Day International ever.

The current Australian squad consists of a few players who can change the complexion of the game single-handedly like Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, and Steve Smith while the hosts are certainly not sure of firepower themselves. Let’s take a look at the 5 player battles to watch out for:

1. David Warner vs Umesh Yadav

The diminutive Australian opener who is nicknamed “Pocket Dynamo” because of his ability to smash huge sixes has developed into one of the most destructive openers in the ODI format. Warner’s consistency and awe-inspiring performances have propelled him into a messiah like figure for the Australian national team. Even a target in excess of 300 can be chased down easily if Warner is on song.

Yadav has developed into a fine bowler who is more than capable of clocking speeds in excess of 145 kms/hr after kicking off his career on a stuttering note as an expensive and ineffective paceman. Umesh enjoys the ability to york the batsmen and can induce an edge with subtle unexpected movement. He has developed into a fine new and old ball bowler and will be eager to truimph over the Aussie vice-captain.

2. Steve Smith vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Australian captain Steve Smith has developed into one of the most formidable and unorthodox batsmen in world cricket after transforming himself from being a leggie. His ability to adapt his gameplay according to different scenarios and lead from the front makes him a matchwinner and one to watch out for.

Bhuvneshwar who hails from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh just like former Indian medium-pace bowler Praveen Kumar has cemented his reputation of being a wily customer to negotiate after going from strength to strength since his debut against Pakistan. Kumar’s ability to get the ball to swing along with the variations speak volumes about his maturity. Of late he has developed a mean yorker that he unleashes late in the innings and that certainly makes this battle one to watch out for.

3. Nathan Coulter-Nile vs Virat Kohli:

Virat Kohli has been hailed as arguably the best batsman currently in world cricket on the back of emerging as the highest run-scorer in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka and consistent eye – catching performances. The Indian captain enjoys a good record against the Australians and will be itching to rack up another mammoth tally feasting on the Aussie pace attack.

The 29-year-old Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile who is an alumnus of the Dennis Lillee fast bowling academy has been extremely impressive in the BBL over the years and in the IPL with the Kolkata Knight Riders recently. Injuries have certainly played truant though his exceptional domestic performances have certainly done his cause no harm. Coulter-Nile led from the front for the Kolkata Knight Riders when afforded an opportunity and will be keen to replicate similar performances on Indian soil again.

4. Pat Cummins vs Rohit Sharma:

Cummins’s ability to bowl at express pace and agility has drawn comparisons to Australian legendary pace bowler Brett Lee. The youngster has enjoyed reasonable success in the limited-over formats of the game since making his T20I debut against South Africa and scooping 3 wickets in one over. Cummins’s career may have been hampered by injuries but the youngster has finally put it all behind him.

Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, will be increasingly confident of continuing his good form against the Aussies after a largely fruitful series against Sri Lanka. He will have the responsibility of giving the team decent yet rapid start to form a platform the incoming batsmen can dwell on. Rohit will be without his regular partner  Shikhar Dhawan at least for the first three matches and will be interesting to see how he fares.

5. Jasprit Bumrah vs Glenn Maxwell:

The lad from Ahmedabad has emerged as a reliable option in the death overs displaying immense maturity and confidence at such a tender age. Bumrah’s ability to bowl yorkers on a regular basis and unusual action makes him a captain’s delight. He knows the tricks of the trade that work in the subcontinent and his exceptional performance on the tour of Sri Lanka where he picked 15 wickets will ensure he enters the contest on a high.

Glenn Maxwell’s talent has never been under dispute though the wealth of talent in Australia has sadly restricted his outings for the national team. Maxwell loves batting on the flat wickets in India and given the inability of the bowlers to challenge his supremacy in the middle overs he can prove very dangerous towards the end but that is where Bumrah gets into the business.