Australia vs India 2020, 1st ODI - India's Predicted Playing XI

Australia vs India 2020, 1st ODI – India’s Predicted Playing XI

The Men in Blue will be looking to hit the ground running on their return to international cricket.

India
India. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The wait is finally over. Team India is finally set to take the field after a huge gap of almost nine months when they lock horns against Australia in the first ODI on Friday (November 27). India have not played a game since the tour of New Zealand ended in early March. The Men in Blue were involved in an ODI series against South Africa when the action was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As far as Australia are concerned, they returned to action in September with the tour of England. Virat Kohli & Co. have already defeated Australia once this year when the latter visited India in January. The Kohli-led side had won the series 2-1 after losing the first game. Thus, the psychological advantage will be with the visitors.

India, however, will be aware of the fact that they were whitewashed in their last completed ODI series. New Zealand had thrashed India 3-0 earlier this year. The Men in Blue will be looking to hit the ground running on their return to international cricket.

Here is India’s predicted XI:

Openers: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal

With Rohit Sharma not a part of the Indian squad, Mayank Agarwal is likely to open the innings alongside the incumbent Shikhar Dhawan. Both the players are entering the series after having a great IPL. Dhawan finished the tournament as the second-highest run-scorer with an impressive 618 runs including two centuries.

Incidentally, Dhawan’s last appearance for Team India came against Australia in January before he missed the New Zealand tour with a shoulder injury. He had played knocks of 74 and 96 in that series and would be eyeing a similar performance in the upcoming games. Agarwal, on the other hand, scored 424 runs in IPL 2020. Having cemented his spot in the Test team, he will have a chance to do the same in the ODIs.

Middle-order: Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK)

Captain Virat Kohli will lead the charge in the middle-order. The right-handed batsman did not have the best of campaigns in IPL 2020 with the bat and would be desperate to hit the top gear in the India colours. Along with him. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul will be in the middle-order. Both Iyer and Rahul had stunning IPL campaigns with the bat.

Rahul, who has been named the vice-captain for the ODI and the T20I series, finished IPL 2020 as the highest run-scorer, scoring 670 runs in 14 games. On the other hand, Iyer was the fourth-highest run-scorer, as he smashed 519 runs and led Delhi Capitals to their first-ever final.

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Allrounder: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja

Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja are the two designated all-rounders in the team. It would be interesting to see whether Pandya bowls in the series. The fast-bowling allrounder had not bowled at all for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020 and had just made his mark with the bat, smashing 281 runs at a strike-rate of almost 179.

As far as Jadeja is concerned, he did not really deliver with the ball as per exception but made amends with the bat. He picked 6 wickets but scored an impressive 232 runs at an average of more than 46 and a strike-rate of over 171.

Bowlers: Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

In the bowling department, India is likely to field three pacers and one specialist spinner. Jasprit Bumrah is set to lead the attack with Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Shami being the other pacers. Yuzvendra Chahal will be the sole specialist spinner in the team and will have Jadeja’s company in the spin department.

The likes of Bumrah, Shami and Chahal had a stunning campaign in IPL 2020 where they picked 27, 20 and 21 wickets respectively.