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Australia vs India: Anil Kumble names the favourites in the ODI series

The spin legend had rightly predicted a 2-1 win for India in the Test series.

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

After the Test series came to a historic conclusion, it is time for the two old rivals in cricket – Australia and India – to lock horns in the ODIs and the three-match series is set to kick off in Sydney on January 12. Record books suggest that Australia have a 73-45 lead over India in the 50-overs format and also they won the last time the two sides met in a bilateral series Down Under in 2016, drubbing the opponents 4-1.

However, going by the current forms, India will be considered better-placed than the Kangaroos in this series. India are ranked second in the ODIs now while current world champions Australia are ranked sixth in the 50-overs version. Virat Kohli’s men won the Asia Cup in September and defeated the Windies comprehensively at home in October-November and will look to continue with the momentum in the run-up to the World Cup in May-July.

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Australia, on the other hand, have struggled in the ODIs throughout 2018, having won only two encounters, and also lost their last series played at home to South Africa.

A 2-1 win for India on the cards?

Former India captain and coach Anil Kumble is of the opinion that India start the ODI series as favourites. Speaking to CricketNext, the former ace spinner said: “Yes, they do. Obviously, Australia is a weaker side because the regular bowlers who play in the one-day format are not playing. But having said that, if you look at seven or eight players who are joining the Indian ODI squad, they have hardly played any cricket.”

Kumble said the players, who have joined the squad just a couple of days prior to the first ODI, is his only concern. A number of players, including former India captain MS Dhoni, joined the Team India squad for the ODIs and they hit the nets straightaway to make up for their lack of match practice.

The spin legend had rightly predicted a 2-1 win for India in the Test series but did not want to predict for the ODI series saying it is tough to do so in the 50-overs format. He said India are undoubtedly the favourites and said he would still look at a 2-1 scoreline but also added that it would not to be too easy for the visitors.

Watch: Team-wise find of the year 2018

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