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

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

The Men in Blue will be eager to bounce back after the drubbing in the T20I series.

Indian players
Indian players. (Photo Source: Twitter)

For the first time in quite a while, India have lost three successive international games. In fact, they’ve lost the last four out of the five matches that they’ve played. The 2-0 T20I series loss against Australia was also Virat Kohli’s first series loss at home (across formats) as captain. However, all these losses have come in the shortest format.

India return to a format which they’ve dominated over the last few years. Since January 2016, they have lost just one bilateral ODI series (winning 12). This year, they won in Australia 2-1 and later went on to dominate in New Zealand, winning the series 4-1.

Also, this is India’s last series before the all-important World Cup. Hence, they’ve named a strong 15-man squad with only Bhuvneshwar Kumar being given a break. Hardik Pandya is also absent from the squad due to a back injury. India opted to shuffle their squad in the T20I series and the same could be expected in the ODI series as well. But they will be eager to bounce back after the drubbing in the T20I series.

Here’s the predicted XI for India’s first ODI against Australia:

Openers- Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan

India seem all set to have their tried and tested opening combination back for the ODI series. Despite Virat Kohli stating that KL Rahul will be given some game time, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are expected to start the series. Both Dhawan and Rohit played a game each in the T20I series and struggled.

But they’ll most likely be back opening together in the first ODI. Both of them haven’t been in the best of forms and have blown hot and cold. While Rohit has scored 354 runs in 8 innings at an average of 44.25 this year (2019), Dhawan has just two fifties to his name as he has made 243 runs in 8 innings. Hence, the duo will be looking to hit some form ahead of the mega event.

Middle-order- Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Rishabh Pant

Virat Kohli opted out of the last couple of ODIs in New Zealand but he’ll be back leading the side. Barring the first ODI in Sydney earlier this year, Kohli has scored at least 40 in all other 50-over games, including a fantastic ton in Adelaide. He looked in great touch in the T20I series as well as he struck a sublime 72.

Meanwhile, Ambati Rayudu had a very good series in New Zealand where he emerged India’s saviour in the last ODI. Hence, he will most likely continue to be India’s No. 4. MS Dhoni has had a fabulous start to 2019. He struck three back-to-back fifties in Australia and was the player of the series as well. He also had a decent knock in New Zealand. But it remains to be seen if he continues to bat at No. 5.

Rishabh Pant might get an opportunity to add to his three ODI caps. The 21-year-old Delhi dasher failed in the T20I series but is expected to be given some chances as he was preferred ahead of Dinesh Karthik in this series.

All-rounder- Vijay Shankar

Hardik Pandya’s suspension earlier this year gave Vijay Shankar an opportunity in the 50-over side. Shankar took his opportunity with both hands as he scored 45 (after India were 18/4) in the only innings he’s batted so far. He hasn’t bowled a lot but he could get more opportunities in the absence of Hardik Pandya who has been ruled out due to a back injury.

Vijay Shankar is likely to play as the all-rounder unless India opt for a three-prong spin-attack and add Ravindra Jadeja into the mix. Shankar will be eyeing to impress the selectors once again as they look to nail the World Cup squad.

Bowlers- Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

The spin twins, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal might be back together. Both of them have been rotated around this year in white-ball cricket. They have performed extremely well and have posed a great threat to the opposition batsmen.

Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah is back in the ODI fold after a break. He was in excellent rhythm in the T20I series and will look to continue his good form. Mohammed Shami will be India’s other fast bowler. The 28-year-old Bengal pacer has been excellent this year in ODI cricket. He has taken 14 wickets at an average of 20.64. He was also the Man of the Series in the ODI series in New Zealand. Hence, he will be looking to continue his good run as well.

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