Match Winners In Both Sides
Friday sees the first ODI of three as India head down under for two months. It’s been over nine months since the Indians last took to the field, and they’ll have a few things to contend with if they wan to come out on top here.
The first will be the absence of key players Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, both of whom can be game changers on their day, though with the likes of Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan still available, their batting shouldn’t take too much of a hit and with Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja all available, they should have more than enough talent with the ball to cope.
Australia have a near full strength squad to choose from, with Mitchell Marsh the only notable absence with an ankle injury, and with Steve Smith and David Warner back in the side their batting line-up looks formidable when you add Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell in there, so on home soil it’s understandable why their favourites.
The Aussies have already beaten England 2-1 in a series on English soil, while they’ve also won eight of their last 11 ODI series on home turf.
The on thing in the Indians’ favour is that Australia have only won one of their last four ODIs against them, though we wouldn’t read too much into that record from a relatively small sample of matches.
Smith has come out and said he’s now ‘found his hands’ after what, for his standards, was a disappointing IPL season with the bat, though if what he’s claiming proves to be true he’ll be extremely difficult to dismiss.
Australia To Beat India
With all the talk about their batting line-up, their bowlers aren’t exactly weak. Pat Cummins became the highest paid IPL player this season, while Mitchell Starc opted to sit out the series to focus on the T20 World Cup and should be the freshest of any bowler out there, while Adam Zampa has been in incredible form and is keeping Nathan Lyon out the side.
There’s very little form to go off, though with Australia the only side to have played any form of international Cricket, and with that being a 2-1 series win away against the best ODI side in the world, we’ll get behind them for the first game at least.