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The thrilling heavyweight clash between the top sides of the sport- Australia and India is now just a day away. The much-awaited bilateral clash will kick- start with the hosts Australians taking on the Men in Blue in 3- match ODI series, with the first ODI set to be played in Sydney Cricket Ground. The tour will feature 3 ODIs, 3 T20I, and 3 Tests.

The last time the two sides met was at the ICC World Cup 2019 which was conducted in England and Wales. The teams met in the Match 14 of the Grand tournament, the match was bagged by the Indians in a convincing manner by 36 runs. 

Though the two teams have always been tough to separate in recent times as both teams have a very well balanced side and consist of the best in the world. The last time Indians toured the Land of Kangaroos, the ODI 3- match ODI series went in favor of the Men in Blue. Said that, when the Baggy Greens visited India, it was a completely different story as the spirited Aussies made a stunning comeback after trailing 2-0, they went on to bag the series 3-2.

With Cricket now returning in full swing, the Cricket fans would be excited to watch these two heavyweights clash. Will the Australians dominate the visitors? Or can the Indian players replicate the same performance showcased in the 2019 World Cup against them?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 140, Australia- 78, India- 52, N/R- 10

Team News

The Virat Kohli led side has not reported any injuries. Though the absence of their key opener Rohit Sharma might hurt the balance of the team, as Rohit has been one of the best batsmen for Team India over the years. The 33- year old is recovering from a hamstring injury and looks unlikely he will be able to make it for the Test match series. 

The Men in Blue do look well in shape otherwise and once again their skipper Virat Kohli and spearhead Jasprit Bumrah will play a crucial role in the proceedings.

The Aussies too seem to be injury-free and the squad looks well in shape to begin the high octane series. The team will have some concerns with the form of few players like their skipper Aaron Finch, who was seen to be struggling in the recently concluded Indian Premier League, and Pat Cummins- who was rather ineffective in the same league. 

The conditions are different now and they will be playing in their backyard. Can the Aussies use the conditions in their favor? Or will India make easy work of Aaron Finch and Co.?

Pitch and Conditions

The pitch in Sydney is known to favor the batsmen as the ball comes on well onto the bat. Both sides are filled with world-class batsmen and one should say we have a high-scoring thriller in the cards. Said that the pitch does offer some assistance to the pacers in the initial stages of innings. The pacers could generate movement from the pitch and also considering the overcast conditions later in the evening, the bowlers could enjoy a bit during the session.

The records suggest the team batting first has a better chance of winning in Sydney and for that reason, the team winning the toss should be looking to post a score on the board.

The Conditions seem to be in favor of Cricket as clear skies are expected throughout the day, with overcast conditions to take over towards the finishing stages of the first innings but nothing that can interrupt the game is expected. The temperature is expected to be floating in the 28-degree range and the humidity is also on the higher side- around the 70- 72 percent range.

Probable Playing Xl

Australia (Aus): David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Steve Smith, Marnus Labuchagne, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey(wk), Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc

India (Ind):  Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul(wk), Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Shami, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah

Key Battles

KL Rahul (Ind) vs Mitchell Starc (Aus)

KL Rahul vs Mitchell Starc India
KL Rahul (Ind) vs Mitchell Starc (Aus)

With former Indian legend MS Dhoni announcing his retirement from International Cricket. It meant the 2011 World Champions would need a replacement for the wicket-keeper batsman and though many would agree that there can be no replacement for the legend, KL Rahul looks to be someone who could take up the responsibility. The 28-year old showed immense talent in the recently concluded both the bat and gloves. He also showed his ability to lead a side and considering all these trends in Rahul, he does look at the future of Team India. 

Though the flamboyant batsman this time will have to face one of the best bowling attacks in the world- Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. He definitely showed us he can play Pat Cummins, but Starc is someone who can trouble even the best of the batsmen and he would be eyeing the big wicket of KL Rahul here. 

Can  KL Rahul continue his incredible IPL form? Or will Mitchell Starc be able to see the back of the KXIP skipper?

David Warner (Australia) vs Jasprit Bumrah (India)

David Warner vs Jasprit Bumrah India
David Warner (Australia) vs Jasprit Bumrah (India)

If the Australian opener is there in the line-up he is sure to make it to the key battles. The hard-hitter is undoubtedly the best batsman in the current Australian line-up and the Aussies' batting will be heavily relying on his performance. The pocket dynamite on his day can destroy the opponent team hands down. His ability to play both paces and spin well makes him one of the toughest to bowl to.

On the other side, India has the strongest weapon in their arsenal- Jasprit Bumrah. The spearhead needs no introduction as he has been dominating the bowling records in recent times. The 26-year old is turning out to be a bowler who is likely to make it to the list of all-time greats. His ability to bowl the yorker at will and contain the batsmen will likely put the Australian opener under pressure. 

Who do you think will prevail in this epic mini- battle? Will it be the Aussie power- hitter or the yorker machine- Jasprit Bumrah?

Prediction

One of the toughest calls to make would be to separate these two sides. Both the teams are filled with star players and both of them well balanced as we discussed before. The batting does rely on a few players but the names are too big to be ignored. Going by the form of the players, the Indians have the slight edge here.

But considering the fact, the Indians will be playing away from their home and the conditions are very different. Also, taking into account the fact that the Indians have been slow to pick up when playing abroad gives Australia the edge.

Considering all the factors and conditions for the match tomorrow, we feel the baggy greens have a slight edge here.

Cricwizz predicts Australia to win the first ODI