India is all set to host Australia in the first ODI of the three-match series at Wankhede Stadium, today. Will the Men in Blue succeed in defeating the Baggy Greens?
Well, it won’t be easy to defeat the Aussies. India does have home advantage and they are a solid side at home, but the Baggy Greens are not the weak side that they were during the absence of David Warner and Steven Smith. The squad has changed completely and once again they are one of the best teams in the world.
The last time these two sides faced each other in the ODI series in India. The Men in Blue lost the series 2-3, all three victories of Australia came in three consecutive games, which clearly tells us how tough it is going to be for India to defeat the visitors.
The Baggy Greens didn’t have their best players in the team during the last visit to India. They still, however, managed to clinch the series and everybody was shocked by their performance.
This is a perfect time for the Men in Blue to defeat Australia and take revenge for the last series defeat. Also, winning against the current strong squad of the Baggy Greens will be a huge boost for India before traveling for the New Zealand tour.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia: Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, and Kane Richardson.
Virat Kohli vs Mitchell Starc
This is going to be a thrilling battle as two of the best players in the world and former RCB teammates are going to be up against each other. Can you smell some fiery sledging battle?
Well, I do as both the players silent their opponent with the help of their game. I don’t expect any of these two players to go lightly on each other. For both of them winning the game for their side will be the main focus.
Virat Kohli has faced Mitchell Starc four times in Asia. The Indian skipper didn’t lose his wicket to the Australian bowler; however, he could only score 56 runs in 57 balls that he faced. Also, Starc hasn’t played cricket in India in the last three years.
Kohli, however, has scored 1463 ODI runs with an average of 60.95 against Australia since 2013 onwards. That also includes seven centuries and still, this is the second most runs by an Indian against Australia since 2013. The top scorer is Rohit Sharma with 1844 runs with an average of 76.83.
Steve Smith vs Jasprit Bumrah
This is another mouth-watering battle as the two great players of the sport are going to be up against each other.
Steve Smith did make a solid comeback after a one-year ban due to ball tempering. That time period was tough for the Australian, however, he faced it like a man and now he is showing the world what did they miss on in that one-year time frame.
Jasprit Bumrah, on the other hand, returned from injury in the last T20I series against Sri Lanka. The Indian bowler didn’t have a brilliant outing; however, he is the ICC number one ranked ODI bowler and he knows how to get back in rhythm.
Smith has scored 678 runs in 13 innings with an average of 52.15 against India. This also includes four centuries and two half-centuries. These stats clearly show how comfortable the Australian is against the Indian bowlers. The bowling unit of India, however, has gone through a tremendous change and it won’t be a surprise if Smith gets out early in this game.
India does have home advantage, however, one silly mistake in any department might cost them this game. The Baggy Greens will be sharp and won’t like to miss any opportunity of winning.
The pitch won’t generate the same amount of pace and bounce when compared to Australian pitches. The visitors, however, have played in India a lot due to IPL and that’s a big advantage as they know how much bounce and pace the pitch will generate.
Toss is going to play a major role here as the side that will bat first can put up a huge score and still, it won’t be enough as there might be dew, and nothing is safe on the batting pitch of Wankhede.
So, keeping all the things in mind; Cricwizz believes that the Men in Blue will put up a sensational display of game and clinch their first victory of the new year against the mighty Aussies.