India Predicted Playing XI vs Australia: The Indian cricket team will be playing their first ODI in the last 290 days at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
When India and Australia will lock horns in the first ODI of the India’s tour of Australia in Sydney tomorrow, it will be the first time when India will play international cricket since sport was brought to a by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Another first-off for this match will be spectators. Yes! Sydney Cricket Ground has been allowed to fill 50% of its capacity which will mark the return of spectators in international cricket for the first time since the global pandemic.
A riveting contest which Australia vs India has been for years now, one doesn’t need to throw light on what fans can expect out of the three-match ODI series which will see the second and third ODI being played on November 27 and December 2 in Sydney and Canberra respectively.
Speaking on the eve of the match, Australia captain Aaron Finch all but confirmed their Playing XI hinting at Steven Smith replacing injured all-rounder Mitchell Marsh from their last ODI XI against England in Manchester a couple of months ago.
India, on the other hand, have kept their cards close to their chest. It is worth mentioning that it is the visitors who need more pondering around their Playing XI especially with limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma not part of this tour.
India Predicted Playing XI vs Australia
Shikhar Dhawan, who has scored 1,145 runs in 27 ODIs against Australia at an average and strike rate of 45.80 and 98.79 respectively, will have more responsibility at the top of the order especially in the absence of Sharma.
In 18 ODIs in Australia, Dhawan’s 699 runs have been inclusive of two centuries and three half-centuries and the numbers are enough for him to feel positive about his role coming on the back of a successful Indian Premier League season for Delhi Capitals.
— Yuzvendra Chahal (@yuzi_chahal) November 25, 2020
With captain Virat Kohli also part of a reliable top-order, India should persist with Mayank Agarwal as the second opener despite him scoring 36 runs in his only three ODIs till date. Much like Dhawan, Agarwal has also had a mind-blowing IPL 2020. Hence, his current form deserves another chance in white-ball cricket even if someone of Shubman Gill’s ability is also in the 16-member squad.
Batting at No. 4 since his comeback into the ODI team last year, Shreyas Iyer has scored 398 runs in eight innings at an average and strike rate of 56.85 and 98.02 respectively which also includes his maiden ODI century and four half-centuries.
With Iyer at No. 4 and wicket-keeper batsman Lokesh Rahul at No. 5, India have two solid and in-form batsmen in the middle – a facet of ODI cricket in which they have somewhat struggled in the last few years.
Rahul’s five ODIs at No. 5 is a small sample size to form a conclusion but him doing well at the position should be a reason enough for the team management to not promote him as Dhawan’s opening partner. Since him opening the batting in ODIs won’t be a long-term move and he would eventually have to bat at No. 5 after Sharma recovers, no point in even trying the same for just three ODIs.
While all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja looks set to resume his role at No. 7, Hardik Pandya seems like an apt candidate to take Manish Pandey’s No. 6 position. Pandey, who is part of the ODI squad, hasn’t done badly but Pandya’s better big-hitting skills are highly likely to work in his favour.
India might play the same bowling attack which played their last ODI against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui, i.e, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and Yuzvendra Chahal. While Mohammed Shami undoubtedly deserves a place in the XI, the team management might look at rotating him and Bumrah to keep them fit for the Test series starting from December 17. For the specialist spinner’s role, Yuzvendra Chahal should pin down Kuldeep Yadav on current form.
India’s Predicted Playing XI for first ODI – 1) Shikhar Dhawan 2) Mayank Agarwal 3) Virat Kohli (c) 4) Shreyas Iyer 5) KL Rahul (wk) 6) Hardik Pandya 7) Ravindra Jadeja 8, 9 & 10) Shardul Thakur / Navdeep Saini / Mohammed Shami / Jasprit Bumrah 11) Yuzvendra Chahal.