ICC World Cup: Comparing the squads of India and Australia
India go in as one of the favorites to win the 2019 edition of the ICC World Cup starting May 30 onwards in England and Wales. Notably, India lost the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, but expect the side to bounce back strongly. Meanwhile, Aussies will be looking to build on this new found momentum. We compare the squads of these two teams.
The teams for the World Cup will be announced next month. India's core team is almost fixed, but the Aussies could see some drastic changes. Steve Smith and David Warner could return and so can Mitchell Starc. We have compared the predicted squads here.
The return of Warner could see the southpaw open the batting alongside Aaron Finch. This would force in-form Usman Khawaja to come in at number three. Finch isn't in the best of form. Warner hasn't played international cricket since March 2018. Meanwhile, India's top three batsmen are world-class and genuine match-winners. Virat Kohli will lead the way. Verdict: India's top order is miles ahead.
Smith could be the force at number four. A sound IPL can help him regain confidence, while Peter Handscomb has grown to be a trusted asset. Wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey looks decent. India have issues with the number four position in batting and the middle order lacks the edge. Dhoni needs to lead the charge here. Verdict: Australia look more solid in this department.
Glenn Maxwell is a reliable all-rounder for the Aussies. He can be effective with his spin-bowling and can power Australia with some big shots at the death. India will depend on Hardik Pandya, who is the side's pace-bowling all-rounder. It remains to be seen how he performs, given that he hasn't played much cricket since Asia Cup. Verdict: Aussies look solid with Maxi's presence.
Jasprit Bumrah will need to shoulder the responsibility. Senior pacers Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will play supporting roles. In-form Kuldeep Yadav can turnaround the matches. Adam Zampa will lead the Aussie spin show. In Pat Cummins and Starc, Australia have two genuine fast bowlers. Jhye Richardson is the surprise package. Verdict: India have a better bowling attack.
Jason Behrendorff adds vitality in the pace bowling department. Nathan Lyon is experienced as the second main spinner. Ashton Turner and Marcus Stoinis are powerful customers. For India, wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal will lend an important voice from the bench. All-rounder Vijay Shankar is still in a learning phase. KL Rahul provides comfort as a back-up top order batsman. Dinesh Karthik is experienced.