Can India draw first blood against Australia in opening ODI?
India continue their home season as they host visitors Australia in the opening ODI of the three-match series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday. It was less than a year ago when the hosts suffered a 2-3 series loss in the same format, at home, against the very opponent. This time Virat Kohli-led India would be eying a payback. Here's the preview.
India eye payback, focus on star players
As for Team India, they are enjoying an incredible home season, and haven't lost a series since the World Cup. As India field a star-studded side, the focus would be on Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, along with bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Yuzvendra Chahal. It would be interesting to see if Kuldeep Yadav makes the cut.
Australia eyeing another upset, focus on Smith and Warner
As for the Australians, they would try to stage another upset against Men In Blue. Notably, in 2019, they managed to do so without star players like David Warner and Steve Smith. With them playing this term, the focus would likely be upon them, as Australia could be ruthless, while the Indian bowlers will have a task at hand.
India in fine ODI form, Australia set to test themselves
Considering the recent ODI form of both the teams, there is a big difference. India are coming off a 2-1 series win against the Windies last month, while prior to that, they beat them in the Caribbean, 2-0. As for Australia, they are yet to play a game in the format following their semis defeat to England in the ICC World Cup 2019.
A high scoring track awaits batsman at Wankhede
While the pitch at Wankhede generally assists spinners, however, due to its good bounce, it becomes a paradise for the batsman. 300-plus could well be on the cards. Furthermore, with the ground being small, defending a total could be tough. Consequently, the team winning the toss would like to field first. With overcast weather being expected, there won't be a dew factor.
Some milestones that await players in this tie
Rohit is 56 runs away from his 9,000 ODI runs and would become the seventh Indian to reach there. Warner is 10 runs away from becoming the 15th Australian to score 5,000 ODI runs. Pat Cummins is just four wickets away from becoming the 17th Australian to claim 100 ODI wickets. Kuldeep needs just a wicket to achieve a similar feat.
Here is the predicted and Dream XI for 1st ODI
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul (wicket-keeper), Virat Kohli (captain), Shreyas Iyer, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah. Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa. Dream XI: Smith, Warner, Rohit, Kohli, Carey, Labuschagne, Jadhav, Cummins, Starc, Bumrah, Shami.
Match prediction, when, where and how to watch?
As far as the above analysis goes, India, for now, seem favorites to draw first blood. But, don't rule out Australia. Match: India vs Australia, 1st ODI Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai Time: 1.30 PM IST Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi and other regional language channels of Star Sports (also available in HD). Where to watch (Online): Hotstar