India vs Australia: BCCI to announce squad on Friday
The BCCI is set to announce the squad for the upcoming ODIs and T20Is against Australia. India will play two T20Is against the Aussies before engaging in a five-match ODI series. All eyes will be on India's performance in the ODIs, given it is the last international series for Men in Blue before the ICC World Cup 2019.
India's ODI assignment starts next month with the first match being played on March 2 in Hyderabad. Recently, the chief selector MSK Prasad had said that the core of the team has been finalized. However, there are a couple of slots still available and a number of players are fighting for the same. The middle-order looks like India's Achilles' heel.
One can expect KL Rahul to return to the fold. The player recently scored two fifties for India A in the two unofficial Tests against England Lions. Rishabh Pant may be given a chance to impress as he fights for a place with Dinesh Karthik. Further, India need a back-up all-rounder for Hardik Pandya. This is where Vijay Shankar and Ravindra Jadeja come in.
India are likely to announce a 16-17 member squad for the ODIs against Australia. The management is expected to experiment with playing XI in this series, in order to find the perfect squad for the World Cup. The World Cup is set to start from May 30 onwards in England and Wales. India and England go in as strong contenders.
Skipper Virat Kohli is set to return after being rested for two ODIs and the T20I series against New Zealand recently. Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah, who also skipped for the ODI and T20I series against the Kiwis, is set to make a return. The two trump cards of India will want to have a real crack in the series.
India go in as the favorites to beat Australia at home. The side tied the T20I series 1-1 in November last year. In January 2019, India won the three-match ODI series against Australia by a 2-1 margin.