Ind vs Aus, 1st ODI: Preview
After a successful tour of Srilanka, the Men In Blue are back in action against upbeat Australians who recently drew the Test series in Bangladesh. This series is all about who’s the best player and which is the best team of the two and more or less this series might also embark the new No. 1 team in ICC ODI rankings, a 4-1 or a 5-0 win to one of the two teams will make this happen. Coming on back to the game, Indians have a good chance to dominate the Aussies due to their all of a sudden poor run in past year, moreover India is a well settled side, despite a weak middle order they can hamper plans of any opposition, the Indian bowlers have done a great job in their previous two assignments and are expected to continue their good run. India might miss presence of in-form Shikhar Dhawan who has been released from the squad by BCCI to attend his ailing wife but there are chances that he might be back for the T-20’s which are to be played later in the tour, there are no any other concerns for the team.
Now looking into Australian side their is a bit of worry regarding Arron Finch who has a calf injury and due to that he did’nt feature in the warm-up game against Board President XI in which Australia made 347 runs on back of half centuries from Warner, Head, Smith and Stoinis and after that bundling out the opponents for 244 showed Aussies are ready for any challenge. There are no any other concerns for the Aussies till now and all other players are fit and training hard. Also it will be Smith’s first limited over series in India as Captain and also he was not in the team when it toured in 2013.
Pitch and Ground Conditions:
The pitch in Chennai has always helped the bowlers especially spinners but on few occasions it has been flat and easy for run scoring. The Curator at Chepauk said that the pitch No. 4 which is the centre pitch will be used for the Sunday’s clash between two heavy-weights and he also quoted that it totally depends on the weather how will the pitch behave. Traditionally the ground is not so big and shot making has always been good here and the only worry factor for the Aussies will be the heat and humidity. The average 1st innings score here is 237 and 2nd innings score is 218. It has always been a nightmare to the batsmans and expect a low scoring game again at the Iconic venue.
Also it will be a huge joy for the locals as they get to see their favourite boy[MS Dhoni] back in action at his adopted home before the IPL begins.
As Shikhar is unavailable for the first three ODI’s expect Rahane to open with Rohit as KL Rahul has been classified as a no. 4 batsman by BCCI earlier. Also Bhuvneshwar is expected to play at the venue where he made his fantastic debut in ODI’s and Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep and Axar Patel are likely to take remaining spots with Bumrah being the automatic selection for the spot of 2nd pacer.
Just in: Axar patel has been ruled out of the series due to ankle injury which occured while playing football in warm-up. Earlier it was reported that the injury is not serious and he would be eligible for tomorrow’s game. Ravindra Jadeja has been named as replacement for Axar, who was not initially in the squad for first three ODI’s.
Likely XI –
Rohit, Rahane, Virat(C), MS Dhoni(WK), M.Pandey, Jadhav, Hardik, Kuldeep, B.Kumar, Chahal, Bumrah
Peter Handscomb has been flown in as cover for Aaron Finch whose likely to be out of the series but the final decision on Aaron’s availability will be taken on Sunday morning.
Likely XI –
Warner, M.Stoinis, Smith(C), Head, Wade(WK), Maxwell, Faulkner, Agar, Zampa, Coulter-Nile, Cummins