After clinching the four-match Test series of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia 2-1, Team India is all set to face the same opponents again in a three-match ODI series. The first match of the series will be played on Friday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. As skipper Rohit Sharma will be unavailable for the first match due to his family commitments, all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be donning the skipper’s cap. Team India’s last outing in the 50-over format was against New Zealand, where they clinched a 3-0 clean sweep. As the first ODI against Australia is just about to begin in less than 24 hours from now, it will be interesting to see that who will be getting a place in the playing XI.
Here is what we think could be India’s playing XI for the first ODI against Australia:
Shubman Gill: In the absence of Rohit Sharma, young batter Shubman Gill is a strong opening option for the hosts. The 23-year-old had a phenomenal outing in the ODIs against New Zealand, where he smashed a double hundred in the opening match and a played 112-run knock in the third ODI. He even brought up his second century in the longest format in the recently-concluded Test series against Australia.
Ishan Kishan: As Rohit Sharma is unavailable for the first game, Ishan Kishan will be opening the innings with Shubman Gill, confirmed Hardik at the press conference on the eve of the first ODI. Kishan too has a double century in the ODI format. He had achieved the feat recently.
KL Rahul:The 30-year-old batter has been facing a lot of criticism for his poor form in the recently concluded Tests against Australia. However, the absence of Rohit and Rishabh Pant might give him a chance in the playing XI for the first ODI.
Virat Kohli:The star India batter smashed two centuries in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in January this year. However, he failed to get a big score in the ODIs against New Zealand. The 34-year-old batter recently ended his three-year century drought in the Test cricket during the fourth game against Australia. Kohli will be eager to register a remarkable performance in the first match as the series will be a build-up for the upcoming ODI World Cup.
Suryakumar Yadav: The powerful T20 batter had a very mediocre outing during the ODIs against New Zealand. However, Suryakumar is definitely capable of getting big scores.
Hardik Pandya:The star all-rounder will be leading Team India in the absence of regular skipper Rohit. Hardik had earlier led India in one ODI against West Indies in August last year. Apart from this, he is known for guiding Team India to victory in the shortest format on many occasions.
Ravindra Jadeja: The all-rounder left everyone spell-bound with his heroics in the Tests against Australia. He won the joint Player of the Tournament award with Ravichandran Ashwin for his all-round contributions to Team India’s triumph. He will definitely have a place in the playing XI as he will strengthen the spin attack.
Shardul Thakur:Shardul Thakur scalped six wickets in the ODIs against New Zealand, which also included a three-wicket haul. The 31-year-old all-rounder is also a key performer with the bat and can provide a strong base to India’s batting line-up. However, Axar Patel is his strong competitor.
Washington Sundar:Sundar is a great all-rounder who can provide a good strength to both bowling and batting attack. He is known for his powerful hitting in the death overs, which was seen during the ODIs against Sri Lanka.
Mohammed Shami:The senior pacer played a vital role in Team India’s win in the ODIs against New Zealand. He played two matches and scalped four wickets, including a three-wicket haul. In the absence of Bumrah, Shami has taken up his responsibilities beautifully.
Mohammed Siraj: The 29-year-old pacer scalped four wickets in the first ODI against New Zealand and troubled the Kiwi batters in the entire series. Known for his blistering pace, he will be an important aspect of India’s pace attack in the ODIs against Australia.
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