1st ODI Cricket Preview – India v Australia
Sunday September 17, 6pm AEST – MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
|Top Batsman Australia||David Warner ($3.70)|
|Top Batsman India||Virat Kohli ($3.50)|
|Top Bowler Australia||Nathan Coulter-Nile ($5.50)|
|Top Bowler India||Jasprit Bumrah ($4.00)|
Australia will follow up its tough tour of Bangladesh with a limited overs series against India beginning with the ODI in Chennai. The last time Australia was here was in 2013, they ended up losing the series 3-2 with another two matches washed out. This Indian side though is probably a lot stronger than it was in 2013 and will be clear favorites to win.
The Indian team will be on an absolute high coming into this series on the back of 9-0 drubbing of Sri Lanka across different formats. They went 5-0 in the ODI’s and beat the West Indies 3-1 before that and have now won their last five ODI series with ease. In fact, the last series that India lost was against Australia in Australia in 2016.
Beating India in their home conditions, though, is not an easy task and they have lost one ODI series in the last four years.
The last series that India played against Australia in India was the ODI series in 2013. A lot of the players who played that series are no longer a part of the setup but Australia’s two main tormentors, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will be ever present.
Rohit Sharma scored 491 runs in 6 innings at an average of 122.75 and a strike rate of 108.62 with 23 sixes to his name in that series, while Virat Kohli scored 344 runs from 5 innings at an average of 114.66 and a strike rate of 123.29 with 8 sixes to his name.
Both Sharma and Kohli had an excellent series in Sri Lanka scoring two centuries each and will definitely be the biggest threat to Australia. Shikhar Dhawan, another player who scored plenty of runs in 2013 and was in good form will miss the series because of personal reasons and that should provide an opportunity to Ajinkya Rahane.
Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, and Lokesh Rahul will form the middle order along with the experienced Dhoni and the explosive Hardik Pandya to follow. This is a long batting lineup that can outgun any opposition in their own conditions.
The bowling for India will be lead by Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar likely to miss out. The two spinner that could find a place in the playing eleven will be Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel in the Wolf’s opinion, although Kuldeep Yadav also has a good chance of making the cut.
Steve Smith, the Aussie skipper was asked about turning pitches ahead of the ODI series in India and he said that they would not be a concern. The Wolf thinks he is absolutely right since the pitches on offer are going to be flat and excellent for batting to allow big scores to be hit.
This is a series that is going to be won by the stronger batting unit and the Wolf thinks the Aussies have a fair shot at winning that battle. The key players will be David Warner and Steve Smith.
Warner is an absolute IPL beast and has played enough matches in India to know the conditions very well. His last two scores against India were 122 and 93, admittedly in Australia, but it would still give him a lot of confidence.
David Warner and Steve Smith were not a part of the ODI series played in 2013 but Warner recent run of form in Bangladesh and Smith’s incredible test tour to India where he outscored every batsman on both teams suggests that they will not lack for experience in these conditions.
Australia also has Aaron Finch, another IPL star, and Glenn Maxwell, loved in India for his big hitting, who will play a crucial role in Australia’s attempt to win the series. Finch had a poor series in 2013 where he scored only 190 runs from 6 innings while Maxwell was better with 248 runs from his six innings.
It will be interesting to see if Marcus Stoinis gets a game in the series seeing as he has performed whenever he has been given the opportunity and had a good warm up game as well. Ashton Agar will lead the spin bowling department along with Adam Zampa with part timers from Travis Head lending a helping hand.
With a bowling unit comprising Cummins, Hazelwood, and Nathan Coulter-Nile the Aussies could get the early wickets and put themselves in winning positions quite easily. James Faulkner looks likely to miss out from the playing eleven.
Australia has won 6 out of the last 10 games against India in all countries and 10 out of the last 18 matches against India in India. They also won ODI series against India in India in 2007 and 2009.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather in Chennai is predicted to be humid and there is a 20% chance of rain right now. Most likely, this means that the conditions will be sapping and tough for the Aussies. Teams winning the toss will definitely want to bat first and then field when the sun has set.
The pitch is going to be flat and excellent for batting.
The Wolf believes that the two teams are pretty evenly matched and the early wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli could swing the game decisively towards Australia. At a current rate of $2.20, Australia is excellent value.
Back Australia to win.