Indian cricket team’s hectic session has provided an opportunity to almost all the leading cricketers to represent the country and cement their place in the team. The upcoming tour of New Zealand then T-20 world cup in Australia later this year are vital assignments for the men in blue. Kohli and boys are gearing up for its important ODI fixture against Australia to prove its point as the most formidable side in world cricket.
India vs Australia – Clash of equality
India had outclassed all its opponents with the minimum of effort in its recent tour. Time has come for the hosts to go out with full throttle against the star-studded visitors in the three-match ODI series beginning on Tuesday (January 14) at the historic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Aussies have touched the Indian soil with confidence after whitewashing Pakistan and New Zealand in the recently concluded Test series.
OZ may post tough challenge
Team India has to go the extra mile to subdue the Aussies. At present, Australia is the only cricket playing nation which can pose a stiff challenge to the hosts at its backyard. It is only last year that India lost the five-match ODI series in India against the same opponent. The visitors roared back after losing the first two-match, winning the remaining three-match and clinched the series 3-2. The visiting side is looking stronger and full of confidence this time around, with Steve Smith, David Warner and the new batting sensation Labuschagne in the team.
India ready for a stern test
India will welcome the stern test, which will unveil the abilities of some players against one of the best pace attacks in the business. Four frontline Pacers – Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson and Josh Hazlewood along with spinner Adam Zampa may be a severe threat to the Indian batsmen. Inform Pat Cummins had a stellar series against the hosts last year with the ball, may pose trouble in the upcoming series.
Dhawan or Rahul a tough call
The hosts have left no stone unturned and mustered its arsenal to derail the baggy green. The batting of team India is rock-like solid; the only debatable point is brewing who will be the partner of Rohit Sharma in the shorter format of the game.
Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul? Tough call for the selectors because both have splendid records and their impressive performance against Sri Lanka has made the case more complicated. Holding on to both in the team will be another tough challenge for the selectors, for they’ll have to disturb the well-set batting positions of others. India captain Virat Kohli on Monday hinted that he is ready to drop himself down in the batting order to provide a chance to both Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul in the playing XI against Australia in the first ODI.
Rahul may get preference
The decision of the selectors would be exciting to watch. But never forget that Dhawan scored a superb hundred in his last ODI innings against Australia in the World Cup game in England, after which he was ruled out from the tournament due to injury. Seeing the terrific form of Rahul has made him a strong contender to be Rohit’s partner. Several former players had already given their nods for Rahul, who is likely to be preferred.
Bowling looks aggressive
Bowling of the hosts has aggression as well as variety. Jasprit Bumrah, along with Mohammad Shami, is set to be a significant threat to Finch and his troops. But two youngster Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini will be eager to impress the selectors and try and establish themselves as regulars of the team. Both the boys had punched above their weight in recent times.
At the outset both the teams are almost parallel, the hosts must have some home advantage, but visitors are capable of accepting all kinds of challenges and turning the table. Cricket fans would be the biggest beneficiary to get a chance to watch some absorbing cricket between the two best sides of the world.
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