290 days. That will be the time span from India’s last One-Day International, when they take the field against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, on Friday.
The world has turned upside down in this period, with lockdowns, quarantine, sanitisers and bio bubbles becoming key words, but sport has managed to find a way through all of this to restart and bring a smile to people’s faces.
Now, coming to cricket. There have been Australian summers in the past when a sense of anticipation has surrounded India. This time though, it is the opposite.
Factors like form, past performance are out of question. However, pedigree remains intact and both teams have that in abundance. However, the majority of online betting sites have Australia as favorites.
From their previous series against the Men in Blue, Australia will walk out with a stronger outfit, with both Steve Smith and David Warner now back and settled in the team. Giving them support will be Marnus Labuschagne, who has established himself as one of the bright batting talents in the world.
Aaron Finch is a world-class performer with an excellent record to boast off. In the bowling department, the likes of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa can be a threat to any line-up anywhere around the world and the Indians must be on top of their game to counter the Australians, both with bat and ball.
There has never existed a single Australian side that has been a bad fielding one and so India will need to bring their A-game to the field, across all facets of the game.
India, for their part, will also have a near full-strength squad from which they can pick their best possible starting XI. The reason why I say near is that they will be without Rohit Sharma, who has had some fabulous tours Down Under in the last decade.
In his absence, Mayank Agarwal could partner Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, who will don the gloves and be Virat Kohli’s vice-captain, could walk out to bat at number five. However, if India is to do well, their bowling will need to bring back the form, which made them a formidable force across the world in pre-covid times.
Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will have advanced roles this time around, as they will have inexperience in the likes of Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan around them. The spin trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav will also need to compliment the quicks admirably if India is to win back-to-back ODI series on Australian soil.
We may be biased, but we think that despite missing a couple of strong players, India’s chances of winning this one is strong: we would bet on India to win the series!
The likely playing XIs: India: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (w/k), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia: Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (w/k), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa.
India’s Head-to-head against Australia: Overall: Played: 140, Won: 52, Lost: 78, NR: 10.
In Australia: Played: 96, Won: 39, Lost: 51, NR: 6.