After a fine test series win, India will turn their attention to the 50 over format when they lock horns with Australia in the first one day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
The two teams have played in 16 ODIs at the SCG, with Australia winning 13 of them and India two. Despite the visitors’ inferior record at the venue, it’s them, and not the hosts who will start favourites. India won the most recent ODI (in 2016) where they chased down a target of 331 runs with 2 balls to spare.
KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya are unlikely to be considered for selection owing to their controversial comments in a talk show back home. Rahul is not a first choice player, but Pandya is, and India are expected to name Ravindra Jadeja as his replacement. That would mean a toss up between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal if the visitors choose to maintain their 3 seamer, 2 spinner balance.
Owing to his heavy workload during the tests, the Indian team management have chosen to rest bowler Jasprit Bumrah for this series as well as the tour of New Zealand.
This will be a tremendous opportunity for the likes of Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to get their mojo right in this format ahead of the World Cup.
Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who was rested for the T20 internationasl makes a comeback. Dhoni has been off colour with the bat, and India will be hoping for a good 2019 from the stalwart.
Australia will be wearing a special retro kit for this ODI.
The home side have named a much changed XI for this clash. Wicket keeper batsman Alex Carey will be opening for the first time in ODI’s along with skipper Aaron Finch, with Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb playing in the middle order. Mitchell Marsh has been ruled out due to illness.
Veteran Peter Siddle, is all set to play his first ODI after a gap of eight years and a much changed bowling unit will also feature Jhye Richardson and left arm bowler Jason Behrendorff, with the latter set to make his ODI debut. They will be complemented by the spin of Nathan Lyon, the only bowler from the tests in Saturday’s XI.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 2 of Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal/Khaleel Ahmed & Mohammed Shami
Aaron Finch (capt), Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon & Jason Behrendorff