Australia will be looking for their third straight win at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium when they lock horns with India in the first game of the five match one day series in Hyderabad on Saturday. The visitors have won on both previous trips here and will be brimming with confidence after winning the two game T20 series 2-0- Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s first bilateral series defeat in any format at home.
This will be India’s last ODI’s before the World Cup in England. KL Rahul, who was dropped from the team due to indifferent form and then suspended following controversial remarks on a chat show, returned with a bang by scoring 50 and 47 in the two T20I’s.
Rahul was considered a key part of India’s World Cup plans before he lost form Down Under, and the selectors may decide to give him another chance in the XI, possibly at the expense of Ambati Rayudu.
Indian wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni appears to be a doubtful starter for the first ODI after being hit on his right forearm. If he doesn’t recover, Rishabh Pant is likely to take his place- a big opportunity for the dashing young batsman to make his case for a WC spot.
With Hardik Pandya injured, Vijay Shankar should get another go at 7.
Dinesh Karthik who was part of T-20 international has been sidelined for the one dayers.
India would be hoping for a solid beginning from the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan- the former is closing in on 8,000 ODI runs, and could reach that milestone in this series.
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar rested for the first 2 one dayers, this would be an ideal opportunity for Siddarth Kaul to prove his worth and leapfrog Khaleel Ahmed in the pecking order.
Kuldeep Yadav who was given a break in the shorter format is back in the squad, and India are expected to play both him and Yuzvendra Chahal in Hyderabad.
Australia can perhaps afford to experiment a little more, with the visitors also having a series against Pakistan to come up after this tour. Skipper Aaron Finch’s poor form would be a major concern for them- he was horribly out of touch in the T20’s, which the visitors won thanks
Peter Handscomb who kept wickets in the T20I series against India would be giving his wicket keeping duties to Alex Carey.
Glenn Maxwell who has been in rich vein of form with the bat in the T20’s would be looking to continue his good run of form.
India Likely XI
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), KL Rahul/Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal & Jasprit Bumrah
Australia Likely XI
Aaron Finch (capt) Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (wk), Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff & Jhye Richardson