The big picture: Will Australia test the shorts?
The World Cup is almost here, but not quite here. These two teams will meet to start their campaign in Chennai on October 8, but there will be three games in the first six days, which will be useful for fine-tuning the plans, but also for the return of many of Australia’s key players to action. Will prove useful. The challenge of avoiding any last minute injury warnings.
Australia have suffered a major blow in recent days, with Travis Head likely to be ruled out of the World Cup with a fractured hand. Meanwhile, India have some concerns regarding Axar Patel who is not available for the first two matches of this series.
India are coming off the back of their success in the Asia Cup, where they bowled out Sri Lanka for 50 runs in the final and Australia lost 3-2 to South Africa after leading the series 2-0. In terms of performance, form and confidence of the players, he probably has more influence on these three games than India.
This will also be an opportunity for Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav to spend some time in the middle. Iyer suffered back spasms during the Asia Cup, while Suryakumar played just once, scoring 26 runs from 34 balls in a defeat against Bangladesh.
India WLWWW (last five matches, most recent first)
In the headlines: Ashwin’s chance and Cummins’ return
R Ashwin He has not played an ODI since January 2022 and when a replacement was needed for the Asia Cup final a few days ago, it was Washington who performed brilliantly. Nevertheless, should Axar not find a place in the World Cup squad, Ashwin’s experience could still tilt the scale in his favour. He and Ravindra Jadeja have certainly given Australia some sleepless nights in Test cricket.
pat cummins He was appointed Australia’s ODI captain last November, but has captained only two matches so far. He is coming into this series after suffering a wrist injury in the last Ashes Test and will strengthen the pace attack which came under pressure in South Africa. However, there is also an interesting selection debate that could take place around Cummins if – or when – Australia choose to field just two frontline quicks.
Team News: Ashwin vs Washington and Smith’s return
All three spin-bowling all-rounders could play in the absence of the rested Pandya. The selectors may also consider giving Mohammed Siraj one game off after his impressive performance in the Asia Cup. Ishan Kishan will have a chance to open with in-form Shubman Gill.
India (Possible): 1 Ishan Kishan, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 KL Rahul (captain, wk), 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Mohammed Siraj/Shardul Thakur, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.
This game may provide the first indication of how Australia plan to fit Smith and Marnus Labuschagne together, although they may consider squeezing the short. Without Head, Maxwell or Ashton Agar, Tanvir Sangha could come into the mix. Starc is not available for this game, which could pave the way for Spencer Johnson to make his ODI debut after suffering a hamstring injury in South Africa. Sean Abbott and Nathan Ellis both left Johannesburg due to injuries.
Australia (Possible): 1 David Warner, 2 Mitchell Marsh, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Alex Carey (wk), 6 Cameron Green, 7 Marcus Stoinis, 8 Pat Cummins (c), 9 Spencer Johnson/Tanvir Sangha, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
pitch and conditions
It is early in the Indian season, but Cummins said he did not expect the surfaces to have such an impact. Mohali has not played any ODI match for four years, but has made some big scores in the IPL. The forecast is for hot, dry days.
Statistics and General Knowledge
- The last ODI match was played in Mohali Both these teams made a comeback in 2019 when Australia chased a record 359 runs thanks to Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja and Ashton Turner.
- Steven Smith needs 61 runs to reach 5000 in ODIs.
- The last time India faced Australia in ODIs, Suryakumar Yadav had scored three consecutive golden ducks.
“We will try to strike a balance between giving everyone plenty of game time, but also keeping an eye on the World Cup in a few weeks.”
Andrew McGlashan is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo