File image: Australia vs India
India will take on Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in first of the three One Day Internationals (ODIs) on November 27.
The two sides are scheduled to play an ODI and Twenty20 International series comprising three matches each. This will be followed by the four-match Border-Gavaskar Test series.
A new beginning
This would be the first time the Indian men’s cricket team will play an international match since March – when their tour of South Africa got abruptly cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
But, there’s hope. The first ODI in Sydney would bring the teams and spectators somewhat close to normalcy. The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will have 50 percent seats packed with spectators. In March, when Australia last played at home, their match against New Zealand at this very venue was played behind closed doors.
The series is part of the new ODI Super League – crucial for a team to make it to the 2023 Cricket World Cup (though India has already qualified as the host nation). Thus, for the Indian players, this ODI series would be more of an opportunity to get back into the groove of the longer formats of the sport after months of no cricket and then the Indian Premier League (IPL).
This match also marks the start of the 2020-21 international summer cricket season Down Under.
Amid disruption of the international cricket calendar, India and Australia are ranked second and fourth in ODIs.
The Indian team will be sporting a new dark blue jersey with red, green, blue and white stripes across the shoulders. It's said to be a replica of India's 1992 World Cup jersey. The Aussies will wear their gold and green outfit -- similar to the one they wore against England in September. Later, they’ll sport a special Indigenous jersey for the T20Is.
Australia vs India cricket series: Check the full schedule and timings here
Former Aussie skipper Steve Smith is set to return to the playing XI in place of Mitchell Marsh, who has been left out due to an injury. Smith had missed the ODI series against England in September due to a concussion.
There would be a toss-up between Navdeep Saini pace and Shardul Thakur for the third seamer if India go with both Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. Mayank Agarwal is likely to open India’s batting along with Shikhar Dhawan as Rohit Sharma’s presence in this Australia tour is yet to be confirmed. We could see KL Rahul continue to bat at No. 5, besides keeping wickets.
Hardik Pandya is also likely to return to the playing XI after having stayed out since the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (Captain), Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (Captain), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
Pitch and conditions
The weather is expected to be sunny with a high of around 24 degrees Celsius.
The SCG has seen some high-scoring ODIs in recent times with teams batting first winning six of the last seven one-day matches.
When and where to watch
The match on November 27 is scheduled to begin at 9.10 am Indian Standard Time (IST).
All the matches in the series will be broadcast live on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six. As for watching the series online, all the matches are available for live streaming on SonyLiv.