KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant and Siddarth Kaul will all be vying for the two available slots in the World Cup bound squad.
After a disappointing loss in the recently concluded T20I series, India will look to make a strong comeback as the five-match ODI series kicks off in Hyderabad on March 2. In what will be India's final assignment before the World Cup, the Men in Blue will also want to settle on the lineup.
The two-match T20I series was dominated by Glenn Maxwell who recorded scores of 56 and 113* to help the Aussies clinch their first T20I bilateral series win over India in more than a decade. Following his third T20I century, 'The Big Show' expressed his desire to bat higher up the order in the ODIs. However, coach Justin Langer has kept his cards close to his chest.
Langer also backed Aaron Finch to come good despite him managing just 0 and 8 in the two T20I games. Finch hasn't been struggling for form in recent times and managed just 26 runs in the three-match ODI series at home against India in January.
Despite the 2-0 scoreline, India have a few positives to take away from the T20I series. High among those is the return to form of opener KL Rahul who was the second-highest run-getter with scores of 50 and 47. Rahul's return coupled with the indifferent form of Shikhar Dhawan makes a strong case for the Mangalore lad to be included in the World Cup bound squad.
Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah also looked in good form after making a return to the squad following breaks from international cricket. Even MS Dhoni seemed to have found his mojo back in the 2nd T20I after a frustrating outing in the first game.
KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant and Siddarth Kaul will all be vying for the two available slots in the World Cup bound squad and the ODI series offers them with one final opportunity to impress.
India (1st and 2nd ODI): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Siddarth Kaul, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, D Arcy Short, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa and Andrew Tye.
Possible Playing XI:
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), D'Arcy Short, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa and Jason Behrendorff.
Players to watch out for:
The stylish batsman made an impressive comeback to the Indian squad following an enforced absence due to comments made on a TV show. Rahul said he spent his time away fine-tuning his technique under Rahul Dravid when playing for India A and the results were there to be seen in the T20I series. He looked his dominant best and will be eager to continue that form in the ODI format.
The Big Show was unstoppable in the T20Is and even scored runs off India’s premier bowler Jasprit Bumrah in the second match. Maxwell who is known for his big-hitting style has struggled for consistency in the past and he will be hoping that isn't the case this time around especially with the World Cup just around the corner.
Recent form: (all formats - most recent first)
India: L L L W L
Australia: W W W W L
Betting Odds: (Bet365)
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Timing:The India vs Australia 1st ODI will be beamed live on the Star Sports network from 1.30 PM on March 2. Online users can catch the action live on Hotstar.