After an unsuccessful Test series for the Australians that ended in a 2-1 series win to the Indians, the two teams will now face off in a three-match ODI series starting Saturday in Sydney! The tour will then head to Adelaide on the 15th and Melbourne on the 18th and we will be bringing you a full preview and betting tips for each individual game, starting with Game 1 below.
India will have their tail up and be full of confidence heading into the first ODI in Sydney on Saturday after a commanding Test series win. Rain on the final day of play in Sydney prevented India from winning the series 3-1. Taking that into account and the fact that India are the No.2 ranked ODI team in the world, they will enter the series as red hot favourites.
The Indian lineup will be made up of some familiar faces from the Test series as well as some key short format specialists. Virat Kohli will obviously lead the team with bat while Jasprit Bumrah will reprise his role as strike bowler. Rohit Sharma is currently the No.2 ranked ODI batsmen in the world behind Virat Kohli and will take up his place at the top of the order alongside another white ball specialist in Shikhar Dhawan.
The top three of Sharma, Dhawan and Kohli in inarguably the key to the Indian ODI side. In the Indians recent five match ODI series against the West Indies, Sharma and Kohli made five centuries between them and piled on 842 runs both with averages over 100. The No.4 slot will likely go to Lokesh Rahul. Kohli’s scores in particular in the West Indian series were ridiculous and justify his No.1 ODI ranking. In the first three matches he plundered scores of 140, 157* and 107 and was well on the way to another big score in the 5th match at 33* if not for the West Indies being rolled for a low total. The white ball seems to bring out a different beast in Kohli, one that we think will be tough for the mesh of BBL bowlers to get out.
The middle order for the Indians is where Australia might be able to inflict some damage. 37-year-old wicket-keeper MS Dhoni returns to Australia, probably for the last time to reprise his role with the gloves and in the middle of in the lineup. After Dhoni, the Indians have some experienced all-rounders in Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav to call upon, but they’ll be relying heavily on the top three to get the job done with the bat.
It will be a matter of salvaging something from an otherwise forgettable series for the Australians. Led by ODI skipper Aaron Finch, the Aussies line-up consists of a mix of international regulars and Big Bash stars. Finch will be joined at the top of the order by Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handcomb and Glenn Maxwell. Marcus Stoinis and Mitch Marsh look set to duke it out for the all-rounder position while Alex Carey will take the gloves.
Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitch Starc will all be rested for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka with Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson and Billy Stanlake coming into the squad as replacements. Spinner Nathan Lyon has been named in the squad but whether or not he will start over white ball specialist Adam Zampa is unknown. Richardson has probably been the pick of the pace trio in the BBL so far and should extract the most out of what looked to be a pretty lifeless Test SCG wicket.
There aren’t too many ways to analyse this game without coming to the glaring truth, which is that the current Australian batting line-up just looks frail. The Indian bowlers proved to have the wood over Aaron Finch in the Test series and we struggle to see what effect a change in ball colour will have on his mindset here. Glenn Maxwell is a welcome inclusion but is streaky at the best of times while it seems the Marsh brothers are good enough to play ODI’s for Australia but not Tests? Unlikely.
just a week removed from making the SCG pitch look like an absolute road, the Indians should have no problem making 300+ here if they bat first.
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