India-Australia
The highly anticipated India-Australia clash is expected to entertain cricket viewers all around the world.Reuters

The India-Australia rivalry has been gradually gaining prominence in world cricket, with both nations being superpowers of the game. With India vs Pakistan bilateral cricket matches reduced to zero in the last few years, cricket fans await India-Australia contests like no other.

When these two teams clash on the field, one can expect some quality cricket along with some feisty challenges. Expect something similar in Australia when big names such as MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell showcase their skills in a five-match ODI series, set to start on Tuesday.

The ODI series will test India's batsmen, who have been criticised for their performances on bouncy pitches in Australia in the past. With the home team possessing bowler such as James Faulkner and Josh Hazlewood, India batsmen need to be on top of their game.

However, the India batsmen might be heaving a sigh of relief as Australia's key bowler, Mitchell Starc, is set to miss the series as he underwent surgery in his broken ankle, which will keep him out for at least four months.

Similarly, India, who were also pleased with the return of Mohammed Shami, received a major setback as the bowler is set to miss the entire limited-overs series due to a hamstring injury. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will fill in for him.

With such key bowlers not representing their respective national sides, it is the batsmen who need to deliver in the five-match ODI series. Both India and Australia look strong on the batting front, with Smith, Glen Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, David Warner and Aaron Finch key for the home team.

On the other hand, India, who are always said to possess a dangerous batting line-up, will depend on Kohli, Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to score runs in Australia. If they do so, the visitors will be in a strong position to clinch the series. However their bowlers also need to back them up with some consistent performances.

Irrespective of any series, teams always look forward to start a competition on a bright note, and India, who are visibly not too comfortable on bouncy pitches, have a tough first game as they play in the fastest pitch in the world in Perth.

The first ODI could play an important role in deciding the fate of the series as well. If India play quality cricket in Perth and clinch the game, they will gather immense confidence, but if they lose embarrassingly, getting back in the ODI series could be a huge task.

On paper, both teams look well balanced, but the home team might have a slight edge as they have some quality all-rounders in the team, which includes Mitchell Marsh and James Fauklner. India, on the other hand, do not have a quality bowling all-rounder and will have to depend on Ravindra Jadeja for his skills with both the bat and ball.

India vs Australia ODI series complete schedule

1st ODI – India vs Australia

Venue – WACA ground, Perth

Date -12 January

Time: 11:20 am local time (8:50am IST)

2nd ODI – India vs Australia

Venue – Brisbane Cricket Gorund

Date -15 January

Time: 1:20 pm local time (8:50am IST)

3nd ODI – India vs Australia

Venue – Melbourne Cricket Ground

Date -17 January

Time: 2:20 pm local time (8:50am IST)

4th ODI – India vs Australia

Venue – Manuka Oval, Canberra

Date -20 January

Time: 2:20 pm local time (8:50am IST)

5th ODI – India vs Australia

Venue – Sydney Cricket Ground

Date -23 January

Time: 2:20 pm local time (8:50am IST)

Tv listings : Star Sports (India), Sky Sports (the UK), Willow Tv (the US) and Channel 9 (Australia).

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