India vs Australia has always been a contest with lots of runs, wickets and a bit of that we-don't-really-like-you-so-let's-crank-the-intensity-a-couple-of-notches. This one-day international series, and the T20 one that will follow, promises plenty more of those runs, wickets and intensity, starting with the 1st ODI at the WACA on Tuesday.
MS Dhoni and his team of blue did not have the greatest of times the last time they played Australia Down Under, with Steve Smith and his yellow-clad men easing to victory in the semifinals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, before going onto clinch the title on home turf, beating New Zealand in the final.
India have struggled in the past in ODI cricket in Australia, but they have a youngish team capable of creating a fair few problems for the Aussies. Runs are always the order of the day in modern-day limited-overs cricket, and the onus to score the bulk of those runs, from India's perspective, will be on Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. If the top three fire consistently, like they did in that home series against Australia a couple of years ago, India will compete against Australia in every match; if they don't, though, the away team could be in trouble.
The Australia batting is certainly better balanced, with David Warner and Aaron Finch providing a solid platform for Steve Smith to cake those runs, before Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner go six-crazy. If the India bowlers negate the Australia batting's strengths, the game will be half won -- easier said than done, of course.
Australia will hand a couple of debuts in this matchup, with fast bowlers Joel Paris and Scott Boland coming in, and that inexperience is what the India top order will have to take advantage of. Skipper Smith, however, is confident the duo can do a good job.
"Traditionally we like to play a left-armer here who can use the breeze and move the ball so hopefully he'll be able to do that for," Smith said of the impressive youngster Paris. "It's a good opportunity for him and some other young quicks around the country. So it's an exciting time for Joel to make his debut at the WACA.
"[Boland's] death bowling has been very impressive. I think he hits a yorker as well as anyone at the moment. He's got a bit of pace to him so hopefully he can hurry up the Indian batters a bit. He's been impressive in the nets the past couple of weeks."
India have a few team selections to ponder, in the bowling and batting. Manish Pandey vs Gurkeerat Singh Mann is the batting decision, while Dhoni has a choice to make with his fast bowlers. While Umesh Yadav looks locked in, Ishant Sharma's inclusion is in doubt owing to a finger injury. Barinder Sran was impressive in the T20 warm-up against Western Australia and could make his debut, while the same could be said of Rishi Dhawan as well, with the right-armer also able to wield his willow a fair bit.
Whoever plays, though, the key will be picking up wickets early and then not throwing it away in the final ten overs, like India have done so often, much to Dhoni's annoyance.
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India vs Australia 1st ODI is scheduled for an 11.20 am local time (8.50 am IST, 3.20 am GMT) start. Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD3 (Hindi) will provide live coverage of the Australia vs India match on TV in India. Starsports online and Hotstar are the websites which will show the ODI match live online.
Channel 9 will broadcast the match live in Australia, while the online live streaming option is on Cricket Australia Live. Sky Sports 2 is the channel to watch in the UK, while the live stream option is on Watch Sky Sports and Sky Go.
Willow TV will show the match live in the US, while all the action can be live streamed on Willow TV Online.
Viewers in the Middle East can catch the ODI match live on OSN Cricket, with the live stream option on OSN Play. Audience in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa can watch the match live on SuperSport, with the live streaming online option on SuperSport Live.