India and Australia will play a Twenty20 match at Rajkot on Thursday, ahead of the seven-match ODI series. The game will throw some light on what to expect in the upcoming ODI matches. [Read: Match Report]
Where to Watch Live
The match will be played at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot on Thursday and live telecast will begin at 07.00 pm on Star Sports, ESPN and Star Cricket channels. The game will also be live streamed online on the official website HERE.
The last bilateral ODI series between the countries was in 2010. Two of the matches were washed out and India won the remaining game. India come into the contest as favourites as most of the players starred in the recently concluded Champions League T20. Meanwhile, the Australian team lacks experience but they do have the capability to pull up surprises.
Australia have 4-3 win-loss record against India in their seven meetings in T20 cricket.
India: All eyes will be on Yuvraj Singh, as he returns to the team after a hiatus. Senior players like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh have been left out of the squad with the likes of Ambati Rayudu, Jaydev Unadkat and Shami Ahmed taking their places.
Players like Dinesh Karthik and Ajinkya Rahane, who played well in the Champions Trophy and Champions League respectively, could not make it to the squad, which reflects the strength of the team.
Australia: Michael Clarke, who has been in and out of the team due to a back injury, will give way for George Bailey to lead the team. They will also miss the experience of players like David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Clarke and Mitchell Starc, even as Callum Ferguson, Moises Henriques and Aaron Finch get the chance to explore new frontiers.
The scenario in 2010 was different. Australia had the likes of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey then but the present team is relatively inexperienced though some of them came to know the condition of Indian pitches through IPL and CLT20.
On the other hand, India have gone through a big transformation despite the retirement of some experienced players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Players like Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Shikhar Dhawan, who lacked the confidence three years ago, are now the strength of the team.
India have reliable openers in Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. With players like MS Dhoni, Kohli and Yuraj in the line-up, they surely make a formidable batting side. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Unadkat, Shami and Vinay Kumar will lead the pace attack while spinners Amit Mishra, Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin will provide slow bowling option for the team.
Australia have Finch, Phillip Hughes, Bailey, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and Nic Maddinson in the batting line-up. Watson, James Faulkner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Henriques and Clint McKay will lead the bowling attack.
Thursday's contest will be like India's batting versus Australia's bowling.
India are the favourites to win.
India: MS Dhoni (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Shami Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat, Ravichandran Ashwin, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ambati Rayudu
Australia: George Bailey (captain), Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Johnson, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint McKay