Australia is to begin its second ODI assignment with a three-match series against India.
They last played an ODI before the IPL when they beat world champions England in a three-match series.
The Australians are looking at this series to kick off their preparations for the three world cups coming up.
With the 2023 world cup on the mind and many players returning from the IPL, let us now look at selection questions Australia may face.
Who sits out for Smith:
Steve Smith didn’t play a single match in the England series due to a concussion, and Stoinis filled in at number three.
With Smith returning, Stoinis is likely to drop down the order while Mitchell Marsh is unavailable due to injury.
Stoinis has been in good form throughout the IPL and may be handed the ball more.
He will likely share the bowling duties with Maxwell or Henriques, while Smith bats at number three.
The option to bring Chris Green also seems promising after the promise shown by him as an all-rounder.
Fast Bowling Attack:
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins are the three premier pacers, but the three will likely play the entire series with the test series looming.
In place of the three main bowlers, Australia has three back-up pacers in Sean Abbott, Daniel Sams, and Andrew Tye.
Tye and Sams are regular players in the T20 format, while Abbott is the only one of the three with ODI experience.
Abbott last played an ODI in 2014 but remained the frontrunner to get a chance in the side after good form in domestic cricket.
Aaron Finch and Steve Smith have not had the best IPL seasons, with both struggling to make an impact.
Finch got off to some good starts but struggled to convert and was dropped for a few games.
Smith led the Rajasthan Royals as they finished last but and didn’t have a convincing tournament with the bat.
Both players are in-line to retain their places in the squad, but their form is crucial for Australia’s success.
Steve Smith returning to form is crucial as he has been a player Indian bowlers struggled against in the past.
If Smith finds form before the test series, we could see some more monumental innings from Smith against India.
Marnus Labuschagne bowling:
Marnus Labuschagne has been a crucial player for Australia ever since he came in as a concussion sub for Steve Smith.
He has had a prolific start to his Test career and is also starting to make a mark in one-day cricket.
Labuschagne has been used as a number four batsman and an extra bowling option with his leg-spin.
His bowling improvement is critical for Australia as they search for additional bowling options in their eleven.
Australia generally looks to play a series of batting all-rounders to fill up the fifth bowler’s quota, and success from Labuschagne could provide more options.
With the next world cup in India, Labuschagne’s value as a leg-spinner is likely to increase.
If he can improve, he will be a potential weapon on the slower tracks, likely in the world cup.
Glenn Maxwell’s Form:
Glenn Maxwell went through a different IPL.
He finished the IPL without a single six after playing thirteen games.
In the past, Maxwell has also opened up about mental strength and endured a formidable world cup.
He returned to form with match-winning knocks in the limited-overs series against England.
The England series was his first since the 2019 world cup, and he came back very nicely.
He is slated at the number seven spot but can be used as a floater, and with his all-round skills, Maxwell is a vital part of the world cup plans.
His form is in question after a poor IPL and is vital for the balance of the side.
The Australians are likely to give Maxwell a more extended run as he provides them lots of options.
An inform Maxwell can perform a floater, finisher, and off-spinner role and is also a great fielder.
Incase the Australians decide to look beyond Maxwell, they have Moises Henriques in the squad who can take up a pace-bowling all-rounder role.