India is in on a winning streak at home. Team India won the last 2 ODIs at home in a big way. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul scored hundreds as India posted a total of 387 runs batting first against India in the 2nd ODI of the recent series. In addition to the openers, Virat Kohli also scored a half-century in the 3rd ODI chasing 316 runs. Will Shikhar Dhawan make it to the playing XI?
Dhawan didn’t feature in the last ODI series. While he’s in the India squad for ODIs against Australia, who will team India replace at the top to make way for Dhawan is the question. Most of India’s recent ODI victories had major contributions from the top-order. Shreyas Iyer, Kedar Jadhav, and Rishabh Pant form a middle-order uncertain of delivering consistently. While Iyer and Pant shined with a fifty each against Windies in the 1st ODI, Jadhav was the 3rd top scorer in the innings with 40 runs.
However, India lost that match where the top order failed and these 3 steadied the sinking ship. India’s bowling attack lost that match defending 287 runs and conceded 315 runs for 5 wickets in the last ODI bowling first. With Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami in the squad, India will be looking to improve their bowling performance against an in-form Australian side.
Australia has won back to back Test series at home following The Ashes in England. Will Marnus Labuschagne carry his incredible Test form to ODIs? In addition to the big 3 – Finch, Warner, and Steve Smith, D Arcy Short has also made it to the squad. Short recently scored a hundred in Big Bash League 2019-20 and Australia would be confident in him.
Labuschagne dominated the Tests for Australia since his innings in the Ashes. Australia seems confident bringing him in the ODI squad and would expect him to continue his big contributions. Kane Richardson could be the bowler Indian batsmen would go after. While Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc have led the Test side effectively, Josh Hazlewood and Richardson will have a crucial role in the side.
Bowling all-rounder Ashton Agar might not find much success while Adam Zampa is the one to watch out for. The fast-medium bowlers Kane Richardson and Josh Hazlewood will need to give a breakthrough in the middle or restrict the flow of runs. This where it would all get tricky for Finch and if this pair bowls long wicket-less spells, India would get to a position where they’re improbable to beat.
Our Prediction for India vs Australia
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Rohit Sharma will be playing at his home ground in Wankhede. Jasprit Bumrah is making a comeback in the side. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli are in fine form with the bat. While India’s middle-order seems quite ready to take on a challenge, the onus of picking up wickets would be on the opening bowlers. Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur would be targeted by the visiting batting line-up. Hence, it will be Shami and Bumrah’s job to get rid of Warner early on.