Ind vs Aus ODI Series: Opening match to be played today

Ind vs Aus ODI Series: Opening match to be played today

Ind vs Aus ODI Series: Opening match to be played today

However, it would be without the services of its specialised opener Shikhar Dhawan in the first three outings.

331 India chased down in their last ODI against Australia, at SCG in 2015-16, by 6 wickets. However, Australia had an indifferent run with their early Champions Trophy exit and then they had a tough time levelling the Test series against Bangladesh. For Rahane to play at his best, he needed to be opening the batting and facing the harder ball in the Powerplay.

In the past year, India's top three batsmen have contributed 57.6% of the team runs, while Australia's top three have accounted for 54.5%. But as another series beckons, both the sides hope to get their acts right, without crossing the line.

India will look to beat Australia in a bi-lateral series and thus register their fourth series win against the visitors.

Unlike the past contests between Australia and India, this one could be devoid of off-the-field drama such as verbal duels and mind games.

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Should the selectors have any doubts about playing Rahane, they have a ready-made alternative in KL Rahul. "You need to identify at least two of those guys for your side to have more strength in both the departments", said Kohli at a press conference before the first ODI against Australia here. Now we're backing Jinks at the top of the order.

"He's also opened a lot in ODIs as well". India skipper Virat Kohli has already made it clear that the team would be using the plethora of bilateral ODIs, lined up at home till the end of this year, to identify the core of the World Cup squad. Rahul, on the other hand, won't have that allowance, as he is set to continue batting in the middle order, despite having the skillsets to open. With scores of 4, 17 and 7 in three matches, he was dropped from the fifth game.

For a well-oiled side like India, a series win against the Aussies, even though on home turf, will act as a stepping stop for the 2019 World Cup campaign.

"I think it will be played in good spirit".

Actually, Sri Lanka were to revisit South Africa for a three-Test series and India were to host Pakistan over the year-end. Ajinkya has opened in the West Indies. The only difference now is that India has two wrist spinners at their disposal and the way they bowl could well dictate the result of the series.

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"Whenever they have an opportunity to bat wherever, they will be happy to do it".

Because of the IPL experience, most of the Australian players are familiar with Indian conditions and cherish playing on Indian grounds. To me, cricketers have limited career. So I think it going to be very good for the batsmen, lots of run to be scored. We are all here thinking wherever the team wants us to play we should do the job.

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