IND vs AUS 2020, 1st ODI: The Indian cricket team is finally set to return to international cricket with the limited-overs, kick-starting from the Australian tour. Virat Kohli's Men in Blue is currently in Australia to play three ODIs, threeT20Is, and four Tests. Both Kohli and KL Rahul showing their intent in the intra-squad warm-up matches to expect a solid start in the upcoming series against Australia. The first (India vs Australia) ODI is set to be held on Nov 27 at the Sydney Cricket Ground at 9:10 AM IST. There will not be much change in Playing 11 for the host team as mentioned below.
However, the biggest concern for Team India will be the absence of the opener 'Hitman' Rohit Sharma, who is still undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA medical team in Bengaluru to regain full fitness. However, with several exciting names for the top-order slot in the form of KL Rahul, Mayank Agrawal, Shikhar Dhawan, and Shubman Gill.
Shikhar Dhawan was prolific in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020), he became the first batsman to score back-to-back hundreds and put in vital contributions even as the Delhi Capitals top-order often collapsed around him. Expect him to be one in the opening slot.
The opening pair with Shikhar Dhawan is a bit of a battle between three youngsters - Mayank Agarwal, Sanju Samson, and Shubman Gill. While Gill has been a consistent run-scorer ever since the U-19 ICC World Cup season in 2018, the other two have more domestic and IPL experience. The most impressive of the lot by some margin in IPL 2020 was Mayank Agarwal, whose century among several other strong contributions at the top for his IPL franchise KXIP.
In the middle order skipper himself along with Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, both are in decent touch in recent times for his teams in the IPL. Then comes to the finishers, we have Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja, who was lightning up with his all-round performances for Team India over the years. Even though he returns with the bat as well, struck the ball at over 200 at the death in IPL 2020.
The southpaw took CSK home by the skin of their teeth on a few occasions. Hardik Pandya doesn't ball a single delivery in IPL 2020 but he quick fires at the death overs when his side requires from him by virtue of which MI easily defend their IPL title this season.
In the bowling dept, Jaspreet Bumrah and Mohammad Shami was the live-wire for the Indian side. Bumrah finished the league's leading wicket-takers with 30 scalps to his name, most by any Indian bowler in the IPL history. Shami was thrilling to watch in IPL 2020, especially in the Super Over between MI and KXIP where he defends 6 runs in front of MI's two most destructive batsmen (Rohit Sharma and de Kock).
RCB duo Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal will make up the two other bowlers. Navdeep Saini's extra pace puts him ahead of CSK's Shardul Thakur in the death overs, although the Chennai medium-quick could come in as a bowling all-rounder in case Team India needs some runs at the back end of the inning.
Here is Team India's Playing XI for the 1st ODI between India and Australia:
India's Probable Playing XI - Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (Wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Jaspreet Bumrah