After retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the action moves to the three-match One Day International series beginning at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. In a year that will see India host the ICC ODI Men’s Cricket World Cup later this year, the ODI series between the top two sides in the world holds significant value.
Stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to bowl first. Going in with a combination of four quicks and two spinners, India selected Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur with Pandya being the fourth pacer. Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja comprise the spin department.
In the absence of Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan returned to the side and will open the batting with in-form Shubman Gill. Meanwhile, Suryakumar was slotted in, in place of the injured Shreyas Iyer. KL Rahul will continue to keep wickets and slot in the middle order.
Hardik Pandya at the toss, said, “I got some time off, breaks are like gold dust for me so it gave me a chance to rest and improve. Playing for India every game and every format is important. With this being a WC year, the ODI format is important.”
Stand-in captain Steve Smith, said that he was happy to be batting first because he wasn’t quite sure what to do on the Wankhede pitch on a hot day. With Pat Cummins already missing and David Warner still unfit, there were some forced changes for the visitors. Additionally, wicket-keeper batter Alex Carey also returned home due to sickness and as a result, Josh Inglis will be playing.
“We got to try our best to adjust to these conditions, and get our combinations right with the World Cup in mind,” Smith said. “I think we played well in the back end (on BGT series), and plenty of fresh faces to choose from. Alex Carey is sick so he has gone home, so Josh Inglis will come in today. David Warner is not yet fully fit, so Mitch Marsh will open the batting.”
The second and third ODI will be held in Vishakapatnam and Chennai respectively.
Australia Playing XI: Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith(c), Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis(w), Cameron Green, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa
India Playing XI: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul(w), Hardik Pandya(c), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami