Australia Trounce New Zealand; India Challenge Next
Australia just completed a 3-0 whitewash in a one sided Trans-Tasman Trophy. The hosts were so dominant that they ended up winning all three games by a margin of more than 200 runs, including a 279 rout in Sydney. The Australians have started 2020 on a winning note and will look to carry that momentum into the ODI series against India which begins later this month.
India are starting their 2020 cricket campaign with a three match T20 series against Sri Lanka. The first T20I was abandoned due to rain which means India gets just two T20 games before they face a much tougher opponent in Australia.
Three ODI Matches
The first ODI is scheduled to take place on 14 January in Mumbai, followed by a showdown on 17 Jan in Rajkot. The third and final ODI will take place at Bengaluru on 19 Jan. India should start out as betting favourites since they are playing at home and the conditions should favour them.
However, this should be a very closely contested series as the two teams have very similar strengths on paper. The Aussies have had a poor run in ODI cricket during the last couple of years. However, the reintroduction of David Warner and Steve Smith has restored stability.
Australia Supremely Confident
Aaron Finch will once again captain the Aussies in the ODI format. He will be looking to get some runs under his belt and lead from the front. Finch hasn’t played a lot of international cricket of late but has done well in the sub-continent in the past. His biggest challenge will be Jasprit Bumrah who has troubled the opening batsman on a number of occasions.
The Aussies have selected a number of hard hitting batsmen in their squad. Warner will partner Finch at the top of the order and he will be one of the key batsmen for Australia as the NSW opener has been in great form during the Australian season. The Aussies also have D’Arcy Short in the squad as a backup opener and those who have watched the Big Bash know how destructive he can be.
However, it is the middle order that looks really threatening for India. Smith has been a thorn in India’s side in every format of the game. His return brings a lot of stability to the middle order and the addition of Marnus Labuschagne to the squad makes perfect sense as he has been the best Aussie batsman of the summer, scoring a pile of runs. He has all the shots in the book and more importantly the right temperament.
Alex Carey is now the first pick for ODI keeper as he showed in the 2019 World Cup that he is a game changer and can bat in the top order or come in at the end of the innings and clear the ropes.
Pace Battery For India
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins are all fit and ready to play. In other words, India can expect a fiery test of pace bowling. The Aussies also have ODI specialist Kane Richardson in the squad.
The plan for the Aussies will be pretty straightforward. They will look to bat first if they win the toss, score big and then look to bowl India out. Given the fact that their batsmen are in great form, this is poised to be a very interesting series. It will certainly be a big test for Virat Kohli and his team.
India will be playing at full strength for this ODI series. Rohit Sharma will return after being rested from the T20 series against Sri Lanka.