IND vs AUS: Teams from India and Australia will face each other in a three-match ODI series starting Friday (September 22). This series is like a “dress rehearsal” for both teams before the ODI World Cup. The first ODI will be played at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. In this series, Team India’s middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer will prove his match fitness while Suryakumar Yadav will have to live up to the trust of the selectors. Suryakumar has not performed as well in ODIs as he has in T20s.
Players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will not play in the first two ODIs. In such a situation, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has a golden opportunity to test his mettle on the bench. Both Mumbai batsmen Suryakumar and Shreyas face their own challenges to play in the most important tournament of their careers.
The 28-year-old Iyer has not played much cricket in the last six months. Iyer, who returned from stress fracture surgery, was again sidelined ahead of the Asia Cup game against Pakistan due to back stiffness, raising doubts over his fitness.
Selection committee chairman Ajit Agarkar said that Iyer can play all three matches but it remains to be seen whether he can play the entire 100 overs in the three matches in the next five days. India needs Iyer to play the spinners in the middle in the World Cup. Suryakumar may be the number one batsman in T20 but has not been able to replicate that form in ODIs.
Suryakumar Yadav, who has played 27 ODIs so far, has an average of 25, which does not reflect his abilities. He was included in the preliminary squad for the World Cup and now has to live up to the trust of the selectors.
Due to spinner Akshar Pate’s injury, the door is open for 37-year-old Ravichandran Ashwin. If Akshar doesn’t recover in time, Ashwin can play the third and final World Cup of his career. Just two weeks ago, the team management didn’t even think about him, but now there is a competition between him and Washington Sundar for a place in the team.
If sources are to be believed, R Ashwin could be preferred over Washington Sundar even if he doesn’t play well in the next three matches. Ashwin’s battle with David Warner and Steve Smith could be interesting.
In the absence of Kuldeep Yadav and Pandya, both Ashwin and Sundar will get a chance to prove their usefulness. However, if the characters fit, only they will be selected by the team leader. If Rohit doesn’t play, Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill can start the innings. Iyer is used in place of Kohli. BCCI Twitter
India have not rested any of their fast bowlers but Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj can get a rest in one of the three games. On the other hand, the Australian team is a great opponent despite the recent 2-3 series loss against South Africa. They won the last ODI series in India in March. Both teams will compete at the World Cup on October 8th.
Travis Head’s injury presents Marnus Labuschagne with an opportunity that he would like to take advantage of. However, on the flat Indian pitches, the real challenge will be the Australian bowling attack.