India look to find answers before World Cup
It is just 28 days to the world cup as India and Australia, two top contenders of the World Cup, lock horns in the ODI tri series. It will be a fantastic practice for the three teams in the conditions which will be similar to that in the World Cup.
Both the teams look to bolster their teams and find the right combination before the World Cup starts. Australia would like to iron things out as to who will leave the XI once the regular captain, Michael Clarke, returns. Also in line is the injured allrounder Mitchell Marsh who will make a strong case for return once he gets match fit and will ring on the head of Glenn Maxwell who has been out of sorts in the Big Bash League as well as the ODIs.
India on the other hand needs to find a player to take place if Jadeja will not be available in the World Cup due to an injury. Also India will be mulling over the question of three seaamers or four. However the box office decision will be on openers as to who should open after Rohit Sharma put a strong case after his 264 in his return match against Sri Lanka. Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma are in a three way tie as two will open and who will be in the middle order.
Australia has already made a mark on that points table with a facile win against England in the tri series opener and that too with a bonus point. In the process David Warner, Mitchell Starc rose for the hosts. It will be interesting to see how Indians tackle Starc on a bouncy pitch of Melbourne. He got the ball to tail into the right handers which proved lethal as England was reduced to 16-3 and never recovered from that despite Eoin Morgan’s ton.
Big problem for the Indians is their bowling which was the crux of problem in the Test series and is expected to be stumbling block in the World Cup as well. Death bowling will be one aspect that Indians will hope to rectify before World Cup commences.
Team News :
David Warner is under something of a cloud after complaining of hamstring soreness but may well play because neither of the other batting options in the squad, Michael Clarke and Mitchell Marsh, are fit to replace him.
Australia probable 1 Aaron Finch, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Steven Smith, 5 George Bailey (capt), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Pat Cummins, 11 Xavier Doherty.
India are waiting until match day to confirm who will open with Shikhar Dhawan – both Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane have their hands up. Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja, both recovering from injury, will not play. The selection of five specialist bowlers is considered essential by Dhoni.
India probable 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Ajinkya Rahane, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 7 R Ashwin, 8 Akshar Patel, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Umesh Yadav
The Pitch :
The pitch at MCG in the Test match was slow and unchanging but it is expected to have some more pace in the ODI tomorrow.
Last five matches played here saw scores of 267-269-274-305-238 in which team batting first won on three occasions in which 274-305-238 were scored while team batting second won on two occasions.
Australia and India played at this ground 12 times and India five of those while Australia won seven times. Last time these two teams played at this ground it was a reduced affair of 32 overs and was won by Australia after they scored 216.
The Odds :
Australia is 1.51 to win which is just 11 ticks above the match against England and India is surely better than England in ODIs. India is currently at number 2 spot in the rankings and certainly can fair better in this tri series than the odds show. However we are backing Australia to win tomorrow’s encounter but not at these odds.