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India vs Australia 1st ODI Preview: What to watch out for

India vs Australia (IND vs AUS) 1st ODI Preview: The last time India played Australia at this venue was on October 17, 2007. India won the match by two wickets, thanks to an unbeaten 52-run partnership between Zaheer Khan and Murali Karthik.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: January 13, 2020 10:14:18 pm
Australia’s Steve Smith, centre, warms up along with others during a training session ahead of their first one-day international cricket match against India in Mumbai (Source: AP)

India vs Australia (IND vs AUS) 1st ODI: India take on Australia in the first ODI of a three-ODI series at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Tuesday. The last time Australia toured India, they won the five-ODI series 3-2, and they didn’t have the services of star batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner. This time around, the only notable omission is the hard-hitting Glenn Maxwell, who is on an indefinite international break to deal with mental health issues.

Here’s what to watch for in the first game of the series

Australia’s Wankhede record

Australia have won 77 of the 137 matches they have played against India. On Indian soil, the win ratio is low, with the visitors having won just 29 of the 61 matches they have played. But Mumbai’s a special venue for them. Australia has won two of the three ODIs that have been played at Wankhede Stadium over the years.

The last time India played Australia at this venue was on October 17, 2007. India won that match by two wickets, thanks to an unbeaten 52-run partnership between Zaheer Khan and Murali Kartik.

Labuschagne debut 

Australia’s batting sensation Marnus Labuschagne is set to make his ODI debut after a stellar run in the Test format. However, his batting position remains unclear given Smith is likely to bat at No. 3 in the white-ball format.

Warner-Smith are back

The duo were serving a one-year ban from international cricket during Australia’s previous tour of India. Since their return, Smith has scored 678 runs from 15 games at an average of 52.15, while Warner has 692 runs from 16 matches at an average of 46.13.

Rohit’s record against Australia

Rohit Sharma is in the form of his life, dominating bowlers in all forms of cricket and it helps that he boasts of an exceptional record against Australia. He has scored 2,037 runs from 37 matches at an average of 61.72, which includes seven centuries and eight half-centuries. Rohit also has a double century against Australia in the 50-over format.

Kohli one century away from a Tendulkar record

The Indian skipper has eight ODI centuries to his name against Australia, and is just one century away from equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of the most ODI hundreds against Australia.

The 30-year-old has scored 1,727 runs from 37 matches at an average of 53.96 against Australia.

Dhawan nears milestone

The Indian opener is just 25 runs away from completing 1,000 ODI runs against Australia. Dhawan has four centuries and four half-centuries against the visitor. However, Indian selectors are facing a problem of plenty with KL Rahul hitting a purple patch in white-ball cricket and it’s not certain who India’s opening pair will be.

Watch out for Pat Cummins 

Pat Cummins was devastating during the previous tour of India. Cummins took 14 wickets in five matches, including a fifer and four-for. The star fast bowler has been in red-hot form of late and will be a challenge for the Kohli-led side.

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