India and Australia are ready to go head to head in a white ball contest after both sides previously faced-off in the Test series played in India couple of months back. The Test series was dominated by the spinners as Australia, while playing better than they usually have in Asia, ultimately failed to adapt to the conditions. Their record hasn’t improved in Asia but spin won’t bother the Aussies this time around as batting-friendly wickets are likely to be prepared for limited overs contests.
India’s recent run in the limited overs cricket has been impressive. They made into the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy, lost only one game in the West Indies and clean swept an inexperienced Sri Lankan side.
On the other hand, Australia couldn’t make it to the top-four teams in the Champions Trophy as they were knocked out by England on D/L method. Interestingly, Australia haven’t played a limited overs game since then.
It should be a run-fest!
Over the last few years, whenever these two sides have come up against each other, putting up 300 on the board has been the norm. Both teams have some power-packed batting line-ups and it won’t be a surprise if we see bowlers getting hammered to all parts of the ground.
There is also the element of Kohli-Smith rivalry involved. There has been a bit of a history between these two players but Australia have to come up with something to keep the Indian skipper quiet, especially when it comes to batting.
Virat Kohli has emerged into a force over the last 2-3 years and his performances have had a massive impact on the overall results. Australia have to get Kohli out as early as possible and may-be they can ask Pat Cummins to bowl short and at an uncomfortable height with two men out in the deep.
Rohit Sharma at the top of the order can make a real difference with his aggressive style of play. He scored two centuries in the recently concluded five-match series against Sri Lanka and will be looking to continue with his form against Australia as well. He is a dangerous player when in full flow and can strike the cricket ball with a lot of ease.
It’s obvious that Virat Kohli is another player who has proved many times to be the difference. He has a fabulous ODI record with over 8000 runs and 30 ODI centuries to his name. The pace at which he is scoring centuries is astonishing and it seems likely that he’ll cross Tendulkar’s tally of 49 ODI tons. Kohli has enjoyed a good run against Sri Lanka and will be keen to continue it against Australia.
Steve Smith has been a sensational player for Australia over the last few years. He once received a lot of criticism for his un-conventional style of play but Smith has stuck to it and it has worked for him. His movements at the crease create different angles for him which allows Smith to hit the ball in unexpected parts of the ground. If there is any sort of movement early on, India should look to bowl around that fourth, fifth stump line and try and get him nicked off.
David Warner is another batsman who is destructive at the top of the order. He has had an excellent 2017 so far and will be instrumental in putting up big totals for Australia. He prefers the cut and pull shot and India have to pitch the ball up to him – try and get him coming forward.