After decimating Sri Lanka at their home turf, India will aim for another comprehensive show against a depleted Australia side when the two teams head into the opening ODI of the five-match series at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.
India’s home advantage will relatively reduce in the limited-overs versions, which promises another stiff contest between the sides.
The Virat Kohli-led side, however, will still start as the favourite. It will go into a stretch of limited-overs cricket at home having swept Sri Lanka across formats recently, and the team is gradually becoming a ruthless unit with players for every condition and situation.
That’s evident from India’s tremendous success in ODIs over the last two years; the last time India lost a bilateral ODI series was in early 2016 when it was beaten 4-1 by Australia Down Under.
Australia, on the other hand, have returned to India for the first time since their fiery and controversial Border-Gavaskar series earlier this year, which India won 2-1 and which ended with Kohli declaring some of his friendships with the Australian players had been irreparably damaged.
As far as the Indian squad is concerned, left-arm spinner Axar Patel has been ruled out of the first three ODIs against Australia. The bowler sprained his left ankle during practice session, and Ravindra Jadeja has been named in his place for first three ODIs.
Jadeja did not figure in the original 16-member Indian squad for the first three ODIs, which was announced earlier this month.
The Indian team will also be without opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has been released from the original squad to attend to his ailing wife.
Meanwhile, Australia will be without their two top pacers — Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
India squad (first three matches): Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.