Euro 2020 Special

India vs Australia 1st ODI Preview: World Cup Build-up Continues

After all the drama of the test series, the attention of both India and Australia will now switch to the ODI format, as they begin a three match series in Mumbai on Friday at the Wankhede Stadium. The day night match is due to start at 1 pm.

For both teams it is part of the build-up for the World Cup that will be staged in India later this year.

It is also the last set of international fixtures for many of the players until the two countries meet again at in the WTC Final (World Test Championship) at the Oval in June.


Team News

Shreyas Iyer appears set to miss the entire series, after suffering a recurrence of his back injury. That saw him ruled out of most of the Fourth Test in Ahmedabad, and he was also forced to sit out the recent ODI series with New Zealand with the same issue. Rajat Patidar is being lined-up as the replacement in the squad.

For this first match of the series, regular captain Rohit Sharma will be unavailable due to family commitments. That gives Hardik Pandya another chance to lead the side (and perhaps audition for the job full-time).

With Sharma unavailable, Ishan Kishan is likely to be given another chance to open the batting again, alongside Shubman Gill, who will be looking to continue his fine form in all formats of the game this year.

Although KL Rahul is in the squad, he is expected to bat down the order at five. Kuldeep Yadav was called up for the Fourth Test, but, although he did not eventually play, he should be given another chance to stake his place for a World Cup spot.

Australia will continue to be capped by Steve Smith, with Pat Cummins still back in Australia with his sick mother.

They are able to welcome back David Warner, who missed the last two tests following the concussion protocols and he also picked up an elbow injury.

In addition, they are able to call on several white ball specialists who have flown over for the series, and have spent the last week practicing in the nets.

One man who will be glad just to be playing again is Glenn Maxwell, who feared that his career might be over, after he was involved in a freak accident whilst at a friend’s birthday party last November.


Head to head

The pair have played 143 previous ODIs and Australia leads their head to head series by 80 wins to 53, with the remaining games either tied or ending in a no result.

In terms of their last five meetings though, India had the better of things, winning three of those games in this format, all those matches taking place in the course of 2020.


The pitch

Although there will not be the same controversies about the Mumbai pitch as there were with some of the tests, particularly Indore, the surface will still attract its share of attention. Traditionally the Mumbai pitch offers some early help to the seamers, whilst it may take spin as the match progresses.

With an average score on this ground less than 250, fans should not be expecting this match to develop into a run fest.


The weather

The forecast for the weather in Mumbai on Friday indicates it will be sunny and very humid. Temperatures are expected to peak at around 32 degrees Celsius, but should be cooler as it heads into the evening. There is little or no chance of rain so a full day’s play can be expected.

Statistically there has been no clear advantage for the team that bats either first or second.



Whilst this may come almost as light relief after all the tensions surrounding the test series, both teams will be taking these matches very seriously. Both can be expected to be among the leading contenders for the World Cup later this year, and, for the Australians at least, an ideal opportunity to get used to playing in Indian conditions, and, just as importantly, in front of the vociferous local crowds.

India will hope that playing at home gives them an advantage, but these should be competitive games.




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