The first ODI of the three-match series between Australia and India will be played on November 27, 2020, Friday, at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). This will kick-off India’s lengthy tour of Australia, which will see three T20Is and four Test matches as well.
The Indian team will be playing international cricket after eight months and will be eager to do well given that these matches are part of the ICC ODI Super League and every win will earn them points. On the 2018-19 tour, India had won the ODI series 2-1 and they will take inspiration from it.
However, there are a few cogs missing this time, most notable being MS Dhoni, who retired from international cricket in August 2020, and most importantly, opener Rohit Sharma, who is rehabbing from his hamstring injury in India.
Therefore, Team COC presents to you the Predicted Playing XI for Team India for the first ODI against Australia at SCG.
In absence of Rohit, Team India has taken Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill as the alternate openers to partner Shikhar Dhawan. However based on the form in the recent IPL 2020, it seems that Mayank Agarwal might be the one to open the innings with Dhawan.
Agarwal had a brilliant IPL tournament in UAE, scoring a century and 424 runs as well. He had opened for India against New Zealand earlier this year and has a great opportunity to impress the selectors and fans with his batting at the top.
He will have Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, and Shreyas Iyer for the company in the top order and all three did well in the IPL 2020. Dhawan was the second-highest run-getter in the tournament, while Iyer captained his team to the finals and had a very good outing with the bat as well. These two will play a supporting role to Kohli in the batting order.
Virat Kohli knows that he is available for the limited-overs leg and one Test only on this tour and would like to leave the Indian team with as many wins as possible in the seven matches he might play. Therefore expect him to take a more aggressive role in run making, especially with Rohit Sharma not there at the top, making his slot at no.3 more important.
Then KL Rahul will come in at no. 5 given that he will also keep the wickets as well. He had an excellent IPL 2020 with 670 runs and the team management might even be tempted with Rahul opening the innings with Dhawan and if that happens, Manish Pandey can fit into the side at no.5.
Though Hardik Pandya is unlikely to bowl in the upcoming series against Australia, he is too valuable as a batsman alone to be left out of the team. His finishing abilities give India the firepower it misses in form of Dhoni and Karthik from the last series in 2018-19.
Pandya will be helped by Ravindra Jadeja, who has emerged as one of the most capable finishers in the last 2-3 years for Team India. Everyone remembers his amazing knock in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, and even in the IPL 2020, he played some good knocks in the end.
Partnering Jadeja in the spin department might be Yuzvendra Chahal, who has troubled the Australian batsmen a lot and had even picked up a 6-wicket haul the last time India played Australia in an ODI down under. Though Kuldeep Yadav is an exciting proposition, his form in IPL 2020 and previous to that, might put him out of contention.
The fast bowling department will most likely be helmed by Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah. All the three bowlers are coming off a terrific IPL 2020 and before that, had done well previously as well.
Shami and Bumrah bring in the experience, while Saini brings in the young aggression and pace which can unsettle the Australian batting lineup from the start.
COC Predicted India Playing XI for the first ODI:
Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah