India vs Australia ODI series starts in Sydney today, top 5 challenges for Virat Kohli’s Team India

Ind vs Aus ODI series – Top 5 Challenges for Virat Kohli & Team India: Team India is all set to kickstart their full-fledged two-months tour to Australia with the three-match ODI series beginning today.

Notably, India will play international cricket after nine months and they are likely to face many hurdles during their gruelling tour.

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As Virat Kohli-led Team India gears up for their upcoming tour Down Under, here we take a look at the top five challenges the Men in Blue will face against Australia in the three-match ODI series.

Absence of Rohit Sharma: Rohit is the second-highest scorer for India against Australia in ODIs with 2208 runs to his name and the ‘Hitman’ even scored a century when the two teams met in their last ODI series in January. Moreover, with Rohit being one of the best players of pull-shot, India will surely miss his presence on the bouncy pitches of Australia. Also, the Indian team management faces a big question now – what will be the ideal opening combination in Rohit’ absence?

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Return of Smith and Warner: Besides Virat Kohli, Steve Smith is the arguably the most bankable batsman in the world and his presence gives stability to Australian the batting order. It truly takes some good bowling to dislodge him otherwise he can just bat and bat.

Talking about Warner, he is one of the most dangerous batsmen at the top of the order and can single-handedly blow away oppositions. The southpaw boats of a good record against India having hit 838 runs in 19 games at 49.29 including three tons. Interestingly, Warner is yet to register a duck against India in ODIs.

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Australia riding high on confidence: While India is returning to the international arena after nine months, Australia last played ODI series against England in September. Hence, the Aaron Finch-led side has not been away from international cricket for long and that will give them an advantage over India. Moreover, Australia will be riding high on confidence as they defeated England 2-1 in the three-match ODI series that too at their home.

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Batting order depth: With the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins present in their line up, Australia have the batting depth to fear from. Even for the world-class bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, it will be a backbreaking task to dismantle the Australian batting.

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Mitchell Starc: The left-arm pacer didn’t play in IPL 2020 as he wanted to prepare for the T20 World Cup this year, which got postponed to 2021. Hence, Starc is well-rested and his fresh legs will be a big plus for the Aussies and worry for Team India.

Moreover, Starc was in excellent form during the ODIs against England and bowled some hostile spells. Since then, he’s been back in action for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield where he has done well with both the bat and ball and he even missed out on his maiden first-class century when his captain at New South Wales (NSW) declared with him batting on 86.

India vs Australia ODI series schedule

First ODI: November 27, Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), 9:10 AM IST

Second ODI: November 29, SCG, 9:10 AM IST

Third ODI: December 2, Manuka Oval, 9:10 AM IST