Australia vs India: First ODI Preview

Cricket ball and bails on field

Australia enter this ODI series as they have entered every other series in the format for the last year - in an absolute shambles.

India have arguably the best all-round ODI side in the world at their disposal and need to whitewash the hosts to avoid losing ground on number one-ranked England.

Australia vs India | Saturday, 12 January | The Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney | 05:20 

To Win Match
Australia 14/10
Tie 35/1
India 57/100

Australia
Australia's bizarre ODI selection policy struck again when the group for the India visit was announced. Trevor Hohns and company rolled out a team that did not include Nathan Coulter-Nile. Coulter-Nile has been not only Australia's best ODI bowler in recent months, but also a source of valuable lower-order runs.

Coulter-Nile was apparently left out due to concerns over some soreness in his back, but the player himself lashed out at the selectors for poor communication when the group was unveiled.

Australia are currently comfortably the weakest ODI group of any of the top six sides on current form - and even the prospect of the return of Steve Smith and David Warner is not enough to give fans hope that the men from down under will add to their record tally of world titles this year.

Jhye Richardson returns to the team, likely none the wiser as to why he was dropped in the first place, while none of the Test pacemen have been picked despite being expected to lead the charge at the World Cup.

India
Jasprit Bumrah was rewarded for his series-winning efforts in the longest format by being handed a rest. Bumrah was replaced in the ODI squad by paceman Mohammed Siraj.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni needs to prove that he can continue to be an asset for India in their quest for a third World Cup win, with Rishabh Pant pressing for inclusion across all three formats.

Pant is not part of a squad that sees all-rounder Hardik Pandya return to action after injury. Pandya is likely to spend the series competing with Kedar Jadhav for a place in the XI, but his pace bowling should give him the edge in Aussie conditions.

Ambati Rayudu, Lokesh Rahul and Dinesh Karthik will resume their three-way battle for middle-order spots in this potent India side's one apparent weakness. Anyone of the three could cement their place in the team with a strong enough display, that is provided the top three leave them any work to do at all.

India's greatest strength in ODI cricket has to be their imposing top three of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli - and the wrist-spinning duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Verdict: India 57/100
Having run England close and beaten the Proteas in away ODI series in 2018, India should put Australia to the sword in Sydney.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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