Australia’s Test series in India has drawn to a close after six weeks of intense observation and emotion. The Australians can take pride in certain successes, yet frustration over shortcomings which didn’t allow them to snatch the victory is likely prominent. Now they must shift attention to one-day cricket. Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head and Mitchell Starc have remained on the tour while David Warner and Ashton Agar have come back after leaving earlier.
The company’s statement suggests that this will be beneficial practice for the 50-over World Cup in India later in 2021. However, Australia already have a three-match series planned there in September, which had long been scheduled. The current one was added a few months back when unused days were noticed between the Tests and the Indian Premier League. This happened around the same time Cricket Australia cancelled their previously arranged series against Afghanistan, which had been meant to take place late March, due to ethical issues.
As a result, the India board will have a few extra dollars in the bank before their US$6bn domestic tournament, and Australia will have to play ball whenever the BCCI asks. As part of the ceremony staged to deliver a stadium’s worth of praise to India prime minister during the final Test match of the recent series, the visiting Australian prime minister smiled and waved like a queasy ventriloquist dummy.
The two teams both seem slapdish, so it’s no surprise. Both regular captains will be absent to begin with, Pat Cummins staying at home to grieve with his family, and Rohit Sharma missing the first match due to family matters. India’s tempo setter Shreyas Iyer and Australian quicks Josh Hazlewood and Jhye Richardson likely to start, but they both injured.
India will have two openers with double-centuraries in the format in recent years, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan. After recently scoring 100 runs in 50-overs and ending his long wait for a Test ton last week, Virat Kohli will bat three. KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav were both dropped the Test side in recent weeks but might freed up in the shorter format. Hardik Pandya will captain in Rohit’s absence. In the absence of Rohit, Hardik Pandya will captain.
India’s wealth of all-rounders provides many opportunities: Hardik and Shardul Thakur with their fast bowling and powerful hitting, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel with left-arm spin, Washington Sundar with the right-arm version. Yuzvendra Chahal or Kuldeep Yadav could also add selection process, two wrist spinners who generally overlooked due to lack of batting ability although any other nation worldwide would delighted to have them. Mohammad Siraj and Mohammad Shami will oversee the pace side just as they did in the Tests.
Balance are prevalent for Australia as well. Warner’s status is yet to confirmed after getting an arm fracture in the second Test. But it is expected that he open with Head. Whether Australia wants Mitchell Marsh’s hitting power. Labuschagne’s batting control, or Smith’s distinct setup lower down the order. One spot will reserved for an all-rounder in Green and Marcus Stoinis. Given that Carey should bat at six and Glenn Maxwell reprise his successful role as a floating attacker at seven.
Having lost his mojo with the red ball. Agar will probably trusted to try to recover it with the white ball. Adam Zampa’s leg-spin will play a big role. In his first match back from a broken leg, Maxwell can chip in with increasingly effective finger spin. With Starc being the premier new-ball user over the last decade. Nathan Ellis or Sean Abbott will fill the last pace spot. So they need to do a huge amount to keep it.
It doesn’t matter what the results or performance is here. None of them will provide many answers to World Cup questions. They might just raise more questions. In terms of fitness and availability, there’s still so much to change between now and October’s tournament. Luckily, the September series between these two teams is scheduled six months after the current one. It should help both teams prepare once all of this other preparation completed.