3 ODI series will be played between India and Australia
Choosing team combination is a big challenge for Rohit Sharma
New Delhi. After defeating Australia in the 4-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Team India is now looking to repeat the same performance in ODIs. A 3-ODI series will be played between the two countries from March 17 (Friday). This is India’s last ODI series before July this year. ODI World Cup is to be played in India in October-November this year. In such a situation, captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid have a chance to check and confirm their team combination in every series. The ODI series against Australia is also no different.
India defeated Sri Lanka and New Zealand in the ODI series at home in early 2023. Many regular players of Team India like Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul were not a part of this series. He has returned for the Australia series. At the same time, players like Shreyas Iyer, Jaspreet Bumrah, Rishabh Pant are out due to injury. In such a situation, both injury and comeback of the players have increased the problems of Indian captain Rohit Sharma. The problem is about choosing such a team combination in the ODI series, which can give water to the kangaroos.
With which combination did Team India go in the ODI series against Australia? Its knot is broadly entangled in 3 questions.
Is Suryakumar’s return confirmed due to Shreyas’s absence?
Shreyas Iyer’s place at number 4 in the Indian ODI team is almost confirmed. Playing at this number, Shreyas has scored 805 runs in 20 innings at an average of 47. Has also scored 2 centuries and 5 half-centuries. But, due to injury, he was getting in and out of the team again and again. He did not play against New Zealand due to injury and is now ruled out of ODI series against Australia due to the same lower back injury. Even in the ODI series against New Zealand, only Suryakumar got the chance to play at number-4 in place of Shreyas. But, he failed in two matches. He has not been able to maintain the T20 form in ODIs.
Suryakumar’s lackluster performance in ODIs
Suryakumar has scored runs in 18 innings of ODIs at an average of 29 and has been able to score only 2 half-centuries. However, he is the X Factor player. In such a situation, if the Indian team management is ready to test his potential in ODIs as well, then he may get a chance in the ODI series against Australia. However, Suryakumar can be challenged by KL Rahul and Ishaan Kishan in the middle order.
Will Rahul be the first choice wicketkeeper in Pant’s absence?
Rishabh Pant is out of Team India due to injury. In such a situation, only Ishaan Kishan is playing in his place in T20. But, will KL Rahul be the first choice wicketkeeper in Pant’s absence in ODIs? This has to be seen. KL Rahul has lost his place in the Test team. His place in the ODI team is made in the middle order only. Along with batting, he also does wicketkeeping. This is his plus point.
KL Rahul confirmed his place as wicketkeeper in ODIs
The last time Australia came to India for the ODI series in 2020, Rishabh Pant fell victim to a concussion in the first match in Mumbai. This opened the doors for KL Rahul as the regular wicketkeeper for Team India. In that series, KL Rahul did a bang in the middle order. KL Rahul’s innings of 80 off 52 balls at number 5 helped India win the series 2-1.
KL Rahul’s good record at number-5
Since then, KL Rahul has been wicketkeeping in white ball cricket. Playing at number-5 for India, he has scored 658 runs in 16 innings at an average of 50 and a strike rate of 102. He has also scored 1 century and 6 fifty at number-5. Rahul, who has lost his place in the Test team, would not like to lose his place in the ODI team.
India’s ideal all-rounder combination?
One of the important decisions that India has to make for the ODI series against Australia is to strike a balance between batting depth and adequate bowling options. In the absence of Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur performed well as bowling all-rounders in the New Zealand series. Now Jadeja is back in the team.
India can also play with 3 all-rounders
With Jadeja’s return, India can further strengthen their batting depth. Especially if Team India plays all three – Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar and Ravindra Jadeja (Akshar Patel is also an option). This would mean that 3 vacant spots would have to be filled in bowling. Either Team India go with Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur or ignore Shardul Thakur’s batting at number 9 for Umran Malik’s speed and Jaydev Unadkat’s variation.
FIRST PUBLISHED : March 16, 2023, 16:35 IST