With the cornerstones of Indian batting, skipper Rohit Sharma and the outstanding Virat Kohli, as well as lead spinner Kuldeep Yadav and premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya, resting for the first two games, it will be head coach Rahul Dravid’s final opportunity to assess his bench strength.
The two Mumbai batters, who are quite different athletes, are battling their own struggles to participate in the most significant tournament of their life.
With no Rohit at the top of the order, Ishan Kishan is set to open with Shubman Gill, with Iyer filling Kohli’s spot.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, India’s Asian Games skipper, is in the squad more as a cover and could be dismissed after the second game as he will join the T20 team going to Hangzhou on September 28.
India has not rested any of its fast bowlers, although Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj may play two of the three games because three 50-over games are scheduled in five days, including travel. The management of two pacers’ workloads will be critical.
Here’s everything you need to know about the first ODI between India and Australia:
What:India vs Australia, 1st ODI
When: September 22 (Friday)
Where: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
Time: 1:30 pm (IST)
Where to watch: Live stream/telecast on Jio Cinema and Sports 18 Networks
Where to follow Live: Timesofindia.com/sports
Playing XI (Likely):
India: Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (c), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: Matthew Short, David Warner, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Tanveer Sangha