India vs Australia: After historic Test series win, Virat Kohli and Co target ODI triumph and plug gaps ahead of World Cup
When India set off for Australia, they have been burdened with the expectations of a historic Take a look at collection win Down Beneath. Virat Kohli and Co delivered handsomely on the promise with a 2-1 win within the longer-format.

Now, there’s little or no historical past at stake because the Males in Blue get able to tackle the Aussies within the ODI collection – the ultimate leg of the tour. India have earlier received ODI collection in Australia on two events – the World Championship of Cricket in 1985 and the CB Sequence in 2008. Nonetheless, the upcoming collection is not going to be any much less necessary as the ultimate preparations for the 2019 World Cup in England get underway.

India will play 13 ODIs earlier than the World Cup together with just a few T20s to get their squad proper, fine-tune issues and put together for the most important stage. After the upcoming three-match collection, Kohli will lead his troops to the neighbouring New Zealand for a five-match ODI collection adopted by a five-match ODI collection in opposition to Aaron Finch’s facet at residence.

Virat Kohli-led Indian facet eye first bilateral ODI collection win in Australia. Picture courtesy: Twitter @BCCI

Coach Ravi Shastri in an interview with Occasions of India, declared the identical, saying that the main target in matches shall be on fine-tuning issues and never on outcomes.

“We’ll use these matches to fine-tune issues. We’re not bothered about profitable or dropping these video games. We’ll use this chance simply to get the ultimate look of the World Cup squad proper.,” Shastri said.

Whereas it could be about fine-tuning sure facets, Shastri couldn’t have been extra off the mark as nonetheless there’s so much left to do earlier than Workforce India will get on to that flight for England. Particularly, within the quick bowling division.

A group which has been extremely relied on the duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar within the shorter-format, nonetheless wants to find its second or third line of tempo assault. Pacer Mohammed Siraj inclusion within the facet as alternative for Bumrah, who has been rested for the collection, signifies in direction of the identical undertaking.

Siraj is but to play an ODI for India and has solely featured in three T20Is. His choice appears to be influenced by his constant efficiency for India A. Umesh Yadav performed the function of the back-up pacer within the ODIs in opposition to Windies final 12 months, however the selectors have clearly determined to check out Siraj to get him prepared for any contingency which will happen sooner or later.

One other attention-grabbing recall to the facet is that of Mohammed Shami. The pacer was called-up for the ODI collection in opposition to Windies in October after 12 months of absence within the 50-over format however was as soon as once more dropped after simply two matches. However right here he’s in Australia with one other probability to revive his bowling profession in colored clothes.

Khaleel Ahmed impressed within the ODIs and T20Is in opposition to Windies at residence and in addition within the T20I collection Down Beneath late final 12 months. He additionally provides a much-needed selection together with his left-arm tempo and within the absence of Bumrah, the 21-year-old could be shouldering a lot of the tasks with Bhuvneshwar.

The upcoming collection and the New Zealand one-dayers are the right alternative for the three pacers to stake their declare within the squad and reserve their ticket for England.

The batting middle-order which had been a conundrum for Kohli and group administration for lengthy appears to be wonderful now with Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav taking over the No 4, 5 and 6 slots. Rayudu consistency at No Four has been an enormous sigh of reduction for India as over half a dozen of gamers have been auditioned earlier for that slot earlier than India settled for the Hyderabad batsman.

India would expect Rayudu to proceed delivering the products. The main target would even be on MS Dhoni, who endured a horrific 2018. The veteran failed to attain a single fifty final 12 months and it’s a no secret that his hard-hitting prowess is on a wane. However together with his recall to the T20I facet for New Zealand collection, selectors have proven that they’re able to again him until the hilt. Maybe, it’s time for Dhoni to let go of any apprehension and play with a free thoughts. The presence of Dinesh Karthik, nonetheless, within the squad would proceed to maintain some stress on Dhoni and Kohli.

Hardik Pandya has weathered loads of storm just lately for his comments on a chat present. Nonetheless, India shall be seeking to carry the all-rounder again within the fold with the Baroda cricketer seeking to get his groove again. He hasn’t performed a match for India since his damage through the Asia Cup final September.

In summation, as Shastri stated, it is time for India to fine-tune issues together with plugging the plain gaps. Nonetheless, Kohli would concentrate on the report that India have by no means received a bilateral ODI collection in Australia. The absence of premier Aussie pacers have already dented the hosts’ possibilities and together with with the larger image of World Cup in his thoughts, be relaxation assured that the skipper would additionally keep watch over one other historic collection win.

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