Two sides at the top of their individual games will go head to head in what is expected to be a riveting three-match ODI series. Both India and Australia head into Mumbai riding on a wave of confidence.
The two nations have met each other 137 times in the 50-over format of the game. Australia have the edge here having won 77 of the encounters to India’s 50. 10 matches were abandoned.
The last five ODIs too have Australia in a 3-2 lead. While the last five matches in India are in Australia’s favour 3-2, as well.
Ground details and team combination
The Wankhede Stadium has hosted 21 ODIs and although it is a regular venue for T20 games, there have been limited number of 50-over games here in recent times. Since 2015 this ground has hosted just two ODIs, both rather high-scoring encounters.
In T20 games as well, the surface here has been a batting paradise. Since the start of 2019, batters have scored runs at a run-rate of 8.3 in T20s here averaging a high 30 runs per wicket. The bowlers have managed a wicket only every 21.7 deliveries during the time period.
So, it goes without saying that batsmen should feature heavily in your eleven.
Both pace and spin have suffered at this venue but the fast bowlers have still managed to be effective here. In 20 T20 games since the start of 2019, they have picked up a wicket every 20.4 balls as compared to 27.5 by the spinners.
In the 50-over format too, the pace has been the way to go here. In the two ODIs since 2015, pacers have picked up a wicket every 35.1 balls. The spinners, on the other hand, have returned a wicket every 68 deliveries during the time frame.
When discussing the different bowler types, right-arm off-spinners and right-arm pacers lead the list at this venue. In T20s since the start of January of 2019, off-spinners have returned a wicket every 19.4 balls here followed closely by right arm-pacers at 19.9.
A combination of five frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, two all-rounders, one spinner and three fast bowlers could be the way to go for this game.
Refreshed after a short break, Rohit Sharma will be eager to start his 2020 in style against his favourite opponents in the 50-over format. Rohit was at his belligerent best in 2019, finishing the year as the highest run-getter in the format with 1490 runs in 27 innings at 57.31. Moreover, his record against Australia is also fabulous. In 37 innings, the opener has amassed 2037 runs against the Aussies which includes eight half-centuries and seven centuries. Wankhede Stadium is Rohit’s home-ground and he will be keen to get the runs flowing come Tuesday.
Our first X-factor is Virat Kohli. The Indian captain had a good T20 series against Sri Lanka and facing an opponent against which he has historically done well, Kohli will want to start strong. Australia have been on a hot streak in recent times but India will be a different kettle of fish for them with Kohli standing right at the forefront. Kohli’s numbers against Australia speak for themselves. In 35 innings, he has smashed 1727 against the Aussies averaging 53.97 which includes six half-centuries and eight tons. He was the second-highest run-scorer in 2019 and will want to carry on from where he left.
David Warner has been unstoppable since returning from a one-year ban and will be keen on making up for the lost time. In ODIs since the start of 2019, Warner has scored 647 runs at 71.89 which includes three centuries and three half-centuries. Warner loves a challenge and it can’t get tougher than facing the Indians in their own den. In five innings in India, Warner has scored 245 with a century and a half-century at an average of 49. He will want to further his credentials in the next three ODIs.
The poster boy of Australian cricket, Pat Cummins made 2019 his own across all formats. He was Australia’s leading wicket-taker in ODIs for Australia last year returning 31 wickets in 16 innings striking every 27.40 balls. The other thing which will go in his favour is his experience of playing in India. He has spent enough time in the IPL and knows the surfaces here well. His record against India in ODIs is also good. Cummins, on his day, can really strike fear into the opposition batsmen and Australia will desperately hope he does that on Tuesday.
It is expected to be bright and sunny in Mumbai on matchday with minimum to no chances of rain. The evening will get slightly cooler providing optimum conditions for a game of cricket. The temperature is expected to hover around 27-degree range on average.
David Warner (vc), Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey, Ravindra Jadeja, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah