After two months of IPL, international cricket has returned and we will see the Indian team in action after nine months. The tour of Australia kicks start with a three-match ODI series, the first of which will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on November 27.
The Sydney Cricket Ground has hosted three ODIs since January 2018. The average score batting first at this venue is 283 and the team batting first have gone on to win twice. The new ball does not swing much. So, having top-order batsmen in your side should be paramount.
The pacers are likely to have a huge say in the match. Since 2018, pacers have picked up 69.8 percent of the wickets. They pick a wicket every 38.5 deliveries at a bowling average of 34. The spinners on the other hand, have picked up only 13 out of the 43 wickets in the last two years at 42.8 runs and 45.5 balls per wicket.
Out of the 30 wickets picked by pacers, 28 have gone to right-arm seamers. At an average, they have picked up 4.7 wickets per innings. There are plenty of options from both sides that you can include in your team, however, it might not be a wise decision to leave out someone like Mitchell Starc.
The leg-spinners too have not done all that badly, having picked up a wicket every 27 deliveries at an average of 27.1, which brings Adam Zampa and Yuzvendra Chahal into the picture.
Virat Kohli has been the highest second-highest run-scorer in ODI cricket since 2019. Out of the 1,635 runs he has scored, nearly 45 percent have come against Australia.
The Indian skipper has thrived every time he has turned up against Australia. With Rohit Sharma not a part of the series, the responsibility on Kohli will also increase. Though, Kohli will have to be wary of Zampa. The Aussie leg-spinner has got Kohli out five times in ODIs, the most times by any spinner and an Australian bowler.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Kohli could score 23-56 runs in this match.
Over the years, the SCG has not shown much help for the pacers first up which provides the opening batsmen with an advantage to get their eyes in. Hence, one of the openers as a vice-captain won’t be a bad choice. Since Aaron Finch will be tackled with the in-coming deliveries first up, one amongst Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner will be a good choice for the vice-captaincy role. Both the southpaws showcased great form in the second half of IPL 2020. However, Dhawan has an average of only 15.8 against left-arm pacers in ODIs since 2019 which puts him on the wrong side of the match-up against Starc. Hence, Warner shall be the prime candidate multiply your points.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Warner could score 18-51 runs in this match.
Marcus Stoinis found his mojo back in the IPL after failing to impress in Australia’s previous ODI assignment. Batting at three in three ODIs against England in September, Stoinis managed only 56 runs and did not pick a wicket. In IPL 2020, however, we saw a different version of him. Scoring 352 runs and picking 13 wickets, he was the only Australian picked in Cricket.com’s IPL XI of the season.
His turnaround impressed his franchise, Delhi Capitals’ coach, Ricky Ponting who said Stoinis is five times the batsman he used to be last year. He is supposed to be batting in the lower-middle order but with his bowling to add to his value, he is a must pick all-rounder for your fantasy side as a budget selection. The Australian coach, Justin Langer has stated that they will prefer an extra bowling option which means Stoinis will bowl a handful amount of overs.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Stoinis could score 14-47 runs in this match and pick 1 wicket.
Two years ago, Mohammed Shami was battling with injuries trying to seal a spot in India’s white-ball XI. Right now, he is one of the most improved fast bowlers being the only fast bowler to snaffle 50 ODI wickets since 2019. He also has the best bowling strike-rate amongst bowlers from both sides in this game - 25.7 balls per wicket. Though, Shami is yet to pick a wicket in the 20 overs he has bowled at the SCG, he has shown he can turn the tide and this game could be a start of the another such tale. However, our Criclytics player projection predicts that Shami could pick 1 wicket in the match.