Team India won their first-ever Test series in Australia when Virat Kohli's men overcame the home side by a margin of 2-1 in the 4-match series. Cheteshwar Pujara and Jasprit Bumrah played an important role in India's historic win as their match-winning contributions turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
However, theTest series has now ended and the cricket fans are now looking forward to the 3-match ODI series which will commence from the 12th of January. The first ODI will take place at the same Sydney Cricket Ground where the two teams played the 4th Test match.
The 2nd and 3rd ODIs will take place at Adelaide and Melbourne respectively. Both the teams will look to finalize their playing XI ahead of the Cricket World Cup slated to take place in May.
While, both the nations have named strong squads for the series, Australia holds a slight edge over the Indians heading into the series and they have a strong chance of winning the ODI series. Here are the 5 reasons why Australia might win the ODI series.
#5 Presence of multiple match-winners in the Australian team
Australia's ODI team has a lot of players who can win the match single-handedly on their day and it is one of the key reasons why they have an upper hand heading into the series.
Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh, and Usman Khawaja can swing the match in favor of the home team anytime. Given that it's a 3-match series, the importance of these game changers is highly significant.
Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch will be the key to Australia's success with the bat in the series as they are two of the most experienced players in the squad.
#4 - India's middle order woes
Unlike the sub-continental conditions, the importance of the middle order is extremely vital while batting in the Australian conditions. India's top three batsmen, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli have proven themselves as match-winner time and again. However, once the top-order fail, the Indian middle order's vulnerability gets exposed.
Ambati Rayudu looked in fine form at No.4 in the home season but the Australian conditions will test his batting skills and form. MS Dhoni has been struggling with the bat since early 2018 and KL Rahul is in the worst form of his career.
Rishabh Pant, who performed extremely well in the Test series is not a part of the squad and thus, the middle order of the Indian team looks vulnerable heading into the ODI series.
#3 No match practice for India's ODI specialists
Hardik Pandya, who will an integral part of the Indian ODI team in the upcoming series has not played a single match after his serious back injury. The Baroda all-rounder featured in the domestic matches in India after recuperating from his injury. However, with no match practice in Australian pitches, Pandya will have a tough time adjusting to new conditions.
Pandya will certainly be a part of the playing XI in the ODI series but he has zero match practice ahead of the series. Also, MS Dhoni was not a part of the T20I squad earlier in the tour. This will be Dhoni's first match on the tour.
The Australian pitches are known to test the batsmen and with the Indian match-winners entering the series with no practice on Aussie wickets, it will surely impact India's chances.
#2 Australia's relatively unknown and fresh pace bowling attack
In the Test series, the Indian batting was up against the known fast bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins and so, they came into the Test series with some definite plans to counter the Australian pace attack.
However, if we look at the fast bowlers who are a part of the Australian ODI squad for the series, there are a lot of unknown commodities. Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff are two pacers the Indians have hardly faced in ODIs. Also, Peter Siddle is making his return to the ODI squad after almost nine years. The Australian squad also has the tall pacer Billy Stanlake who impressed one and all playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL.
All these players were not a part of the Test team which lost to India and they will bring new energy into the Aussie team.
#1 - Australia's strong spin bowling attack
Nathan Lyon has always troubled the Indian batsmen with his off-spin and thus, the Australian selectors have named the wily off-spinner in the ODI squad for the series against India. The Indian batsmen have succumbed to spin while playing overseas and on their tour to England in 2018; they faced difficulty in playing Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali's spin.
Adam Zampa will support Nathan Lyon in the spin department and given that Zampa was the best bowler for Australia in the T20I series against India, the two spinners may well trouble the visitors.
The combination of a leg-spinner and an off-spinner has always proved to be dangerous in the limited overs format and so, Australia would like to include both the spinners in their playing XI.