Live Cricket Score, India vs Australia 1st ODI: India have lost 35 out of 48 ODIs in Australia. © AFP
Following the first-ever Test series win Down Under, India would look to make a positive start in the three-match One Day International, beginning in Sydney on Saturday. Ahead of the start of the limited-overs series, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and top-order batsman KL Rahul provided a big distraction for the Indian team by making "inappropriate" comments on women at a popular television chat show. In the build-up to the first ODI, India skipper Virat Kohli underlined that the team management is still waiting for a decision to be made regarding a ban or punishment to be meted out to the two players. The three match series is a good chance to get the combination right for the much awaited World Cup to be played in England. Several limited-over players returned to the squad. Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni and Yuzvendra Chahal joined the ODI squad and would like to contribute handsomely along with skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who were present in the Test series. (LIVE SCORECARD)
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The top-order seemed settled with the likes of Kohli, Rohit, Rayudu and Dhawan. The team has Dhoni and Jadhav who could turn the match at will. In case Pandya is left out, Ravindra Jadeja will probably replace the Baroda all-rounder and partner left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in India's five-pronged bowling attack, with Kedar Jadhav fulfilling any part-time bowling duties if needed.
Much attention will also be on former India captain Dhoni who will like get some runs under his belt as he is expected to be one of the vital cogs in India's campaign at this year's ODI World Cup. The World Cup winning skipper has managed 275 runs in his last 20 ODIs at an average 25 without a half-century. The worrying aspect is Dhoni's strike-rate of 71.42, which is remarkably lower than his ODI career strike-rate of 87.89.
WEATHER – Not a cloud in the sky. If you had read this around 3 days back, you would not have believed me. It was raining, it was murky, two days of a Test match barely had any play while a T20 game was washed out after a few overs. But today, there is no such forecast and for now, conditions are just as perfect to play cricket.
Let us not spoil our moods by talking about stuff off the field. After a good break, Australia vs India is back. ODIs are a format where the latter are revelling tremendously, so much so that 2015 World Cup winning captain Michael Clarke had remarked at the end of the Test series, 'I would be surprised if Virat Kohli did not have the World Cup in his hand at the end of the tournament.' Hmmm… does that mean that this is going to be a one-sided contest? They say, numbers do not lie. Australia have won just 3 out of their last 24 ODIs. The last time they played India in a bilateral series, they lost 1-4. The Indians have lost just 1 out of their last 11 one-day internationals. So you can judge for yourself.
Controversy is the favourite word for stars. Many like to avoid it, but in some point of time in life, they are engulfed in it. Hardik Pandya and Lokesh Rahul will be feeling somewhat similar right now. Having been OFFICIALLY CALLED BACK FROM THE AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND TOURS, the duo have plenty of time to reflect on what could have been. As the common saying goes – 'Speech is silver, silence is golden.'
The T20Is are done and dusted (When did that happen?) The Test series has ended around a week back. Gosh, it has been such a long tour for India that it is still continuing! After a frenetic red-ball contest, the focus shifts to white-ball cricket again. As the saying goes around, this is the 'WORLD CUP YEAR.' New Zealand and Sri Lanka have already inaugurated the season, time for the defending champions and the 'favourites', going by the talk of the town to do it. Hello and a warm welcome to the first of 3 ODIs between Australia and India in Sydney.
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