India’s much-anticipated tour of Australia is set to kick off with a three-match ODI series, starting from Friday, November 27. The first and the second ODI will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) while the third and final ODI will be played at the Manuka Oval, Canberra.
This series will also mark the Virat Kohli-led team’s return to international cricket, after a debacle of more than 8 months, after the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted their schedule. Australia, on the other hand, played a white-ball series in England, prior to the start of the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL).
In the meantime, here are 4 player battles you should watch out for during the three-match One-Day International series between the heavyweights of the gentlemen’s game:
1. Adam Zampa vs Virat Kohli
After playing their trades for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the recently concluded IPL in UAE, spinner Adam Zampa and Indian skipper Virat Kohli will find themselves on the opposite sides of the table, during the limited-overs series.
Zampa, who has always been Virat’s nemesis, will be once again eager to cement his supremacy over Virat. However, the 32-year-old batsman has a knack for scoring runs against the best bowlers in the world. This battle is set to go right down to the wire.
2. Mitchell Starc vs KL Rahul
Having not played a part in the recently concluded IPL, Australian pacer Mitchell Starc will be eager to back to the action during the ODI series, which starts from. KL Rahul, on the other hand, experienced an extraordinary IPL, bagging the Orange Cap.
Rahul will be eager to replicate his IPL form throughout the tour, but for that, he’ll have to go past Starc’s vicious inswingers. This will be an interesting duel, considering the length of the tour.
3. Steve Smith vs Jasprit Bumrah
Steve Smith’s unconventional batting style against Jasprit Bumrah’s outrageous bowling action, a match made in heaven. Though Bumrah had the edge over Smith during the IPL, the former’s composure in the longer formats might help him settle the scores against the latter.
Both players have been a nightmare for their counterparts and could play a major part in deciding the outcome of the entire tour. Smith, however, holds an edge over Bumrah in ODI cricket.
4. Yuzvendra Chahal vs Glenn Maxwell
Yuzvendra Chahal showcased his quality during the recently-concluded season of the Indian Premier League, bagging 21 wickets from 15 outings. Glenn Maxwell, on the other hand, turned out to be an absolute flop.
Chahal has a knack for performing well against the Australians. In fact, he recorded his career-best spell of 6/42 against them. Chahal has also made life difficult for Maxwell, dismissing the all-rounder in 4 of their 6 encounters in ODIs.
Maxwell, however, did quite well against England prior to the IPL, averaging at 62 in the three-match ODI series. It will be interesting to see whether who will put up the bigger show when Australia hosts India.