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India v Australia 1st ODI preview: Experienced returnees boost Australia

Having lost their five-match one-day series in South Africa despite taking a 2-0 lead, Australia will need to up their game when they take on hosts India in the 1st ODI in Mohali on Friday.

The three-match series offers the last opportunity to fine-tune preparations for the upcoming World Cup, which will also be held in India, starting on Thursday 5th October when holders England take on New Zealand in Ahmedabad.

Both sides will be eager to try out combinations they hope will make a difference next month, while balancing that desire with a need to protect leading players for the bigger challenge ahead.

WhatIndia v Australia, 1st ODI
WhereIS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
When18:00 (AEST), Friday 22nd September 2023
How to watchFoxtel, Kayo
OddsIndia 1.80, Australia 2.00

Senior players return for Baggy Greens

The tour of South Africa seemed to be going perfectly for Australia after they swept the T20I series 3-0 and then won the opening two ODIs, but then the Proteas batting line-up started to fire and demolished the tourists’ bowling attack three times in a row.

With that fresh in the mind, the returns of skipper Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc will be most welcome, although left-arm spinner Ashton Agar misses out as he is away on paternity leave.

Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell are also back in the fold, while Marnus Labuschagne retains his spot, having impressed in South Africa after initially missing out on selection.

Both he and Matthew Short - who is yet to make his ODI debut - will be eager to impress, with Travis Head doubtful for the World Cup after sustaining a fractured hand against the Proteas.

Having handed the captaincy back to the returning Cummins, all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will be keen to make the most of an opportunity at the top of the order in the absence of Head.

Marsh is 5.50 to be Team - Top Batter in Mohali on Friday, with the returning Smith priced at 4.00, while Cummins is available at 4.33 to be Team - Top Bowler.

India rest stars for first two matches

Hosts India have decided to give a number of key players a rest for the first two matches of the ODI series with the Baggy Greens, with captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav all handed a break until the series finale in Rajkot.

KL Rahul will lead the hosts in the absence of Rohit, with India heading into the series after a successful Asia Cup campaign which finished with a ten-wicket drubbing of Sri Lanka in the final.

However, left-arm spinner Axar Patel suffered a leg muscle injury in the final success and he is a doubt for the World Cup, with Ashwin and Washington Sundar given opportunities to impress in his absence.

Opener Shubman Gill continues to impress, having been the leading runscorer at the Asia Cup with 302 runs at an average of 75.50, and he is 3.75 to be Team - Top Batter on Monday, with stand-in skipper Rahul 4.50.

Paceman Mohammed Siraj claimed ten wickets at the Asia Cup, including 6-21 in the final and he is 3.60 to be Team - Top Bowler in Mohali, with the India attack also bolstered by the recent return to full fitness of Jasprit Bumrah.

Aussies hold Mohali advantage

India and Australia have met five previous times in Mohali, with the tourists having won all four meetings which have taken place this century.

Three of those four successes have come when chasing down a target, with the most recent meeting in March 2019 being won by four wickets with 13 balls remaining, as Australia made 359-6.

Peter Handscomb contributed 117 to that effort, while Usman Khawaja made 91, before Ashton Turner smashed an unbeaten 84 from 43 balls to complete the job in the 48th over.

A Century to be Scored in the Match is available at 1.72 for the game on Friday, while Australia are 2.10 to hit the Most Match Sixes in Mohali.

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