Here are our Fantasy Picks for the first ODI between India and Australia in Mumbai (6:52)
January 14: India v Australia in Mumbai
Our XI: Rohit Sharma (vice-capt), David Warner, Virat Kohli (capt), Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Kedar Jadhav, Alex Carey (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Jasprit Bumrah
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about a late injury (or other relevant updates).
Captain: Virat Kohli In his last nine innings across formats at home, Kohli has a century and three fifties. Five of those innings are T20Is in which he’s looked his free-flowing best. His last ODI innings was 85 at better than a run-a-ball in a series-decider against West Indies. His form makes him a good choice.
Vice-captain: Rohit Sharma In Mumbai and against Australia in an ODI, Rohit is a straightforward contender as vice-captain, or captain even. He has scores of 159 and 63 in the two ODIs leading into this one, and has had a rest during the T20I series against Sri Lanka too.
Warner has become masterful at scoring runs across India over the last few IPL seasons. He has been in exquisite form over Australia’s last two Test series – read: 154, 335*, 43, 19, 41, 38, 45, 111* – and will come into the series with a lot of confidence. A good alternative for captain/vice-captain too.
Bumrah has plenty of experience playing in Mumbai and is raring to go after four months on the sidelines. Australia are likely to have an experimental lower-middle order on this tour, and Bumrah’s nous in the slog overs is a good bet against them.
It won’t be Zampa’s first trip to India, but at 27 years old and as the main spinner in this squad, he would be itching to turn around what has been a mixed bag for him previously. Comes in on the back of some good BBL form too.
Carey has silently been one of Australia’s most consistent ODI performers over the last year. He cemented his place for the World Cup on Australia’s last tour here, and comes back as a definite pick and an important part of that middle order. And he could give you points with the gloves as well.
Jadhav has not been front and centre for quite a while in ODIs, but India’s persistence with him is not for nothing. He played an important hand when India’s innings was in danger of fizzling out during the first ODI against West Indies, and even though he wasn’t brought on to bowl too much in that series, he might be needed to chip in against a much stronger batting line-up.
Points to note
If you’re looking to beef up the batting in your squad, consider whichever of Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul gets picked for the opening slot.
Kane Richardson and Mohammed Shami are good alternatives for the bowling line-up.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo