No sooner did we catch a breath after the action-packed CL T-20 tournament, we find ourselves staring at a very exciting India vs Australia series – 7 ODI matches, preceded by a T-20. The T-20 feels like a over-kill, but too much Cricket never killed anyone friends! Besides, there is always a zing factor when two teams representing their Countries collide.
The biggest news from the Indian camp is the return of Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj has dedicated himself to fitness and the match will see this younger-looking Yuvraj make another of his attempts [mostly succeeful] to create magic against an opposition he always has enjoyed playing against. The other big news is the new-look Indian team with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma [most likely the next Indian Captain], leading the batting line-up.
With Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni to follow, that is a mighty batting line up even up by India’s batting pedigree. They will be supported by Ashwin, Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Sir Jadeja on the bowling front.
The Rajkot pitch is expected to favour the batsmen as most pitches on the sub-continent do. With Australia’s bowling efforts led by James Faulkner and Shane Watson – two players who have had a lot of time in Indian conditions, India’s “Rajkot advantage” maybe negated to some extent. Shane Watson’s knowledge and familiarity with Indian conditions is as good as any player from outside the sub-continent. Australia’s T-20 skipper George Bailey will be counting on big contributions from the talented all-rounder.
Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell will bring some serious “ammo” on the batting front with Bailey, Voges and Henriques all capable of inflicting big damage themselves. Their bowling attack looks solid with Mckay and Johnson and Coulter-Niles leading that department. Unlike their Indian counter-parts, Australian will be coming with pace and even more pace.
Prediction: Provided rain stays away, Rajkot will bleed blue. India to win a high-scoring contest.