Sports / 1st ODI Today: With World Cup In Mind, India Eye Positive Start Against Australia After T20I

NDTV : Mar 02, 2019, 10:37 AM

These ODIs will be India's last chance to get their combination right ahead of the World Cup. Following a 0-2 series loss in T20 Internationals against Australia. The first ODI of the five-match series between India and Australia will be played in Hyderabad on Saturday. The challenge against Australia, who recently swept the two-match T20I series, will help India figure out a balance for the World Cup squad.

ollowing a 0-2 series loss in T20 Internationals against Australia, India will look to put their best foot forward and fine-tune their game in their final One-day International assignment before the ICC World Cup 2019, starting on May 30 in the UK. The first ODI of the five-match series between India and Australia will be played in Hyderabad on Saturday. The challenge against Australia, who recently swept the two-match T20I series, will help India figure out a balance for the World Cup squad.

"Every team will look to fine-tune whatever they need to before the World Cup, and we'll keep doing that in the ODI series too, but we still want to win every match we play," skipper Virat Kohli said after the Bengaluru T20I loss, headlining his intention.

There will be at least four players for whom the series will be like a pre-test. KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar and Siddarth Kaul are fighting for two available slots in that UK bound 15-member squad. One man who will be keenly tracking the developments from the sidelines will be Dinesh Karthik, who still, many believe, has an outside chance of making it to the team.

However, for the quartet of Rahul, Pant, Shankar and Kaul, the coming five matches will be an acid test as and when they are inducted into the playing XI.

Rahul should be in a good head space after scores of 50 and 47 in the two T20 Internationals and is expected to get a few more chances at the top of the order.

The batsman is fighting for the reserve opener's slot and who knows if Shikhar Dhawan's indifferent form continues, the Mangalore man could well be a permanent fixture in the side.

All eyes will also be on Pant, who hasn't exactly been consistent in the shorter formats but such is his talent and ability to win matches singlehandedly that the team management may give him a few more matches before taking a final call.