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Confident India to begin World Cup preparation with Australia series (Preview)

IANS  |  Sydney 

After the high of the first-ever Test series win Down Under, would look to put aside the unexpected controversy involving two players and fine tune their preparations in the three-match ODI series against an under-fire Australia, beginning here on Saturday.

Ahead of the start of the limited-overs series, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and top-order batsman provided a big distraction for the Indian team by making "inappropriate" comments on women at a popular television chat show.

However, even if the duo are excluded from the playing XI, it is unlikely to have a big impact on performance. With the top-order combination unlikely to see changes barring injury, Rahul has slim chances of getting a look in even if he is up for selection.

Pandya is more of a as a pace all-rounder and it remains to be seen if the Indian team management decides to include him in the playing XI in the face of widespread controversy over his alleged sexist and crass remarks on a television talk show.

In the build-up to the first ODI, underlined that the team management is still waiting for a decision to be made regarding a ban or punishment to be meted out to the two players.

The three match series is a good chance to get the combination right for the much awaited to be played in England.

Several limited-over players returned to the squad. Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, and joined the ODI squad and would like to contribute handsomely along with and Rohit Sharma, who were present in the Test series.

The top-order seemed settled with the likes of Kohli, Rohit, Rayudu and Dhawan. The team has Dhoni and Jadhav who could turn the match at will.

In case Pandya is left out, Ravindra Jadeja will probably replace the Baroda all-rounder and partner left-arm wrist spinner in India's five-pronged attack, with fulfilling any part-time duties if needed.

Much attention will also be on former who will like get some runs under his belt as he is expected to be one of the vital cogs in India's campaign at this year's ODI

winning has managed 275 runs in his last 20 ODIs at an average 25 without a half-century. The worrying aspect is Dhoni's strike-rate of 71.42, which is remarkably lower than his ODI career strike-rate of 87.89.

In the bowling department, and will bolster the spin department which will play the crucial role in the series. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, along with rookies and will take care of the pace department. Jasprit Bumrah, who shone with the ball in the Test series, has been rested.

Australia, on the other hand, will play with two all-rounders. Pacer will also feature for the first time in the ODI team since November 2010.

In the bowling department, pacers Siddle, and might play a crucial role. Star off-spinner will lead the spin department along with part-timer

The Australian batting department has witnessed a major change. failed to make the in the playing XI.

Apart from that, will open their innings with skipper and wicketkeeper-batsman Usman Khawaja, and to follow.

When it comes to the record books, India have played 16 matches against here and has won only two and the last time both teams played at this venue, It was India who emerged victorious.

Squads:

India: (captain), Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, K. Khaleel Ahmed,

XI: (captain), (wk) Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson,

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 15:26 IST
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