India is going to face Australia in a three-match ODI series. Having won the Test series by 2-1, India is currently riding high on success; whereas Australia will try to get back in the winning zone.
Before the series starts, here are the 5 players, who could play a crucial role in the scintillating contest starts from January 12 at Sydney Cricket Ground.
5. Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon had been in a great form in 2018 as he was the third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket where he scalped 49 wickets in 10 games. Lyon did the major work for the team and he was also the joint highest wicket-taker in the Test Series against India where he bagged 21 wickets in 4 games, including 2 five-fers and a four-fer. Also, he had bowled the most overs (242.1) bowled by any bowler in the Test series.
Lyon, the test specialist off-spinner, has played 15 ODIs so far and last played an ODI against England in Manchester on the 24th of June, 2018. Now, he will try to keep the form where he left off in the Test series and try to cement his place in the squad for the upcoming World Cup.
4. Kuldeep Yadav
One of the main spin attacks of India, Yadav’s career is only getting better with time. Recently, he was a part of the fourth test against Australia where he took a five-fer. The 24-year old Chinaman bowler is one of the most successful bowlers in the limited overs as well.
Having made his ODI debut in 2017, he has played 33 ODIs where he picked up 66 wickets so far, with the best figure of 6/25. His variation in spin can trouble any batters in the world. Moreover, he has the ability to take wickets whenever needed.
3. Aaron Finch
Australia’s limited overs skipper Aaron Finch is one of the experienced players as well. Though he has been going through a rough patch in his career, his presence will produce more strength in the squad. The ODI series against India would play an important role in deciding his future whether he will be a part of the squad for the World Cup.
He had managed to score only 97 runs in 6 innings against India in the recently concluded test series. His poor form caused his exclusion from the side for the final test. Prior to the series against India, he failed to score in the ODI series against South Africa where he scored 57 runs in 3 matches. While leading the three-match ODI series, Finch will try to lead the Aussies to victory as well as to get back in runs.
2. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Arguably one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen in world cricket, MS Dhoni is back in the squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia. Like Finch, he too had faced a rough patch in his batting last year. He had managed to score only 275 runs in 13 matches at an average of 25.00 with the strike rate of 71.43.
One of the best finishers in limited-over cricket, Dhoni has not even scored a single half-century during that period. However, his experience of the game and quick gloves work is unquestionable. Dhoni had a great year behind the stumps last year with 27 dismissals, including 17 catches and 10 stumpings.
He has the ability to turn the table single-handedly. He will play a crucial role in the team and one of the main players for the upcoming World Cup. He’ll surely try to get back in the good form prior to the mega event.
1. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
After Jaspreet Bumrah was rested by the selectors, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will play a pivotal role in the three-match ODI series. Though he was a part of the test squad also, he didn’t get a single chance to play as India played their pace attack trio Bumrah, Shami and Ishant Sharma.
Kumar is one of the best swing bowlers in the world cricket, who has the ability to swing the ball both ways which makes him different and more dangerous from the other bowlers. He played the three-match T20I series against Australia where in the first and third game he didn’t take any wickets. In the second game, he scalped 2 wickets for 20 runs in his 3 over spell.
All eyes will be on Bhuvneshwar Kumar because his spell can surely make a difference in any game. Moreover, he too will try to improve his performance before the World Cup.