India v Australia
Friday 17 March, 08:00
TV: Live on BT Sports
India have won their last seven home ODI series. The last time they lost was in 2019 against Australia. They are prepping for a home World Cup so they should be bang at it.
They are not at full-strength, though, because Jasprit Bumrah remains sidelined and Shreyas Iyer is also injured. Sanju Samson has been called as the latter's replacement but we don't expect him to play. Skip Rohit Sharma is rested. Hardik Pandya leads.
Ishan Kishan, scorer of a double ton, or KL Rahul will take the gloves. Axar Patel could be pipped by specialist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Possible XI: Ishan, Gill, Kohli, Yadav, Hardik, Rahul, Jadeja, Axar/Kuldeep, Shami, Siraj, Umran
David Warner has returned from his elbow injury and is expected to open the batting with Travis Head. Another returnee from injury is Glenn Maxwell.
There is no Pat Cummins so Mitchell Starc is the attack leader. Otherwise the Aussies will have to decide how many all-roudners to pick. Including Maxwell, they also have Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Cameron Green and Sean Abbott. Mitchell Marsh's bowling days may be behind him.
Possible XI: Warner, Head, Smith, M Marsh, Maxwell, Green, Carey, Abbott, Starc,Ellis, Zampa
There have been only three ODI at the Wankhede since October 2015. The runs per over average in that time is 6.39. Pretty good for batting then.
South Africa made 438 batting first in 2015. Australia chased 255 without losing a wicketin 2020. And 280 also chased easily by New Zealand in 2017.
India have 10 scores of 300 or more in their last 19 first-innings (two years). Australia have 3 in 11. The par line for India is likely to be set in the low 300s.
India are short favourites at 1.674/6 with Australia 2.466/4. The Aussies find themselves in a predicament. With a flat pitch likely, they could be forgiven for thinking that batting first is the way to go. However, India are chasers supreme, winning 12 from their last 17.
Australia are, however, far from shabby in the chase themselves. they have won seven from the last nine. In short, Australia are only value batting second but they are likely to be chunkier at the break.
Travis Head impressed in the Test series and he can confirm his status as an ODI opener of repute. He has done excellently when batting there recently.
At 4/1 for top bat he will be well supported, likewise the 5/6 that he busts 22.5. He has passed that mark ten times in 18 as opener so he scrapes value.
We're also keen to short David Warner at 25.5 given that he comes back in cold with no warm-up time. He has gone under the mark seven times in the last 13 so it's just the wrong side at 5/6.
Virat Kohli has been boosted to 11/4 for top India bat but he has only two wins in the last 11. The star is Shubman Gill with eight wins in 18. That's a bet at 7/2.