India and Australia will lock horns against each other in the first of the three-match ODI series on March 17 (Friday) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It is a crucial series for both teams as a 50-over World Cup is set to be played in India later this year. Australia will be missing their regular skipper Pat Cummins whose mother passed away during the recently concluded Test series. Steve Smith will continue to lead Australia as he did in the last two Tests. The visitors are looking a strong unit with the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh joining the side.
Meanwhile, India defeated Sri Lanka and New Zealand in their previous ODI series and will be looking to continue their winning run. However, the home team will also be missing their regular skipper Rohit Sharma who is unavailable due to personal reasons. Hardik Pandya is set to captain India in the series opener. The Men in Blue will be wary of their record at the Wankhede Stadium where they last won an ODI game back in October 2011. Interestingly, they last faced Australia at the venue and lost the game by 10 wickets as well.
Also Read: IND vs AUS, 1st ODI: Pitch report to records, here's all you need to know about Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Match: IND vs AUS, 1st ODI
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Time: 1:30 PM IST
Broadcast and Live Streaming: Star Sports Network and Disney+Hotstar
Probable Playing XIs
India: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (WK), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya (c), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Kuldeep Yadav
Australia: David Warner, Travis Head, Steve Smith (c), Mitchell Marsh/Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (WK), Ashton Agar/Sean Abbott, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc
Pitch and Weather Report
The surface at the Wankhede Stadium is expected to be flat. While there will be a little extra bounce for the bowlers, it should be a high-scoring game. Chasing is a preferred option here and the team winning the toss should opt to bowl first.
Weather is set to be clear for this match as not rain is predicted.
Best India Batter of the Match: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has returned to the top notch form especially in white-ball formats. He has hit three centuries in last seven ODIs and is also coming off a brilliant 186 in the final Test against Australia in Ahmedabad.
Best Australia Batter of the Match: Steve Smith
Australia skipper Steve Smith loves playing in India and is due a big score after not scoring even a half-century in the recently concluded Test series. Moreover, his ODI record against India in the format is also brilliant having amassed 1123 runs at an average of 62.38 with five centuries to his name.
Who will win the Match? - India