The Carlton-Mid ODI tri-series involving hosts Australia, England and India gets underway on January 16th. This will be a great dress-rehearsal for all three of them considering the fact that the ICC World Cup 2015 is scheduled to take place in Australia and New Zealand from February 14th.
India are going into this series after a decent show in the Test Series which they lost 2-0. India had a great 2014 in ODIs after losing their 4-0 loss to New Zealand in February followed by a dismal show in the Asia Cup. Since then, India has won the ODI Series against Bangladesh, England, West Indies and Sri Lanka. India will look to begin their 2015 on a winning note which will give them a lot of confidence going into the World Cup..
India are mulling over their combination going into the World Cup and the triangular series gives the World Champions to try and test various combinations ahead of the World Cup. Skipper MS Dhoni will be very much determined to get things in place before he leads his troops to defend their World Cup crown.
The biggest worry for India going into the triangular series is the form of their openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. Dhawan, who looked completely out of sorts in the recently concluded Test series will look to bounce back in his favourite format as he had done in the past. Rohit Sharma, on the other hand was unlucky throughout the test series and will to get some runs under his belt. Courtesy some brilliant performances in the Test series, Ajinkya Rahane will get the nod ahead of Ambati Rayudu for the number 3 slot after Virat Kohli has dropped himself to number 4 to make the Indian middle order strong going into the World Cup. Indian middle order of Kohli, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni have a lot of experience under their belt.
The selectors have chosen three All-Rounders in the squad out of whom only 1 will be a part of the playing XI along with Off-Spinner R Ashwin. Ravindra Jadeja has been already ruled out of the Tri-Series which will open the gates for Stuart Binny or Akshar Patel in the playing XI. Both might be chosen in the XI if R Ashwin fails to impress in the tournament. If either of them makes use of the opportunity, they might even replace Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI during the World Cup.
Indian pacers led by 2014’s leading wicket taker Mohammad Shami has the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar with experienced campaigners Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav backing them. Bhuvneshwar often delivers with the new ball and sets up for the remaining bowlers to cash in which they fail to do so. With Mohit Sharma and Dhawal Kulkarni as back-ups, the frontline pacers can be expected to be given some rest during the tri-series.
Last ten match record (most recent first):
Key Players to watch-out for:
MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Probable Playing XI:
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma.
January 18th: vs Australia at SCG
January 20th: vs England at Gabba
January 26th: vs Australia at SCG
January 30th: vs Perth at W.A.C.A