The stage is set for the world’s top two teams to fiercely battle it out in what promises to be a thrilling ODI series. Many pundits have termed this ODI series as India’s best chance of defeating Australia in a bilateral series in Australia. The men in blue have won two limited overs series’ in Australia – The Benson and Hedges World Series Cup in 1985 and the CB Series in 2008. However, the desire to win a bilateral series Down Under still remains.

A day before the first ODI at the iconic WACA Stadium in Perth, skipper MS Dhoni spoke about the likely team combination for the visitors. Dhoni made it absolutely clear that the Indians would be backing their strengths and would opt for three pacers and two spinners. Captain Cool Dhoni also hinted that his batting order was not decided, and he would bat as and when needed according to the match situation.

“We are most likely to play three pacers and two spinners. You have to back your strengths,” said Dhoni. “My batting position will depend on the situation of the game and how the top four have performed,” Dhoni said. “Rankings don’t matter much. Winning games will ensure rankings are not important,” he said.

With Dhoni’s statement, it can be confirmed that the all rounder’s slot of number 7 will be occupied by the in form Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja is likely to get the nod ahead of Axar Patel and seam bowling all rounder Rishi Dhawan. The injury to Mohammad Shami has meant that left arm pacer Brainder Sran will be in for a debut. After scoring a half century in the warm up fixture, Manish Pandey will be a key batsman in the middle order.

India’s playing XI for the Perth ODI:

1. R. Sharma 2. S. Dhawan 3. V. Kohli 4. A. Rahane 5. M. Pandey 6. MS Dhoni (c ) 7. R. Jadeja 8. R. Ashwin 9. I. Sharma 10. U. Yadav 11. B. Sran  

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