Australia won the toss and decided to bat first against India in the first One-Day International at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Here is what the captains said:
“We are gonna bat first mate. I think the middle overs we have to get it right. We need to brush up there and improve. I think we need to keep wickets in the back end. Freshed up after playing BBL.”
“We would have batted first as well but some of the players are inclined towards chasing. It’s a brilliant wicket to play on, with shorter boundary on one side. It’s going to be an exciting chase as I am always inclined towards chasing. Anyways we have to bowl first now. We are always looking to improve. We need to strike when the big games arrive. When two quality players (Hardik and Rahul) are not featuring, it affects the balance of the side. Jadeja is back in the side, let’s see what he’s got to offer.”
The last time India and Australia met at this ground for an ODI, the visitors had chased down 331 thanks to a blistering ton from Manish Pandey in 2016. And India are more than favourites to continue their winning run at this ground if the recent form of both the teams is taken into account.
Both the teams had contrasting 2018. Australia had a last year to forget. They suffered a loss in ODI series at home against England before being rocked by the ball-tampering scandal. As the year progressed, things got from bad to worse for Australia. By the time 2018 ended, Australia managed to win just two ODIs in 12 months. Unlike Australia, India enjoyed a brilliant 2018 as they won the ODI series in South Africa, bagged the Asia Cup before beating Windies at home.
Not surprisingly, India start the game as the firm favourites. However, Australia will also back themselves due to the conditions and their superior track record over India at the SCG. The teams have played 16 ODIs at the SCG with Australia winning 13 and India two
Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (wk), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon, Jason Behrendorff
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, K Khaleel Ahmed