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Rohit return aids India

Rohit return aids India

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Having won a first-ever Test series in Australia, India will be hoping to double up by claiming victory in the three-match ODI programme.

The first of the three one-day internationals takes place in Sydney, with the hosts having made some changes to their squad make-up to try and turn their fortunes around, while they have also opted to rest the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

The absence of that threesome should further boost India’s confidence, especially with Rohit Sharma back in the fold after paternity leave.

Top team batsman – Rohit Sharma @ 59/20

Right-hander Sharma has a simply unbelievable ODI record over the last couple of years, having averaged 73.57 during 2018 and 71.83 during the previous 12 months.

Add in an incredible record against the Aussies in the one-day arena and it makes sense to favour him over skipper Virat Kohli (47/20) to lead the way for the tourists.

Sharma averages in excess of 66 against the Aussies and has made six centuries and five half-centuries in 28 innings, including 99 when the two sides last met in one-day action at the SCG in 2016.

As much as India impressed with the bat in the Test series, it was their bowlers who really made the difference.

Among those was the left-arm leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who took 5/99 in the final Test at the SCG, bamboozling Australian batsman who have not seen much in the way of left-arm wrist spin.

Top team bowler – Kuldeep Yadav @ 27/10

Yadav has made a flying start to his ODI career, taking 67 wickets in 33 matches at an average only a touch over 20.

He has taken at least two wickets in six of his last seven one-day appearances and he should enjoy another opportunity to utilise the helpful conditions likely to be on offer in Sydney.

A back-up option for India, who are 4/7 to win the first ODI, is seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who sat out the whole of the Test series and who will be eager to make up for lost time.

Kumar, 3/1 to be top team bowler, has struggled in and against Australia in the past, but may well relish trying to deepen the woes of a listless Baggy Greens batting unit.

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Adrian Mills Adrian has enjoyed a journalistic career spanning over three decades, with cricket his specialised topic. He also has a wealth of knowledge on football, golf and tennis and has the stats to back up his betting advice.