And we are back! For those who are wondering what are we talking about then please check today’s date and the mega event, it has to offer. Yes, it’s India vs Australia!
Man, we needed this, don’t we? After humbling Sri Lanka in the last series, we needed an opponent like Australia. We all know the history these two teams share, the monkey gate incident, Ponting fuming over Tendulkar’s return to the crease after the umpire has given him out in the 2006 DLF Cup and last but not the least, Steve Smith’s famous brain fade; how can not be romantic India vs Australia!
This is the spice we needed to end our home season and prepare for the upcoming robust tour of New Zealand later this month. Fun fact, for those who don’t remember, when last time Australia visited us, we lost the ODI series 3-2, and it was a fantastic comeback from the men down under who, then, were missing Steve Smith and David Warner.
However, do we need to look at the past? This time Australia is coming here with its, if not full-fledged, squad full of big household names. With that, Australia will surely be pumped to repeat what they did last time round and, if you all have forgotten then it was Aaron Finch who said that the absence of MS Dhoni was the reason they were able to make such a turnaround. Also, this series does not feature the Indian veteran, is this ringing a bell?
For India, it is a dilemmatic time. The return of Rohit Sharma has made things a “good headache” for Virat Kohli. Who to play with him, Dhawan or Rahul? Will Virat Kohli opt for the Rahul at four and Dhawan as an opener? He said in the press conference that he may go opt for the triplet but how does that affect the balance? Further, the absence of Hardik Pandya has taken a proven finisher and a bowler has taken 40 runs and 10 overs away from the balance, how will the Indian captain handle this aspect?
Whatever the lineups are, these rivalries are surely going to make this winter a lot hotter for the fans to deal, let’s have a look at those rivalries:
Virat Kohli vs Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins is a million-dollar IPL baby at the moment. Had Kolkata Knight Riders not bid for him in the last moments, he would have played for Royal Challengers Bangalore with Virat Kohli. Albeit, this time he is coming as a kangaroo to jump over the reach of the leader of Indian Tigers. Pat Cummins has always been a constant menace for the Indian captain. Right from the test series down under, Pat Cummins has found a way to keep Virat Kohli quiet. Will Virat Kohli find a way to deal with this menace is a question that will find its answer very soon.
Steve Smith vs Jasprit Bumrah
What happens when a player fights itself? There are fireworks! This is a battle of unorthodox players. They have a very different and unique approach to the game. One moves a lot in the crease and the other bowls with almost a sling action. One has the ability to flick the best yorker to the fence, and the other crushes the stumps with his toe-crushing yorkers. Both of them have counter-balanced each other’s action whenever they have met. Who will win today is a thing which will intrigue a lot of people today.
Rohit Sharma vs Mitchell Starc
Hitman’s struggle against the left-arm pace bowlers is evident. With Starc in the line-up, Aaron Finch will definitely try to exploit this weakness. Though, the plus point that Indian camp will be looking this time around is that Rohit Sharma has somehow tried to tackle this situation. Once set, he showed how well he can counter left-armers. He certainly did that in the World Cup! Will he be able to do this in the series? Lets. Hope. So.
Marnus Labuschagne vs Kuldeep Yadav/Ravindra Jadeja
Who knew that a concussion sub would become an integral part of the Australian set-up? He is the Australian player that will decide where the series goes. With his mentor (Steve Smith) at number 4, he will have good guidance on how he should tackle the Indian spinners in the sub-continent. The advantage that the Kangaroos hold with him is that India has not seen much of Labuschagne in the limited-overs but so has Labuschagne not seen much of Yadav or Jadeja on turning tracks. Hmm… getting confused? So are we!
So far, India has not faced a team which is of the same calibre as Australia. The Kangaroos are surely going to give India a run for their money. So folks, brace yourself for an action-packed week that lies ahead of us.