George Bailey will lead Australia in the absence of Michael Clarke. Picture: Adrian Dennis/AFP
Australia may have lost the one-off Twenty20 International against India during the week, but it will be bidding for a third consecutive 50 over victory against the world champions in the 1st One Day International at Pune on Sunday. Despite struggling in Test matches and T20 internationals recently, Australia has continued to perform in the 50 over format, with nine victories from its past twelve matches.
With Michael Clarke not travelling to the sub-continent due to the back injury that has plagued him over the past few years, George Bailey will captain the tourists after establishing himself as a key member of the limited overs team. He has scored 620 runs from 14 ODI innings in 2013, more than any other Australian player. Callum Ferguson could feature in national colours for the first time since April 2011 after being drafted into the squad for Clarke, while Aaron Finch will look to continue his good form after top-scoring with 89 from just 52 deliveries in the T20 during the week.
Yuvraj Singh marked his return to the international arena with a man of the match performance on Friday morning (AEST) after belting an unbeaten 77 from just 35 deliveries. Shikhar Dhawan is likely to be partnered by Rohit Sharma at the top of the order with Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara left out of the squad, while spinners Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will lead the attack. Jadeja is the leading wicket taker in ODI cricket this year with 38 scalps in 22 matches and is also averaging in excess of 47 with the bat to establish himself as one of the leading allrounders in the world.
These sides haven’t met in a One Day International since India was in Australia at the start of 2012. The home side won three of the four 50 over meetings between the sides on that tour but India will be much better suited on their home turf, where they won the World Cup two years ago. Having said that however, they showed just how good they are on any surface by claiming the Champions Trophy in England four months ago.
LIVE on Fox Sports 3 from 6.00pm (AEST)
Click here to bet on One Day International matches