Sharma fireworks thwarted as Australia beat India in 1st ODI

Hope Soto
January 13, 2019

India have played a number of batsmen at that position hoping to find the flawless fit, with the likes of KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina and even Hardik Pandya among others getting a chance.

India has had a tough last week after winning the Test series, after Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were banned for their frivolous comments made on the talk show, Koffee With Karan 6. While this is a meagre return for a batsman of his stature, the worrying aspect is Dhoni's strike-rate of 71.42, which is remarkably lower than his ODI career strike-rate of 87.89.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch, meanwhile, was delighted by his team's performance in the series opener and reserved special praise for bowlers Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson, who took four wickets, including that of Kohli. "We are still waiting for a decision to be made".

Ambati Rayudu, who was lbw for a second-ball duck in India's chase, is the incumbent No. 4 and averages 45.72 in the position, but Rohit would be pleased to see Dhoni back in the role.

As for Australia, the team will be banking on their surprise ODI selections in the squad.

Can Dhoni fill the middle order vacuum ahead of the World Cup?

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Shubman Gill, 19, is a top-order batsman who starred for India in the Under-19 World Cup a year ago, finishing as the second highest run-scorer in the tournament.

"I think this is the way to go", he responded when asked about the suspension. Had India opted for the review, they would have lost it on the spot. As such, how Rayudu fares on this twin tour of Australia and New Zealand will be a closer representation of whether the Indian team has finally cracked the number four quandary. Sharma and Kohli topped the charts with 441 and 381 runs in the five-match series, respectively, while Dhawan also scored 287 runs. Australia then tackle India and Pakistan in two away ODI series which will serve as building blocks for a World Cup defence which is looking decidedly shaky.

Fox Sports and Channel Seven will jointly broadcast the ODI series between the Aussies and the Indians in Australia.

"It will be considered whether players should even be allowed to appear on such shows, which have got nothing to do with cricket", the statement read.

Australia, whose total was underpinned by half-centuries from Peter Handscomb (73), Usman Khawaja (59) and Shaun Marsh (54), are now toasting just a fourth win in their last 22 completed ODIs.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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