Hardik Pandya will lead Team India in the first ODI against Australia in Mumbai on March 17. This will be his first ODI as the captain of the Indian team. Hardik is the vice-captain of the side for the series and will lead the side in Mumbai in the absence of Rohit Sharma who is unavailable due to personal reasons.
The BCCI has named a 17-member ODI squad which is near to its full strength keeping the players who play white-ball cricket regularly for India. The squad has also been picked keeping in mind the upcoming ODI World Cup. Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer are key absentees from the squad as Ravindra Jadeja makes his ODI comeback.
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Addressing the pre-match press conference ahead of the first ODI, Hardik Pandya spoke about India’s potential opening combination for the first ODI. He confirmed that in the absence of Rohit Sharma. Ishan Kishan will open the batting along with Shubman Gill. Gill has already scored over 600 runs in ODIs this year so far with three centuries.
Ishan Kishan And Shubman Gill To Open The Innings: Hardik Pandya
“Ishan and Shubman will be opening the innings. The wicket looks how it does throughout the year. I have been playing here for almost seven years. It is going to be challenging because this wicket will give equal opportunities to both sides,” Pandya told reporters in Mumbai on Thursday.
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Hardik’s words now end the debate on whether KL Rahul was considered back to open the batting for India. Kishan recently scored his maiden ODI double ton against Bangladesh. His opening the batting also helps India maintain the left-right combination at the top of the order.
KL Rahul has struggled with the bat for some time now. He played the first two Test matches and was dropped from the final two. He found bizarre ways to get out and scored just 38 runs in the first two matches for India. In ODIs too, he has scored just two half-centuries in his last 10 innings.
Rahul’s string of poor performances also led him to be replaced as the team’s vice-captain by Hardik Pandya following the T20 World Cup.
Also Read: India vs Australia: Match Preview–1st ODI, 2023
Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh Pant | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah