Australia vs Indian National Cricket Team 2018-19 | Anil Kumble |

With the Border-Gavaskar trophy done dusted, Indian National Cricket team will shift their attention ODI series starting in Sydney on January 12 (Saturday). Meanwhile, with the World Cup only a few months away, India will be keen to hit the ground running for that campaign. Ahead of the series, former India captain and coach Anil Kumble reflects on the challenges India face in the format.

India, who sits on pretty well in the second list of the ICC Rankings will take on Australia, who is currently at the sixth spot. Moreover, they have struggled in recent times winning two matches out of the 13 games they played last year. As a result, Anil Kumble has tipped the visitors as the favourites in the upcoming series.

Yes, they do,” Kumble said to News18 when asked who will start at the favourites. “Obviously, Australia is a weaker side because the regular bowlers who play in the one-day format are not playing. But having said that if you look at seven or eight players who are joining the Indian ODI squad, they have hardly played any cricket.

VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble, Virat Kohli
Getty Images

That is my only concerning factor I would look at. You know in terms of ability in terms of what India has done in the One Dayers in recent past, I think India should start favourites but for me the only concern is that the seven or eight players in the ODI squad are joining in when just tomorrow or day after just two days prior to the first match. And they have hardly played any matches leading up to the One Dayers. That’s a bit of a concern for me,” he added.

It is tough to predict the winner

Meanwhile, Anil Kumble, who rightly predicted the outcome of the Test series admitted that it is tough to predict the result of the ODI series. He noted that 8-9 players had not played cricket for long which is his only concern.

MS Dhoni | Australia vs India 2018-19 | Tim Paine |

I am not sure. I think it will be a tough call for India. You know, for me. Yeah, India certainly the favourites. I would still look at 2-1 for India. But I think it is going to be very tough for India because the 7 or 8 players coming in the squad and they have hardly played cricket so that is my only thinking. I don’t have clarity of thought,” Kumble concluded.

Ankush Das

I am an accountant by qualification, my parents thought their obedient son would study further to become a CA, but I had other things in mind. An ardent Cricket fan is following his passion and making a living watching and working around his favorite sport.