India vs Australia 2019: Last Chance for India to Lock Their World Cup Squad – Dean Jones
Former Australian batsman Dean Jones has stated that this would be the last opportunity for India National Cricket Team to lock their World Cup squad. The upcoming ODI series against Australia is the last series for the Indian team before the World Cup. Subsequently, it would be the last chance for Virat Kohli and team management to test their bench strength.
India has covered almost all their bases and would like to give chances to the backup players. The likes of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant have been included in the limited overs series and they will get their chances to throw their hat in the ring for the World Cup.
India has a potent side and the core of the side will remain the same. However, at the same time, it is imperative to have good bench strength in a big tournament like the World Cup.
On the other hand, Australia has 10 One Day Internationals before the quadrennial event. But, the injury woes of Steven Smith and David Warner has also hampered their return.
In his column for the Times of India, Jones wrote, “The big question is what do India and Australia want out of this T20 and ODI series? This is the last chance for India to finalize plans before the IPL and then there’s the World Cup. Australia, on the other hand, have 10 ODI matches before the World Cup, and sadly, Steve Smith and David Warner still have problems with their elbows and will not be able to play until about the fourth match against Pakistan next month.”
Meanwhile, Australia is not in the best of forms in the limited overs format. They have deeply missed the services of David Warner and Steven Smith. Australia will like to turn the tables in the upcoming series to get back their confidence. Jones believes there are still a lot of weak links in the Australian team.
“Australia has more holes in this team at the moment than a fish net! What they need now are some calmness and stability. They’ve got to fix up the top end with the bat, particularly for the T20s. So that allows an opportunity for D’Arcy Short who has got to improve because he hasn’t played well in India before. Handscomb will get an opportunity to bat high along with Maxwell and Turner. Aaron Finch needs runs desperately,” Dean Jones added.
In fact, Jones believes Australia will not be able to win the series against India as the hosts are clearly the favourites. Furthermore, India will be playing in their own conditions. Meanwhile, Jones feels Australia need to get their reputation of world beaters back.
“Can Australia win this series? No, I don’t think they can. Like the Apollo 13, I’m trying to see how they can make it a successful mission. Australia need to get their reputation back of being world beaters, bring some fear back into the opposition. That’s what this tour is about for Australia!” Dean Jones concluded.
The first T20I between Australia and India will take place at Vizag on 24th February.