WC preparation begins with ODI series opener vs Australia : The Tribune India

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WC preparation begins with ODI series opener vs Australia

WC preparation begins with ODI series opener vs Australia

Virat Kohli bats at nets. PTI



PTI

Mumbai, March 16

Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s leadership skills and India’s overall World Cup preparedness will be in focus when the hosts begin their three-match ODI series against Australia here tomorrow.

Pandya will captain India in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who is unavailable for the first ODI at the Wankhede Stadium due to family reasons.

Fresh from winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 and qualifying for the World Test Championship final in June, the focus shifts to the 50-over World Cup, which will be hosted by India in October-November.

India will also look to make the most of the incredible start they have had in ODIs at home this year, winning all six matches in total — against Sri Lanka and New Zealand in two separate series.

With 567 runs and three centuries in just six ODIs, Shubman Gill has made a cracking start to the World Cup year and Sharma’s absence in the first match will put more limelight on him.

“Ishan and Shubman will be opening the innings. It is going to be challenging because this wicket will give equal opportunities to both the sides,” Pandya said.

Virat Kohli has ended his lean patch in white-ball cricket. With 338 runs in six matches and an average of 67.60, his battle with Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa is one of the match-ups to watch out for as Zampa has had considerable success against him.

Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of the series due to a lower back injury and might be out for an indefinite period. “Obviously there is no timeline but we have to hope for the best,” Pandya said today.

#Australia #Cricket #hardik pandya #Mumbai #rohit sharma


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