India will face Australia in a three-match ODI series starting on January 14. The series might be short, but the importance of this tour can’t be ignored as Australia is the only team to win a bilateral ODI series in India since 2016.
Indian captain Virat Kohli would be looking forward to take the last year’s revenge while Australian skipper Aaron Finch would be hoping to repeat history.
Not only Kohli, but this series will also be crucial for some Indian players who are waiting eagerly to exhibit their talent.
Here are the five Indian players to watch out for in upcoming three-match ODI series:
1.) Shikhar Dhawan
It’s never easy for cricketers to carry-on the good form once they make a return in the game after an injury, but the stylish opener of the Indian team, Shikhar Dhawan, doesn’t believe in this theory.
A recently concluded T20I series against Sri Lanka saw Dhawan’s comeback. He contributed 32 off 29 balls in Indore game, and then a 36-ball 52 in the series decider at Pune, giving clear hints that he’s here and perfectly fit to go further.
Rohit Sharma, who was rested for the series against Sri Lanka, will be back to face the Australian attack.
Despite his exceptional cricket in the past few days, KL Rahul might have to miss the upcoming series as an opener. There are high chances that the Indian team management will go with the duo of Dhawan and Rohit in the 50-over format.
2.) Shreyas Iyer
Ever since India’s ‘champion’ all-rounder Yuvraj Singh left the squad, the Indian team has struggled to find a decent No.4 batsman.
The management has tried many players, but no one has shown similar potentials as Yuvraj carried on for so many years. However, the Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer has somehow proved his worth that he can be the future of Indian cricket.
Iyer has shown caliber that the Indian team requires at present. He averages over 47 in just 12 ODI games, which is indeed quite remarkable. But he’s not consistent, and that’s a sign of worry for Kohli.
Iyer needs to put more focus as he fails to finish the game on a constant basis. He sometimes gets out by playing rash shots, and that’s where the right-hander needs to focus more.
3.) Rishabh Pant
Having gone through all the highs and lows in his cricketing career, Rishabh Pant is definitely a player to watch out for. The wicket-keeper batsman has played 15 ODIs and scored 346 runs, with 71 being his best.
The Delhi-born player has been getting a lot of opportunities, yet he hasn’t been successful in proving his worth. Pant is familiar with the bowling attack of Aussies, and therefore it would be an excellent stage for him to take full advantage of home conditions.
4.) Jasprit Bumrah
India’s finest bowler Jasprit Bumrah needs no introduction as to what he’s capable of. Bumrah’s consistency has made him a star bowler of modern-day cricket. In 58 ODIs, the right-armer has claimed 103 wickets with an economy of less than five.
The best thing about Bumrah is that he’s a specialist death overs bowler. His art of bowling inch-perfect yorkers is a treat to watch.
The Ahmedabad-born bowler made a comeback during the T20I series against Sri Lanka. He didn’t look at his best against the Lankans, and that’s the reason all eyes would be on him in the upcoming ODI series.
Fans would be hoping to see Bumrah dismantling the stumps and puzzling the Aussie batting lineup.
5.) Shardul Thakur
The right-arm fast-medium bowler from Maharashtra, Shardul Thakur, was impressive right from the beginning. He showed consistency in the domestic circuit for a long time before making a debut in the Indian team.
Shardul took eight wickets in the final of Ranji Trophy between Mumbai and Saurashtra and led his side to their 41st Ranji Trophy victory.
Since then, Shardul hasn’t looked back. He has played seven ODIs so far and taken eight wickets. However, with his recent performances against West Indies and Sri Lanka, Shardul has proved that he can be a handy bowling all-rounder as well. Shardul would be hopeful and excited to prove his worth against one of the best teams.