Australia vs India Highlights, 1st ODI SCG: Opener Rohit Sharma’s valiant century went in vain as India lost the opening One-day International to Australia by 34 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday. Chasing a healthy 289, Rohit anchored India’s innings with a breezy 129-ball 133, laced with 10 fours and six sixes to overcome a sloppy start before pacer Jhye Richardson’s 4/26 brought the hosts back to restrict the visitors to 254/9 at the end of 50 overs. Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (51) also came up with a defiant half century and shared a 137-run fourth wicket stand with Rohit but eventually failed to take the men-in-blue over the line. (Cricket Streaming – India vs Australia 1st ODI)
Highlights, India vs Australia 1st ODI at SCG
15.53 IST: A comfortable win for Australia in the end. Not many would have imagined this. 288 on this track, which was seeing 30-40 runs short, has actually proved to be 34 runs too many. A good start is key to a good finish. India lacked that in this game. 1/1, 4/2 became 4/3. The visitors could not recover after that. Well, one can say they tried. Dhoni and Rohit stopped the wicket-flow, got a partnership going but that was not helping the task as the boundaries were not coming frequently. The stand was worth 137 but it consumed 171 balls. Normally, when you have a stand taking so many balls, it cannot be broken without compensating. Dhoni and Rohit tried to change the tempo but then the former got a rough call which probably changed the game. Rohit then tried to saviour a one-man show but eventually, the task became too monumental for him. He got no support from the others. Factor this – when Rohit was at the crease, only Dhoni and Jadeja crossed double figures.
15.49 IST: OUT! Australia (288/5) beat India (254/9) by 34 runs at SCG. Shami holes out! Stoinis finally gets his second. A full ball on middle, it is the slower one. Shami hits it high up in the air. So high that it comes down with snow on it. Maxwell in the deep mid-wicket position settles under it and takes a good catch. All smiles in the Australian camp as THEY WON BY 34 RUNS! Rohit 133, Behrendorff 2/39, Richardson 4/26
15.46 IST: FOUR! CREAMED! Full and on off, Kumar makes room and caresses it through covers for a boundary.
15.45 IST: OUT! Khawaja makes no mistake this time! Siddle gets his first! A short ball on middle, Kuldeep shuffles across and goes for the pull. Only manages to get a top edge, it goes towards Khawaja at deep square leg, he takes it. IND 247/8 in 49 overs vs AUS (288/5)
15.41 IST: FOUR! Bhuvi is playing a very nice knock here. He makes room and cuts this length ball over the point fielder and into the fence.
15.37 IST: FOUR! Back-to-back boundaries for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Bhuvi will not go down without a fight. He uses his feet and at the very end opens the face of the bat, it races through the turf through point. Marsh makes good ground to his left, dives but his effort goes in vain. India 235/7 in 46 overs, need 54 runs to win vs Australia (288/5)
15.29 IST: OUT! Marcus Stoinis removes Rohit Sharma for 133. That is probably the final nail in the coffin. A tired Rohit Sharma walks back after magnificent innings. He fought a lone battle but the situation demanded a lot out of him. Australia on the other hand, rejoice as they know they now have the game in the bag. A short ball outside off, Rohit tries to pull but only manages to get a top edge. It goes high up in the air towards deep mid-wicket. Maxwell there runs in and takes a good catch. India 223/7 in 46 overs, need 66 runs to win vs Australia (288/5)
15.21 IST: OUT! In the air… taken! Four-for for Jhye Richardson, R Jadeja departs. The men from Perth Scorchers are doing it for Australia. It is bowled short and outside off, Jadeja goes for the upper cut and also hits it well. It though does not go as fine as he wanted it to. Shaun Marsh at deep point, settles under it and takes an easy one. Rohit continues losing partners at one end. India need 76 from 35 balls.
15.19 IST: FOUR! 10 from the last 2 balls and it ends up being an expensive over. It is slightly short and Rohit pounces on it. He pulls it through mid-wicket and the ball races away to the fence. 76 more needed in 36. India 213/5 in 44 overs vs Australia (288/5)
15.18 IST: SIX! HUGE! Spoils the over! Stoinis goes for the yorker but ends up bowling it in the slot. Rohit Sharma is seeing the ball like a football and hence won’t miss out. He clears the mid-wicket fence with ease. India 209/5 in 43.5 overs, need 80 runs to win vs Australia (288/5)
15.11 IST: SIX! Rohit Sharma is on fire here at SCG! He hits Lyon out of the park, 200 up for the visitors. India 200/5 in 42.3 overs, need 89 runs to win vs Australia (288/5)
15.03 IST: HUNDRED! 22nd ODI hundred for Rohit Sharma. This is his 7th against Australia. He is fighting a lone battle out there. He needs to stay there till the end if India are to win this. However, he needs someone to hang around with him. He flicks this towards the backward square leg region and the batsmen take two. India 180/5 in 40 overs vs Australia (288/5)
15.01 IST: OUT! Richardson removes Dinesh Karthik for 12. DRAGS IT ON! Jhye Richardson it is once again, his third wicket. It is slightly short and it skids through. Karthik comes down the track and the looks to pull. He though ends up getting a bottom edge as the ball does not bounce as much as he expects it to. The ball deflects onto the stumps. Rohit is disappointed at the other end, Karthik too walks back disgusted. However, he is asked to wait as the umpires want to check for the no ball. Replays show that Jhye’s front foot is fine. Karthik has to continue walking. Now one can say, Rohit is India’s only hope.
14.57 IST: FOUR! Three boundaries in the over for Ro-Hit Sharma. Too easy at the moment.! Slightly short and it sits up to be hit. Sharma pulls it over mid-wicket and the ball races away. This one was well timed. India 176/4 in 39 overs, need 113 runs to win vs Australia (288/5)
14.45 IST: Straight as an arrow! However, Karthik could have been in danger had the ball deflected onto the stumps. Full and on middle, Rohit drives it back towards the bowler. He gets down, manages to get a hand to it. It misses the stumps at the non-striker’s end. A couple taken. India 153/4 in 36 overs vs Australia (288/5)
14.25 IST: OUT! Jason Behrendorff removes MS Dhoni for 51. He has provided the big breakthrough for the hosts. What a debut he is having. He has stepped up when his captain requires hi too. Spears it very full around leg stump. Dhoni is right across as he tries to flick. Misses, the ball hits the pads. The umpire has his finger raised as soon as the bowler starts appealing. Jason is pumped up and Dhoni departs shortly after getting to his half ton. The 137-run stand has been cut short. Australia back on top now. 148 more needed in 106 balls with 6 wickets in hand. Now then… Hawk-Eye shows the ball to be pitching outside leg. India though do not have a review left. Dhoni can consider himself unlucky. India 141/4 in 32.2 overs, chasing 289 to win vs Australia (288/5)
14.20 IST: FIFTY! MS Dhoni completes 68th half-century in ODIs. How important is this knock and what a confidence booster this will be. He has been struggling today but has still continued and is playing a very handy knock. Gets there with a boundary. Gets a full ball on middle, Dhoni smashes it towards mid on. Richardson there dives to stop it, he gets a hand but the ball is hit well enough to reach the fence. His job though is yet not done. India 138/3 in 31.1 overs vs Australia (288/5)
14.15 IST: SIX! Wonderful use of the feet by Sharma on this occasion. Lyon tossed it up on middle, Rohit comes dancing down the track and heaves it over mid-wicket for a maximum. India 133/3 in 30 overs, need 156 runs to win vs Australia (288/5)
14.08 IST: FOUR! Innovation and it has come off! Goes down on one knee and plays the paddle scoop, it is over short fine leg and races to the fence. The Indians might have decided to stop on the accelerator here. India 118/3 in 28.2 overs, chasing 289 to win vs Australia (288/5)
13.59 IST: 100-run stand up between Dhoni and Rohit, they have steadied the ship for India. Now though they need to step on the gas a little but also, not lose a wicket. This is on a length and around off, Dhoni pushes it past point and takes a run. India 104/3 in 26.2 overs vs Australia (288/5)
13.48 IST: FOUR! Rohit Sharma slams 38th half-century in ODIs for India. India 95/3, chasing 289 to win vs Australia (288/5)
13.43 IST: FOUR! On the up! What a shot that is! Nothing much wrong with the delivery, it was on a length and around off, maybe a tad fuller than a normal length ball. Rohit stands tall and strokes it uppishly but well wide of the cover fielder and into the fence. India 84/3 in 22.2 overs vs Australia (288/5)
13.32 IST: FOUR! A fraction of width on offer and Dhoni has put it away. Short and outside off, Dhoni slashes at it, gets it through point and the ball races away to the fence. IND 73/3 in 20.2 overs vs AUS (288/5)
13.21 IST: SIX! THAT IS HUGE! Brings up India’s 50 in style. Comes down the track and plays it with the turn. He lofts it over the mid-wicket fence for a biggie. Minimal risk and maximum result. Top stuff from Rohit. 236 more needed. India 53/3 in 17 overs vs Australia (288/5)
13.11 IST: SIX! Enough is enough says Dhoni. This time he goes ahead with the shot as he gets to the pitch of it. Tonks it over the long on fence and into the stands. India getting a move on now. India 44/3 in 14.5 overs vs Australia (288/5)
13.04 IST: SIX! What a shot! Short off a length this time and Sharma brings out the pull. The ball races away over the square leg boundary for a maximum. The sound it made after connecting was so sweet. A perfect pull by the Mumbai batsman. IND 35/3 in 14 overs vs AUS (288/5)
12.53 IST: A dot to end! So the new bowler continues the good work from the new ball bowlers. Once again a tight over. It is on a length and around off, it is kept out. IND 21/3 in 10 overs vs AUS (288/5)
12.42 IST: MAIDEN from BEHRENDORFF! A stifled appeal from Behrendorffbut nothing from the umpire. Going away with the angle. It is on a length and around off, slanting away. Dhoni shuffles across and makes a leave. The ball brushes his pads and goes to the keeper. India 14/3 in 7 overs vs Australia (288/5)
12.37 IST: Length delivery on middle and leg and Dhoni flicks it away on the leg side for a single. Brings up 10,000 International runs in ODI’s for M.S. Dhoni. India 14/3 in 6 overs vs Australia (288/5)
12.32 IST: SIX! Rohit Sharma takes full toll of the freebie. He nonchalantly flicks it towards deep square leg. Marsh, there is very close to the ropes. He catches the ball but then realizes he is losing balance. He throws it back in. The batsmen in the meantime take two. The umpire though takes it upstairs to check whether the effort is clean. Replays, however, show, Marsh’s leg did touch the ropes. Maximum has been signaled. First of the innings. This should break the shackles. IND 11/3 in 5 overs vs AUS (288/5)
12.23 IST: OUT! Rayudu is a goner! He has been given out LBW but he reviews. Might be umpire’s call, this. OUT! Three reds and India lose their third. Rayudu is the man taking the long walk back, not only does he take a review with him but probably the hopes of chasing this total down too. Jhye Ricahrdson is on fire here. His second in the space three balls. India 4/3 in 3.5 overs vs Australia (288/5)
12.20 IST: OUT! Jhye Richardson gets the massive wicket of India captain Virat Kohli for 3. GONE! Look at the way the Aussies are celebrating, that will tell you how big a wicket this is. The chase master, Virat Kohli is out of here. He can’t believe it though. He has hit that right off the middle but straight to the fielder at square leg. It is on his pads, Kohli loves it there. He flicks it nicely but straight to the man at square leg. Stoinis there takes it on the second attempt. India in huge trouble here, their talisman walks back without troubling the scorers a lot. India 4/2 in 3.2 overs vs Australia (288/5)
12.15 IST: Full-length delivery outside off and Sharma shoulders arms to it. A good start by Jhye Richardson. It’s a maiden. India 1/1 in 2 overs vs Australia (288/5)
12.10 IST: OUT! This is plumb in front! Jason Behrendorff gets his maiden ODI wicket in the first over itself. Top delivery. He spears it full and around the middle, Dhawan plants his front foot way too across and tries to flick but misses. The ball hits his pads, an appeal goes up and the umpire raises his finger. Dhawan walks upto his partner but then does not review. He starts walking back, a golden duck for him. Ideal start for Australia, early wickets is what they needed and they have got one. End of a brilliant first over for JB, he will now have his tail up. IND 1/1 in 1 over vs AUS (288/5)
12.08 IST: A huge appeal for LBW has been turned down. Australia have taken the review. Seems to be missing leg. NOT OUT! Australia have lost their review in the first over itself. A poor one to be honest, it never even looked close. The in-dipper, it pitches on middle and then tails back in. Rohit tries to flick but misses to get hit on the pads. An appeal follows but the umpire shakes his head. After a chat with his teammates, Finch reviews. Replays show that is is pitching outside leg. India 1/0 in 0.5 overs vs Australia (288/5)
12.04 IST: We are back for the chase! The openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan make their way out to the middle. Jason Behrendorff, the debutant, has the new ball in hand. Here we go…
11.32 IST: Australia 288/5 in 50 overs vs India at SCG. Handscomb 73, Khawaja 59, Stoinis 47*, Kuldeep 2/54
11.30 IST: FOUR! Frustrating this for India. That fielder was brought in and it goes over him, that too off the edge. Full and outside off, Stoinis swings but gets an outside edge over the short third man fielder. A boundary results. This is turning out to be an expensive last over.
11.27 IST: SIX! BANG! A gift served by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. A high full toss, this time Stoinis takes full toll of it as he tonks it over the mid-wicket fence. Ideal start to the over, pressure on the bowler now. Australia 277/5 in 49.2 overs vs India
11.22 IST: FOUR! Mistimed but gets the retired result. Short and on middle, Stoinis mistimes his pull but it is int he gap in the mid-wicket region. Rayudu rus to his right, dives but can’t stop it. 6 from the first two. Australia 265/5 in 48.2 overs vs India
11.17 IST: OUT! Caught! No misjudgment this time from Handscomb. End of a wonderful knock from Handscomb. Has given Australia something to bowl at. Has given Australia something to bowl at. A short ball outside off, Peter jumps out, tries to slap it over the off side but cannot quite connect it well. Gets more height than distance and Shikhar Dhawan pockets a dolly at the extra cover boundary. 73 from 61 for the Victorian. AUS 254/5 in 47.3 overs vs IND
11.15 IST: DROPPED, SIX! Valiant effort from Ambati Rayudu. Nearly pulled off a blinder. Had he stayed at the ropes and not come in, he would still have taken the catch. AUS 254/4 in 47.1 overs vs IND
11.08 IST: FOUR! Perfect way to end the over. Handscomb is playing a gem here. Second in the over for Australia and Peter. This time though it is through the leg side, he walks right across, picks his spot and flicks it over the square leg fielder and into the fence. 11 from the 46th. Australia 240/4 in 46 overs vs India
11.03 IST FOUR! Just brilliant from Handscomb. So delightful this was. He uses his feet and also makes room. Bhuvi lands it on a length. Handscomb lofts it over covers and the ball races away to the fence. Australia 234/4 in 45.3 overs vs India
10.56 IST: SIX! Ends the over with a bang! Handscomb brings up his fifty in style, his second in ODIs and it has come at better than a run a ball. He gets a gift to get there. Short and on middle, Peter pulls it, he connects well and the ball sails over the wide long on fence. Second maximum in the over. 14 from it. Expensive finish to Kuldeep’s spell. Still good figures for him, it reads 10-0-54-2. AUS 222/4 in 44 overs vs IND
10.53 IST: SIX! All the way! This should break the shackles. First maximum of the innings. This is tossed up on middle, Stoinis just lofts it over the long on fence. Australia 215/4 in 43.2 overs vs India
10.41 IST: Flatter and around off, Stoinis guides it through cover-point for a run. 200 up for hosts, around 8 overs to go after this one. How many more can Australia get? Australia 200/4 in 41.2 overs vs India
10.29 IST: OUT! Kuldeep Yadav removes Shaun Marsh for 54. Kuldeep can get the breakthrough and it’s the set Shaun Marsh walking back to the pavilion. The wristspinner flights this one up, tempting Marsh to have a go at it. Marsh gets tempted by it and comes down the track and tries to heave it over long on. The bat shakes in his hand and he doesn’t time it well. The ball falls just in front of Rohit Sharma, who dives and takes another good catch. Sharma is having a very good day in the field. AUS 186/4 in 37.3 overs vs IND
10.20 IST FOUR! Shaun Marsh completes 13th fifty in ODI cricket. Brilliantly timed! Short ball by the young Khaleel this time, Marsh rocks onto his back foot and pulls it away towards mid-wicket for a boundary. Brings up his 13th ODI 50 for Shaun Marsh. He has been in great form in this format. Australia 176/3 in 35.2 overs vs India
10.15 IST: FOUR! Back-to-back boundaries for Handscomb! Australia getting a move on here. Handscomb stays back in his crease, waits for anything short, gets one and he puts it away. Pulls it through wide mid on and the ball races away. AUS 168/3 in 34.3 overs vs IND
10.07 IST: FOUR! Edgy but Australia will take it. The hosts need to be a little bit more aggressive and they might just be targeting the youngster. Ahmed bowls it full and outside off, Marsh has a go at it, it goes off the outer half, over the point fielder and into the fence. Australia 156/3 in 33.2 overs vs India
09.57 IST: FOUR! Good cricketing shot from Handscomb, this will give him confidence. First boundary for Handscomb. Slightly fuller on off, Peter hits it hard through covers. It is in the gap, Kumar runs to his left from long off, dives but fails to stop it. Bhuvneshwar hasn’t been at his best in the field today. He seems a little cautious while throwing himself onto the ground. AUS 146/3 in 31 overs vs IND
09.46 IST: Review time! First of the game and it is taken by Khawaja. He has been given out LBW. Looks out to the naked eye. OUT! Umpire’s call it is! Jadeja has provided just what Kohli and India wanted. He has broken through the 92-run stand. Khawaja’s hard-working innings comes to an end. He will be disappointed he could not carry on. He tries to go for the slog sweep but misses it due to the bounce. It hits his front pad. An appeal follows and the umpire raises the finger. Australia 133/3 in 28.2 overs vs India
09.35 IST: FOUR! Nicely played! The reverse sweep, this time it goes all along the ground as it is right off the middle. It is also in the gap through the point region. You need not run for those. Australia 123/2 in 26.2 overs vs India
09.31 IST: Fifty for Khawaja, his 5th in ODIs and his first in Australia and it is also his first against India. An important knock as Australia were in trouble early on. He though needs to make it count. He works this through mid-wicket and takes a single.
09.25 IST: FOUR! Poor ball and put away from Rayudu! Short and down the leg side, Khawaja is too good a batsman to miss out. He pulls it fine down the leg side and bags a boundary. AUS 108/2 in 23.2 overs vs IND
09.23 IST: 100 up for Australia with an innovative show from Khawaja. In the air but safe! Khawaja finally hits a reverse sweep to the boundary. He tries to play it for the second time in a row. This time, however, it is not off the middle. Goes in the air, past the diving Kuldeep Yadav at backward point and into the fence. Khawaja would have had his heart in his mouth for a moment. Australia 103/2 in 22.5 overs vs India
09.14 IST: FOUR! Lovely shot! Not a very bad delivery that. Yes it is short but there is not a lot of room on offer. Marsh still manages to cut it through point, away from the fielder in the deep for a boundary. Australia 89/2 in 19.4 overs vs India
09.04 IST: Time for Drinks. Australia haven’t made a great start, but these two are starting to build a good platform. India, as has been the recent case, have been very good with the new ball. Can Australia handle the tweakers, lack of pace on the ball in the middle overs?
08.59 IST: FOUR! Poor ball to end from Kuldeep! The last ball spoils the over! It is a half-tracker on middle, Khawaja goes back and pulls it through mid-wicket. It is in the gap and the ball races away. The partnership is into the 30s now. Australia 72/2 in 16 overs vs India
08.51 IST: FOUR BYES! Rare mistake by Dhoni gives Australia bonus runs. Much-needed. This is slightly short and outside off, Khawaja goes for the pull. The ball though does not bounce as much as he expects it to. It goes beneath the bat, bounces in front of the keeper. Dhoni fails to collect and it races to the third man fence. Australia 63/2 in 14.1 overs vs India
08.40 IST: FOUR! Crisp! A half volley and it is put away! Full and on off, Khawaja strokes it through extra cover. Kumar from mid off hares after it, he dives but he does so after the ball touches the ropes. Boundary. AUS 46/2 in 11 overs vs IND
08.35 IST: OUT! Kuldeep Yadav strikes in his very first over, removes Alex Carey for 24. Kuldeep once again gives India the breakthrough and Australia have lost the 2nd wicket. Alex Carey is the man dismissed. Australia 41/2 in 10 overs vs India
08.32 IST: FOUR! Beautiful shot! Khaleel overpitches it on middle and leg Carey beautifully times his flick and beautifully finds the gap between mid-on and mid-wicket. The ball races away to the boundary. Australia 37/1 in 9 overs vs India
08.17 IST: FOUR! TOP SHOT! Just the little width offered there and Carey pounces on it. Also, it is slightly shorter in length, Carey stands tall and just guides it in the gap through cover-point. The outfield is lightning fast and it races away to the fence. AUS 27/1 in 6 overs vs IND
08.09 IST: FOUR! Streaky but effective from Carey! Length and around off, it shapes away a little. Carey tries to guide it down to third man but it goes off the edge, finer than he would have liked and it races to the third man fence. Second boundary in the over. Australia 20/1 in 4 overs vs India
08.01 IST: OUT! Bowled! Gone right through! Test match, T20I or ODI – Aaron Finch continues to be a walking wicket. He departs cheaply again and Bhuvi roars to get his 100TH ODI SCALP. AUS 8/1 vs IND
07.58 IST: Khaleel Ahmed to bowl with the second new ball. He bowls a tidy first over. A bit shorter on length and Finch rocks onto his back foot and punches the ball away on the leg side. The big boundaries in SCG helps them get 3 runs. Australia 8/0 vs India at SCG
07.53 IST: Huge shout for LBW! Turned down! Close, very close. Where was the impact? Outside off, one reckons. Probably the umpire too feels the same. Full and around off, Finch looks to defend but his weakness over the years – that incoming ball – nearly consumes him. He is hit on the pads and Bhuvi appeals but no one even thinks about the review. AUS 2/0 vs IND
07.45 IST: The anthems are done and dusted and it is time for the game to begin. Alex Carey and Aaron Finch will open for the Aussies. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had to sit out the Test series, gets a chance in this format. He will bowl with the first new ball to Carey. Let’s play!
07.35 IST: Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, says that he too, would have batted first as it looks like a good wicket. But also says that the pitch should stay the same throughout the game and chasing made not be a bad option either. Adds that they are always looking to improve as a side. Aims to bowl and restrict oppositions. Indulging further, Kohli aims to keep opposition quiet in the middle overs as that could be the difference between a 360 and a 320. Admits that Rahul and Hardik will be missed as they are quality players but also says that the team has got replacements.
07.30 IST: India (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, K Khaleel Ahmed
Australia (Playing XI): Aaron Finch (C), Alex Carey (wk), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff
07.20 IST: TOSS – Australia have won the toss and have opted to bat
07.15 IST: Pitch report: In the last five games, the average score is 327. Nice covering of grass, nice and even. Feels a bit hard too and will assist spinners too. A good batting track, so win the toss and bat first, reckons Mark Waugh.
06.51 IST: The last two encounters between Australia and India have been interesting affairs too. India failed to chased down a sizable total in the World Cup semi-final in 2015, and then chased down 331 a year later in a bilateral series with Manish Pandey, not on this tour, scoring his maiden ODI ton.
06.30 IST: Hello and Welcome to our live coverage of the first ODI of the three-match series between Australia and India from the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Brief Preview: Hit hard by an unexpected controversy after the high of the Test triumph, India will look to fine-tune their World Cup preparations in the three-match ODI series against an under-fire Australia, beginning on Saturday in Sydney. Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul has provided a big distraction for the Indian team by making “inappropriate” comments on women during a TV show. In the build-up to the first ODI, skipper Virat Kohli underlined that the team management is still waiting for a decision to be made regarding a ban or punishment to be meted out to the two players.
The team management didn’t announce a shortlist for this game, as is now the norm, and will wait to hear from the BCCI on the two players’ availability. Considering the enormity of this developing situation, it is unlikely that both Pandya and Rahul will be available for at least the first ODI. Rahul was unlikely to get a go owing to both his poor form and the presence of a well-settled opening pair in Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The bigger question though is regarding Pandya’s absence, for the all-rounder provides crucial balance to the ODI side with his ability to bowl 10 overs as well as bat in the middle order. (Read Full 1st ODI Preview)