5 players who might return to the Indian ODI squad for the series against Australia
Team India started off the World Cup year on a high winning the three-match ODI series against the defending champions, Australia in their own backyard. In spite of Aaron Finch's men winning the first game at Sydney by 34 runs, the visitors bounced back to level the series 1-1 by clinching the second encounter at the Adelaide Oval by six wickets. The third and final game was played at Melbourne, with the visitors winning the decider by seven wickets to seal the series 2-1. This historic victory was India's first ever bilateral ODI series win on Australian soil.
After a memorable outing in Australia, Virat Kohli's men toured New Zealand for the limited-overs series comprising five ODIs and three T20Is. India recorded easy wins in the first three games, before losing the fourth ODI at the Seddon Park by eight wickets after being bundled out for just 92 in 30.5 overs. A 35-run victory at Wellington in fifth ODI handed India a 4-1 series win against Kane Williamson's men ahead of the T20Is which the hosts won 2-1.
Having been away from home since November 2018, the upcoming series against Australia has assumed much significance especially given the fact that it will be India's one final chance to sort out their issues before the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, as the IPL kicks off on March 23rd.
Virat Kohli, who was rested for the last two ODIs as well as the T20I series against the Blackcaps is expected to return to the Indian squad against Australia. Coach Ravi Shastri hinted at resting several players against the Aussies, keeping in mind the World Cup and workload. He told Star Sports after the ODIs against New Zealand, " Now, Shami would need a break – he has had a long season. Shikhar [Dhawan], Rohit [Sharma] could get a break as well". Let us now look at five players who might return to the Indian ODI squad for the five-match series against the current World Champions.
5) Rishabh Pant
Pant, who has played just three ODIs has done pretty well in the T20Is as well as the Tests so far and is now a serious contender for the World Cup. Chief Selector MSK Prasad who heaped praise on the southpaw said, "The progression of Rishabh in the last one year is phenomenal across the formats."
"Undoubtedly he (Pant) is in contention. A healthy headache" Prasad added. Pant, who missed out on a spot in the ODI squad against Australia and New Zealand, amassed 72 runs in the three T20Is against Blackcaps recently. The 21-year-old, who last played an ODI in October 2018 must make use of the opportunity to cement his spot in the Indian World Cup squad.