Australia vs India 2018-19: 5 players to watch out for in the ODI series
The high-intensity Test series is done and dusted and the Virat Kohli-led side have created history as they won the series 2-1 which is the country’s first-ever on Australian soil. India had begun this tour with a three-match T20I series which ended in a 1-1 draw (second game was washed out due to rain).
The limited-overs teams return as they square off in a three-match ODI series as the build-up to the most important event of 2019, the World Cup gets underway.
Australia haven’t had the best of times in the 50-over format. They’ve lost five consecutive bilateral series and their last series win back in January 2017 against Pakistan at home. In fact, since the Champions Trophy in 2017, they’ve won a mere three ODI matches.
India, on the other hand, have been on a roll. Since the start of 2016, they’ve lost just two bilateral ODI series (one against Australia in January 2016 and the other against England last year). Hence, there is no doubt that India start the series as favourites.
But both sides have some quality players and we seem to be in for a riveting series. Thus, we the series only a few days away, let’s take a look at five players to watch out for in this ODI series.
#5 Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Over the last couple of years, India’s bowling attack in ODI cricket has been fairly stable and every bowler has contributed to India’s success in this period. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have formed a potent new-ball and death bowling pair and have got the job done more often than not.
However, in Bumrah’s absence, Bhuvneshwar will have to step up and take some additional responsibility. The 28-year-old Uttar Pradesh pacer has had an underwhelming 2018 as far as ODI cricket is concerned. He played 14 games and picked up 11 wickets.
While the economy is not much of a concern, his ability to pick wickets with the new ball has been a slight worry. However, he’s been very good at the death and has the ability to stem the flow of runs at the back end of the innings. Hence, in the absence of India’s premier pacer, Bhuvneshwar will need to play the role of a senior bowler and take charge.