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India Tour of Australia 2019: The Combined ODI XI

Combined XI from the just-concluded ODI series
Combined XI from the just-concluded ODI series
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Prasad Mandati

One of the most riveting tours of the recent times, the India tour of Australia has come to an end with India defeating the hosts with seven wickets in hand and thereby clinching the ODI series. The Virat Kohli-led has had a grueling 2-month tour where they completely dominated the hosts in all three formats of the game.

It all started for the visitors with the three-match T20I series ending 1-1 and then the path-breaking historic test series triumph and finally concluded by their maiden bilateral series win Down Under.

With the World Cup just around the corner, both teams have done reasonably well in finding the solidity with their missing links. While India has almost got their middle order vows sorted out, Australia, on the other hand, is only concerned about the poor form of their skipper, Aaron Finch.

As we conclude the historic tour, let us now have a look at the best combined ODI XI from the India tour of Australia that performed exceptionally well in the series.


Openers

#1 Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma almost won India the match in the series opener
Rohit Sharma almost won India the match in the series opener

The quintessential Indian opener had a good outing in this ODI series. He started the series with a fighting ton of 133 off 129 balls in the series opener which almost took India home and then followed it up with a quick-fire 52-ball-43 that set the tone for India's chase in the 2nd ODI before getting out cheaply to a poor shot at the MCG.

In the 3 matches, the 31-year-old scored 185 runs at an excellent average of 61.67 and strike rate of 93.43 and finishing as the 3rd highest run-getter of the series.

#2 Shaun Marsh

Shaun Marsh ended the series as the leading run scorer
Shaun Marsh ended the series as the leading run scorer

The elder Marsh was definitely the standout batsman for the hosts. Marsh looked a completely different player in the ODIs than what he was a couple of weeks back in whites. In fact, he has been one of Australia's most consistent batsmen in the ODIs in recent times.

The 35-year-old has scored a fighting half-century in the series opener before scoring a brilliant 123-ball-131 to register his 7th ODI ton in the 2nd match of the series. He followed it up with a decent 54-ball-39 in the 3rd ODI.

The southpaw finished as the leading run-getter of the series with 224 runs at an outstanding average of 74.67 and a more than decent strike rate of 90.69.

Middle Order

# 3 Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli stepped up at the right time to level the series for India
Virat Kohli stepped up at the right time to level the series for India

After being dismissed for a single digit score in the 1st ODI, the Indian skipper stepped up at the crucial time and scored a scintillating ton in the 2nd ODI to keep India's hopes of creating history by winning a bilateral ODI series Down Under for the first time ever.

Though he looked settled to take the game till the end again in the 3rd ODI as well he was trapped once again by Jhye Richardson for 46.

The Indian skipper ended the series with 153 runs at an average of 51 and strike rate of 84.07.

# 4 Peter Handscomb

Peter Handscomb played a match-winning knock in the first ODI
Peter Handscomb played a match-winning knock in the first ODI

Handscomb played a vital role in Australia's win in the first ODI. Banking on the partnership of Marsh and Khawaza, Handscomb and Stoinis provided the much-needed impetus at the back end of the innings by adding a quick-fire 68 runs. Handscomb scored 73 off 61 balls with the help of 6 fours and 2 sixes.

Though he couldn't quite replicate his first ODI heroics in the 2nd ODI, he came back strong in the series decider at MCG. His 63-ball-58 helped Australia post a decent total of 230 on the board.

Thus the 27-year-old ended an impressive series scoring a total of 151 runs at an impressive average of 50.33 and a strike rate of 103.42.

#5 MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni showed that he has still got it in him
MS Dhoni showed that he has still got it in him

Entering 2019 on the back of the poor form, the former India captain managed to score his first fifty after more than a year. Though he helped India rebuild the innings with the help of Rohit Sharma, his slow-paced innings of 96-ball-51 drew a lot of flak for not complementing the centurion Rohit at the other end.

The 37-year-old answered the critics in some style by scoring run-a-ball fifty to win the game for India along with Kohli in the 2nd game and followed it up with a match-winning 114-ball-87 to win the historic series for India.

Dhoni showed the glimpses of his former best in this series and ended it with 193 runs having been dismissed only once and a well deserved Man Of the Series award.

All-rounders

#6 Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell played a crucial knock in the second ODI
Glenn Maxwell played a crucial knock in the second ODI

The form of Maxwell must be one of the pleasing signs for the hosts in this series. After scoring a useful little cameo in the first match, the 30-year-old notched up a quick-fire 48 off 37 balls in the second ODI. He also bowled a few economical overs to get the wicket of scratchy looking Ambati Rayudu in the same match.

He looked in great touch in the third ODI with his 19-ball-26 before succumbing to Shami's short ball ploy. His strike rate of 139.34 batting at no. 6 or 7 will definitely strike fear among the opposition.

#7 Marcus Stoinis

Marcus Stoinis contributed with both bat and ball
Marcus Stoinis contributed with both bat and ball

Stoinis has been showing a lot of promise in the ODI cricket for the Aussies with his consistent all-round performances. He played a sensible knock of unbeaten 47 to take hosts to 288 on a slow-paced track in the series opener.

He has also chipped in with a 36-ball-29 with the bat and picked up the wicket of dangerous Rohit Sharma with the ball in the 2nd ODI.

He could not quite repeat his batting heroics in the third ODI but with the ball, he picked up the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan to put India in some trouble early on.

Spinner

# 8 Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal has equaled the record for the best figures for an Indian bowler in ODIs at MCG
Yuzvendra Chahal has equaled the record for the best figures for an Indian bowler in ODIs at MCG

After warming the bench for the first two ODIs, Yuzvendra Chahal finally got a chance in the decider at the MCG.

Bringing in Chahal in place of Kuldeep Yadav turned out to be a masterstroke from Kohli as the 28-year-old went on to rip through the Australian batting order by picking up six wickets for 42 runs to win the man of the match award.

During his spell, Chahal was at his very best as he bamboozled the Aussies with his guile and variations.

His exceptional figures have got quite a number of records to his name as he went on to equal Ajith Agarkar's record for the best bowling figures by an Indian bowler in ODIs at MCG.

He has also become only the second spinner after Imran Tahir to pick up a fifer in both South Africa and Australia.

Pacers

# 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Bhuvneshwar Kumar lead the Indian attack well in Bumrah's absence
Bhuvneshwar Kumar lead the Indian attack well in Bumrah's absence

After having an average comeback in the series opener, the ace Indian pacer didn't have to wait long for getting back his touch by presenting his vintage best.

His over in which he dismissed Glenn Maxwell and Shaun Marsh had to be the series defining over.

In all the three ODIs Bhuvneshar dismissed Finch and gave India the early breakthrough. The 28-year-old finished the comeback series on a high as he was the highest wicket taker of the series with eight dismissals at an average of 17.37 and economy rate of under five runs an over.

# 10 Mohammad Shami

Mohammad Shami's form is one of the biggest positives for India from this series
Mohammad Shami's form is one of the biggest positives for India from this series

The form of Mohammad Shami has to be one of the biggest positives for the visitors in the build-up to the World Cup. Shami was consistent throughout the series. He picked up wickets at the crucial junctures besides being economical.

He was wicketless in the first ODI but picked three and two wickets in the second and third ODIs respectively. The best thing is he has conceded just above five runs an over in this series.

#11 Jhye Richardson

Jhye Richardson has got Kohli's number in this series
Jhye Richardson has got Kohli's number in this series

Jhye Richardson came as a surprise package for the Indian batsmen in the series. He was the pick of the bowlers for Australia as he finished with the outstanding figures of 4/26 in his 10 overs in the series opener.

He ripped through the Indian middle order by picking the wickets of Kohli and Rayudu in the same over.

The Perth Scorchers boy definitely got Virat Kohli's number in the series as he dismissed him in all three ODIs. After having an ordinary second game where he picked up one wicket for 59 runs, the 22-year-old came back strong in the final ODI to deliver an economical spell of 1/27 off his 10 overs.

Edited by CA ROHAN BANSAL
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