The Fantasy India vs Australia ODI Series
This series will essentially settle for a while the question about who is the better among these two teams.
The series is also expected to (temporarily) settle the contest between Ricky Ponting & Sachin Tendulkar, the places of Nathan Hauritz, Ravinder Jadeja, Munaf Patel and Adam Voges in their sides, whether Harbhajan could be the bowling all-rounder India are looking for and the Cauvery river water issue.
Wait, it will not settle the Cauvery river water issue. That’s for the matches between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore to do.
So, sub continental pitches and a tradition of raising his game against Australia make Harbhajan a must have for this series. Yuvraj & Sehwag dominate on these pitches (remember what they did to England last year?) and this time they will be supported by Raina and Jadeja (they better be). The four will also shoulder the burden of India’s part time bowling between them.
Dhoni is a good wicketkeeper and was a explosive batsman but Tim Paine has been much more consistent at the top of the Australian batting order and makes a cheaper, much more sensible option over Dhoni.
Brett Lee has been in amazing form in the limited overs matches this year and his batting is top class too as he showed in the Champions League final but with his injury in the first ODI, Peter Siddle becomes a safe replacement. Mitchell Johnson comes into the team purely on the basis of his all round contribution while Hauritz comes in with his new found attacking belief. Of the Indians, only Ashish Nehra is a surety to play all the matches.
PK and Ishant might be rested if Dhoni decides to play Munaf and test Tyagi in at least one match in the series. Given Dhoni’s recent tendencies to not experiment with a combination this is most likely to happen only if the series is decided before the last match.
For Australia, Voges might play rather than Shaun Marsh as both Watson and Paine have had a good run as openers. Playing Voges gives them a middle order batsman as well as a part time spinner without having to disturb a set opening combination.
So, get your team together and earn your points already!