The much anticipated ODI World Cup 2023 has kick-started on Thursday and the fans are eagerly waiting to see Team India in action. The hosts will take on Australia in their opening match on Sunday in at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Both the teams share a cut-throat rivalry and never fail to present thrilling clashes, across all formats. The Rohit Sharma-led side will look to avenge their 2015 World Cup semi-final loss against Australia, where Team India faced a 95-run defeat. It is going to be an interesting clash as there will be many player battles in focus.
Here are the top four players battles in the India vs Australia match to watch out for:
1. Rohit Sharma vs Pat Cummins
Both the captains will be on focus on Sunday as Rohit Sharma needs to provide India with a strong foundation. As there are reports that opener Shubman Gill is set to miss the opening match due to his illness, the onus lies on the shoulders of Rohit. It will be interesting to see how the Indian skipper will react to Cummins’ deadly pace and score runs. In his previous ODI appearance, Rohit played a massive knock of 81 off 57 balls against Australia in September.
2. Mitchell Starc vs Virat Kohli
This is going to be the most-awaited battle in the entire clash. The star India batter, who battled through his lean patch and roared back to form, will be keen to play a big innings against Australia. The visitors will highly rely on Mitchell Starc’s marvelous swing and pace to control Kohli’s wrath. Kohli will be high on confidence as he had a good outing in the Asia cup and also in the third ODI against Australia. However, Starc, who emerged as the highest wicket-taker in 2015 and 2019 World Cup, cannot be taken lightly.
3. Ravichandran Ashwin vs Steve Smith
Steve Smith is undoubtedly one the greatest batters Australia ever had. But when it comes to ODIs, the star batter has not been up to the mark for quite some time. India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, who got a place in the team as an injury replacement of Axar Patel, will look to make the most out of the given opportunity. In the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023, Ashwin always had an edge over Smith and he will now aim to maintain his dominance in the limited overs format.
4. Mohammed Siraj vs David Warner
Star pacer Mohammed Siraj left everyone utterly impressed with his heroic six-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 final. The battle between him and Australia veteran opener David Warner will be an interesting one. Warner, who has an ability to use the swing and steal boundaries within the gaps, will be in focus when facing the lethal pace of Siraj.
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