Friday, Dec 1 2023 | Time 22:08 Hrs(IST)

India gear up for WC preparations as they take on Australia

India gear up for WC preparations as they take on Australia
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Mohali, Sep 21 (UNI) India are all set for the World Cup preparations as they take on Australia in the three-match ODI opener at the IS Bindra Stadium here on Friday.
India has had a great run this year, recording 17 wins out of 18 ODI matches including the finals of the Asia Cup held in Colombo last Sunday. This has only catapulted India to the second spot in the ODI team rankings.
Shubman Gill, Kohli and KL Rahul also had a good run with bat as they notched up a century each in Asia Cup, while Rohit Sharma cracked three half-centuries.
Spinner Kuldeep Yadav (9) and seamer Mohammed Siraj (10) are also on song, leading the wickets for India in the tournament, with the latter claiming 6/21 to rout Sri Lanka for 50 in the finals.
Jasprit Bumrah's return after a long layoff also has added fire power to the Indian bowling lineup.
Meanwhile, Australia have slipped to the third spot in the ICC ODI team rankings after they were royally defeated by South Africa in three consecutive matches.
However, Australia head to India with their tails up as they have won 15 off the last 25 matches, including the 2-1 series win against India this March. That series saw Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head opening the batting, who dominated the Indian bowling attack.
Warner and Marnus Labuschagne had scored centuries, but performance from Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Josh Inglis and Cameroon Green was average. However, Alex Carey hit form in the fourth ODI, scoring 99 runs.
India have opted to rest four of their stars with captain Rohit, Virat, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep to miss the first two games in Mohali and Indore.
KL Rahul will captain the side in Rohit's absence, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar added to the squad.
The quartet will return for the third match in Rajkot, along with Axar Patel, who missed the Asia Cup final due to a quadriceps strain. India have already played six ODIs this September, winning the Asia Cup final in Colombo last Sunday by skittling Sri Lanka for 50.
India squad for first two ODIs:
KL Rahul (c), Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan , Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.
Australia squad: 
Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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