Hello everybody and welcome to live OBO coverage of the first ODI between India and Australia in Mumbai. The action gets underway at the Wankhede Stadium at 7pm AEST.
It’s the middle of January and the Sydney Test finished just over a week ago, so the Australian public can look forward to *checks notes* a three-match ODI overseas tour? That can’t be right, can it? But alas, in cricket’s new world order that’s how things roll, and the first of what Kurt Cobain might have called a radio friendly unit shifter – for all it’s shallow context – promises to be a belting contest between powerful sides.
For Australia it is a chance to build on a prosperous summer, one in which the pall of Cape Town has been removed emphatically with five thumping Test victories. It is their first ODI since suffering defeat in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, and the first step on the road to the 2023 World Cup – in India.
For the hosts it’s also an opportunity to put World Cup disappointment behind them and chip away at England’s lead on top of the ICC rankings. The formidable top three of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli love this match-up. Borrowing some numbers from ESPNCricinfo, since 2013, that trio have scored 58% of India’s runs against Australia. While in the 21 matches they have played against Australia, 14 of them have featured a century from at least one those batsmen.