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Strengths and weaknesses exposed in India vs Australia ODI Series, World Cup on the horizon

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Roar Rookie
24th March, 2023

Australia ended their tour of India with a brilliant come from behind ODI series win in Chennai.

The Aussies held their nerve in the series decider, as India lost their first home one day series in four years, since Aaron Finch led Australia to a comeback win in 2019. With the World Cup in India looming later this year, I thought I would assess the health of each of the sides and their strengths and weaknesses.


India will be very disappointed with how they batted during the series. Despite a packed top seven, they found themselves wanting in each match. One obvious change for India should be Shreyas Iyer back at number four, a player who has averaged 51.12 with the bat since 2022. However, there are concerns that his back injury is more serious than first thought, with surgery even on the cards.

India may need to assess other options at the number four slot, as Suryakumar Yadav had a horror trio of golden ducks this series. He is brilliant in the T20 format but is yet to show his ability in the one day arena. Another option for India is Sanju Samson, who averages 66 after just eleven ODI’s.

Despite a rich batting line-up, it still feels like India needs at least one batsman to really hold things together with a big score. Usually that would be Rohit Sharma, but in recent times the skipper seems to be more focused on scoring runs quickly rather than buckling down for big scores like he used to.

India's Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma needs to be the rock in India’s ODI batting. (Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP via Getty Images)

Virat Kohli also used to get those hundreds, and whilst he isn’t as consistent at the moment, his form is getting better in 2023. This would put less pressure on the men more likely to score quickly in the last 20 overs.


India’s fast bowling is in good hands in the format, with solid showings from Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, barring the second game when there were no runs on the board to defend. Kuldeep Yadav seems to have secured his spot as the frontline spinner, offering X-factor as a left arm leggie.

The question now is who should India’s fourth bowler be, with allrounders Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya aptly bowling the fifth bowler quota. There is no doubt for me that if Jasprit Bumrah was fit, he would play, but since he’s unavailable, India have felt the need to play a bowler who can offer with the bat.

This includes spinning allrounders Axar Patel and Washington Sundar and pace allrounder Shardul Thakur. Even though Axar is probably the best batter out the three, I feel Sundar offers better variety with his off spin and I’m not convinced about Thakur.

Pandya already bowls similar lengths to Thakur. There are no other bowlers good enough to make it worthwhile for India to select them and then play with a long tail that begins with Kuldeep Yadav at 8.

This would be my ideal India XI

Gill, Rohit, Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Pandya, Jadeja, Sundar, Kuldeep, Shami, Siraj (If Bumrah is fit he comes in for Sundar)



Despite Australia playing the better cricket in the series, there is less clarity on what their lineup should be, winning despite multiple absences. Australia won this series with a slightly weakened bowling lineup, with Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa really showing their class. Ashton Agar showed in the last match that in Subcontinental conditions he needs to be considered.

The standout of the series was Mitch Marsh, playing aggressive cricket in each innings. Despite his success at the top I do believe he should be moved down the order, as long term, David Warner in the middle order doesn’t make great sense.

Australia really needs to stop thinking of Marnus Labuschagne as an auto pick in the ODI side. After 30 matches, he averages just 31 at a strike rate of 83.20. He gets stuck in the middle overs, often unable to accelerate. Mitch Marsh should bat at four where he can play with great freedom and intent. Despite Australia winning without them, Cam Green and Glenn Maxwell should both come back into the first strength XI. Both are equally important with bat and ball.

Is Marnus Labuschagne doing enough to hold his place in Australia’s ODI team? (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

I still believe Australia should play pace trio Pat Cummins, Starc and Josh Hazlewood, together with Zampa as the sole spinner. Starc was at his best in the series, swinging the ball and showing why he is definitely one of the best in the business.

Even in Indian conditions, there’s a lot to offer for the quicks and each of them have class in the format. However, on slower decks, such as the one in Chennai, Agar should be considered. There is also the argument that if the three big quicks play, Stoinis could play over Green, since he offers some variance with his cutters, whilst Green is similar in style to the quicks.


My ideal Australia XI

Warner, Head, Smith, Marsh, Carey, Green, Maxwell, Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Zampa (Agar in for one of the quicks on a slow pitch).

Australia came away with the win on this occasion, but both sides are looking in good stead for the World Cup later this year. The two will play another ODI series just before the tournament in October.