Cricket Article

Kohli drops down order as India-Australia ODI series begins

Kohli drops down order as India-Australia ODI series begins Photo: TT
ndia's Virat Kohli takes a catch as he attends a training session ahead of the first one day international (ODI) cricket match of a three-match series between Australia and India, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai

India have named Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul all to play while Marnus Labuschagne will make his One-Day International debut for Australia when the teams meet in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch won the toss at Wankhede Stadium and elected to bowl, with the Aussies hoping to repeat last year’s 3-2 ODI series victory in India.

India’s selection was the cause of hot debate in the lead-up to the match, with Sharma returning to the side after missing the T20I series against Sri Lanka.

KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan both enjoyed good form in that series and have been retained, with Sharma’s inclusion forcing Virat Kohli to drop down the order to fourth.

“All guys in form is always a good thing for the team,” Kohli said in the lead-up.

“You don’t want a guy out of form for him not to start in the XI.

“You obviously want to have the best players available and then choose from what the combination should be for the team.”

Kohli may be the world’s top ranked ODI batsman but speaking about his own demotion to four, he insisted it was no issue for him.

“I’m not possessive about where I play and I’m not insecure about where I bat,” Kohli said.

“Being the captain of the team, it’s my job to make sure that the next lot is also ready as well.

“A lot of the other people might not look at it that way but your job as the captain is not only to look after the team right now but also to prepare a team that you can leave behind when you eventually pass it on to someone else.”

Australia comes into the series fresh from a clean sweep of their domestic Test summer, beating New Zealand 3-0 and Pakistan 2-0 with Labuschagne impressing with four centuries in five matches.

The second ODI takes place in Rajkot on Friday, followed by the third ODI in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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