India skipper Virat Kohli could depend on spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav against Australia in the opening match of the ODI series in Chennai on Sunday
Long-term planning and developing its bench strength has been India's forte over the past few months and this is likely to continue in the one-day series against Australia which kicks off here on Sunday.
One of the strategies the Indian team management has employed since the Champions Trophy final debacle is to include wrist spinners in the playing XI. India has learnt flat pitches, small boundaries, two new balls and also the dew factor have made it difficult for classical finger spinners and wrist spinners are the best wicket-taking options through the middle overs.
So keen is the Indian skipper Virat Kohli on the wrist spin strategy that India are likely to unleash both Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav against Australia in the opening match of the series at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.
"It is a great advantage to have two wrist spinners especially when both are so different to each other and both can pick wickets in the middle overs. You can have as many dot balls as you want, but if you can't pick up wickets you can go for 10-12 runs an over. They are in a zone where they don't mind getting hit as long as they pick up three to four wickets," Kohli told reporters on Saturday.
The pitch in Chennai is likely offer plenty of runs and Kohli is aware that the only way to restrict the opposition is by taking wickets and saving each run. "You don't need to start of thinking about bowling a team out for 250-260. You need to be realistic on how many runs can be scored on this pitch and how many can be scored less.
"You have to understand the wickets are really good to play. Even saving 10-15 runs can make a difference," he said. The last time India hosted Australia in an ODI series was in 2013 when scores in excess of 300 were a norm. The same is expected throughout this series. The only difference now is that India has two wrist spinners at their disposal and the way they bowl could well dictate the result of the series.
Football rules out Axar
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was ruled out of India's first three ODIs against Australia after spraining his left ankle. Ravindra Jadeja has been named in his place. Axar suffered the injury while playing football.
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