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India looks to begin ODI series with a bang

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India would look to retain its top spot in the rankings when they clash with a relatively inexperienced Australian side

indian teamPune: A dominant force in One-day cricket, India would look to retain its top spot in the rankings when they clash with a relatively inexperienced Australian side in a seven-match series, beginning here tomorrow.

India has enjoyed exceptional results in One-day format this year. Except losing a three-match series to Pakistan at the start of 2013, the world champion side has had tremendous success, winning series after series.

The hosts had whitewashed Australia 4-0 in the February March Test series and avenging that loss would be a herculean task for the visitors, who have come without inspiring skipper Michael Clarke even as their batsmen gave a good account of themselves in the one-off Twenty20 in Rajkot.

Australia did beat England in ODIs post their Ashes debacle but India is a tough nut to crack in home conditions. And the visitors have got a fair idea about the task ahead after failing to defend a 200-plus total in Rajkot.

The Australian attack was subdued by the Indian batsmen, specially the comeback-man Yuvraj Singh, who took the game away from them with his blitzy 35-ball 77.

The left-hander has always been a vital cog in India’s middle-order and the way he batted in his first game, Australia would be wary of him.

The Australians lack an effective spinner in their attack hence the pace-men need to come up with something very special to stop the rampaging Indian batting line up.

Bowling would be a little worry for Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also as pace-man Ishant Sharma and spinner R Aswhin were carted around by the Australians in T20.

Ashwin usually is a reliable weapon but he bled 41 runs in his two overs and Sharma conceded 52 in his four, forcing introduction of part-timer Virat Kohli in the attack.

PTI

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