Cricket News: Warner vs Ashwin, Zampa’s Fourth Visit, and Fitness of Aussie Pacers, the Key Highlights to Watch during the India-Australia Series

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Short and Interesting News Article: India vs Australia ODI Series


Earlier this year when Australia toured India for a three-match bilateral ODI series, the visitors emerged victors after going 1-0 down. It was the first time India had lost an ODI series at home since – checks notes – 2019, when the Aaron Finch-captained Aussie side bounced back after losing the first two games in the five-match series. But with the five-time world champions having lost the recent series in South Africa and India fielding a team without multiple players who helped them win the Asia Cup, there’s a different narrative to their upcoming meetings across three 50-over games.

Top Storylines:

  • Can Labuschagne slot in for the WC?
  • Warner’s meeting with Ashwin
  • How would Zampa bowl in India?
  • Fitness of premier pacers

Can Labuschagne slot in for the WC?

When Marnus Labuschagne came in to bat at 73 for 5 during the first ODI in Bloemfontein earlier this month, he was only performing the role of a concussion substitute and was not part of Australia’s 15-member squad for the World Cup.

A 93-ball-80 that resulted in a three-wicket win has helped him prepare his case for a tournament Australia has found success in more than any other side. In South Africa, he ended up as the leading run-getter of the series, and got those runs at a strike rate of 96. Can he force the selectors’ hands at prolonging his stay in India is likely to hinge on his next three outings.

Warner’s meeting with Ashwin

With David Warner set to quit Test cricket by the stroke of New Year, and Ravi Ashwin no longer in the ODI scheme before the sudden call-up for this series, it was thought their twain shall never meet again. But they would counter again in this series, and perhaps in the World Cup too, for one last time.

Whenever Ashwin has played, Warner has averaged 21.81 in Tests and 22 in ODIs. In his last three ODIs against India involving Ashwin, the off-spinner has consumed him twice. In Tests, he has dismissed him 11 times in 32 duels. Will he finally conquer the devil that has tormented him the most after Stuart Broad?

How would Zampa bowl in India

His first three outings in India, back in 2017, were forgettable. He eked out only four wickets and conceded 6.36 runs an over. But in subsequent visits, he did bounce back, helping Australia win two of the three ODI series in India.

In the next 11 games, he snared 20 wickets at 25.7 and managed an economy rate of 5.1. Over the years, he has added plenty of variations into his toolkit, apart from developing better control and accuracy. But he could still endure off-days, as he did in Centurion, conceding 113 runs in 10 overs. How he recovers from the shellackings would be vital for Australia to reach the knockouts.

Fitness of premier pacers

At full-pelt, the trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins are as deadly a concoction as they come. But their match-fitness is always a cause of concern, more so in the year they toured India and England for grueling Test matches.

Owing to a mixture of rest and injuries, Cummins has not played an ODI this year; Starc has not since the India tour and Hazlewood has looked far from his deceptive best in South Africa, his first 50-over assignment of this year, conceding eight runs an over in his last two games. Experienced as they could be, they need time to re-groove.


With seven of the 12 World Cups between them, India and Australia are seen as favorites for going all the way in the 13th edition of the tournament starting next month on these shores. With such stakes on the line, The Indian Express deciphers the top storylines to watch out for in the upcoming series.

First published on: 19-09-2023 at 21:27 IST

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