India vs Australia ODI series: Likely opening pair of Indian cricket team

The 2020-21 will begin with a One Day International (ODI) series at Sydney Cricket Ground, starting November 27. And at the start of a bilateral series, it is the openers who set the tone for the team’s success.


In David Warner and Aaron Finch, the hosts Australia have one of the most experienced opening pair in 50-over cricket. The combo of Warner-Finch has put up 10-century stands as opening pair so far and Australia’s think-tank would not separate the two at least for the ODIs.


Meanwhile, captain Virat Kohli-led India will miss the services of regular opener Rohit Sharma, who is not part of the Indian squad as he is recovering from a hamstring injury. In the absence of Rohit, Indian team management needs to figure out a new opening pair for limited-overs cricket. 

IND vs AUS ODIs: Likely opening pair for India

and KL Rahul

was struggling with his form before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of series across the world. But he returned to form in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) as he becomes the first player in the tournament’s history to hit two centuries in a season. Given his experience and ability to rise to the occasion, Dhawan will be one of the two openers for India in limited-overs series without a doubt.

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The stats also favour Dhawan’s candidature for an opener. Dhawan has been India’s third-highest run-scorer in wins since January 2013 after and He has scored 3,999 runs in 81 innings at an average of 53.32, including 13 centuries and 21 fifties since January 2013.

Top run-scorers in wins (since 2013)




Not out


Highest score




Strike rate

Virat Kohli





160 not out





Rohit Sharma










Shikhar Dhawan










Current India’s vice-captain could be asked to partner Dhawan in the three-match ODI series. But Indian team management has been grooming him as wicket-keeper batsmen in 50-over cricket since before the pandemic struck. It would be interesting to see whether the management sticks to the same strategy or not.

In 18 matches as an opener, Rahul accumulated 808 runs at an average of 50.5 and a strike rate of 81.53, including three hundred and five fifties.

In fact, Rahul made his international debut as an opener and he has good numbers against his name. In 18 matches as an opener, Rahul accumulated 808 runs at an average of 50.5 and a strike rate of 81.53, including three hundred and five fifties.

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and Mayank Agarwal


The other opening pair Virat Kohil can try out is Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal. Mayank has been opening for India in Tests for the last one year and could be another choice for limited overs. He also opens for Karnataka in domestic cricket. If India team management is looking to groom Rahul as a keeper and hard-hitting batsman lower down the order (number 5 in the batting order), Mayank would be an ideal choice for Dhawan’s opening partner.


The Karnataka-based cricketer has also proved his mettle in the short format of cricket as he was the second-highest run-getter for IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in recently concluded IPL 2020. In 11 matches, he has scored 424 runs at an average of 38.54 and a strike rate of 156.45. His strike rate was much better than his opening partner Rahul (129.34) as the KXIP’s opener. 

Check IND vs AUS full schedule and match timings

India tentative playing 11: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Australia tentative playing 11: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey/Mathew Wade, Marcus Stoinis/Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa.



Time (IST)


First ODI


9:10 AM

Sydney Cricket Ground

Second ODI


9:10 AM

Sydney Cricket Ground

Third ODI


9:10 AM

Manuka Oval, Canberra

India ODI squad: (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper). 

Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (Captain), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Andrew Tye, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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