Stand-in Skipper Hardik Pandya Reveals India’s Opening Combination For 1st ODI vs Australia


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File photo of Hardik Pandya.© BCCI

India will take the field on Friday without regular captain Rohit Sharma, who will miss the game due to family commitments. Hardik Pandya will be leading the hosts in the absence of Rohit. The stand-in captain confirmed a new opening pair for the hosts for the first match. He said that if will be the pair of Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill, who will open the innings for India. Notably, both the batters are going through great form. The duo has also hit a double century each in the ODI format recently.

“Ishan (Kishan) and Shubman (Gill) will be opening the innings,” said Hardik Pandya at the press conference.

The India vs Australia ODI series will kick off with the first match taking place on March 17 at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

“The wicket looks how it does throughout the year.I have been playing here for almost seven years. It is going to be challenging because this wicket will give equal opportunities to both the sides,” Pandya said.

After winning the Test series 2-1 against Australia, hosts India would aim to start the ODI series between the sides on a dominating note.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins — who lost his mother recently — will also be missing the series. It will be Steve Smith, who will lead the guests in Cummins’ absence.

India top the ODI rankings with a rating of 114, while Australia follow them at the second place with a rating of 112. While the hosts would look to consolidate their top spot, the guests will aim to topple them.

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