RESULT
1st ODI (D/N), Hyderabad (Deccan), March 02, 2019, Australia tour of India
(48.2/50 ov, T:237) 240/4

India won by 6 wickets (with 10 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
81* (87) & 1/31
kedar-jadhav
Preview

Search for ideal XI continues as India and Australia square off in Hyderabad

Australia have confirmed that Alex Carey will keep wicket, while India may look to try out KL Rahul with only five ODIs left before the World Cup

Alex Carey clips one through the leg side, Australia v England, 2nd ODI, Brisbane, January 19, 2018

Alex Carey clips one through the leg side  •  Getty Images

Big Picture

Five. That's the number of ODIs India play between now and the start of the World Cup. Though most Indian players will be in action during the IPL, the selectors need to have more or less firmed up their picks before that. So, when India face Australia in the first ODI of the five-match series on Saturday in Hyderabad, it will be another chance for the likes of KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar to push their cases forward.
The same holds true for Siddarth Kaul in the bowling department. Kaul replaced Khaleel Ahmed, who had been part of India's limited-overs set-up since making his debut at the Asia Cup last year. But now it looks like the selectors are exploring other options as well.
Australia are slightly better placed on that front, as they play another five-match ODI series - against Pakistan in the UAE - before the World Cup. But with Steven Smith and David Warner likely to come back into the reckoning and, if fit, the selectors' thoughts, there are question marks over their plans too.
Though Peter Handscomb kept wickets during the T20I series against India and has also kept in ODIs previously, Australia captain Aaron Finch confirmed on the eve of the match that Alex Carey would return to the side and assume the wicketkeeping duties. He may, however, bat at No. 7.
Glenn Maxwell's form with the bat in the India T20Is must have given Australia some assurance, but his desire to bat higher up was dashed by coach Justin Langer , who said the team management would only do "what's best for the team".
The visitors will be high on confidence after sweeping the two-match T20I series, but India might not make too much of a deal of that, especially in a World Cup year with the bigger picture to focus on.

Form guide

India WLWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Australia LLWLW

In the spotlight

Two fluent knocks - 50 in 36 balls and 47 in 26 - in the T20I series have once again made KL Rahul a serious contender for the World Cup side. He can be India's reserve opener or a back-up No. 4 in England and Wales, but whether he makes that flight might depend on how he performs in this series.
In his last ten ODIs, Aaron Finch has managed just 225 runs at an average of 22.50 and a strike rate of 76.27. In eight of those matches, he has failed to cross 25. In Australia, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had his number with the one nipping back into the right-hander. On Indian pitches - and with Bhuvneshwar not in the squad for the first two ODIs - Finch may find it a little easier to get in and go big.

Team news

India are likely to field the two wristspinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, with Vijay Shankar filling the allrounder's spot in Hardik Pandya's continued absence. If the team management decides to give Rahul as many chances as possible before the World Cup, Ambati Rayudu might miss out.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 KL Rahul/Ambati Rayudu, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Carey, who didn't find a place in the playing XI during the T20Is, will return to his position behind the stumps. With Shaun Marsh unavailable, Australia may hand an ODI debut to Ashton Turner.
Australia (probable): 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Peter Handscomb, 4 Marcus Stoinis, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Ashton Turner, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Adam Zampa, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Jason Behrendorff, 11 Jhye Richardson

Pitch and conditions

The Uppal pitch generally favours batsmen and that reflects in the average first-innings score of 286 at the venue. The forecast for Saturday is partly cloudy with the temperature hovering around the 30-degree Celsius mark.

Stats and trivia

  • Australia have played two ODIs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium - in 2007 and 2009 - and won both.
  • Rohit Sharma needs 192 runs to reach the 8000-run landmark in ODI cricket. He currently has 7808 runs in 195 innings at an average of 47.60.
  • Ravindra Jadeja is ten runs away from achieving the double of 2000 runs and 100 wickets in ODI cricket. If he gets there, he will be the sixth Indian to do so after Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh.

Quotes

"It's done. It was a short series and Australia played better than us and they deserved to win the [T20I] series. So, we will have to be at our absolute best to win this particular series and start well in this series. As far as I see it, there's always an opportunity for a team to come back stronger and show character." Virat Kohli on whether the T20I series loss has dented India's confidence
"They [India] are a settled side, probably settled for such a long time now, and they are very good players. All those things go a long way to why they are so successful in India in particular." Aaron Finch explains why India are such a dangerous opposition

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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