Confident India start favourites against Australia


India beat Australia by 26 runs in the opener of their five-match One-day International (ODI) series at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.

It has, however, been the 50-over format that has seen some of Australia's worst cricket in recent times, especially away from home where they have lost their last eight fully completed matches, last managing a win against Ireland in September of 2016, hardly a banner result.

Of the 14-man squad for the series, 10 members played in the IPL this year including captain Steven Smith (Rising Pune Supergiant) and David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad).

Australia, on the other hand, have returned to India for the first time since their fiery and controversial Border-Gavaskar series earlier this year, which India won 2-1 and which ended with Kohli declaring some of his friendships with the Australian players had been irreparably damaged. It is not happening now, it has been happening for a while", Rohit said here during a promotional event."We understand how to take care of our body.

But, what hurt Australia more was Smith's second drop.

"It won't be a one-sided series, Australia certainly won't be coming here to lose".

"I would want to change my name to Sachin Tendulkar if I could do it".

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David Warner has become a mainstay with Sunrisers Hyderabad. In Sri Lanka, he scored a brilliant Test century batting with the tail. Both playing for @BCCI.

There have been question marks over the futures of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, who have not featured for India since the ICC Champions Trophy in June and the South Africa series in 2015, respectively.

"It's the ideal time to experiment", said Singh, who will take charge of Bloem City Blazers in the South African T20 Global League later this year. They have been a pretty successful team and I wouldn't say they are using the series as an experiment, I think it's about using it as an opportunity for cricketers.

"Yeah, obviously we got ourselves into a good position".

An emphasis on squad rotation, player management and using the format to hand experience to young players has resulted in an nearly apathetic approach to the One Day International cricket, which is fast becoming more a proving ground for new talent than a format where winning is everything.

Skipper Steve Smith has years of experience with the IPL. This streak also included a victory in that famous 2015 World Cup semi-final.

A steady drizzle set in at the Chepauk during the mid-innings interval and kept the players off the field for long.