Australia is set to face India in a highly anticipated three-match ODI series starting on Friday, September 22. However, to the disappointment of fans and the team alike, Australia will be without the services of two of its key players for the series opener.
Australian captain Pat Cummins recently confirmed that star paceman Mitchell Starc and dynamic all-rounder Glenn Maxwell will not be part of the starting lineup for the first ODI against India.
Nevertheless, there is optimism that both players will be available for selection in the later matches of the series.
Mitchell Starc’s absence can be attributed to his ongoing recovery from back and shoulder problems, which had plagued him during the Ashes series in Britain.
These injuries had previously sidelined him from the South Africa white-ball series, and his recovery has been carefully managed to ensure he returns to full fitness.
Australia’s Key Players Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell to Miss Opening India ODI Series Match
Glenn Maxwell, known for his explosive batting and handy spin bowling, was expected to feature against South Africa. However, a setback occurred as his ankle injury flared up just before the series, prompting his return home for the birth of his child.
On the eve of the first ODI, Pat Cummins provided an update on their rehabilitation progress, saying, “Starsey [Mitchell Starc] is here, he won’t play tomorrow but hopefully will be available later in the series. It’s the same with Glenn Maxwell.
He (Starc) is bowling in Sydney, all the planning is going on. I think he can bowl today or tomorrow and be ready. Even with Glenn Maxwell, he’s got the same deadline as Starc.”
Despite these setbacks, Australia is welcoming back several key players for the series against India, notably Steve Smith and captain Pat Cummins himself, both of whom have successfully recovered from wrist injuries.
Cummins expressed confidence in his physical condition, stating, “I am feeling quite good. My wrist is fine now, almost 100%. Hopefully, I will play all three matches.”
This ODI series holds immense importance for both Australia and India as they use it as a stepping stone to prepare for the upcoming World Cup. Both teams are keen to fine-tune their squads for this crucial cricketing event.
Additionally, the series carries the added significance of determining the top-ranked team in the ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings. Presently, Pakistan holds the top spot but won’t be participating in any competitive matches before the World Cup campaign commences.
India currently sits in second place with 115 points, while Australia trails closely behind with 113 points. The results of this series will decide which team enters the World Cup as the No. 1 ODI team, adding an extra layer of intrigue to these upcoming matches.