Australia targets rare India one-day feat
Jan. 12, 2020
Australia have a rare feat in their sights as they gun to become just the second touring team this century to win back-to-back one-day series in India.
The Aussies will begin their three match ODI series against India in Mumbai on Tuesday, in a rare trip away from home in the middle of the summer.
The matches will mark Australia's first return to one-day cricket since last year's World Cup, and the first time they have toured this early in January since 1960.
But it still marks an important juncture for the Australian team.
Last year's tour of India is generally regarded as a turning point for the Australian team.
They beat the hosts 2-0 in the Twenty20 series, before coming back from 2-0 down to claim the one-day series 3-2.
The Aussies have just six survivors from that tour last year, but their team is arguably stronger against an Indian team also at full strength.
Steve Smith and David Warner were still missing through their bans, while Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have also been added.
Australia are also the only other team to have won back-to-back series in the country this century, winning four straight between 2001 and 2009.
"The ability to go there twice in 12 months and win two series away from home in India would be a huge achievement," stand-in coach Andrew McDonald said.
"India in India are a huge challenge. With (Virat) Kohli and (Rohit) Sharma and (Jasprit) Bumrah is back.
"They challenge you in all areas. They challenge with the spin, with the pace bowling and with the batting.
"The crowd is fantastic for them. on their home turf they will be tough to undo. But we feel like we've got a balanced squad to be able to do that."
Australia are likely to go with their big three quicks for Tuesday's series opener, with Smith to bat No.3 below Aaron Finch and Warner.
Marnus Labuschagne is in contention to bat No.4, as he, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner, D'Arcy Short and Ashton Agar fight over three spots.
The team's one-day record on the sub-continent is surprisingly good considering their Test struggles.
While they have won just one Test series in Asia in the past decade with just three wins from 22 games, they have won 28 ODIs and lost just 14 in that time.
"It's about making sure we're as confident as can be (this week)," captain Finch said.
"The thing about these conditions is when you're down India are so dominant they get on top of you and get on a roll.
"It's about trying to change momentum when you're down and then putting your foot down when you're on top."
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