India are in rampaging form after having recently blanked Sri Lanka 9-0 in Tests, One-day Internationals and T20I. With an aim to continue their dominant show, Virat Kohli-led India will take on Steve Smith's Australia in the first ODI of the five-match series at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. Australia last played an ODI series in 2013, where they lost 2-3 to a MS Dhoni-led side. With the much-awaited series all set to kick off on Sunday, here's a look at the key face-offs.
Virat Kohli vs Pat Cummins: India captain Virat Kohli is in ominous touch. The Indian run-machine notched up his 30th ODI century in the recently-concluded series against Sri Lanka. With this feat, he also equalled former Australia captain Ricky Ponting (30 centuries). The 28-year-old scored 330 runs in 5 matches to finish as highest run-getter in the series.
With Australia without their star pacers Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Josh Hazlewood, who are nursing injuries at home, right-arm pacer Pat Cummins will be leading the pace attack for Australia in the series. Cummins, who has 53 wickets in 31 ODIs, bowled only four overs in the team's warm-up match against Board President's XI.
MS Dhoni vs Adam Zampa: Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is known to play spinners with ease. Dhoni scored 162 runs at a strike-rate of 82.23 in the series against Sri Lanka and played match-winning knocks in two matches. Considering his form, the Indian wicket-keeper batsman will be expected to carry on the same show against Australia.
On the other hand, Australia will expect Adam Zampa to take the responsibility of the spin department. In his 24-ODI career so far, Zampa has never played an ODI against India. Going into his maiden clash against the Men in Blue, the leg-spinner will aim to weave a web around the Indian batsmen.
David Warner vs Mohammed Shami: Indian speedster Mohammed Shami has already said that he has chalked up some strategy which he wants to effectively implement against Australian opener batsman David Warner. Shami has played 6 ODIs against Australia in his 49-ODI career and claimed 8 wickets at an average of 34.00.
Warner, who has been in sublime form, has scored 391 runs in the 10 ODIs he has played against India. He averages 43.44 in ODIs against India, including one century and two fifties.
Steve Smith vs Yuzvendra Chahal: India's young spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has cemented his place in the India fold in a short period of time. Chahal has played seven ODIs in his career so far -- 3 against Zimbabwe and 4 against Sri Lanka -- and will be up for a big challenge against a star-studded Australia side. Considering his form and IPL experience, the leg-spinner can be a threat to Australian batsmen.
Australia captain Steve Smith had a much-publicised war of words with Kohli when Australia lost the Test series 1-2 in March. Smith has played 9 ODIs against India in his career's 98 ODIs so far, scoring 467 runs at an impressive average of 66.71. Smith has 2 centuries and one fifty to his name, including two man-of-the match awards.