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Should Australia play two spinners?

By Norma Godinho
Last updated on: September 15, 2017 18:53 IST
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The Australian squad is packed with all-rounders, points out Norma Godinho, but should the Aussies pick both spinners, Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa, for the 1st ODI?

Steve Smith listens to a team address during an Australia nets session

IMAGE: Australian Captain Steve Smith at a nets session. Photograph: Daniel Carson/Getty Images

Australia make their second visit to India in 2017, this time to play an ODI and T20 series, which begins in Chennai on Sunday, September 17.

While the Aussies lost the Test series 2-1 earlier this year, the visitors will hope to avenge that defeat.

With 5 ODIs to play, both Australia, the World champions, and India will aim for the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings.


India and Australia are both on 117 points with Steve Smith's side ahead on decimal points.

A win for either side by a 4-1 margin or better will see it move to the number one position.

While Australia may not have had the best start to the sub-continental summer, they were put to the sword by Bangladesh in the Test series last month, the one-dayers in India are expected to be another story.

The Australian team, packed with all-rounders, have already shown they mean business, beating the Board President's XI by 103 runs in a warm-up game in Chennai on Tuesday, September 12.

While most of the Aussie batsmen got runs in the match -- Steve Smith and David Warner, the captain and vice-captain, both getting runs -- Glenn Maxwell was a let down scoring just 14 runs.

Just for the threat he poses if he gets going, Maxwell could find himself playing the opening ODI.

With Marcus Stoinis top scoring in the warm-up, leaving him out of the playing XI would be folly.

James Faulkner makes his way back in the squad and if he's in the mood, could take the game away from the Indians.

With Aaron Finch aggravating a calf injury during training on Thursday, it is a toss up between Hilton Cartwright and Travis Head for a place in Sunday's game.

Cartwright played the warm-up, but was out for a duck. Head scored 65 and on form, looks the player to replace Finch.

Pat Cummins's experience will be handy and Nathan Coulter-Nile knows a thing or two about bowling on Indian pitches having plied his trade for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL last season.

Should Australia play two spinners -- Ashton Agar had figures of 4/44 while leg-spinner Adam Zampa had 1/59 in the warm-up game -- in the Chennai opener?

Or should the Aussies pick an extra all-rounder in the playing XI?

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