09:15(IST)Kuldeep drags one short and Marsh cuts away to the boundary. Nice batting, this. Australia going along nicely at 91 for 2. Partnership is 50. The challenge for these two will be to make it big.
09:12(IST)Regular middle overs stuff from both sides. India using both spinners in tandem. Australia nudging the singles and doubles.
09:02(IST)Ravindra Jadeja into the attack after drinks. His first over costs three.
09:00(IST)Drinks on the field now with Australia 72/2 in 16. Kuldeep spoilt a good over by dragging a short ball, which was pulled away to long on boundary by Khawaja. This pair is settling in.
08:55(IST)FOUR BYES: Dhoni makes a rare error behind the stumps as a Shami ball doesn’t bounce much. The ball goes for four byes. Australia move to 65/2.
Australia attacked just 29% of their deliveries in Powerplay 1 today. Only once in their last 15 ODIs have they been more cautious in the first 10 overs. Good bowling, poor batting – or both? #AUSvIND
08:45(IST)Kuldeep has managed to create a pressure on the Aussie batsmen right from the start. They are not able to read his deliveries off his hand. Australia are 52/2.
08:36(IST)OUT: And Carey nice, little innings of 24 comes to an end. Kuldeep strikes in his very first over. That’s a huge blow to the Aussies as they are 41/2 now.
08:32(IST)A good first over here by Mohammed Shami. Once in his career, he was in line to become fastest bowler to 100 ODI wickets, until Rashid Khan thrashed that record. Australia move to 37/1.
08:27(IST)Another Khaleel over comes to an end and these two are stringing a small partnership here. Australia move to 35/1 after 8 overs.
08:22(IST)Bhuvneshwar, meanwhile, is on the money. No width, no room for batsmen to free their arms. And a little bit of swing to keep them guessing as well. Just 11 from his four overs, and the runs are coming in singles and doubles for now.
08:19(IST)A better over from Khaleel Ahmed. Just three from it, and he managed to trouble Usman Khawaja too. Australia 27/1 in 6 overs.
08:11(IST)Khaleel not as disciplined as Bhuvneshwar so far. He has bowled another (rather big) no ball. This time Carey makes use of the free hit and gets a boundary. Two fours in total from the fourth over, Australia 20/1.
08:02(IST)FINCH GONE! The inswinger does the trick for Bhuvneshwar. It’s his 100th ODI wicket. Finch was rooted to the crease and left a huge gap between the bat and pad. The ball went through to hit off stump. Australia lose their captain for just 6.
07:59(IST)A slightly more expensive start for Khaleel Ahmed. There was a big no-ball as well, but Finch couldn’t make use of the free hit. Still six runs from the over.
07:54(IST)A nice start for Bhuvneshwar. Two runs off the first over. There was an lbw appeal against Finch too, but the impact was outside off.
07:46(IST)Time for the national anthems. India first, Australia next. Almost set for the live action.
07:30(IST)Australia XI: Aaron Finch, Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff
07:24(IST)Finch: We’re going to have a bat. We had a poor 2018, we’ve identified a few things in the batting order where we’d like to improve. Playing spin is a part of it, we’d like to have more wickets in hand towards the back-end.
Kohli: We’d have batted first as well. But the pitch will remain the same throughout so it should be an exciting game. I’m always inclined towards chasing a total down but that’s not always the team’s plan. We’re looking to improve as a side, try and restrict sides to smaller targets. When the batting clicks, we can get 360-370. When two quality players aren’t in the side, it always upsets the balance. Particularly the all-rounder. But we’re not too bothered, Jadeja gets an opportunity.
07:12(IST)Jason Behrendorff gets his maiden ODI cap from the legendary Glenn McGrath. Happy moments for him as he hugs his team-mates and gets ready for his first game.
07:08(IST)Looks like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammed Shami will be India’s three pacers. Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja are likely to be the two spinners.
06:53(IST)Few things India would like to check in this series against Australia:
* MS Dhoni’s form. The former skipper had a forgettable 2018, and will want to fix that in the World Cup year. In all likelihood, this is is last few months in international cricket, at least in the ODI format. How he goes here will be crucial given Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant are fighting for the spot as well.
* Back-up pacer: Jasprit Bumrah is resting after a terrific Test series. His absence frees up a slot for the likes of Khaleel Ahmed or Mohammed Siraj, who will want to prove their worth. The pace back-up is a crucial aspect of India’s preparations for the World Cup.
06:32(IST)Around an hour to go for the toss. Australia have already announced their XI, with Peter Siddle set to play his first ODI in eight years. Nathan Lyon is back too. India shouldn’t be drastically worried about Pandya’s absence, given they have an all-rounder in Ravindra Jadeja too. KL Rahul wouldn’t have made it to the XI anyway given Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s presence. The line-up is more or less settled, it’s about moving on from the off-field distractions.
06:17(IST)Until a day before the game, India were as settled as a side could be. They had all bases covered, and were high on confidence as a unit following a historic Test series win. But an off-field controversy, resulting in suspensions to KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya, might have left them shaken. Pandya’s absence will hurt their balance, and it will be interesting to see how Virat Kohli and co respond. They’re still firm favourites though, given Australia are struggling for consistency in ODI cricket for the last two years.
06:12(IST)Australia are all set to go retro. Their jerseys are a throwback to the 1980s, making people nostalgic about the good times in Australian cricket. Can Aaron Finch and co produce some good times for Australia in times when there are more downs than ups? That will be their aim as they take on the mighty Indians from the first ODI in Sydney.