India vs Australia: Kohli vs Zampa, Warner vs Bumrah and other player battles in limited-overs series

India vs Australia: Kohli vs Zampa, Warner vs Bumrah and other player battles in limited-overs series

India vs Australia: Kohli vs Zampa, Warner vs Bumrah and other player battles in limited-overs series

Winter is here in India so the fans are off, sweaters and mufflers are out and there's the Australia vs India series for company. First up is a three-match ODI series followed by three T20Is and finally red-ball cricket with four Tests scheduled at Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane respectively.

Virat Kohli and Co have not played international cricket since they returned from New Zealand earlier this year. Both teams will fight for the World Test Championship points in the longer format of the game while the limited-overs matches will provide an opportunity for teams to work on their plans for the T20I World Cup, scheduled in India next year.

Ahead of ODIs and T20Is between India and Australia, we take a look at some of the key player battles:

Virat Kohli vs Adam Zampa

Adam Zampa dismissed Virat Kohli five times in ODI cricket, the most by any spinner. AFP

The obvious one in the players battle list is India captain versus the Aussie leg-spinner. Both players spent a lot of time together as teammates for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). But now, the time has come to shrug off the camaraderie and get those competitive juices flowing. The cricketing world is very much familiar with Kohli's competitiveness and Zampa will be up for the battle.

Kohli has played 26 ODIs against all teams in Australia and scored 1154 runs at an average of 50.17. However, his average reduces to 44.92 if we consider the 15 matches that he has played against Australia. In T20Is in Australia, Kohli has played eight matches and averages close to 80. But leggie Zampa has dismissed him five times in ODI cricket, the most by any spinner, and twice in T20Is.

Aaron Finch, Australia's ODI and T20I captain has also played with Kohli for RCB in this year's IPL so both he and Zampa would have observed the Indian skipper from close quarters. And looking at Kohli's record against Zampa, Finch is expected to throw the ball to the leggie as soon as the Indian skipper comes to the crease.

David Warner vs Jasprit Bumrah

Once again, Warner and Bumrah had played key roles for their respective franchises in the IPL. Bumrah picked 27 wickets in UAE, ending up in the second spot behind Kagiso Rabada in the list of the leading wicket-takers as Mumbai took the trophy home. Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Warner scored more than 500 runs for the sixth straight season as his team qualified for the playoffs before losing the second qualifier against Delhi Capitals.

In ODIs, Bumrah and Warner have faced off in nine matches but the Indian pacer has never dismissed the Australian opener. In T20Is though, Bumrah has dismissed Warner twice in four matches. Warner averages close to 50 against India in the ODIs while his T20I average is just 27. Meanwhile, Bumrah has a much better record against Australia in the shortest format of the game when compared to the 50-over games. In ODIs, his bowling average against Aussies reads 34.83, which is much higher than his ODI record of 24.43.

Both players give their best irrespective of the format they are playing or the teams they are representing. And both players will be eager to perform on the international stage after having a successful IPL.

Yuzvendra Chahal vs Glenn Maxwell

Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Glenn Maxwell four times in ODIs, and his career-best figures of 6-42 came against Australia. AFP

Maxwell had a torrid time playing for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL 2020. In 11 matches, he averaged a poor 15. A lot was expected out of the Aussie power-hitter but he never got going and was left disappointed. Before the IPL though, Maxwell had good returns against England, especially in the ODIs where he scored 186 runs in three matches at an average of 62. The Aussie all-rounder will be desperate to put his IPL campaign behind and make a fresh start in the series against India, with a goal of playing the T20I World Cup in India.

Maxwell should watch out for Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner had a great IPL for RCB, picking 21 wickets with an economy of just seven. Chahal has also dismissed Maxwell four times in ODIs, and his career-best figures of 6-42 came against Australia in 2019. Considering his stellar form as well as record against Australia, Kohli will depend heavily on Chahal to make a big impact Down Under.

Mitchell Starc vs KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan

Rahul and Dhawan scored a handful of runs in the IPL. Rahul was the Orange Cap winner, scoring 670 runs in 14 matches while Dhawan was the second best, piling 618 runs from 17 matches. Given both batsmen's form, they are likely to open the batting in T20Is. Rahul can open in ODIs also but Kohli and the team management will most likely decide to play him in the middle-order.

In 11 ODIs against India, Starc has picked up 16 wickets at an average of 32.81 but the number drops to 16 against the same opponents in Australia. Also, Starc has dismissed Dhawan three times in eight ODI innings and thus, the left-arm fast bowler will fancy his chances against the opener. Rahul and Dhawan can turn the game around once they get going and that's why Finch would hope that Starc will play his role when it comes to providing breakthroughs at crucial points.

Click here to read Indian players to watch out for in limited-overs series

Click here to read Australian players to watch out for in limited-overs series