The Indian cricket fans have their fodder for the festive season lined up, with the limited overs series against Australia that starts on Thursday the 10th of October, 2013. Now, this is a series that has been drafted in, outside of the Future Tours Programme by the BCCI and it promises to be a series that would surely present a lot of high voltage action from both sides. Considering the fact that India are now the superior team in world cricket due to their status as World Champions as well as the holders of the ICC Champions Trophy, it is worthwhile to have a look at the Australian squad that will do battle in different venues across the country. Having won the ODI series 2-1 versus England, their confidence must have been boosted after the disastrous misadventure of the Champions Trophy in England.

Itinerary
So here are the games that India and Australia, will contest. So keep your diary free on these days as the games would all be gripping ones.

India Australia 2013 Series
Starts: 10/10/2013
Ends: 2013-11-02
10/10/2013
1st T20
Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium,Rajkot
13/10/2013
1st ODI
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium,Pune
16/10/2013
2nd ODI
Sawai Mansingh Stadium,Jaipur
19/10/2013
3rd ODI
Punjab C.A. Stadium,Mohali
23/10/2013
4th ODI
JSCA International Cricket Stadium,Ranchi
26/10/2013
5th ODI
Barabati Stadium,Cuttack
30/10/2013
6th ODI
Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium,Nagpur
02/11/2013
7th ODI
M.Chinnaswamy Stadium,Bangalore

The Australian Squad

Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Adam Voges, Shane Watson.

1x1.trans India Australia 2013 Series

Australian Cricket team Captain Michael Clarke addressing the pre-match press conferance for the first test match against India, in Chennai on Feb. 21, 2013. (Photo: IANS)

Strengths
The presence of Michael Clarke in the side is still doubtful but he has been provisionally named in the side provided he recovers in time from a back injury. However, Clarke’s importance to the overall well being of the team is can be proven by this move by Cricket Australia of naming an injured player in the side. Now, although the team does not look as fearsome on paper, as the Australian sides of the past, there are numerous players in the side who can single-handedly win a game for their side. For starters there is Shane Watson, who can take apart any attack on his day and now added to that is the threat of Aaron Finch. Anyone who has watched Finch’s recent innings of 156 (off 63 balls) in a T20 versus England would realise that he is a player who can take the game away pretty quickly. In addition to that, the Aussies are blessed with a pretty industrious middle order batsman in George Bailey, who can drop anchor if there is a fall of wickets but Clarke remains their best batsman.

In the bowling front, bowlers like Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner have the ability of hustling any batsman with their pace and bounce but it is expected that the Indian batsmen will be up to the task as well. Clint McKay is a steady first change bowler as well.

Weaknesses
One glaring weakness is the absence of good spinners in t he side and although Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell have been included in the side, they will be easy meat for Indian batsmen. In addition to that there is also the tendency of the batting to simply collapse after the fall of a few wickets and hopefully the Indian bowlers would be able to exploit that.

The Indian Squad

Although the team has not been announced yet one can be pretty sure that there would be very few changes to the side that lifted the ICC Champions Trophy in England this year.

So, the probable squad should be like this: – Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and R Vinay Kumar.

Strengths
The team plays with an excellent combination nowadays and almost area of the starting eleven is well stocked, however the batting remains the biggest strength of the side. This side bats big and bats deep with someone like Ravindra Jadeja coming in at number 7. In addition to that, the spin twins of Ashwin and Jadeja ensure that there are no more freebies for the batting side in the shape of a ‘fifth bowler’, who could be taken for runs. On paper and on past record, the Indian side starts as the favourites.

Weakness
The only visible weakness in the team is an unsettled opening combination and an opposition might try and exploit that. Other than that, there is nothing much that is wrong with this Indian side, which is led by the best captain in the world.

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