India vs Australia 2017: Five players who should feature in the final two ODIs if India take a 3-0 lead
India carried on from where they had left off against Sri Lanka, annihilating the visiting Australians in the first ODI at Chennai, by 26 runs.
The Indian side look in good nick and should, in all likelihood, end up claiming the next two ODIs as well. If they do that, they would look to rest a few players going into the final couple of matches.
Here's looking at five players who should be given a chance in the final two games of the series.
#5 Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant has already featured for India in T20s and it is only a matter of time before he makes the cut in ODIs as well. Pant can be equally devastating at the top and lower down the order and can be used as a floater in the Indian set-up.
Pant struggled in the latter stages of IPL 2017 after a sensational start, and failed to get going on the recent India 'A' tour as well. However, he is still one of the brightest young talents in India and could very well become one of their greatest ever players, in the future.
Additionally, the 19-year-old, if used as an opener, could form a potent left-right combination at the top along with Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane.
#4 Krunal Pandya
It is astonishing that Krunal Pandya has not yet made his bow in international cricket, taking into account his performances for Mumbai Indians in the past two IPL seasons. Krunal is arguably even more talented than his brother Hardik but has failed to make it to the Indian side thus far.
Equally adept with both bat and ball, Krunal has the ability to build an innings and then go hammer and tongs at the death. His strike rate in 17 List A games is hovering around the 90 mark while he scores at 152.59 in T20s.
Krunal is also a partnership-breaker. In the IPL, he managed to dismiss arguably the world's greatest batsman at the moment, AB de Villiers, a whopping four times in four innings.
The 26-year-old earned his maiden A-team call-up recently, where he scored a handy 48 in one of the games.
Against an Australian middle-order comprising the likes of Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Marcus Stoinis, a left-armer capable of spinning the ball away would definitely be a useful inclusion.
#3 Shardul Thakur
A hit-the-deck bowler capable of swinging the ball at pace, Shardul Thakur made his debut for the Indian side on their tour of Sri Lanka, in the fourth ODI. He had a decent outing, picking up the wicket of the dangerous Niroshan Dickwella.
Thakur is a household name in Indian domestic circles, having established himself in the Mumbai set-up. A relatively experienced campaigner, he has picked up 56 wickets in 35 List A games. He had a sensational 'A' tour against South Africa 'A' and Afghanistan 'A', picking up 9 wickets in 4 matches, including one 4-wicket haul.
The 25-year-old could be a useful new-ball bowler for Team India, and is capable of troubling the likes of David Warner and Steve Smith at the top of the order.
#2 Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar's stocks have been constantly on the rise in the past couple of years and he did his reputation no harm in IPL 2017 when he was picked in Pune Supergiant's squad as a replacement for Ravichandran Ashwin.
He put in a spectacular performance for the Board President's XI in the warm-up match against Australia, ending with 2/23 from eight overs, figures made all the more impressive considering that the Aussies ended up scoring 347.
Washington spun webs around the batsmen, dismissing arguably Australia's two biggest threats - Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith. The Aussies are known to struggle against spin and this was evident from their performance in the first ODI where they failed to pick Chahal and Kuldeep's variations. Adding another spinner into the line-up will only add to those problems.
Washington can also contribute a few handy runs with the bat in hand and the 17-year-old is well on his way to becoming India's next big thing.
#1 Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer shot into the limelight when he was picked up by the Delhi Daredevils for INR 2.6 crore in the 2015 IPL auctions. There has been no looking back for the 22-year-old since, and he has established himself in the Mumbai set-up in the domestic arena.
Iyer has consistently produced the goods for the India 'A' side as well and had a sensational tour of South Africa, where he amassed 213 runs in five matches. An aggressive batsman with a solid technique, Iyer needs to be groomed for the future and what better way to introduce him into the international arena than in a game against Australia?
He could be roped in in place of Ajinkya Rahane and while facing the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins won't be easy, Iyer has the temperament to succeed.