Weakened Indians still favourites

India have opted to rest a number of stars for their upcoming three-match one-day series with Australia (India 8/11 to win 1st ODI).

The Asian giants nailed down a 2-0 Test series success with a seven-wicket victory in Bangalore on Wednesday and they will go into the 50-over series full of confidence that they can inflict further defeat on Ricky Ponting‘s men (India 8/13 to win ODI series).

MS Dhoni’s men remain favourites despite the selectors’ decision to rest some of the star names from the series, with batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag set to play no part and bowlers Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha all given some time to recuperate after their heroics in the Test series.

Batsmen Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir and paceman Ishant Sharma are undergoing treatment for minor injuries, but should be fit to play some part in the matches.

The first contest is scheduled to take place in Kochi on Sunday before the teams travel to Vishakhapatnam on Wednesday October 20, and they will conclude proceedings in Margao on Sunday October 24.

Australia have followed suit with Ponting left out of their squad along with all-rounder Shane Watson and fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, while Michael Clarke will take over as captain.

The Aussies will be looking for a confidence-boosting series success after the disappointment of losing both Tests and they have just a Twenty20 and three ODIs with Sri Lanka at home before Andrew Strauss and his England team arrive for the Ashes (Australia 4/6 to win Ashes).

Indian ODI squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma.

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