India and Australia. (Photo Source: MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images and Twitter)
India and Australia contested in the finals of the World Test Championship, earlier this month in England. Pat Cummins’ men emerged victorious by a mammoth 209 runs. The rub of the green hasn’t gone India’s way in knockouts of ICC events in recent years. They will hope to end the jinx in their backyard when they host the ODI World Cup in October-November.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the fixtures for the upcoming ODI World Cup on Tuesday, June 27. Former champions, India and Australia will begin their campaigns when they face each other in Chennai on October 8.
Conditions in Chennai have historically been conducive to spin-bowling. Two-time World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting felt that India will start as favourites owing to the conditions. However, he backed Australia to come good in front of the challenge.
“It’d be a great spectacle that’s one thing I do know, what a great opening game for Australia to be able to play the host nation in a venue like Chennai,” said Ponting in a promo shared by the ICC.
“The upgrade of the stadium is awesome, we know what we can expect from the wicket there, it’s probably be a little bit on the slower side and probably there’s going to be a bit of spin. But the Australians will have the time to get there and get prepared for that conditions wise they’d favour India but Australia have got a very proud record of white-ball cricket in the subcontinent so I’m sure they’ll probably go into that game very confident,” the 48-year-old added.
Maybe a bit of paycheck for the WTC final: Nasser Hussain
In the 2019 edition, both India and Australia made it to the semifinals but were defeated by New Zealand and England, respectively. Former England captain Nasser Hussain predicted that both India and Australia will make it to the knockouts again. He also mentioned how India might look to avenge their WTC final loss to Australia by getting one over visitors in Chennai.
“Massive occasion, two brilliant sides, India the hosts against Australia, maybe a bit of paycheck for the WTC final, these two sides will be there I reckon in the knockout stages, a great venue to have the two of the biggest names in world cricket,” said Hussain.