Australia wins toss, opts to bat in series opener vs India

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia skipper Aaron Finch won the toss Friday and elected to bat first in the series-opening one-day international against India, a return to international cricket Down Under following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike the game’s return overseas, fans will be allowed into the Sydney Cricket Ground — up to 50% of capacity for the first of three ODIs between Australia and India. The countries will meet in three Twenty20 internationals before the four-match test series starts Dec. 17 in Adelaide.

The return of veteran batsman Steve Smith for injured allrounder Mitchell Marsh is the only change to the Australia XI that clinched an ODI series win over World Cup winner England in September.

Virat Kohli’s India lineup hasn’t played international cricket since losing the tests and ODI series in New Zealand in March.

Kohli and Finch were teammates in the IPL but, after a two-week period of quarantine in Australia, are leading rivals teams in Sydney.

Pacemen Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will lead India's bowling attack. Mayank Agarwal is expected to open the batting with Shikhar Dhawan.

Lineups:

Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), David Warner, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (captain), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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