With the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League done and dusted, the focus is now on international cricket. India will tour Australia for 3 ODIs and as many T20Is, followed by 4 Tests.
The Men in Blue are in Sydney where they will play the first ODI against the Aussies on November 27 at the SCG.
Players are expected to carry their form from the IPL to the national level where charismatic skipper Virat Kohli will once again lead the charge against the Aussies.
Father-to-be Kohli will continue to lead India till the first Test after which he will depart for India to be with his wife Anushka Sharma, who is due for delivery in January.
Kohli, despite having an at-par IPL campaign individually, once again failed to carry his side to an IPL trophy - something that he has failed to do in his last eight years as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain. And, much like every year, Kohli was the center for critics after the tournament even though he was successful in scoring runs in the latter half of the tournament. Cricketers and pundits commended Kohli's running between the wickets, for which the skipper boasts a healthy vegan diet.
As Team India skipper, Kohli will be banking on his teammates who also had a great IPL season. With that said, here are five players to watch out for in the upcoming three-match ODI series against the Aussies.
KL Rahul had an excellent campaign in his first season as Kings XI Punjab captain. The wicket-keeping batsman, who is widely considered to fill in MS Dhoni's gloves, bagged the Orange Cap for most runs in the tournament.
In 14 matches, KL Rahul recorded 670 runs while opening for the team. His 132* off 69 balls was the highlight of his season, which came against Kohli's RCB. Despite failing to make it to the playoffs, Rahul showed excellent captaincy throughout the campaign, nearly inspiring a comeback that could have seen Kings XI Punjab in the playoffs.
It’s no surprise that Mayank Agarwal has made it to this list. The Punjab opener started the IPL campaign in excellent form alongside skipper KL Rahul.
The pair scripted incredible partnerships in the initial matches of the tournament. For a while, it seemed that the race for Orange Cap was between the two openers who led the highest-run getters list before Agarwal was injured in the latter half of the tournament.
But, that does not shadow his performance as an opener. And, with the absence of Rohit Sharma, Agarwal's place along senior opener Shikhar Dhawan is on the cards.
Shubman Gill is another contender for the top-order batting slot. During the IPL, Gill made headlines for all the right reasons. Not only for having a rumored relationship with Sara Tendulkar but, also for his successful IPL campaign.
The Kolkata Knight Riders batsman recorded 440 runs in 14 matches. Gill was a fan-favorite batsman, and it is likely that the 21-year-old will shine in his maiden Australia tour.
While Jasprit Bumrah failed to perform in the New Zealand tour earlier this year, his form seems to have come back in the IPL.
Mumbai Indians' prime pacer, who finished the season with 27 wickets in 15 matches, is no doubt a key player for India. Since his debut in 2016, Bumrah quickly rose to the top with his yorkers and innumerable bowling variations.
Bumrah's bowling prowess is an asset that can fit in for all formats of the game.
Yuzvendra Chahal is another player who has been in excellent form. The spinner picked 20 wickets in 15 matches and was a key player for the Kohli led RCB.
Already a fan-favorite, the right-arm spinner's bowling ability will no doubt be of vital importance against the Aussies. Kohli will expect Chahal to restrict the run scoring and pick crucial wickets in the middle overs.