Apart from Ashwin, who last played an ODI against South Africa in January 2022, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, and Mohammed Shami also come into the playing eleven.
Rahul said Mohali’s reputation of being a good chasing ground was behind his decision to bowl first, with the pitch report suggesting a placid pitch for Friday’s match.
“Historically a good chasing ground, that’s about it. There are a few boxes that we need to tick and the boxes that we’ve ticked we need to keep doing it better. One more challenge, best team in the world so good to play against them. They are a very competitive team so we’ve enjoyed playing against them. It’s always a great challenge,” he said.
Australia’s captain Pat Cummins returns after missing the South Africa tour due to wrist injury and said he would have bowled first as well. Matt Short is making his ODI debut, with Josh Inglis to keep wickets in place of a rested Alex Carey.
“Good to be back, it’s been a while since I’ve been back here. Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell are not quite ready. Would’ve bowled first as well but don’t really mind. It’s nice and sunny out here. Warner and Marsh will open the batting. Smith, Marnus and Inglis to follow,” he added.
India: Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (captain & wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami
Australia: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis (wicketkeeper), Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Short, Pat Cummins (captain), Sean Abbott and Adam Zampa.