Mitchell Starc will be back in the Australian ODI squad, after missing out against South Africa    Getty Images
Mitchell Starc will be back in the Australian ODI squad, after missing out against South Africa Getty Images

Australia will look to put the disappointment of losing the Test and One-Day International (ODI) series against South Africa, and start afresh as they take on New Zealand in the first ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Australia in their previous ODI series in South Africa not just lost, but were handed a 5-0 whitewash in the absence of star players such as Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Their absence, however, made way for Joe Mennie and Chris Tremain to make debuts, but struggled against a quality batting side. With Starc and Hazlewood back in the side, Australia should be able to put up a much better fight.

Along with Starc and Hazlewood, Australia have also named Pat Cummins and all-rounder Hilton Cartwright, who received his maiden international call-up, adding further depth. Cummins has not played for Australia for over a year now, and will look to make a good impression upon his return. With a good mixture of youth and experience in the squad, let us have a look at the likely XI Australia are likely to field for the first ODI:

Full Cricket Scorecard: Australia vs New Zealand 1st ODI at Sydney

Top-order: Without a shadow of a doubt, it will be David Warner, who will come out to open the innings with Aaron Finch. Warner was excellent in the ODI series against South Africa and has always been Australia s key man at the top of the order. On the other hand, Finch has not been in the best of forms of late. Although, once set he too can be a terror. He is perhaps the only batsman, who can match Warner shot for shot. But Finch is known to get his eye in before going for the big hits, which is something he will once again look to do in this game. At No. 3, it will be skipper Steven Smith. Smith has been under the radar after his side performed poorly, right from Sri Lanka to South Africa series. Barring a hundred in the previous ODI series, Smith failed in every other match. But having secured a consolation win against South Africa in the day-night Test, he must be feeling a bit more confident than he was before that.

Middle-order: George Bailey too has had an ordinary ODI series again South Africa, but played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka to help his side win the series 4-1. His ability to play according to situations is commendable, and has a good head over his shoulders. He is perfect for Australia s No. 4 position. Despite his comments over his Victoria skipper Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell should play in the Australian side. He was dropped for the series against Sri Lanka and South Africa, but finds himself in the mix for this series. Maxwell was fined for his disrespectful comments towards his teammate.

Travis Head is slowly coming into his own in international cricket, but Australia will go in for Australia all-rounder James Faulkner instead of him. Faulkner is likely to be preferred ahead of Mitchell Marsh, who was dropped from the squad following the huge defeat in the first Test against South Africa at Perth. Along with being a good medium-pacer, Faulkner can be a lethal weapon with the bat as well. After being in the news recently, first for being selected over Peter Nevill for the day-night Test against South Africa and more recently over Maxwell s comments, Wade will look to put that all behind him and focus at the job in hand. Wade is the ideal man at No. 7. He can accelerate and also play second fiddle when needed. His abilities behind the wickets too cannot be questioned.

Bowlers: Australia will leave no stone unturned to ensure New Zealand batsmen do not get away with the game. Hence, Starc and Hazlewood will be seen bowling in tandem once again and break the strong New Zealand top order early on. Cummins, with his pace, will be a handy third seamer in the side. Inclusion of leg-spinner Adam Zampa will give the Australian bowling attack the much-needed variety. Not to forget Faulkner, who can fox the batsmen with his cleverly disguised slower deliveries.

Australia XI for first ODI vs New Zealand: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith (c), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry.com. He is a sports enthusiast and a keen observer of cricket, the contests, and its personalities. When not tracking cricket, he follows the world s soccer leagues and is somewhat partial towards Liverpool. His Twitter handle is @pramz)