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The third day of the all-important Ashes Test at Old Trafford, especially from Australia’s point of view, produced intriguing cricket

Fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson claimed four wickets each as Australia did extremely well to bowl out hosts Somerset for 320 on the opening day’s play of their 4-day tour match at Taunton.

Australia’s number nine batsman Mitchell Starc played a brilliant innings before being out for 99, caught by MS Dhoni off Ishant Sharma’s bowling. Starc batted for 144 minutes and hit 14 boundaries during his vigil at the crease that frustrated the Indian bowlers.

Shikhar Dhawan scored a scintillating 185* on Test debut as India smashed 283 for no loss in just 58 overs in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 408 on Day 3 of the 3rd Test at Mohali.

After all the build-up, the India-Australia series will finally kick off on Friday at Chennai. It goes without saying that the team which performs better as a combined unit will emerge winners. At the same time, there are a few individual battles that could also impact the series. Here are a few battles within the battle that we believe could be significant factors in determining the outcome of the series.

Australia clubbed a ragged West Indies 5-0 in the ODIs played at home. Rarely were the Aussies in any sort of trouble as they out-powered Darren Sammy’s men game after game. Although it was a highly shabby performance from the West Indians...

The first batch of Australian players have left for India to get accustomed to the conditions even as the others battle it out at home in the one-dayers against the West Indians. Normally, the spinners are expected to play a big part in the sub-continental conditions.

The West Indies’ slightly better performance gave spectators more value for their money but was still not good enough to prevent Australia going 2-0 up in the five match ODI series. After dangling precariously at 98/6 the hosts fought back, courtesy of a fighting and masterful hundred from George Bailey, to an unanticipated and formidable 266/7.

It doesn’t matter how evenly matched many thought the two teams were, if Mitchell Starc bowls in the rest of the matches like he did in the first ODI against the West Indies, it will be a most one-sided series.