Man of the Match: Rohit Sharma
Resurgent India looks poised to seal the series against Australia in Bengaluru!
India to win the match and the seal the ODI series 2-1!
India and Australia are set to face each other in the third and final match of the series at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
A dominating 10-wicket victory by Australia in the first ODI had put India on the back-foot with them needing to bounce back to salvage the series in Rajkot. They did that to perfection as India put out a clinical performance to defeat the visitors by a margin of 36 runs.
Riding on the back of a faultless chase in Mumbai, Australian captain Aaron Finch once again chose to field first. However, on this occasion, his plan didn’t work out properly as India got a resounding start from the openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Even after Rohit Sharma got out, skipper Virat Kohli who has back at No.3 helped India maintain the momentum with a quickfire 78-run knock.
Even though India looked like losing its way during the final ten overs, a stunning 80 off 52 balls from KL Rahul helped India finish with 340-6.
In return, David Warner and Aaron Finch couldn’t replicate their Mumbai heroics as they got out after making decent starts. However, the duo of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne rebuilt in a superb way to give hope to Australia. Yet, when Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Labuschagne against the run of play in the 31st over, the match seemed done and dusted. Smith carried on for a while but it was only Kane Richardson's late hitting that possibly reduced the real magnitude of the loss. On the whole, Australia was well and truly outplayed.
The panic alarms were switched on quickly after the loss in the first ODI but India once again proved how good a limited-overs side they are by bouncing back seamlessly at Rajkot. There seemed to be more urgency from each player with even Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan maintaining a run-rate over six from the very beginning.
The move to play KL Rahul at No.5 also paid rich dividends as the make-shift wicket-keeper came up with a knock that ultimately made the difference between the two sides.
The bowling unit was also more disciplined with the pacers correcting their error of over-pitching too many balls at the Wankhede Stadium. The spinners, especially Ravindra Jadeja who got the two important wickets of Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne also bowled very well under lights.
The only worry for India would be the fact that Rohit Sharma (left hand) and Shikhar Dhawan (ribs) got injured during the second ODI. However, Virat Kohli did mention that Rohit was feeling alright.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Manish Pandey/ Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah
Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Shreyas Iyer, JJ Bumrah, NA Saini, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami
After doing everything right in Mumbai, Australia committed the mistakes that India had made in that first match.
To start off, Australia were simply not disciplined enough with the ball at any stage of India's batting inning. Although someone like KL Rahul was in pristine touch, Mitchell Starc and his team-mates handed over too many gifts in the form of full tosses and deliveries on the pads during the end overs. Even the batsmen weren’t at their best with the likes of Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne not being able to convert their starts.
With Australia lacking power-hitters and batting depth, it becomes mandatory for one of David Warner or Aaron Finch to bat through the inning. With Ashton Agar failing to impress with both bat and ball, Australia might want to take a risk by picking D'Arcy Short who can bowl handy left-arm wrist spin.
Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey (WK), Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar/ D'Arcy Short, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson/ Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa
AJ Turner, Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Steven Smith, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Although the tracks at the Chinnaswamy Stadium became a little two-paced for a while after the venue's drainage facilities were upgraded, the old high-scoring ground seemed to be back on offer during the IPL last year. With as usual small boundaries aiding the batsmen, a high-scoring match can be expected. Generally, the weather in Bangalore is said to be unpredictable but a sunny day is on the offing for the 3rd ODI.
The home of the Karnataka domestic team and also the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Chinnaswamy Stadium is known to be one of the Tier-1 grounds in India. However, surprisingly, the 3rd ODI will be the first time this stadium will host an ODI since the India vs Australia match in 2017.
A batting track along with a small outfield is in itself enough to prefer chasing. The possibility of due will further help in opting to field first as the Chinnaswamy Stadium is known as one of the best stadiums for chasing in India.
These days, India is pretty good in series decider's and thus they will rightly go in as favorites for this match. Also, the hosts will be eager to not repeat the outcome of the 5-match ODI series against the same team last year when India lost after leading 2-0. The core of the Indian team in the form of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, and Jasprit Bumrah also seems in prime form to help the side register yet another series win at home.
India to win the match and the seal the ODI series 2-1!