Having registered their 1st victory in 5 games over Australia at home by winning the second match of the series in Rajkot on Friday, India will be out to win the final ODI to seal the series win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.
India rode on the fifties from Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli and then the Indian bowlers put an inspired bowling performance to level the series 1-1 in the 2nd ODI of 3-match series. The hosts India went into the Rajkot game 0-1 down after Australia registered a 10-wicket win in the lung-opener at Mumbai, courtesy David Warner and Aaron Finch, who hit unbeaten hundreds.
With Bengaluru being a belter of a track, the series decider is expected to be a high-scoring match with both sides boasting impressive batting line-ups. However, there are some areas of concern for Virat Kohli and his team as both Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan suffered injuries during the Rajkot game.
Rohit hurt his left shoulder while fielding in the second ODI on Friday and Dhawan was hit on the ribs by lead Australia pacer Pat Cummins. Both, however, are said to be progressing well in recovery and will be assessed on the morning of 3rd ODI.
India and Australia have played 7 ODIs at this particular venue with the hosts winning 5 of them. However, Australia is the only team to defeat India in an ODI at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in the 21st century.
Also, Virat Kohli hasn’t had the best of records at his IPL home venue. Virat’s batting average of 12.6 in the ODI format in Bangalore is his lowest at any home venue. Kohli aggregated 63 runs in five innings at this venue with the highest score of 34.
India will be extremely pleased with KL Rahul’s all-round brilliance with the bat and behind the wickets and will bank on the Karnataka batman to help India win the final ODI and clinch the 3-match series in Bengaluru.
India would also be pleased with Jasprit Bumrah’s return in form and Kuldeep Yadav knack of picking wickets at important junctures.
Australia, on the other hand, lost the second ODI by 36 runs but are unlikely to make any changes in their playing XI for the final ODI.
Their openers – Warner and Finch – were in spectacular touch in Mumbai ODI. Steve Smith impressed with a 102-ball 98 to keep Australia in the chase while Marnus Labuschagne, who debuted in the previous game, made a seamless transition from Test cricket to ODIs, with a 47-ball 46.
Adam Zampa has been Australia’s strike bowler in the first two ODIs but Aaron Finch’s side will hope for a change of fortune for their leading pace bowlers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who looked out of touch on Friday.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Lokesh Rahul(w), Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur, Srikar Bharat, Shivam Dube
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey(w), Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Handscomb, D Arcy Short