Defeating a team like Australia in 3 back-to-back wasn’t an easy task to do, but the young Team India did it in the first 3 ODIs of the ongoing series. now after losing the 4th ODI in Bangalore, they must be looking to end the series on a defeating the resurgent Australian team in the fifth and final ODI match on Sunday.
After securing the series in Indore, Indian skipper Virat Kohli and team management had decided to test their bench strength in the fourth ODI but the team lost the game by 21 runs, which also halted their nine-match winning run.
All three bowlers, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and Axar Patel, who played their first game of the series went for a lot of runs but it was not entirely their fault that India ended up on the losing side. Virat even went on to defend the bowling performance that allowed Australia to post 334 for five but said the batsmen could have done better on a batting pitch like this.
So, it won’t be a surprise if Kohli goes with the same team of the 4th ODI in the final one as well. While in the batting department, KL Rahul may get a game despite the fact that he is the only player in the squad to not have played in the series so far, but chances of that are pretty less.
The team management will consider reassessing their plans for the final ODI as both sides would want to end the series on a high and carry the momentum into the T20I series which will be starting in Ranchi on October 7.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane are looking spectacular form as they made 2 back-to-back century partnerships but the middle order is still struggling. Hardik Pandya being promoted to four in the batting order worked brilliantly in Indore but seems to be back-fired in Banglore and that makes the decision doubtful.
Pandya’s promotion resulted in MS Dhoni’s drop to number 7 and he hardly got time to get his eye in before going with all guns blazing, something he prefers doing nowadays with his indifferent batting style.
Coming to bat ahead of Dhoni, Pandya and Kedar Jadhav got more than sufficient time to get into the groove but they still failed to get India over the line in Bangalore.
While Australia also had got a bunch of chances in the earlier games but they couldn’t make the most of them. However, in Banglore, things took a different turn as they gave an all-around performance that saw bowlers complementing the good work done by the batsmen.
The pace trio of Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Kane Richardson grabbed every opportunity came their way to take the game away from the Indians. Even the batting is looking more powerful ever since the return of Aaron Finch, who came up with a fine 94 after a sublime 124 in his comeback game.
It is still a debatable topic that remains to be seen if Australia bring back the struggling Glenn Maxwell, who was dropped in the 4th ODI with Matthew Wade taking his place. The other wicket-keeper in the squad, Peter Handscomb and his innings of 43 off 30 balls take his team well beyond 300.
India’s Predicted XI: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Australia Predicted XI: Steven Smith (c), David Warner, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa.