India, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe are the only ODI teams from the Top-10 list, who have never attained a winning stretch of 10 consecutive One-Day Internationals. In Bengaluru, on Thursday, in what will be men in blue’s 926th ODI, they will be targeting to achieve the milestone.
Since their dismal ODI against West Indies in Antigua in July, when they lost by 11 runs, they are yet to lose an ODI match. On the other hand, Australia hasn’t won a single ODI since January 26, when they beat Pakistan in Adelaide on Australia Day. Now against India, they have already lost the series but still stand a chance to register a consolation win in the series and protect that self-respect. If India manages to clean-sweep Australia, then Smith and his men will fall to fourth in the ODI rankings, to sit alongside their fifth ranking in Tests and seventh in T20Is.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is arguably the best batsmen in limited-overs cricket as in 2017, he has scored 1137 runs with a strike-rate of exactly 100. He is also the leading run-scorer in ODIs this year and he will also be eyeing to score a century in this series as in Bengaluru he doesn’t have a great ODI record and he definitely want to improve the same.
Considering Australia’s team combination, the dropping of Matthew Wade in Indore left the wicketkeeping duties in the hands of Peter Handscomb, who had performed the role in two previous ODIs for Australia. It will be interesting to see how the job affects his batting in the upcoming games.
Pitch and weather conditions
The Bengaluru pitch has become a bit slower and two-paced in recent times, but this will be the first ODI to be played at the venue after Rohit Sharma’s first double hundred against the same opposition. It is, therefore, difficult to know exactly what to expect. There is the possibility of some rain storms in the city on Thursday.
Stats to be looking for
- The M Chinnaswamy Stadium is Kohli’s worst home venue in ODIs: he averages 10.50 from four ODIs there, with scores of 0, 8, 34 and 0.
- This will be David Warner’s 100th ODI, having made his international debut in the ODIs in 2009.
- The most recent team to achieve 10 consecutive ODI wins South Africa, whose winning stretch lasted 12 games, spanning September 2016 and Feb 2017.
According to the current scenario with Axar Patel getting injured while batting in nets, Team India is looking to go with the same combination unless Virat decides to try out Umesh Yadav or Mohammed Shami An unaltered XI seems likely.
India (probable XI) – Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma (vc), Virat Kohli (c), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
With Ashton Agar has gone home injured, it seems Adam Zampa will make a return to the Australian squad and with the series already lost, the selectors may bring James Faulkner back in as well as they need an all-rounder in the squad.
Australia (probable XI) – David Warner (vc), Aaron Finch, Steven Smith (c), Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb (wk), Pat Cummins/James Faulkner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa