IND v AUS, 4th ODI Preview: India will look to test their bench strength, visitors playing for pride

India won't diminish their intensity one bit and will be aiming for a clean sweep.

India v Australia
Players shake hands after the game. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Not many would have imagined that the series will be sealed by India well before the start of the fourth ODI at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Such has been the form of the Indians this season that they have dismantled teams without even breaking into a sweat. Hardik Pandya has further established himself as a trusted batsman even when the chips are down which is a big plus for the hosts.

Despite a gutsy century on return from Aaron Finch, Australia could not breach the 300 rum mark. At one stage, they looked liked amassing more than 330 but wickets falling at regular intervals coupled with some skillful bowling by the Indian bowlers at the end, restricted Australia to just 293 for 6 after 50 overs. They could muster just 72 runs in the final 13 overs of the innings and lost 5 wickets in that period. The combination of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah didn’t allow them to get the ball off the square in the final 6 overs.

Australia were in the game a wee bit when India’s chase master Virat Kohli made his way back to the dressing room for 28. But Pandya’s calm and composed 78 and Manish Pandey’s slick unbeaten 36 helped India attain the target with more than 2 overs to spare. The openers did a splendid job, adding 139 runs for the first wicket which made the job simpler for the rest to follow. Despite already bagging the series, Kohli’s men will not drop the intensity one bit which Australia is wary of.

Toss: Australia won the toss and opted to bat

Steve Smith: We are going to have a bat. The wicket has changed from the last time we were around. It will slow up as the game goes on. It has been a bit disappointing so far and we have to get back to winning ways. We have two changes. Wade and Zampa in.

Virat Kohli: It is much drier than the last season of IPL (2016). It has to do with levelling the outfield. The par score has come down to 143 from 190. The wicket tends to settle down under lights. Every game is motivation for us. We want to grab every opportunity. It is difficult to create good habits and even more difficult to follow those habits. We have given some guys rest: Kuldeep, Bhuvi and Bumrah are not playing. Umesh, Shami and Axar come into the side.

Playing XI

India: Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni(w), Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith(c), Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade(w), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa

 

Focus will be on

David Warner

The Australian vice-captain was off to a brisk start the other day but failed to capitalize on it. Warner is having a poor series by his standards, scoring 68 runs in 3 innings at 22.67. He has enough experience of playing in these conditions and has had tremendous success too in the past. He was cleaned up by a Pandya off-cutter in the last game after comfortably moving on to 42. The M Chinnaswamy strip has a reputation of being a flat deck and it is high time Warner announces himself in the series. Australia desperately needs him to fire at the top of the order to come out of the misery. The 30-year old has a poor record in Asia in ODIs and will like to change it in the remaining two games.

Kedar Jadhav

Jadhav will probably lose his place after the series if he doesn’t get a big score under his belt in the last two games. The 32-year old is an outstanding middle-order batsman who is always slick in operation but he has had 3 single-digit scores in his last 6 innings which has already raised eyebrows. The competition for places in the ODI team is immense and Jadhav being a slow fielder is living on thin ice. He has frittered opportunities that were given by the team management to bat higher up in the order. With the advent of the two wrist spinners, Jadhav isn’t getting too many opportunities to bowl either hence it is absolutely necessary for him to make the most of the chances that are coming his way. In 3 innings so far in the ongoing series, the Maharashtra batsman has got 66 runs at 22. He will be looking to better these numbers in the forthcoming games.

Playing combinations

Australia

Smith will have to make a forced change due to the injury to left-arm spinner Ashton Agar. Adam Zampa will come in to replace the Victorian. Finch and Warner form a very destructive opening pair and will look to inflict damage during the fielding restrictions. Steve Smith will bat at his favorite spot at No. 3 followed by Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis and Peter Handscomb. Australia bat deep as the fast bowling duo of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins are handy with the bat in hand. Zampa will be the lone specialist spinner in the side while Kane Richardson will be the third seamer.

India

India would like to bring in Axar Patel or KL Rahul in the mix but they are likely to go with the winning combination. Rohit and Rahane recently were involved in their first century stand as openers and will again open the innings. In Kohli, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya; India has a good mix of power and caution in the middle order. Pandya will also be the third seamer and has evolved a lot in that role. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah will take the new ball and the wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will take care of the spin department. India will ponder over picking Axar Patel over Kuldeep to give them more control on a flat surface at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

 

Stat Attack

72 – Runs required by Kohli to feature in the top 20 run-getters in ODI cricket

5 – Australia have registered 5 losses on the trot playing against India away from home. Their last win came in 2013 at Mohali.

2003 –  Was the last time Australia won a game in Bengaluru playing against India. They have won just 1 out of 6 games played at this venue against the home side.

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