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IND v AUS, 5th ODI Preview: Nagpur awaits the final showdown; India aim to finish on a high

India winning the series 3-2 will keep them at the top via decimal points, but winning the series 4-1 can help them clinch a clear-cut lead at the helm of the rankings.

Team India News
Team India. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India has an unassailable 3-1 lead getting into the final game, but a win in the final ODI can extend their lead at the top of ODI rankings. India winning the series 3-2 will keep them at the top via decimal points, but winning the series 4-1 can help them clinch a clear-cut lead at the helm of the rankings.

David Warner and Aaron Finch’s heroics helped them tame the hosts at Bangalore and they’ll be high on confidence for sure. They also managed to put the 9-match winning streak to bed and this did annoy the fans a lot. Their middle order still hasn’t picked up and this is a serious concern for Steve Smith.

Nevertheless, their bowlers have been above par and this ensured the got over the line on Thursday. India on the other side of the coin has been brilliant in all department and the only concern for them would be their performance with the new ball in hand. Finch and Warner have been devastating and it’ll be interesting to see if Kohli does anymore chopping and changing on Sunday.

Probable XI

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

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

Focus will be on

Hardik Pandya (India)

The all-rounder from Baroda found a new role at number 4 in this series and he repaid the faith with some brilliant knocks. Arguably the best player for India this series, he’s making a case for being a regular number 4 in the limited overs. With the ball, he’s been picking up important wickets as well, making him an invaluable asset for the side.

Aaron Finch (Australia)

The dashing opener Aaron Finch has made a terrific comeback after injury. After scoring a hundred in the third ODI, he backed it up with a brilliant 94 at Bangalore. Since his return, the Aussie camp looks a lot more energetic and competent. Nagpur might offer a decent track for batting as well, which means another big knock from the 30-year-old is definitely on cards.

Playing Combinations

India

As it has been in the series, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma will open the innings for India with Virat Kohli coming in at number 3. It’s hard to predict the batting order from here, but Pandya is highly likely to win a ticket at number 4 and Jadhav, Pandey might follow at 5 and 6. This leaves Dhoni at number 7, a position where you can’t expect him to win games at this age.

Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav pulled back things brilliantly after a relatively poor start with the new ball. It’ll be interesting to see if Kuldeep Yadav gets to play the final game, but Chahal is highly likely to keep his place. Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya, and Kedar Jadhav are the other bowling options for Kohli.

Australia

David Warner and Aaron Finch have been sensational at the top and they’ll be expecting few more runs from Steve Smith, who’ll be coming in at 3. Peter Handscomb will keep his place at number 4 after his knock at Bangalore and Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis and Mathew Wade will follow next in the lineup.

The best positive for Australia has been their fast bowlers’ rendition. Kane Richardson has been decent, but Patrick Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile have been absolutely brilliant. They’ve been troubling the batsmen with their pace and channels, which Richardson has done decently, but not as well as these both. Adam Zampa picked up the prized scalp of Pandya the other game and he will keep his place as well.

StatAttack

701 – The last time these two teams met at Nagpur, 701 runs were scored on aggregate. India chased down 351 with centuries from Dhawan and Kohli.

92 – Rohit Sharma needs 92 runs to become the 9th Indian cricketer to score 6,000 ODI runs.

79 – The last time India played an International game at Nagpur (against New Zealand in the World T20 2016), they got bowled out for a paltry 79.

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