India vs Australia, 3rd ODI – India Predicted Playing XI

India vs Australia, 3rd ODI – India Predicted Playing XI

India are left with three international fixtures ahead of the World Cup.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The action shifts to MS Dhoni’s den for the third ODI between India and Australia. The JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi will host the next game as the hosts look to push for the series win. However, Australia will not throw the towel in easily. The Kangaroos, led by Aaron Finch, came extremely close in the first two games and were just inches away from victory.

India can’t let the opposition take over the momentum at this stage of what has been a highly competitive series. Thus, the objective of the series – to test the bench strength and experiment with the eleven, might have to be negotiated with at least for the upcoming match. However, the management will try its level best to possibly make some like-for-like changes in this last resort ahead of the World Cup 2019.

Here is what could be the possible playing XI for India:

Openers (Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul)

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

KL Rahul sure needs to be tested ahead of the World Cup in the 50-over format. He might have excelled in the T20Is but ODI cricket is a slightly different ball game. The right-hander needs to spend time in the middle to come to a consensus before picking the final squad. Thus, Shikhar Dhawan might have to sacrifice his spot. The left-hander has struggled with his form and some time off the field could help him.

He can be back for at least one of the next two games where the 31-year-old Rohit Sharma could be rested if India clinches the series. Sharma is hitting the ball well, but the vice-captain is due for a big inning and Ranchi could be the ideal place for him to notch up yet another one of those masterful centuries.

Middle Order (Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk))

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

King Kohli, after a gap of about two months, registered an ODI century in the second game of the series in Nagpur. While most of the other batsmen found the pitch tough to bat on, Kohli never seemed to be in discomfort. He batted brilliantly and was a delight to watch. Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni will continue to be the other two batsmen in the middle-order.

Rayudu got into double-figures in the last two games, but couldn’t carry on. The right-hander is just one big knock away from regaining his confidence. MS Dhoni, on the other hand, got out for a golden duck in ODIs, for the first time in the last nine years. The wicketkeeper-batsman is expected to be at the peak of his powers playing in front of his home crowd in Ranchi.

All Rounders (Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar)

Kedar Jadhav
Kedar Jadhav. (Photo Source: MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Kedar Jadhav is a stunning cricketer and the perfect fit into the lower middle-order. He was promoted above MS Dhoni in the last game, which ideally shouldn’t have been done. Kedar is highly effective towards the business end of the innings and should be looked at like a finisher rather than someone who can build an innings. He has been contributing regularly with the ball and can offer the captain with at least six to seven overs with ease.

Vijay Shankar also was great to watch in the last game. His batting heroics were scintillating but he was unfortunate to have been dismissed run out. Shankar will look to make every opportunity count and will clearly want to be on the flight to England. His bowling in the last over of the second ODI might have spurred some confidence of the skipper. He is likely to bowl more overs in the third ODI.

Bowlers (Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah)

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah of India. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Yuzvendra Chahal also needs some game time in the 50-overs format before the World Cup. But that can’t be at the cost of Kuldeep Yadav who has been performing brilliantly. Thus, the rotation policy between the wrist spinners might not apply and he could replace Ravindra Jadeja. India’s management will definitely want to have a look at how the team fares when they go in with an additional bowler.

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will continue as the two genuine fast bowlers in the number-two ranked ODI side. They’ve been terrific thus far and will hope to continue with the good work. Either one of them may be rested for the next two games given that Bhuvneshwar Kumar comes back.

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