India vs Australia, 5th ODI, Preview: Virat Kohli and Co hope for the final hurrah before the World Cup

India vs Australia, 5th ODI, Preview: Virat Kohli and Co hope for the final hurrah before the World Cup

This is the last chance for Rishabh Pant to impress before the World Cup.

Indian players
Indian players. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Who would’ve thought for the under-fire Australian side to make such a comeback in the ODI series? They were down and out 0-2 after the first couple of games and have since then found their mojo quite stunningly. With the victories in Ranchi and Mohali, Australia seems to be finally settling with their combinations amidst a few other worries still haunting them.

The defending champions still don’t know when the skipper Aaron Finch will be back in the form on a consistent basis. His troubles with the incoming deliveries were once again exposed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and if he gets it right in the next few matches, Australia will certainly be a team to beat in World Cup. However, as of now, they will be focussing on getting this series done and dusted.

If they manage to win the decider, it will be one of the brilliant comebacks for them in the recent times. Having said that, it won’t be easy at all for them especially with the fact that the game is in Virat Kohli‘s hometown and India will be hurting after a loss in Mohali.

Meanwhile, India’s bowling frailties were also exposed on flat pitches the other day. At the start of the World Cup, the pitches will mostly be filled with runs in England and their bowling attack didn’t seem up to the challenge, at least in the previous game. The Men in Blue would love to prove that it was a one-off failure for them and make a resounding comeback in this encounter.

Moreover, Kohli and Rishabh Pant are playing in Delhi after a long time and both would be looking to hit the straps in front of the home crowd.

Team Combinations

India

India made four changes in the last game and they might continue with the same team. All the incoming players deserve another opportunity. Also with the series on the line, the team management will refrain from resting the other key players. KL Rahul might have to bat at four after Kohli’s failure in the last match while Bhuvi also needs to get into the rhythm. Yuzvendra Chahal also lacked match practice it seemed and should make an impact at the Ferozshah Kotla now.

Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.

Australia

Australia suddenly happy problems now. Ashton Turner played a match-winning knock replacing the injured Marcus Stoinis. Now after the latter gets fit, it remains to be seen who he replaces and on current form, Shaun Marsh looks the ideal candidate to make way. Peter Handscomb and Usman Khawaja are also in good form which is a good news for the visitors. Nathan Lyon might return given the sluggish nature of the pitch and Jason Behrendorff will sit out in that case.

Probable XI: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh/Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa.

Focus will be on

Rishabh Pant (India)

This is the last chance for Pant to stake his claim for a World Cup spot. The fumbles behind the wicket in Mohali have done no good for his chances and a remarkable improvement is needed from the youngster. He scored a quickfire 36 with the bat but needs to learn to bat deep into the innings with the tail. He has a great chance to make amends on his home ground on Wednesday.

Usman Khawaja (Australia)

Usman Khawaja, despite a brilliant show in this series, will be under pressure. With David Warner’s imminent return at the top of the order, Khawaja needs to be consistent with the willow and has to make sure that the selectors think twice before leaving him out of the World Cup squad. Finch, despite all his recent struggles, will open in England and it will be interesting to see what happens with Khawaja in that case.

Head to Head

Matches – 135 | Australia won – 76 | India won – 49 | No Result – 10

Stat Attack

7954 – Rohit Sharma has amassed 7954 runs in his ODI career so far and needs only 46 runs to reach the 8,000-run mark in the format.

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

Live Streaming – Hotstar, Jio TV

Match Timings – 13.30 IST and local.

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