Both India and Australia have dominated each other, winning one ODI each in the three-match series and are set to clash in the finale at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.
India have played Australia in seven ODIs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and the history backs the hosts as favourites, winning four out of the seven ODIs played at this venue. The visitors have won the other two, while one contest failed to yield any outcome.
The last ODI played at the venue between the two teams was on September 28, 2017. Australia posted a total of 334/5 with opener David Warner scoring a century and Aaron Finch contributing with 94 runs. Then India had failed to chase the target by a narrow margin, losing the contest by 21 runs, despite Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Kedar Jadhav slamming fifty runs each.
If Rohit, Dhawan don’t recover
In the second encounter in Rajkot, the Men In Blue endured a major blow as the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were forced to leave the pitch midway during the contest. While Shikhar was hit in the ribs in the 10th over of the Indian innings, Rohit sustained an arm injury while fielding.
“Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are progressing well. Their recovery is being closely monitored and a call on their participation in the final ODI will be taken before the match,” BCCI said in a statement.
KL Rahul, who scored 80 off 52 deliveries while coming at No 5 in the previous ODI, will open the innings even if one of two remains unfit for the match. However, if both the openers fail to recover, it will leave the team management with a problem, that they must have not anticipated ahead of the series.
Rohit approaches another milestone
Meanwhile, another milestone awaits for India’s star opener Rohit if he features in the contest. The 32-year-old is just four runs away from becoming the third-fastest batsman to complete 9,000 ODI runs.
Skipper Virat Kohli is the fastest batsman to scale the 9,000-run, which he accomplished in 194 innings and is followed by former South Africa cricketer AB de Villiers, who achieved the feat in 205 innings.
Hazlewood or Richardson?
Josh Hazlewood is yet to play his first appearance in the series as Kane Richardson was picked over the right-arm medium pacer in both the clashes. Hazlewood can be lethal as a first change bowler. However, considering Richardson’s current form in the series it is highly unlikely for him to be dropped from the playing XI. The 28-year-old, hailing from South Australia, has picked two-wickets each in both the matches. In his previous ODI appearance at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Richardson scalped three wickets and gave 58 runs.
Change in the middle order?
Manish Pandey failed to make a mark with the bat in the previous encounter in Rajkot. However, it will be too harsh to exclude him from the side after one bad performance. On the other hand, if Rishabh Pant regains match fitness then the Karnataka batsman will likely lose his spot from the playing XI. Also, Shivam Dube and Kedar Jadhav are yet to get some game time in the series. Apart from chipping with the bat, both Dube and Jadhav come as handy options for the team, if the bowling department is taken into consideration.
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