After being handed a reality check in Ranchi, India will aim to bounce back against Australia in the fourth one-day international (ODI) of the five-match series on Sunday in Mohali. India won the first two ODI’s on the trot but were beaten by 32 runs thereafter as Australia secured a morale-boosting win to remain alive in the series.
However, that will not stop the men in blue from experimenting with their squad. Before the series began India captain Virat Kohli had said, “There are people who might be potential contenders for our World Cup squad and we want to give them more game time.”
“Every team will look to fine-tune whatever they need to before the World Cup, and we’ll keep doing that in the ODI series too, but we still want to win every match we play,” the 30-year-old had added.
India Team News
KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the three who will most likely feature in the playing XI as the team management is expected to ring in a few changes in the remaining two matches of the series.
Shikhar Dhawan’s below-par performance in last 15 ODIs with only two half-centuries might pave the way for Rahul at the top of the order. Another spot could be at number four in place of Ambati Rayudu, whose form can be best described as patchy. There are few flaws in Rayudu’s game and he has also struggled to rotate the strike and Kohli might look to replace him with Rahul, to keep his opening pair intact.
Rahul can also bat at the no. 3 position, while the captain can go at the number four position, something which coach Ravi Shastri had said India might do at the World Cup.
Rishabh Pant, who has leapfrogged Dinesh Karthik to become MS Dhoni’s understudy in the tournament, will be getting valuable game time. Pant could be given a ticket to England if he shows he can keep his cool against big teams like Australia in the limited-overs format.
In earlier ODIs, Pant had played purely as a batsman but with Dhoni being rested, Pant will also get a chance to don the gloves.
With Siddarth Kaul not in the Indian squad and Shami suffering an injury to his shin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar also makes it to the starting line-up. Going into the World Cup Kumar will be the third choice seamer. The resting of the line-up is expected to be the same.
Australia Team News
Visitors Australia will be keen to build on their victory on Friday. Aaron Finch’s return to form is a piece of good news for Australia. Along with Usman Khawaja, Finch put up a 193-run stand and will want to continue in the same vein. Shaun Marsh is another player who will look to get some runs under his belt as he has struggled in the series.
Adam Zampa continues to be a potent threat. Despite leaking runs he has picked up important wickets at crucial junctures of the match. Most importantly, he has found the numbers of Kohli and Dhoni on multiple occasions.
“That’s the sign of a good player. You’re not at your best, not having your best day and still taking those important wickets. Batsmen pride themselves on the same thing – when you don’t feel like you are hitting the ball well, you try to get runs on those days,” Usman Khawaja said.
If the wicket in Mohali is conducive to the seamers, then Jason Behrendorff might make way in place of Nathan Lyon.
The match will be held at the Punjab Cricket Association, IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. India have played 14 ODIs at the venue where they have won 10 and lost four. Mohali is known to favour the pacers and if it stays true, then an exciting contest between bat and ball could be on offer.
The last ODI played at this ground was in 2017 where India scored a mammoth 392/4 and Rohit Sharma notched up a double hundred (208).
Australia will have fond memories of this ground as well after beating India by four wickets the last time these two sides met in 2013. Both teams had notched 300+ runs in that match.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant (wk).
Australia: Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Alex Carey, Nathan Lyon, Jason Behrendorff.