Australia Vs India 3rd ODI Preview: India Play For Pride While Australia Can Experiment
IND vs AUS 3rd ODI: India have already conceded the ODI series and will be hoping to reduce the margin, while Australia can afford to field some of the bench players.
Australia come into the match with a 2-0 lead in the three-match series
Australia may rotate some players and try and experiment
India will be looking to reduce the margin of the series defeat
What was being touted as quite a battle between Australia and India in the three-match One-day International series has ended up being quite a damp squib with the Indian bowlers failing miserably to impose any sort of control on the Australian batsmen, led by Steve Smith and Aaron Finch, leaving the visiting batters with mountains to climb in both matches, which they failed to do. So, down 0-2 in the series, India can only hope for a redeeming win in the match on Wednesday at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. Australia, on the other hand, can field their reserve players as an investment for the future. In any case, they will miss the services of David Warner, who had suffered an injury while fielding in the last ODI.
While the Indians are not battling any major physical issues, the mental scars must be immense. The bowlers were completely out of both games once skipper Virat Kohli lost the tosses and thereafter, the batsmen were also left with insurmountable odds.
While India did cross the 300-run mark in both matches, the fact that they lost by 66 and 51 runs respectively speaks volumes for the difference.
The margins in fact could have been bigger - Australia looked good for 400 at least in the second game, while they did take the foot off the accelerator while in both games while fielding, affording some easy runs for the Indian lower order.
Sydney provided pretty flat tracks, but they didn't really change much for either batting. But the Australian bowlers were heads and shoulders above their Indian counterparts, be it in the fast bowling department or spin.
Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal looked pedestrian, while even Jasprit Bumrah, one of the best in the business, looked ordinary. One bowler who held his own for most parts against the odds was Mohammed Shami, at least in the first match, before he too was whacked around the park.
Such was the state of the bowling in the second game, that the still-unfit Hardik Pandya and Mayank Agarwal had to be bowled in the second ODI and actually ended up looking respectable!
As for the batting, it was always difficult to get past such massive scores. Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli and KL Rahul showed some fight in patches, but none of them was around with that massive triple-figure score that would make the chase even close.
As for the Australian batting, they really have little to be worried about. The lowest score in the 2nd ODI from among the top order was 60, while Smith went his merry way, registering his second successive hundred in what was possibly one of the most fluent batting displays in recent times.
Australia really have little to be concerned about, barring the injury to Warner and the indifferent show by pace spearhead Mitchell Starc. But the other bowlers, especially Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa, have held it all together.