India will host the team Australia at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi on Wednesday for the fifth and the last One-Day International of the five-match ODI series. Currently, the series is tied at 2-2, with the last game remaining.
India will look to consolidate their World Cup preparation by winning the last game against Australia which will also help the Men In Blue to win the ODI series against Australia. India lost two consecutive ODI games against Australia at home, for the first time after 2012-13. Losing an ODI series at home will definitely not be ideal preparation for a team touted as one of the favourites to win the World Cup.
After being dominated by the hosts in the starting two ODI matches, Australia made a successful comeback by winning the 3rd ODI at Ranchi and also chased a huge target of 359 at Mohali in the 4th ODI, winning it by 4 wickets.
In the 4th ODI, batting first India constructed a mountainous target of 359 runs with the help of openers Shikhar Dhawan (143) and Rohit Sharma (95). The opening duo scored 193-run partnership which helped team India to place a humungous target against Australia. India is still looking for the best option to play at no. 4 spot as Ambati Rayudu failed to drive home advantage in the series. Virat Kohli placed KL Rahul ahead of him at no. 3 in the 4th ODI and himself featured at number 4.
The openers played till 31st over in the last match which left the other batsmen with more about swinging the bat to glory. India also saw a backdrop in the wicket-keeping as Rishabh Pant missed stumping chances twice in the 4th game. But that’s not a major issue for India ahead of World Cup as MS Dhoni was given rest for the last two ODIs only.
The fast bowlers of India displayed a decent start but there was due on the outfield under lights and that made bowling difficult for India’s wrist spinners, but then, they are professionals and must cope with conditions on offer. Ashton Turner was the star of the show for Australia as he hit an unbeaten 84 off just 43 balls to take the visitors home at the PCA Stadium on Sunday.
For the Australians, it will be about once again showing the world that this team has regrouped well and mean business going into the World Cup. With the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc not even part of the squad, this is ominous signs.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant (Wicket-Keeper), Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja.
Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia: Aaron Finch (Captain), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (Wicket-Keeper), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa, D’Arcy Short.
Playing XI: Aaron Finch(c), Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey(w), Jhye Richardson, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon