Business Standard

India vs Australia 3rd ODI preview: Kohli must rectify top order conundrum

If Dhawan is persisted with, the best way is to give Rahul at least three games against Australia before the world cup

BS Web Team 

Dhoni, Rishabh Pant
Indian cricketer MS Dhoni with his teammates during a training session ahead of the 3rd ODI match against Australia at JSCA Stadium, in Ranchi. Photo: PTI

After winning first two games of five-match series, Indian cricket team will be aiming for an unassailable 3-0 lead when they meet Australia in the third One Day International (ODI) at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday.

Check 3rd ODI LIVE score here

Indian team is grappling with a few teething issues regarding its top-order batting, especially senior opener Shikhar Dhawan's poor form. Despite Dhawan's below-par performance in last 15 ODIs with only two half-centuries, India are unlikely to tinker with the winning playing 11 of the first two encounters. K L Rahul is back in form and he may have to wait till India clinch the series, but the team management could well try him out at the No. 3 position. If Dhawan is persisted with, the best way is to give Rahul at least three games before the all-important world cup.

Poor form of key players a headache for Indian team management

Vice-captain Rohit Sharma, the second most consistent player in India’s line-up, looked good in the first game before he got out. Kedar Jadhav and Dhoni shepherded India in the first match but failed to make an impact on the slow Jamtha track. Ambati Rayudu, whose only significant knock was the 90 against New Zealand in the last away series, has also been inconsistent and can be replaced with Rahul. Rayudu, who has retired from first-class cricket, has found it difficult and his primary problem has been not being able to rotate the strike.

Winning close matches can help India’s preparation for ICC World Cup 2019

The two victories -- by six wickets and eight runs -- weren't exactly convincing but pulling off close matches under pressure will certainly add to the confidence. "Just coming through these kinds of games gives us confidence. It's important to look ugly at times, and come through and win. We might get these low-scoring games in the World Cup as well," Kohli had said after the second game.

India’s bowling department to get Bhuvneshwar boost

With Siddarth Kaul not in the Indian squad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will surely add to the Indian bowling firepower.

The biggest gain in the second game has been Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar's performance and the the way India exploited them as the crucial fifth bowler.

Shankar's two wickets while bowling the final over will also instil confidence in his captain that in case Hardik Pandya has a breakdown, he has a fallback option in the Tamil Nadu all-rounder. However, it is yet to be seen whether he could be somebody who can bowl six to seven overs consistently in each game.

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have been outstanding in the two games so far. If Shami was lethal during the opening spell of the first game, Bumrah set it up with another incredible effort at the death in the second.

One who is quietly inching towards a slot in the India World Cup squad is Ravindra Jadeja, who has bowled brilliantly in those middle overs in tandem with Kuldeep Yadav. His direct throw to get Peter Handscomb run-out once again proved his utility in the field, more so in the 30-yard circle.

Australia team news

Talking about the visitors, it was their match to win in the last game and the lack of character shown would worry the team management. The Aussies did well to restrict India to 250 and were on course for most parts of the match. Marcus Stoinis held one end up with a defiant half-century but ran out of partners as Jasprit Bumrah showed why he is considered the best in the business.

Here is the playing 11 probables of both the teams:

India playing 11: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu/K L Rahul, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzuvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Australia playing 11: Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa

India vs Australia 3rd ODI: Pitch and weather prediction

The Ranchi pitch is likely to be slow, the ball may come onto the bat under lights as dew will play a part while weather in Ranchi is likely to be clear during the match

Live streaming details

Date and Day: March 8, 2019, and Friday

Place: JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi

Time: 1:30 pm (IST)

match will be available live on Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 in English Commentary and Star Sports Hindi HD in Hindi Commentary. One can also live stream the 1st T20 on Hotstar app and website.

Here are the squads of both the teams:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant.

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.

First Published: Thu, March 07 2019. 15:42 IST