India vs Australia 2020-21, 3rd ODI preview: Virat Kohli and co look to avoid whitewash
First Published Dec 1, 2020, 11:53 AM IST
India are taking on Australia in a three-match One-Day International series, Down Under. The visitors have already lost the series and would look to restore some pride by winning the final ODI and avoid consecutive series defeat, having lost in New Zealand, earlier.
Visitors India are in for a challenging task ahead as they take on hosts Australia in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday. Having already lost the series, India would look to avoid their sixth consecutive ODI loss, besides eyeing to avoid their second successive series whitewash.
The opening two ODIs were held at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), while the batting-friendly track allowed the Aussie batsmen to outplay the Indian bowlers. Furthermore, India's bowling attack looked far from its best in the series. Nonetheless, we present the match preview of this final ODI encounter.
Current form: As said above, India are going through a poor run in the format, having lost five consecutive matches, since their New Zealand tour, earlier this year. As for Australia, they are going through a purple patch, having come off an ODI series win in England, besides getting off to a flier at home against India, as they aim to make a clean sweep.
Squad composition: While India possess a balanced squad, Australia are bowling-heavy. Nonetheless, the limited batting order of the hosts is too brutal for the visitors, as has been evident in the matches so far. Meanwhile, India would be looking to field a batting-heavy XI in Canberra, judging that it is the only area where they can fire at the moment.
Injury concerns: Although India did have injury concerns prior to the series, in the active squad, there is none as such. As for Australia, there are a couple. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis suffered a side strain in the opening game, thereby missing out on the second and would be interesting to see if he is back for Wednesday, despite Australia having sealed the series already. However, the most significant setback they have is opener David Warner, who has suffered a groin injury. Having already been ruled out, he has been replaced by wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade and would be exciting to see if the latter gets a chance.
Head-to-head: Considering their head-on clashes so far, Australia continue to soar high with a lead of 80 wins from 142 games, while India have managed just 37. In Australia, the hosts have won 38 off 53, while India have managed just 13. As for in Canberra, it would only be their second game in the history, with their previous and only clash coming back in 2016, which was won the by the hosts.
Weather and pitch report: The weather in Canberra is likely to be pleasant, with a temperature of around 26 degrees, while humidity is expected to be 39%. As for the track, it has not hosted enough games to be entirely sure. Nonetheless, traditionally, it has supported the batsmen, while Windies's Chris Gayle scored a double century here, along with a team score of more than 400 runs. Thus, both teams are likely to be batting-heavy here.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Cameron Green/Matthew Wade, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc/Andrew Tye, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa.
India: Mayank Agarwal/Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, T Natarajan/Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
Batsmen: Finch, Labuschagne, Smith, Kohli and Dhawan: Finch and Shawan should be the ideal openers, owing to their decent form, while Smith is the perfect fit for number three. Meanwhile, Kohli and Labuschagne can consolidate in the middle.
Wicketkeeper: Rahul- The only man in the department, who not only has the safest hands behind the stumps but is also the man in form with the bat. Clearly, a no-brainer here.
All-rounders: Maxwell and Pandya: Maxwell is a surprise package, who has bounced back in style after a rough Indian Premier League (IPL) outing. While Pandya is in his dominant form with the bat, he is likely to chip in with some bowling and is a volatile wicket-taker.
Bowlers: Hazlewood, Zampa, Shami- The pacers are likely to come in once again handy, as Hazlewood and Shami have been in lethal form throughout, who are likely to use the Aussie conditions to their full advantage. Meanwhile, Zampa has been conspicuous with his ability to churn out wickets on any given track and is likely to do the same in Canberra too.
Players to watch out
Iyer: The prolific middle-order batsman is yet to fire in the series and has looked rusty, despite coming off a decent IPL. He needs to get the pressure of Aussie conditions out of his head and focus on his realistic gameplay.
Starc: Not sure if he would feature in the XI, and that is because he has been the most expensive bowler for the hosts in the series, despite being their number one pacer. In case Finch decides to show faith in him, it's time for him to buckle up.
Chahal: Speaking of the most expensive one for the visitors, it has been leg-spinner Chahal, who has surprisingly underperformed, despite coming off a fecund run in the IPL. He should get back to bowling his best deliveries and pick up wickets on any given track, just like Zampa.
Venue: Manuka Oval, Canberra
Time: 9:10 AM IST
Where to watch (TV): Sony Six, Ten 1 and Ten 3 (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Sony LIV