Glenn Maxwell Australia Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli India
India are up against it going into the third one-day international against AustraliaReuters

Two scores of over 300, two Rohit Sharma centuries, and yet, two losses for India. Having seen Australia chase down those big totals with ridiculous ease, something needs to change for India when the 3rd ODI comes calling in Melbourne.

The last couple of times India played at the MCG, they produced a brilliant victory over South Africa in a World Cup group match and a tense, but eventually comfortable, win over Bangladesh in the quarterfinals. So, that's two good recent memories in ODI cricket for India at this iconic ground, and they need to take that positive energy into this third one-day international on Sunday.

While the bowling is the obvious improvement that India need to make before the final three one-dayers of this ODI series, the captain MS Dhoni also admitted scoring just above 300 in the first innings is not going to be enough; the visitors are going to have to target scores of above 330 if they are to stop the Australia juggernaut.

"The position that we are in, we will have to score more runs and definitely we will go hard," Dhoni told reporters after India's seven-wicket loss to Australia on Friday. "At the same time, you have to realise how hard you want to go. [In the second match] we started our slog earlier and it is definitely something that we had in our mind and we did apply it in this game.

"It didn't work but hopefully in the next game, we can come out and play a bit more freely because we know we have to score more runs. We may in the process get bowled out for 280, but if we have to look to win, we will have to look to score on the higher side. Or the other option is that we win the toss and field first and maybe chase down the total."

That is something India must definitely consider. Dhoni chose to bat first after winning the toss on both occasions, and while that decision in the first ODI was understandable, having seen the ease with which the Aussies chased down the total at the WACA, India might have been better suited to chase in Brisbane on Friday.

Instead, India went with the same template of putting runs on the board and hoping the bowlers can defend them. It clearly did not work, with Australia getting to 309 with a whole over to spare.

Three things went wrong in that second one-day match for India – the death overs batting, where Dhoni and co. only scored 75 runs in the final 10 overs, the bowling discipline, with India conceding 11 wides, and the fielding, with some crucial catches and run outs missed.

To beat Australia, who really are a seriously powerful ODI force at home, you need to be at a 100% in all departments, and in the first two ODIs India certainly weren't. Maybe, third time's the charm.

3rd ODI schedule: India vs Australia.

Date: Sunday, 17 January.

Time: 2.20 pm local time (8.50 am IST, 3.20 am GMT, 10.20 pm ET).

Venue: MCG in Melbourne.

TV listings: India: Star Sports HD1, Star Sports HD3, Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 3. Australia: Channel 9. Middle East and North Africa: OSN Cricket. UK: Sky Sports 3. USA: Willow TV. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: SuperSport.

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