There has been an element of Indian dominance over Australia in the ongoing ODI series. They have played some good cricket to go 2-0 up in the five-match ODI series, and now the focus has shifted to Holkar Stadium in Indore, with the game scheduled on Sunday.
India captain Virat Kohli is not someone, who shows much interest in breaking a winning combination. However, for the third ODI, the team management might be forced into making one minor change, especially in the middle order.
Manish Pandey, who walks in to bat at number four, has not been able to deliver the goods. He has scored three runs in the first two ODIs, which might prompt Kohli to bring in KL Rahul.
Rahul has batted in the middle order for India in the recent past against Sri Lanka, but the right-hander has also not been able to impress. One has to understand that Rahul is actually an opener, and the tough competition for places has left him without a place in the playing XI. So Kohli has a decision to make - stick with Pandey or play Rahul.
In the bowling department, there is no reason for India to make any changes. The pacers – Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar – have been spot on with their bowling. The spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav - likewise, have been brilliant in the middle overs, and Kohli will be looking at his bowlers for the demolition job in the third ODI too.
Australia, in search of their first victory in the series, will look to have the best possible combination for the third ODI. The Aussies did make two changes in the second ODI, bringing in Kane Richardson and Ashton Agar for James Faulkner and Adam Zampa, which did not prove to be fruitful.
Zampa should always be considered for selection as leg-spinners are always a wicket-taking option. So his inclusion for the third ODI after Agar's below-par performance might make sense. Australia bowlers have been decent as India batsmen have not even posted 300 runs in either of the matches, but the problem lies in their batting, especially at the top of the order.
With opener Aaron Finch suffering from a calf injury, Hilton Cartwright has been handed the job, but the right-hander has struggled.
They might have to reshuffle their batting order a little and ask Travis Head to partner David Warner, which will open the doors for Peter Handscomb in the third ODI. This decision could prove to be fruitful, considering Handscomb is a good player of spin bowling. He could handle the spin duo of Chahal and Yadav.
Irrespective of the players, who will take to the field for both teams, they will just have one thing on their mind – win at all cost.
The pitch at Holkar Stadium is expected to be batsmen friendly, and runs could be the flavour of the day. The average score at the venue stands in excess of 300.
However, Holkar curator on Friday, September 22 said there will be enough assistance for the wrist-spinners from the track.
Confirmed playing XI
Australia: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steven Smith(c), Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb(w), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson
India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli(c), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal