There will be no let-up in intensity as a ruthless India look to inch closer to yet another series whitewash when they take on a beleaguered Australia in the fourth One-day International at Bengaluru on Thursday, PTI reported.
Virat Kohli’s team is going through a dream run of form. If the training session at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday was any indication, their winning streak, may continue. The fate of the five-match series was decided after India swept aside Australia in the first three matches, leaving the possibility of an embarrassing whitewash hanging over the tourists’ heads.
While Kohli and former captain MS Dhoni have been leading the way with their performances, Hardik Pandya’s growth as an all-rounder added a new dimension to the team. He slammed a fluent 78, a few days after an attacking 66-ball 83, as India comfortably chased down 294 in the last game at Indore to take an unassailable 3-0 lead. Rohit Sharma and Ajikya Rahane played their part to perfection, each scoring half centuries in a 131-run opening partnership.
If needed, India can also count on the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey to deliver the goods with the willow, though one of them could make the way for home boy KL Rahul. While batting has always been their strength, India continue to impress with the ball as well. Seam bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been troubling Australia’s top-order and cramped the others for room in the death overs.
The young wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav caught the attention of fans and critics alike with their impressive showings, and have been tipped by pundits to become India’s frontline spinners in limited-overs cricket, displacing Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Yadav bamboozled the Australian batsmen in Kolkata, where he picked up a hat-trick, joining an elite Indian brand featuring only Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma.
Road to Ashes
Going into the Ashes at home, Australia are know that reversal in form is important. The Aussies have have lost 11 ODIs in a row away from home, with the exception of two washouts. Eight of those defeats came against South Africa and India.
They’ve won five of their last 14 Tests with three of those wins a 3-0 clean sweep of Pakistan during the last Australian summer. Even as Australia struggle to search for answers to contain a rampaging Indian team, one of their biggest concerns has been the failure of the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell.
The visitors failed to cross 300 after centurion Aaron Finch placed them at a commanding 232/2 after 38 overs. From there, all they could muster was another 59 runs while losing four wickets. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who was taken to the cleaners by Pandya in Chennai before being dropped is likely to replace injured Ashton Agar.
While part-time wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb failed in Indore, he should get another chance to prove he can replace Matthew Wade, who was axed after a lean trot with the bat. Australian pacers, especially Nathan Coulter-Nile, have been consistent with his nagging line and length. Tearaway quick Pat Cummins has been a good foil. Thunderstorms are forecast on match day, but fans would be hoping that the rain stays away.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja and Lokesh Rahul.
Australia: Steven Smith (c), David Warner, Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, James Faulkner and Adam Zampa.