Australia kept up their excellent form on their tour of India at the weekend to force a deciding match in the ODI series between the two which takes place in Delhi on Wednesday. Australia are looking to come from 2-0 down to land the spoils, which would be an outstanding achievement.
India looked to be in complete control of the series after two matches so it would be a big dent to their confidence if they were to come away losing it. With a World Cup on the horizon that is something they would not want to happen.
The home side might just be starting to question themselves now. They put up more than 350 in the previous match in Mohali but that was not enough to get them over the line. We should acknowledge that dew hampered them quite badly but what was looking like another serene ODI series win has turned around completely and now they are right up against it.
India’s bowlers will come in for heavy criticism if they don’t win the series but they will know that and we should get a decent performance from them here. The one good thing for India is that they know that their batting is going along nicely should their bowlers give them the platform that they need. India will hope they’ve saved their best for last.
It has been quite some turnaround for Australia in this series and they are now on the verge of a famous series victory. They have completely raised their game in the last two matches, which when you think they fell away quite alarmingly in the match prior to that, is no mean achievement. They will not want to come this far and not see the job through so suddenly the pressure is right back on them.
The key behind the transformation in their hopes has been the way they have built into the series with the bat. That collapse in the second match of the five was the catalyst for change and since then they have batted supremely. They have been helped out by the dew but we shouldn’t take any credit away from them despite of that.
India already sat MS Dhoni out of this match and they have taken the decision to rest Mohammad Shani for this deciding match too. All eyes will be on the likes of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar as India consider their World Cup squad.
Australia are not expected to make too many changes after successive wins in recent times but they might choose to freshen up their bowling attack in light of conceding 350+ in the previous match. Jason Behrendorff could come in.
I took Australia in the previous match and they obliged and I’m seeing no discernible reason why I shouldn’t take them again here. They have been strong throughout this tour and would have had this series wrapped up already had they got over the line in the second game. That they didn’t was a concern at the time but they have bounced back in style since then.
India remain a top side but they have looked like a tired one for a while and it is going to take something of a big effort to raise their game for this match. They shouldn’t lack for motivation in this match given the state of the series but whether they retain the quality with the changes they have made time will tell. Conditions in Delhi should suit Australia and I’ll take them again here.
WON – Back Australia to beat India for a 4/10 stake at 2.63 with Coral