Australia finally conclude their tour of India on Sunday when the two nations meet in the fifth and final T20 match, which now acts purely as preparation for the T20 World Cup next year after the home side secured the series with a match to spare.
Australia could be forgiven for finding it hard to get up for this match but there are spots at the T20 World Cup up for grabs so hopefully that will rouse them into a performance and if it does we should get a cracking end to the tour.
The Indians have achieved what they would have set out to do at the outset of the series and that is win it. The fact that they have done it with a match to spare means that they can play with a bit more freedom here and perhaps change a few things around in the hunt for the perfect combination heading into the T20 World Cup next year. Matches between now and the tournament are few and far between though so India will want to continue their winning momentum.
India have batted well throughout the series and you would imagine that isn’t going to change here now that we come to the best batting ground of the five and the smallest venue of the lot. Whichever combination India go with when it comes to the batting you would expect them to deliver the goods. The question will be whether they can hold their own with the ball. You would imagine the spinners will find this tough going.
Australia have put up a much better showing in this series than I would have expected them to when you consider the emotional efforts that were put into winning the World Cup. It probably helps that they have freshened things up throughout the series but players coming and going can bring its own problems. They haven’t quite been good enough to force a deciding match but I would imagine they have taken plenty from the opening four matches and have one last chance to look at a few things.
The one thing this series has shown them is that they need more depth at the death end of the bowling innings. In a couple of the games they have had India going nowhere but allowed them to get away from them and paid the price for it. That probably won’t happen when they are at full strength but if they were looking for someone to show their worth in that department here it hasn’t really happened. I would imagine the batters that they wanted to find out about have delivered which is a positive.
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Now that India have won the series they might choose to make more changes to their side. Washington Sundar hasn’t featured in the series yet and he might get a chance here on what was his IPL home ground.
Australia might well bring a seamer back into their ranks because two spinners are not needed on this ground. Tanveer Sangha has played the whole series so he might get a rest with Nathan Ellis a leading candidate to come back in.
We only have to go back to the 50 over World Cup a few weeks ago to know how good a batting track this wicket in Bangalore is and when you consider that this series has been full of boundaries so far there is no reason to think that trend is going to change here. The key to all of the boundaries has been that these are second string bowling attacks and they have been found out, especially towards the end of the bowling innings.
The line for this match is 48.5 but based on what we have seen so far that just looks low. The boundary count in this series to date is 63, 56, 67 and 39, the latter of which was on a wicket which offered the bowlers something. I don’t expect this one to do that and with the size of the ground I expect the boundaries to be peppered. You can choose between the sixes and the boundaries for a bet as both are likely to cover but with the Indian openers hitting more fours than sixes I’ll play the boundaries.
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