Australia’s chance to finish ODI series on a high

Match details

Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur
October 1, Sunday; 13:30 IST
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The main picture

They had posted 334/5 and yet, the general consensus was that India will overhaul the target of 335 in Bangalore on Thursday. India had the right blend of batsmen to take them home and they will have looked to particularly cash in on Australia’s fourth and fifth bowlers’ quota of 20 overs. Marcus Stoinis pulled up in his second over and was off the field for a while, meaning the only part-time bowling option available to Steve Smith (Travis Head) had to be brought into the attack.

But, the visitors overcame this setback and went on to register their first victory of this ODI series. The keys to their success were Adam Zampa dismissing Hardik Pandya in the 38th over and with only 110 runs more to win for India (who had seven wickets in hand before the all-rounder holed out), and while batting, ensuring that the mini-collapse—they lost three wickets for five runs in 14 balls (34.6 to 37.1)—didn’t derail them like in Indore. Not to mention they fielded a lot better and held on to the catches.

So, after the morale-denting defeat in Indore, Australia will have regained confidence by winning in Bangalore and now have the belief that they can beat India again. Remember, Aaron Finch’s return has done wonders to Australia’s batting line-up. Not only has this Victorian right-hander scored big runs and is currently the second-highest run-scorer in this ODI series (218 runs) but also provided his team with good starts and launch pads to post formidable totals batting first. With Peter Handscomb lending more stability than Glenn Maxwell to the middle order, the visitors look set to test Virat Kohli and co. once more in what has been a good one-day series so far.

The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha is arguably the biggest cricket ground in India and its sheer size alone will comfort Steve Smith’s men, who are used to playing on grounds with big boundaries.

India will not and don’t have to read too much into the defeat in Bangalore. The fifth ODI will be looked at as another opportunity to experiment with the batting order and integrate the only player who hasn’t played any of the ODIs. The objective will still be to win in Nagpur and achieve a 4-1 series scoreline.

India vs Australia head to head in ODI

After three straight defeats, the Aussies got themselves on board in this one-day series and as a result, have taken their head-to-head record against India to 73-44. On Indian soil, Ind 24-26 Aus is how it stands.

The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur, has hosted two India vs Australia ODIs before and both have been won by the home team. Both of these matches have been high-scoring as well.

Recent form

IND: LWWWW (last five matches, from left to right)

5th ODI: India vs Australia playing XI

Lokesh Rahul is the only player who has yet to feature in this ODI series and so, he will probably make the Indian playing 11 tomorrow. But the question is, who will he replace? Axing Manish Pandey will be harsh on him considering the situations he has walked into and made a couple of decent scores (36* and 33). But with Kedar Jadhav providing crucial overs and proving capable of bowling in pressure cooker situations, Pandey might be the one being sacrificed to integrate his state team-mate into the line-up.

I also wonder if India will include all three spinners and rest Hardik Pandya, who is the leading run-scorer with 222 runs and has had an extremely busy series.

Possible India playing XI for 5th ODI: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Lokesh Rahul/Manish Pandey, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya/Kuldeep Yadav, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Umesh Yadav, and 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Actual Indian playing XI: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, and 11 Kuldeep Yadav

Australia are likely to stick with the winning combination, meaning James Faulkner is likely to return home after playing just one ODI.

Possible Australia playing 11 for the 5th ODI: 1 Steve Smith (c), 2 David Warner, 3 Aaron Finch, 4 Travis Head, 5 Peter Handscomb, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 10 Kane Richardson, and 11 Adam Zampa

Actual Australian playing XI: 1 Steve Smith (c), 2 David Warner, 3 Aaron Finch, 4 Travis Head, 5 Peter Handscomb, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 10 James Faulkner, and 11 Adam Zampa

Kane Richardson is ill and misses out.

Match prediction

Tomorrow’s ODI has the makings of being the closest contest in this series. India’s winning streak has been brought to an end and Australia seem to have unearthed a winning formula.

The teams chasing have tasted the most success (won 5, lost 2) in the seven ODIs hosted by the Jamtha Stadium in Nagpur.

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