About the Match
India and Australia get ready to play the final ODI of this series with nothing but pride at stake. India has won the series and even though it lost the last match, we fully expect the rotation policy to continue. Australia finally managed to break its losing streak and will now want to reduce the deficit even further. Two wins on the trot is a nice way to build some momentum ahead of the Ashes series.
Content with having won the series, India decided to rest its three frontline bowlers and give the reserves a chance. On a flat wicket where bowling was going to be difficult anyway, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Axar Patel struggled to keep the runs down and looked rusty.
This meant that for the second game in succession Australia had a big partnership at the top of the order but their best death bowlers were not around to pull the game back. To be fair, though, India did pick some lat wickets in the last match otherwise they looked set to chase down something in the region of 360.
To discard players after just one opportunity seems cruel and so now India must stay committed this bunch of players for this match. The only change we would like to see is Kuldeep Yadav being brought back in for Axar Patel, who looked totally out of his depth in the last match.
Even after giving away 330 plus runs India would have felt in with a shot. Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma got off to a wonderful start and the middle order duo of Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav brought India within striking distance.
Some wickets at important intervals and a lack of big hits when needed left India a little short though.
Surprisingly, the one batsman that is looking completely out of touch was Virat Kohli. He looked edgy at the crease, was involved in a run-out and then got playing the exact same shot as in the second ODI. It could be fatigue as the Indian skipper has played every match of every format or just poor form but Virat Kohli did not look the menacing force has been over the last few years.
India still has not had really had their batsmen fire like we are used to seeing in home conditions. This last ODI could be the perfect opportunity to end the series on a high note and get into a positive frame of mind before the T20’s begin.
David Warner finally did what David Warner does and played an absolute gem to score a century. It was a pleasure to see him cut loose and take on the spinners. Maybe the absence of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, his chief tormentor in this series, had something to with it or maybe it was just the confidence of having an in-form Aaron Finch at the other end.
Speaking of Finch, the Aussie opener could have easily had two centuries from two games. His presence in the top-order has made a world of difference to Australia and allows the middle order to play without too much of pressure.
It was a little puzzling to see Glenn Maxwell dropped but now that his replacement has scored some runs, it is going to be hard for him to make a comeback so soon. Peter Handscomb, Travis Head and Marcus Stoinis played an important role in the last match and we can see them maturing into a consistent lower middle order down the line.
Batting has not been a problem for Australia for the most part in this series but it is their bowling that has failed to stand up to the test. Even in the last game, India was unchallenged for the vast majority of their chase, only stumbling in the end due to some poor shot selection and brilliant fielding.
Adam Zampa always looked on edge while the pacers struggled to make a mark on the flat surface. Nagpur is usually the flattest of the surfaces that you can hope for in India and it will require a much-improved performance from Australia to be able to keep the Indian batting in check.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather is forecast to be warm and clear with no threat to the match. The pitch is going to be full of runs and we expect scores of 350 to be made in both innings.
We think the Indian batting should flex its muscles at least once in this series and we are backing India to win.
India to win