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The second ODI between India and Australia was very close and went down to the last over. It took an excellent last over from Vijay Shankar to defend ten runs when a batsman like Marcus Stoinis was at the other end. Australia will rue its missed opportunities in both games but especially so in the second ODI. They needed 33 runs off 34 balls with five wickets in hand but could not get home.
India is just one win away from another series win and will be happy with its performances. The playing surfaces that the teams have got so far have not been conducive to batting exploits, which is very different to what they are going to be facing in England for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Australia needs a way to find that little bit extra and get over the line against a very strong Indian side. Can they keep the series alive by winning in Ranchi?
Virat Kohli has made scoring centuries in ODI cricket an absolutely routine matter. He does not seem to take any risks and goes about accumulating his runs at a strike rate of close to 100. His inning of 116 stood out on a slow pitch where scoring was difficult and no other batsman on either side scored even half the runs that he was able to get.
Virat Kohli was able to carry India to a par total as the batting faltered once again. Rohit Sharma got out for a duck, Shikhar Dhawan scored 21 and looked to be getting set only to get out against a most innocuous delivery from Glenn Maxwell. Dhawan’s lack of form would be raising some concern in the Indian camp, although, we don’t think there is any risk of him being dropped at the moment.
The most impressive batsman after Virat Kohli was Vijay Shankar. He came in at a tough time and played very fluently. He was out backing up a bit too much and was very unlucky to be run out off a ricochet. Shankar also contributed quite well with the ball, bowling the decisive final over. We think he has made a very strong case for being included in the India squad ICC World Cup 2019.
India could conceivably play Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya in the side to give them enough depth in the batting and plenty of bowling options as well.
It was a little perplexing to see MS Dhoni come in at number 7 when that is clearly not the position he is going to be batting in at the World Cup.
The bowling was spot-on for India as Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravindra Jadeja bowled very well. Jadeja’s utility in the field and improved batting makes him a very potent person to have in the squad as well.
We could see India swap out a player or two and test them out when the series is still alive.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, V Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, V Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, JJ Bumrah.
Australia brought in Nathan Lyon into the side and it turned out to be a very good move looking at the surface. Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon were pretty effective in the middle overs although Virat Kohli and Vijay Shankar did manage to get them away for some runs.
The star of the Australian bowling was Pat Cummins. He took four wickets and got life out of a pretty slow surface. We have no doubt that Pat Cummins is going to be first names in the Australian ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 squad.
Marcus Stoinis was only used for one over and Glenn Maxwell ended up bowling his full quota. Australia left out Jason Behrendorff in place of Lyon in the last match and may want to consider giving Andre Tye a go. He has an excellent record in the IPL and loves bowling on the slow surfaces that India is serving up to Australia right now.
The batting was a bit better even though leaving out Ashton Turner after just one match was tough. Shaun Marsh adds a lot to the batting lineup and his addition certainly helped the Aussies. We expect the batting to remain the same for the third ODI as well.
Aaron Finch got some runs but fell before making fifty. That’s 21 international matches without a fifty now. Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, and Marcus Stonis all made runs without going on to make a big one. With Glenn Maxwell in excellent form, the entire Australian batting lineup has some runs behind it.
The trick is now to get all the batsmen playing well in the same match.
Australia cam very close to beating India in the second match and there is no reason why they cannot go slightly better in the upcoming games.
Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Michael Lyon, Adam Zampa.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
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The 3rd ODI between India and Australia is going to be played at JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi. There is absolutely no rain expected on match day and we should have an uninterrupted game to enjoy.
Things are not going to get any easier for the Aussies against spin in Ranchi. The pitch tends to help the slower bowlers as was seen during the IPL matches played here. The average first inning total in ODI’s at Ranchi has been 249, although that was brought down by an extremely poor performance by England in one of the matches.
We think a score of around 270 should be considered par at the ground.
India is 2-0 up and has yet to play its best cricket. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have not fired, Yuzvendra Chahal has not got a game, and the pitches have not been the best for power hitting. India has a lot left in the tank and that should scare the Aussies.
As far as the Aussies go, their troubles against spin are not going to go away any time soon. One of their batsmen will have to have an absolutely unbelievable game to be able to win the match for the side.
Back India to win.
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