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India vs Australia ODI series 2019 has been an epic one. The series is locked at 2-2 and Australia has a better than decent chance of walking away from this tour with wins in both the formats they played. The T20 series was not where India was at its strongest and not too much attention was paid to the result looking ahead at the ICC World Cup 2019 on the horizon. A loss at home against Australia in the ODI series, though, is going to be a difficult pill to swallow.
Australia recorded its highest ODI chase in the previous ODI. It was also the highest ever total any team has chased against India. The side is coming together very nicely just ahead of the cricket world cup and we could see a spirited defense of the title, especially after David Warner and Steve Smith return to the playing eleven.
For the time being, though, winning the decider and going away from the series winners is going to be the only concern for both sides.
It is hard to think of an ODI series, home or away, where the Indians have looked so listless. Loss of form, lack of killer instinct, selection mistakes, and self-inflicted wounds seem to be following the Indian team around.
The series is even at 2-2 but India is lucky to be in this position. They could have very easily lost all four of these matches.
Now, the fifth and final match of this ODI series vs Australia is going to be a veritable final.
India made some changes to its side for the fourth ODI. They brought in Yuzvendra Chahal for Ravindra Jadeja, Lokesh Rahul in place of Ambati Rayadu, Rishab Pant for MS Dhoni, and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar for Mohammad Shami.
The batting did much better on what was easily the best batting surface of the series. Shikhar Dhawan shrugged off concerns about his form and rattled of 143 runs while Rohit Sharma got out on 95. In a team where Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma often dominate the headlines, it is easy to forget that Shikhar Dhawan is one of the leading ODI batsmen in the world and has been for quite some time now.
Lokesh Rahul was sent in to bat at number three while Virat Kohli demoted himself to number 4. This is the worst decision that we have seen from the Indian team management. Why would you want to demote your best batsman from his preferred position to include an untested player that has had plenty of opportunities in the past?
If Rahul had to play then he should have batted at number 4 otherwise Rayadu should have been given another chance. Now that India has committed to this line of thought, it is unlikely they will change just after one match.
India went with four regular bowlers in the previous match and hoped to get the fifth bowler’s quota from Jadhav and Shankar. Australia did not let that happen and that was where India lost control.
This upcoming match is going to be India’s last ODI match before the ICC World Cup 2019 and it looks like the side has more questions to answer than when it started the series.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, V Kohli, RR Pant, Kedar Jadhav, V Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, JJ Bumrah.
Another brilliant performance from Australia helped them equalize the series 2-2 and go into the final match with a great chance to pull off an upset. Winning the ODI series will be a huge achievement for the Aussies and their fans can legitimately think about a successful ICC World Cup 2019 campaign from here on in.
Everything has worked for Australia in this series. The last match in Mohali was the one occasion where they seemed to have fallen short of the batting power required to compete against India but Ashton Turner made a mockery of the chase.
He came in when the task was still quite tough for Australia at 229 for 4 and then exploded with 84 off 43 deliveries. This was only the second match that Ashton Turner was playing for Australia and we really think he is in with a shout of making the Australia ICC World Cup 2019 squad.
Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, and Marcus Stoinis are all in good form for Australia. Shaun Marsh has had three opportunities in the series and is struggling. It will be interesting to see if Australia continues to stick with him or gives Marcus Stoinis another chance at the top of the order.
One option could also be to give Peter Handscomb the gloves and get Marcus Stoinis into the side that way. There is no way Australia can choose its strongest side to try and win the series and not have Marcus Stoinis in it.
The bowling attack looked a bit better balanced with Behrendorff in the side instead of Nathan Lyon and that is likely to be the case for the final ODI as well. Nathan Coulter-Nile could also get a go in place of Behrendorff but we don’t think Australia is being weakened with either choice.
Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, and Adam Zampa have been the three most impressive bowlers for Australia this series. All three of them are going to be in the playing eleven for the final match and will pose the biggest threat to the Indians.
Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, AJ Turner, Alex Carey, Jhye Richardson, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Nathan Michael Lyon.
The team winning the toss is likely to want to field first
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The fifth ODI between India and Australia is going to be played at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi. There is no chance of rain that has been forecast for match day in New Delhi, although, the weather will be a bit colder than what we have seen so far. It is expected to be comfortable 25 degree Celsius for the most part in the day and dropping as the night progresses.
The pitch should be good for batting and another very high scoring match looks likely.
This series has served a rude awakening to India and we think they are being given a reality check by an underpowered Australian team. For the final match, winning the toss and chasing is going to be a big advantage. The Feroz Shah Kotla has some ridiculously small boundaries and defending totals can be tough. Overall, though, we think India is due a good performance and it might just come at the right time to bail them out.
Back India to win.
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