About the Match
India defended a below-par total with ease and beat Australia by 50 runs in the second ODI as well. This marks the 10th
consecutive completed ODI match that Australia has lost away from home and brings India on the brink of another series victory.
Can India wrap up the series in this game or will the Aussies fight to stay alive for another day?
Batting first, India began confidently before losing Rohit Sharma. Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli, employing a new technique against the wide deliveries, played confidently to put India in a position of strength. Rahane fell just after making his half-century and Kohli got out on 92 but they had laid the foundation of a strong finish for the middle and lower order.
That finish never came as Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dhoni and Pandya all failed to score any significant runs. This batting performance makes it clear that India still has a lot of work to do in trying to figure out it's best batting eleven especially since Rahane has been slotted in as an opener only.
We continue to re-iterate that this overdependence on Kohli and Rohit Sharma can leave India vulnerable, as it did in the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan. The reports for this match though suggest that the batsmen will have a surface to their liking and be able to hit through the line.
We would advise sticking with bets on the top-3 in these conditions. Rohit Sharma thrives on featherbeds, while Rahane and Kohli have shown good form already. Maybe Pandey and Jadhav will also take their opportunity if they get the chance but we suspect an elevation for Hardik Pandya may be the way to go if a solid platform has been laid.
It was difficult to imagine a time when teams traveling to India would spend as much time talking about the Indian ODI bowling lineup as they did about their batting. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar’s swing, Jasprit Bumrah’s accuracy, Pandya’s ability to extract bounce from the wicket and the wrist spin duo of Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have done exactly that.
In our estimation, it is Bhuvaneshwar Kumar with his early swing and tendency to take early wickets that has been the best of the bowlers. On a flat track, though, Bumrah might become more important with his pinpoint yorkers.
Would it be an overestimation to state that the current Indian team is depending more on its bowlers than the batsmen to win them matches? On the evidence of the first two matches, it would not seem so.
India was always a tough team to beat at home and it is just a matter of time before batsmen truly get into the act as well.
Two matches and two opportunities lost. Australia prides themselves on performing under pressure but two poor batting performances against an inspired Indian bowling attack will raise some questions about their mental strength.
Neither of the two totals they were chasing in the first two matches was formidable and they also had a good partnership laying the platform in the second one. Unfortunately for Australia, they just cannot seem to get the hang of playing wrist spin in the subcontinent.
David Warner has failed in the first two matches but we believe he is due for a big inning very soon. A good surface to bat on and maybe first use of the pitch could get him going. Similarly, some positive reports from the Aussie camp suggest that Aaron Finch could be making a comeback into the team very soon in place of the beleaguered Hilton Cartwright.
Another positive for Australia was the form of Steve Smith and Travis Head, who both got in and looked good before getting out against the run of play. With Glen Maxwell striking the ball cleanly and Marcus Stoinis also scoring runs in the last match, this Australian batting order could come good at any time.
The Australian bowling looks quite dependent on Coulter-Nile and Cummins for early wickets because the backup bowling of Stoinis and Agar looks a little light on quality. Kane Richardson is an excellent addition to the lineup in our opinion and could be very valuable in the death overs going forward.
This attack could struggle big time on a flat Indian wicket with only Cummins having the extra pace that could take the surface out of the equation.
Pitch and Conditions
The first two matches of this series have been played on surfaces that were not the typical batting decks that ODI cricket in India has been associated. Indore, though, should change that and serve up an absolute road on which 330 will be par.
The weather is expected to be excellent throughout the day with no rain expected.
Australia is a dangerous opponent and has the individuals to be able to turn this series around but at the moment, we have no choice but to go with India to win this match.
India to win