About the Match
The series is in the bag for India after winning the first three matches but that does not mean that there will be any letup in intensity from the home team. Virat Kohli will know the importance of maintaining this winning streak before the team departs for much tougher examinations abroad. Australia, on the other hand, has now lost 11 of their last completed ODI’s away from home. A win would do them a world of good irrespective of the fact that the series is already lost.
The template of the third game was typical to those seen in India over the last few seasons in that there was not much help for the bowlers and it was a shootout between the batsmen. This does not mean that India’s bowlers were just lambs to the slaughter. On the contrary, it was the late wickets during the death overs that kept Australia to 293 when 350 was clearly on the cards and made the chase straightforward for the batsmen.
We don’t think India will make any changes to their team for this match. Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma have been brilliant at the top of the order while Virat Kohli has also scored runs at number 3. The batting unit afterward has been flexible enough to adapt to different situations thanks to the emergence of Hardik Pandya and the continuing brilliance of MS Dhoni.
The two youngsters in the middle, Kedar Jadhav, and Manish Pandey are probably the only weak links in a strong batting order.
The bowling unit has also been doing well with all the bowlers picking regular wickets. For this match, we think Yuzvendra Chahal will have a big role to play. He plays for the Bangalore franchise and is used to bowling keeping the short boundaries in mind. The pitch has also changed character over the last few years to become much more friendly to spinners.
Kuldeep Yadav could be tested in these conditions especially if one of Australia’s big hitters gets set.
Interestingly, no Indian batsman has gone on to hit a century in this ODI series as of now. Virat Kohli, who is the highest scorer in ODI’s this year has come closes with 92. His record at Bangalore is quite poor in ODI’s but his experience of playing multiple matches in the IPL on this venue could provide him the experience needed to change that around.
The scoreline may suggest that Australia has been hammered in this series but the difference between the two sides has not been that large. It has required some special performances from India to be able to keep the Aussies at bay, something that Steve Smith was painfully aware of.
The return of Aaron Finch made an immediate difference to the Australian team as he smashed a hundred but the continued lack of form from David Warner is hurting them a lot. Warner is a batsman that can win a match off his own bat, something that he has done in the IPL multiple times, and something that we expected in the ODI series as well. With only two matches to go, David Warner should play with freedom and take the attack to the batsmen.
Australia will do well to not go into the match with preconceived notions of a score in their mind since Bangalore is no longer the batting paradise it once was. With a batting lineup boasting of Warner, Finch, Smith, Maxwell, Head, and Handscomb, Australia will back themselves to get a competitive total under most conditions.
The bowling will have to be rejigged a little since Ashton Agar has been injured. Adam Zampa will probably come back into the series. The remaining lineup should remain the same with Coulter-Nile and Cummins to lead the attack with support from Kane Richardson, Zampa, and Stoinis.
Australia may be looking ahead at the Ashes already but going into the series 5-0 is not something that will do their confidence any good. Just a couple of things going their way will help them register their first win in the series though.
Pitch and Conditions
The Pitch at Bangalore is a mystery. It went from being a batting paradise to a rank turner and then improved somewhat once again. We think that the pitch would have had time to come back to its original character somewhat and expect some big scores.
The weather is expected to be clear for the majority of the match with a chance of some showers in the second half of the game.
India is on a hot streak and we think betting with them is the smart way to go.
Back India to win.