4th ODI: Revived Australia aim to force decider with Dhoni-less India

Virat Kohli‘s splendid 123 – his 41st ODI hundred – went in vain in Ranchi on Friday as Australia‘s fielders and bowlers defended 313 with vigour for a 32-run victory that has kept them alive in the five-match series.

Kohli, who once again was left to revive a top-order collapse, termed the loss in the third ODI as a “hiccup” while sternly calling on his team-mates to avoid another poor start. The fourth ODI in Mohali on Sunday has given India a chance to fix the broken parts, chiefly the lack of runs from Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu, and with MS Dhoni rested for the last two games there is a big opportunity for Rishabh Pant before the World Cup. (VIDEO: 3rd ODI recap)

Usman Khawaja‘s maiden ODI hundred inspired Australia to victory in Ranchi that kept the series alive, but equally impressive for the defending World Cup champions was the fact that the bowlers did not break in the face of Kohli’s century. Led by Pat Cummins (3/37), Jhye Richardson (3/37) and Adam Zampa (3/70), Australia bowled India out for 281. (READ: Don’t think Virat Kohli’s my bunny: Adam Zampa)

Crucially, Aaron Finch showed signs of a revival after a long run of low scores with a very fine 93 off 99 balls in the third ODI, which may have been the spark this team needed to kick-start a revival. (READ: Always had the faith I would get runs: Aaron Finch)

Australia have not won three ODIs in a row in India since 2003, when Ricky Ponting’s team lifted the TVS Cup, but the mood in the camp has undoubtedly been spiked.

Match details

What: India vs Australia, 4th ODI

When: Sunday, March 10

Where: PCA Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh

Time: 13:30 IST

Team news

India

With Dhoni rested, Pant will keep wickets. Bhuvneshwar Kumar missed out in Ranchi and should return, with Mohammed Shami likely to be rested after he copped a blow on the leg. Rayudu’s third low score in a row could see KL Rahul get a game. (READ: Time running out for Dhawan, Rayudu)

India will be without MS Dhoni for the final two ODIs against Australia.
India will be without MS Dhoni for the final two ODIs against Australia. (Image: cricket.com.au)

Likely XI: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Ambati Rayudu/KL Rahul, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Australia

The touring team will probably won’t change a winning unit.

Likely XI: 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Peter Handscomb, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Alex Carey, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Adam Zampa, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jhye Richardson

Pitch and conditions

The harder surface in Mohali is known to be a belter, with 300 crossed on ten occasions. India posted the highest score there, 392/4 against Sri Lanka in 2017. Pace bowlers have found occasional assistance there, but spinners have not often had good visits. Sunday’s forecast is for sunny conditions.

Stats

Ravindra Jadeja needs two wickets to become India’s eighth most successful bowler in ODIs. He has taken 172 wickets.

Kohi has 33 ODI hundreds in Indian wins, the joint most for all teams with Sachin Tendulkar.

India have won 10 of 15 ODIs at Mohali.

The last time India met Australia at Mohali was during the 2016 ICC World T20, when Kohli’s unbeaten 82 sealed a thrilling win.

Quotes

“I always had faith that I would get some runs and it was nice to really start us off with a good opening partnership and set up what was a defendable total.” – Finch

“A little hiccup in the middle (of the series) but we’ll regroup and recover and come back stronger in the next one.” – Kohli