5th ODI: Australia chase history, India catch-up in decider

Creating history is the key to winning the series for Aaron Finch‘s Australia when they meet a bruised India in the fifth and final ODI in New Delhi on Wednesday.

From being down 0-2, sixth-ranked Australia now stand toe to toe with No 2 India after consecutive wins in Ranchi and Mohali and a hat-trick of wins will give them the series. But history tells us that no team has ever come back from 0-2 to beat India in a series of five ODIs, and nor has any Australian side ever done that in a five-match series against any opposition. (READ: India’s last ODI before World Cup: What needs to be worked out)

For the last time an Australia team won three ODIs in a row on Indian soil, one must look back to 2003 when Ricky Ponting’s world champion team lifted the TVS Cup.

This current team, sparked to life by Finch’s 93 and Usman Khawaja’s maiden ODI hundred in the third game and inspired in Mohali by Khawaja, Peter Handscomb and Ashton Turner, will have genuine designs on beating India again. The reason for that will in no small part be down to the country’s highest successful run chase ever in ODI cricket, a four-wicket win with 13 balls to spare.

From being up 2-0, Virat Kohli‘s team suddenly find themselves needing to play catch-up. The absence of predicted dew left India befuddle in Ranchi, where instead of bowling they should have batted. In Mohali, where dew has been a factor, Kohli chose to bat when it would have been better to field.

India also have personnel changes to address in their last ODI before the World Cup. A cracker awaits.

Match details

What: India vs Australia, 5th ODI

When: Wednesday, March 13

Where: Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi

Time: 13:30 IST

Team news

India made four changes in Mohali, resting MS Dhoni for the remainder of the series and dropping Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja for KL Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal. Rahul was surprisingly batted at No 3 and made 26 off 31 balls, with one four. Bhuvneshwar had an off day, conceding 67 runs in nine overs. Chahal went for 80 in his ten.

Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul have a lot to prove in India's final ODI before the World Cup.
Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul have a lot to prove in India’s final ODI before the World Cup.

India are likely to persist with Rahul given the World Cup looms, but he is best suited to bat at No 4. Shami could return in a three-pronged pace attack.

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

Australia

With Marcus Stoinis nursing a broken thumb, the same XI is likely to be replicated.

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

Pitch and conditions

The Feroz Shah Kotla is not known to be a high-scoring venue, as evident by a highest total of 330/8 and just one more total of over 300 in 23 completed ODIs. Spinners have had success there and pace is valued too, but a flat surface can be expected. Dew also is not believed to be a factor.

Wednesday’s forecast is for an oddly cloudy day, but rain is not expected.

Stats

India have won 12 of 18 completed ODIs at the Kotla.

Rohit Sharma needs 46 runs to reach the 8000 mark in ODIs. If he gets there on Wednesday, he will be the third-fastest of all time (in terms of innings).

Kohli is one match-winning hundred away from surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time record of 33 ODI centuries in Indian victories.

The record for most wickets by an Australian bowler in a bilateral series is seven, held jointly by Mitchell Johnson and Clint McKay. Pat Cummins has taken 12 in four games and needs two to level and three to make history.

It has been a decade since an Australian team won an ODI series in India.

Quotes

“We’re starting to see that guys are learning, are more relaxed and understanding what they can do within their own game and then executing to their strengths with both bat and ball. It’s exciting.” – Handscomb

“We were sloppy in the field, to be honest, we’re not at our best. But the DRS call as well, it was a bit of a surprise for all of us. It’s becoming more of a talking point in every game.” – Kohli