With the last ODI before the ICC Cricket World Cup, India face an in-form Australia with an eye on clinching the series as well as finalizing their squad for the World Cup.
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.
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-wicker 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.