An anxious India are eyeing a rare ODI clean sheet against struggling Australia -
An anxious India are eyeing a rare ODI clean sheet against struggling Australia
Posted 26 Sep 2023 11:55 AM


Skipper Rohit Sharma is hoping for a perfect climax to Team India's World Cup preparations as the hosts eye a rare clean sheet against Australia in the third and final ODI here on Wednesday.
India has never whitewashed Australia in the ODI format before. In fact, no one has achieved such a result, home or away, regardless of the number of matches played in the series.
Considering how perfectly everything went from the World Cup hosts to the mega tournament, India would have finished with a deserved 3-0 lead.
Despite the lack of frontline players, a dominant Indian side will continue to play combinations to ensure all members get game time before the start of the quadrennial tournament in pursuit of a fourth straight ODI win. Had they managed to secure a 3-0 win, India would also have taken a huge lead over five-time world champions Australia before the teams meet in the World Cup opener in Chennai on October 8.
It is no exaggeration to say that India has beaten Australia in the first two ODIs, although both rivals have made many changes to keep their top guns fresh while also fielding those who would not usually feature in the first leg. option XI..
However, the Australian bowlers can get a breather as India rested their young gun Shubman Gill for the final ODI after 74 and 104 in the first two games along with Shardul Thakur.
In a 50-match World Cup year, Gill is the only batsman in the format with a thousand runs and counting - 1230 runs at an astonishing average of 72.35 - and his absence from the final would certainly be felt.
But India's batsmen Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are expected to return along with in-form Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya from a short break during which KL Rahul led admirably.
Faced with tough questions on squad composition, player form, fitness, and availability, India turned it around. That India would end up with a numbers problem was unthinkable when the team began their Asia Cup campaign just a few weeks ago. But the likes of Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Mohammed Shami, and even Mohammed Siraj have made this Indian outfit as formidable a unit as possible.
It took him a while to get going and he was again struggling with back problems. Still, Shreyas Iyer took advantage of ideal batting conditions in Indore to register a century that also cemented his place in the middle order.
Much to the delight of the Indian camp, Rahul delivered the goods in prime time with the bat and behind the stumps.
Like Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah has shown his fitness and form in a few matches after a long injury. After the second ODI break, India's top bowler is ready.
While the team management seems to be leaning towards the injured Axar Patel, senior member of the Indian team Ravichandran Ashwin is keen to take this opportunity before finalizing the World Cup squad.
It is not often that Australia fails in India with both bat and ball on the white ball as miserably as they did in the first two ODIs. The visitors need to pull themselves together as the wheels seem to be coming off fast after five successive ODI defeats.
A few months ago, the same team beat India 2-1 when Mitchell Starc haunted the Indian right-handers with his perfect in-swingers.
With the final game to go before the start of the World Cup, Australia would be tempted to field the bowling attack they want with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, although the batting lacks the firepower of Travis Head at the top and the firepower of Steve Smith. and Mitchell Starc. Marnus Labuschagne. to enjoy a successful year of cricket in India across formats.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (s.m.), Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (s.m.), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar. AĆ­stralio: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey (vk), Josh Inglis (vk), Matthew Short, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa.
Time: 13:30 IST.

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