India vs Australia 3rd ODI: Preview and Prediction
India will face Australia in the penultimate game of the three-match ODI series on Wednesday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
After losing the first game by five wickets, the visitors doubled down and defeated the hosts by 10 wickets. Mitchell Starc led the Australian bowling attack and finished the game with his ninth 5-wicket haul in the 50-over format. Starc’s antics were beautifully complimented by Sean Abbott and Nathan Ellis, who gave Indian batters no chance to settle down with the ball seaming and swinging prodigiously.
As a result, India was only able to muster 117 runs, which the Australian openers chased comfortably with 39 overs to spare.
What have they done so far?
Australia won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first. However, like in the previous game, things didn’t go as planned for the Men in Blue.
Indian openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma fell pretty cheaply. Gill got out on a duck, which was a first for him in ODI cricket. Skipper Rohit was looking to accelerate but ended up edging a ball going wide, following which the Indian batting order just collapsed.
Suryakumar Yadav got a chance to make an impact in the ODI series after Shreyas Iyer was rested following a back injury. However, he got out on a golden duck on the first delivery he faced in both matches. Interestingly, he got out LBW on both occasions and Starc was the bowler who claimed bragging rights.
Just when Virat Kohli was trying to steady the ship, Hardik Pandya was sent back to the pavilion by a monstrous catch by Steve Smith off Sean Abbott’s bowling. Virat Kohli and Axar Patel showed some resilience, but it wasn’t enough as the Kangaroos ran past the Indian defense, only allowing them to put 117 runs on the board.
Incidentally, this was India’s lowest score against Australia in the 50-over format at home. The Men in Blue scored 51 runs for the loss of five wickets in the first powerplay, which was also their worst score in the powerplay after the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Australia was extremely lethal with their seam bowling. As aforementioned, Starc led the attack and got rid of both openers with just 32 runs on the board. This put the Indians on the back foot and allowed Sean Abbott and Nathan Ellis to also add salt to injury.
Starc finished with five wickets and gave away 53 runs in his spell. Abbott picked three wickets while Ellis ended the match with 2 wickets to his name. With his performance against India, Starc also joined an elite group of players with the most 5-fers in the 50-over format and also marked India’s second 10-wicket mauling at the hands of the Kangaroos in just three years.
While the Aussies struggled with the bat in the first game, the roster didn’t get a chance to bat as openers Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh finished things off in style.
Marsh was ruthless and took the attack to the Indian bowlers in the first game, and came to the second game with a similar mindset. Marsh scored 66 runs in just 33 deliveries and his knock included six humongous maximums.
Travis had otherwise looked devoid of any creativity throughout their tour of India, however, he, too, bloomed under Marsh’s attack and scored 51 runs, which included 10 fours. This is also the quickest a target has been chased against India in ODIs (overs bowled).
Head to Head record
With their win against India on Sunday, the Kangaroos have managed 81 victories against India, while the Men in Blue only have 54 victories to their name. The two behemoths have locked horns 145 times, of which 10 matches were cancelled without a conclusion, and not one of their games has ever resulted in a draw.
Interestingly, in the last bilateral series, which took place in 2020, Australia defeated India 2-1 at home, which was also the last incidence of the Kangaroos winning by a margin of 10 wickets.
Shubman Gill (India): Gill has been outstanding ever since he announced his breakthrough on the international stage. More recently, he became just the 5th Indian batsman to make a century in all formats of international cricket when he scored a century against New Zealand in the game’s shortest version.
In addition to scoring a double century in ODI cricket, Gill wreaked havoc during the series against the Kiwis. He has been unstoppable ever since, solidifying his place in the Indian top order.
More importantly, despite losing cheaply in the first two ODIs, he continues to pose a threat to the Kangaroos after scoring a stunning 128 runs in the penultimate test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Mitchell Starc (Australia): It’s safe to say that Starc is ageing like fine wine. While several questions have been posed over his inclusion in the squad, his fitness and his performance overseas, Starc remains one of the most lethal bowlers in the world.
This was more or less reiterated in the last couple of ODIs. While Australia managed just 188 runs, Starc gave the Men in Blue a hard time chasing the total and came close to toppling the Indian line-up by bagging three crucial wickets.
In the same way, his spell was the catalyst for the Indian batting collapse that helped Australia to level the three-match series. Australia will be counting on him to make his presence felt in the last ODI as well, allowing the Kangaroos to claim a series win after a harrowing defeat in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
India: Rohit Sharma ©, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith ©, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa,
The Indian batting order had the propensity to collapse as seen in the last few years. The middle order has been a bone of contention for several years and besides a few improvements here and there, the batting order has failed to fire the way they hoped it would. The momentum is on Australia’s side and they could win the last match and ultimately the series as well at the Chepauk stadium on Wednesday.