After a two-day gap, India will be taking on Australia in the third and final ODI at Canberra on Wednesday. Having sealed the series, Australia is likely to give bench players a chance to play.
Australia has decided to rest Pat Cummins to prepare him for the Test series, while opener David Warner has been ruled out for the remaining white-ball matches due to an injury. During the second ODI, Warner suffered a groin injury while fielding. According to Australia’s coach Justin Langer, Warner has returned home to rehabilitate and is looking to becoming fit ahead of the first Test match on December 17. D’Arcy Short has been called to replace Warner for the T20I series which begins on Friday at Canberra.
Australia’s batsmen have been in rich form. The loss of Warner may hurt a little, but with the way Aaron Finch, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell have been batting, they may not miss him after all. However, Australia does have a slight problem in terms of their bowling. The team has conceded 300+ scores in the two games despite the wicket being slightly sluggish. Australia’s major worry has been Mitchell Starc’s form. The New South Wales pacer has been quite expensive with the ball.
On the other hand, India is also facing problems with their bowling. For the first time, Indian bowlers have leaked over 370 runs in two consecutive games. But the problem doesn’t stop there. The inability to take wickets in the first 10 overs is hurting the team. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini have been expensive with the ball.
“We have been ineffective with the ball and didn’t hit the right areas,” said Virat Kohli, during a press conference after the second ODI. Hardik Pandya’s return to bowling is a relief for India but they would not want him to ball too many overs considering he is not a 100% fit. Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal hasn’t been at his best either.
On the bench, India has Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan and Kuldeep Yadav waiting to get a game. India could be bringing in Thakur or Natarajan in the place of Saini and Yadav for Chahal. Not having an additional all-rounder is giving Kohli major problems.
However, India’s batting line-up is looking decent but is definitely missing the services of Rohit Sharma at the top. Sharma’s ability to build an innings is what India is missing the most. If India manages to win the third ODI, the momentum they get, will help them for the upcoming T20I and Test matches.