MS Dhoni will be rested for the remainder of the series with Rishabh Pant expected to deputize behind the wickets.
Australia recorded their first overseas ODI victory since 2017 when they beat India by 34 runs at MS Dhoni’s hometown of Ranchi in the 3rd ODI. Now they will look to build on that momentum and draw level in the series as both teams square off for the 4th ODI at Mohali on March 10.
India hold a 2-1 series lead after winning the first two matches, which were highly competitive and went down to the final over. However, the Aussies put up a dominant performance in the 3rd ODI, which began with a 193-run opening stand between Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch.
The Australian skipper,who has been averaging just 15.8 in his last nine innings,was unlucky to miss out on a century over a controversially ruled out LBW via DRS when batting on 93. Khawaja however, went on to register his maiden ODI hundred as Australia set a target of 314 for the hosts.
In reply, only Virat Kohli (123 off 95 balls) shone with the bat, notching up his second consecutive century in the series. But the game was done and dusted when Adam Zampa castled him in the 38th over. Vijay Shankar was the second-highest scorer, with 32 off 30 balls as India were bowled out for just 281.
Australia will be high on confidence after that all-round display and will hope to draw level in the series at Mohali. India on the other hand have quite a few questions to answer, especially with the World Cup drawing closer. Chief among those will be their over-reliance on the top-order which has been struggling to cope under pressure. Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have managed just 51 and 23 runs respectively from the first three matches and are looking woefully out of form.
Dhawan especially has been under intense scrutiny, with KL Rahul possibly waiting in the flanks. Rahul, who prefers opening the innings, showed great form in the two-match T20I series, and could be afforded an opportunity in the remaining two ODIs.
Another player whose spot in the team is far from secure is Ambati Rayudu, who has scores of 13, 18 and 2 in the last three matches. The number four batsman has struggled for consistency and is walking on thin ice as Vijay Shankar has been putting in impressive performances with both the bat and the ball. If his woeful form continues ,then Rayudu could be dropped from the squad all-together, with either Shankar or Rahul filling in the number four spot.
India have already announced that MS Dhoni will be rested for the last two matches. This could mean that Rishabh Pant could keep the wickets in place of the veteran Dhoni.
Mohammed Shami is also likely to be rested after getting hit on the shin by a straight drive from Finch. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will come in the pacer's place. KL Rahul should also be given a chance ,but it remains to be seen whether he will replace either of the two openers or be brought in place of Rayudu. Kuldeep Yadav could also make way for Yuzvendra Chahal in a like-for-like replacement.
Australia will be expected to stick to the same winning combination after an impressive performance at Ranchi. With the track at Mohali known to assist pacers, Nathan Lyon could be the only omission from the squad making way for Jason Behrendorff.
Possible Playing XI:
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Ambati Rayudu/KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Jhye Richardson and Nathan Lyon/ Jason Behrendorff.
Players to watch out for:
The Indian skipper has been in immaculate form, notching up back-to-back centuries in the last two games. He has a total of 283 runs from just 3 matches and is averaging 94.33 in the series.
Finch finally managed to turn around his poor run of form in the last two games with scores of 37 and 93 respectively. He was unlucky to not complete his 12th ODI hundred at Ranchi, but his return to form will give Australia a great boost at the top of the order especially with the impending returns of Steve Smith and David Warner later this month.
Recent form: (all formats - most recent first)
India: L W W L L
Australia: W L L W W
Betting Odds: (Bet365)
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Timing:The India vs Australia 4th ODI will be beamed live on the Star Sports Network from 1.30 PM on March 10. Online users can catch the action live on Hotstar.