Nagpur: Australia, after having battered and bruised in the first three ODI’s, came back strong to pull back one win in the fourth ODI played at Bengaluru. India, despite winning the series 3-1 would
hope that they can finish off the series with a win when they play the visitors in the fifth and final ODI in Nagpur on Sunday.
The match, although is a dead rubber is of a huge significance to India. If Virat Kohli and his men end up on the winning side at the end of the day, then they would not only win the series 4-1, but would also reclaim the top spot in the ODI rankings.
For Australia, everything went right in the last game. The batting came good with them not losing their way at the end despite the good start and the bowling was equally strong as they ended up defending their total against the
star-studded Indian batting line-up.
Steve Smith, who was already under the pump for the team’s repeated failures for once was happy with the way the match went about and thus, would hope to keep things simple and straight when they take on India in the last ODI.
The return of Aaron Finch to the opening slot has indeed strengthened the team. The right-hander scored a hundred in the third ODI which was his comeback game and also hammered 94 runs in the last match. He has found a formidable opening partner in David Warner as on their day, they can demolish the opposition bowlers single-handedly, much like they did in Bengaluru.
For the Indians however, the biggest positive has been the way the youngsters have stepped up to the occasion. The pace bowling unit has done extremely well with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and it was only in the last game that Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami, who had replaced the duo, took a hammering at the hands of the Aussie willow-wielders.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, for once didn’t let us miss the services of the top two spinners in the country-Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The duo performed consistently well and have come up with spells that have shifted the entire game in India’s favour, several times in the series. Hardik Pandya deserves a special mention here because of his all-round abilities that has ended India’s wait for a cricketer like him.
Virat Kohli would thus want to stick to the basics to get back to winning ways and would hope to regain the top spot in the ODI rankings on Sunday. Smith on the other hand would eye a win that would indeed boost their confidence, going into the T20I series. A cracker of a contest awaits us.