India v Australia 3rd ODI Preview: Super Sunday to witness battle of supremacy between powerhouses
With the series on the line, both India and Australia will field their best 11 and are likely to go for attacking options both with bat and ball, on the batting beauty that is Bengaluru's M.Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Momentum is one of those intangible factors which always plays a huge role in a series. More so, when a series is truncated.
When Australia first came to the Indian shores, they postured as the underdogs. This is why they went all out, be it their batting or bowling. The bowlers attacked and were always looking for wickets. This restricted India to a smaller total in Mumbai. The Australian batsmen, David Warner and Aaron Finch, then played fearless cricket and put the Indian bowlers under the pump.
However, when they were one up in the series and were looking to win it, their approach changed and they became a bit more cautious. Apart from the individual performances, the mindset was one thing which played a huge role in India's victory in Rajkot.
With the series at 1-1, the momentum is now with India and that is likely to play a big role.
The miniature Chinnaswamy Stadium
The M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is notorious for its small size. The short boundaries allow sixes being hit for fun which is why 200-run totals are usual in the IPL here.
This is in contrast to Rajkot where the boundaries were big and several players, not least Virat Kohli and Marnus Labuschagne, were caught at the boundary. The lightning outfield in Bengaluru will ensure that boundaries rain on Sunday and the fans get to see big totals being put on the board by both teams.
Chahal on IPL home ground?
This is why India will have to reconsider the inclusion of leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in the IPL and has a great record at this venue. An attacking option, instead of a defensive one, will also be vital at this ground as it is almost impossible to contain batsmen. You either get them out or be ready for a sound thrashing.
But, the question is in whose place do you play him? All the bowlers who played in Rajkot will retain their place and hence India will have to sacrifice one batsman in order to include him in the XI.
D'Arcy Short for Ashton Turner? Probably not
Ashton Turner has been travelling with the Australian international side for a while now but has got only a few opportunities. He hogged the limelight when he guided Australia to an ODI win, the last time the Aussies toured India.
With him failing to do the job at Rajkot, Australia can consider D'Arcy Short in his place. Short has been in sensational form in Australia's domestic cricket and the Big Bash League and can also provide some handy leg spin.
But, would it be fair to axe Turner after just one bad outing? A call to take for the Australian team management.
Josh Hazlewood to get a game
With series on the line, you expect Australia to include their premium pace bowler Josh Hazlewood in the XI.
In whose place does he come in? Kane Richardson or Ashton Agar?
Richardson was quite expensive in the second ODI and conceded 73 runs from his 10 overs. Agar did not complete his quota but gave runs at 7.88, as compared to Richardson's 7.30.
With Chinnaswamy being a small ground, Australia are likely to include Hazlewood in Agar's place. The all-rounder did not have any impact in Rajkot either with bat or ball.
Rohit Sharma injury scare
Rohit Sharma gave his fans a massive scare when he injured his shoulder while trying to save a boundary in the second ODI. With him being unable to throw the ball back to the wicketkeeper, it seemed like a dislocation.
However, Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation that Rohit's left shoulder had "popped out" a few times in the past as well and he should be fit for the decider. We take the skipper's word for that.
Rishabh Pant likely to be fit, who keeps?
Rishabh Pant was under observation for concussion during the last ODI but it is likely that he will be available for the final one. Despite KL Rahul doing a tremendous job behind the wickets, does Pant come back into the team? Probably, yes.
Another interesting thing to track is if both Rahul and Pant make the side, who keeps? Pant has not been great behind wickets and he might just play as a specialist batsman.
The likely scenario is for Pant to be included in place of Shreyas Iyer and Shivam Dube coming in for Manish Pandey to provide the sixth bowling option.
Here's a look at the expected playing XI of both teams:
India - Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey/Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia - David Warner, Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
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