Australia vs India 2016, 3rd ODI: Preview, Team News, Live stream and TV Channel Info
After two consecutive defeats in Perth and Brisbane, India arrive in Melbourne for the 3rd ODI in the 5-match ODI series against Australia, hoping to reverse trends and make some sort of comeback in the series.
The MS-Dhoni led side have posted totals in excess on 300 in both matches but have failed to pick wickets, especially in the middle overs to put any kind of pressure on the opposition.
Rohit Sharma’s form, it goes without saying, is currently the team’s biggest strength. The 28-year-old has begun 2016 with a bang, scoring two hundreds and will certainly feel at home at the MCG on Sunday, where he has two centuries and an average of 83.75.
Virat Kohli has been another positive for India, and on Sunday, he will look to score his first ton against Australia in Australia and if he does so, he would have definitely put the team in a strong position.
Shikhar Dhawan’s form remains a cause of concern. The left-hander has failed to reach even double digits in the series and on a ground, where he got a superb ton against South Africa in the World Cup last year, he will look to get among the runs.
Ajinkya Rahane came to the party in Brisbane with a breezy knock of 89 that kept the scoreboard ticking along. However, if one has to talk about the Indian batting it can be split into two halves: before 35 overs and after 35 overs. The team just haven't been able to give their innings the final push that it requires thereby falling short of the mark they should ideally reach after the 50 overs.
Part of the reason for that has been some splendid bowling by the Australians and the other reason has been the form of Dhoni, who it seems is slowly losing his ability to play the cameos that have often in the past given the team the edge.
But it isn't the batting that is a major cause of worry. It is India’s inability to show the same kind of metal with the sphere in hand that has led the team losing their grip over the match. The bowling attack has taken 8 wickets in the series so far but has remained inconsistent for a large part, which has led to the hosts chasing totals with great ease.
Barinder Sran has looked good but has found little support at the other end. Ishant Sharma, who returned from injury at Brisbane, looked a bit out of sorts and dropping a sitter at long off didn't make his day any better. A lot was expected out of the spinning duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja before the start of the tour but they have just not been able to make regular inroads into the Australian batting order in the middle overs.
Australia, on the other hand, has been superb with the bat to say the least. All of their top 4 batsmen have recorded a score of 50+ in one of the two matches so far and despite some average bowling in the first part of the innings, they have managed to keep a water tight control over the runs, in the last third of the innings, to ensure India fall at least 15-20 runs of a score where they should find themselves at.
There will be no Josh Hazlewood for the hosts for the remaining ODIs but they will have the services of Mitchell Marsh, who was rested for the 2nd ODI at the Gabba and he should walk straight into the side on Sunday.
So can India bounce back and stake a claim in the series? In just under 24 hours, we would have got our answers.
India(possible): Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni(C&WK), Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Barinder Sran.
Australia(possible): Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith(C), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade(WK), Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Joel Paris, Scott Boland.
India has already played on two pitches which threatened to be the fastest of the lot and now in the remaining 3 ODIs can expect much slower tracks. Melbourne is usually a drop-in pitch and so either team will look to win the toss and bat.
Time: 8:50 IST
TV: Star Sports 1 & HD1, Star Sports 3 & HD3
Online stream: www. starsports.com.