India vs Australia 4th ODI Preview: Outplayed India look to salvage pride
This ODI series in Australia has become a race against inevitability for the Indians. Not only has it left the fans utterly frustrated, devoid of any pleasure even after the Indian batsmen plunder runs for fun, it has also exposed the thin spine that runs through the lower half of the team, which is susceptible to the smallest of changes in conditions.
India might bat first tomorrow and put up another 300, with either of the top 4 getting a century, but they might as well end up rehearsing a script by the time the game gets over, asking themselves as to what they need to do to the break this loop of inevitability.
When MS Dhoni walks out for the toss at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, his subconscious might whisper softly about the events to happen; about how the Australians might yet again reduce his side to mere characters in a storyline written and directed by them.
TV Channel: Star Sports 1, HD1 (English) and 3, HD3 (Hindi)
Online Stream: www.starsports.com
Date: January 20, Wednesday
Time: 08:50 IST | 11:20 AWST
Venue: Manuka Oval, Canberra
For any other updates regarding the match, follow the Sportskeeda website.
In the wake of recent defeats, the team must ponder over the changes that might help it conjure up something and stop the Australian winning riot that has stretched to 17 games now- already a world record.
So, far the Indians have tried everyone in the squad except the yesterday-fit-today-injured Mohammad Shami and the management staff. Hence, a reshuffle in the playing XI, though expected, wouldn’t be of much enthusiasm.
Witnessing the hint of turn at the MCG, coupled with the perception of a slow wicket at Canberra might tempt Dhoni to bring Ravichandran Ashwin back in lieu of Rishi Dhawan who had an ordinary ODI debut.
The finisher’s spot still lies vacant as neither Gurkeerat Mann nor Manish Pandey have the requisite experience to come out in a tricky situation of the death overs ad start slogging from ball one. However, dropping Mann and bringing Pandey back in would be un-advisable, especially after Mann been given just one game since his first selection to the squad for the home series against South Africa.
Much ado about inexperience
A lot of talk about the relative inexperience of the Indian bowling attack is making rounds. While Brainder Sran is a new face and needs time to mature, as was evident with the off-day that he had at the MCG, the other three pacers- Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar- have plenty of matches under their kitty, and so do the spinners- Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
That Ishant, Yadav, and Ashwin were present in the last two Test tours to Australia is a testimony to the fact. Hence, the spraying of balls like water being sprayed from a canon- all over the place- has to be controlled, and the Indian bowlers have to make sure that they do not give away the advantage at crucial stages of the match.
In Melbourne, India had raised the required rate by some disciplined bowling and crucial wickets between overs 30-40, but the advantage was laid to waste by unnecessary short-pitched bowling, devoid of the pace quick enough to trouble the natural pullers that the Australians are.
The length has to be reined in by the bowlers, and the over dependence on the short-pitched deliveries has to be avoided. Jadeja’s show in the last game was good and Indian would hope that he continues with the rhythm that he gained at the MCG.
On the other hand, the home side has been doing everything right, and looking at the way they have gunned dow record chases in the last three games, one can only assume that any run-chase wouldn’t be too big for this Australian batting line-up.
Their top 5- Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith, George Bailey, and the man of the match from the last game, Glenn Maxwell, have all been amongst the runs, and so far India haven’t devised any methods to breach their walls.
James Faulkner has proved out to be an epitome of the word ‘finisher’ in the last game, as before playing a support role for Maxwell to drag his team out of a perceived trouble, he bamboozled the Indians with his slower deliveries, especially the one released from the back of the hand- something that the Indians haven’t been able to put away.
The home team is expected to go with the same combination of 5 batsmen, 2 all-rounders and 4 frontline fast bowlers, and the line-up is expected to remain the same as the one at the MCG.
So far, the Indian batsmen have done most of the things right, although many are of the opinion that India haven’t accelerated enough in the last 15 overs, but the bowlers have struggled. Come Canberra, and India would hope to balance the aspects.
Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith (C), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade (WK), James Faulkner, Scott Boland, John Hastings, Kane Richardson
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Gurkeerat Mann, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin/Rishi Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, Barinder Sran, Ishant Sharma.
Pitch & Conditions
As we saw the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the pitch at the Manuka Oval is also expected to be a bit slower than the ones at the WACA and the Gabba, which might tempt the Indian captain to bring back his main spinner- Ashwin. Otherwise, the deck is expected to be flat with plenty of scope for batsmen to plunder runs.
Australia: W-W-W-W-L(most recent first)
- This is the first bilateral ODI series in Australia between the two countries.
- India need one win from their five ODI matches to retain their No.2 spot in the ICC ODI rankings.
- Australia have gone 17 consecutive ODIs without defeat at home- a world record.
- Chris Gayle scored a majestic double hundred against Zimbabwe in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup at the Manuka Oval, Canberra. He had made 215 in that game.