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India vs Australia 2019: How India could experiment in the last ODI before the World Cup

Fambeat
ANALYST
Feature
701   //    11 Mar 2019, 21:00 IST

Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul
Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul

The 4th ODI between India and Australia was held at Mohali, with India looking to bounce back. Their captain Virat Kohli won the toss yet again, and as expected, India made some changes and KL Rahul finally got the opportunity in the playing XI.

After failing in the first three ODIs, the Indian openers came out on top in the fourth game. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan shared a nearly 200-run partnership for the first wicket, which set things up nicely for India.

Rohit got out for 95 and Dhawan registered his career best score of 143. And when India lost the openers, Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar gave a much needed push towards the end.

The highlight of the day came on the last ball of the innings, when Jasprit Bumrah smashed his first ball for six and Kohli was seen jumping in joy at the shot.

Australia lost two wickets quite early in the game. But Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb bailed them out from the disastrous start; Handscomb went on to score his maiden ODI century.

When India looked in firm control of the game, Ashton Turner played a blinder of an innings, which helped Australia chase down the huge score and also level the series by 2-2.

Though the final game before the World Cup happens to be the decider, India could still make a few changes to test their bench strength. Here's a look at those:

#1. Rahul for Dhawan

Rohit and Dhawan
Rohit and Dhawan

Dhawan had been going through a lean patch before yesterday's game; he had managed to score only two half centuries in his last 17 innings. But when people started questioning his form, he proved everyone wrong with his mind blowing century.

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Dhawan played really well from the first ball, and he ended up scoring 143 runs. However, KL Rahul, who is considered to be the back-up opener for the World Cup, played a rather confusing innings. He played with great caution, but got out at the wrong time.

Since Dhawan is back in form, it could be a wise decision to try Rohit and Rahul as openers for the final game. This will also give enough overs to Rahul to translate his T20I form into the ODIs.

Kohli can come out to bat at his favorite position and give his team a final push before the World Cup.

#2. Jadeja for Kuldeep

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja

Kuldeep Yadav has played all the four games in this series. He is in good form too, as he took two wickets in the first ODI and three wickets each in the second and the third ODIs. Kuldeep is a certainty for the World Cup.

Hence, it would be fair to give a chance to someone like Ravindra Jadeja, who is knocking on the door for World Cup selection. The left-arm spinner has managed to take only one wicket in the first three ODIs of this series. He was replaced in the fourth ODI with Yuzvendra Chahal.

If Jadeja strikes form in the fifth ODI, he can be a great asset for India in the World Cup, especially in the fielding department. He can also chip in with the bat whenever needed.

Jadeja's direct-hit run out in the second ODI was the turning point for the match. He brings a great dynamism to the Indian fielding side, which could be useful in a long tournament like the World Cup.

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