India vs Australia 2019, 3rd ODI: 3 things Australia must do to stay alive in the series
Australia have been predominantly competitive and have had their moments, but they haven’t capitalized on them. Chasing 251 at Nagpur they should have fancied themselves, but the constant fall of wickets ensured they never really had momentum on their side.
India too have had their fair share of troubles in this series with their openers struggling to put on partnerships and the number 4 position still an unsolved mystery. The shining light for them in this series so far has been Vijay Shankar’s all-round efforts in both games, especially the way in which defended 11 runs in the last over at Nagpur.
Virat Kohli continues to shatter records, becoming the fastest batsman/captain to score 9000 ODI runs on his way to a mindboggling 40th ODI century. It’s truly outstanding to see the effortless consistency of the Indian skipper.
Aaron Finch found some form in Nagpur, but, on the whole, too many Aussie batsmen got off to starts but didn’t kick on. They don’t have too much time to work with, as they take on India at the JSCA stadium in Ranchi in the third ODI which could seal the fate of the series.
Here’s looking at 3 things Australia must do to stay alive in this 5-match ODI series:
#1 Attack the Indian spinners
Australia have a middle-order that mainly looks to graft and accumulate runs. Very few players adopt the mindset to attack the bowlers in the middle overs. With Glenn Maxwell being used as a floater, the onus is on Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis to attack the spinners.
India have smartly used Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Kedhar Jadhav in the middle overs and have successfully managed to curb the run scoring.
Clearly, this is where Australia are missing someone like Steven Smith who is so good against the spinners that he allows the other batsmen to get settled around him. Without him in the side, there seems to be a crisis of sorts in overs 20-40 of an innings.
If Australia need to pull one back and stay alive in this series, they must, from the outset, attack India’s spinners and unsettle them. Peter Handscomb, being the best among the Aussie batsmen against spin, must take on a leadership role and look to farm most of the strike in Ranchi.