India have taken an unassailable lead of 3-0 in this Paytm ODI series, so the fourth ODI is practically a dead rubber will be thought, isn’t it? But the answer is No by a long way, as both the teams have reasons to play for win still.Indian team needs to win to stay as No.1 ranked ODI team on the other hand Australian team must win either 4th or 5th ODI to ensure they don’t drop further in ODI Rankings, with a loss in 3rd ODI they dropped to 4th behind England. So for Australia, this game and next final game is not just about salvaging pride with a win, but also they will have an eye on rankings chart.
Let’s turn our attention to 4th ODI in Bengaluru now. It seems to the first game in this series where Rain threat seems to surreal to wash the match out, hope that’s not the case though. To what we geared yesterday weather has been pleasant to give a breathing space but prediction for today still looks grim so the 4th ODI result might be out of reach for either team. Anyways as fans let’s hope it’s not the case and we see entire 50 over game today.
Let’s take a look at Australian setup and see what they might do to turn things around. Post their 13th consecutive ODI loss away from home, there have soon hard words thrown at them from the outside by the likes of Clark, Hogg, Bevan and few more. Clark felt that “this team doesn’t know to take critical moments to win games”. Hogg stated “Steve Smith has been selecting his mates into the team in likes of Cartwright, Agar etc instead of real performers” Bevan tweeted “How to apply to Australian batting coach etc”.
So there seems to be a fair share of frustration with anger among Australian cricket fraternity down under. So Steve Smith has a big task in hand going into 4th ODI. So what changes can be expected and how will Australian team line up,
Expected Lineup: Finch, Warner, Smith, Head, Handscomb, Maxwell, Stoins, Zampa, Cummins, Coulter Neil, Richardson.
It will not be bad actually to try Faulkner in place of Maxwell for last 2 games. Stoins is playing a responsible role now, he is not a slogger but can hit long balls when needed. With Handscomb inn they have a deep middle order, so promote Stoins to no.5 and keep Faulkner to no.6. This not only gives them firepower in lower middle order also Faulkner becomes their 6th bowling option, something Aus badly needed as they have a real issue with their 4th & 5th bowler every game. Also, Handscomb being brought in must be used nothing below than no.4, if not it’s a waste of a move. Smith must be street start now to find winning combinations.
On the other hand, Indian team have been on a roll with 9 straight ODI wins now, matching their previous best record run for them. They would love to extend be their own record and make it two digits. They have had a very set unit with their young bowlers doing them the job almost every game be it be the quicks or spinners they both have contributed shoulder to shoulder to take them home. On the other hand batting hasn’t been at its best, as there has been some mini-collapse at times, but still, other players have stepped up to the occasion to save them. Virat also has suggested some definite changes moving into last 2 games. So it will be interesting to see which personnel make way. Personally, I would love to see Rahul and Shami get both remaining games under their belt. They are class Limited overs players it’s hard to see them on the bench for a long time.
Expected Lineup: Rohit, Rahane, Virat, Manish, Rahul, MS, Hardik, Axar, Kuldeep, Shami, Umesh.
It would be better if Rohit is rested and Rahul is played in his position as opener. Hope that happens.
If the track is a bit two-paced(it was during this year’s IPL) it will be Indian who will emerge victoriously. If the usual Chinaswamy flat track is on offer it’s anybody’s game.