India vs Australia 3rd ODI Preview: India are 2-0 up against Australia and would be keen to seal the five-match ODI series in MS Dhoni’s hometown, Ranchi
The ‘Mahi’ factor
The crucial contest will take place in JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi – the homeground of former India skipper MS Dhoni. With the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman likely to retire after the World Cup, it might be the final time Dhoni steps out in Ranchi for an international match in the blue jersey.
The 37-year-old has been in solid form in 2019, with an average of 100.33 in eight games. He has already amassed 301 runs in the year so far, with 87* against Australia being the highest score. Dhoni has proved to be a vital asset for the team lower down the order and has taken India to victories from precarious positions more than once this year.
With all eyes on him in Ranchi, the veteran would hope to put on another good show with the bat and the gloves to bid farewell to his hometown on a high. The Ranchi crowd would love to feast their eyes on another “Mahi maar raha hai” show, and if it could lead India to a series win, it would be another memorable night for MSD.
When: India vs Australia, 3rd ODI, March 8, 2019, 13:30 Local Time
Where: JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi
What to expect: Weather-wise, the north of India can be a little less taxing on the cricketers at this time of the year, which Bhuvneshwar Kumar reckoned was the best to play cricket in. A sunny day is up ahead with gentle maximum temperatures of 26, as opposed to the ones in the early 30s in the previous two venues.
The teams can anticipate assistance for spin – based on past record. India’s last two fixtures at this venue have come against Australia – a win in a rain-truncated T20I in October 2017 and a Pujara-Smith-Maxwell dominated drawn Test in March same year.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar spent the maximum time bowling during an optional nets session on Thursday (March 7) and pretty much confirmed his inclusion in the press conference that followed. Mohammed Shami is likely to make way. Rishabh Pant too was out to train on the eve of the game, combining his keeping drills with batting that would eventually end with a round of six-hitting that he aced.
Having watched Vijay Shankar from the closest possible quarter in the second ODI, Virat Kohli could be tempted to try the Tamil Nadu all-rounder at No.4 in place of Ambati Rayudu in order to accommodate Pant as one of the finishers.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu/Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav
The visitors did little wrong in Nagpur. Shaun Marsh’s return may not have been in line with Australia’s expectation, but he’s been a form player in the 50-overs format and also allows the visitors to play Marcus Stoinis in the middle-order, from where he can help the side finish better.
Australia will continue to closely monitor Nathan Lyon’s white-ball fortunes as he bids to make it to England for the World Cup.
Probable XI: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile/Jhye Richardson, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa
Did You Know
-> If India win the third ODI, it would give them their 50th ODI win against Australia, the third team to do so after West Indies and England.
-> A win in Ranchi would give Virat Kohli his 50th win as captain in ODIs. Only Clive Lloyd and Ricky Ponting have reached the milestone in fewer ODIs.
-> In his last 15 ODI innings, Shikhar Dhawan has scored 376 runs at an average of 26.85 and has gone past 50 only twice.
What they said:
“I’m not worried about who’s getting a chance and who’s not. More importantly, it’s about getting rest. Shami got rest in New Zealand, I got rest in this series. You want to be consistent, [and] for that you want to be fit. You want to give your 100 percent every match. That’s the reason why I took rest, Shami took rest in New Zealand, Bumrah too rest in Australia. We are not worried about who’s going to play.” – Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
“I am really enjoying being back playing the shorter formats, and being back in coloured clothing for Australia. For me it is just about enjoying the challenge and trying to get better at playing shorter formats. I am one for always learning about cricket. I want to get better each and every day that I come out to bowl” – Nathan Lyon.
India (From): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rishabh Pant, Lokesh Rahul
Australia (From): Aaron Finch(c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey(w), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Ashton Turner, Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson