India vs. Australia: A Crucial Confrontation in the Third One Day International
Anticipated Absences and Return of Key Players
The much-anticipated third One Day International (ODI) cricket match between India and Australia is seen as a precursor to their opening game at the World Cup. However, this game will witness the absence of several key players. India will be playing without Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, and Mohammed Shami. On the opposing side, Australia is expected to be at full strength with the return of Pat Cummins as captain, and the potential inclusion of Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc, both of whom were absent from the South Africa series earlier this month.
Australia’s Hope to Break Losing Streak
Despite having lost the series, Australia is aiming to avoid a historic whitewash against India in ODIs. Their chances of achieving this may depend on an improved bowling performance, as they have conceded high scores in four of their last five matches. Meanwhile, India is in strong form, having secured victories in four of their last five ODIs.
Spotlight on R Ashwin
R Ashwin, who was called up for this series after participating in only two ODIs in the last six years, is in the spotlight. Despite being out of action in ODIs, Ashwin has been consistently playing in Tests and T20s. He demonstrated commendable performance in the first two ODIs of this series, indicating that he could be a suitable replacement if Axar does not recover in time for the World Cup.
Concerns Over Australia’s Death Bowling
Australia’s death bowling has been a point of concern, with the team’s death-overs economy this year standing at 9.48, the worst of any team. Their hopes for improvement rest on the return of Starc. In the upcoming match, Ishan Kishan may open the innings with Rohit Sharma for India. For Australia, Maxwell could make his first appearance of the tour, having not played competitive cricket since July.
Playing Field and Weather Forecast
The match is scheduled to take place on the Rajkot pitch, which is known for its high scoring games. The weather is expected to be partly cloudy, but there is no forecast for rain. Australia’s current losing streak extends to five consecutive ODIs, a low they last hit in 2020. Only once have they lost more than five consecutive ODIs, which was a seven-match streak in 2018. Meanwhile, Steven Smith is only 20 runs away from becoming the fourth-fastest Australian to reach 5000 runs in ODIs.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.