Series: India tour of Australia 2018-19
Match: 3rd One Day International
Date: 18th January 2019,Friday
Time: 1.20 PM Local Time
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Australia aims their first ODI series win as they will go up against India in the series-decider of the 3-match ODI series in Melbourne on Friday. The Aussies have not won an ODI series/tournament since defeating Pakistan at the start of 2017. In fact, the Australians managed to win as few as four ODIs in this span.
In both the games, India has managed to ease the chase during the middle overs. The lack of wicket-taking options cost the hosts in the second game as they couldn’t run through the formidable top-order of the opposition like at the SCG. Middle-order contributing is a positive sign for India who has gained a bad reputation of “top three or nothing” in the shorter formats recently.
The third ODI is scheduled to be played tomorrow at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (SCG) and India don’t have great a record at the venue. In the last nine ODIs they played at the venue, the Aussies came out trumps in eight of them. Nevertheless, bearing in mind the numbers of the two teams in the recent past, the Virat Kohli-captained Indian team may be going into the contest with an upper hand.Shikhar and rohit have very good record at MCG. Dhawan averages 72 and rohit 60 at this ground.
The hosts have replaced Jason Behrendroff and Nathan Lyon with Billy Stanlake and leg-spinner Adam Zampa. Aaron Finch and Alex Carey would continue to open with left-handed Usman Khawaja at three. Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb would bat at four and five respectively. Stoinis and Maxwell are the all-rounders. Siddle, Richardson and Stanlake are the seamers with Zampa as the spin bowling option.
The visitors may sideline Mohammed Siraj and bring Khaleel Ahmed. The onus would be on Rohit and Dhawan to take India off to a good start. Kohli, Rayudu, Karthik and Dhoni are the men in the middle order. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are the pacers.
Both the teams have announced their playing XI already and Australia have sprung a surptise by resting Behrendorff for Stanlake.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami.
Aaron Finch (c). Alex Carey (wk). Usman Khawaja. Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Siddle, Adam Zampa, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake.
Weather- The weather at MCG will be expected to be mild. Ms Dhoni seemed to be very tired in the Adelaide as there was serious heat. But MCG will have breeze and pleasant weather
Ground- Nevertheless, with big boundaries at the MCG, the task for the batsmen won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination and they need to do a lot of running. Also, teams may want to chase as in that scenario they would have a proper target ahead of them in the crunch encounter.
Toss- Teams will be choosing to bowl here as chasing becomes easier as the play goes on. Also teams chasing here wins 68% of the matches.
Prediction- Australia have a very good record here at McG but Team India will come hard and we think they will clinch the Odi series.