India won the toss and decided to first against in the third and final One-Day International at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Here is what the captains said:
“It’s been an exciting couple of weeks, a great win in Sydney and a really exciting game in Adelaide. I do hope to just get back to my natural game to be honest.”
“We’re having a bowl first. It’s going to be stop-start, with the rain around, and as a batsman we are never in, so that’s the idea. Levelling the series was important, now both the teams are set up for the decider. Siraj makes way for Vijay Shankar, Chahal for Kuldeep, Jadhav for Rayudu.
India came to Australia as favourites to dominate across formats and so far they have lived up to expectations. The T20I series ended in a 1-1 draw before India won their first ever Test series in Australia. India are now on the verge of ending the tour on a historic note as they eye their first-ever bilateral ODI series win Down Under when they take on the hosts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a venue where India have not defeated the Aussies in 11 years.
Barring the issue of the third seamer, India had plenty of positives from their series-levelling win in Adelaide. The Men in Blue would have heaved a sigh of relief after seeing MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s performance. The only issue for India ahead of the game is the third pacer. Between Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammad Siraj, the third seamer has gone for 131 runs off 18 overs.
On the other hand, Australia will also have a lot of issues to address before they play the final ODI. Their openers, especially skipper Aaron Finch, have looked off-colour while their bowlers also failed to make much of an impact in the second game. They will also miss the services of Jason Behrendorff for the last game as the pacer is suffering with a back problem.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal
Australia (Playing XI): Alex Carey(w), Aaron Finch(c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Peter Siddle, Adam Zampa