India will look to pile on the misery for a struggling Australia and seal the five-match series when they take on the Steve Smith-led side in the third ODI at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Sunday.
The sun was shining brightly over Indore on the eve of the match after the grounds-men were forced to keep the field under covers for two days due to scattered rainfall in the region. The pitch looked fresh, and the locals predicted a belter of a track and a potentially high-scoring contest.
After losing the first two matches, the visitors are desperately looking for a solid start at the top to register a win and keep the series alive.
The visitors were tormented by spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in both the matches so far, and though both Smith and David Warner denied having too many problems against them, the numbers suggest otherwise.
Kuldeep and Chahal have bagged ten wickets between themselves so far. The pattern has been evident – Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah apply the pressure with swing early on, and the spinners feed off it to pick wickets in the middle overs.
Hardik Pandya, apart from impressing with the bat, has been the man to fill the gaps perfectly with his medium pace.
Therefore, a possible return of Aaron Finch, who was suffering from calf problems, can provide some balm to Australia’s headache.
That would signal an exit for Hilton Cartwright, the young opener who made his debut in Chennai and has only registered binary scores since the warm-up match against a Board President’s XI side.
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Steven Smith (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade(wk), Peter Handscomb, James Faulkner, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson.