It was expected, wasn’t it? There is no David, there’s no Goliath! After all its India vs Australia- the Magnum Opus of One-day Cricket! And, the second ODI at Rajkot once again proved it to the hilt as the Men in Blue stormed back with a comprehensive 36-run-win, shrugging off what was a humiliating ten-wicket drubbing at the hands of the Australians in Mumbai.
And, so we have a decider on our hands! The last time these two sides’ played a series decider at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, it was mayhem. More than 700 runs were scored, and the bowlers were literally turned into a six-hitting machine, where they would just turn up to bowl, only to see the ball getting deposited into the stands. Rohit Sharma turned on his ‘Hitman’ moniker for the first time as he shellacked the first of his three double-hundreds.
Sharma is yet to get a big score in this series, and how India and their fans will hope that the Hitman once again turns it on Sunday. Australia, though, have happy memories of the ground, the last time they played in Bengaluru.
That was in 2017 where David Warner  and Aaron Finch  hammered the Indian bowling attack to the tune of 231, to eventually guide the Aussies to a 21-run-win. The duo has already stroked a 258-run-stand in this series thus far, and India will hope that they can see off the duo ss quickly as possible in the series-decider, as they did in Rajkot, if they are to avenge the 2-3 defeat that they suffered last year.
There is still no update regarding the availability of Rishabh Pant in the third ODI. If Pant is eventually ruled out from the series-decider, then the only possible change that India can make is slot-in Kedar Jadhav ahead of Manish Pandey, if they are looking for a sixth spin-bowling option. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan suffered injuries in the last game. Both are, however, expected to be fit for the decider.
Another thing that will be interesting to see is if Pant is fit for the game, will he get his gloves back or will India continue with Rahul as the designated wicketkeeper?
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
Bench – Manish Pandey/Kedar Jadhav, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Shivam Dube.
Josh Hazlewood warmed the bench in the first two games. But with Kane Richardson proving to be expensive in the last game (2-75), Finch and the team-management might be tempted to slot him in the playing 11 for the decider.
Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch (C), Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (WK), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson/Josh Hazlewood
Bench – Peter Handscomb, Kane Richardson/Josh Hazlewood, D’Arcy Short
In the Spotlight
Rohit Sharma- 10 & 42. It is quite rare that the Hitman goes through a series without posting a substantial score. He has looked in good touch in the last two games but hasn’t been able to kick on and convert it into a daddy hundred. Sharma loves batting in series-deciders. Who can forget his whirlwind double-hundred  against the Aussies in the 2013 series-decider in Bengaluru? Or his 157 against the West Indies when the series was 1-1, heading into the last game? Time for the Hitman to take center stage tomorrow.
David Warner- The last time David Warner played an ODI in Bengaluru, the southpaw shellacked a whirlwind 124 to help Australia pull-off a rare win in what was a forgettable series for the Aussies. The southpaw missed out in the last game, courtesy a freak catch from Manish Pandey and would be rearing to make amends on Sunday.
6-5- India vs Australia Head-to-Head in ODIs since January 2019.
4-2- India’s W/L record against Australia at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
4- Runs Rohit Sharma needs to complete 9000 ODI runs.
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 1:30 pm local (IST), 7:00 pm (Australia)
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