After a scintillating match in Mohali in which Ashton Turner’s brilliant cameo which was equally well aided by Peter Handscomb’s century and Usman Khawaja’s ninety-odd runs helped the Baggy Greens to win the match against World No. 2 India at their own den and thus level the series 2-2 from being 2-0 down; the Australians would be hoping to weave their current form of rejuvenation in the final match of the series as well in Delhi by winning the match and hence the series 3-2.
Virat Kohli in form – The Indian captain, Virat Kohli, is in red-hot form and has already scored two centuries and almost another fifty in the four matches of the series. Currently, he averages 72.50 in the present series, and it is an enormous task for the Australian bowlers to get him out cheaply which they did in the fourth ODI. He is the sole reason why India has remained competitive in the series despite being in pressure most of the time while batting. In this match too he is expected to play a captain’s knock to let India win another series before the start of the World Cup and boost their morale.
Weak middle-order – Although the Indian middle-order performed in New Zealand, they have again started to fade away in crunch situations in the recent series against Australia. Except the first ODI wherein MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav together stitched an all-important 142-runs partnership to lead India to victory, the Indian middle-order has failed miserably in the series and is one of the major reasons why this series hangs in a 2-2 balance. With no Dhoni for the rest of the series, the Indian middle-order that boasts of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar would have to really bring in their A game if India would have to win the series.
Australian batsmen in supreme form – Heading into the series, there were serious reservations on the form of the Australian batsmen. But in this tour, all of Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and now even Ashton Turner has scored runs and have thus cemented their place into the playing eleven. With the kind of form that the Australian batsmen are currently in, the series decider would be an enthralling affair for all of the cricket fans round the globe.
Openers unable to provide a solid start – Except the third ODI in Ranchi which was a batting paradise, the Australian openers have failed miserably in the series to provide a solid start to their team. The quick wickets in the top have often put pressure on the Kangaroos middle-order and have made them vulnerable to the Indian bowling attack and this was the same in fourth ODI as well when Finch’s wicket added pressure to Shaun Marsh who ended up losing his wicket too.
With the kind of form that the Australians are in and also considering a weakened Indian middle-order batting line-up, we expect the visitors to win the series that would provide them a timely morale booster ahead of the 2019 World Cup.