Vijay Shankar was handed his maiden ODI cap by coach Ravi Shastri in front of the team at MCG. (Source: BCCI/Twitter)
AUS 99/2 (23 Ovs)
India opt to bowl
Khwaja, Marsh in rescue act after Bhuvi did his job.
The Virat Kohli-led side started their tour with a three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series that ended in a 1-1 draw, followed by a historic first-ever 2-1 Test series win for India on Australian soil. With the three-match ODI rubber tantalisingly poised at 1-1, the task is cut out for both India and Australia to bring their best in the series decider at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) today.
India bounced back from the 34-run loss in the series opener at Sydney. With a Virat Kohli special masterclass century along with his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s vintage finish India pulled off a 6-wicket thrilling win at Adelaide.
In the crucial series decider at the MCG, both the teams will once again hope for their top order players to deliver.
Going into the final ODI, India will be aiming to take the winning momentum and end the ongoing tour Down Under without losing a series. India will sincerely hope for their in-form top order, comprising Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Kohli to come good.
With Dhoni taking care of the less-tested middle-order, the bowling department led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar has impressed in both the games, with pacer Mohammed Shami and the spin duo of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja providing good support. India’s main point of concern has been the fifth bowler in the absence of suspended all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
Team India tried left-armer Khaleel Ahmed in the first ODI, debutant Mohammed Siraj in the second, but both failed to impress.
India have made three changes to their playing XI for today’s series-deciding match at the MCG.
Vijay Shankar, who replaced Hardik Pandya in the squad. was handed his maiden ODI cap by coach Ravi Shastri in front of the team at MCG. He replaced Mohammed Siraj in the line-up. (Source: BCCI/Twitter)
Shankar has played 5 T20Is for India in which he has taken 3 wickets and given away 154 runs at an average of 51 and an economy rate of 9. With the bat, he has scored 17 runs in 1 innings.
Apart from Shankar, India also made two more changes with chinaman Kuldeep Yadav being replaced by wristspinner Yuzvendra Chahal and Kedar Jadhav in for Ambati Rayudu.
The addition of Jadhav will give India another part-time slow bowling option. Both Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik are today warming the bench. They would have aimed to get some runs to stay in contention for a berth in the 2019 World Cup squad.
Australia have made two changes with Adam Zampa and Billy Stanlake coming into the side. Stanlake replaces paceman Jason Behrendorff, who has been ruled out with back soreness, while spinner Nathan Lyon has been dropped to make way for Zampa.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli©, MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal
Australia XI: Aaron Finch, Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake.