After a stunning win in the fourth one day international at Mohali, Australia would be eyeing a shock series victory when they take on India in the fifth and final one day international at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday. The Aussies looked down and out after losses in the first two games at Hyderabad and Nagpur but fought back to win in Ranchi and Mohali to set up this winner takes all clash in the national capital.
The two teams have played each four times at this venue, with India prevailing on three occasions and Australia winning just once. The last such meeting was a decade ago, when India comfortably chased down 230 with six wickets to spare.
The opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan finally got into their groove by scoring 95 & 143 respectively at the PCA Stadium on Sunday. Their knocks went in vain as Ashton Turner stole the show for the visitors, but captain Virat Kohli would’ve been happy to see the duo, especially Dhawan, regain their mojo ahead of the World Cup.
Lokesh Rahul who was drafted in place of Ambati Rayudu in Mohali, didn’t do too much wrong, and is likely to be given another chance. Kohli who dropped himself down the order to accommodate Rahul, had a rare failure with the bat in Chandigarh.
The No 4 spot is still up for grabs, with the likes of Rayudu and Rahul still the front runners to fill the vacancy.
Rishabh Pant who warmed the bench in the first 3 one dayers, came in for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was given a break in Mohali. While he made a significant contribution with the bat, his wicket keeping wasn’t as good. He missed a key stumping chance when Turner was on 38, which would’ve almost certainly been a match winning dismissal if effected. With Dinesh Karthik waiting in the wings ahead of the World Cup, he would be hoping to put up a better show behind the wickets to grab his ticket to England as Dhoni’s deputy.
This is India’s final 50 overs game before the World Cup, while Australia still have another five games in this format to fine tune things- they’ll be touring the UAE to take on Pakistan.
The Aussies confidence will be sky high after a scintillating performance with the bat in the fourth ODI, where they successfully chased down 359 with plenty to spare despite Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh not contributing at the top of the order.
Both Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb have got their maiden ODI 100’s on this tour- Khawaja’s came in Ranchi, while Victorian Handscomb got his in Mohali. Ashton Turner’s match winning innings will almost certainly ensure he gets another go.
India likely XI
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (capt), KL Rahul/Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal/ Mohammed Shami & Jasprit Bumrah
Australia likely XI
Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch (capt), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon/ Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson & Adam Zampa