Ind vs Aus, 3rd ODI: Pride at stake as Kohli and boys look to finish well

Canberra: Although India have already lost the three-match ODI series against Australia with the hosts taking an unassailable 2-0 lead, the Virat Kohli-led side still has much to play for in the third and final ODI, scheduled to be held on Wednesday. Apart from avoiding the humiliating ODI series whitewash, India can earn points in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.

The ongoing series between India and Australia is a part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League and defeats in the opening two ODIs means India is yet to open their account. Whereas, Australia have so far played five matches in the Super League, registering four wins and one defeat. With 40 points under their belt, Australia top the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League standings followed by England, who have 30 points from six games.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) launched the Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League in July this year, with an aim to bring context to ODI cricket. The Super League will determine qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 with the top seven teams automatically booking their spot at the event in India.

However, it will not be an easy task for the Indian team to overpower Australia, who are high on confidence after securing two comprehensive wins over the visitors. In both ODIs, Australia racked up a total of more than 350 runs with Indian bowlers struggling to thwart their opposition’s batsmen.

Jasprit Bumrah, who holds the second spot in the ICC ODI Bowling Rankings, also failed to hinder Australia’s batting line-up in both ODIs. Whereas, Australia batsmen are showing no signs of trouble hitting the ball all around the park, and bowlers are also delivering good performances to ensure big wins for the team. The Aaron Finch-led team registered a 66-run win in the first ODI and a 51-run win in the second.

Steve Smith smashed a century in both matches, playing a knock of 105 and 104 in the first and second ODI respectively. However, the only advantage that India is going to enjoy going into the third ODI is that Australia will be without their in-form opener David Warner and Pat Cummins as the duo is set to miss the remaining white-ball matches. Warner had suffered a groin injury during the second ODI.

While D’Arcy Short has replaced Warner, no direct replacement has been made for Cummins at this stage. “Pat and Davie are critical to our plans for the Test Series. Davie will work through his injury rehab and in Pat’s case it is important all of our players are managed well to keep them mentally and physically fit throughout what is a challenging summer,” Australia’s Head Coach Justin Langer had said.

India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Sanju Samson.

Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (Captain), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.