Big picture: Can the batters fight back?
For India, it is their last ODI until the tour of the Caribbean in August and they may only have three more at home before the World Cup begins. They experimented with three spinners in the line-up in Vizag but it was their batting that let them down. Whether they reshuffle the top order, particularly to avoid being so right-hand heavy when Starc is swerving missiles into their front pads, remains to be seen. Rohit Sharma noted after the second ODI that India’s batters know what to expect from Starc and simply need to handle it better.
Like India, this is one of Australia’s last opportunities on Indian soil before the World Cup although they may play a warm-up series in October. They too don’t play another ODI until a tour of South Africa in late August. Their middle order hasn’t had much of a chance to settle in this series. In game one they tried to be too aggressive following Marsh’s early onslaught and in game two they were not required. The Marsh-Head opening combination has been a roaring success but David Warner’s impending return is likely to reshape the line-up.
India LWWWW (last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
In the spotlight: Suryakumar Yadav and David Warner
India will consider three spinners again despite the conditions conspiring against them in Vizag. They may go back to the well again with the same team to give the batting group and the three-spin combination another chance in friendlier conditions in Chennai.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Kuldeep Yadav/Washington Sundar, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Mohammed Siraj
Australia will continue to experiment. If Warner and Glenn Maxwell are fit both are likely to return. Warner would open and Marsh could slide to either No.3 or 4 depending on how they want to structure the middle order. Marnus Labuschagne would likely miss out. Australia could trial an all-rounder-heavy line-up again. Marcus Stoinis did not bowl in the last game which may have been in part due to workloads but also because Nathan Ellis played as a fourth specialist bowler, meaning he was not needed. Ashton Agar could be a chance if the pitch looks like it will take spin with an all-rounder at No.8, two spinners and one quick an option Australia could consider.
Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Mitchell Marsh, 5 Alex Carey (wk), 6 Cameron Green, 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Marcus Stoinis, 9 Sean Abbott/Ashton Agar/Nathan Ellis, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Adam Zampa
It rained in Chennai on Monday which interrupted Chennai Super Kings training but it is expected to clear on Wednesday. It could be hot and humid again though so there is the prospect of more swing and seam movement available, although MA Chidambaram Stadium is known to be far more spin-friendly in limited-overs cricket in recent years, especially in the IPL.
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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