Upbeat Australia to take on visitors India in the third ODI at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) tomorrow. With the host leading the series 2-0 they will eye for third straight victory to seal the series 3-0. On the other hand, the third ODI is India’s must win the game to keep alive their Victoria Beer series hopes alive.
Australia in the last two ODIs has earned comprehensive victory chasing down 300 plus score against toothless Indian bowling.
In the second ODI at Gabba, Brisbane Australian opener Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch built a 145 run partnership that made middle-order batsmen’s job easier.
In the last two ODIs, Australia has lost only eight wickets for 620 runs. With Geroge Bailey and captain Steve is in terrific form Australia would like to give Usman Khawaja chance in the third ODI replacing Aaron Finch. Khawaja has replaced David Warner, who took a paternity leave.
The batting department looks settled. However, the middle order and lower order are yet to be tested in this series. Bailey and Smith played an instrumental role in Australia’ victory in the last two ODIs.
Smith in the last match scored 46 while Bailey once agin tormented Indian bowlers and scored a match winning 76.
But, the area of concern for Australia is bowling department. As Josh Hazlewood is rested for remaining series Australian bowlers could have another worst day in Melbourne. In the last two ODIs, Indian batsmen scored 617 runs losing 11 wickets. So, bowlers need to be wary about this.
The current Australian bowling department has a little experience of international cricket. With Australia already decided to play three seaming allrounders it is expected that Mitchell Marsh, who was rested for second ODI, might make the tomorrow’s playing XI and James Faulkner, who is leading the bowling department, will play the third ODI. The slot of the third seamer might go to John Hastings, who replaced Marsh in the last ODI, expected that he will get a place in the Australian XI. Hastings conceded 46 runs taking one wicket in the last match. Hastings’ inclusion in the team may come at the expense of Kane Richardson.
“James Faulkner has got a really unique skill-set, Mitch Marsh has got another unique skill-set, and I offer something different as well. I think there’s definitely scope for it. I think it can work,” Hastings told reporters on arrival in Melbourne.
Scott Boland and Joel Paris will be given further opportunity to prove their skills. They made their debut in the Perth ODI.
Predicted XI: Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, MS Wade†, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Joel Paris, Scott Boland.