Australia v India, 4th ODI, Canberra January 19, 2016

India's chance at ODI regeneration


Match facts

January 20, 2016

Start time 1420 local (0320 GMT)

Play 04:37
Agarkar: A chance to test new players

Big Picture

By the way of losing the series so abysmally India have given themselves a golden opportunity at limited-overs regeneration. Hardly ever do they get a chance to play international cricket with little expectation; now they have two matches coming up with few expecting them to win. Expectation brings pressure, pressure inhibition. Now is the best time for them to shed inhibition. Just start that final push early and don't worry about the weak lower middle order. Just bowl those bouncers and forget about the hooks and the wides. Tinker with combinations, although the selectors haven't left them much room. If it comes off, who knows what wonders the knowledge that it can come off can do.

Not much is likely to change by the way of the strategy of the opposition and the conditions. If anything, Canberra's Manuka Oval is an even bigger playing surface, which leaves no place to hide for weaker throwing arms. Australia want to move on from 17 to 18 and 18 to 19. Their winning streak at home now stands at a world-record 17, but Steven Smith reckons there is still room for improvement. They will want to improve on the fact that they have taken a total of five wickets in the first 30 overs of the three matches. They won't want to inherit the dead-rubber syndrome of the old Australia. Two of those are coming up; will the foot continue to be on India's throat?

Form guide

Australia: WWWWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
India: LLLLW

In the spotlight

His batting in finishing the Melbourne ODI deserves all the headlines, but whisper it quietly: among those who have bowled a minimum of 15 overs in this series where being defensive has been the only option, Glenn Maxwell has the best economy rate, of 5.61. India will feel it is criminal to have let him bowl eight overs for no serious damage, which takes pressure off Smith should one of his main bowlers have an off day.

The best economy rate for India unsurprisingly belongs to Ravindra Jadeja, who came into his own on a slightly slower and drier surface at the MCG. Axar Patel might have felt a little hard done by when Jadeja came right back into the ODI team based on Test form while the incumbent even kept winning one-day matches for his state side single-handedly. With the series gone now, perhaps India can try both of them in the same game; it doesn't really make sense naming two players in a squad when you are never going to play them together.

Australia captain Steven Smith is looking at a new world-record winning streak at home © Getty Images

Team news

While David Warner had been away on paternity leave, Shaun Marsh scored two fifties, but he knows well Australia don't go sentimental over these things when it comes to selections. Earlier in the summer he nearly scored a double-century, but had to make way when the batsmen he replaced was back. Warner, though, has said that he needs to justify his place given the pressure from Shaun Marsh. It will be interesting to see if they give Nathan Lyon a game, keeping in mind they have picked him for the Twenty20s.

Australia (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Steven Smith (capt.), 4 George Bailey, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9, John Hastings, 10 Kane Richardson, 11 Nathan Lyon/Scott Boland

In Melbourne India kept R Ashwin out to give them two half bowlers, but saw the ball turn, the lack of which had made Ashwin ineffective in the first two games. The catch-22 will continue. Barinder Sran seemed burnt out playing his third ODI in six days and in three different time zones. He could make way for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Ajinkya Rahane, 5 Manish Pandey/Gurkeerat Mann, 6 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin/Rishi Dhawan, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Umesh Yadav/Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Barinder Sran/Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Pitch and conditions

Another flat pitch and warm day is expected in Canberra, which should set up a similar contest of runs.

Stats and trivia

  • India last beat Australia in Australia in an international game back in February 2012. Since then they have lost nine matches and drawn two. Since the start of their 2011-12 tour, India have faced Australia in Australia in 19 completed international matches. They have drawn two Tests, and won an ODI and a T20I each. They have lost everything else.
  • Glenn Maxwell has now been dismissed in the 90s on four occasions. In his playing span, only Kane Williamson has managed to do this more often: six times.
  • Virat Kohli's average against Australia in Australia was 15..81 before this series began. It has now risen up to 40.22.


"Absolutely no shame in the way they played. In spite of the results. I know there is only one way to go after this tour of Australia, and that is up."

Ravi Shatsri is as optimistic as ever

"The boys are playing fantastic cricket. The way we are going out there and addressing the situation is phenomenal. Especially the batting. Credit to the top order, and I was very very excited to see Glenn Maxwell play a mature innings and carry us home."

David Warner has more reasons for his outlook to be sunny

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Shakeel Ahmed Siddiqi on January 21, 2016, 15:19 GMT

    Problem with India is local level cricket. They are not playing away since few years. Currently they are not good to play cricket away from home.

    From the start of this series. I had in my mind they can barely win a match.... Currently they are loosing 4-0 ... 1 match to go. Let's see...

  • Jon on January 21, 2016, 1:12 GMT

    Adding to previous post: Hence I would say, that is where the problem for India lies. They are not developing many International level players. Look at the bench strength of Aus. Even if 2 of their premium bowlers are not available, they have backup bowlers ready who can step in immediately and take responsibility. We don't have that. The playing conditions are far different from India which makes the matter worse. Start preparing good quality pitches in India and then see in the near future how we will have more players available to choose from. Yes, politics is a factor too. Yet, the pitches in India have to be prepared to the way others are preparing it. T20 is to blame for all countries preparing flat pitches. Because if the pitches were prepared with a let's say green top. Then the bowlers would become a bigger factor.

  • Jake on January 20, 2016, 21:21 GMT

    They lost 9/46 after being 1/277. This loss will ruin India mentally. If you can't win from 1/277 you'll never win. Kohli batter to slowly @ a SR of 108 when a SR of @200 plus was required. Players like Maxwell and Smith know how to lift the tempo. India fold like a house of cards when the pressure is on. This win will be good for these 3rd string Australian bowlers. They know they are not good enough to play many games for Australia when all the top line bowlers come back. But they are still good enough to make Australia win 4- Nill against India

  • Dinesh on January 20, 2016, 15:35 GMT

    I have no idea why Dhoni changed the batting order when their was no need for any risk, Moreover, As I had sent same message last 3 days - if Dhoni could have batting second after winning the toss, could have been better since we have much better control over batting. Dhoni was great captain but no idea why batting order was changed until he's having lack of self-confidence on his batting and wants to prove that to himself....

  • Dayne on January 20, 2016, 13:21 GMT

    Hard luck India two odi series annililations is never ideal but you have to win sooner or later.

  • Ravi on January 20, 2016, 7:44 GMT

    @Sanj you are correct. India did very well keeping Aust under 350. Here's some Stats for your record books. Australia Vs India Test records, total tests -90. Drawn test 25. Indian wins 24, Australian wins 40 Australia Vs India Test series Wins in Australia - (Australia 8 - India 0) India Vs Australia Test series Wins in India - (India 7 -Australia 4) Note, more Test series have been played in India between the two countries. ODIs Australia Vs India. Total 121 - (ten incomplete /washed out) Australia 71wins 40 loses -India 40 wins, 71 loses

  •   Santosh Singh on January 20, 2016, 6:05 GMT

    There has to be some drastic actions to be taken after this series concludes. They should start from back to zero, should probably think of bowlers who can actually take wickets and also replace Shikar Dhawan with the likes of Manish Pandey or Shreyas Iyer. Drop the players who has poor form coz they are affecting the others as well, enough chances has been given to them series after series. With Zaheer's retirement their is huge void up front. I don't see Ishant and Umesh as the future of bowling. Look at their records-Ishant, 79 ODI-110 wckts that is kind of worst & on the other hand Umesh Yadav another miserable fellow who doesn't even think twice of what he should probably bowl to get the batsman out. India's think tank should start considering other options and probably hire some serious bowling coach. Hope they get it right and find a way back to winning. Like all others i am tired of seeing the same results 'India loses..' Please fight hard and win for the billions fans.

  •   Sudharsanan Govardhanan on January 20, 2016, 4:11 GMT

    Why Indian bowlers are not bowling yorkers while other countries are doing this area BCCI has to concentrate or Coaches have to teach them.

  • Suhas on January 20, 2016, 3:45 GMT

    If India won the match or series many people starts praicing Mr Dhoni. At that time no one tells that Indian Bating or bowling is strong. They keep on praising Mr Dhoni. Like WC 2007 and 2011 etc. If India starts loosing some people including BCCI defends Mr Dhoni, blames Indian bowling Indian batting(Against bangla ODI).If you wnt to keep praise take some blame also when loosing. That is the character of true leader.

  • Sheethal on January 20, 2016, 3:23 GMT

    @SACHIN_NOW_AB 2 test series on dust bowl ?? I thought Sl test pitches were the best i saw in a very long time along with delhi pitch....Get your facts right before you post anything here...

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