Australia v India, 5th ODI, Sydney January 22, 2016

Australia eye win No. 19, and clean sweep


Match facts

January 23, 2016
Start time 1420 local (0320 GMT)

Play 03:44
Agarkar: Difficult for India to motivate themselves

Big Picture

The first three matches in this one-day series were remarkably similar but in Canberra, Australia found a new way to win. Or India found a new way to lose. It wasn't exactly clear which. Chasing for the first time in the series, India were well on track for their first victory at 1 for 277 in the 38th over, needing 349. A remarkable collapse was required to lose from there. And they got one. Nine wickets for 46 in less than 13 overs. Not since Malcolm Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott last year has the weight of numbers in Canberra changed sides so rapidly.

Now the challenge for India is to lift themselves up after such a demoralising defeat. They are 4-0 down and in serious danger of being whitewashed, clean-swept, whatever you want to call it. Their first bilateral one-day series in Australia might end in unilateral disarmament of India's attack. For that is what has cost them dearest throughout the series, the inability to restrict Australia on good batting surfaces. Five of Australia's bowlers have economy rates under six in this series; only two of India's have. Perhaps the SCG will offer more spin - at least that would be a different way to end the series.

Form guide

Australia: WWWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
India: LLLLL

In the spotlight

Nathan Lyon might be Australia's most successful Test offspinner of all time, but he still hasn't reached double figures in terms of ODI matches played. Australia's selectors have traditionally been reluctant to let Lyon work in the short forms, afraid that he might lose the flight and loop that has made him such a valuable Test bowler. But surely at 28 and with little left to prove in terms of his Test worth, Lyon can be trusted enough to jump formats. He even opened the bowling in Canberra, a strong hint that captain Steven Smith has been waiting for a frontline spinner in his ODI side.

So long have India's top-order men batted in this series that MS Dhoni has been reduced largely to cameos. A couple have been of the Quentin Tarantino variety - brief and brutal - but in Canberra it was more an Alfred Hitchcock blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance. His duck precipitated India's collapse, and he later declared his own wicket the turning point. If in Sydney the runs flow a little less freely for Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, it might be time for more of a Clint Eastwood starring role from Dhoni.

Team news

There seems little reason for Australia to make changes to their winning side, with Shaun Marsh and Scott Boland likely to sit out once again - unless Glenn Maxwell does not recover sufficiently from the soreness in his knee resulting from a knock he suffered while batting in Canberra.*

Australia (possible) 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

Ajinkya Rahane split the webbing of his right hand while fielding in Canberra and is likely to miss the Sydney game, which could mean a return for Manish Pandey. If the SCG is expected to spin, R Ashwin should come back to replace one of the seamers, perhaps Rishi Dhawan. Axar Patel may also be considered for the first time in the series.

India (possible) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Gurkeerat Singh, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Ishant Sharma

Pitch and conditions

The Sydney pitch should offer a little more turn. The weather forecast is for a shower or two, and a possible storm on Saturday.

Stats and trivia

  • India will drop from No. 2 to No. 3 on the ODI rankings if they lose this match
  • Virat Kohli has scored at such a consistent tempo through this series that his strike-rate is exactly 100 - he is on top of the series run tally with 373 runs from 373 deliveries
  • Aaron Finch and Steven Smith both reached 2000 ODI runs in the Canberra game, Finch the equal third-fastest Australian to the milestone and Smith the equal sixth-fastest
  • Australia have now won 18 consecutive ODIs at home, last losing to South Africa in Perth in November 2014


"We've played some very good one-day cricket so far this VB series. It'll be a fitting finish to the summer if we can finish 5-0."
Australia's Steven Smith

07.30GMT, January 22: The Australia team news was updated after news of Glenn Maxwell's knee niggle came in

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ashik on January 23, 2016, 4:26 GMT

    Bumrah looks good, at least he is not spraying the balls like Yadav even when bowling at 140 kph. Still these are early days and judgment reserved.

  • CricMystique on January 23, 2016, 3:13 GMT

    To my fellow indian fans...can we puh-lease discuss the game we love in a better manner.....sick of the common perception of us as commenting and 'demeaning' - need the cultural gap to be bridged-and not all are the same....cricinfo plz publish

  • J on January 23, 2016, 3:11 GMT

    Amidst all the criticism of the Indian team, let us not forget to give due credit to the Australians, who have indeed played well. Their batsmen have consistently outbatted the indian batsmen. Even their bowlers, while conceding 300+ scores, have been (slightly) more disciplined than the Indian bowlers. There have been umpiring mistakes but that is part and parcel of the game and we need to accept it as such (though the BCCI should make an official complaint if a certain umpire seems to always 'target' india). So, all said and done, the aussies have been a better team and while india might have won a match or two if luck had favoured us (example - rahane's unfortunate injury in the 4th ODI), I think Aus would have definitely won the series convincingly.

  • J on January 23, 2016, 3:04 GMT

    Raina is not the answer to India's batting woes. He has been given plenty of chances and has been found wanting against quality bowling and in foreign conditions. People have forgotten that it was for this reason that raina was finally dropped from the team (though he was also one of dhoni's selections and given umpteen chances). Even yuvraj singh wont help now, because though he was a great player once, his abilities are clearly on the wane (pls recollect the last match he played in where he came towards the end, played a scratchy innings - when india needed quick runs - and people started abusing him, which was sad / not justified because he has served india well in the past). We cannot be regressive and bring back players who have not delivered or are past their prime. The need of the hour is to look for new talent, keeping in the the needs of the future (instead of accomplishments of the past). Guys like sanju Samson, kedar jadhav, shreyas iyer etc should be given a chance.

  • Ashik on January 23, 2016, 3:04 GMT

    Interesting how this new guy, Bumrah would cope, baptism by fire..

  • mahesh on January 23, 2016, 2:40 GMT

    dhawan got one more "BIG ENOUGH" score after the series loss and will continue to latch on and fail terribly until one more inconsequential match

  • mahesh on January 23, 2016, 2:38 GMT

    jadeja as fielder is terrific as bowler has his highs and lows but still very dependable but his batting probably has been a very big let down and poor investment for indian cricket

  • mahesh on January 23, 2016, 2:35 GMT

    though a bit too general go to agree with victortrumpet

  • KARTHICK on January 23, 2016, 2:31 GMT

    @imaad well said. Same confusions with the selectors too.

  •   Ayush Gupta on January 23, 2016, 2:05 GMT

    I am an Indian and I won't say that Australia are winning because of the pitches. India is playing well in first 30-40 overs of both innings but fail to capitalise on it. We need a different line up after Rahane. My team:

    Rohit,Utthapa/Dhawan,Kohli,Rahane/Manish/Raina for 2 Places,Dhoni,Irfan/A good Fast bowling Allrounder,Jadeja/Ashwin/Axar from2 places,Ishant/Shami/Umesh/Nehra for 2 places

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