India v Australia, 3rd ODI, Mohali October 18, 2013

More testing times likely for the bowlers in Mohali


Match facts

Saturday, October 19, 2013
Start time 1330 local (0800 GMT)

Big Picture

The metamorphosis of the Jaipur pitch from a good all-round one just a few weeks ago to a fertile 721-run farmland on which the batsmen committed cricketing debauchery made it clear that an ODI series in India has no place for bowlers. Mohali is likely to be another batting paradise with the curator, Daljit Singh, already saying that the good bounce and carry - read: hit through the line - that the pitch afforded during the Champions League matches was a "dress-rehearsal" for the ODI. The grass on the outfield has been given a neat crop too, meaning R Ashwin and Glenn Maxwell will have more or less an equal chance of chasing down the ball.

The pitch in Jaipur was called a "beauty" by a television commentator inciting a quizzical response from the Australia captain. "You reckon that was a beauty?" George Bailey asked with a wry smile, after he had seen his bowlers plundered for a fortune and just getting a wicket in return. Two days after that onslaught in Jaipur, Bailey's scars were still fresh. "It's hard to know what motivates bowlers on these wickets," he said. "I think I would like to see a little bit more help for the bowlers if they bend their backs and a little bit for the spinners." The fast bowlers did derive some help in Pune, but maybe that was just an outlier.

India wouldn't complain with another flat pitch as it neatly neutralises Australia's bowling advantage. Their top order took full toll of the favourable conditions in Jaipur and crafted a win out of what had been a shoddy bowling performance from India's bowlers. Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar's inability to stick to a plan was there for everyone to see, and so was R Ashwin's habit of doling out a long hop every over. Australia's bowlers were taken for runs off good deliveries, but the Indian bowlers, they were rightly punished for their indiscipline. In the end, you can only take six runs for a big hit, and that upper limit saved the Indian bowlers from not looking any worse than their Australian counterparts.

From Australia's perspective, their batting has made the most of a weak bowling attack and put up 300-plus totals twice already. Add to that the 200 they scored in the T20, and it suggests they could be equally potent in a bat-out. What they need is a sprinkling of grass - there was some on the Mohali pitch on the eve of the match, but will it survive the next 24 hours?

Form guide

Australia LWWLW (most recent games first)

In the spotlight

It was in Mohali against Australia that Shikhar Dhawan's world changed in a matter of four hours. Since setting foot on the ground that day in March, Dhawan has amassed 1028 runs in international cricket - Tests, ODIs, and T20Is - at an average of 60.47 and a strike rate of 97.90, becoming a vital cog in India's line-up. The number of centuries he has hit this year would have gone to five had he scored five more runs in Jaipur, but he did set up the chase that night. The best part about Dhawan's batting is that he has no apparent weaknesses - he plays the fast-bowlers well, he uses his feet against spinners, plays sweeps and the reverse, he runs well between the wickets, and he scores at a fast clip without taking any risks.

Aaron Finch has assumed a similar role to Dhawan's for Australia in limited-overs matches. He has now three half-centuries in a row on this tour, but it's the manner in which he has collected his runs which is impressive. He has tended to be patient early in the innings, leaving a number of deliveries, but with muscular hitting through off side and down the ground, he has quickly made up for the slow starts. Australia will look forward to another one of those starts in Mohali.

Team news

After the battering India's bowlers received in Jaipur, MS Dhoni might be inclined to make at least one change in Mohali before the team for the next four matches is announced. Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar have leaked runs at almost the same rate - 7.87 and 7.83 respectively - and one or both could be forced out. However, with Dhoni's tendency to stick to the same XI, it could be still be a long wait for Jaydev Unadkat and Mohammed Shami.

India (probable) 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 and 11 Vinay Kumar/Ishant Sharma/Mohammed Shami/Jaydev Unadkat

Australia's batting has been an efficient machinery and, despite the bowling's collective failure in Jaipur, they may retain the XI. If they do make a change, it's likely to be on the fast-bowling front, with Nathan Coulter-Nile coming in, captain George Bailey said on the eve of the match.

Australia (probable) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Phillip Hughes, 3 Shane Watson, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty

Stats and trivia

  • No Indian batsman has yet scored a century in ODIs in Mohali. In 12 matches, India has played at the ground, Sachin Tendulkar's 99 against Pakistan in 2007 remains the highest score
  • There have been five instances of teams scoring more than 300 batting first in Mohali - South Africa's 351 being the highest - and only once has the team lost from that position. In the same match where Tendulkar scored 99, Pakistan chased down the 322-run target
  • Australia have played three ODIs against India in Mohali and they have won two of them. Overall, Australia have won four out of five matches in Mohali


"There might be a little bit more life here than at the Jaipur wicket. The boundaries are a little bit bigger as well, so … I haven't looked at the past scores or anything, so I don't know what to expect."
George Bailey looks for a silver lining

"I guess the boys were trying bouncers, trying to surprise the opponents with short balls and were trying different things to upset them."
Shikhar Dhawan on Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar's tactics in Jaipur

'No quick fix for India's bowling woes'

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on October 19, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    @Shrikant Manjrekar:

    I honestly failed to see whether you are being sarcastic there or what. I think you are supporting what I said in my prev comment. Dhawan scored an astonishing 248 in 43 overs in SA and we never heard any criticism of that wicket. That 434 match also happened in SA but we never hear that SA wickets are killing Cricket. There indeed is a huge bias against anything Indian among the fans of Eng-Aus and among a few of the SA fans. Guys like Luke Wright, Butler, Root will be talked of as the next big thing on the basis of one innings or or just 3-4 innings. Bowlers like Starc & Pattinson will be said to be top pacers just cos they got some wickets AT HOME in Friendly Conditions yet these same ppl will refuse to say anything praiseworthy for Indian players even after years of top class performances.

    A large no of Ind fans are unusually anti-India for inexplicable reasons & these cause the greatest damage to our image.

  • Deepak on October 19, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    And if Anybody watches our game all over the world be it a batting pitch or bowling pitch we used to score runs freely and give away runs fast.Recently in England Our games were all high scoring where as matches where India was not involved were not high scoring even in the same pitches.Based on this no body can tell India is only playing in Flat tracks because of BCCI.Yeah we want to find 1 or 2 good bowlers in our team at least 3/4th the ability of Ausise/Eng/SAF bowlers(Asking for Pak will be too much).If we had such bowlers then nobody would have dare enough to spell as "India".Be it in any part of the world.

  • Deepak on October 19, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Well The Pitch in Jaipur was flat.But That wont take credit from Indian Win.All Indian Bashers Can you expect the same score your team will make in the same pitch if you were Batting against South African Bowlers?But we Indians Believe we could have chased the same target even if It was against South Africa.That shows How much strong we are with Bat and how much weak we are with bowl.

  • Marshall on October 19, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    First, I dont want to take anything away from the Indians for their victory in 2nd ODI. They deserved to win on the basis of their batting performance. But, anyone who says that Aussie Bowling was worse than Indian bowling is missing a point. When Aussies Bowled, Indian Batsmen had to take some risk to score the runs. It needed special skill to score all those runs. But if you look at Indian bowling, Aussie batsmen never had to take any risk. They were gifted with freebies all the time. Also, Aussie bowlers did their job in the 1st ODI and will continue to do in the coming ODIs. We have to wait & see how Indian Bowlers perform

  • Mark on October 19, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    The facts about Indian architecture.

    The fact that Indians think pitch doctoring is ok is a concern.

    To design and manipulate a pitch to favour any team is unethical.

    To be a professional athlete (express pace bowler) and the outcome of your skill and training is pre-determined by official design.

    Only in India are pitches doctored to this extent!

    George Bailey is to polite!

  • Android on October 19, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    unadkat should get a chance today

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta

    The Indian bus is running on 4 wheels. i.e., A Mishra, Mohammed Shami, AT Rayudu, JD Unadkat. There is no stepney for this bus and hence driver MSD has no option to carry on with the same.


    Shikhar Dhawan made some 248 runs recently in List A some 40 overs out 50. Was it in IND? Please elaborate more.

  • Android on October 19, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    bring amit mishra....!!!

  • Graham on October 19, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    I'm not sure why people are complaining about the last pitch. It looked to me a typical one-day wicket in India. Fans got plenty of entertainment so bring it on. Time for bowlers to start working on there yorkers again. Both sides have very damaging batting line ups and could see this sort of score in AUstralia as well.

  • Graham on October 19, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Bodhisatya Sinha Biswas ; Have you ever heard an Australian player complain about the pitch? I havent not sure why your putting Dhoni on a pedestal for not complaining.

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