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The Preview by Sidharth Monga
November 1, 2013
Match factsSaturday, November 2, 2013
Big PictureThe series couldn't have meant more differently to the two sides. It is tied 2-2, is headed into a decider in Bangalore, and what do Australia do? They take, Mitchell Johnson, self-admittedly their Man of the Series, and put him on a flight to Australia so he can present a case and prepare for the Ashes. India, on the other hand, have rested their important Test allrounder - on Indian turning tracks, that is - for the West Indies Tests because he has a shoulder strain, but they have every intention to play the man, Ravindra Jadeja, in this decider.
So down we go into one last run-fest between a desperate home side who last won a proper ODI series against these visitors back in 1986, and the tourists whose minds are already thinking of the Ashes. The captains and the bowlers have come to Bangalore fearing the worst because of the short boundaries there, the batsmen are not gloating about the runs they have amassed, and yet another 350-plays-350 - entirely possible here - could be the definitive message to the legislators of the game that they have badly skewed the balance between bat and ball.
Form guideAustralia LWLWW (most recent games first, completed matches)
In the spotlightVirat Kohli comes back to his third home for this ODI. His second home is Delhi, and his first is when he is batting in a chase. Within 13 days he has scored India's fastest and third-fastest centuries to make them the only side in the world to have successfully chased down 350 or more twice. India will need more of the same.
George Bailey has been to Australia what Kohli has been to India. He will be fighting Johnson for the Man-of-the-Series award. Bailey has done enough to make a case for himself: he now has the most runs in a bilateral series by anyone. He is also the leading ODI run-getter in 2013.
Team newsAmit Mishra's first home ODI began well with the ball turning and the batsmen not picking his wrong 'uns, but it went wrong pretty soon, and long hops made regular appearances as he was put under pressure. He could lose out to Jaydev Unadkat in the only likely change in the Indian XI.
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 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Mohammed Shami
Nathan Coulter-Nile is expected to take Johnson's place.
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 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty
Stats and trivia
Quotes"It has turned out to be a great series for our team in many ways; the way we've fought back from different situations. Personally, I've been pleased with my batting and hopefully I can do it again in the last game."
"It's a very exciting way to end this series. I think it's just reward that it's two-all now, leading into the final, because it has been an outstanding series so far."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sidharth Monga
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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