New Zealand have done it once before. So have England. Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka have each done it twice. South Africa have done it five times and Australia six. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have never managed it. And, perhaps surprisingly, neither have India. What is "it", though? A winning stretch of at least 10 consecutive one-day internationals. And why is that relevant? Because India have now won their past nine ODIs on the trot. In Bengaluru, on Thursday, in what will be their 926th one-day international, they have the chance to accomplish a 10-game winning streak for the first time in their history of playing the format. An extra reason, perhaps, not to fall victim to dead-rubber syndrome.
India have not lost an ODI since they succumbed to West Indies by 11 runs in Antigua in July; Australia have not won a one-day international since January 26, when they beat Pakistan in Adelaide on Australia Day. While India's form-line consists of nine straight wins, Australia have lost their past 11 ODIs away from home. They cannot rescue the series, but even a consolation victory or two would feel like an achievement at this point. Should they find themselves on the end of a clean-sweep, Australia could fall to fourth on the ODI rankings, to sit alongside their fifth ranking in Tests and seventh in T20Is.
(last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Virat Kohli is one-day international cricket's Mr Consistent. In 2016, he scored 739 ODI runs from 739 balls. Incredibly, he has maintained that strike-rate of precisely 100 this year, too, having scored 1137 runs from 1137 balls in 2017. He is also the leading run-scorer in ODIs this year and has made a century in each of India's completed bilateral series in 2017. Can he add a hundred in this series to the list?
The axing of Matthew Wade in Indore left the wicketkeeping duties in the hands of Peter Handscomb, who had performed the role in two previous ODIs for Australia. In domestic cricket, Handscomb has been a semi-regular wicketkeeper over the years, though in the longest format, he has tried to leave that role behind to focus on his batting. It will be interesting to see how the job affects his run-making in the following games, and it is worth noting that in the 23 List A matches where he has kept wicket, his average is higher (45.75) than in the 43 games he has played as a specialist batsman (30.15).
There is no real need for India to make any changes unless, with the series won, they want to rest someone. An unaltered XI seems likely.
India (possible) 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Ashton Agar has gone home injured, which will mean a recall for Adam Zampa. Pat Cummins will be rested from the upcoming T20Is and there is the possibility that with the series already lost, the selectors may wish to start his break even sooner, in which case they could bring James Faulkner back in.
Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Travis Head, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Peter Handscomb (wk), 8 Pat Cummins/James Faulkner, 9 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 10 Kane Richardson, 11 Adam Zampa
Pitch and conditions
The Bengaluru pitch has become a little slower and trickier in recent times, but this will be the first ODI to be played at the venue in nearly four years, the last game having yielded a 57-run win for the hosts against Australia. It is, therefore, difficult to know precisely what to expect. There is the possibility of some stormy weather in the city on Thursday.
Stats and trivia
The M Chinnaswamy Stadium is Kohli's worst home venue in ODIs: he averages 10.50 from four games there, with scores of 0, 8, 34 and 0.
This will be David Warner's 100th ODI, having made his international debut in the 50-over format in 2009
The most recent team to achieve 10 consecutive ODI wins was New Zealand, whose run ended in the 2015 World Cup final. The most recent 10-match undefeated stretch was, however, achieved by South Africa, whose winning stretch lasted 12 games, spanning September 2016 and Feb 2017.