India take on Australia in the third game of the five-match One-Day International series at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium in Ranchi tomorrow (Friday). The Virat Kohli-led Blue Brigade, leading the series 2-0, will be keen to extend their winning run and give seasoned campaigner Mahendra Singh Dhoni a duel gift of the series and match win on his home ground.
Even as India enjoy an advantage in the series, the Australian have had their share of dominance in the first two games. The 2-0 result for sure has not been a cake walk for the home team as the lead might suggest. There have been occasions when the chips were really down for India – both in bowling and batting.
Shikhar Dhawan’s poor form and Rohit Sharma falling in that third-man trap in both the games would be a matter of concern for the hosts, who would be looking for a solid start to avoid unwarranted pressures. It will be interesting to see whether the Team Management would like to give Dhawan another chance to open the innings with Sharma, or one of them may be omitted to bring in in-form KL Rahul.
Return of Bhubaneswar Kumar will give the Indian new ball attack some more variation if the team decides to go into the game with an additional bowler. Bhubaneswar on numerous occasions has put on display his acumen with the willow.
The pressure will now be on the visitors, who cannot afford to lose yet another game. Another adverse result will conclusively seal the series against them.
MAHI’S LAST OUTING AT HOME!
This might also be last international outing for Mahendra Singh Dhoni in front of his home fans. The city is unlikely to get another international cricket match over the next couple of years due to Board of Control for Cricket in India’s rotation policy to give hosting rights to State associations.
Dhoni has already quit Test cricket. There is a speculation that the Ranchi boy might take a call on his future in limited overs international cricket. The State cricket association has made Mahi immortal on the JSCA International Stadium by naming a block after the city icon. The humble Mahi had declined the offer to formally inaugurate the stand named after himself.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Ambati Rayudu, Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye.
Star Sports will broadcast the match in five languages – English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada – on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi and Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports Tamil, Star Sports Telugu, and Star Sports Kannada.
The match will also be streamed live on Star’s OTT platform Hotstar.
The match at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association International Stadium in Ranchi will start at 1:30 pm.