India went into the third ODI against Australia in Canberra knowing that they had already lost the series 2-0.
However, it was important for India to win the third ODI as a 3-0 whitewash would have been disastrous for the men in blue given the fact that they have a T20 and Test series ahead of them.
The Indian selectors should have made changes to the playing XI in the second ODI after a bad outing in the first ODI. However, the selectors retained the same playing XI in the second ODI and the result was the same at the SCG. They finally decided to make changes for the third ODI and brought in S Thakur, K Yadav, T Natarajan and S Gill.
India batted first for the first time in the series and were immediately in trouble as most the top order once again failed to make a big score. V Kohli looked good and went on to make 63 before falling to Hazelwood. India were in trouble with the top order back in the pavilion but H Pandya (92) and R Jadeja (66) remained unbeaten and took India to a respectable total of 302.
Australia was without D Warner at the top of the order and his absence hurt Australia. Credit must also be given to S Thakur, K Yadav and T Natarajan who picked up wickets when it mattered. Australia had a great chance to win the third ODI when G Maxwell (59) was at the crease but J Bumrah came back and got his wicket in the 45th over to swing things India’s way.
Some good death bowling in the end resulted in Australia being bowled out in the final over and falling short by 13 runs.
India Should Take Momentum Into T20 Series
This win will give India confidence as they approach the three match T20 series which starts on 04 December. The selectors need to get the T20 squad playing XI correct from the first match or India could end up losing the first T20 and struggle to win the series.
Our playing XI for the first T20 game in Canberra will be S Dhawan and KL Rahul (openers), Virat Kohli, S Iyer, M Pandey, S Samson (wicket-keeper), H Pandya (all-rounder), R Jadeja, W Sundar, T Natarajan, D Chahar, J Bumrah.