After India’s series-levelling victory over Australia in Rajkot in the second ODI, the focus shifts to Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium where the two teams lock horns for the decider on Sunday.
It was yet another routine all-round performance from the hosts on Friday, with KL Rahul (80), Shikhar Dhawan (96) and Virat Kohli (78) contributing to take the hosts to 340-6.
In reply, the Indian bowlers were too strong for the Aussie batsmen, with Mohammed Shami ending with figures of 3-77 as Steve Smith (98) and Marnus Lambuschagne’s (46) efforts going in vain.
However, not all was smooth for the Indian side during their morale-boosting win. Just days after Rishabh Pant suffered a concussion after being hit by a bouncer from Pat Cummins in Mumbai, Shikhar Dhawan copped a blow on the rib-cage courtesy another short delivery from the same bowler. While Pant was ruled out of the second ODI, Dhawan did not take field during the Aussies’ run chase and Yuzvendra Chahal was named substitute. However, according to PTI, the opening batsman is doing fine and the team management is hopeful of his participation in the final ODI.
Even Rohit Sharma suffered an injury scare when he was seen clutching his left arm after a the limited overs vice-captain had a awkward landing during a fielding effort. However, Kohli in his post-match address put all the fears to rest when he said that he did ask about Rohit's injury status and fortunately because there is no muscle tear, he is likely to be fit for the decider in Bengaluru.
For the Aussies, it was mainly the bowlers who let the team down with Mitchell Starc ending wicketless and conceding 78 runs in 10 overs, while Ashton Agar endured figures of 0-63 in eight overs. Adam Zampa (3/50) and Kane Richardson (2/73) were the only wicket-takers, and the bowlers will have their task cut out with dew expected to play a major part in the second innings.
According to Accuweather, while it is expected to be mostly sunny around the scheduled start time (1.30 pm IST), intermittent clouds are likely to appear in the evening. More importantly, no rain is expected at all during the duration of the match.
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