The big picture: The last dance before the big names return
With key senior players from India and Australia set to make their way into their respective elevens for the third ODI in Rajkot later in the day, Sunday’s match in Indore is perhaps the last chance for any of the fringe players to make an impact.
But, every strong team in the World Cup will have a player of Shami’s caliber and hence a second consecutive setback against India’s fast bowlers will be a sign of concern. Especially Mitchell Marsh would like to establish himself in Indian conditions as an opening batsman. The possible return of Josh Hazlewood will also give a boost to their bowling.
For India, this will be another opportunity to assess the advantage of having three leading fast bowlers compared to two fast bowlers and one fast bowler. Shami had given a sensational performance in Mohali by taking five wickets, but Shardul Thakur could not take any wicket for 78 runs. In the grand scheme of things, these are good problems to have, but the downside of too many choices is that the chances of making the wrong choice are also higher. R Ashwin’s bowling will also be an important subplot.
As far as batting is concerned, Mohali’s performance could not have been better, with four of their top six scoring half-centuries. India may try to go ahead with Ishan Kishan as an opener in place of Ruturaj Gaikwad, but apart from that, their best position is to score more runs from the middle order. Special emphasis will be on Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav, who scored half-centuries in Mohali recently.
India WWLWW (last five matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight: Iyer and Labuschagne
Team News: Hardy in for Stoinis?
India can rest Jasprit Bumrah and partner Mohammed Siraj with Shami. They may also consider bringing in Washington Sundar. Kuldeep Yadav has been rested for the second match also.
India (Possible): 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad/Ishan Kishan, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 KL Rahul (captain, wk), 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Mohammed Siraj/Jasprit Bumrah.
Marcus Stoinis is unlikely to play back-to-back games, so all-rounder Aaron Hardy may get a place. If Australia want to shed some light on the batting, Hazlewood is also a possibility for Stoinis. Alex Carey is ready to take up the captaincy again, but not necessarily at the expense of Josh Inglis.
Australia (Possible): 1 David Warner, 2 Mitchell Marsh, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Alex Carey, 7 Josh Inglis/Aaron Hardie, 8 Pat Cummins (C), 9 Sean Abbott, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
pitch and conditions
Statistics and General Knowledge
- Shubman Gill is the only batsman to score four or more ODI centuries in 2023. This year his average is more than 70 and his strike rate is 104.84.
- In 42 innings, Shardul Thakur has conceded at least seven per over 14 times – that is, once every three games.
- with 4-5 win-loss record So far in 2023, Australia has lost more ODI matches than it has won.
Shrestha Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx