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Here is the today match preview By Mi Lu
Virat Kohli began this limited-overs series with a warning to his World Cup-bound players about picking up ‘bad habits’ during the IPL. As it has turned out, a couple of his players may already be in need of some self-analysis and we’re still two weeks away from the start of the IPL.
It is not panic stations yet, far from it actually. India lead Australia 2-1 despite the Ranchi reverse and remain favourites to close out the series at Mohali. However, bilateral results are secondary at this point, two months out from a World Cup – try telling that to Australia whose last series win was more than two years ago. But India, one of the preeminent ODI sides of this generation, have been genuinely puzzled by the fact that the usually well-oiled parts of their ODI machinery are creaking.
Curiously, they have lost ground at the top of the innings. Shikhar Dhawan is without a 50-plus score for seven innings now with each of pace, swing and off-spin exposing chinks in his game. Australia have forced the southpaw into playing risky, release shots by denying him room to manoeuvre easy runs with packed fields in front of the wicket. Ditto with Ambati Rayudu, who has had his old wounds against the seaming ball exposed once again by Cummins & Co. India were also lacklustre with their ground fielding in Ranchi (barring a moment of Jadeja-Dhoni brilliance) and have now gone two games without taking a wicket in the batting powerplay.
After a 2018 to forget, Australia can already see a few more chinks of light, literally and metaphorically. The sight of Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja back among the runs in Ranchi comes as a soothing balm for a side looking to rediscover its identity. Jhye Richardson impressed in his first outing of the series, combining effectively with Adam Zampa and Pat Cummins to break the back of India’s chase. The hard-nosed Justin Langer, though, will admit that Australia have improvements to make to their death-overs batting. The visitors finished poorly in Ranchi, making only 69 in the final 10, a statistic that could have cost them dearly in the match and the series.
When: India vs Australia, 4th ODI, March 10, 2019, 13:30 IST
Where: PCA IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
What to expect: A large part of playing strategy will centre around Mohali’s large square boundaries. Running between the wickets and defending/attacking the shorter straight boundaries will be crucial as evidenced in the last clash between these two sides at this venue during the 2016 World T20. Temperate weather (max. 25 degree Celsius) and a hospitable pitch will keep those in search of runs in a temperate mood. The last time an ODI was played here, India scored 392 with Rohit Sharma making 208.
India: The Indian captain promised changes and chances for fringe players at the presentation ceremony in Ranchi. That was followed by news of a rest for MS Dhoni. That paves the way for Rishabh Pant, who will have two chances to prove that he, and not Dinesh Karthik, should go to the World Cup as the team’s reserve keeper. KL Rahul would love some game time himself although that is unlikely to come at the expense of Dhawan, who the team is backing to regain his form. Mohammed Shami, who went off the field in Ranchi with a minor injury, should make way for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
India remain uncertain about Ravindra Jadeja’s role in the side with the all-rounder yet to provide the batting assurance at No. 8 that helped him pip Yuzvendra Chahal in the first place. A rollback could be in the offing with the wrist spinner offering more of an attacking threat with the ball.
Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja/Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia: Given the short turnaround ahead of this game, Australia will be unable to include Nathan Coulter-Nile (paternity leave) back in the side. A toss up between playing an additional seamer – Jason Behrendorff – and a spinner – Nathan Lyon – will be the only major selection call for Finch and Langer.
Probable XI: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon/Jason Behrendorff
South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI
People confounded by how different formats peacefully coexist in cricket should watch Sri Lanka’s ongoing tour of South Africa. It’s almost impossible to remember how good Sri Lanka were in the Test rubber, and how short of good they have looked in the ODI series, having lost two out of two convincingly. And come the third ODI in Durban, which will be a rare day fixture at the venue, nobody really expects a cricketing coup unless Sri Lanka decide to humiliate our assumptions, again.
Remember, this was where they won the first Test by one-wicket. And given how stadiums eerily impact a team’s morale – like Australia and Ranchi, or India and Johannesburg – it will be foolish to rule Sri Lanka out.
It’s not been the cricket’s best display ever, this series. South Africa’s batting shortcomings – and there are many – have been masked by how world-class their bowling is. Been bowled out for 251 despite Quinton de Kock’s blazing 70-ball 94 at the top, South Africa found themselves coasting to a 113-run win, as Sri Lanka, short-staffed on resources, plummeted to a 2-0 series deficit.
The third ODI will be a chance for South Africa to not just seal the series, and hence build some more room for permutations and combinations, but also put on a more improved show with the bat. Clearly modern-day ODIs aren’t won with bowling alone. Not against World Cup contenders in a pressure-cooker match.
Sri Lanka lacked experience in a tricky chase in Centurion, with captain Lasith Malinga expressing his frustration at players not grabbing their chances. There’s going to be a lot of eyes on how Malinga captains, and on how the batsmen cope up with a very good bowling attack. But didn’t they just decimate a similarly good line-up in Test cricket? Different worlds. And Sri Lanka need something good enough soon.
What to expect: It’s seamed and swung in Durban in the last few ODIs, and expect more of the same. Few thundershowers are predicted right through the day
With a series win in sight, South Africa aren’t expected to change the side.
Probable XI: Quinton de Kock(w), Reeza Hendricks, Faf du Plessis(c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir
After the last game, Lasith Malinga stressed the batsmen need to take more responsibility. They can look to bring in the experienced Upul Tharanga in place of Avishka Fernando.
Probable XI: Niroshan Dickwella(w), Avishka Fernando/Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga(c), Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando
W indies vs England, 3rd T20I
The T20I series thus far has come as the calm after the storm for England. As one of the title contenders for the home World Cup later this year, it was quite an eye-opener for them to be held 2-2 in the five-match series by the ninth-placed side on the ICC rankings – even if it happened at Windies’ home. That after they were outclassed in the three-Test series.
With Windies’ T20I reputation, England ran the risk of returning home without anything tangible to show for from a 46-day away sojourn. But a Sam Billings-Joe Root-Chris Jordan inspired England will now head into the final T20I after already having pocketed the series, and with the chance of sweeping it 3-0.
Losing a series is one thing, but losing face in a format they’re so comfortable in is quite another. Windies – the two time World T20 champions – were abject in the second T20I to the point that they came very close to taking away the ignominous record of the lowest T20I total from Netherlands. They avoided that somehow, even with nine players falling for single-digit scores, but a 45 all-out is a massive blot on their glowing T20I CV.
Jason Holder termed it his team’s worst batting performance, but was quick to point out that his side has ‘had more good days than England in this series’. Yet, the hosts will carry an itch to scratch – an urge to erase the scars of Friday, and write over it with the memory of pulling one back, even if it is inconsequential as far as the series is concerned.
When: Windies vs England, 3rd T20I, Monday, March 11 at 4:00 PM Local Time
Where: Warner Park, Basseterre, St. Kitts
What to expect: England’s 182/6 in the second T20I was the first score in excess of 150 at the Warner Park in 13 games played at the venue since August 2009. Last year’s CPL though paints a different picture, with five 150-plus totals being achieved – including a 199 and 206. Windies will hope to brush aside 45 all-out as an aberration and add to the growing list of big scores at the venue.
Amidst all the carnage that Windies suffered with the bat, it could be easily forgotten that the young and extremely promising fast bowler Obed McCoy got his debut in the second game. He too, though, might prefer it that way after being absolutely pulverised by Joe Root and Sam Billings to finish with bowling figures of 3-0-44-1. It is likely Windies will bring back in Oshane Thomas for the 22-year-old, if anything to protect McCoy from more woes at the hands of a devastating batting line-up.
Probable XI: Shai Hope(w), Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder(c), Devendra Bishoo, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell
The overarching narrative from the ODI series was that one of the 2019 World Cup favourites were suddenly looking vulnerable with the ball in hand. Days are being counted down to March 17, when the Bajan-born Jofra Archer will be available to put on an England jersey and stake a late claim in the World Cup squad – even if David Willey isn’t sure of this plan.
Chris Jordan, who hasn’t played an ODI since September 2016, is understandably way down in the pecking order but is still an option the England team management can consider based on his exploits in the first two T20Is (3-0-16-2 and 2-0-6-4). Jordan will hope he can cap off the series with a third notable performance in a row to send another signal of his readiness.
Probable XI: Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow(w), Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Joe Denly, Sam Billings, David Willey, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid
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Posted By ‘Mi Lu’