India and Australia have just two more games to go in their evergreen one-day series, and with the last two games producing no result, India have to win if they want to salvage a positive result out of the series.
Date: Wednesday, 30 Oct. 2013
Start time: 09:00 BST
Live on: Sky Sports 2, 8:30-17:30 BST
Weather: After two rather dreary forecasts for the games which preceded this one, there is finally some good news. Clear skies, very hot weather and no chance of any rain interruptions in Nagpur, according to Accuweather.
Secretly, both India and Australia's players are probably thanking Mother Nature for the break they've had thanks to the weather. A grueling schedule awaits both sides over the coming few months, and for Australia's Ashes hopefuls, a little break would have done them the world of good. Still, there are two games left, and for Australia, a series win is very much up for grabs.
They are 2-1 up in the series and a win on Tuesday will ensure they take an unassailable lead, a little light at the end of a very dark and dreary tunnel of defeats which had become the theme of their summer in England.
India, meanwhile, have a lot to prove. Their batsmen have been good here and there as individuals, but they still have to find a way to click as a team. Their bowling, however, has left much to be desired. The conditions have been tough and the seamers in particular have copped a pasting.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the promising young seamer, has a bowling average of 145.0 in the series and an economy rate of 5.37. Almost all of the Indian bowlers have struggled to keep things tight on pitches which have offered them nothing. Even the spinners have come out second-best, and the Nagpur wicket won't treat anyone kindly.
In building for the future, this is where India's bowlers will face their biggest test. Adapting to unkind conditions and finding ways to a restrict a destructive batting side.
Skipper MS Dhoni has hit 158 runs in four games at an average of 158. His unbeaten 139 was absolutely sensational and he proved that he is one of the best finishers in the game. Since India can't rely on their bowlers, a solid total will stand them in good stead if they bat first. If they need to chase, they can rest assured that they have Dhoni's prowess lurking in their midst.
Above all expectations, Mitchell Johnson has managed a relatively good performance. His average is 32.40 and economy rate 5.19; while they might be on the slightly high side, at least he's shown he is not terrible all the time. For a seamer to manage those kinds of performances in tough conditions is encouraging and he's probably got his on on a potential place in the Ashes squad.
MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, AmitMishra, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat
Shane Watson, Aaron Finch, Phillip Hughes, George Bailey, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin (wk), Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, James Faulkner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty.
Squad info taken from Cricket365.com.
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