With the ODI World Cup just around the corner, this ODI series was a good opportunity for both sides to try out a few different combinations. In the first ODI, Hardik Pandya, the stand-in captain, won the toss and chose to bowl first on a lively pitch in Wankhede. Pacer bowling performances were impressive, as Australia was bowled out for under 200, with Mitchell Marsh the only Australian batter to find some rhythm, scoring 81 off just 65 balls. Mitchell Starc’s damaging spell, which blew away the top order, put India in trouble in the chase. KL Rahul found a home at No. 5 for India, helping to steady the ship with a 44-run partnership with stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya. Later, Ravindra Jadeja (45 off 69) and Rahul (75 off 91) teamed up to take India home with an unbeaten 108-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

In the second ODI in Vizag, Australia’s stand-in skipper Steve Smith won the toss and chose to bowl first. The Aussie pacers returned the favour this time, and Mitchell Starc was once again on fire, picking up his ninth five-wicket haul in ODIs. S Abbott and N Ellis also contributed well at the other end, picking up a combined total of 5 wickets to restrict India to their fourth-lowest total (117) in home ODIs. It’s a very rare occurrence to see all ten wickets taken by pacers, especially in India. Australia chased down a total of 118 in just 11 overs, with both openers remaining unbeaten, sending the series to a decider.

Key Player Matchups

Data contains last 5 years

Zampa has not only kept KL Rahul quiet, but he has also gotten him out three times. He has scored 69 runs with an 87.3 strike rate, averaging 23 against leg spinners. The Australians would try to use Adam Zampa against him in order to keep him quiet. Ravindra Jadeja has the upper hand over Marnus, having ejected him twice. Labuschagne has struggled to get going, scoring 43 runs off 58 balls with a strike rate of 74.1 when he has faced him. India would use this matchup to not only keep him quiet but also to get him out before he sets himself up.

The in-form pacer has had tough times coming up against the Indian run machine. King Kohli loves taking on challenges and he has come out on top again by dominating the lead Aussie pacer. Mitchell Starc has only managed to get him out once, while Kohli has managed to score 72 runs at a strike rate of 109.1 against the left-arm quick. India would be banking on King Kohli to take down Starc yet again in the series decider.

Venue Analysis – Chennai

Data contains last 5 years

It’s common knowledge that Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium is a spinner’s heaven. If you’re thinking that you need to spin to win, then here’s an interesting statistic: in the 22 games played here at this stadium since 2018, the Pacers have taken 190 wickets, while the Spinners have only taken 112 wickets. The surface in Chennai always does something for the spinners but with the overhead conditions, we expect the pace bowlers to also enjoy bowling in this game. A par score will be 250+. The forecast is for a very humid afternoon and evening in Chennai however we expect the rain showers, which are forecast in the area, to miss the games.


If the Indian batters are to maintain their illustrious record at home while the series is on the line, they must step up and bat with more intent. After eight successive wins in ODIs, India needs to start another winning run in this match. Australia got back to winning ways in this format on Sunday and has now won seven of their last eight ODIs.