India look to salvage pride, Australia aim to extend domination
Canberra, Jan 19 (IANS) With the series already decided in favour of Australia, India will play for pride and aim to give their best to avoid another defeat when they face-off against the hosts in the penultimate and fourth One-Day International (ODI) at the Manuka Oval here on Wednesday.
Despite centuries from opener Rohit Sharma and vice-captain Virat Kohli, the visitors could not avoid defeat as some poor bowling saw all three ODIs going against them. India lost the first ODI by five wickets, second by seven wickets and third by three wickets.
The Australians were given the task to chase in the first two ODIs. With the hosts finishing the task on both days, they preferred to bat second when they won the toss in the third match in Melbourne on Sunday. A disappointing effort from the Indian bowlers saw the home team chase down all three big totals with ease.
On Wednesday, the young Indian bowling attack will have to try and put pressure on the opposition and keep their previous mistakes behind them to deliver for the side.
There is not much to worry about the Indian batsmen as they have gone about their job efficiently, posting big totals on the board but the bowlers have been ordinary at best — in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne — to concede an unassailable 0-3 lead.
It will be the first time the visitors will face-off against the home side at the Manuka Oval. India have played here only once when they lost to Sri Lanka in the 2007-08 season.
The bowling attack for the tour, except for Ishant Sharma, is quite inexperienced with players like Rishi Dhawan, Barinder Sran and Umesh Yadav.
The spinners — Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin — have also not been effective on the flat pitches.
In Melbourne, India did not play Ashwin, seeing that he was ineffective in the first two games.
On the other hand, the home side are currently on cloud nine with everything going in their favour. Chasing down two 300-plus totals and one close to 300, that too under pressure, has been the plus point for the side.
Despite David Warner being out on paternity leave, other batsmen under the leadership of Steve Smith, have delivered — be it openers or middle-order batsmen.
Like the first three ODIs, Australia will again look to dominate and continue their winning streak and go into the final ODI looking for a whitewash.
As far as the nature of the pitch is concerned, another flat pitch and warm day is expected in the Australian capital which will put more smiles on the faces of the batsmen and plenty of runs on the board.