1:30 p.m. Mohammed Shami has the new ball. He is hot and humid. We are all ready. And indeed, Head and Marsh are opening. For only the second time, Warner will not start in ODI cricket. Two slips in place.
1:25 p.m. Hot day in Chennai as expected. Australia is willing to brave any afternoon dew in order to use a slow, dry tone. It’s interesting to see if Warner breaks the successful opening combination of Marsh and Head. Australia’s team sheet ranks Warner at 4, but it is not a legally binding document. Once once in his career ODI Warner did not start.
1:20 p.m. The first ball is only ten minutes away. And with that, here comes Monga to get things rolling for today’s decider. What do you think of Warner hitting at No. 4? Let it know.
BK: “ODI batsmen with at least 6000 runs, an average of 45 and a strike rate of 90.” I thought V. Sehwag would definitely be on that list. Where does he not fit on the list?”—his average was well under 40
Dick: “A Warner first pitcher would set this up nicely…” — Warner is actually ranked No. 4 on Australia’s team sheet, something we’ve taken note of after initially listing him as a starter here.
Ravindra Jadeja before today’s match: “I was working hard on my skills when I was in the NCA. Luckily it paid off in Tests and ODIs. I don’t take anything for granted. I hope we come back better. Everyone knows their role.”
Ian Bannon: “No, don’t bring Warner back… nooooo, Head and Mitchell Marsh to start” — If Warner plays, which he is, then he has to hit as a starter. And no matter how you test him, he is one of only four ODI batsmen with at least 6000 runs, an average of 45 and a strike rate of 90
Australia: 1 Travis Head, 2 Mitchell Marsh, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 David Warner, 5 Alex Carey (week), 6 Marnus Labuschagne, 7 Marcus Stoinis, 8 Sean Abbott, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Ashton Agar, 11 Adam Zampa
India: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 KL Rahul (week), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Mohammed Siraj
13:01 So the news is that Australia win the toss and bat. Smith acknowledges that it is a dry surface. He has brought Hagar and Warner for Ellis and Green, with the latter not feeling well. Rohit wanted to actually field. India hasn’t changed.
12:56 One side of the field is slightly shorter compared to the other, and the tone it has a uniform cover of grass. However, the playing surface is hard and could have two rhythms, with expectations that the field will improve for batting at night.
Gopal: “The funniest thing about today’s game is that today’s crowd will support the blue jersey team. But next time, they will support the yellow jersey team.”
12:50 p.m. The ODI World Cup is not far away – its probable dates of October 5 to November 19 has only added to the hype, and India’s coach Rahul Dravid says they have “thin it down to 17-18 players” for the big event. One of his headaches, if any, is the lack of contributions from T20 star Suryakumar Yadav in the longer format. But the mass is still learningand the coach isn’t too upset about it.
Ravi: “It’s 2 am in the USA and I can’t stay up. The onus is on you Himanshu to motivate the Indian team to win this match.” time of the day!
12:40 p.m. Can the batsmen counter-attack in spin-friendly Chennai? Can India get Suryakumar to contribute in the longer format? Will David Warner return? Alex Malcolm preview tries to dive into the series decider.
CamR: “Please, please: no Warner” — Like Shaun Tait says…
He talks about Chennai, but not about another of his heroes in Deiva Muthu? No way. Here he comes from the ground: “David Warner, who is recovering from an elbow injury, batted for over 20 minutes in the nets yesterday, and his possible return could propel Australia. Having been beaten by Mitchell Starc at Vizag, India’s batsmen faced a lot of left-arm darts in training, with team analyst Hari Prasad Mohan even rolling his (left) arm.”
12:30 p.m. India and Australia have played just two ODIs in Chennai so far, and the last time they did, they were rescued by this local hero – as well as two others – after the hosts had scored 87 for 5 in one leg. This series has seen similar hitting collapses twice already, and hitters are hoping they can finally leave the country after respectable contributions. This is Himanshu waving for the final match of Australia’s tour of India in 2023, with Sid Monga set to join me soon.