A gutsy performance from India on Tuesday night has the stage set for one last rubber match between the visitors and the Aussies at the MCG on Friday.
Despite reshuffling the batting order as well as a huge century from Shaun Marsh, the Indians fought back in the second innings in Adelaide to win by six-wickets.
It was the same old story from both sides as the more experienced heads prevailed at the crease. After Marsh put up a ton, Virat Kohli chimed in with a 104-run effort to keep India within reach.
Not surprisingly, MS Dhoni then went on to make 55-runs off 54 balls to even up the series. India enter the third and final match as the heavy favourite, but after another scare, will Kohli’s side prevail?
We’ve previewed everything you need to know about the decider, and our complete Australia vs. India: Third ODI Preview can be found below.
Best Bet: Australia Top Runscorer – Shaun Marsh @ $4.50
So much was made of the MCG pitch during the Boxing Day Test, but it’s worth noting Shaun Marsh led the way as Australia’s top runscorer with 44 to his name. While the batting order in general was a shambles, Marsh (as well as Pat Cummins) were the only two bright spots to come from the 137-run loss.
Fortunately for Australia, Marsh has carried his form over to the One Day series, and he appears to be seeing the white-ball extremely well. The 35-year-old scored 135-runs off 122-balls, a nice follow up from his half century in Sydney three days prior. With his Test future looking uncertain, Marsh’s sole focus right now is white-ball cricket, and with the World Cup right around the corner, this is another opportunity for him to step up on a ground that he’s averaged 40-runs on.
Man of the Match: Virat Kohli @ $7.00
Kohli made 104-runs off 112-balls in Adelaide on Tuesday, but he was notably disgusted with himself after trying to play a hook shot towards the boundary – only to be caught out by Glenn Maxwell. Unlike other players, Kohli didn’t retreat to the dressing room though. Instead, he stayed on the ground leading from the dugout.
It’s the little things that make Kohli the best batsman in the world, but if you’re looking for some numbers to back up his Man of the Match argument, look no further than his form at the MCG. The last time we saw the Indian captain at the crease in Melbourne he was caught for a duck in the third innings of the Third Test. In the first innings however, Kohli finished just shy of a century with 82-runs.
When it comes to One Dayers though, Kohli has been even more impressive. The last time he saw the white-ball at the MCG was in 2016, capped off by a 116-run effort. So far, Kohli is averaging 49.25 runs in ODI’s, making him a great bet to lead the way for India yet again.
Rohit Sharma To Score 50 @ $2.25
It’s been a long time in between drinks for Rohit Sharma. The last time the 31-year-old veteran visited the MCG in a One Day setting was in 2016, a shortlived experienced as the Indian put up just six-runs.
That isn’t to say Sharma hasn’t enjoyed tremendous success at the home of cricket, however. Aside from his 63-effort during the Boxing Day Test, in 2015 he put up a century against Australia, followed by another one against Bangladesh two months later in the World Cup.
After a century in Sydney followed by 43-runs off 52-balls in Adelaide on Tuesday, Sharma looks a safe bet to put up another crooked score.