India head to Adelaide chasing first win over Aus
Their morale lifted after a win over Sri Lanka, India will look to break the shackles and come strong against Australia when the two sides clash in the fourth match of the ongoing ODI tri-series in Adelaide on Sunday.
With a victory against the winless Sri Lankans, India are second in the points table. The unbeaten Australians are top of the heap after two successive wins.Australia presently lead the table with nine points from two matches. India are second with four points while Sri Lanka it yet to open account from as many matches.
Image: MS Dhoni
Selection blues for India
India have a selection issue on hand as there is a dilemma on whether to go with two spinners or two medium pacers.
Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who pulled out of Perth's game last Friday because of a split webbing, turned his arm over in the nets on Sunday and if he is fit, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be loathe to leave him out.
The tall youngster gains exceptional bounce on his leg-spinners and is very difficult to get away.
While Sharma cooled his heels in Perth, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed his chances with both hands and was man of the match for his 3 for 32 and unbeaten 30 runs with the bat.Ashwin can't be dropped now and if Sharma also is brought in, then either Zaheer Khan or Vinay Kumar would miss out in the playing eleven.
Image: R Ashwin
India to follow rotation policy at the top of the order
India's batting line-up will once again have rotation at the top to allow youngsters in the middle-order to have a hit in the centre.
The rotation policy, by logic, should now call for Sachin Tendulkar to be put on bench but indications are the little master would be a part of the playing eleven, implying either Virender Sehwag or Gautam Gambhir would sit out.Australia, on the other hand, will blood a youngster in Saturday's match. Queenslander Peter Forrest or Western Australia's Mitchell Marsh could get a call up to fill in the place left vacant by Mike Hussey.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Forrest or Mitch Marsh could make it to Aus team
Australia have pulled out Hussey and paceman Ben Hilfenhaus from the squad which gives an opportunity to either Forrest or Marsh to come into the picture.
Marsh has already played a One-Day International, a game against South Africa at Centurion last year, but is in serious reckoning this year with some powerful knocks in the Big Bash league this year.
The 20-year-old youngster from a sporting family -- his father Geoff Marsh and elder brother Shaun Marsh have both represented Australia -- Mitchell also bowls his medium-pacers in high 130s and is an excellent all-round fieldsman.
Forrest, who originally hails from New South Wales, has had a windfall since he moved to Queensland last year. In six Shield matches, the 26-year-old middle order bat struck three centuries. Skipper Michael Clarke has already spoken in glowing terms about the youngster.India have always found it difficult to pin down Australia in the latter's backyard and given how the summer has panned out, it would be doubly so difficult for the visitors.
Image: Mitch Marsh
India can take a lesson from Friday
However, India can take a leaf out of Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene's book.
Jayawardene attacked Australian batters throughout in Friday's game at Perth. Even when the Powerplay was not on, most players were inside the ring, breathing down the neck of the home batsmen.
The tactic was worth its weight in gold as Australia lost wickets regularly and eventually folded up for 231 runs. Sri Lanka ought to have overcome the target but fell short by five runs.
India's batsmen don't seem to have learnt from their follies of Test matches. There are far too many irresponsible shots being played.
There is no thrust in putting on partnerships and even when there is no pressure, batsmen look to clear the big grounds in Australia and perish in the deep.
Importantly, India need a good start. Throughout this summer, be it in Tests or in shorter formats of the game, Indian openers have not yet put on a half century stand for the first wicket.It transfers the pressure directly on the middle-order batsmen who are talented but largely unused to these conditions.
Image: Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka appeals for the wicket of Ricky Ponting of Australia during game three of the One Day International series between Australia and Sri Lanka on Friday
Ponting has been a failure in both ODIs
Australia are not without their own worries. They still are searching for a stable start at the top.
Veteran Ricky Ponting has been a failure in both the matches thus far.
Opener David Warner has thumped a stroke or two and then left the scene. Fortunately for them, the work in the field has usually been overwhelming for the opponents.
The last two days in the city have seen intermittent rains and it's generally been cool, unlike in the Test last month when the temperature hovered in the mid-30s all through.
The match day tomorrow though is likely to be sunny throughout.
Australia: Michael Clarke (c), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, David Hussey, Mitchell Marsh, Clint McKay, Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade and David Warner.
India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravinder Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Irfan Pathan.
Umpires: Nigel Llong (Eng) and Paul Reiffel (Aus)
Third Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Aus)
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)The match will start at 8.50 a.m (IST).
Image: Ricky Ponting