India vs Australia: Fourth ODI Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

India will be looking to go 4-0 up against Australia when the two sides meet in Bangalore on Thursday 28 September. 

India and Australia will contest the first ODI within the International Cricket Council's new rules instated earlier this week. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, David Warner and others will be forced to use smaller bats.

Umpires, meanwhile, will be empowered to 'red card' overly unruly players - and have been afforded extra assistance by tweaks to the Decision Review System.

India v Australia | Thursday, 28 September | M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore | 10:00

To Win Match
India 53/100 | Tie 35/1 | Australia 31/20

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India haven't made any major changes to the squad for the first three ODIs, which all resulted in defeat for the Australians. Axar Patel has been retained, while Shikhar Dhawan's absence is ongoing amid his wife's illness. Ravindra Jadeja, too, remains sidelined - and KL Rahul has been retained despite not playing in the series so far.

Having leapfrogged South Africa to the number one ODI ranking recently, Virat Kohli and company are chasing a 10th consecutive ODI victory against opposition still seeking their first since January. While this series hasn't been as one-sided as early September's clean sweep over Sri Lanka, India's charge won't likely relent.

Ajinkya Rahane's change in mindset continues to impress in Dhawan's absence. Rahane's conversation with Sachin Tendulkar has seen him relish significant improvement at the top of the ODI order. Thursday will present another opportunity to show that he is not just a Test match specialist - a label that continues to hamper, say, Cheteshwar Pujara's development as an all-rounder cricketer.

The bowling department remains entirely settled, with the dual wrist spin of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav - complemented by the seam of Hardik Pandya - continuing to forge India's dominant dynamic with the ball. Kedar Jadhav's part-time spin is proving increasingly less of a need, while his batting still requires prompt conversion from promising starts to innings of substance.

The Australians' last visit to Thursday's venue was in 2013, when they were entirely outgunned by Dhoni and Rohit Sharma. The latter recorded a record-breaking double-century - and is a cheeky tip to do so again. The Aussies, in fact, have not won an ODI against the Indians at this ground since 2003.

While the return of Aaron Finch was welcomed with a booming century in Indore, the tourists will be without Ashton Agar for the remainder of the series. The spinner has been sidelined by a finger injury, throwing the balance of the XI off kilter. Adam Zampa is expected to return, but won't offer as much with the bat down the order as Agar.

Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith, in the interim, have problems of their own. Maxwell has to find a way to combat Chahal's variation in pace and turn, after falling to the leg-spinner on three consecutive occasions, while Smith's slew of dropped catches has detracted from his good work with the bat.

Smith and Finch have been pretty vocal about where and how Australia are going wrong on the sub-continent. Silly mistakes in the field and an annoying penchant for losing wickets at crucial junctures have been among the detailed shortfalls - and both need to be eradicated in order to not land up one defeat short of a series whitewash.

Verdict: India 53/100
The hosts have the momentum, while the visitors definitely don't. The Aussies showed smal signs of orchestrating a turnaround in the third ODI, but not enough to suggest victory in the fourth.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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