More injury concerns for Australia with Moises Henriques unlikely to play any part in the 5th ODI from Hyderabad on Thursday, having lost Peter Siddle after the 4th game the Aussies are now down to the bare bones of their bowling attack and it looks like anyone who’s fit will game here.
Out of favour Ben Hilfenhous looks set to benefit from the shortage of bowlers while Clint McKay – recently added to the squad – has a chance of making his debut as does spinner Jon Holland who was originally in the squad, it is more than likely though that Johnson, Hauritz, Hilfenhaus and Bollinger will make up the four specialist bowlers.
A positive for Ricky Ponting to take out of the last game was the performance of Doug Bollinger who grabbed his chance by taking 3 top order Indian wickets and his economy rate was tidy as well (4.22), Shane Watson also rediscovered some form with 3 tail end wickets.
For India, at 78/1 in the 15th over things looked very promising. They will be concerned at the way the batting then crumbled chasing what was a modest target ona decent batting track against a makeshift Australian bowling line up.
After Yuvraj and Dhoni went cheaply no one else seemed capable of taking over the baton and getting them home, apart from a plucky innings (31 from 25 balls) from Harbhajan Singh, the rest just collapsed. A mixture of poor shot selection and some dodgy running between the wickets seemed to be the main reason behind their downfall.
MS Dhoni will be hoping that Ishant Sharma’s leaked 42 runs from his 5 overs is just a minor blip and that his recovery is still on going, how he responds on Thursday to that mauling could be vital for his immeadiate future in the team and to the outcome of the series.
The series is well balanced at 2-2, and with three to play the pressure will be mounting on MS Dhoni and his team, they have the expectations of the home crowd on their shoulders and the fact that with all the injuries the Aussies have at the moment – they can just about get eleven fit men to make a team – India know that they should really be beating a team thrown together and on its last legs.
From a betting point of view the 8/11 on India does look appealing especially with the Aussie injury list mounting, the only concern is India’s ability to self destruct when the Aussies put them under pressure.
India – Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra.
Australia – Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting (C), Michael Hussey, Cameron White, Adam Voges, Graham Manou (WK), Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger.