Nothing but pride left for India to play for now, after the beating they have taken over the last week it’s hard to envisage that even a victory here would salvage much of that for them. If thats not bad enough then to lose to the side Australia are likely to put out on Wednesday in Mumbai would have to be the ultimate insult to Indian fans.
With Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson gone back to Australia a couple of days early for some extra rest it seems likely that the not so well known Burt Cockley will make his debut and also Andrew McDonald, spinner Jon Holland could also figure if Australia decide to rest Nathan Hauritz.
For India to lose to a side made up of replacements for replacements in front of a fanactical Mumbai crowd would be a disaster for MS Dhoni and his team. Dhoni has already this year had to return home without the World Twenty20 crown they failed to defend in England and they also had a disaster at the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa last month. The Indian public must be running out of patience with him by now.
With the exception of Sachin Tendulkar’s 175, a massive 124 from Dhoni at Nagpur, a couple of half centuries from Gambhir and an assured batting display from Dhoni and Yuvraj in the third game, India’s batting has looked fairly fragile so far in this series. Any idea of experiments will probably go out of the window tomorrow in an attempt to put a respectable look on the scoreline.
One thing that can’t – and shouldn’t – be papered over by a potential win tomorrow for a side who had aspirations of becoming the number one ODI side in the World is the fact that India have been comprehensively beaten by a makeshift Aussie side, when the high pressure moments have occured during this series Dhoni’s men have come up well short and at times looked to lack the composure or brains to know how to deal with the situation.
At a best price of 8/13 India are expected to win, I wouldn’t be too confident in them though as after what has happened their confidence must be low. Also it dosen’t seem to matter who Australia have thrown out on the ground during this series, they all seem to have done the business for Ricky Ponting. For these reason I think I’ll give betting on this one a miss!
India – Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra.
Australia – Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges, Ricky Ponting (C), Cameron White, Michael Hussey, Andrew McDonald, Graham Manou (WK), Clint McKay, Jon Holland (or Nathan Hauritz), Doug Bollinger, Burt Cockley.