An unassailable 2-0 lead for the Aussies is exactly the kind of boost they needed after a shaky couple of years in the ODI format. They’d lost eight of their last 12 series prior to this one, though it’s now three wins on the bounce as they look to build up some momentum.
Australia already top the world rankings in both Test and T20 cricket, though the One Day format sees them ranked fourth, and climbing up that table would see them as the undisputed best nation in world cricket.
Much of the success of this series has been down to star batsman Steve Smith, who’s now hit back to back centuries for the first time in his ODI career.
In fact, he’s now hit 75 or more in six of his last nine such innings, converting three into centuries as he consistently proves himself to be one of the most difficult batsmen to dismiss in cricket.
Australia To Win
The difference for this clash will be the absence of David Warner as he went off with an injured groin during India’s run chase, which will prompt a change in the top order with Alex Carey the most likely to fill the void.
While Warner will always be a big miss for any side, the strength of Aaron Finch, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne is a lot for any team to handle, and we wouldn’t expect the absence of their opening batsman to have too much of a drastic effect.
India Highest Opening Partnership
The change of scene from Sydney to Canberra can only be a boost for India, as will the likelihood that Justin Langer will opt to rotate, especially in the bowling line-up.
Mitchell Starc is still finding his groove after sitting out the IPL, and while a lot are calling for him to be rested, he needs to get overs under his belt and get back to his best, so it’s likely one of Pat Cummins or Josh Hazlewood will be rotated out.
However, the margin of victory in both tests has been so substantial that we feel India have far too much ground to make up over a home Australia side full of confidence.
We feel breaking up that opening partnership could disrupt the routine a bit though, and we’ll opt for Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan to win that battle.