Bengaluru: Australian skipper Steve Smith has won the toss as Australia chose to bat in the fourth ODI against Virat Kohli-led India here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.
Looking at the pitch, both the batsmen made it clear that they would have loved to bat first.
“We are going to have a bat. The wicket has changed since they have done a bit to the ground. It will slow up as the game goes on and hopefully we can make the most of it and get a good score on the board. It has been a bit disappointing so far and we have to get back to our winning ways,” Smith said.
“We would have batted first as well. However, I have played a lot here and the wicket tends to settle down under lights. I am sure the spinners will come into play in the first half,” said Kohli.
Australia have made two changes to their playing XI as Matthew Wade and Adam Zampa replace Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Agar in the team.
India, meanwhile, have brought in Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Axar Patel to rest Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav.
With the series already lost, the visitors have an uphill task at hand as they look to avoid a 4-0 scoreline against the hosts.
Australia, who have been no match to India’s supremacy in the first three ODIs of the series, are playing for their pride while the hosts are eager to take a big step to move closer to their second successive ODI series clean-sweep. India will also be targeting their record 10th ODI win on a trot at Kohli’s Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore’s homeground.
With such a rampant form like this, the Men in Blue have established fear in the minds of the opposition. Steve Smith’s side, on the other hand, are currently at the receiving end of the Team India’s utter domination.
If Australia want to make an impact, skipper Smith and opener David Warner, who will be playing his 100th ODI today, will have to fire in the remaining games. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who was dropped in the Indore ODI, is likely to replace Ashton Agar, who will be sitting out having broken his finger. Part-time wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb, who failed to deliver in Indore, may get another chance to prove he can replace Matthew Wade.
For Team India everything seems to have fallen in place. Kohli and former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni have put up consistent performances, Hardik Pandya’s all-rounder performance has added a new dimension to the team. While batting has clicked in the first three ODI’s, India’s bowling has been impressive as well.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have troubled Australia’s batting lineup as they spun their web around batsman who have failed to counter them. Apart from spinners, pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have also bowled well and chipped in with important wickets.
With weather conditions set to play spoilsport, fans will be praying that rain stays away from the match.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja and Lokesh Rahul.
Australia: Steven Smith (Captain), David Warner, Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Ashton Agar, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, James Faulkner and Adam Zampa.
The match is scheduled to start at 1.30 P.M. IST.