Australia On Front Foot In India

Photo: Akhilesh Kumar/thehindu.com
Adam Voges and James Faulkner led Australia to victory at Chandigarh. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar/thehindu.com
Australia  has again been posted as the outsider going into the fourth One Day International against India  on Wednesday, despite taking a 2-1 series lead to Ranchi following an incredible four wicket victory in game three on Saturday.

James Faulkner was named man of the match at Chandigarh on the weekend after belting 64 from just 29 deliveries to seal victory in the final over, but all of the batsmen contributed in the successful pursuit of 303. With Adam Voges  finishing on 76 not out, all of Australia’s top six have now scored half centuries in the opening three matches, with skipper George Bailey  and opener Aaron Finch  leading the way with 220 and 160 runs respectively. The tourist’s quicks have been equally impressive on pitches that have been more favourable to batsmen on the sub-continent, with pace spearhead Mitch Johnson  returning career best figures of 4/46 in the most recent clash.

India’s bowlers continue to come in for criticism after conceding in excess of 300 in each of the opening three matches, but have been spared the axe after selectors named an unchanged squad for the remainder of the series. Ishant Sharma conceded 30 runs to James Faulkner in a game changing over at Chandigarh and will be fighting to retain his place in the side with Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat waiting in the wings. He has taken just two wickets in the series and has an economy rate of 7.87 runs per over. Captain MS Dhoni  reached his ninth ODI century after finishing unbeaten on139 at the end of 50 overs last time out, while Virat Kohli  is the leading runscorer in the series with two 50s and a century from three innings against Australia.

Bat has dominated ball so far this series but that could all change at the JSCA International Stadium on Wednesday if past history is anything to go by. There has only been one previous ODI played at this ground, in January this year, when India scored an easy seven wicket victory over England after bowling the tourists out for just 155.

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