Battle At Bangalore

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Virat Kohli has scored 344 runs in four innings during the series. Image courtesy of
India  and Australia  meet in the seventh and final One Day International at Bangalore on Saturday, with the series on the line. Games four and five were both abandoned due to inclement weather meaning only four of the six matches in the series to date have produced a result and the scoreline is level at two wins a piece after India chased down a 350 run total for the second time in the series at Nagpur on Wednesday.

Virat Kohli  has been a major pain for Australia throughout the series, accumulating 344 runs from just four visits to the crease and his wicket will be a key wicket if the tourists are going to record another series victory on the sub-continent. They have dismissed the 24 year-old just twice during the series and it is no coincidence that both India’s victories came when he struck an unbeaten century. The new look opening partnership  of Rohit Sharma  and Shikhar Dhawan  have also caused plenty of problems for Australia and George Bailey will want his quicks to get early wickets in order to heap pressure on the hosts.

Born-again paceman Mitchell Johnson has caused the Indian top order problems throughout the series but won't feature here, having been sent home to prepare for the Ashes. Nathan Coulter-Nile  is the man most likely to take his place in the XI. While Johnson has been a standout with the ball in a series dominated by batsman, stand-in skipper George Bailey  has been a revelation in the middle order. Bailey’s 156 from just 114 deliveries during the week took his total to 474 runs from five innings against India, the most by any player in a bi-lateral ODI series. He was well supported by fellow centurion Shane Watson  at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium but pressure is mounting on Phil Hughes  and Aaron Finch  at the top of the order with the pair failing to make big scores despite making a start throughout the series.

Just one side setting a total has been successful in the past six ODI matches at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore and that trend could well continue on Saturday, with the chasing side winning three of the four completed matches in the series so far.

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