Australia Men vs India Men Third One Day International
Wednesday 2 December, 2.40pm AEDT
Manuka Oval, Canberra
Watch on Foxtel or Kayo. Listen on ABC Radio.
Due to restrictions, Manuka Oval is at 65% capacity, approximately 6,000 fans. Click here for all other conditions of entry.
The series so far
The brilliance of Steve Smith has helped Australia control the opening two games to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead in the three-match series.
Smith scored back-to-back 62-ball centuries as the Aussies comfortably won the opening two games of the summer by 66 runs and 51 runs, both games played at the SCG.
It has been a series dominated by the bat so far, with a plethora of runs scored over the first two matches. Australia has batted first on both occasions, posting imposing totals of 4-389 and 6-374 with India chasing valiantly to record scores of 9-338 and 8-308.
The negative for Australia has been injuries to a couple of key men. Marcus Stoinis suffered a low-grade side strain in the first ODI, before star opener David Warner suffered a serious groin injury in game two, which could see him miss up to six weeks. Warner looked in ominous form before limping off the ground after diving while fielding the ball, posting scores of 69 and 83 and will be a big loss as the Aussies look for a clean sweep.
What to expect in game three
Runs. Plenty of runs.
If the first two matches are anything to go by, this should be another run-fest for fans to enjoy. Both sides have found scoring to be easy, while star bowlers Mitchell Starc and Jaspirit Bumrah have looked out of sorts.
Unfortunately, fans won’t be able to witness the power of Warner, but the Aussies have plenty of other stars to enjoy. Smith, Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne have shown good touch, while Glenn Maxwell has been destructive late in both innings.
For the Indians, Kohli is always fun to watch, while KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan have all shown signs they’re ready for a game-winning knock.
This is the first Men’s ODI at Manuka Oval since Australia scored a massive 5-378 against New Zealand in December 2016. They also managed 8-348 against India in January 2016, with the Indians scoring 323 in reply, so there is a history of runs between these sides at this ground.
Steve Smith vs Virat Kohli
It would be impossible to write about Australia playing India and not mention the comparison between the two best batsmen in the world.
The consensus has long been that Smith is the better Test match batsman while Kohli has the edge in the shorter forms. It seems like Smith may have heard that chat and decided to do something about it as he has clearly been a class above Kohli (and everyone else for that matter) in the first two matches.
He scored a blistering 105 off 66 balls in game one, before backing it up with a stunning 104 off 64 balls in game two to lead his side to monster totals.
Kohli has made a name getting India home in big run chases, but failed to fire in game one, scoring just 21 runs before a more Kohli-like 89 in game two.
Smith has comfortably taken the points in the opening two games but expect the fiercely competitive Kohli to want to make amends in game three.
Australia will take on India in a three-match T20 series starting this Friday 4 December at Manuka Oval before playing the final two games of the series at the SCG.