The decider has arrived.
After four games of thrilling one-day cricket, Australia and India’s enthralling series comes to an end tonight. Australia has the momentum going into the fifth head-to-head in Dehli after claiming the last two games to level the series.
Join us for all the action beginning at 7pm (AEDT).
India back after quick wickets
Australia appeared headed for another big score but India have put on the skids.
Usman Khawaja’s hundred the platform for a huge score for both Australia and Khawaja but he hit out to Virat Kohli for 100 off 106 balls.
Then Glenn Maxwell came and went for one with an almost identical shot, straight to Kohli.
India appeared to have gained a bit of extra life with the wicket but Peter Handscomb calmed things down, bringing up his 50 off 55 balls.
Hundred up for Khawaja
Before this series, Usman Khawaja’s highest ODI score was 98.
Now, the Aussie has two centuries to his name in perfect timing to put his name in lights for the World Cup in May.
Khawaja hit 100 off 102 balls but will look to launch as Australia still have nine wickets in hand in the 32nd over.
‘Shades of Hayden’ as Khawaja triples up
Usman Khawaja has responded to critics in the perfect way with a third back-to-back fifty.
The Aussie opener has scores of 104, 91 and has now passed fifty in quick time to put Australia in a strong position in the deciding match of the five-game series.
It goes with his first game 50 and 38 in game two.
Australia are 1/105 off 20 overs.
But Khawaja was the dominant player, including charging the world’s number one ranked bowler Jasprit Bumrah.
— Sports Express (@Xpress_Sports) March 13, 2019
Usman Khawaja’s form & Aaron Finch’s lack of it huge issue for selectors for World Cup. Khawaja’s best position in ODIs is opening. Averaging 50+ in 15m as opener, 24.33 in 10 at No.3. Problem is David Warner is to return, Finch is captain. Can Finch bat middle order? #INDvAUS
— Andrew Wu (@wutube) March 13, 2019
Openers to score four or more fifty-plus scores against India in an ODI series:
Chris Gayle, 2002 (4)
Usman Khawaja, 2019* (4)#INDvAUS
— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) March 13, 2019
Finch dismissal to send ‘shudder waves’
Aaron Finch is on his way back to the pavillion after a Ravindra Jadeja struck in his first over.
The Aussie captain scored a memorable 93 in game three of the series but has been struggling otherwise.
He never got started with 27 off 43 balls before Jadeja ran through the under seige Aussie.
Usman Khawaja has got Australia off to a flyer however with 48 off 44 in the 15th over with Australia on 1/77.
Matthew Hayden in commentary said Jadeja’s wicket ball will send “shudder waves” through the Aussie order.
Hunt for Cup spots heats up
Ashton Turner’s blistering innings in Punjab has added another selection spanner into the works even before Steve Smith and David Warner come back into the picture.
The Aussie with get his third ODI cap after a stunning innings save Australia from the brink and helped his country to its biggest ever successful ODI chase.
It’s also placed Australia on the verge of battling back from 0-2 down to win a five-match bilateral ODI series, their first ODI series win overseas since 2016 and first in India since 2009 and gives Australia hope of snapping a six-series losing streak.
But with Marcus Stoinis returning from injury, someone had to miss out with Shaun Marsh, who has scored 29 from three innings this series, getting the chop.
Speaking in commentary, former Australian enforcer Mitchell Johnson was happy for Turner but urged selectors not to give up on Marsh.
“It’s a difficult choice isn’t it?” he said. “To be a selector would be quite tough to make these decisions but it’s great for Ashton Turner to get some game time out there. And Stoinis had to come in.
“It’s one of those decisions that are tough. Like we keep talking about, all of these teams are making decisions, they’ve got a World Cup coming up. Sometimes you can get too far ahead, I just like that they’ve kept him in there. Shaun Marsh is such a class player and he has been for so long, I think Australia know what he’s capable of and he can perform when he needs to.
“It’s great that Ashton Turner is getting another go.”
Banned duo’s return timed well
Alex Carey can’t wait to catch up with Steve Smith and David Warner later this week, insisting the suspended duo’s reintegration has been well timed. Smith and Warner will link up with Australia’s ODI squadin Dubai en route to the Indian Premier League.
Smith and Warner have been semi-regulars at NSW training during their exile while remaining in close contact with some teammates and coach Justin Langer, but the UAE meeting represents a major milestone.
The one-day stopover will be the first time the former captain and vice-captain join a national squad since copping year-long bans for their role in the Cape Town cheating scandal.
Carey, who was appointed limited-overs vice-captain in the wreckage of the sandpaper saga, believes the timing of the visit will ensure it isn’t a distraction or disruption.
“It was always going to come but to have (it occur during) a couple of days off in Dubai, it’s not a bad time to get them around the group,” Carey said in Delhi.
“I’ve got really good relationships with both of those guys, so does Finchy (captain Aaron Finch), JL (Langer) and most of the players.
“I don’t think there will be too many concerns of having those guys around the group.
“I’m looking forward to catching up with them.” Smith, who is confident he’ll be fit for the start of the IPL, and Warner, who recently scored a grade-cricket ton in his return from injury, will have cleared out before Australia resume training for their first ODI against Pakistan on March 22.
The meetings are expected to focus on the new team culture that Langer has fostered since his appointment last year – and regularly been in discussions with both Smith and Warner about.
Carey is unsure what Langer has in store when Smith and Warner front teammates. “We’ll probably sit down in the room and just talk cricket. I’m sure it will be quite informal,” Carey said.
“Obviously they’ve been out of the mix for quite a little while … it’s going to be a great opportunity for them and forus as players to get around them.” Langer and Cricket Australia (CA) were keen for Smith and Warner to break the ice prior to joining the World Cup training camp in Brisbane inearly May. The stopover had been a well-kept secret until Tuesday’s revelation, with CA wanting the touring party in India fully focused on Wednesday’s series decider. Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns indicated last week that Smith and Warner would likely have played the final two ODIs against Pakistan, which fall after the suspensions expire, if not for their elbow injuries.
Smith provided an update on his fitness on Tuesday, suggesting he “will gradually start throwing again during the IPL andI’ll be full tilt (when the World Cup starts)”.
— with AAP