India vs Aus, 5th ODI preview: Virat Kohli's men look to make amends for Mohali debacle, clinch series
The Men in Blue have never lost a bilateral ODI series comprising five games following a 2-0 lead.
With the five-match series currently poised at 2-2, India will be keen to shrug off their disappointing defeat in the fourth ODI and play for pride when they head into the high-octane series-decider at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday.
After winning the first two ODIs by six wickets and eight runs, respectively, the Men in Blue fell victim of poor bowling and sloppy fielding in the subsequent two matches to allow Australia level the series.
The fifth and the final ODI against Australia in the national capital will be India's last limited-overs match as well as their last chance to try out team combinations in their bid to finalise the squad for the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, which is to be held in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.
Though the Men in Blue's current bowling attack has been applauded by many pundits and fans as one of India's most potent, their failure to defend a huge total of 358 in Mohali ODI was a reality check for the Virat Kohli-led team.
The absence of experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni was badly felt in the pressure situation in the fourth ODI and the former Indian skipper is also set to miss the final match after being rested for the last two Australia matches.
Rishabh Pant, who replaced Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the squad, made silly errors during the match in Mohali, but he is most likely to be given another chance ahead of the 50-over showpiece event.
Going into the fifth ODI, India would definitely look to end their final leg of fixtures ahead of World Cup on a promising note.
On the other hand, the Aaron Finch-led side--who bounced back strongly and played some outstanding cricket after losing the first two games-- will be keen to script history by becoming the first Australian side since Ricky Ponting's team in 2009 to clinch a bilateral ODI series against the Men in Blue in India.
Australia are also looking to take revenge of their 1-2 defeat to India Down Under in January.
It should be noted that the Men in Blue have always won a bilateral ODI series comprising five games after taking a 2-0 lead.
The two squads are as follows:
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Alex Carey, Nathan Lyon and Jason Behrendorff.