March 4, 2021

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Australia bowl, India bring in Pandey and Saini

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Toss Australia chose to bowl v India

India lost the toss in what is a must-win match in their third straight limited-overs series. Asked to bat first, Virat Kohli said he didn’t expect dew to play a significant role in Rajkot. He said he expected dew to show up only after 8.30pm, by which time the game will be in its final stages.

Australia retained the XI that gave them a 1-0 lead with India making two changes. Surprisingly, though, they didn’t pick Kedar Jadhav in place of the concussed Rishabh Pant. The temptation must have been to pick Jadhav for his ability to bowl a few overs, but his losing out to Manish Pandey might be an indication where the career of Jadhav – who will be 38 during the next World Cup – might be headed. The other change was the pace of Navdeep Saini for Shardul Thakur.

The question remained: would India’s experiment of Kohli at No. 4 continue?

India 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 KL Rahul (wk), 4 Virat Kohli (capt.), 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Manish Pandey, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Navdeep Saini, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Australia 1 Aaron Finch (capt.), 2 David Warner, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Alex Carey (wk), 6 Ashton Turner, 7 Ashton Agar, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Kane Richardson, 11 Adam Zampa

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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