India and Australia have played 120 complete ODIs against each other with the Aussies leading the scoreline by 74-46. In the 14 matches played at the MCG, the visitors have emerged victorious on five occasions.
After losing the first ODI, the Men in Blue came back in the second game against the Aussies and levelled the series. Now both these sides will face each other in the third and deciding fixture at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on January 18.
Australia have made two changes to their playing XI for the series-decider against India in Melbourne, with Adam Zampa and Billy Stanlake coming into the side. Stanlake replaces paceman Jason Behrendorff, who has been ruled out with back soreness, while spinner Nathan Lyon has been dropped to make way for Zampa.
Lyon’s axing from the Australian ODI team comes just two matches after he had replaced Zampa in the side for the series opener in Sydney.
Australia retained an unchanged XI for the second match, which India won by six wickets. That match saw Lyon hit for 0-59 off his 10 overs. He went for 0-50 in the first match.
Skipper Finch defended him on Thursday, saying: “I thought the way Gaz has bowled has been really impressive.
“In Adelaide, obviously a short square boundary and bowled really well quite defensively, which I think for his role was pretty important, seeing anytime the ball’s been tossed up Rohit Sharma hit a couple off him in the first game and (MS) Dhoni the other day.
“He’s bowling against some pretty world-class (batsmen) … some all-timers, really.”
Zampa’s last ODI appearance came against South Africa in November. He also failed to take a wicket in two matches that series.
Australia have gone two years without winning an ODI series. Since beating Pakistan 4-1 in January 2017, they have won four and lost 20 ODIs with three no-results due to weather.
Australia’s playing XI:
Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (wk), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Adam Zampa, Bill Stanlake.