It’s going to be a battle of which team has the better combination, Australia who could possibly play the extra batsman, or India who will be playing 2 solid all-rounders in Jadeja and Yuvraj. The Indians seem to have the upper hand here too, but one good innings from any of the Aussie batsmen could turn things around. The spinners will also come into play, for Australia possibly Doherty and Voges whereas for India Yuvraj, Jadeja and Ashwin.
The only doubt that the Indian team management would have is over the form of Ashwin, and whether he needs to be benched for a few games and give Mishra a shot, however that is unlikely to happen. India might as well retain the same team and why not, they played brilliantly. Ishant has to tighten up a bit and be more consistent, and Rohit Sharma has to put his hand up and say now it is time for me to deliver on my promise. Promising players like Unadkat and Ahmed might just have to wait for the right chance, but they will definitely be given a look in later on in the tournament, if not in this game.
Australia would probably drop 2 of their all-rounders that played in the T20 along with Maddinson who is not in the squad, and play 3 regular batsmen in place of them. That definitely makes the batting stronger but at the same time also makes the bowling that much weaker. Watson and Voges would have to complete the 5th bowler’s quota and they would dearly hope that they do not run into an in-form Yuvi, Virat, Dhawan or any of the other Indian batsmen who can tear them apart.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Dhoni (c)(wk), Ravi Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Vinay Kumar , Ishant Sharma/Jaydev Unadkat
X-Factor: Yuvraj Singh had expressed his emotional side in at the end of the last game where he said more than he is happy with his performance he is disappointed that his hero, Sachin Tendulkar had announced his retirement. If there is one man who is in the running for the no.4 slot in test matches, it is Yuvraj. A good couple of performances in this series and he could be the man India would look forward to and he never fails to deliver. With Ashwin not being very productive with the ball, Dhoni might turn to Yuvi to chip in with a few overs and he is no mug with the ball, and Kevin Pietersen knows that better than anyone :)
Australia: Aaron Finch, Philip Hughes, Shane Watson, Adam Voges, George Bailey(c), Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin (wk), James Faulkner, Clint Mckay, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty
X-Factor: Australia could do much better with an in-form Adam Voges as he is one who has been a regular in the limited version of the game, and this series would be a test to judge his place in the side. Voges would also have to step in and bowl a few overs as Australia cannot afford to drop Hughes or Ferguson as that would make their batting line up really thin and if you do not post a big total against the Indians, you might as well pack your bags after the 1st innings itself.
Expected Result: India Win