The Aussie came out on top in the T20s with a 2-0 clean sweep but India will be determined to get back to winning ways and signal their intentions before the start of the ICC World Cup in England.
As Virat Kohli and his men prepare for their final five ODIs before heading to England in May, we look at the three key battles which could decide the series.
BHUVNESHWAR V FINCH
That Aaron Finch is struggling is no secret with his batting miseries for all to see. The right-hander arrived in India on the back of a woeful Australian summer where he was handed his Test debut before being unceremoniously dropped.
One of the most destructive openers in the world – when on form – Finch was given a thorough working over by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the ODI series in January.
The Aussie skipper was dismissed by the India seamer in each of the three matches with his weakness against the incoming delivery exposed. Finch managed to score a combined 24 runs in those three innings and that disappointing form has continued in India with eight runs in the two T20s.
With the scrutiny surrounding his form greatly increasing, Finch will be desperate to find some runs in the ODI series but Bhuvneshwar won’t make it any easier on him.
KULDEEP V MAXWELL
Glenn Maxwell proved to be the scourge of India in the T20 series with the right-hander registering a fine half-century in Vizag before hitting an unbeaten ton in Bengaluru.
The 30-year-old was back to his best in the two matches with some explosive hitting, especially against the spinners. Maxwell’s ability to counter spin with his powerful sweeps and inventive reverse sweeps make the Aussie a headache to handle for any spinner on all kinds of surfaces.
However, Maxwell will have his task cut out in the ODI series with India set to unleash Kuldeep Yadav after resting him for the T20 clashes. The young wrist-spinner has shown the ability to pick up plenty of wickets in the limited-overs formats and there is a reason he is ranked No4 in the ODI bowlers’ rankings.
Maxwell will relish taking on any spinner on current form but Kuldeep too will fancy his chances against any batsman in the world given his array of variations.
This intriguing battle in the middle overs could well be the most decisive of the series.
KOHLI V ZAMPA
Virat Kohli’s prowess in any format, especially in ODIs, needs no introduction with the India skipper breaking barriers with each passing series.
The superstar batsman was exceptional in the second T20 against Australia with a stunning unbeaten innings of 72. For the second time in his career, Kohli has touched an average of over 50 in each of the three formats and he will be in no mood to stop right now as he sharpens his tools before his ultimate test – the 2019 World Cup.
Despite his dominance, Kohli has shown a tendency to throw his wicket away to spinners in recent times. One of the spinners to have his number of late has been Adam Zampa with the Aussie leggie proving a tough nut to crack for the India captain.
Zampa troubled Kohli in the limited-overs clashes in Australia earlier this year and managed to dismiss him in the first T20 at Vizag as well. Will the Australian leg-spinner spoil Kohli’s party once again or will the India skipper make amends for his previous dismissals at the hands of Zampa?
Know more about Sport360 Application