India and Australia will lock horns in the third and final ODI of this short and pulsating series today. Bangalore will host the series decider between these two heavyweights. After Australia annihilated India in the first ODI by 10 wickets, the Men in Blue came back strongly in the second encounter, beating the Kangaroos by 36 runs.
The Indian top-order was back amongst the runs in Rajkot, with Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with a whirlwind 96, as India put on an all-round performance to come out on top against their opponents. While Australia will be hoping for a repeat of 2019 by beating the hosts at home yet again, India will be looking to extend their excellent run in their own backyard with a series victory.
In today's match, there are also possibilities of quite a few individual milestones being breached. In this article, let us look at three personal milestones that can be achieved in the third and final ODI of the India vs Australia 2020 series.
#3 Virat Kohli equals Tendulkar’s record of scoring the most ODI hundreds against Australia
Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for scoring the most ODI hundreds against the Aussies. In the 71 matches that the Master Blaster played against Australia, Tendulkar scored a whopping nine hundreds. Tendulkar is also the highest run-scorer against the Aussies in ODI cricket, having amassed 3,077 runs against the most formidable bowling attack of his era.
Now, the man who grew up idolizing Tendulkar has the chance to equal the master batsman in the third ODI. Virat Kohli has already scored eight centuries against the Aussies and is just one century short of equaling his childhood hero. Kohli has played 39 matches against Australia and scored 1,821 runs at an average of 53.55. The Indian captain will join his batting idol at the top if he scores a century today.
#2 Rohit Sharma becomes the third-fastest batsman to 9,000 ODI runs
Rohit Sharma has played 216 innings in his ODI career and scored 8,996 runs at an average of 48.89. If the Hitman can score just four more runs in the third ODI in Bangalore, he will become the third-fastest batsman in the world to cross 9,000 runs in the one-day format.
Presently, Indian skipper Virat Kohli holds the record for being the fastest to 9,000 ODI runs. The Indian skipper achieved the milestone in just 194 innings. He is followed by the legendary AB de Villiers of South Africa, who breached the mark in 205 innings.
If Sharma scores four (or more) runs today, he will become the third-fastest in the world and the second-fastest Indian to get to the 9,000-run mark in ODI cricket. The Indian fans would surely be hoping for the Hitman to fire on all cylinders in today's match and help his team clinch the series.
#1 Steve Smith crosses 4,000 ODI runs
Steve Smith has played 105 ODI innings for the Aussies and scored 3,908 runs at an average of 42.02. The run machine needs another 92 runs to breach the 4,000-run mark in one-day cricket. Smith was in scintillating form in the second ODI, scoring a fighting 98 that kept Australia in with a chance.
The 30-year-old loves playing against the Men in Blue. He averages 55.42 against the Indians, and the master batsman will be looking to extend his good run against the home side in the crucial encounter.
Also, if Smith breaches the 4,000-run mark in the third ODI in Bangalore, he will become the fourth-fastest Australian batsman to get to the milestone (after David Warner, Dean Jones, and Aaron Finch). And, if he can do so, he will not only tick off an important milestone on his resume but will also give his side a very good chance of defeating India at home.