The energy and excitement from India's comprehensive win over Australia in the second ODI in Rajkot continue to reverberate across the country. The stage is set for a nail-biting series decider in Bengaluru on January 19, 2020. Fans, observers, and cricket analysts are busy dissecting India's most recent win. KL Rahul's impressive batting performance, Jasprit Bumrah's precision-filled bowling display, and Shikhar Dhawan's classic knock are some of the memorable take-aways cited on social media platforms and television channels around the world.
Looking forward to the decider, there are three compelling reasons why India will beat Australia to clinch the series. So, let's examine each of these reasons.
#3. Home Crowd Advantage
Bengaluru is home-base for captain Virat Kohli in the IPL. It is also home-town to in-form Indian batsman KL Rahul. Therefore, the noise level, in support of the Indian team, in this series deciding contest will be several decibels higher than it normally would be. The Aussies will struggle to communicate with each other, on the field, and will feel the pressure while batting, when they hear the thunderous roar of the crowd - propelling Bumrah, Shami, and Saini from their run-ups. While it is difficult to quantify the thirteenth-man effect of the crowd, the cauldron like atmosphere at the M.Chinnaswamy stadium will serve to, at least, unnerve the Aussies and provide a distinct advantage to India.
#2. Better Spinners
India has a significant advantage over Australia in the spin department. It is well known that in Indian conditions, in the middle-overs, the spinners play a critical role in slowing down the batting side's scoring-rate and picking-up two or three critical top-order wickets. Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav masterfully clamped down on the Aussies in the second ODI in Rajkot and, ultimately, claimed four top-order Australian wickets at critical stages of Australia's run-chase. Their role in India's victory was decisive and eventually proved to be the key factor in preventing Australia from getting to the 340-run target. The Australian spinners, on the other hand, made no such impact on the Indian batting line-up, despite picking up three Indian wickets between them. They displayed competence but, nonetheless, made very little progress in restricting India from setting a huge total.
#1. Superior leadership
The number one reason why India will beat Australia in their decisive encounter in Bengaluru is Kohli's leadership. India and Australia, without a doubt, are the top two ODI teams in the world, notwithstanding the ICC's ODI ranking system which ranks Australia as the 5th best ODI team in the world. In terms of skills, there is little daylight that separates the two teams. Each has first rate batting, bowling, and fielding units capable of turning a game around from the jaws of defeat. Ultimately, leadership intangibles such as Kohli's motivational style of leadership may be a deciding element in helping India win. In such crunch games between two heavyweights, it's the team that digs deeper to find a way usually prevails. Kohli's leadership is that x-factor that may help India win.
Also read: India vs Australia, 3rd ODI, Bengaluru - Preview, probable XI, match prediction, live streaming, weather forecast, and pitch report