Bowlers give India control despite Smith 131

Toss: Australia chose to bat v India

Aaron Finch won his third straight toss of the series, but pulled off a surprise by choosing to bat, a decision India didn’t mind at all. Virat Kohli, wearing a black armband to honour the life of Bapu Nadkarni, was smiling ear to ear having been granted his wish of chasing at a ground where he expected the pitch to quicken up in the evening and dew to hamper the bowlers.

There was more reason for India to smile: both their openers, whose availability was in doubt, were cleared to play. India retained the XI that levelled the series in Rajkot, which meant continuation with the experiment of KL Rahul batting at No. 5. In Rajkot, it brought spectacular results with his 52-ball 80 that set up the decider in Bengaluru. Rishabh Pant seemed available – he kept wicket in warm-ups – after a concussion-forced break but India chose to stick with Manish Pandey.

Australia made one change, bringing in Josh Hazlewood ahead of Kane Richardson, who was feeling a bit sore. The word around was that the Australian team management had stayed at the ground till late in the night to inspect how much dew arrived and when it did. They must have assured themselves dew will not play a big role.

India: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 V Kohli (capt), 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Manish Pandey, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Mohammed Shami, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Nitin Saini, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Australia: 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 David Warner, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Alex Carey (wk), 6 Ashton Turner, 7 Ashton Agar, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood