Ranchi, March 8: Australia challenged India in the first two ODIs, but they just couldn't close those matches out. In Hyderabad, the tourists had reduced India to 99 for 4 in a fairly tricky chase of 237 on a two-paced pitch, but then they couldn't find a way past MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav.
Then, in Nagpur, they were in the hunt when Peter Handscomb was marshaling Australia's chase of 251, but Marcus Stoinis came up short in the end, despite seeing off a masterful spell from Jasprit Bumrah.
While Australia will be buoyed by the return of Aaron Finch to form, they need to rotate the strike more frequently against spin in the middle overs. Shaun Marsh, Australia's best ODI batsman in the past year, and Handscomb will be crucial in this regard.
At the other end, India, having dug deep into their reserves, will look for more of the same to seal the series in Ranchi. They have received another major boost, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar returning to the roster after being rested for the first two ODIs.
If India gets the series win out of the way, they might have some extra time to test out KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant ahead of the World Cup. What about Shikhar Dhawan? And what about Ambati Rayudu blowing hot and cold? Does Vijay Shankar have the game to bat at No.4? India has three ODIs to answer these questions.
Bhuvneshwar had a fairly long stint - both with the bat and ball - on the eve of the match and is set to comeback in place of either Mohammed Shami or Jasprit Bumrah.
India (possible) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Mohammed Shami/ Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Australia is likely to retain a twin-spin attack in conditions that are expected to aid spin. With another arduous series in the UAE looming, they might look to rotate the injury-prone Nathan Coulter-Nile in favor of Jason Behrendof or Jhye Richardson.
Australia (possible) 1 Usman Khawaja, 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Peter Handscomb, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Marcus Stoinis 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Nathan Lyon 11 Adam Zampa