Australia need to get a win in the third ODI to keep the series alive after disappointing losses in the first two matches. Both games were tight but Australia’s batting has let them down on the subcontinent as they made a meagre 236 in the opening ODI, which India chased down and the the tourists failed to get the 251 needed in the second, falling just 8 runs short after a lower-order collapse.
Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis have led the way with the bat, Khawaja averaging 44 but someone needs to get a big score if they are to grab a much-needed win.
Pant’s big payday
Rising wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant wasn’t even a contracted player for India over the summer, now he is and it’s quite the initial payday.
His first payday from the Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) has seen him rocket straight into the second-top tier of India cricket contracts and he will now earn $1.017 million for the year.
The only players who will earn more than Pant under the contract system are Virat Kohli, opening batsman Rohit Sharma and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah — their contracts are the equivalent of 70 million rupees ($A1.4 million).
It’s not a bad result for the 21-year-old hard-hitting keeper, who has played just 9 Tests, 3 ODIs and 15 T20s.
Pant is one of 11 players to be grouped in the second grade for the period from October 2018 to September 2019.
The hard-hitting batsman replaced the injured Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps in Tests last year and scored a century during India’s series in England.
He underlined his worth further with an unbeaten 159 against Australia in Sydney in the New Year’s Test and is seen as a long-term replacement for MS Dhoni in India’s limited-overs sides.
Long-serving Test opening batsman Murali Vijay has lost out on a contract after a poor year with the bat.
The world’s richest cricket board will pay $610,000 to the players in the third grade while the final group have retainers of 203,000 million.
BCCI CONTRACTS: Grade A+ — Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Grade A — Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant
Grade B — Lokesh Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya
Grade C — Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Khaleel Ahmed, Wriddhiman Saha.
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