The fifth and final ODI between India and Australia at the Feroz Shah Kotla is a do-or-die encounter for both the sides. A win for India will keep their proud home record intact and might drown out a few questions regarding reading the conditions correctly for some time. This is the last ODI for Virat Kohli's team before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and he will be desperate for a win. For Aaron Finch's Australia, they are on the cusp of something special. Having won a Twenty20 International for the first time in India, a win in Delhi will give them not only their first win in India since 2009 but they will break their ODI rut since 2017 where they have not won a single bilateral series.
Heading into the match, the all-important question for both sides and for the cricket fans will be the dew factor. In Ranchi, Kohli's Indian cricket team were undone by lack of dew. In Mohali, the Indian team faced the other extreme, excess dew and they could not defend 358 as Australia squared the series up in style. Kohli, in the post-match presentation after Mohali, admitted that the team had misread the conditions twice now.
Heading into Delhi, the dew factor is on top of everyone's mind. These are the last few weeks of winter in the national capital. The weather forecast for today is overcast conditions with a high of 21 degrees and a low of 14 degrees. The humidity is just about 53 percent. In Mohali, the humidity was 78 percent. Since the temperature and humidity is not so great in Delhi at this time, the dew might NOT play a big factor.
The interesting thing Virat Kohli's Indian cricket team will have to encounter is the nature of the Kotla wicket. In the past three ODIs played at this venue, teams have preferred to defend the total. In 2013, India defeated Pakistan by 10 runs and also defeated the West Indies by 48 runs in October 2014. In the last ODI at this venue, India lost to New Zealand by six runs and that match was also played in October. In January, there was not much dew and in the games in October, there was some dew but not much to make the bowlers struggle as witnessed in the Mohali ODI.
More than dew, the nature of the wicket will determine the outcome of the contest. The team that bats first at the Kotla has a higher chance of winning as the slow, low nature of the pitch could result in making things difficult for teams batting second.