Handicapped by the poor form of some of their key bowlers, India will be under intense pressure as they go into the do-or-die sixth cricket one-dayer against an upbeat Australia here tomorrow, fully aware that any slip-up at this stage could cost them the series.
The visitors are sitting pretty with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series after the successive wash-outs of the fourth and fifth games of the long series at Ranchi and Cuttack on October 23 and 26.
The onus is on India, whose under-performing players, need to pull up their socks and fire in unison to upset the apple cart of the Australians who came here with the record of winning two seven-game series in the past.
The hosts have no option but to win the remaing two matches to clinch the series and any lapses in tomorrow's game could turn out to be disastrous for the team.
"From our point of view this is the game we want to win. We don't want to save it for the last game on Sunday (at Bangalore). We want to wrap up with this game. Obviously from their (India's) point of view they need to win to stay alive and from that point pretty crucial for them," said Australian left arm spinner Xavier Doherty in the run-up to the crucial match at the stadium.
Among the batsmen, Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are the top-scorers for the hosts, with the former consistently brilliant and the captain playing that superb innings at Mohali to help the team recover and post a challenging 300-plus total that was chased successfully by the visitors.
Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma produced top drawer batting in the second ODI at Jaipur with excellent knocks of 95 and 141 not out that helped India chase a huge target of 360 with plenty to spare.
India would be looking forward to this left-right combination to provide a very good start again at the VCA ground where 300 or more scores have been put up on four occasions in the past.
The worry for India is the middle order given the way Suresh