Brisbane: Australian will be desperate to rescue a faltering summer when they take on India in the second final of the one-day international cricket series at the Gabba here Tuesday.
India beat Australia by six wickets in the first final at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday, thanks largely to a Sachin Tendulkar century and yet another Australian top order batting collapse.
The Australian loss came hard on the heels of a defeat to Sri Lanka in the final match of the qualifying series, and is a stark reminder that visiting teams no longer fear Australia in the post-Glenn McGrath/Shane Warne era.
If Australia lose to India on Tuesday, they will surrender the first final triangular series ever in Australia and will send wicketkeeper/batsman Adam Gilchrist into retirement without one last piece of silverware.
If they win, the finals series will go to a decider at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
The two teams form an interesting contrast -- Australia field a squad of hard-headed veterans used to bullying the opposition into submission, while India are a much younger side bolstered by a few older players.
The series has been marred by a series of ugly confrontations between the two teams, the most recent on Sunday when abrasive Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was accused of spitting toward sections of the crowd, a charge strongly denied by India.
Despite their inexperience, the Indians have shown they are not afraid to take the game to the Australians.
Their bowling attack in particular has often exposed the Australians, leading to a series of below par totals by the home team, which has then had to rely on the bowlers to get them out of trouble.
Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma has been a revelation on the current tour, while fellow 19-year-old Piyush Chawla played his first match in two months on Sunday and bowled 10 overs of leg-spin for just 33 runs at a time when opener Matthew Hayden was in full swing.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the loss was a "a bit of a kick in the backside".
"I sort of let them (the Australian players) know you can't just switch things on and off in this game," he said.
"You have got to be there right to the end, right through a summer and right the way through a series.
"I thought that down in Melbourne we took our foot off a little bit (in the loss to Sri Lanka) and expected we would bounce back today. We didn't bounce back as I would have liked."
Australia will be at full strength for Tuesday's game, while for India, Ishant and Tendulkar are doubts.
Ishant injured his hand during Sunday's game, while Tendulkar aggravated a leg injury.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth.
Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist (wk), Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Mike Hussey, James Hopes, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken. Brad Hogg (12th man).