In a clash of the world heavyweights, India were up against a dominant Australian outfit in the three-match ODI series. The battle between probably the two best teams in the world didn’t offer any disappointment after India squared the series in Rajkot.
It all boiled down to the final ODI at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, and with series on the line, it was all to play for both the teams. In the series decider, Australia won the toss and decided to put runs on the board on a ground that has historically played in the batsman’s favour. However, both the teams were happy as Virat Kohli was quite keen on bowling first and fancied chasing on a smallish Chinnaswamy ground.
Batting first, the visitors didn’t experience the best possible start as they lost the key wicket of David Warner in the fourth over. The duo of Aaron Finch and Steve Smith got together to resurrect the innings but Indians saw them under check with economical spells throughout their partnership. In an absolute miscommunication between the two batsmen, Finch was run-out for 19 as Australia looked to rebuild their innings.
Marnus Labuschagne and Smith saw the innings back on track with their 100+ partnership before a Kohli-brilliance saw the back of Marnus as he was caught for a well made 54. The tourists tinkered with their batting order as Mitchell Starc was sent up the order to muster runs at a quick pace but couldn’t stay for long and fell for a 3-ball duck in the same over.
Smith went about his business with ease but lacked any substantial support as wickets continued to tumble from the other end. He registered his ninth ODI ton but perished at a crucial moment in the game. Indian bowlers yet again clinical with their line and lengths in the entire fifty overs.
The seam bowlers did the majority of the damage while spinners contained the flow of runs in the middle overs. Mohammad Shami was the pick of the bowlers with his four-wicket haul as he finished with 4 for 63 in his ten overs.
India will now need 287 runs in their fifty overs to win second ODI on the trot and claim the ODI series by a 2-1 margin. On a track that is expected to play under lights, India will fancy their chances even when Australia will come hard at the onset to inflict early damage. A big worry for the hosts will be the availability of Shikhar Dhawan who might not come out to bat after he was hurt in his left shoulder.