New Delhi: Australia recorded victory by a margin of 35 runs in the final ODI of the five-match series against India. The visitors emerged victorious by a margin of 3-2 in the five-match series.
India failed to chase down 273 against Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla on Wednesday and lost the bilateral ODI series 2-3 after taking a 2-0 lead following victories in Hyderabad and Nagpur. On a sluggish pitch, India needed to bat with discipline but apart from Rohit Sharma, the others disappointed against a high quality Australian attack.
Shikhar Dhawan, who returned to form with a career-best 143 in Mohali on Sunday, fell cheaply for 12 while Virat Kohli was dismissed by Marcus Stoinis as the Kotla crowd went silent. Another Delhi boy, Rishabh Pant walked out looking confident but he did not last long either, falling for 16 off 16 balls.
It was a missed opportunity for Pant, who is fighting for the second wicketkeeper’s slot with Dinesh Karthik. MS Dhoni was rested for the final two ODIs in Mohali and Delhi but Pant failed to make the most of his opportunities. While he scored a quickfire 26 in Mohali, Pant missed crucial stumping chances which prompted the crowd to chant “Dhoni, Dhoni”.
Vijay Shankar looked promising but miscued an Adam Zampa delivery to Usman Khawaja immediately after hitting the leg-spinner for a six. India were in deep trouble at this stage but there was still hope with Kedar Jadhav joining Rohit Sharma in the middle.
However, the partnership did not last long. Rohit Sharma became Zampa’s second victim when he was out stumped; India slipped to 132 for 5 and the onus was really on Ravindra Jadeja to stand firm with Jadhav. However, disaster struck again for India three balls later when Zampa snared Jadeja for a duck.
On paper, India were batting deep at the Kotla. Bhuvneshwar Kumar walked out at No.8 but the asking rate had climbed too steeply for him and Jadhav to manage. In a breathtaking display of audacious stroke play, Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar added 91 for the seventh wicket off 17.1 overs. But the top order failure had left Bhuvneshwar and Jadhav with too much to do.
Pat Cummins removed Bhuvneshwar for 46 in the in the last ball of the 46th over. Jadhav fell in the first ball of the 47th over. And it was game over for India as Australia raced toward a historic series win.
Earlier, Australia batted well after winning the toss. Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja added 50 plus for the third successive time in the series before the Australian skipper perished to Jadeja for a 43-ball 27 after a 76-run partnership with Khawaja for the opening wicket.
Peter Handscomb picked up from he left off in Mohali and scored an enterprising fifty before a middle-order collapse got Australia worried.
Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey did not set the Kotla on fire but cameous from Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins helped Australia reach a competitive total. At the end, it was enough for Australia to win their first ODI series since January 2017.