Canberra: For the third time in the series, the team batting first scored a total in excess of 300. But for the first time, it was India chasing the runs, and as it turned out, they couldn’t do it. Powered by centuries from Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, India seemed to be on course to register their first win over Australia in seven matches, but all that was to change courtesy one of the most dramatic collapses in recent memory.
Chasing a daunting 349, India did the initial bit well. Kohli raced to his second century of the series, and he and Dhawan were involved in a massive 212-run stand that threw the inexperienced Australian bowling off-guard. But from there unfolded a collapse, which saw India lost nine wickets for 46 runs.
In the end, Australia’s lion-hearted effort prevailed and India had to relinquish not just the match, but also their No. 2 ODI ranking. From 277/1, Australia bowled them out for 323 and script one of their most memorable wins. Leading the collapse was Kane Richardson, who finished with his career-best figures of 5/68.
Chasing 349 meant that India were needed to put up their best start in a long time. The last time they chased a big total was against South Africa in Mumbai. There, Rohit perished early and it opened the floodgates. Here though, Rohit and Shikhar got rid of their inhibitions as India motored along. They posted India’s first 50-plus stand for the opening wicket after 10 innings.