It was a day Rohit Sharma’s men in blue would want to erase from memory as quickly as possible. Having fought back remarkably to win the opening match against Australia 2 days ago at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, Team India crashed to their most ignominious defeat in ODIs at Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
Australia, opting to field first after Steve Smith won the toss, skittled out India for a paltry 117 in 26 overs. Aussie openers Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head then galloped to the target in a mere 11 overs.
It was India’s heaviest ODI loss – with a whopping 39 overs, or 234 deliveries, left in the second game of the series. The previous worst defeat was at Hamilton in January 2019, when New Zealand whipped India by 8 wickets with 212 balls to spare.
The 2 Mitchells - Starc and Marsh - just rolled over India. Left-arm pacer Starc broke India’s back by sending back Shubman Gill (0), Rohit Sharma (13), Suryakumar Yadav (0) and KL Rahul (9) in his opening spell. Starc finished off the Indian innings to return figures of 5/53, and was well supported by fellow-pacers Sean Abbott (3/23) and Nathan Ellis (2/13).
Chasing 118, Marsh went hammer and tongs at the Indian attack, smashing an unbeaten 66 off 36 balls – including 6 fours and 6 sixes. Travis Head also made merry, making an unbeaten 51 off 30 balls as they sent the ball to all parts of the ground.
Brief scores: India 117 all out in 26 overs (Virat Kohli 35, Axar Patel 29 not out; Mitchell Starc 5/53, Sean Abbott 3/23, Nathan Ellis 2/13). Australia 121/0 in 11 overs (Mitchell Marsh 66 not out, Travis Head 51 not out).