The Indian batting unit once again choked under relentless pressure from the Australian spinners as the visitors clinched the three-match ODI series 2-1 with a comfortable 21-run victory. Chasing a stiff target of 270 on a tricky pitch, India were all out for 248 in 49.1 overs as Australia came back in the series after losing the first ODI by five wickets.
The match turned out to be an anti-climax in the final 15 overs as Australian spinners Adam Zampa (4/45) and Ashton Agar (2/41 in 10 overs) snared as many six Indian wickets, giving away only 86 runs in the 20 overs between them.
The Chepauk track got slower and slower and post 35th over in the Indian innings, it became very difficult to hit the big strokes. Once Zampa bowled a couple of googlies to force Hardik Pandya (40 off 40 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (1 off 33 balls) hit against the turn, the writing was on the wall.
It was Zampa's best figures against India and he certainly was the hero for the Aussies. Incidentally, Australia were the last international team to beat India in a bilateral ODI series back in 2019. The score-line back then was 3-2. Since that series defeat four years back, India have won seven back-to-back bilateral ODI rubber at home.
It was three games in a row that the Indian top-order flattered to deceive and that too in home conditions. They could have been blanked 3-0 in the series had Australia scored at least 235 in the opening ODI.
From 146 for 2, India had slumped to 185 for 6 when Pandya and Jadeja joined forces with the Australian close-in fielders making it infinitely difficult. But Pandya, however, maintained a 100-plus strike-rate despite tight bowling by the opposition.
Earlier, a fine opening spell by Pandya and a probing effort by Kuldeep Yadav put a tight leash around the Australian batters before its tail wagged considerably to take the visitors to a fighting 269 all out in 49 overs after opting to bat first.