India take 2-0 lead in ODI series against Australia

Wednesday 06th March 2019 02:26 EST

India take a 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series against Australia after registering an eight run win in the second ODI at Nagpur. Winning the toss and putting India in to bat, Australia got off to the perfect start when Pat Cummins dismissed Rohit Sharma in the very first over. Captain Virat Kohli walked in at number three, commencing an innings that would go on to define the next 47 overs that India faced from the Australian bowlers. Along with Dhawan, Kohli broke the shackles and started dominating Coulter-Nile and Cummins in his free flowing manner.

Just as things were beginning to look good, Maxwell got the crucial wicket of Dhawan for 21 off 29 balls, taking a successful review. The next batsman, Ambati Rayudu came to the crease and held up one end while Kohli set about dictating the tempo of the innings, but he too was dismissed with India at 75/3 after 17 overs. But Vijay Shankar came in and turned the tables, becoming the aggressor while Virat Kohli held up the other end. All in all, Vijay’s knock of 46 had five fours and one six, till he was run-out by Adam Zampa to leave India at 156/4.

Kedar Jadhav and Kohli could only add 15 runs more as Australia struck again, dismissing the latter for 11 off 12 balls and Dhoni for a golden duck on the very next ball. India were in all sorts of trouble at 171/6. But the ensuing partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Kohli was what saved the innings for India and ensured the hosts got to a respectable score in the face of some disciplined bowling by Australia. Kohli soon got to his century – his 18th as a captain and 40th overall in ODIs, before being dismissed in the 48th over. Yadav and Bumrah followed him to the pavilion relatively soon and India were all-out for a score of 250 in the 49th over.

Australia would have felt they took the right decision in deciding to bowl first after restricting India to the total they did, and that feeling only increased as the openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja set about stitching together their opening partnership. The duo combined well, taking the singles when needed and scoring at least one boundary an over to maintain the pressure on the Indian bowlers. Shami, Bumrah, Jadeja and Shankar toiled till the 14th over of the innings without much luck.

Then, with captain Aaron Finch batting on 37 off 53 balls, the wily Kuldeep Yadav made the crucial breakthrough for India, dismissing him with the score on 83 runs to bring India back into the game. Just one over later and the Australian score unmoved, Jadhav got the better of Usman Khawaja to make the score 83/2.

Australia’s main problem though the innings would prove to be the inability to stitch together long partnerships. They continued to make hard work of the chase and just when Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb looked to have steadied the ship for the visitors, Marsh fell to Ravindra Jadeja with the score at 122.

India chase down 237

India chased down 237 runs and won the first ODI against Australia by 6 wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Despite the slow nature of the wicket, the Indians achieved the target with 10 deliveries to spare. The 1-0 lead was set up by incisive bowling by Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah initially and effectively controlled bowling by Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja in the middle overs.

MS Dhoni (59) and Kedar Jadhav (81) then clinically executed the chase with their 141-run unbroken partnership for the fifth wicket as India finished at 240 for four. Shikhar Dhawan did not last longer and Rohit Sharma miscued a shot when set for a bigger score (37). The 76-run stand between Sharma and Kohli set the platform for India’s chase, but with the skipper succumbing at 44, the Aussies would have fancied their chances, especially after Ambati Rayudu too fell cheaply.

They had not reckoned with Dhoni, though. With Dhoni playing the guiding role, Jadhav adapted well to the surface and together they whittled down the equation to 48 runs from 48 balls before Jadhav switched gears. Zampa had bowled an excellent second spell of 3-0-9-1 to stifle the chase, but with Dhoni marshalling the chase, the visitors failed to stop the flow just as they had failed to get going earlier in the day.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter