In a do or die match to be alive in the series, Indian Captain Virat Kohli along with former skipper MS Dhoni made sure that India level the series thus play the final ODI at MCG with a chance to land their first bilateral ODI series win in Australia.
Deciding to bat first after winning the toss, Australian captain Aaron Finch got out to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the seventh over of the match. Alex Carey too departed in the next over off Mohammed Shami’s delivery when he was comfortably caught by Shikhar Dhawan, who was stationed at short mid-wicket.
Soon a 56-runs partnership between Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh steadied the Australian innings, however, a moment of brilliance by Ravindra Jadeja sent Khawaja back to the pavilion as he was short of the crease as Jadeja got him run-out. Another 52-runs partnership between Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb took the Australian total past the 100-mark to 134/3 before another individual brilliance, this time by wicket-keeper Dhoni, stumped out Handscomb off Jadeja’s bowling. In the meantime, Shaun Marsh reached to his 14th ODI fifty. Marsh along with Marcus Stoinis then stitched a partnership of 55-runs to take the Australian total to 189, however, while trying to hit Shami for a boundary, Stoinis edged the ball which was comfortably caught by Dhoni.
Glenn Maxwell then made a quick-fire 48 in 37 balls as he along with Shaun Marsh stitched a partnership of 94 runs to take the Australian total nearer to the 300-mark. Shaun Marsh also reached to his seventh ODI century in the meantime, and both of them were dismissed at consecutive deliveries off Bhuvneshwar’s over after trying to hit him for a boundary. A couple of wickets fell within an over or two that really dented Australia’s chances of scoring in an excess of 300.
Nathan Lyon hit Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a four and a six in the last over as the Aussie denied Kumar of picking up 5-wickets in an innings. At the end of 50 overs, Australia managed 298/9 with Shaun Marsh top-scoring with 131 runs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up 4 wickets for India while Mohammed Shami picked up 3. Considering the pitch being suitable for batting and the dimensions of the ground being small, the Australian total was felt 20-runs sort of the par score.
The Indian openers resumed the Indian innings on a positive note as Shikhar Dhawan consistently hit boundaries. The duo stitched an opening stand of 47 runs before Dhawan perished trying to play a lofted shot that was comfortably caught by Khawaja off Behrendorff’s delivery. However, Rohit Sharma along with Virat Kohli stitched a 54-runs partnership to take the Indian total past the 100-runs mark. Sharma was soon removed by Stoinis, however, after Handscomb managed to take an easy catch at deep mid-wicket.
Rayudu then joined the Indian captain in the middle, who was batting magnificently. The duo stitched another 50-runs partnership for India as Virat Kohli reached to his 49th ODI 50. However, while trying to hit Maxwell for a six, Rayudu was dismissed as he was comfortably caught by Stoinis at mid-wicket.
Dhoni was the next man in, and he got plenty of time to settle in as Virat Kohli played some attacking shots that brought the Indian total closer to the Australian score. The duo of Dhoni-Kohli added 82 runs to the Indian total as Kohli reached to his 39th ODI century. However, just when India needed Kohli to remain in the middle, he was caught by Maxwell who was stationed at deep mid-wicket off Jhye Richardson’s delivery. India still needed 57 runs to win in 38 deliveries when Dinesh Karthik came into the middle. However, the two of them went on to easily chase the target as India managed the win with still 4 balls left into the completion of the match. MS Dhoni was not-out after making 55 of 54 deliveries.
Virat Kohli was handed over the player of the match trophy as India leveled the 3-match ODI series 1–1. The two teams now lock horn on the 18th of January, and whoever emerges winner will take away the series alongside them.
Also Read, 2nd ODI AUS vs IND Match Prediction