In a first for Australia in 10 years, the visitors romped past India by 35-runs to win the ODI series 3-2. The last time that the Aussies won an ODI series in India was way back in the 2009-10 season when the Ricky Ponting led side defeated India 4-2 in the 7-match ODI series.
Opting to bat first in a slow pitch, Australia were provided a solid start by their openers who stitched on a 76-runs partnership for the first wicket. The second wicket partnership of 99 runs between Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb further strengthened the Australian dominance in the match. However, a flurry of wickets hampered the progress of the Australian innings as the visitors were reeling at 229/7 in 45.5 overs from a comfortable position of 175/1 in 33 overs.
However, a nonchalant yet crucial partnership between Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins ensured that the Kangaroos posted a total of 272/9 in their allotted 50 overs. Usman Khawaja was the top scorer for the Aussies as the Pakistan-born Australian scored his second ton of the series at ease and was ably supported by last match’s hero Peter Handscomb who scored his 4th career fifty.
India required to bat really sensibly and cautiously if they were to win in a pitch which was getting slower as the day progressed. But their case was weakened when Pat Cummins dismissed Shikhar Dhawan in the fifth over itself. Virat Kohli along with Rohit Sharma added another 53-runs for the second wicket, however soon Virat was undone by Marcus Stoinis while the Indian Captain looked to charge the Australian all-rounder. Although Rohit Sharma was batting steadily in the other end, he continuously lost his partners at the other end.
The continuous fall of wickets got to Rohit Sharma too, as the Indian vice-captain tried to up the ante and, in the process, lost his precious wicket to leg-break bowler Adam Zampa, thus leaving the Indians lurching at 132/5 in 28.2 overs. In the very next delivery, Adam Zampa removed Ravindra Jadeja to leave the Indians with a mountainous task from thereon to win the match. However, a 91-runs partnership between Kedar Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar brought the Indians closer to the Aussie total. But in the 46th over, the ever-climbing required run-rate got to the Indian batsmen as both of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kedar Jadhav were dismissed while trying to hit six.
The final two wickets too fell as the Indians were bundled out for 237 runs in 50 overs. Thus, Australia won their first ODI series in 10 years in India by winning the series decider by 35-runs. Usman Khawaja for his brilliant batting display in the series was handed over the Man of the Match and the Man of the Series trophy.
While the Indians will now head on to play the IPL, the Australians will travel to the UAE to take on Pakistan as their last assignment before the start of the World Cup.
Also Read, 5th ODI IND vs AUS Match Prediction