India's 500th ODI win.W, 2, W End of a topsy-turvy battle and India have come out on top again. They choked Australia or let us put it this way, the Aussies choked themselves and eventually got themselves into a rut. With 33 needed from 33 balls with 5 wickets in hand, you back the chasing side to win but perhaps it did not back itself.
251 was what the target was, for Australia. Definitely, a tough one to chase at the toss. But given the way India were batting in the middle stages, the visitors would feel that they were chasing 20-30 runs less. And then, Finch and Khawaja staged an 83-run opening stand which probably kept the dressing room composed. But, there was drama to follow.
At the toss, Kohli said that he expected an indifferent bounce to follow as the game went deep and that is exactly what happened. Australia was going at a good rate but suddenly the batsmen became cautious and eventually, the wickets started to fall. No one was set out there and after the opening stand of 83, they had three partnerships in excess of 30 - but none crossing 50.
And the innings in general? Well starts for Finch, Khawaja, Marsh, Handscomb, Stoinis, and Carey - even if one had batted through, the tourists would have won. They kept getting small and meaningful stands but nothing which could threaten India for a long period of time.
Bowling out opponents most times in ODIs post CT 2017:
13/30 New Zealand
11/26 South Africa
A decent bowling effort from the Australian side. They will be happy with where they are at the moment but India too won't be very disappointed. However, they would feel they could have done better after Vijay Shankar and Virat Kohli's 81-run stand. They joined association after the Australians got rid of Rayudu, Dhawan, and Rohit pretty quickly.
The Indians were in a spot of bother at 75 for three but then Shankar and Kohli played themselves in. The former, once he got his eye in, started to accelerate. He looked really good out there and when he was batting, India looked well on course for 280. However, he fell in a very unfortunate manner and that changed the course of the game.
Zampa then got rid of Dhoni and Jadhav in the very same over. The Australia bowlers then managed to pull things back but India still had Kohli at one end. He went onto to score a brilliant ton. Jadeja played the perfect foil to him and the two added yet another handy stand. However, when the time came to accelerate, the latter perished. Kohli too followed him and then the tail failed to contribute much. From 238 for 6 in the 46th over, the hosts have been bundled out for 250.
For Australia, Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers. He was given the responsibility of bowling with the new ball. Did well and then was also excellent at the death. Lyon was economical. Zampa was poor initially but pulled things back well in the end. Nathan Coulter-Nile though had a day to forget as he was wayward and expensive.