Web Desk (September 28, 2017): It was always a steep chase but such is the strength of the Indian batting lineup at home that they looked down and out only after MS Dhoni’s wicket fell in the third to last over.
This ends a 11-match losing run for Australia in ODIs away from home. This also means that India cannot get a second consecutive ODI whitewash. India have hence managed to equal their longest unbeaten run but not surpassed it.
Closed out nicely by Australia, they’ve done it easy in the end. So it won’t be ten on the trot for India, and the visitors arrest a terrible slide away from home, their first away triumph after a dozen losses in a streak that lasted nearly a year.
The Australian quicks were fantastic in the defence of 334. Kane Richardson finished with 3/58 after conceding two sixes in his first over, fighting back across multiple spells. It was much the same for Cummins (1/59) and Coulter-Nile (2/56) who were asked to keep chopping and changing, all getting better as the night went on.
India flew out of the blocks with Rahane (53) and Rohit (65), the two putting on 106 in the opening 18 overs. But the first wicket fell the ball just after the drinks break, and at no stage thereafter were the hosts able to score consistently enough at the required rate.
Sharma’s run out was a big moment, Smith making a genius stop at backward point to leave the opener well short in a mix-up with Kohli. The captain wasn’t far behind, bowled by Coulter-Nile; one of various instances where Smith was rewarded with a wicket immediately after making a bowling change.
Pandya threatened to again tear Zampa apart, and for a time exposed the leggie, but despite having put together better performances he held his nerve at a crucial passage to win the wicket of the huge-hitter on 41.
Jadhav (67) and Pandey (33) kept the home side in it either side of a 23-minute rain delay – the players going off for reasons best articulated by the umpires – but once they fell, and Dhoni couldn’t work miracles, the result was assured.