Glenn Maxwell reacts after being clean bowled by Jasprit Bumrah during the third ODI at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday. AFP
Gulf Today Report
India, riding on a 150-run partnership between Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja for the sixth wicket and a three-wicket haul from Shardul Thakur, pulled off a 13-run consolation win in a closely fought the third and final One-Day International (ODI) and avoided conceding a clean sweep to Australia at the Manuka Oval on Wednesday. Australia took the ODI series 2-1.
Glenn Maxwell's 59 off 38 at the back-end of Australia innings threatened to take the game away from India, who had the Aussies on the mat at 158 five wickets after scoring 302 for five wickets in their 50 overs.
However, with Australia needing 35 off 33 deliveries, Maxwell tried to back away to a Jasprit Bumrah yorker and was bowled. The Aussie tail, which can bat, however found it tough and fell short.
Australian team pose for pictures with the winning trophy at Manuka Oval. AFP
Australia won the opening two matches in Sydney by 66 runs and 51 runs, but India emphatically ended their five-game ODI losing streak — their worst since January 2016 — to pull off an exciting victory ahead of Friday's first of three Twenty20 matches against the Australians in Canberra. Earlier, half-centuries from Pandya, Jadeja as well as skipper Virat Kohli helped India set up a competitive 303-run target.
"I have been working hard to play for my country, happy that I've got the opportunity," Pandya said. "You need to be on your toes when it comes to playing against Australia. You got to push hard and face the challenge against them."
Winning the toss for the first time in the series, India, who had already lost the series, Kohli opted to bat as the visitors made four changes in their line-up — Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, and debutant T Natarajan replacing Mayank Agarwal, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Mohammed Shami.
Virat Kohli (C) celebrates the dismissal of Aaron Finch. AFP
India got off to a decent start as Shikhar Dhawan and Gill added 26 runs before the former became the first scalp of pacer Sean Abbott. Kohli, who came into bat at number three, then stitched a 56-run partnership with Gill and brought the Indian innings back on track.
However, just when India looked all set for a big total, the two Australia spinners — Adam Zampa (1/45) and Ashton Agar (2/44) — came into action and shared three wickets (Gill 33, Shreyas Iyer 19 and KL Rahul 5) among themselves to bring Australia on top with India reeling at 123/4 in the 26th over.
Pandya then joined forces with Kohli who scored his 60th ODI fifty and in the process also became the fastest batsman to score 12,000 ODI runs. However, Josh Hazlewood, who has been Kohli's nemesis in the last three ODIs against Australia, once again got the big wicket of the India skipper who went back to the pavilion after scoring 63 runs off 78 balls.
Jadeja and Pandya then steadily helped India recover and took their time to get used to the pace of the wicket. Once they got settled, the duo went all guns blazing in the death overs and collected boundaries at will to power India to 302 in their allotted 50 overs.
Alex Carey is runout for 38 runs by K.L. Rahul at Manuka Oval in Canberra. AFP
The duo shared an unbeaten 150 run partnership off just 108 balls as Pandya and Jadeja remained not out at 92 (76 balls; seven 4s, one 6) and 66 (50 balls; five 4s and three 6s respectively.
Later, the Indian bowlers kept getting wickets at regular intervals with Australia opening the batting with Marnus Labuschagne in place of David Warner, who could not play this game due to injury.
Brief scores: India 302/5 (Hardik Pandya 92 not out, Ravindra Jadeja 66 not out; Ashton Agar 2/44) beat Australia 289 all out in 49.3 overs (A Finch 75, G Maxwell 59, S Thakur 3/51, J Bumrah 2/43, T Natarajan 2/70) by 13 runs
Kohli was also not named in the T20 squad for the New Zealand tour to give the batsman time to rest. Also left out were pace bowlers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah as well as bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
Team India’s poor form continued in the ODI series also against South Africa. The Indian team looked very ordinary in the Test and ODI. The same players who had turned the table in earlier matches for India, failed to even give their best.
South African fast bowler Duanne Olivier took two wickets off successive balls as India struggled to 53 for three at lunch on the opening day of the second Test against South Africa on Monday.
This is with reference to the news item published in Gulf Today on Dec.15, “Azhar questions Kohli and Rohit’s absence from South Africa ODI and Test series.” Former Indian skipper Mohammed Azharuddin wrote in his tweet a few days back, Virat Kohli has informed that he’s not available for
Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) will lead the squad alongside Sports Directors Andrej Hauptman (Slo), Simone Pedrazzini (Swi) and Marco Marcato (Ita).
Indian women will play a three ODI series in the captaincy of the Harmanpreet Kaur against Sri Lanka’s 19-member squad, which is being led by Chamari Athapaththu.
A dominant England has swept New Zealand 3-0 in the Test series with an aggressive seven-wicket victory in the third and final Test match on Monday.