Hardik Pandya made the most of getting promoted to the number four slot in India's batting order by producing a quickfire knock of 78 which proved decisive in India's win over Australia in the 3rd ODI at Indore. The rising all-rounder stepped up the gas when it was required the most and took India across the line at Indore.
His knock, combined with fifties from Rohit Sharma (71) and Ajinkya Rahane (70), meant Aaron Finch’s century went in vain as India beat Australia by five wickets with 13 balls to spare at the Holkar Stadium on Sunday.
This result for the Indian cricket team meant that the Men in Blue sealed the series with two matches to go. It was the first time in a bilateral ODI series that India had secured three straight wins over Australia.
The win in Indore also meant that India had secured a hat-trick of series wins against Australia, having earlier won in 2010 and 2013. The four-wicket win took their tally of wins at the Holkar Stadium to 5-0.
Maturity and aggression
Pandya’s foundation for this knock was built by a blazing opening partnership of 139 by Rohit and Rahane. Chasing 294, Rohit started off aggressively while Rahane calmly scored at a good pace.
Rohit went after the Australian bowling and dealt primarily in sixes. One particular hit off Kane Richardson went out of the Holkar Stadium and it was measured at 103 meters. Rohit notched up his 33rd fifty and Rahane joined him with his second successive fifty. Both Rohit and Rahane departed in quick succession but Pandya counter-attacked. He targeted the left-arm spin of Ashton Agar by launching him for a couple of sixes.
His 56-run stand with skipper Virat Kohli put India on course but Kohli fell to Agar for 28. Australia struck back with the wicket of Kedar Jadhav (2) but Pandya, playing for the first time in the No.4 spot, played with maturity.