Virat Kohli-led ‘Men in Blue’ defeated the Australian side convincingly by 7 wickets in the 5th and last ODI at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Sunday. With this win, India not only clinched the series 4-1 but also reclaimed the Number 1 spot in the One Day International (ODI) format.
Chasing a modest total of 243 runs in 50 overs, India eventually got home in 42.5 overs with Manish Pandey hitting the winning four.
Rohit Sharma played a crucial role in team India’s win against one of the best ODI teams in the world of Cricket. He
Rohit (125) and Ajinkya Rahane (61) set up the comprehensive win with a 124-run stand, their third century stand in a row, before the former shared a 99-run partnership with captain Virat Kohli (39) to take the team on the cusp of a big victory.
Rohit not only completed his 14 ODI ton over the course of his masterful knock, he also became the ninth Indian to reach the 6000-run mark in ODIs.
The comfortable chase complemented the good work done by the bowlers, who were able to restrict Australia to a below par 242 despite a promising start by David Warner (53) and Aaron Finch (32).
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel stood out among the Indian bowlers with figures of three for 38 in 10 overs.
Earlier, Australia once again failed to build on a promising start provided by Warner and Finch.
Patel bowled a tidy spell, ending with his second-best figures in ODIs while Jasprit Bumrah (2/51) bounced back brilliantly in the death overs after leaking 34 runs in his first four overs.
India, who gave match practice to their reserve pacers - Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami -- in the previous game, went into the middle with a full-strength squad. In the spin department, spinner Axar Patel took the field alongside Kuldeep Yadav as Yuzvendra Chahal was unwell.
The spin trio of Patel, Kuldeep Yadav (0/48) and part-timer Kedar Jadhav (1/48) stemmed the flow of runs. It was also the first time Jadhav bowled his full quota of 10 overs.
Two quick wickets, Warner and Peter Handscomb, followed the captain’s dismissal triggering a middle-order collapse and undoing the good work done by the openers.
However, it was not the first time in the series that Australia were not able to capitalize on a solid start. They were sitting pretty at 100 for one but soon found themselves under severe pressure on 118 for four in the 25th over.
Travis Head (42) and Marcus Stoinis (46) steadied the ship with an 87-run stand off 112 balls but got out just when they looked set to push the scoring rate. Eventually, the visitors could only muster 52 runs in the last 10 overs.
(With PTI inputs)