Canberra : India won the third and final ODI against Australia by 13 runs at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. After winning the toss India decided to have a bat first. This side had four changes to the previous one that played in the second ODI. Gill, Shardul, Natarajan and Kuldeep were the players to be featured in the XI. For Australia, Cameron Green debuted in place of Warner while Abbott replaced Starc.
After losing Shikhar early, Gill looked really impressive to start his innings as he built a 50-run stand with Virat. He seemed to have a positive approach in his innings and at no point did he look unsettled at the crease. Though, he gave away his wicket to a ball which should not have been swept. Indian batsmen have shown a tendency in recent times to be uncomfortable against spin which is contrary to the belief that they are good players of spin. Iyer and Rahul got out to Zampa who picked up 7 wickets in the series, and the shots that they played were enforced because they could not rotate the strike in the first place. After virat’s dismissal for 63 India were reduced to 152-5.
Even reaching a target of 250 looked dicey at that stage but Hardik and Jadeja’s unbelievable 150-run partnership in 108 deliveries powered India to 302-5. Untill the last 10 overs both the all-rounders played cautiously because of the time left in the innings and the also because of the batsmen to follow. But in the last 10 overs, they amassed 110 runs and remained unbeated till the end. Earlier, Hardik was the one taking a chance against the bowlers while Jadeja rotated the strike but both of them put the pedal to the metal towards the end. The former again missed out on an hundred ending his innings on 93 which came in 76 deliveries while the latter scored 66.
Trivia : The 150-run partnership between Hardik and Jadeja was the highest sixth wicket partnership or lower in ODI’s in Australia.
Australia also had a shaky start in the absence of warner and after a long time India picked up a wicket in the first 10 overs when Marnus chopped on a good length delivery by Natarajan onto his stumps. Smith was not allowed to get off the mark straightaway. He faced a maiden from Natarajan before getting caught behind, down the leg-side to Shardul. Wickets came at regular intervals for India with all the bowlers doing a decent job in their first spell of 5 overs. After Finch’s lucky innings where he was dropped atleast twice, Maxwell was one batsman who took the game away from India and almost won the game for his side and at one stage the equation did look like an easy chase for the hosts but a yorker at the right time from Bumrah to clean him up turned the tide back in the men in blue’s favour.
Shardul ended with 3 wickets, Bumrah, who was back to his best and Natarajan got 2 each while Kuldeep and Jadeja scalped 1 wicket each. A complete team perfomance where the bowlers and the one partnership won India the match. Pandya showed his game sense which reflected on his batting and it also proved that he is not just a slogger but he can also bat when the chips are down. Jadeja once again reminded us that his presence is vital for the team’s success. Australia take the series by a margin of 2-1 but hopefully for the Indian fans, India carry this momentum in the T20’s as well.
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