Skipper Virat Kohli scored his 40th ODI century while all-rounder Vijay Shankar made telling contributions with the bat – 46 off 41 deliveries – and ball – two wickets in the final over of the match – as India beat Australia by eight runs in the second ODI in Nagpur on Tuesday.
India were bowled out for 250 on a tough wicket with Kohli top-scoring with 116. Despite a strong start from Australia, India pulled away with Kuldeep Yadav (3-54) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-29) doing the bulk of the damage.
Australia needed 11 from the final over and it was Shankar who came out on top with two wickets in three balls as India secured their 500th ODI win and went 2-0 up in the series after dismissing Australia for 242 with three balls remaining.
Here we take a closer look at the match.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan haven’t had the best of 2019s so far. In 10 innings this year, the India openers have averaged just 33 and while their overall record has been stellar, such low returns don’t augur well for the Men in Blue in a World Cup year.
Rohit was sent back in the first over itself by Pat Cummins as he attempted to cut a short ball but only managed to send it to third man. Dhawan’s struggles against the off-spinning ball coming in continued as he was trapped lbw by Glenn Maxwell. Once again, Kohli had to do all the heavy lifting.
After 224 ODIs -— Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) March 5, 2019
Sachin Tendulkar - 8350 runs, ave 42.6, SR 86.45, 23 hundreds, 44 fifties
Virat Kohli - 10686* runs, ave 60.03, SR 92.61, 40 hundreds, 49 fifties.
It isn't even close for the best ODI batsman ever any more. Kohli wins hands down.
On a pitch where almost every batsman struggled for timing, Kohli was in complete control. Realising early that the wicket was slow, he either played deft cuts past point or turned the ball towards midwicket. Eight of his ten boundaries came in those two areas, showing a remarkable ability to assess the conditions.
His batting partner Shankar, however, took a different approach. From the moment Shankar walked in at 75-3, he went on the offensive. A half pull for a four and a six off Marcus Stoinis took Shankar to 40 off just 36 balls and he looked at ease against pace and spin.
However, a Kohli on-drive found a deflection off Adam Zampa and ended Shankar’s promising innings on 46 via a run out.
It was left to Kohli once again and he scored a masterful 116 off 120 balls. He was caught in the deep with three overs to go and that robbed India of at least 20 runs as they were bowled out two runs later.
AUSSIES’ BRIGHT START
Opener Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch were determined to net let Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah settle on a pitch that offered enough assistance. The two added 83 for the opening wicket inside 15 overs but India knew a wicket was just round the corner.
Wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav broke the stand by trapping Finch lbw while in the next over Khawaja chipped Kedar Jadhav to cover as India came back into the match.
VISITORS LOSE THEIR WAY
After Glenn Maxwell was bowled by Kuldeep, Peter Handscomb (48) and Stoinis (52) took over but an inspirational piece of fielding from point by Ravindra Jadeja saw Handscomb run out.
Kohli persisted with his main bowlers and in the crucial 46th over of the match, Bumrah bowled Nathan Coulter-Nile and had Cummins caught behind to have the Aussies 223-8.
SHANKAR’S SUPER OVER
With all main bowlers used up, Kohli asked Shankar to bowl the final over with Stoinis batting on a brilliant 52 with 11 needed from six balls. The first ball, Stoinis tried an awkward hoick and was hit on the back leg to be given lbw. It was Shankar’s first wicket in ODIs. One ball later, the all-rounder wrapped up the match with a yorker to bowl Zampa.
India can take another step towards securing one-day international series victory against Australia when the rivals meet in Nagpur on Tuesday.
MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav were the star men during the opening stanza of the five-match series, that the Indians won by six wickets. This duo, plus skipper Virat Kohli, will be key to their aspirations again when the sides meet.
For Australia, spinners Nathan Lyon and the fit-again Shaun Marsh should play an influential role on a dry and cracked pitch.
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India take on Australia in the second ODI of the five-match series in Nagpur on Tuesday with a 1-0 lead under their belt.
The Men in Blue won the first game in Hyderabad by six wickets after fine fifties from Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni chasing 237.
With the ball, India were on top of their game with pacer Mohammed Shami and wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav picking up two wickets apiece. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja went for just 33 runs from his 10 overs, which was probably the deciding factor. It was a commanding effort after India lost the T20 series 2-0.
As the hosts look to take a 2-0 lead in the ODI series, we take a look at three key battles.
KOHLI v ZAMPA
Not many bowlers can claim to have a measure of India captain Virat Kohli, especially in white-ball cricket. Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa is a member of that select group of bowlers, having dismissed the Indian batting superstar four times in 13 encounters across formats – twice each in ODIs and T20s.
What’s more Zampa has already dismissed Kohli twice during the ongoing tour of India. So while the Australians enter the second ODI trailing 1-0, Zampa is upbeat about having the upper hand in battles against India’s batting mainstay.
“He’s one guy we always spend a little bit of extra time talking about in team meetings. It’s good for the confidence, it’s exciting to get a player like that out,” Zampa said ahead of the second ODI. “But it’s also one of those things where he probably won’t want to get out to me again so I don’t know if he’s going to do a bit more thinking about it. I’m going to have to bowl even better this game.”
JADHAV V MAXWELL
Both teams will be relying on an off-spin bowling all-rounder in the middle order capable of winning match on his own. While Kedar Jadhav put in an all-round show in the first ODI by picking up a wicket and smashing a match-winning 81 not out, Glenn Maxwell chipped in with a fine 40 in the first match to go with his T20 series winning century.
Interestingly, Maxwell didn’t bowl in the first ODI and if the wicket is dry on Tuesday, expect him to step up to the mark.
SHAMI v COULTER-NILE
Shami has quickly overtaken Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the second best ODI pace bowler in the team. And at times, he has bowled as well as spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, if not better. The second ODI will be another opportunity for Shami to seal his World Cup spot irrespective of what Bhuvi does when he gets a chance later in the series.
Australia quick Nathan Coulter-Nile has been unlucky with back injuries but proved he can be mighty effective in the 50-over format, picking up 2-46 in the first game. The right-arm quick proved a point to Australian selectors who had ignored him during the home series against India, saying Coulter-Nile’s fitness is not up to mark for ODIs. If he manages to complete the series, that would be some statement from him.