India will be aiming to seal the five-match ODI series when they take on Australia in the third game in Ranchi on Friday.
However, all eyes will be on veteran wicketkeeper MS Dhoni who might be playing his final international game in front of his home crowd.
India are 2-0 up and will hope to ‘gift’ Dhoni a memorable series win.
Will Australia bounce back on Friday? Catch the live updates below.
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.
Follow the updates here: