What will a captain do?
Continue with the same team that presented you the series or test your bench strength; which will be essential for the upcoming series.
Virat Kohli certainly has gone with the latter as there were three replacements in the team. The swing duo-Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the wrist spinner-Kuldeep Yadav rested; Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Axar Patel were roped in.
Australia has never been this feeble like they’re in the recent times.
They’ve had big names; match-winners yet somehow failed to live up to the standards that were set by their old team; now legends.
Being down 0-3, cast by the curse of 11 away losses in a row, Steven Smith-led Australia were desperate for a win. On the papers, it is all good but as a unit, they flunked.
Misfiring Glenn Maxwell was dropped; Matthew Wade replaced him. Adam Zampa came in for the injured Ashton Agar.
After winning the toss-no second thoughts; Smith opted to bat first. Aaron Finch was in a good touch after a ton in the last ODI. The team needed David Warner to go big; he had the start but couldn’t convert them to big ones. If the team has to win, he had to fire.
Playing his 100th ODI, Warner steadied himself, took the bad ball to boundary-there were too many; rotated the strike. Both Finch and Warner made sure they got a boundary every over.
231-runs for the first wicket; breaking records in the process; eventually took India to back foot. David Warner soon became the first Australian to score 100 in the 100th ODI. Unfortunate for Finch that he had to fall 4 runs short of yet another century against India. Averaging 50+ against the home team, he was certainly the boost Australian team needed. 218 in 2 innings for the Victorian batsman.
Too much the Indian bowlers gave away. The team’s part-timer Kedhar Jadhav’s 7 overs were clinical, he comparatively bowled well; gave the team their first breakthrough.
Umesh Yadav reached 100 wickets in ODIs; he picked up 4. Finch, Warner, Smith threw their wickets in quick succession and the pressure was on the batting team for the first time in the match but that didn’t last for long as Peter Handscomb’s 30-ball 43, relaxed the visitors. The team once was looking for something around 350, was pleased with 334/5.
The Chinnaswamy Stadium known for its high-octane matches; didn’t disappoint. India has never lost an ODI at Bengaluru since 2003 but the things were different yesterday.
India started fine with a consecutive 100+ partnership between Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma; they added 106 runs together. Rahane at 53, tried to hit one from Kane Richardson but failed; the ball went into the safer hands of Finch. Virat Kohli joined Sharma. Their running has always been a worry for the team-It was yet another day. A huge mix-up in the middle; Rohit Sharma had to go for well-made 65. Virat Kohli tried to run one down to the third man but was bowled.
The current sensation-Hardik Pandya was sent in at 4 once again. Kedhar Jadhav and Pandya put on a 78-run stand but the run-rate kept growing; they needed big shots. On some other day, Pandya would have connected it well but not the case here as his slog found Warner. Manish Pandey, fighting for his spot, tried punching hard as the run rate kept piling up. Jadhav and Pandey added 61 more before Jadhav got out scoring 67.
In at a position not familiar to him; at number 7, M.S. Dhoni walked in with 48 runs from almost 5 overs. Dhoni, someone who likes to nudge a few, get used to the pace of the wicket then launch his shots, didn’t have the time and he had to go from the ball 1. Unlikely to him, he miscued many, scored a big six before edging one onto the stumps and with that went India’s hopes. Thanks to some good death bowling by Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa’s final spell was vital too.
Unquestionably, Dhoni wouldn’t like batting this low. This is a position for someone who can slog right away, someone like Pandya but then, Pandya is doing good at no.4 in both the chances given. No.4 is a vital position and with too many options, too many hits and misses available, now that needs some thinking from the captain.
Nothing much the lower order could do as the Australia finally opened their account in the series stopping India’s 10 in a row. With one more to go, Australia will be relieved after the win.