A ruthless India put in a commanding performance at the Holkar Stadium in Indore to beat Australia by 5 wickets in the third One Day International to wrap up the five match series. The win which was largely a Hardik Pandya show has given India an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series. Batting first on a belter of a track Australia looked set for a big score, before they crumbled under pressure. Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma then set the platform for the chase which was achieved after Pandya bludgeoned the Australian bowling.
Here is Cricketnext's report card as we analyse the performance of every Indian player from the game.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rating 6.5: Verdict: Good
With an achievable target in sight, the right hand opening batsman dug in and put a price on his wicket. Rahane who scored a half century in the previous match, held strong on one end while his partner Rohit Sharma did what he does he best. Rahane, steadily piled on the runs and notched up another half century, thus adding to Virat Kohli’s selection troubles; in a good way.
Rohit Sharma: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Rohit – well known for his stroke making ability is always one of the more dangerous batsmen to bowl to when on fire. After a failure in the previous ODI, Rohit would have been delighted to see the surface, and he did not need a second invitation to go for the big shots. Four massive sixes and flurry of boundaries not only gave him a morale boosting half century, it took the stuffing out of the Australian bowling unit, thus making an achievable chase easier.
Virat Kohli: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
The pro-active captain showed his true colours on the field in the first session when he rang in the changes at the correct time with regards to bowling and fielding to help restrict Australia to below 300. That in itself was a big deal because the Kohli himself admitted that it was a surface where 340 odd would be a par score. During the chase, Kohli, who is often regarded as the master of the chase did not make a big contribution as he fell for 28 – but his presence alongside Hardik Pandya gave the youngster the confidence to attack.
Hardik Pandya: Rating 9: Verdict: Very Good
The all-rounder took the crucial first wicket of David Warner to derail the Australian batting in the first session. Pandya continued to bowl well under pressure, but the outstanding contribution was with the bat. Promoted up the order to number 4, Pandya did not disappoint, in fact, after the loss of a few quick wickets, Pandya played to the plan and was watchful against the more skilled bowlers before he launched into Ashton Agar – thus putting the result of the match beyond doubt.
Kedar Jadhav: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor
Unexpectedly, Kedar did not get a chance to turn his arm over and take aim at the Australian batsmen. But he was afforded a chance with the bat; India needed someone to take responsibility after the dismissal of Virat Kohli and instead of biding time at the wicket with Pandya, Jadhav found himself walking back to the pavilion after only 4 balls. With an eye on trying out other players, there is a possibility that, Kohli might leave Jadhav out in the next ODI.
Manish Pandey: Rating 6: Verdict: Good
Having failed to make an impression the first couple of outings, the onus was on Pandey to do well. He kick started his day with a brilliant catch on the boundary in the 48th over to dismiss Peter Handscomb. After that, Pandey kept his cool and kept Pandya company in the final overs in the chase to see India over the line without any setbacks.
MS Dhoni: Rating 6: Verdict: Good
The veteran wicketkeeper was his usual lively self in the field. Dhoni as usual kept speaking to the young bowlers feeding them with information which would help them keep the Aussies at bay. Dhoni added another dismissal to his tally too, when he stumped Glenn Maxwell off Yuzvendra Chahal’s bowling. He came into bat with 10 runs to win, and alongside Manish Pandey helped India clinch the series.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Rating 5: Verdict: Average
Generally an excellent candidate with the new ball, Bhuvneshwar did not enjoy the best of starts to the match with David Warner and Aaron Finch scoring at a brisk rate. Bhuvi though did tie things up later, much to the relief of the Indian camp, but went wicket-less on a surface that had no help whatsoever for the bowlers.
Kuldeep Yadav: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
The left arm chinaman bowler has instilled a certain sense of fear in the Australian batting with some excellent performances. Kuldeep continued to trouble the Aussies, and even though he was the most expensive of all the bowlers he accounted for Aaron Finch and Steve Smith in quick succession. Thus, ensuring that the Australians would not run away with the game in the final overs.
Jasprit Bumrah: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
One of the better bowlers in the slog overs, Bumrah was up to his usual tricks and was a crucial part in the Plan B which saw them take evasive action against the Aussie batting in the final ten overs of the first innings. Bumrah who accounted for Travis Head and Peter Handscomb was one of India’s better bowlers on a day when no bowler had too much joy.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Rating 6: Verdict: Good
On a day when there was no help for any bowler off the surface, one expected big runs from the top batsmen on display. Chahal like Kuldeep did go for a few runs, but had Glenn Maxwell stumped before he could get going. Chahal did not more success in terms of wickets, but did finish as the second most economical bowler in the innings.
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