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India vs Australia | Kohli, Shankar Star as India Seal Eight-Run Win to Take 2-0 Series Lead

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 5, 2019, 10:23 PM IST
India vs Australia | Kohli, Shankar Star as India Seal Eight-Run Win to Take 2-0 Series Lead

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India stormed into a 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series against Australia after registering an eight run win in the second ODI at Nagpur, in a close encounter that went right down to the wire.

Winning the toss and putting India in to bat, Australia got off to the perfect start when Pat Cummins dismissed Rohit Sharma in the very first over, out for a duck after facing just six balls. It was the first instance of Sharma getting out for a duck in an ODI at home.

Captain Virat Kohli walked in at number three, commencing an innings that would go on to define the next 47 overs that India faced from the Australian bowlers. Along with Dhawan, who’s form has been patchy of late but looked in good knick during his stay at the crease, Kohli broke the shackles and started dominating Coulter-Nile and Cummins in his free flowing manner.

Just as things were beginning to look good, Maxwell got the crucial wicket of Dhawan for 21 off 29 balls, taking a successful review. The next batsman, Ambati Rayudu came to the crease and held up one end while Kohli set about dictating the tempo of the innings, but he too was dismissed with India at 75/3 after 17 overs.

But Vijay Shankar came in and turned the tables, becoming the aggressor while Virat Kohli held up the other end. All in all, Vijay’s knock of 46 had five fours and one six, till he was run-out by Adam Zampa to leave India at 156/4.

Kedar Jadhav and Kohli could only add 15 runs more as Australia struck again, dismissing the latter for 11 off 12 balls and Dhoni for a golden duck on the very next ball. India were in all sorts of trouble at 171/6.

But the ensuing partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Kohli was what saved the innings for India and ensured the hosts got to a respectable score in the face of some disciplined bowling by Australia. Kohli soon got to his century – his 18th as a captain and 40th overall in ODIs, before being dismissed in the 48th over.

Yadav and Bumrah followed him to the pavilion relatively soon and India were all-out for a score of 250 in the 49th over.

Australia would have felt they took the right decision in deciding to bowl first after restricting India to the total they did, and that feeling only increased as the openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja set about stitching together their opening partnership.

The duo combined well, taking the singles when needed and scoring at least one boundary an over to maintain the pressure on the Indian bowlers. Shami, Bumrah, Jadeja and Shankar toiled till the 14th over of the innings without much luck.

Then, with captain Aaron Finch batting on 37 off 53 balls, the wily Kuldeep Yadav made the crucial breakthrough for India, dismissing him with the score on 83 runs to bring India back into the game.

Just one over later and the Australian score unmoved, Jadhav got the better of Usman Khawaja to make the score 83/2.

Australia’s main problem though the innings would prove to be the inability to stitch together long partnerships. They continued to make hard work of the chase and just when Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb looked to have steadied the ship for the visitors, Marsh fell to Ravindra Jadeja with the score at 122.

Ten more runs were added before India struck, and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell was castled by Kuldeep Yadav. He would have deserved a half-century after a sensible knock, but his number was up.
Ravindra Jadeja would go on to have a massive say in the course of the match, and just as Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis seemed to be getting Australia back in the match, Handscomb was run-out by Jadeja with the score at 171, Australia having lost half their side.

The match was getting tighter, and the Indian bowlers started to tighten the noose around the Australia at this point, even though another wicket did not fall for the next 47 runs.

When it did, at 218, Alex Carey was Kuldeep Yadav’s next victim. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins followed soon with the score stagnant at 223, and Australia just had two wickets remaining.

They did, however, still have Marcus Stoinis at the crease who was inching closer to his half-century. By the time the last over came around, the equation was simple – Australia needed 11 runs off 6 balls, and Vijay Shankar was entrusted with bowling it.

And the all-rounder did not disappoint. He got Stoinis LBW off the first ball of the over, and Adam Zampa’s middle-stump went for a walk off the third as he sealed India’s win by 8 runs.

With the win, India took a 2-0 lead in the five match ODI series, with the next match to be played at Ranchi on Friday.
First Published: March 5, 2019, 9:46 PM IST
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1 India 5007 116
2 New Zealand 3213 107
3 South Africa 4397 105
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
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