India came back to winning ways and deservedly got back to the No. 1 ODI Ranking spot after defeating Australia in the 5th and final ODI in Nagpur by seven wickets also bagging the series 4-1 as a result.
In an apparently tricky run chase of 243 runs, Rohit Sharma became India’s only centurion of the series becoming the fastest to score 2000 runs on Indian soil, on-route to his 14th ODI ton.
After electing to bat first, Australia started brilliantly and then lost the plot, recovered a bit only to stumble towards the end, courtesy brilliant death bowling in the end. Once the Indian openers put together their third consecutive 100-run partnership, the game was far from the opposition’s.
Let us have a look at a few defining moments of the match.
- 1. Warner-Finch provide promising start
This has been the story of the tournament so far, Warner and Finch provide yet another 50 plus stand for the Aussies, scoring at 6 runs per over in the first power play, showing their class and technique, but then came the spinners in the slow and dry Nagpur wicket and Australia fail to build on the start.
- 2. Indian spinners rule the middle overs
Indian spinners ruled the middle overs of the Australian innings conceding only 134 for 4 in 30 overs that almost took the momentum away from the opposition, gave them no freebies or chance to get back into the game. Kedar Jadhav bowled his quota of 10 overs being as effective as the regular spinners on the track.
- Stoinis and Head stitch a recovery before Bumrah spoils the fun
Contrary to the popular narrative and what Steve Smith’s reaction from the pavilion suggested, Marcus Stoinis and Travis Head did stitch a recovery for Aussies. At one point, it looked doubtful whether Australians would be able to play 50 overs or not, but thanks to the partnership, Australia did manage to play their quota of 50 overs, however they couldn’t get as many runs as they would have liked. Jasprit Bumrah, India’s death-over specialist, came to his own not conceding a single boundary in his last spell. In fact, boundaries dried up in the last 10, which meant momentum was definitely on India’s side at the innings break.
- Rohit-Rahane amidst runs
After Rohit got going (initially he struggled, since the ball was not pitched up in his arc) and Rahane showed his technical brilliance the 243 runs chase looked apparently easy. Rahane’s 4th consecutive 50 plus total and Rohit’s 14th ODI Hundred were brilliant display of stroke making and timing. Pat Cummins looked impressive, however he, clearly, ran out of support. Kane Richardson was missed once the opening spell of the strike bowlers Cummins and Coulter Nile was over.
After the ODI series, both the teams will feature in the shortest format of the game in a 3 match series, the first of which will be played at MS Dhoni’s home, Ranchi, on Saturday, 7 October, 7:00 PM Live from the JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi