India to clash with Australia in 5th ODI on March 13

Lynette Rowe
March 14, 2019

Rohit Sharma, labouring his way to 56 off 89 balls, saw four of his teammates succumb to Australian bowlers' discipline, before he himself lost focus dancing down the track to Zampa, only to lose his wicket and his bat in the process.

In what was their last game before the showpiece event in United Kingdom, the Indian innings folded for 237, exactly in 50 overs while chasing a 273-run target.

Reflecting on how Australia had found the right balance, albeit with a combination of circumstances dating back to the bans on Steven Smith and David Warner, and then more recently an injury to Marcus Stoinis that allowed Turner his chance, Finch reflected on the fact that the selectors had looked for a better combination of heavy hitters and strike rotators, namely Peter Handscomb and Usman Khawaja.

For India, the recently concluded ODI series against Australia has been nothing less than a nightmare.

Kohli's comments are in stark contrast to what he had said before the first T20 against Australia at Vizag last month, where he had specifically asked his World Cup-bound players to not alter their games to suit the frenetic needs of the IPL.

The win is Australia's first since they hosted Pakistan in January 2017, snapping a streak of six consecutive series defeats - Australia's worst run of all-time.

The Australian spin trio of Adam Zampa (3/46), Nathan Lyon (1/34) and part-timer Glenn Maxwell (0/34) kept the Indian batsmen on a tight leash.

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But when Khawaja and Maxwell fell to nearly identical dismissals - caught at cover by Virat Kohli - and Handscomb followed close behind, the momentum stalled with Australia dropping to 7/229 in the 46th over.

Sharma and Kohli added 53 runs for the second wicket at quick pace. Handscomb and Khawaja's plan against the spinners was simple - whenever the ball was pitched up, they went for sweep and the duo went about their business in a measured manner, taking their team past the 150-run mark by the 27th over. However, Richardson took 19 runs off Jasprit Bumrah's ninth over and got together for a crucial stand 34 runs for the eighth wicket, helping Australia to a good total, which eventually proved enough. "I think they (Smith and Warner) come back into the squad, but whether they play or not is not a done deal".

Australian skipper Aaron Finch had earlier won the toss and opted to bat first in the series decider.

India mounted a comeback after that, with Jadeja removing Maxwell, caught by Kohli at extra cover, while Shami removed the well-set Handscomb for 52.

Jadeja, who replaced Yuzvendra Chahal, made a strong case for himself for inclusion in the World Cup squad with figures of 10-0-45-2.

The three confidence-building victories came after Australia had won just four of their past 26 completed one-dayers. He was dismissed for 57 runs.

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