India were staring at an under-par score when Virat Kohli was dismissed for 63 in the third and final ODI between India and Australia at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday. However, a spectacular onslaught from Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja tilted the balance in favour of the visitors. Hardik Pandya ended unbeaten on 92, Ravindra Jadeja contributed with 66 off 50 balls and their partnership of 150 helped India register 302/5. The last seven overs of the Indian innings yielded 93 runs and this was Hardik Pandya’s highest individual ODI score.
In fact, this continued Hardik Pandya’s great run with the bat when it comes to ODIs in Australia. In seven previous ODIs against Australia, Hardik Pandya had scores of 83, 20, 78, 41, 48, 90 and 28. It was Hardik Pandya’s confidence that helped India recover and he was ably assisted by Ravindra Jadeja, who showed his all-round worth yet again for Team India
Sluggish top order
India won the toss and chose to bat in Canberra and there were changes to both teams. T Natarajan was given a debut while Shubman Gill and Kuldeep Yadav came into the side. Cameron Green came into the team to make his Australia debut while Pat Cummins was rested. Mitchell Starc suffered injuries to his back and rib as he was rested. With David Warner out, Marnus Labuschagne was going to open the batting.
Shikhar Dhawan fell cheaply. However, Virat Kohli got going with two boundaries off Cameron Green. Shubman Gill also showed his worth with two fours off Green but it was Virat Kohli who stole the show when he smashed 12000 runs in ODIs in just his 242nd innings, making him the fastest after Sachin Tendulkar. The landmark was achieved in a staggering 58 innings quicker than Tendulkar, which highlighted his class.
Just when a partnership was building, Ashton Agar trapped Shumban Gill LBW for 33. Shreyas Iyer struggled but he was dismissed for 19. When KL Rahul was dismissed for 5, it seemed India would struggle. Virat Kohli notched up his 60th fifty but once he was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood for the fourth consecutive time, it seemed India would not be able to cross 260-270.
Pandya, Jadeja prosper
After getting their eye in, it was Hardik Pandya who opened up with a couple of boundaries. Jadeja was giving him good support and under Pandya’s influence, even he started to open up. However, in the 46th over, Hardik Pandya smashed two fours and a six off Sean Abbott. Ravindra Jadeja smashed two sixes off Josh Hazlewood as India crossed 250.
Jadeja was in fine form as he smashed three fours and a six off Sean Abbott as India raced towards the 300-mark. Although Australia responded with a couple of good overs, India managed to reach 300 when Jadeja smashed a boundary in the third ball.