Kohli Ton Goes in Vain, Australia Beat India by 32 Runs at Ranchi
- Australia beat India by 32 runs in the third ODI of the five-match series at Ranchi.
- India lead 2-1 in the series, having won the first two games at Hyderabad and Nagpur, respectively.
- MS Dhoni has been rested for the last two ODIs.
- India next play Australia in Chandigarh on 10 March.
It was an emotional day at the JSCA stadium in Ranchi on Friday, 8 March.
On a day when MS Dhoni may have played his last international game on his home ground, the Indian team decided to don camouflage caps as a gesture of respect for the Indian Armed Forces.
Unfortunately, the result of India’s third One Day International against Australia went against the hosts’ favour.
After Usman Khawaja's hundred and Aaron Finch's 93 saw Australia put up 313 for five, India managed just 281 in 48.2 overs, that too solely due to captain Virat Kohli's 41st ODI century.
Another Kohli Century
Kohli smashed a 123 off 95 balls but lacked adequate support from the other end as Australia kept the five-match series alive going into the fourth game in Chandigarh on 10 March.
During his knock, which was marked by 16 fours and a six, Kohli scored his first 50 off 52 balls and the next 50 off just 33 balls. En route to his hundred, he became the quickest to complete 4,000 ODI runs as captain. The Indian skipper’s century also came at the back of his 116 in the ODI in Nagpur, marking the 9th time he had scored hundreds in consecutive ODIs.
However Adam Zampa (3/70), by far the most impactful Aussie bowler, yorked the Indian skipper after having accounted for wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26). He did get hit but would any day take wickets of Kohli, Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav (26) in return.
Kohli had three significant partnerships – 59 with Dhoni for the fourth wicket, 88 with Jadhav for the fifth wicket and 45 with Vijay Shankar for the sixth – but none good enough to take India across the line.
Shikhar Dhawan (1), Rohit Sharma (14) and Ambati Rayudu (2) were dismissed cheaply as India was left tottering at 27 for three and it was always a difficult task from there on.
Dhawan's slash was grabbed by Glenn Maxwell at point while Cummins angled one to trap Rohit Sharma plumb in-front.
Rayudu, not the most reliable player against quality fast bowlers, was beaten for pace by Cummins, who pegged his off-stump back.
After winning the toss, Indian pacers covered up commendably for a rare off-day endured by the spinners as visitors were restricted to 313 for five despite a 193-run opening stand between skipper Finch and Khawaja.
Khawaja (104, 113 balls) scored his maiden ODI ton while Finch (93, 99 balls) chose this particular match to get back to form. Maxwell (47 off 31 balls) also contributed with lusty blows.
The Indian spinners – Ravindra Jadeja (0/64 in 10 overs) and Kedar Jadhav (0/32 in 2 overs) – were carted all around the park.
Kuldeep Yadav (3/64 in 10 overs), however, redeemed himself at the back-end of the innings.
The trio gave away 160 runs in 22 overs and it was left to Jasprit Bumrah (0/53) and Mohammed Shami (1/52 in 10 overs) to maintain the discipline during the final overs as the total could have gone close to the 350-run mark.
In the final 10 overs, Australia could score only 69 runs, despite being 244 for two after 40 overs, courtesy Bumrah and Shami who bowled 64 dot balls between them.
The fielding on the day was also way below par as Dhawan, at square leg, dropped Khawaja, who tried a reverse sweep, while batting on 17 off Jadeja's bowling.
Kohli, Kedar and Bumrah were all guilty of slip-ups on the field which also released the pressure on the visitors.