Australia pulled off one of their biggest victories in One-Day-International against India as the visitors chased down hosts’ 358 for 9 with four-wicket in hand and 13 balls remaining in Mohali on Sunday (March 10).
Peter Handscomb (117), Usman Khawaja (91) and Ashton Turner’s unbeaten 84 off 43 helped Australia to level the ODI series with the fifth and final ODI will be played in New Delhi on March 13.
Earlier, India captain Virat Kohli winning the toss opted to bat first and set a mammoth 359 runs target for Australia. The hosts got off to an outstanding start as opening duo Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan forged 193 runs partnership between them to set the tone of India’s innings.
While Rohit scored 95 Dhawan saw himself returning to form with his blitzkrieg 143. However, following their dismissals Indian middle order failed to capitalize on the good start as Australia’s Pat Cummins kept taking wicket in regular intervals with Jhye Richardson chipped in with a three-wicket haul.
While commencing the chase Australia got off to a nightmarish start as lost they lost wicket of captain Aaron Finch in the fourth delivery of first over as Bhuvneshwar delivery uprooted his stumps. In the fourth over, India picked up another. This time the victim was Shaun Marsh and the bowler was local lad Jasprit Bumrah.
However, a 192-run fourth wicket partnership between Khawaja and centurion Handscomb changed the complexion of the match. A chase, which was once looking was impossible for Australia, became a successful one for Australia which was their second successive win in the series.
However, dismissal of Glenn Maxwell by Kuldeep Yadav kept the pressure building on Australia. However, Turner’s 43-ball 84 appeared to be the game changer of late.
Turner was hitting Indian bowlers across the park and was looking fluent with the willow in hand. In front of his absolute stroke play Indian bowlers looked clueless.
This defeat will definitely affect the morale of India before going into the series decider. At the same time, buoyant Australia will look to break the jinx of their two consecutive ODI series defeat to India.
However, India will not let the chance of finishing their campaign on a high note before the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.