Australia beat India by 35 runs to clinch ODI series in India after 9 years

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Australia defeated India by 35-run in the fifth and final ODI of the series to clinch the series 3-2 at New Delhi on Wednesday. This was also India’s first home series defeat at home in 50 overs format after 2015-16 when South Africa won the ODI series in India 3-2.

In reply to Australia’s 272, India were decimated for 237 as Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson and Marcus Stoinis ripped through their batting attack by taking two-wicket each. At the same time, leg-spinner Adam Zampa picked up three to notch a historic win for Australia, their first in India after 2010 when they defeated India 4-2.

Among the Indian batsmen, only Rohit Sharma scored a half-century while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kedar Jadhav scored 46 and 44 respectively. Their removal in back to back delivery ended India’s hope of making a comeback in the game.

Meanwhile, Australia won their first ODI series against India in their last three attempts. Earlier this year, India defeated Australia 2-1 Down Under. So, it is a big boost for the Aussies before they travel to Pakistan for another five-match ODI series before they move to England for the 2019 World Cup.

Notwithstanding, the series defeat will affect the morale of Indian players as this was their last series before the World Cup in England and Wales begins. India’s defeat in three consecutive matches raised a few key questions that they will have to sort out before the quadrennial event begins on May 30.

In the meantime, India now became the only side to lose an ODI series of five or more matches on two occasions after leading the series 2-0.

Earlier, India skipper Virat Kohli winning the toss decided to bowl first as Australia set a 273 runs daunting target for the hosts at a sluggish Feroz Shah Kotla pitch.

Riding on Usman Khawaja’s 100 runs innings and small contributions from rest of the team made sure their bowlers have enough in the bank to defend. Though Indian bowlers did a commendable job their batsmen failed to address the challenge posed by an accurate bowling attack of Australia.

While Khawaja hit his second ton of the series Peter Handscomb, the centurion of fourth ODI, played another 52-run knock.

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