India vs Australia: Series Decider

In the decider, the highlight will be on Glenn Maxwell who has produced two good innings and two low scores in the series. Aaron Finch will be eyeing for more runs to prove that he is finally coming back to form. India have a settled side but will again want their middle order to contribute more as they play their last ODI before the 2019 World Cup that starts in June.

India vs Australia: Series Decider India vs Australia: Series Decider Source : AFP Photo


The fifth and final ODI between India and Australia will be played at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi. Australia are currently standing at fifth position in ICC ODI Men's ranking but they have beaten India thrice in the seven ODI's they have played this year, once in Australia, and twice in India this series.


India and Australia enter the decider locked 2-2 in the series. The first match in Hyderabad was won by India on the back of match winning innings by Kedhar Jadhav and MS Dhoni who had an unbeaten partnership of 141 runs after being 99/4 at one stage of the chase. Player of the Match Kedar Jadhav bowled seven economic overs and then backed it up with a calculated innings of 81 as India won the match by six wickets.
Australia fought well with the ball but they were 25-30 runs short which allowed Dhoni and Kedar to play cautiously as they rebuilt the innings.


In the second match in Nagpur, Australia bowled well to restrict India to a sub-par total of 250. Pat Cummins bowled with excellent control and finished with 4 for 29. Virat Kohli shepherded India by his 40th ODI century and won Player of the Match. Australia started the chase well but none of the starts were converted to big, match winnings scores. Kuldeep Yadav's 3 for 54 stalled Australia's innings in the middle overs while Jasprit Bumrah got rid of the tail to finish with excellent figures of 2 for 29 in his 10 overs. Shankar played a fine innings at 5 and was called up by Kohli to defend 11 runs in the last over. He took two wickets, including the big one of Marcus Stoinis on the first ball as India won the nail-biting match by 8 runs.


Aaron Finch finally found some form in the third match at Ranchi as he missed out on a hundred when he was found lbw against Kuldeep at 93. Player of the match Usman Khawaja scored his maiden ODI hundred as he cruised to 104 off 113. Maxwell's 47 off 31 and Stoinis's 31 off 26 pushed Australia's final total to 313 which proved more than enough at Ranchi's surface which got difficult to bat on as the match progressed. Australia won the third game by a margin of 32 runs, dismissing India in the 48th over. Virat Kohli top scored with 123 off just 95 balls in a scintillating innings which brought his 41st hundred but went in vain as he watched the carnage unfold at the other end finding no significant support from his team. The middle order got starts but the second top score of 32 by Shankar gave enough clue as no one could survive the disciplined fast bowling of Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson and attacking leg-spin of Adam Zampa who took three wickets each.


The fourth ODI at Chandigarh proved to be even more exciting than the second one. Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first on a flat batting wicket. There were form concerns before the match for the swashbuckling opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan who put all doubts to rest with their stand of 193 for the first wicket. Rohit missed out on a century as he mistimed a pull straight to Peter Handscomb at deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Jhye Richardson. At one point, India were 254 for 1 in 37.3 overs, with the total of 400 looking very much possible. When Shikhar Dhawan got dismissed for his highest score in ODIs, after smashing 143 off 115, the young middle order had the perfect platform to prove their mettle in the absence of MS Dhoni. But Cummins and Jhye Richards came back at the death to pull the strings on India as they finished with five and three wickets each, respectively. They were expensive but they managed to restrict India to 358 as they conceded only 104 in the last 75 balls which gave them the much needed momentum going into the innings break.


Yet, 359 was still a daunting total however good the pitch maybe. Against the bowling line-up of India, Bumrah and Kuldeep already in the team with both Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Yuzavendra Chahal returning, what was to be Australia's highest successful chase proved even more challenging. To put salt on their wounds, Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, both key to the chase, were dismissed in single figures by India's strike bowlers. At 12 for 2, India looked set to win the game and series. Handscomb and Khawaja put on a 194 run partnership in 30 overs to set the platform for the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner and Alex Carey. Only Maxwell, out of the three, was a proven player and the other two were early in their careers, Turner only playing his second ODI.


When Peter Handscomb holed out to Rahul in 42nd over off the bowling of Chahal after scoring 117 off 105, Australia still required 88 runs in 53 balls. Turner and Carey, both inexperienced being the last recognized batting pair. Seven of those to be bowled by the best white ball fast bowling pair in the world-Bumrah and Bhuvi, Australia's chances looked very slim and only an extraordinary innings, like James Faulkner's 64 off 29 in 2013, could snatch a victory from this situation against the best in the world.


And that's what happened. Ashton Turner ‘turned' the match on its head. He was being praised for ability to play against spinners by Matthew Hayden in the commentary box while he was rotating the strike with Handscomb. When Handscomb got dismissed, Turner didn't panic and kept backing himself to clear the boundary against the spinners. 45th over bowled by Bhuvaneshwar went for 22 runs which put Australia on the driving seat. Earlier, Pant had missed an easy stumping chance of Turner against the bowling of Chahal. The crowd started chanting "Dhoni, Dhoni" as they know that he doesn't miss out on anything behind the stumps, particularly against the spinners.


Next two overs went for 34. Australia sealed the chase inside 48 overs. Turner finished with 84 off 43 smashing five fours and six sixes. Carey scored 21 off 15 and together they scored 86 off just 39 deliveries. It was a stunning display of explosive batting in a run chase which happens frequently in t20 cricket but to do it in a one day game, away from home, against the second best team in the world is a historic achievement, making Australia's highest successful chase in ODIs ever.


In the decider, the highlight will be on Glenn Maxwell who has produced two good innings and two low scores. Aaron Finch will be eyeing for more runs to prove that he finally coming back to form. India will again look at their middle order in Pant, Shankar and Jadhav as they play their last ODI before the 2019 World Cup starts in June.



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