It was a treat to see two masters of the ODI run chase in action at Adelaide. The way Virat Kohli and later MS Dhoni paced their innings in what was a near 300 runchase was a masterclass for young batters, in the words of Australian coach Justin Langer.
Australia lost a couple of wickets early but the in-form Shaun Marsh kept chipping away. He was not looking in great rhythm to begin with. However, after he passed the 50-run mark, something clicked and he started timing the ball sweetly.
Shaun got good support from Glenn Maxwell towards the end of the innings as the two went hammer and tongs at the Indian bowlers for a period of around four overs. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar then worked this magic and dismissed both the set batsmen on consecutive deliveries.
This is what made a difference. Australia who could easily have got 330 were restricted to under 300.
In reply, Shikhar Dhawan got the team off to a flier and the match would have been done and dusted by 40th over if he had lasted a bit longer. Rohit Sharma also scored a breezy 40 but it was down to King Kohli who scored a terrific century despite looking a bit fatigued at the start.
Ambati Rayudu lived dangerously before perishing for 20 odd. MS Dhoni and Kohli then partnered and got the team close to the target before Kohli threw his wicket away and was caught by Glenn Maxwell In the deep.
Dinesh Karthik then played an underrated cameo as MS Dhoni clobbered the first ball of the last over for a six to see India through and level the series 1-1. The trophy would now be on the line at the MCG on January 18.
Australia- Aaron Finch, Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff
India- Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami
Cricket Betting Tips and Match Predictions*
Who will win? – India
Head to Head – ODIs: 130, Australia: 74, India: 46
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Rohit Sharma (India), Aaron Finch (Australia)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Kuldeep Yadav (India), Jhye Richardson (Australia)
Most Sixes – Rohit Sharma (India), Glenn Maxwell (Australia)
Team Scores Batting First – India 300+, Australia 280+
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
© Cricket World