- Sinchan Saha | March 22, 2023 | 5:45 pm
IND vs AUS, 3rd ODI: Australia 269 all out (Marsh 47, Hardik 3-44, Kuldeep 3-56) beat India 248 (Kohli 54, Zampa 4-45) by 21 runs
Australia took over as No. 1 ODI ranking and shattered India’s four-year home series win streak with a thrilling victory in Chennai in front of 269. When Australia won the toss, they bet everything and chose to bat on a dry, soft surface, risking the dew. In the powerplay, they attacked the new ball but kept attacking, leading to a lot of starts but not fifty.
After that, despite India’s quick start, the bowlers kept going. Their two spinners, Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, took six wickets each to bring India back to 65 for 0 and 146 for 2. The fact that Marcus Stoinis replaced Cameron Green as Australia’s fifth bowler made the defence even more impressive. Stoinis, on the other hand, was a revelation, bowling 9.1 overs for 43 runs and a wicket.
The progression of both innings was similar: a quick start to get the most out of the powerplay and new ball, followed by pitching tricks and some aggressive actions taken by batters that led to dismissals that looked soft. Perhaps the most uncharacteristic was Virat Kohli’s run-out to long-off in Ashton Agar’s final over after scoring the match’s only half-century. Hardik Pandya scored quickly at the other end, and the run-a-ball was required.
Suryakumar Yadav’s third consecutive golden duck and Kohli’s dismissal left India needing 85 runs off 88 with four wickets remaining. Pandya, who had previously pulled Australia back from a quick start with figures of 8-0-44-3, appeared to be India’s last hope, but he also chose the big shot over playing deep. With 52 required off 39, his struggle against Zampa won him the tail. Even Ravindra Jadeja struggled with a Zampa error, leaving the tail at an unlikely 45 to get off 29. He had to do all the scoring himself.
These risks were unusual for India in that they came from both sides and occurred at times when the asking rate was under control
The pitch appeared to have rushed up under the lights when Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma scored 65 runs in 9.1 overs. The pitch had little to do with the first two wickets. Gill got his pad in the way of Zampa’s drifting half-volley after Rohit fell trying to take advantage of the last powerplay over.
However, even when Agar turned some balls alarmingly across the right-hand batters, Kohli batted beautifully to go at a run-a-ball without taking any risks. There was no panic even when Kohli and KL Rahul went eight overs without a boundary. After that, Rahul surged ahead of Zampa and Mitchell Starc with a six, two fours, and a six.
Now it seemed like the plan was for Kohli to lead the chase, and the other end would go after big hits. One of these hits came from Rahul’s toe and went long-on. Axar Patel was advanced and was promptly run out on account of splendid handling from Steve Smith and keeping from Alex Carey.
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Pandya again quieted the pursuit somewhere near hitting a six and a four in the initial five balls he confronted. Pandya scored quickly at the other end, so perhaps Kohli didn’t have to start going. Particularly in the final over of the perilous Agar. However, he went ahead and did so, perhaps in order to score some runs before the extra fielder left in the final 10.
Although Australia’s batsmen may be asking themselves similar questions, they had more variety in their batting than India did. They were also unaware of the required total.
Even though the first puff of surface dust could be seen as early as the fourth over, Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head were successful in maximizing the power play when it first began. India’s first over without a boundary came in the sixth over, when they needed to add spin. Head kept finding square areas on the wicket, and Marsh was brutal. However, once spin started, it became clear that scoring outside of the powerplay would have to slow down, and Australia ended up going 61 for 0.
The introduction of Pandya sparked immediate halts. Head found deep third with an uppercut, Smith drove on the up, but the cross-seam delivery moved away after pitching to take his edge, and Marsh continued to play for the first time in the series to be struck out for under 50.
Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner, who was only playing in the middle order for the second time in his ODI career, appeared to finally enter accumulation mode, but it didn’t last long. They took Kuldeep Yadav on after Jadeja bowled accurately, preventing them from scoring runs.
Despite the fact that one top-edged trudge clear from Labuschagne went for six simply because the defender was in off the rope, the two continued to assault. Labuschagne holed out to long-off, both against the spin, and Warner found long-off while attempting to hit over long-on.
Australia kept attacking, even though they were 138 for 5 in the 29th over. Carey and Stoinis, on the other hand, did it in a different way by sweeping and reverse-sweeping. Carey hit a free hit for a six after receiving a no-ball for violating field rules. Stoinis and Carey began to take greater risks, presumably to take advantage of the remaining overs before an additional fielder returned. Stoinis chose long-on toward the finish of the 37th over. Carey got lucky with his flashing blade in the next over, but in the 39th over, a big turn from Kuldeep bowled him. In 53 legal deliveries, the two added 58 more.
Australia, with seven runs down before the 40th over, were once more in danger of over-aiming and ultimately scoring poorly. However, Sean Abbott led the lower order with 26 runs off 23 hits, while Nos. 9, 10, and 11 scored 17, 10, and 10 runs without being hit. 22 were added by the last wicket. By a score of 21, Australia prevailed.