Trailing 2-0 in the three match ODI series, the Virat Kohli led Indian side took the field at Canberra knowing a loss in the final ODI could result in a whitewash by the Australians. However, that was not meant to be as Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja guided India to their first victory of the Australian tour.
Proud of this team. 🇮🇳 We march forward. On to the T20s 💪 pic.twitter.com/kDFutw1B3R
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 2, 2020
Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. There were a host of changes for both sides as the teams decided to test their bench in the dead rubber. Shubman Gill and T. Natarajan were handed their debuts and Shardul Thakur was another addition to the eleven.
“We will bat first. Looks a nice wicket and the last time we played here it was a really good wicket to bat on. Want to bat well and put the opposition under pressure. Need to improve the body language in the field and the bowling as well. It’s a result of us not being consistent in the last two games, we are gonna try a few things tonight and see how it goes,” said Virat Kohli after winning the toss.
India off to a careful start
The Indian team got off to a careful start in the final ODI at Canberra scoring 81 runs for the loss of just one wicket in the opening 15 overs. Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed in the sixth over by Sean Abbott, after he was got by Agar at covers. Virat Kohli brought up his 12,000 ODI runs in the 13th over and became the fastest man to reach the milestone.
Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill steadied the ship and were having a good time in the middle when Shubman Gill was adjudged LBW in the 16th over, the score reading 84 for the loss of 2 wickets.
Wickets keep tumbling for the visitors
Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli were doing well in the middle, rotating strike and finding occasional boundaries. Adam Zampa dismissed Shreyas Iyer in the 23rd over and India were 3 down for a score of 114. Agar struck in the 25th over as he dismissed Lokesh Rahul for a score of just five runs, ending his disastrous series with the bat.
Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli got some sort of momentum building but it was not long before a brilliant DRS review by Australia sent the Indian captain back into the pavilion. Kohli registered a score of 63 and India were reeling at 152 for the loss of five wickets.
Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja guide India to a score of over 300 runs
Hardik Pandya displayed his class with the bat once again by scoring an unbeaten 92 of just 76 runs. He was joined by Ravindra Jadeja who scored 66 runs in 50 balls and guided India to a total of 302 runs. The duo registered an unbeaten partnership of 150 runs and put India in the drivers seat going into the second innings.
Hardik Pandya was the initial aggressor but it was Ravindra Jadeja’s late flurry that turned the game on its head. The duo added 93 runs in the last seven overs.Sean Abbott was taken to all parts of the ground as he ended with figures of 84 runs and a wicket in his ten overs.
Aaron Finch registers third consecutive half century
In the absence of David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne opened the innings alongside Aaron Finch. However, Labuschagne’s stay at the crease was short lived as he was dismissed by debutant, T. Natarajan in only the sixth over. Steve Smith could not repeat his heroics this time around as he was dismissed for just seven runs by Shardul Thakur, with Lokesh Rahul making no mistake behind the stumps.
Aaron Finch hung around scoring his third consecutive half century and kept Australia in the game. Moises Henriques was dismissed by Thakur for a score of 22 runs. Australia’s chances of registering a clean sweep over India looked bleak after Finch was dismissed by Jadeja for a well made 75 runs. The score read 133 for the loss of 4 wickets at the end of 26 overs.
Glenn Maxwell’s heroics not enough to guide Australia past the finishing line
Glenn Maxwell played another crucial knock as he made 59 runs in just 38 balls to give Australia a chance to win the match. Agar and Maxwell had a crucial 58 run stand with the latter being the aggressor. But, Virat Kohli turned to his most important bowler, Jasprit Bumrah who knocked over Maxwell’s stumps and gave India a chance to win the match.
The wickets kept tumbling after that, with some good death bowling by Natarajan, Bumrah and Thakur. Australia were bowled out for a score of 289 runs, just 13 runs short of India’s target. Jasprit Bumrah and Natarajan took two wickets each and Shardul Thakur took three wickets in a good performance by the fast bowling unit.
Hardik Pandya was adjudged the man of the match for his brilliant performance with the bat and Steven Smith was handed the man of the series award after his two centuries in the first two ODIs. Australia clinched the series 2-1, but this win might act as a confidence booster for the Men in Blue going forward into the T20 series.