(By Chinmay Pagar)
Men in Blue are back on the winning track after just one loss as they won the 5th ODI against Australia by 7 wickets to seal the series 4-1. What can be descried as a “Ro-Hit Man Show”, the game turned out to be a cake-walk for the hosts while they were excepting a fight from Aussies after their performance in the 4thODI. With this win India have also recaptured their No. 1 rank in ODIs after a minor slip due to last game.
On a hot afternoon in Nagpur, Australia won the toss and decided to bat first. The track looked like it had everything for batsmen in it and Warner-Finch showed the same as they continued their great form. Australia had 60 runs on the scoreboard without any loss at the end of 10 overs. But once Pandya got rid of Finch, it was all same, old story for the Aussie middle order. KedarJadhav troubled Australia with his curious slingy bowling action and also picked up the wicket of Steve Smith who tried to sweep, unsuccessfully.
Axar Patel picked up wickets of warner and Handscomb in quick succession and Australia were now 118-4. Head and Stoinis tried to rebuild the innings with the partnership of 87 but they were always under pressure by India’s spin trio of Axar-Kupdeep-Kedar. Axar broke the partnership by dismissing Head on 42 and Bumrah removed Stoiniswho had scored 46. Indians picked up 3 wickets in last 5 overs to make sure there were no late fire-crackers by Aussies who finished with 242 on the board, a score which was way below the challenging target for mighty Indian batting line-up.
India’s opening pair was on fire again, as they put on yet another show of supreme batting to complete a 100+ stand, third consecutive century stand in the series. Rahane scored 4th consecutive half-century but Couler-Nile finally managed to break 124 run-partnership as he sent Rahane back. Rohit was playing one of his finest innings and completed his 14th ODI century. Rohit also completed his 6000 ODI runs in the process. Kohli was playing a second (Maybe third) fiddle in the partnership with Rohit, as they looked to finish the job on their own but both of them lost their wickets trying to finish in style. Kedar and Pandey finished the job without further troubles. Rohit played a brilliant knock of 125 off just 109 balls and was rightly awarded Man of the Match.
Hardik Pandya, a pace-bowling all-rounder, a rarity in India, won the award of Man of the Series for 222 runs in 4 innings and 6 wickets. India will now take on Australia in 3 T20Is from 7th October as they look to continue their domination over Aussies. It will be also interesting to see how The Kangaroos respond to this 4-1 series loss, as they look to improve their performances before The Ashes.
|David Warner c Manish Pandey b Axar Patel||53||62||5||0||85.48|
|Aaron Finch c Jasprit Bumrah b Hardik Pandya||32||36||6||0||88.88|
|Steven Smith (C) lbw b Kedar Jadhav||16||25||1||0||64|
|Peter Handscomb c Ajinkya Rahane b Axar Patel||13||17||0||0||76.47|
|Travis Head b Axar Patel||42||59||4||0||71.18|
|Marcus Stoinis lbw b Jasprit Bumrah||46||63||4||1||73.01|
|Matthew Wade (W) c Ajinkya Rahane b Jasprit Bumrah||20||18||0||1||111.11|
|James Faulkner run out (Hardik Pandya)||12||17||0||0||70.58|
|Pat Cummins not out||2||2||0||0||100|
|Nathan Coulter-Nile b Bhuvneshwar Kumar||0||1||0||0||0|
(b – 1, w – 3, no – 0, lb – 2, penalty – 0)
|Total||242 (4.84 runs per over)|
|Ajinkya Rahane lbw b Nathan Coulter-Nile||61||74||7||0||82.43|
|Rohit Sharma c Nathan Coulter-Nile b Adam Zampa||125||109||11||5||114.67|
|Virat Kohli (C) c Marcus Stoinis b Adam Zampa||39||55||2||0||70.9|
|Kedar Jadhav not out||5||8||1||0||62.5|
|Manish Pandey not out||11||11||2||0||100|
|MS Dhoni (W)|
(b – 0, w – 1, no – 0, lb – 1, penalty – 0)
|Total||243 (5.67 runs per over)|