Kuldeep Yadav hat-trick, Virat Kohli’s 92 slay Australia, India 2-0 up
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane scored a half-century each as India put up 252 in 50 overs. In reply, Australia were all out for 202 as Kuldeep Yadav took a hat-trick. India are 2-0 up in the five-ODI series.india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 21, 2017 23:32 IST
Time will tell whether the mystery around Kuldeep Yadav deepened after he took a hat-trick at Eden Gardens on Thursday but by then the second one-dayer against Australia had already swung India’s way. The Chinaman bowler’s feat, the second at Eden after Kapil Dev’s hattrick in 1991 and the third by an Indian, fast-forwarded India to their eighth successive ODI win. (India vs Australia 2nd ODI: HIGHLIGHTS)
There will be sterner tests ahead but in certain conditions this India team is not to be messed with. Not even after Australia’s bowlers showed commendable discipline and accuracy to suffocate them in their middle and late overs with the bat. Certainly not by an Australia team with questionable abilities against the turning ball. (India vs Australia 2nd ODI: Scorecard)
With the second ball of the 33rd over, Kuldeep Yadav felled Matthew Wade with a leg-break. Having lost Steve Smith earlier, it seemed to be going downhill for them anyway and then Ashton Agar was dismissed by a fuller leg-break. A googly followed two leg-spinners and all Pat Cummins could do was edge it to MS Dhoni. Just like it was for Smith in the IPL final, his team had come close to winning a match they eventually lost, this one by 50 runs.
Yadav ended with figures of 10-1-54-3 and to think that David Warner was gone before he had even started operations!
Bhuvi’s early strikes
That happened because Bhuvneshwar Kumar had got one to move away and Warner edged it to Ajinkya Rahane at third slip. After making 55 and being involved in a 102-run stand with skipper Virat Kohli, Rahane wouldn’t mind carrying the Eden Gardens to wherever he plays an ODI.
Kumar had earlier dismissed Hilton Cartwright with one that came in. That brought Smith to the crease and knowing they had restricted India to 252, he and Travis Head slowly rebuilt the innings. Head was given two lives but fell to a full toss from Yuzvendra Chahal. Glenn Maxwell played a cameo leaving Smith with all to do. When Australia were 138/5 after Smith fell to one that got big on him and Ravindra Jadeja turned super-sub with a diving effort, the target looked too steep despite Marcus Stoinis’ solo effort at the back end.
So, even though Virat Kohli missed a century on a pitch providing more assistance than Chennai, Australia showed lessons from the first one-dayer had been well learnt. This despite managing only five boundaries from the 37th over to the end.
Kohli fell on 92, foxed by one from Nathan Coulter-Nile that came back more than he expected. The sun having gone AWOL all week, it was appropriate that Eden looked its brightest when Kohli and Rahane were weaving a majestic tapestry of off-side shots.
That the cover-drive seemed Rahane’s bread-and-butter shot was proof of how well the Mumbaikar was playing. To the drives in the arc between cover and mid-off, Kohli added dabs that eased past slips and teased third man. And he pulled when Australia attempted chin music. Being in sole second spot with 31 ODI centuries seemed round the corner but he played on and India were ambushed.
It was nothing compared to what Yadav did though.