Hardik Pandya blitz propels India to series win vs hapless Australia
Hardik Pandya’s 78, combined with fifties from Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, gave India a five-wicket win over Australia in the Indore ODI which helped them secure a series win over the side from Down Under for the third straight time.india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 24, 2017 23:26 IST
Hardik Pandya had turned India’s fortunes around with a spectacular knock in the first ODI in Chennai. In Indore, he proceeded to hurt them in a big way as he blasted 78. (India vs Australia 3rd ODI Highlights)
His knock, combined with fifties from Rohit Sharma (71) and Ajinkya Rahane (70), meant Aaron Finch’s century went in vain as India beat Australia by five wickets with 13 balls to spare at the Holkar Stadium on Sunday.
This result for the Indian cricket team created plenty of records in the process. (India vs Australia 3rd ODI Full Scorecard)
It was the first time in a bilateral ODI series that India had secured three straight wins over Australia.
The win in Indore also meant that India had secured a hat-trick of series wins against Australia, having earlier won in 2010 and 2013. The four-wicket win took their tally of wins at the Holkar Stadium to 5-0.
Maturity and aggression
Pandya’s foundation for this knock was built by a blazing opening partnership of 139 by Rohit and Rahane. Chasing 294, Rohit started off aggressively while Rahane calmly scored at a good pace.
Rohit went after the Australian bowling and dealt primarily in sixes. One particular hit off Kane Richardson went out of the Holkar Stadium and it was measured at 103 meters.
Rohit notched up his 33rd fifty and Rahane joined him with his second successive fifty.
Both Rohit and Rahane departed in quick succession but Pandya counter-attacked. He targeted the left-arm spin of Ashton Agar by launching him for a couple of sixes.
His 56-run stand with skipper Virat Kohli put India on course but Kohli fell to Agar for 28.
Australia struck back with the wicket of Kedar Jadhav (2) but Pandya, playing for the first time in the No.4 spot, played with maturity.
He found an able ally in Manish Pandey and the duo stitched another fifty-run stand to boost India.
Pandya seized upon the opportunity to blast four boundaries in the 45th over as Marcus Stoinis gave away 20 runs. In trying to finish off the match, Pandya was caught at mid-on.
Pandey scored the winning runs as India sealed the deal in grand style.
Finch ton in vain
Earlier, Australia opted to bat and started off well with Finch and David Warner scoring aggressively. The left-handed Warner looked good for a big score but Pandya castled him with an off-cutter. However, Finch continued on his merry ways and he found an able ally in Steve Smith.
Finch, who had missed the first two ODIs, notched up his fifty off 61 balls when he slammed Yuzvendra Chahal straight down the ground for a boundary. After reaching his milestone, the 30-year-old raised the tempo.
He breezed through to his eighth century and second against India when he swept Kuldeep Yadav for a boundary to fine leg.
At the other end, Smith was untroubled by Kuldeep and Chahal as he maintained a steady scoring rate as Australia stared at a big total.
However, the 152-run stand was broken when Finch departed for 124 when he was caught at deep midwicket while Smith miscued the lofted shot to be caught at long off.
The wickets of Smith and Finch at a crucial juncture handed India the momentum as they gave away just 59 runs in the last 10 overs.
The discipline shown by India at the death laid the platform for the batsmen who chased down the total with relative ease.