Even though the hosts already had the series in the bag, it’s never a dead rubber when India and Australia take on each other. The 4th ODI at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru turned out to be a closely fought contest. Finally, the Australians got the result they were after and achieved the first victory on the tour.
Initially, Steve Smith won the second toss on the trot and once again, opted to bat. The openers David Warner and Aaron Finch didn’t have to face Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah this time around as the duo was rested for the game. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami were brought in for the game and even though they extracted some swing, the batsmen handled them beautifully.
Finch took most of the strike earlier on while Warner cashed in on the limited opportunities. Without any hiccups, the score reached 63 after 10 overs and once more, the two batsmen built a solid platform. Both were striking neck to neck and got to their individual half-centuries and a century partnership was brought up as well.
The Indian spinners, who had been picking up wickets during the middle overs, didn’t prove to be effective this time around. Finch took the back seat while Warner ran away in the 4th gear. The left-hander reached his hundred and made his 100th ODI appearance special. The score went past 200 in the 32nd over and Australia were in a great position to get a huge score.
Another collapse scare
India finally struck in the 35th over when Kedar Jadhav accounted for the wicket for 124 off 119 balls as a tremendous partnership of 231 ended. In the next over, Finch too had to make his way back to the pavilion as Umesh Yadav credited his wicket for 94. The skipper Smith too fell soon for 3 as Umesh bagged his 2nd wicket.
It seemed as if Australia would crumble again and fall short of the desired target. Travis Head and Peter Handscomb added 63 runs for the 4th wicket before Head fell in the 47th over to Umesh. Handscomb too departed courtesy Umesh again. Marcus Stoinis’s cameo took the side to 334/5 at the end of the innings.
The Mumbaikars were at it again
India’s chase had a similar pattern as Australia’s as the openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma began on a positive note. Where Rahane found the boundaries with grounded strokes, Rohit too the aerial route to collect runs. The score reached 65 after 10 overs and the run-chase was well and truly underway.
Rahane reached his 3rd fifty on the trot and Rohit also followed the footsteps of his partner as the century partnership came in the 17th over. Rahane tried to go big but held out to long-on off the bowling of Kane Richardson and went back for 53. Rohit was looking set for a big one but a confusion in running between the wickets with Virat Kohli resulted in him getting run-out for 65 in the 23rd over as India were in a slight spot of bother at 135/2.
Kohli chopped one onto his stumps off Coulter-Nile to walk back for 21 in the 25th over. Hardik Pandya, who was promoted to bat at No.4 again, found a good company in the form of Kedar Jadhav as the duo took the charge to the opposition. They added 78 runs for the 4th wicket before Pandya fell to Zampa for 41 in the hunt to clear the fence.
Australia hung on
At 225/4 in the 38th over, Manish Pandey walked in to bat at No.5 and kept the hopes alive alongside Jadhav. After a stand of 61 runs, Jadhav got out for 67 in the 46th over as the required rate crept up. To make the matters worse, Pandey was castled by Pat Cummins for 33 in the 47th over.
It was all up to MS Dhoni from then on. He tried to farm the strike and looked for big strokes when 40 runs were required in the last 3 overs. He managed to clear the fence just once and got bowled by Richardson in the 48th over. It was the last nail in the coffin as Australia tightened the screws on the tail-enders to inflict the first win of the series by 21 runs.
Australia won the toss and opted to bat first
Australia: 334/5 in 50 overs
David Warner 124, Aaron Finch 94
Umesh Yadav 71/4, Kedar Jadhav 38/1
India: 313/8 in 50 overs
Kedar Jadhav 67, Rohit Sharma 65
Kane Richardson 58/3, Nathan Coulter-Nile 56/2
Australia won by 21 runs
Player of the Match: David Warner