Australia have already won the VB series 3-0, and in the fourth ODI, they took a 4-0 lead in the five-match series in Canberra. India are yet to turn around their fortune in ODI format. Since the Bangladesh tour, they have lost the series to Bangladesh, at home lost to South Africa and now in Australia; India are trailing 4-0.
Here are the five talking points of the fourth ODI at Manuka Oval, Canberra.
Aaron Finch’s hundred
Australia captain Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat first at Manuka Oval, Canberra. Opening duo – Aaron Finch and David, who was in the playing XI after two matches as he took paternity leave, built an 187 run partnership from 177 balls. That partnership laid out a perfect platform for the following batsmen. Aaron Finch scored his seventh career hundred and first against India. David Warner missed his century by seven runs. Finch’s 107 in as many balls played an instrumental role in Australia’s big total against India. Australia scored 348. Captain Steve Smith scored 29 balls 51 while Glenn Maxwell played his ‘natural’ shots against in the death overs as he scored 41 off 20 balls.
India’s death bowling
Indian bowlers took six wickets in the covers between 44 to 50. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma took three wickets and four wickets respectively. But, fall of Australian wickets in the death overs did not help India as Australia scored 60 runs in last five overs. Australia lost their first wicket in the 30th over and the second wicket in 38th over. So, with eight wickets in hand Australians went for big shots as they did not care about wickets. They tried to pile up as big as a total as possible.
Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli’s partnership
Australia posted a mammoth total on board. But, India started their well. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan scored 65 in the first wicket partnership. Rohit Sharma was looking solid and smashed Aussie hammer and tongs. But an edge of an outside leg stump delivery off Kane Richardson ended his promising innings. But, the flow of run chase was not hampered as Virat Kohli joined Shikhar Dhawan and battered Australian seamers as much as possible. They made the chase easy. Their batting at one point of the match made the chase look easy. Dhawan got his form back and scored an elegant126 while Virat Kohli scored 106.
India’s inexplicable collapse
But after Dhawan’s fall in the 38th over when India were on 277 suffered a big collapse. An easy chase which seemed would end in 40 overs became difficult for India as Australia bounced back in the match. Dhoni went for a duck. And with one more run added to India’s score Virat Kohli was gone. Dhoni’s departure made India hapless while Kohli’s departure nailed India’s defeat. India lost three wickets for just one run. India’s next six wickets for 45 runs. With Ajinkya Rahane injured, the only hope India had was Ravindra Jadeja. But the batsman lost his cool in the difficult situation and was as confused as a teenager on a first date. He on the first ball of the over took singles which exposed Umesh Yadav at the striking end for rest of the over. Captain Dhoni slammed Ravindra Jadeja as the spinner lacked communication skill.
Kane Richardson’s 5 wickets
For Australia, Kane Richardson was battered throughout the match. But, in the slog overs, he pulled Australia back in the match. Richardson gave Australia first breakthrough in the form of Rohit Sharma. He also triggered the collapse when he sent back Kohli while John Hastings took the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan and MS Dhoni. These three wickets pushed miles away from the victory. Australian got back in the with match as Ajinkya Rahane was injured. India could not do much. Richardson took three more wickets – Rahane, Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Mitchell Marsh, who was feeling uncomfortable, bowled the last overs, and he got the wickets of Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma. This big collapse drew flak for India from every corner.