India clinched the three-match ODI series against Australia as they convincingly won the third match by seven wickets. The hosts’ limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma scored his 29th ODI century as he smashed 119 runs off 128 balls with the help of eight fours and six sixes. The right-hander was on song as he timed the ball to perfection.
India had to chase 287 runs and it is pivotal that they had a big partnership. Rohit added 69 runs with KL Rahul but once the latter was dismissed, it was imperative to get the alliance. Virat Kohli gave great support to Rohit Sharma and India’s two best batsmen delivered when it mattered the most in the series. Kohli and Rohit added 137 runs for the second wicket partnership before the latter mistimed the big shot.
Rohit was at his absolute best.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma had two ordinary scores in the first two matches and it was natural to note that he was hungry for a big score in the all-important decider. The right-hander batted at the top of his game and also brought 9000 ODI runs, to become the third-fastest ever.
Rohit Sharma said in the post-match presentation, “It was an important game, the decider, and we wanted to come out and enjoy ourselves. To keep that Australian batting under 290 was a great effort. Once KL got out, it needed nobody better than the captain himself. The talk we had in the middle was that one of us wanted to keep going. At no stage, did we want the momentum to go towards the opposition, I was middling the ball well, and I said I would be the one to take the chances. Days like this, if it comes off, it looks good. If we had lost a wicket in the middle, it would have been different”
On the other hand, Australia had a potent bowling line-up as their three Test-match fast bowlers (Starc, Hazlewood, and Cummins) simultaneously played in the third match. Rohit added that it was satisfying to get a big score. The Indian opener revealed the plan was to bat big till 35th or 36th over.
Rohit added, “Australia always comes up with a good bowling attack. Their fast bowlers always challenge you with their variety and skills. In the first two games, I was trying to do something different, and it didn’t come off. Today I just wanted to be there, and I was able to stay till 35th, 36th over.”
India will now tour to New Zealand where they will five T20I matches, two Test matches, and three One Day games.