Australia’s recent batting woes once again came back to haunt them as India won the series-decider by six wickets to seal the series 2-1. This is India’s first bilateral ODI series Down Under. After the game, Australia skipper Aaron Finch rued missed chances as MS Dhoni got two reprieves before taking India home.
Batting first, Australia were all out for a modest 230. Yuzvendra Chahal starred with the ball, picking up a career-best 6 for 42 to put India well on top. Asked to bat first, Australia were off to a poor start once again, losing their openers – Alex Carey and Aaron Finch – for just 27 runs on the board. In-form duo Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja then shared 73-runs for the third wicket to put the innings back on track.
However, Chahal dismissed both of them to reduce Australia to 101 for 4. Peter Handscomb waged a lone battle from thereon, scoring 58 but failed to little support as Australia were all out for just 230.
In reply, India were off to a poor start too, losing Rohit Sharma for just 5. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli then steadied the ship, taking the score past 50 before Marcus Stoinis dismissed the opener. At the time of Dhawan’s dismissal, the score was just 59 in the 17th over. With Australian bowlers giving nothing away, Kohli and MS Dhoni were finding it tough to accelerate. The game was then thrown wide open when Jhye Richardson accounted for Kohli to reduce India to 113 for 3 in the 30th over.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 18, 2019
However, the ever-green Dhoni scored his third consecutive fifty of the series and shared an unbeaten partnership of 121 runs with Kedar Jadhav to take India home in the last over. Dhoni scored 87 while Jadhav scored 61.
Speaking after the game, Aaron Finch lauded his side for the fight but rued the failure to not make the chances count.
“We took it down to the wire. When you give some great players a couple of chances, it always hurts. The way the boys attacked the defence there, gave it everything. Dropped a few chances but that happens. Our batting in the first couple of games was very good. Today maybe we got impatient, looking at something much higher than what the wicket allowed. Maybe we should have set our targets lower on those sort of pitches,” Aaron Finch said.