Fourth ODI washed out, leaves India in a spot

Ranchi, Oct 23 (IANS) The fourth One-day International (ODI) between India and Australia here Wednesday was called off due to rain, making it harder for the hosts to fight back in the seven-match series they trail 1-2.

India were 27 for no loss in 4.1 overs chasing Australia's 295 for eight when rain stopped play at the JSCA International Stadium. The weather cleared after a couple of hours but the umpires decided the ground was too wet to carry on.

"It depended on the first 15 overs, if we didn't lose too many wickets the wicket would have become better to bat on," said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni when asked about the target.

Australia did well to put up 295 for eight, thanks to another captain's innings from George Bailey (98 off 94 balls) and a blazing knock from Glen Maxwell (92 off 77).

Bailey is in red hot form in the series having scored 43, 92 and 84 in the earlier games. He and Maxwell shared a 153-run stand in quick time to set the foundation for a competitive total.

James Faulkner (23 not out) and Mitchell Johnson (25) took the team close to 300. The home team was sloppy on the field, dropping five catches.

India put the opposition in to bat amid overcast conditions.

A struggling Ishant Sharma was dropped along with fellow pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whose axe came as a surprise.

Their replacements Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat did not let the team down.

Shami struck thrice to put Australia on the back foot at 32 for three, ending with figures of three for 42 in eight overs. Unadkat conceded 31 runs in six overs.

Though it would be tough for India to win the series after the no result here, Australia won't be able to displace them from the top of the ODI rankings. Australia needed to win 6-1 in the series to become the number one team.

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