Author : Nishit Nakar
If the Eastern coast of India was hit by a storm a few days back, the Australian team felt the effects in the Sawai Man Singh Stadium tonight as India cantered past a total of 359 with 39 balls to spare and with 9 wickets left in hand. In a magnificent display of batting, the Indian top order of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli flayed the Australian bowling to all parts of the ground as India made a mockery of the huge Australian total.
Earlier, Australia won the toss and elected to bat and the Australian batsmen delivered some body blows at the Indian bowling to notch up a total past the 350 mark. The openers Phil Hughes and Aaron Finch set the platform with yet another superb opening partnership but it was the one between the skipper George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell that shredded the Indian bowling to pieces.
They attacked the bowlers from the word go and India leaked 96 in 8.3 overs and 132 in the last ten. Not only did the Australian batsmen take their chances against a weak Indian bowling, all the batsmen in the top five ended up with fifties – a feat that happened for the first time in the ODIs.
The Indian bowlers looked clueless with only Bhuvneshwar Kumar managing to salvage some pride.
The failure from the bowlers meant that the Indian batsmen were again faced with an uphill task of chasing down a 300 plus score – a feat that they have never achieved before against Australia.
But then, this is the new Team India. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma started off steadily but unleashed themselves on some ordinary Aussie bowling. The Australians, buoyed by their success with the short pitch deliveries in the last ODI, kept pitching it half way down the track, only to see Sharma and Dhawan pull them for boundaries.
Dhawan and Sharma went on a rampage, with the left-hander looking in dangerous form. The duo put on 176 runs and broke the long standing record of 175 runs by Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly for the highest opening partnership against Australia.
Dhawan went back after a delightful 95 but that marked the arrival of Virat Kohli, who got off the blocks real quick and took the Australian bowling by the scruff of the neck. He not only came out charging but also broke Virender Sehwag’s record of the fastest ODI hundred by an Indian. Virat Kohli raced to his 100 in just 52 balls eclipsing Sehwag’s effort of 62 deliveries.
However, it was the man of the match, Rohit Sharma, who notched up his 3rd ODI hundred and played the knock of the match. On his way to an unbeaten 141 from 123 deliveries, Sharma hit 17 fours and 4 sixes to break a drought of 59 games without a three figure score.
The Australian bowlers looked listless in front of the Kohli-Sharma onslaught as the duo added an unbeaten 186 runs in just 17.2 overs.
The series is now square at 1-1 and the next match will take place on the 19th of this month in Mohali.