Nagpur: Dominant performance from India saw them comfortably beat Australia in the final ODI of the five-match series at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday, thereby clinching the series 4-1. Chasing 243 to overcome Australia, the Men in Blue rode on the smashing innings of openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane and reached the target with 43 balls to spare and seven wickets in hand.
While Rahane missed on a well deserved century as he got out at 61 (74), Rohit struck his 14th ODI ton as he smashed a terrific 125 run inning to seal the victory for his team. The Mumbaikar smashed 5 sixes and 11 boundaries in his 109-ball knock.
After Rahane’s wicket, skipper Virat Kohli contributed with well rounded 35 runs and took India almost to home, before both him and and Rohit fell prey to Adam Zampa. Manish Pandey scored the winning runs for the team as India replaced South Africa from the numero Uno spot in the ICC ODI Rankings.
Earlier, Aaron Finch and David Warner of the Baggy Greens shared 66 runs for the opening stand. Hardik Pandya provided the Men in Blue with the important breakthrough, getting Finch caught at mid-off by Jasprit Bumrah at his individual score of 32. Skipper Steve Smith, who came in next, didn’t stay long at the crease and was caught in front of the wickets against Jadhav 16 (25).
Peter Handscomb and Warner tried to steady the Australian innings before the smashing opener fell prey to Patel on 53 (62). Travis Head (42) and Marcus Stoinis (46) did share an 87-run stand for the fourth wicket but once the duo went away, Australia kept on losing wickets at regular interval and couldn’t get the thrust to up the ante.
Patel was pick of the Indian bowlers as he picked three wickets for 38 runs, followed by Bumrah who returned with figures of 2-51. He was well supported Kuldeep Yadav who couldn’t pick any wicket but kept pressure on the Australian batters. Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar chipped in with a wicket each. Rohit Sharma was awarded Man of the Match for his knock of 125 while Hardik Pandya was declared Man of the Series. Sharma slammed his 14th century here, sixth versus Australia and went past 6000 ODI runs.