Pandya, Jadeja, and Thakur help India avoid whitewash
The upbeat Aussies took on India in the third and final One-day International at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. Earlier in the day, India won the toss and elected to bat first. The visitors made four changes to their playing XI. Mayank Agarwal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini made their ways for Shubman Gill, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan. The Tamil Nadu-pacer became the 232nd player to represent India in ODI cricket. On the other hand, the hosts made three significant changes to their playing XI as Cameron Green, Sean Abbott and Ashton Agar came in for the injured David Warner, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.
Shikhar Dhawan and the rookie batsman Shubman Gill strode out to the middle to open the innings for India. Sean Abbott drew the first blood, dismissing Dhawan for just 16 in the sixth over. Virat Kohli added yet another feather to his already illustrious cap, becoming the fastest to reach the 12,000 run-mark in One-day Internationals. The skipper took only 242 innings to achieve the landmark. He reached the milestone in the 12th over when he scored a single off Sean Abbott, breaking the record previously held by Sachin Tendulkar. The batting maestro held this feat for 17 years.
Another day. Another milestone reached. @imVkohli becomes the fastest to reach the 1️⃣2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ ODI run mark, a record previously held by Sachin Tendulkar. 👏🏻 🤩#PlayBold #AUSvIND #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/kcBP6A2YBP— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) December 2, 2020
Unfazed by wickets falling at the other end, the 32-year-old managed to steady the ship, notching up his 60th half-century in ODI cricket. As few say, it takes a special delivery to dismiss a player of Virat Kohli's calibre. Josh Hazlewood once again accounted for the Indian skipper, who knicked the snorter of delivery straight to Alex Carey's gloves. At this stage it was looking like India would finish somewhere around mid 250s at the end of their 50 overs. Hardik Pandya was joined by Ravindra Jadeja at the crease. The duo was fidgety at first. As the overs progressed, Jadeja and Pandya stepped on the pedal, hammering the Aussie bowlers all over the park. They stitched a 150-run stand for the sixth wicket. It was one such occasion where the lower middle-order came into their elements. Both Hardik Pandya (92* off 76) and Ravindra Jadeja (66* off 50) scored unbeaten half-centuries, ensuring that India went past the 300 run-mark.
Chasing 303 at Manuka Oval, the Aussies got a rough start as the debutant Natarajan got a breakthrough in the form of Marnus Labuchagne. This was India's first wicket in the first powerplay of the six ODI matches played in 2020. Shardul Thakur who made his way into the side for this fixture got the all-important wicket of Steve Smith, who got caught behind for a low score. Skipper Aaron Finch played a sensible knock of 75 from 82 deliveries before Jadeja gagged him. It was up to Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey to complete a whitewash, but a slight miscommunication in the middle resulted in Carey's run-out. This gave India an advantage over the Australians. Despite Maxwell’s fifty and Ashton Agar’s cameo, they couldn’t take Australia par. India beat Australia by 13 runs and Australia wins the three-match ODI series by 2-1.
Hardik Pandya was adjudged the man of the match for his batting brilliance
“I will be fine to play the T20Is. I have been working hard to play for my country, happy that I've got the opportunity. Really happy for Natarajan and rest of the bowlers. It's been quite a story for him. You need to be on your toes when it comes to playing against Australia. You got to push hard and face the challenge against them,” he said.
Scoring two centuries in the three-match ODI series, Steve Smith was awarded the man of the series
“They have been close back to back games. A good series of cricket against a quality outfit. I think it did more with the new ball. The quicks bowled well up front, it was a bit different as compared to the SCG. You just got to keep going forward and take the confidence. Hopefully, I'll contribute in the upcoming games. Don't have any plan (tomorrow) at the moment, hopefully, a day off,” he said.
Virat Kohli on India’s win in the last and final ODI of the series
“We were put under the pump in the first half and in the second half of Australia's innings. Shubman and others coming in, it brings in a bit freshness. I think the pitch was much better for the bowlers. So the confidence levels go up. Playing international cricket for so long, that's the challenge you face and those are the kind of comebacks you make. We were clinical with the ball and in the field. Happy with the performance and hopefully we take the momentum forward. I would have liked to go on for a bit longer, but it was a great partnership between Pandya and Jadeja. The team needed that kind of a boost. That's needed when you play a team like Australia,” he said.
Aaron Finch on Australia’s series win over India by 2-1
“I thought we fought really well. It was a great partnership between Hardik and Jadeja. If we got one of those wickets, we could have chased 240 max. Cameron Green came in and made an impact with ball and bat, and showed he belongs here. Agar bowled beautifully, it was a good day in terms of the changes we made. The impact that the two spinners are having, that's important. It's nice when the guys in the top order contribute and then Maxi (Maxwell) can come in and do his thing with Carey and other guys. Hopefully, he's (Starc) ready for the T20Is. Was just a niggle,” he said.
Summary: India 302/5 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 63, Hardik Pandya 90*, Ravindra Jadeja 66*; Ashton Agar 2-44) beat Australia 289 in 49.3 overs (Aaron Finch 75, Alex Carey 38, Glenn Maxwell 59; Jasprit Bumrah 2-43, Shardul Thakur 3-51) by 13 runs.