India vs Australia 2017, 2nd ODI: 5 reasons why the hosts won
India took a 2-0 lead in the 5-match series against Australia by winning the second ODI at Eden Gardens by 50 runs. The rain gods showed their mercy today, barring a drizzle which halted the game for a short while.
Fifties from Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli took India to 252 with Kane Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile picking up three wickets each. In reply, Australia lost both their openers early but Steve Smith and Travis Head added 76 for the third wicket to keep Australia in a good position before the latter was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal.
Smith reached his fifty but was dismissed for 59 thanks to a fine catch from substitute Ravindra Jadeja. Shortly after, Kuldeep Yadav's hat-trick was the 43rd in ODI cricket and the 3rd by an Indian.
Marcus Stoinis battled hard, in the end, but his partners kept departing and Australia were dismissed for 202. Virat Kohli was adjudged the man of the match for his 92.
Let's take a look at five things India did right today to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
#5. Partnership between Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli were batting brilliantly for India with both players scoring fifties. Following Rahane’s dismissal, Kohli batted his way to 92 before being skittled by Nathan Coulter-Nile. Following Kohli’s dismissal, India lost Dhoni early and were at 204/6 with Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the crease.
The duo batted with a lot of composure, with Pandya not showing his usual aggressive self and instead focusing on holding onto his wicket. They took India to 239, adding 35 from 53 balls for the seventh wicket. Both batsmen were dismissed after scoring 20 each but their partnership played a key role in India crossing 250. Had they not stayed in the crease for as long as they did, Australia may not have even required to chase down 220, let alone 250.
#4. Jadeja’s wonderful catch
Not being a part of the ODI squad initially, Ravindra Jadeja was called up to the team for the first three ODIs as a replacement for Axar Patel who injured his left ankle during a football game while training for the first ODI.
Jadeja wasn’t chosen in the team for the first ODI neither was he chosen to play today. However, Kedar Jadhav, unfortunately, injured his ankle during the 29th over while fielding at backward point and had to walk off the pitch and Jadeja came on to field for remainder of the match.
At the time, Australia were in a decent position at 133/4 with Steve Smith looking good at 55. In the following over, bowled by Pandya, Smith hit a boundary on the third delivery to move to 59.
However, on the 5th delivery of the over, Smith pulled a bouncer from Pandya but could not keep it low. The ball travelled towards an area between square leg and deep square leg and Jadeja came in to take a wonderful diving catch and send back the Aussie skipper.
This wicket triggered a middle-order collapse as the Aussies began to lose wickets in quick succession, which eventually led to their dismissal for 202.
#3. Sensational batting by Kohli and Rahane after the early dismissal of Rohit Sharma
India won the toss and opted to bat first. However, they lost Rohit Sharma early for 7 and Virat Kohli came in to join Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane produced a fine batting display and timed the deliveries beautifully, hitting one boundary after another. The Mumbai batsman completely owned the off-side today and all of his seven boundaries were hit on the off, mainly in the cover region. Jinx brought up his fifty from 62 deliveries. However, in the 24th over, Rahane was run out thanks to a combined effort by Hilton Cartwright and Matthew Wade.
Rahane was given brilliant assistance by skipper Virat Kohli who was disappointing in the previous ODI. Kohli was relatively calm today and showed tremendous composure to add 121 runs for the second wicket with Rahane. Following the latter’s dismissal, Kohli staged another decent partnership, this time with Kedar Jadhav, adding 55 for the fourth wicket.
Kohli was inching closer to his hundred before being bowled by Nathan Coulter-Nile. However, the brilliant redemption from Kohli and Rahane after disappointing at Chennai helped India reach a challenging total.
#2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s brilliant opening spell
Hardik Pandya took two wickets throughout the match including the key wicket of Steve Smith but the pacer that really stood out for India today was Bhuvneshwar Kumar. After chipping in with the bat with his 20, Bhuvi impressed in the department where his contribution was needed most.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer began brilliantly by bowling a superb opening over where he conceded just a run. Bhuvi’s second over was a remarkable wicket-maiden where he bowled opener Hilton Cartwright with a brilliant delivery around the off-side that beat the inside edge and crashed right into the stumps.
The 27-year old followed this over with another wicket maiden over where he dismissed his SRH teammate David Warner thanks to a catch by Ajinkya Rahane at second slip.
Bhuvi’s line and length was brilliant and despite not taking any more wickets in the spell, his bowling was enough to prevent the Aussie scoreboard from ticking.
In his first 6 overs, Bhuvi conceded only 9 runs with two wickets. He went on to take a third in the only ball of his second spell by trapping Kane Richardson lbw which ended the match for Australia.
#1. Spinners cashing on the on-field conditions by dismissing the majority of the Australian middle-order
The Eden Gardens wicket was a totally spin-friendly one today and the ball was spinning like a top. The Australian batsmen were finding it hard to play the ball with the spin and the Indian spinners took full advantage of it.
Kuldeep Yadav did not have the best of starts as he was hit for two consecutive sixes by Glenn Maxwell in his third over. However, he came back well and produced a masterclass of a performance.
In his 8th over, he dismissed Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, and Pat Cummins in consecutive deliveries. In the process, he became only the third Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in ODIs after Chetan Sharma in 1987 and Kapil Dev in 1991.
On the other hand, Yuzvendra Chahal bowled an all-round brilliant spell of 2/34 in 10 overs. Chahal took the key wicket of Travis Head who was looking very dangerous and later the all-important wicket of Glenn Maxwell.
Besides picking up wickets, Chahal was also keeping the flow of runs in check. The brilliant performance by the spinners today was instrumental in India winning the match.