India vs Australia 2017, 3rd ODI: 5 reasons why India came out on top
India sealed the series against Australia by winning the third ODI at Indore by six wickets. A sensational 124 from Aaron Finch and 63 from Steve Smith took Australia to 293/6. India were given a superb start by Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 71 and 70 respectively and added 139 for the opening wicket.
Following the departure of both openers, Hardik Pandya took center stage and with his 78, took the match away from Australia. Manish Pandey also chipped in with 36 as India won the game with 13 balls to spare.
Pandya was adjudged the Man of the Match as the hosts took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why India won the match.
#5 Good death bowling
Up until the 37th over, Australia’s run-rate was 5.97 and they were all set to reach 300. However, some fine bowling by the Indian bowlers during the final 10 overs prevented the visitors from doing so. India took two huge wickets, that of Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell, before the 42nd over, but Australia still had Marcus Stoinis who possesses the ability to score big during the final overs.
The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah bowled a brilliant line and length during the final 5-6 overs which prevented Stoinis and the other batsmen from showing any intent. Bumrah even managed to dismiss Peter Handscomb and the dangerous Travis Head. Australia ended their innings on 293 which could have been somewhere between 310 and 320 had it not been for the fine death bowling by Bhuvi and Bumrah.
#4 Brilliant wrist-spin from Yadav and Chahal
Following the departure of David Warner, the Australian innings was put in a solid position by Aaron Finch and Steve Smith who were dealing with the Indian bowlers pretty well. Kuldeep Yadav, who took a hat-trick in the previous game at Eden Gardens, was targeted by Finch, who smashed three sixes and a couple of boundaries off his bowling to reach his hundred.
Smith also batted steadily to reach his 50. The duo added 154 for the second wicket and Australia were now staring at a very large total. However, Yadav rebounded brilliantly by dismissing Finch for 124. Shortly thereafter, he dismissed Smith for 63. Australia still had Glenn Maxwell at the crease, but even he was taken care of, by Yuzvendra Chahal, for just 5. These quick wickets began to put pressure on the new batsmen and Australia were restricted to 293.
#3 The inexperience of the Australian middle-order
The 70-run opening partnership between David Warner and Aaron Finch was followed by a sensational 154-run partnership for the second wicket between Finch and skipper Steve Smith. However, the Australian middle-order couldn’t pick up from where the top three left off.
With three wickets falling in the space of four overs, the Australian middle-order was under pressure and their lack of experience meant they failed to cope. Marcus Stoinis was the only one who put up some fight with his unbeaten 27, but Peter Handscomb and Travis Head scored just 7 runs between them. This far-from-ideal contribution from the Australian middle order played a crucial role in Australia’s defeat.
#2 The brilliant opening partnership between Rohit and Rahane
Despite Australia not accumulating enough runs in the final overs, India did not have a very easy task ahead of them as 294 was quite a steep target. However, the hosts were given a terrific start by openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane.
Rohit, who disappointed in the first two ODIs, effortlessly smashed fours and sixes. Rahane gave him brilliant assistance, timing the ball beautifully.
Both players reached their fifties and added 139 for the opening wicket before Rohit was dismissed for a 62-ball 71. Rahane soon followed him to the dressing room after scoring 70. However, the opening partnership set a brilliant foundation for India to chase down the total.
#1 Hardik Pandya’s brilliant performance
Hardik Pandya’s good form in the series continued as he produced another brilliant performance with both bat and ball. Pandya’s economy rate was close to 6 but he took a very important wicket, that of David Warner who was looking dangerous.
However, Pandya’s best performance in the match came with the bat. Following the dismissals of both openers in quick succession, Pandya took over the scoring responsibilities pretty well. The 24-year-old played some terrific shots and he took India closer to victory with his 72-ball 78 before being dismissed.
Pandya was rightfully adjudged the Man of the Match, his second of the series. There is a very good chance he will be named the Player of the Series if he replicates his performances in the final two matches, at Bangalore and Nagpur.