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Thursday, 31 October 2013

India vs Australia Star Sports 6th ODI 2013 - Report


No, it wasn’t the repeat telecast of the second ODI, in Jaipur. India indeed chased down a 350-plus total for the second time in the series. And yes, it was Shikhar Dhawan (100 off 102) and Virat Kohli’s (115* off 66) centuries that got them home again. India’s sensational batting gave them a six-wicket win in Nagpur and a chance to win the series in Bengaluru. (Also Read: India vs Australia Star Sports 6th ODI 2013 - Stats Highlights)
Dhawan, taking his love affair with Australia to a new level, strolled his way to his fourth ODI hundred. With his fifth consecutive 50-plus ODI score, the colour purple of Virat’s form became a tinge richer and deeper.
During his 178-run opening stand with Rohit Sharma, Shikhar batted exactly according to the needs of the chase – he was solid yet attacking and took calculated risks. The left-hander scored most of his boundaries flicking and cutting the ball. He also played the odd sweep and paddle sweep to the spinners. Australia’s changed bowling plans meant Dhawan didn’t get many chances to play his favourite pull shot.
Rohit Sharma (79 off 89) was the slower partner. As Shikhar went about keeping the scorers busy, Rohit took his time to settle in. Just when he started to up the ante – he hit Glenn Maxwell for two sixes in an over – he threw his wicket away by lobbing an Aaron Finch half tracker to the man at deep midwicket.
Dhawan continued to score runs – the authoritative ones and the cheeky ones. He drove with panache, swept with shrewdness and cut with skill. More importantly, he ran between the wickets industriously, maintaining the run-a-ball equation right through his innings. With Virat, Dhawan put on 56 for the second wicket. After facing his 101st ball, Dhawan put his bat down, pumped his fists and stretched his arms. The Indian dressing room erupted and Virat gave him a warm hug. Shikhar Dhawan had just scored his fourth ODI century. The joy didn’t last long, as he got castled by James Faulkner next ball.
It was time for Virat to take over, and he did. As has been his wont, there wasn’t one ugly slog in his knock, only beautiful shots. He lost Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh – both were Mitchell Johnson’s victims – and was joined by MS Dhoni.
Being asked to bat, the Australian openers got off to a solid start on the slow Nagpur wicket. Both Phil Hughes and Aaron Finch targeted Mohammad Shami, taking him for five boundaries in two overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who returned to the team after sitting out the Ranchi ODI, bowled first spell of five overs, giving away 15 runs for the wicket of Hughes – caught at square leg off a short ball.
R Ashwin, introduced into the attack in the 12th over, castled Finch off his first ball with a straight and full delivery. Shane Watson (102 off 94 balls) and captain, George Bailey (156 off 114 balls), began the reconstruction of the Aussie innings from there, putting on 168 runs for the third wicket.
Both batsmen had their share of luck. Jadeja had Watson caught by Rohit in the 17th over off a no-ball. Bailey mistimed the following free-hit at midwicket. When it happened, Watson was on 25 and Bailey was on 10.
Watson, who was having a quiet series, batted himself in and used the loose balls to score boundaries off. Once settled in, he brought out the big shots against the Indian spinners. Amit Mishra got smashed for two fours and sixes each while Jadeja was taken for a six and a four in an over. Watson had done the hard work and now it was time to reap rewards. It took him seven balls to go from 81 to 102. He hit Shami with three consecutive fours, the last one – a full-toss on the pads – bringing up his century. The next ball, a full, incoming delivery, dismantled the stumps behind Watson.
Bailey, however, continued the slaughtering of Indian bowlers, now in the company of Adam Voges. Once again showing his brilliant ability of building his innings, the Aussie skipper cut loose when the spinners came into the attack – four of his five sixes came against them. He was harsh on India’s most economical bowler, Bhuvneshwar, scoring four boundaries off him. He brought up his second ODI century in the 41st over, in 84 balls. Once he got past the three-figure mark, Bailey batted more freely, making the most of the slog overs. Thanks to him, Australia scored 99 runs in the last 10 overs.
Of India’s bowlers, Bhuvneshwar was the only one with an economy rate below six. And he bowled only eight overs. Ashwin (2 for 64) and Jadeja (2 for 68) too did decently.

Man of the Match: Virat Kohli for his 66-ball unbeaten knock of 115 runs.

source: bcci.tv


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