India reached 150 for five in 30 overs against Australia in the third One-Day International (ODI) at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mohali on Saturday.
Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni started unleashing their attacking instincts as they raised the tempo of the Indian innings. Although, they didn’t get going at their best, both the batsmen made their intent clear.
The pair consolidated the innings after India were reeling at 76 for four at one stage. However, Kohli was dismissd in the 30th over trying to cut Glenn Maxwell, but found an edge and was smartly taken by Brad Haddin.
Earlier, Australia skipper George Bailey won the toss and elected to field first. It was only the second time in 28 games in the country that Australia won the toss and put Indian in to bat first. However, with dew expected to play an important role later in the day and the brutal assault by the Indian batsmen, it was an expected decision.
The Indian innings got off to a quiet start, with the two runs coming off wide deliveries. The first run off the bat came off the eighth delivery as Dhawan played an exquisite cover drive for a boundary. However, McKay returned to beat Dhawan’s bat with an away-going delivery outside off. Dhawan came back to flick a delivery off his legs for another boundary. Nonethless, McKay eventually won the battle as he squared Dhawan with an off-cutter t find an edge which is bsafely pouched by the wicketkeeper.
Rohit Sharma was lucky as an inside edge missed the stumps and the keeper to race away to a boundary in the fourth over.
Australia brought in Shane Watson in the seventh over of the match as the first change bowler and the move worked immediately as he dismissed Rohit Sharma who tried to pull but edged it and Aaron Finch ran back from slips to take an easy catch.
The even green cover on the pitch made it evident that it won’t be as easy for the batsmen in Mohali as it was in Jaipur in the previous encounter. However, Kohli was in complete control as he hit some crisp boundaries.
Johnson’s twin strike in two consecutive deliveries left India reeling after they were 60 for two at the end of Powerplay.
Bailey brought back Johnson in the 11th over with Suresh Raina at the crease to test him fast short-pitched delivery. The left-hander looked uncomfortable, but managed to survive. However, he soon settled in and played some sublime shots. It started with a flick on the leg side off Johnson in the 13th over. Howver, he was eventually undone by the short delivery as he edged the ball while trying to pull and gifted an easy catch to Shane Watson at slips.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni got off the mark in the seventh delivery with a hard drive between point and cover. However, he was cautious in his shot selection. After injuring his hamstring before drinks break, his discomfort while running was evident. Kohli, on the other hand, looked in good nick.
Faulkner was brought into the attack in the 16th over to replace Clint McKay after he had bowled seven overs unchanged from his end, while Xavier Doherty replaced Mitchell Johnson from the other end.
Dhoni and Kohli consolidated the Indian innings with a cautious partnership. The boundaries dried up, yet the two rotated the strike regularly. For a period of eight overs, no boundary was scored.