Kuldeep Yadav became the only chinaman to take a hat-trick    AFP
Kuldeep Yadav after he attains a new high AFP

Australia were anyway staring down the barrel when they lost half the side for 138. Steven Smith, the only man to have unhinged India to some extent with his clinically executed strokes, was back in the pavilion. The onus rested on all-rounders Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis. They needed 114 off 121. It was gettable.

Kuldeep Yadav had been the only unsuccessful Indian bowler in the match thus far. He had leaked runs at over 6 and that too without a wicket. However, forms and fortunes do not take time to change their courses.

Kuldeep first managed to find the inside edge of Wade s bat. The ball went on to hit the stumps. In came Ashton Agar, their last hope to stitch a partnership. Kuldeep tossed the ball up so much so that Agar got into his shot early, getting trapped lbw. The momentum that once was hanging in between now sat comfortably on India s side.

Virat Kohli summoned his men around the bat. One more wicket, and India will have their first hat-trick since 1991 in the format. At the strike was Pat Cummins.

Kuldeep sought advice from Mahi-bhai, and MS Dhoni asked Kuldeep to go with his instincts. So, coming over the wicket, Kuldeep pitched on off and spun it away using his wrong un. Cummins, not sure of his strokeplay, held his bat straight only to edge it to guess who? Dhoni.

And thus Kuldeep became only the third Indian to register a hat-trick.

Marcus Stoinis gave his all to hold fort, but it was too late for resurrection. India won the second ODI by 50 runs, leading 5-match series 2-0.

Bhuvi takes top-order apart

Conditions were surprisingly unplayable when the Australians came to bat. Perhaps the brief drizzle at sunset was one of the factors.

The ball swung even after his hissed past the edges of the bat. The wind blowing across added more to the swing-bowling magnificence. Australians, if anything, were writhing in misery, as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah caught them in a maze of seam movement.

First to go was Hilton Cartwright who had no clue about an in-swinger. Bhuvi’s Sunrisers captain David Warner was the next victim, thick-edging an away-swinger to second slip. He would have had more, but Steven Smith denied any further breakthrough. Bhuvi finished his first spell with figures of 6-2-9-2.

Smith repels India

Smith scored his 18th fifty in 100th ODI appearance. His partners ran out of patience when the Indian bowlers, especially those wrist-spinners, were going greats guns. But Smith was not one to give in. He repelled India and brought momentum back to his team in the middle overs.

Yuzvendra keeps India on course

Glenn Maxwell yet again tried to take apart Yuzvendra Chahal, but the leg-spinner had him stumped for 14. Before that, he had restricted Smith and Travis Head’s partnership to 76 runs. In all he conceded a mere 34 runs, including a maiden.

War of words

As the uneven bounce rolled the ball into Wade s groin, Kohli had exploited the pain Wade was in to steal a bye. In the next over they were indulged in exchanging words with no visible display of courtesy. It is, after all, India vs Australia. You expect nothing less.

Rahane, Kohli dismember Australia

Eden Gardens was not as benevolent to Rohit Sharma as it always is. Averaging over 100 at the venue, Rohit could gather a mere 7 runs, in which he painted an exquisite cover-drive across that familiar green canvas.

Along with Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane led the resurgence after Rohit’s wicket and added 102 runs for the second wicket. While Rahane got 55, Kohli fell 8 runs shorts of his 31st hundred. The captain, however, won the Man of the Match award.

Why wasn’t Pandya out?

Pandya was out caught off the ball before the break. The umpire later ruled him not out given it was above the waist. The Australians, however, made sure they take the bails off to run him out.

To simplify the situation, here is what Law 29.7 (Batsman leaving his wicket under a misapprehension) says: An umpire shall intervene if satisfied that a batsman, not having been given out, has left his wicket under a misapprehension that he is out. The umpire intervening shall call and signal Dead ball to prevent any further action by the fielding side and shall recall the batsman.

Hence, Pandya continued batting after the rain stopped.

India climb to No. 1 spot almost!

With this win, India drew level almost with South at the top of ICC ODI rankings. Both sides are on 119 points, South Africa being ahead by mere decimal points. Australia, however, will be pushed further down if they lose the series.

Brief scorecard:

India 252 in 49.5 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 55, Virat Kohli 92; Nathan Coulter-Nile 3 for 51, Kane Richardson 3 for 55) beat Australia 202 in 43 overs (Steven Smith 59, Marcus Stoinis 62; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3 for 9, Kuldeep Yadav 3 for 54) by 50 runs.

Man of the Match: Virat Kohli

Full scorecard