Virat hits fastest ODI hundred in Ind vs Aus 2nd ODI
Virat Kohli hit the fastest ODI hundred by an Indian (100* off 52 balls) to help India chase down an improbable target of 360 in just 43.3 overs against Australia in the 2nd ODI at Jaipur.
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium witnessed over 700 runs being scored on a singIe day, starting with Australia who racked up a huge total of 359 in 50 overs. The Indian bowlers leaked runs from all sides, resulting in half-centuries from all of their top 5 batsmen, the first time it happened in ODI history. Openers Aaron Finch (50) and Phil Hughes (83) laid the platform, striking the big shots regularly and constantly rotating the strike. Even after both batsmen were dismissed, it was the willow of Shane Watson (59) that did the talking, while skipper George Bailey (92*) continued to amaze everyone with his stand-and-deliver performance. Australia had already crossed the 200-run mark by the 37th over, when Glenn Maxwell (53) stepped in and thwacked the clueless bowlers to complete his fifty. 350 looked inevitable, and the Australian batsmen eventually reached 359/5 at the end of the innings. Vinay Kumar was the only bowler who finished with decent figures of 2/73.
With an incredible target set by their batsmen, it was Australia's game to lose from here on. India had never successfully chased a 300-plus target against the Aussies, which gave the visitors a psychological advantage over their opponent. However, the Indians had different plans for the World No.2 team. Shikhar Dhawan (95), who has looked in brilliant touch since the start of the year set up the chase beautifully with Rohit Sharma (141*), stitching a phenomenal 1st wicket partnership of 176 in just 26.1 overs. Boundaries were kept busy by the duo, who looked in their best shape as they made a mockery of what was supposed to be a mountain to climb.
Dhawan, who was dropped on 18, made it count as he attacked with vengeance, while Sharma took the back seat for a while. Dhawan departed just 5 runs short of a deserving hundred, paving way for another solid stroke-maker in the form of Virat Kohli, who would go on to maintain the tempo set by the opener. The 24-year old lad instantly activated the destruction mode, marching towards his 16th ODI hundred in just 52 balls, surpassing Virender Sehwag as the fastest Indian to do so. Rohit then accelerated, ending a 3-year long wait for an ODI century. The target was chased down with 9 wickets in hand and 39 deliveries to spare, as the Australian bowlers stood in disbelief after the thrashing they received.
With this win, India have leveled the series 1-1 for now, but they will be looking to improvise in their bowling department as they go into the 3rd ODI at Mohali on October 19.