India steamroll Australia at Indore to clinch an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ODI series
Talk about peaking at the right time and Team India is putting up some of the most noteworthy performances you can think of. With a game to go in the series and the big guns still to return, the Men in Blue spreadeagled Australia comprehensively in the second ODI as well, clinching the series with the finale now turning into a dead rubber.
Winning the toss, Australia opted to bowl first on a batting friendly surface at the Holkar Stadium. India had an early stutter to be braved as they lost Ruturaj Gaikwad early in the innings with Josh Hazlewood producing that all-important edge. However, the wicket of Gaikwad simply pried open a Pandora’s box that was never closed again by the visitors.
Walking out to the center, Shreyas Iyer, who was back from a niggle was handed over an opportunity to showcase his batting flair while Shubman Gill steered the ship early with glimpses of his exorbitant brilliance up front.
The duo started slamming the Aussie bowlers out of the park without breaking a sweat as Iyer assumed the role of the aggressor-in-chief while Gill was happy to play two-to-tango. Both the batters completed their respective centuries to propel India to a feisty start that also got them the much-needed platform for a later launch. Smacking Adam Zampa to long-on in the 30th over, Shreyas Iyer racked up his third ODI century before falling to Sean Abbott in the 31st over for 105.
Gill delayed his ton slightly as he reached the magical figure in the 33rd over, making it his fifth century in the calendar year, a feat that already screams ‘genius’ for the Indian opener. A quick run stolen against Abbott allowed Gill to rack up this herculean feat before he skied one against Cameron Green to return to the pavilion for 104.
If the two wickets falling in quick succession should have served as a gleeful indicator for the Aussies, what ensued thereafter was absolute rampage, throwing the visitors into utter decadence. Ishan Kishan was the first one to make India’s intentions crystalline as he whacked a 18-ball-31 to lay down the marker.
Suryakumar Yadav stayed unbeaten for a staggering 72 from 37 balls as he whacked six fours and six sixes while KL Rahul blasted a 38-ball-52, extending his rich vein of form to another encounter since his return from a prolonged hiatus. India posted 399/5 with Green conceding over a century of runs, a total of 103 coming from his 10 overs.
Coming out to chase the monumental total, Australia were suddenly staring down the barrel early in the innings. Matthew Short fell to Prasidh Krishna with R Ashwin claiming a fine catch in the third fielder region while an edge from Steve Smith induced off Krishna’s bowling sent him back for a golden duck as India made merry. However, India’s joys were being staved away with a resolute stand between David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne, who managed to keep the Australian ship afloat until the rain gods came out to play.
With the target being revised to 317 from 33 overs, India knew very well that they just needed to be smart enough and that should do the trick for them. Coming back from the break, it was Ashwin who clinched his first of the day as he sneaked through the defences of Labuschagne (27). Ashwin soon claimed his brace, as he picked up the important wicket of Warner, who was looking dangerous during his 39-ball 53.
The fall of Warner triggered a collapse for the Australian batting unit as it took four more wickets in a span of 40 runs to realize that India had done them good. Ashwin removed Josh Inglis, Ravindra Jadeja foxed Alex Carey for good as the latter failed to pick up the line of the ball with his timbre being in shambles while Kishan affected a crucial run-out that saw Green taking a long walk back to the pavilion, allowing India to affirm themselves in the boldest possible fashion.
Jadeja struck again and this time it was Zampa, who had a pretty ordinary day with the ball as well. Much to India’s surprise, Australia managed to put in a final stand of resistance as Sean Abbott and Josh Hazlewood produced an incredible 77-run stand for the 9th wicket as the former scored a half-century while Hoff smashed 23 good runs from just 15 balls before Mohammed Shami deracinated his middle-pole.
Jadeja capped things off for India as he knocked back Sean Abbott’s (54) stumps to help India register a monumental 99-run victory (DLS method) to seal the series win as well. Shreyas Iyer was handed over the Player of the Match award for his incredible 105.