India vs Australia: Hardik Pandya's all-round show shapes hosts' series win; Aaron Finch's ton goes in vain

Hardik Pandya came up with a sublime all-round performance, sending back David Warner when he was starting to look menacing, while pounding the visitors' bowling attack for a 72-ball 78.

FirstCricket Staff, Sep, 24 2017

Indore: India hammered Australia by five wickets on Sunday at the Holkar Stadium in Indore to clinch the ODI series and grab the No 1 spot in the ICC ODI rankings.

Hardik Pandya came up with a sublime all-round performance, sending back David Warner when he was starting to look menacing, while pounding the visitors' bowling attack for a 72-ball 78. It was a performance that brought him the Man of the Match award. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane also played their parts to a T.

Chasing 294 for a win, India overhauled the target with 13 balls to spare in front of a packed crowd to take a series-clinching 3-0 lead.

India's Hardik Pandya bats during the 3rd ODI against Australia in Indore. AP

India's Hardik Pandya bats during the 3rd ODI against Australia in Indore. AP

Openers Rohit (71) and Rahane (70) set the platform for the win with their 131-run partnership while Pandya steered the side to victory with his crucial knock.

Australia opener Aaron Finch's fluent century came to a nought due to self-destructive batting by Australia in the last 10 overs.

Finch, playing his first game of the series, had placed Australia at a commanding 232 for two in 40 overs with his 124-run innings but they lost plot after that.

When they could have gone for a kill and a score in the vicinity of 350, all Australia could manage was just 59 runs and lost four wickets to settle for 293 for six.

India faced a few anxious moments in their run chase after losing the set openers along with captain Virat Kohli (28) and Kedar Jadhav (2) but Pandya, who had played crucial role in India's win in the series-opener in Chennai, ensured there were no more hiccups.

He kept Australia under pressure with his confident batting as he not only rotated the strike comfortably but also smacked four sixes off Ashton Agar to keep the run rate under control.

Pandya found a good partner in Manish Pandey (36) as they went about their business calmly and shared a 78-run stand for the fifth wicket.

The win meant that India have maintained their unbeaten run in Indore and have now recorded sixth consecutive ODI series win since June 2016.

India, already No 1 in the Test format, replaced South Africa at the top of ODI ranking table by taking their tally to 120 points, one more than the Proteas.

Rohit subdued Australia with his punishing knock on a flat track, which had nothing for the bowlers. His knock was studded with six fours and four sixes.

Hitting sixes was no big deal for Rohit, who smashed the Australian pace trio of Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson with equal ease.

He raised his fifty with a six off left-arm spinner Agar. Rahane kept rotating strike and also hit Marcus Stoinis for three boundaries in a single over.

Rohit was dropped on 67 by stumper Peter Handscomb off Cummins but could not make full use of the chance and soon miscued one from Coulter-Nile to be caught by Hilton Cartwright at deep mid-wicket.

Cummins ended Rahane's innings by trapping him LBW to bring two new batsmen – skipper Kohli and Pandya – to the crease.

India were cruising at that stage but quick dismissals of Kohli and Jadhav infused some life into the match.

Earlier, exploiting a flat Holkar track, Finch added 70 runs for the opening wicket with Warner and raised a 154-run partnership with captain Steve Smith (63) for the second wicket.

Indian bowlers, who were largely ineffective till the dismissal of Finch, began to dictate terms towards the end.

Smith and Glenn Maxwell (5) frittered away a brilliant opportunity to keep the series alive.

Making an instant impact in his first game of the series, Finch responded to the SOS call from the visitors with a classy knock after skipper Smith won the toss and elected to bat.

Finch, who replaced young Cartright after recovering from a calf injury, decorated his eighth ODI century with 12 fours and five sixes.

His footwork was impeccable and he rendered the stock balls of both the spinners ineffective, hitting four of his five sixes on 'googlies'.

A docile pitch to deal with, Indian bowlers hardly troubled the Australians as wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav (2/75) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/54) largely remained ineffective.

Finch's dominance against Yadav was clear from the fact that he creamed 41 runs from 26 balls he faced from the Chinaman.

However, the hosts staged a remarkable comeback in the last 10 overs of the game. It all started in the last ball of the 38th over when Finch lofted Yadav to Jadhav at deep-midwicket.

Yadav saw the back of Smith, caught at long-off, while Chahal had Maxwell stumped.

Bumrah got rid of Travis Head (4) and Handscomb (3), leaving Australia in tatters. They could never get the fillip, which was there for them to take after a stupendous start even as Stoinis took the side close to 300-run mark with his unbeaten 27.

Here's how people reacted to India's thumping win in Indore, the series victory and the climb to No 1 in the ODI rankings:

With PTI inputs

Published Date: Sep 24, 2017 | Updated Date: Sep 24, 2017




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3767 111
3 England 4497 105
4 New Zealand 3114 97
5 Australia 3294 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6386 120
2 India 6379 120
3 Australia 5948 114
4 England 6156 114
5 New Zealand 5432 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 2843 124
2 New Zealand 1925 120
3 West Indies 2395 120
4 England 2029 119
5 India 2965 119