The Magic of the 3rd ODI: Australia Triumphs in Rajkot
Story of Runs and Rivalry
It was a game where both sides pulled out their trump cards, but the Aussies prevailed. In a mesmerising display of batting prowess, Australia tallied up 352. But despite the valiant half-century efforts from India’s Kohli and Rohit, the target proved a bridge too far.
The Australian Onslaught
Australia came onto the pitch with a mission. Their batsmen set off fireworks right from the word go. Within the first ten overs, the Indian field was peppered with 11 fours and five magnificent sixes. What was even more striking was the target on Jasprit Bumrah, a strategy that yielded dividends in the initial overs.
Marsh & Warner: Batting Symphony in Full Flow
From the very first delivery, Marsh was on fire. He elegantly drove the first ball he faced from Bumrah, setting the tone for what was to come. A riot of boundaries followed, with Warner joining in the revelry, hitting a brisk half-century. But, as cricket often reminds us, fortune can be fleeting. Warner, in a bold moment, tried to play a cheeky scoop, but found himself walking back, glove-edged to the wicketkeeper.
Steve Smith, often a beacon of consistency for Australia, was at it again. Starting with a textbook wristy clip and following with a majestic cover drive, Smith looked in supreme touch. Both Marsh and Smith kept the score ticking, and Australia was in sight of a monumental score.
The Indian Fightback
But India, always a force to reckon with at home, clawed their way back into the game. Bumrah found his rhythm in his second spell, dismissing key batsmen, and India managed to pull the scoring rate down. Marsh’s splendid innings ended at 96, falling to Kuldeep’s guile. Australia lost crucial wickets, but Marnus Labuschagne played a cameo, ensuring a total in excess of 350.
India’s Chase: Rohit and Kohli Shine
India’s response was spearheaded by the indomitable Rohit Sharma, partnered by Washington Sundar. Rohit’s mastery with the pull shot was a sight to behold, as he raced to a half-century peppered with boundaries. Unfortunately, a mistimed pull gave Australia a window, but the chance was squandered.
Virat Kohli, India’s captain and the heart of their batting line-up, stitched a crucial partnership with Rohit, taking the game deep. A sharp catch, however, cut short Rohit’s entertaining innings. From there, the Australian bowlers tightened their grip, drying up boundaries and upping the pressure. Kohli’s spirited innings ended in a top-edge, and the rest of the batsmen couldn’t push the boundary ropes often enough to keep up with the climbing required rate.
The Final Stretch
Despite a few spirited knocks towards the end, Australia’s discipline with the ball prevailed. Ravindra Jadeja showed some resilience, but the end was inevitable. Cameron Green, putting the final nail in the coffin, secured a consoling win for the Aussies. A remarkable effort where each of Australia’s six bowlers etched their mark in the wickets column.
Australia’s consolation win in the 3rd ODI was a testament to their resilience. While India emerged series victors, with a 2-1 win, this last game was a gentle reminder of the ebb and flow of cricket, where fortunes swing with every ball. The rivalry between India and Australia never disappoints.