JANUARY 15, 2019
Brief Scorecard: India (299/4; Kohli 104, Dhoni 55 not out) beat Australia (298/9; Marsh 131, Maxwell 48, Bhuvneshwar 4 for 45) by 6 wickets.
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – Virat Kohli’s 39th hundred and MS Dhoni’s second successive fifty helped India gun down 299 in the second ODI against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday. Chasing a steep target, India won by 6 wickets to draw level in the three-match ODI series. This is now the second-highest successful run chase at the Adelaide Oval.
Virat Kohli top-scored with 104 off 112 balls while MS Dhoni remained unbeaten on 55 off 54 balls and shared a crucial stand with Dinesh Karthik who scored 25 not out off 14 balls. Rohit Sharma (43) and Shikhar Dhawan (32) also chipped in with significant contributions.
India had started their chase confidently earlier on Tuesday. Shikhar Dhawan, who was dismissed for a golden duck on Saturday in Sydney, looked determined to make the most of good batting conditions in Adelaide. However, he was dismissed for 32 which brought Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma at the crease together.
The stage was set for two of the most prolific run-scorers in one-day cricket. Rohit was the more aggressive of the two and Kohli was happy to rotate the strike – the duo added 54 runs for the second wicket. The partnership was broken when Rohit Sharma made an eror in judgement against Marcus Stoinis.
Ambati Rayudu and Kohli then added 59 for the third wicket in good time. Thanks to Kohli, the asking rate never shot up beyond manageable proportions. On Saturday, India had muddled it up in the middle overs when MS Dhoni failed to accelerate – it was then too much to do for the lower-order despite Rohit Sharma’s classy hundred.
Things were different on Tuesday.
Dhawan scored at a strike-rate of 82.69, Rohit’s 43 came at a strike-rate of 114.28 while Kohli had a great strike-rate of 92.85 for his 112-ball 104. MS Dhoni, who was booed at Lord’s for failing to up the ante and scored his second slowest fifty in Sydney, accelerated beautifully towards the end to get India home.
Dinesh Karthik, who walked into bat at No.6 put the finishing touches to a great chase with a cameo the Indian team will remember for a long time. DK is known for his exploits lower down the order – his cameo in the final of the Nidahas Trophy is the reason why he has been given an extended run in India’s limited-overs teams.
However, India will be more pleased with Dhoni’s exploits. This is the kind of innings the team expects him to play in big chases. And he delivered, with the series on the line. It was not easy – Dhoni, 37, was exhausted an had to be tended to between overs in the Adelaide heat.
Even as India celebrate a well-deserved victory, Shaun Marsh, who scored his seventh ODI hundred would be heartbroken. After Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami had removed the Aussie openers early, Marsh anchored their innings with a 123-ball 131. Glenn Maxwell blasted a quick 49 but there were no major contributions apart from that.
Bhuvneshwar, who was a little expensive in Sydney, was back at his best on Tuesday, picking up 4 for 45 off his 10 overs. He had Shami ensured Australia did not storm past the 300-run mark even as Mohammad Siraj became the most expensive Indian bowler on ODI debut.