Twitter Reactions: Hardik Pandya, Jadeja and bowlers help India win the Canberra ODI against Australia

Twitter Reactions: Hardik Pandya, Jadeja and bowlers help India win the Canberra ODI against Australia

The partnership between Hardik and Jadeja was the turning point of the game.

Thangarasu Natarajan
Team India. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Team India has registered a consolation victory over Australia in the final ODI of the three-match series. The hosts have won the series 2-1 though and the Virat Kohli-led side has also managed to get off the mark in World Cup Super League. The credit of the win has to go to Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja who batted superbly to help India post 302 and then the bowlers did enough to defend the total to win the game by 13 runs.

India finally won the toss and opted to bat first. But they didn’t enjoy the kind of start Australia had in the first two ODIs. The pitch was expected to be flat but much to everyone’s surprise, it had bounce in it and the ball turned as well. It wasn’t an easy going for the Indian openers and in quest of churning out runs, Shikhar Dhawan chipped one straight to short extra cover.

Shubman Gill, playing his first ODI of the tour, looked solid and stitched a 56-run stand with Virat Kohli. But the former got out just when he was looking threatening. He attempted a sweep shot off the left-arm spinner Ashton Agar and was pinned in front of the stumps. Shreyas Iyer’s poor ODI series ended with yet another not-so-great score with the bat and this is the period where India lost their way in the middle overs.

Kohli looked in imperious form and also got to his 60th half-century in the process. After reaching 23, the Indian skipper completed 12000 runs in ODI cricket too. However, he got out to Josh Hazlewood for the third time in the series after scoring 63 to leave India reeling at 152/5 after 32 overs. KL Rahul was also back in the hut by then and the onus now was on the all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja.

The duo first made sure they got their eyes in the middle and then took toll of the relatively inexperienced bowling attack at the death. Team India added 118 in the last 10 overs with both Pandya and Jadeja smashing the ball to all parts of the ground. Both of them got to their respective half-centuries as the former missed out on his well deserved century.

Hardik remained unbeaten on 92 off 76 with seven fours and a six while the southpaw Jadeja scored 66* off 50 balls with five fours and three maximums to propel India to 302/5 after 50 overs. Sean Abbott was taken apart for 84 runs while Hazlewood also faced the brunt of the Indian duo.

The Chase

India had the momentum going into the innings break thanks to an unbeaten 150-run stand for the sixth wicket. And Australia needed a good start in the chase. But the debutant T Natarajan sent back Marnus Labuschagne early. Aaron Finch was lucky enough to stay in the middle till the powerplay as India dropped him twice. However, Steve Smith endured a rare failure with Shardul Thakur strangling him down the leg-side.

Moises Henriques and Finch then stitched a 61-run stand and before the former mistimed a pull to get caught at short mid-wicket off Thakur. India then increased pressure and induced a false shot off Aaron Finch who holed out in the deep to give his wicket to Ravindra Jadeja. The debutant Cameron Green then showed heart to spend time out in the middle before he was sniffed out by Kuldeep Yadav to leave Australia struggling at 158/5.

This is where the Glenn Maxwell factor started making the difference in the game. The man who struggled to hit even a single six in the IPL has found his golden touch in this series and continued to bat the same way in this game. He took the attack to the Indian bowlers and once again had some fun in the middle.

Alex Carey got out after scoring 38 but Maxwell continued to hit sixes at will to bring down the required run-rate. Ashton Agar provided a very good support to him as well. The 44th over of the innings proved to be crucial as Maxwell churned out 18 runs off Natarajan. The in-form Aussie batsman also got to his second consecutive half-century in the process.

With equation coming down to 39 runs off six overs, Virat Kohli brought back Jasprit Bumrah into the attack and the man finally managed to pick a wicket and it was an important one as well. He castled the dangerous Maxwell with a sensational yorker to make the game interesting. The onus was now on Agar to take the team home with Sean Abbott at the other end.

However, Shardul Thakur got the better of the latter while Natarajan picked Ashton Agar’s wicket of the very next ball to seal the deal. Jasprit Bumrah, the best bowler of the day, fittingly finished the proceedings then as India won the game by 13 runs.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: