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Twitter Reactions: Virat Kohli’s majestic ton and Dhoni-Karthik’s calmness help India level the series

MS Dhoni smacked the trademark six in the final over before taking a single to win the game for the umpteenth time for India.

MS Dhoni of India
MS Dhoni. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik were the men for India as the visitors levelled the series in Adelaide. The 299-run chase was shepherded by the Indian captain, while it was their veteran and the finisher Dhoni along with the Nidahas Trophy hero Karthik who finished the game with some exceptional and calm batting. Australia tried their best by taking the game deep until the last over but even they knew that the master of the finishers was in the middle.

Dhoni and Karthik literally ran a lot even in the death overs to seal a brilliant win for India and take the series into the decider on Friday.

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The chase began for India with their openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan playing sensibly. The latter was in the mood today as he ripped apart the new ball bowlers of the opposition by taking the attack to them. In no time, Dhawan crossed the 30-run mark only to throw it away off Jason Behrendorff. Rohit paced his innings nicely but even he couldn’t make it big today. He was holed out in the deep off Marcus Stoinis on 43 off 52 balls.

Virat Kohli, meanwhile, had got set and along with Ambati Rayudu, he took the team to a good position. But India’s number four didn’t look entirely comfortable during his stay at the crease and eventually lost his wicket to the part-time bowler Glenn Maxwell. At 160/3, MS Dhoni walked out to the middle with a half-century on his back and got off the blocks quickly.

He patiently took his time even as Kohli shifted gears smartly by smashing Behrendorff out of the park. The calculated risks paid off really well for the visitors’ skipper as he notched up his 39th century in the format. He looked tired though towards the end of his innings and even Kohli holed out at 104 to make things interesting.

Australia believed they were in the game until then but one man – MS Dhoni – was set. Dinesh Karthik joined him in the middle and both the finishers of India rode home their team with some extremely smart cricket. They didn’t get nervous despite the required run-rate going above nine runs an over. Dhoni, in the meantime, also smacked a six off Nathan Lyon while Karthik played some gutsy shots in the air.

Eventually, it was the Men in Blue who had the last laugh and Dhoni’s finishing skills once again came to the fore with Karthik also helping him superbly in the end.

Australia ride on Shaun Marsh’s ton

Earlier, it was Shaun Marsh who smashed an exceptional ton after Australia won the toss and opted to bat first. In the scorching heat, he put the Indian bowling to the submission and again showed his class in the limited-overs format. The hosts lost Aaron Finch and Alex Carey early once again and Marsh rebuilt the innings along with Usman Khawaja.

The latter, however, was caught short of the crease thanks to Ravindra Jadeja’s brilliance on the field. Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis lent some great support then as Marsh added 52 and 55 runs respectively for the fourth and fifth wicket. Glenn Maxwell took the pressure off Marsh in the last 10 ten overs hunting the leather brutally. The debutant Mohammed Siraj was at the receiving end even as the left-hander got to his century.

Marsh then opened up his arms as well and Australia threatened to go past the 300-run mark. The duo added 94 runs in less than 11 overs and then came the mini-collapse. Bhuvneshwar Kumar varied his pace really well and ended up with four wickets and the last three overs witnessed India coming back. Australia finished the innings with 298 runs on the board for the loss of nine wickets which looked more than a decent total at the halfway mark.

Eventually, they had to combat the best finisher in the world who was back at his best and ended up unbeaten on 55 off 54 balls with Karthik on 25 off 14 deliveries.

Here’s how Twitter reacted:

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