Virat Kohli was the difference in the game: Aaron Finch

Virat Kohli was the difference in the game: Aaron Finch

He also praised Stoinis for taking the game deep.

Aaron Finch Australia
Aaron Finch. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

India registered a thrilling win in the second ODI against Australia in Nagpur on Tuesday. On a pitch where the low bounce and pace made it extremely tough for the other batsmen to get going, the world number one batsman Virat Kohli oozed class. The India skipper scored 116 off 120 balls to become just the second batsman after the legendary Sachin Tendulkar to reach 40-century mark in ODIs.

It was Kohli’s knock that eventually helped India overcome as many as three mini collapses to post a challenging total of 250 in Nagpur. They were in spot of bother after losing their star openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma – for just 38 runs. But from thereon, Kohli waged a lone battle to bail the team out of trouble. India’s batting mainstay got little help from Vijay Shankar and Ravindra Jadeja which helped the hosts post 250 on the board.

His century eventually made the difference as India overcame a fighting performance from the visitors to beat them by eight runs. Chasing 251, Australia were all out for 242 with three balls remaining. The Men in Blue now lead the five-match series 2-0 and will be looking to take an unassailable lead on March 8 when both the teams lock horns again in Ranchi.

Speaking at the end of the game, Australia skipper Aaron Finch did admit that Virat Kohli was the difference in the game. “Virat Kohli was the difference in the game, if one of our main batters had done the job, we would have got across the line,” Finch said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“It was close, was one of the games that we wanted to take as deep as we can. [Marcus] Stoinis played a really superb innings but we couldn’t get across the line. I thought if Stoinis takes a risk early and gets out, we have no chance at all. It was important for him to take it deep and I am sure he will learn from this. In the future, we will get across the line,” added Finch.

Vijay Shankar sealed the game for India by dismissing half-centurion Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa inside three balls in the final over when Australia needed 11 to draw level in the series.

Never ahead

Despite restricting India to a modest total and forging a brilliant 83-run opening-wicket stand with Usman Khawaja, Finch insisted that his side was never ahead of India.

“[Australia were never ahead] Not at any stage really, not on this pitch against this Indian attack,” he said before adding, “Would have been good to get more, starts don’t win you games. Finch, nonetheless, was finally amongst the runs scoring a patient 37 off 53 before falling to Kuldeep Yadav, the moment which brought India back in the game.

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