Sharma, Patel help India thrash Australia in final ODI
Hosts take five-match series with 4-1 score line after beating visitor’s comfortable by seven wickets on Sunday
Opener Rohit Sharma scored his 14th ODI century and Axar Patel produced a brilliant bowling of left-arm spin as India thrash Australia by seven wickets to win the five-match series 4-1 in Nagpur on Sunday.
After winning the previous match by batting first, Australia captain Steve Smith opted the same route on Sunday.In the beginning, his decision looked a correct one as David Warner and Aaron Finch posted 66-run opening partnership.
Australia main problem has been losing in clusters as evident in the first three games of the series. There has been over-reliance on the opening pair of Warner and Finch that has exposed Australia’s frail middle order that consists of players who have suffered from poor form. The result was Glenn Maxwell dropped from the remaining games of the series.
However, once Finch departed in the 12th over, Kangaroos lost three more in the space of 13 overs for just 52 runs.
All-rounder Travis Head and Marcus Stoinis then joined hands to consolidate and posted the 77-run partnership for the fifth wicket, but it came at an extremely slow pace. Stoinis has turned out to be consistent performer for Australia apart from Aaron Finch and David Warner. He has certainly cemented his place in the side to see experienced player like James Faulkner sit on the sidelines for most of the contest.
Eventually Australia managed to score 242 for the loss of nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs.Warner finished the innings with the top score of 54 off 62 balls with the help of five fours, whereas Stoines (46 off 63) and Head (42 off 59) also made valuable contribution with the bat. The spinners once again did the job for India they restricted Australia to a modest total after a superb start provided by Finch and Warner.
For India, Patel finished as the pick of the bowlers, as he claimed three wickets and just gave away 38 runs in his 10 overs.
Chasing 243 to finish the series on the high, India had the best possible start with 134-run opening partnership between Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, which pretty much sealed then game then and there and it took home side mere 43 overs to get over the line with seven wickets in hand.
Sharma finished the innings with the top score of 125 off 109 balls with the help of 11 fours and five sixes, whereas Rahane scored 61 off 74 balls.
Sharma for his outstanding batting performance was awarded man of the match, whereas all-rounder Hardik Pandya for his consistent performance throughout was named best player of the series.
Both teams will now travel to Ranchi for the first of three-T20I series, which will be played on October 7. Australia will try to make amends for their performance in the one day series in the 20-over format as Steve Smith will be hoping to win the series to get some confidence as a side before the upcoming Ashes series.