Rohit Sharma smashed 125 to guide India to a convincing seven-wicket win against Australia in the fifth and final one-day international in Nagpur on Sunday. With that they won the series 4-1 and also became the Nos 1 team in One dayers.
Chasing 243, the hosts chased the target with 7.5 overs to spare as Australia’s listless bowling attack failed to pose any serious challenge.
Australia lost the first three ODIs of the series to concede an 3-0 lead but regained some pride with a 21-run win in the fourth match at Bengaluru.
They would have wanted to gain some momentum with another victory before the three-match Twenty20 series, starting on Saturday, but a clinical performance from India barely gave them an opportunity.
Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, who completed his third consecutive half-century, gave India a rollicking start with an opening stand of 124 before the latter was out for 61.
It was Sharma’s 14th hundred in the 50-over format and he brought it up with a massive six over mid-wicket against the fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile. The stylish right-handed batsman, who had scored 71 and 65 respectively in the previous two matches, hit 11 fours and five sixes in his 109-ball innings.
Sharma and the captain Virat Kohli (39) added 99 in their second-wicket partnership to take India to the brink of victory before both were out caught in the deep in the same over to the leg-spinner Adam Zampa.
Earlier, Australia failed to build on a solid start from their openers and finished on 242 for nine after winning the toss and opting to bat.
David Warner followed up his match-winning innings of 124 in the previous ODI with a fine 53 and added 66 with Aaron Finch in a brisk opening stand.
The India all-rounder Hardik Pandya dismissed Finch for 32 to break the dangerous stand, who had combined in a partnership of 231 to set up Australia’s win in the previous encounter.
Australia were moving along nicely at 100 for one but then suffered a mini collapse losing their captain, Steve Smith, Warner and Peter Handscomb in quick succession to be reduced to 118 for four.
India’s spinners pulled back the scoring rate with the left-arm spinner Axar Patel the most devastating, finishing with three for 38.
India’s seamers Jasprit Bumrah (2-51) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also bowled accurately during the closing overs to restrict Australia, and made up for their average opening spells.