Virat Kohli’s blistering knock of 123 went in vain as India went down by 32 runs against Australia in the third one day international at Ranchi on Friday.
After being sent into bat by the Indian skipper, the Australian opening pair of Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja got their team off to a fantastic start, as they added 193 runs for the opening stand. The stand was finally broken when Kuldeep Yadav got Finch leg before wicket for 93, but it was not without controversy, with the ball actually having pitched in a different place to where DRS adjudged it to have.
Khawaja notched up his maiden century, but fell soon after, caught at mid wicket by Jasprit Bumrah off Mohammed Shami. Glenn Maxwell, promoted up the order, took on the Indian spinners with some fine hitting, but a fantastic run out from the duo of MS Dhoni and Jadeja put an end to his wonderful cameo.
The 24 year old Kuldeep brought India back into the game by claiming wickets of Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb for 7 & 0 respectively.
Australia appeared to be in danger of frittering away the excellent start given to them by their openers, but the pair of Marcus Stoinis and wicket keeper Alex Carey added an unbeaten 50 run stand for the sixth wicket to take the visitors past the 300 run mark. They eventually finished at 313/5 in their allotted 50 overs.
Kuldeep was India’s best bowler as he finished with figures of 3/64 in 10 overs.
Chasing a mammoth total of 313, the home side again lost Shikhar Dhawan early as he fell to the returning Jhye Richardson, with Maxwell taking a brilliant catch to send back the left hander.
Pat Cummins the got into the act by claiming the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu as India were left tottering at 27-3.
Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni stitched together a 59 run stand for the fourth wicket before Adam Zampa claimed the prize scalp of the latter, perhaps batting for the last time in his home ground, for 26.
Kohli was involved in yet another stand of 88 runs with Kedar Jadhav before Zampa broke through again, getting Jadhav LBW to leave the home side precariously placed at 174/5.
Kohli in the 38th over hit Zampa for successive fours, before the leg spinner struck a killer blow by claiming the Indian captain for a brilliant 123. His knock comprised of 16 fours and a six and took his ODI century tally to 41. Zampa’s 10 overs went for 70, but his three wickets were worth their weight in gold and they tipped the game Australia’s way.
Vijay Shankar continued his good form with the bat by scoring 32 before he became Nathan Lyon’s only victim of the evening, falling in the 43rd over.
Ravindra Jadeja tried his level best to get India past the finishing line but failed to do so, and India were eventually bowled out for 281 runs in 48.2 overs.
The trio of Cummins, Zampa and Richardson claimed 3 wickets apiece. Usman Khawaja was declared the Man of the match for his fine 104.
The fourth one day international will be played at Chandigarh on Sunday.