Kohli back at three; India level series
Shikhar Dhawan produced another strong batting display as India bounced back from their opening-match humiliation to beat Australia by 36 runs and level the three-match one-day series.
Dhawan’s 74 was only high point of the 10-wicket loss, but his 96 on Friday was supported by KL Rahul’s 80 and Virat Kohli’s 78 as India posted 340-6.
Steve Smith made 98 for Australia before he fell to Kuldeep Yadav. The tourists were eventually all out for 304 as Mohammed Shami took 3-77.
“It was good to see that we came back so strongly,” said opener Dhawan, whose 96 came from 90 balls.
“We had a good discussion, we knew we had to target specific bowlers and we showed more intent. Once we were set, we put the pressure on them.”
Rohit Sharma’s 42 helped him become the fastest batsman to score 7,000 ODI runs opening the batting – doing so in his 137th innings, beating the record of 147 set by South Africa’s Hashim Amla.
After setting a target of 341, Australia openers David Warner and Aaron Finch hoped for more success against India’s bowlers, having both struck unbeaten centuries as the pair chased down 255 on Tuesday.
However, it was a different story on Friday as Warner fell to seamer Shami for 15 before Finch was stumped by Rahul – keeping wicket for the first time in international cricket, after Rishabh Pant was ruled out with concussion – off the bowling of spinner Ravindra Jadeja.
Smith looked in good nick though, having added 62 with Finch before building what seemed a big partnership with Marnus Labuschagne. But the stand of 96 was broken when Labuschagne lofted Jadeja’s delivery to Shami at long-off.
After Smith fell at the end of the 38th over, the remaining five wickets fell for 83 runs as the Aussies were bowled out with five balls to spare.
The decider will take place in Bangalore on Sunday – with Rohit likely to be fit, despite leaving the field with an injured shoulder late in Australia’s innings. (BBC Sport)