For the third time in a row in this series, Australian captain Aaron Finch called it right at the toss and this time he opted to bat first in the crucial decider encounter. However, Australia got off to a poor start as they first lost the wicket of David Warner and then Aaron Finch also unfortunately got run-out due to confusion with Steve Smith. In a crunch game, Australia lost the wickets of both their openers within the first 10 overs. The pair of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne then got together to do the recovery work.
The duo stitched a brilliant partnership of 127 runs for the third wicket before Labuschagne got dismissed for a well-made 64-ball 54. While Smith was batting amazingly well at one end, Australia continued to lose regular wickets on the other side. Smith played a spectacular innings of 131 runs off 132 balls before Shreyas Iyer took a brilliant catch in the deep to dismiss the well-set batsman.
Eventually, Australia still managed to finish with a pretty challenging total of 286 for 9 in 50 overs. For India, Mohammed Shami was absolutely sensational at the death picking four crucial wickets and Jadeja also bowled really well as he finished his economical spell with two vital wickets.
While chasing a target of 287 runs in the crucial series decider, India got off to a fine start with the new set of two openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul adding 69 runs for the first wicket. Rahul’s struggles were ended by Ashton Agar who provided Australia with the opening breakthrough in the 13th over. The duo of Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli then joined hands to resurrect the Indian innings and guide their team forward in this crucial run-chase.
Rohit and Virat show their class in crucial series decider
India’s most experienced current white-ball batting pair of Rohit and Virat showed remarkable composure and temperament to keep the Aussie bowlers at bay for a substantial amount of time. In the important series decider encounter, Rohit showed his class with an exceptional knock of 119 runs off 128 balls that included 8 fours and 6 sixes. The duo stitched an excellent match-changing partnership of 137 runs along with Virat to help India claim a solid position in the match.
After Rohit got out in the 37th over, Virat then took over as the anchor role in the run-chase because he was well-set on a fifty. Virat stitched a crucial partnership of 68 runs along with an under-pressure Shreyas Iyer to take India almost near the finishing line. Virat played an impressive innings of 89 runs off 91 balls before getting dismissed by Josh Hazlewood in the 46th over. Towards the end, Iyer remained unbeaten at 44 off 35 as Manish Pandey smashed the winning runs to help India register a magnificent series win.
Australia: 286/9 in 50 overs (Steve Smith-131, Marnus Labuschagne-54; Mohammed Shami 4/63, Ravindra Jadeja 2/44)
India: 289/3 in 47.3 overs (Rohit Sharma-119, Virat Kohli-89, Shreyas Iyer-44*; Ashton Agar 1/38)
Result: India won the match by 7 wickets