Canberra - A spectacular Indian batting
collapse gave Australia a 25-run victory in the one-day international here on Wednesday, their fourth successive victory in the five-match
After winning the toss and
choosing to bat, Australian openers Aaron Finch and David Warner both posted
big scores to take the home side to a massive 348 for eight.
The Indians looked well on
target when Shikhar Dhawan (126) and Virat Kohli (106) put on 212 for the
second wicket to reach 277 for one, smashing the attack all over Manuka Oval.
Neither batsman was in any
trouble on a lifeless pitch and none of the Australian bowlers were spared.
But once Dhawan fell cutting
John Hastings to George Bailey at point, the Indian wickets began falling
regularly and the Australians began to assert control.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni
fell for a duck before Kohli hit a catch to Australian captain Steve Smith at
mid-off, his only false shot in a magnificent 106-ball innings.
With four wickets down and
in-form batsman Ajinkya Rahane hampered by split webbing on his hand, the
Indians began to panic as they lost Gurkeerat Singh (5), Rahane (2) and Rishi
Dhawan (9) in quick succession.
The tail-enders put up little
resistance and Australia took the last nine wickets for just 46 runs to wrap up
an unlikely victory.
"It's a funny game isn't
it?" said a delighted Smith.
"It looked like they
were cruising for a while there, but a couple of wickets always changes the
swing of things.
"We had a never say die
attitude tonight, which is something I want to instil in these guys.
"We worked incredibly
hard to get back into that game and when we got a sniff we ran with it."
Dhoni said he took
responsibility for the loss after failing to capitalise on the good start to
the run chase.
"That's what my job in
the team is, to finish off the games from that type of position, but
unfortunately I got out," he said.
"There was a bit of
pressure on the youngsters but I think certainly we should have done much better.
"The way we started was
what we needed and the partnership between Shikhar and Virat was
Earlier Finch made 107 and
Warner 93 in a huge opening stand of 187. Smith then smashed 51 off only 29
balls and Glenn Maxwell 41 from 20 in a display of powerful shotmaking.
Warner brought up his 50 from
46 balls with eight fours and one six.
Finch was more sedate than
his partner, taking 61 balls for his half century, but began to pick up the
pace soon afterwards.
His innings was especially
damaging to umpire Richard Kettleborough, who was hit on the shin by a powerful
on-drive and had to be replaced in the middle by Paul Wilson.
After breaking the opening
stand India took regular wickets to slow the scoring down until Maxwell let rip
in the last two overs to post a target that eventually proved too much.