Nagpur - Skipper Virat Kohli on Sunday urged India to be
"relentless" after they thrashed Australia by seven wickets in the
fifth one-day international, clinching the series 4-1.
Chasing 243 for victory, the hosts rode on opener Rohit
Sharma's 109-ball 125 to achieve their target in 42.5 overs at Nagpur and get
back to the top of ODI world rankings table.
India, who reached the ODI summit after three straight wins
in the series, had slipped behind South Africa following their loss in the
fourth game. They were already the top Test team.
"It feels good. It was a really convincing series win
for us. Ticked all boxes... We had a chance to retain the No. 1 spot and we
ended up doing that," Kohli said at the presentation.
"The management also plays a massive part in motivating
players after being 3-0 up in the series. But we want to be relentless,"
It was a disciplined bowling effort led by spinner Axar
Patel, who claimed three wickets, that set up India's comfortable victory after
restricting the visitors to 242-9.
In reply, Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, who made 61, put on a
124-run opening stand to lay a solid foundation in another dominating
performance in recent times.
"We repeated the way we played against Sri Lanka (beat
them 9-0 across the three formats), proud of that. Shows the quality of the
side, regardless of the opposition," said Kohli.
Man of the match Sharma, who opened his account with two
successive boundaries after 14 deliveries, was the first to get to his fifty
with a double off Marcus Stoinis.
Rahane also got his fourth successive 50-plus score before
being trapped lbw by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile, who ended with 10 wickets in
the five matches.
Sharma went on to register his 14th ODI ton during his
99-run partnership with Kohli, who made a sedate 39. He got to his hundred with
a six off Coulter-Nile.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa sent Sharma, who hit 11 fours and 5
sixes, and Kohli back to pavilion.
Kedar Jadhav, unbeaten on five, and Manish Pandey, 11 not
out, then saw the team through.
Earlier, opener David Warner's 62-ball 53 was not enough to
inspire Australian batting as they ended on a below-par total after electing to
All-rounder, Hardik Pandya, who struck first by getting
Aaron Finch out for 32, was given the man of the series award for his six
wickets and 222 runs in the series.
Travis Head and Stoinis tried hard to counter a persistent
Indian bowling with their 87-run fifth-wicket partnership, but their departure
spelt further trouble for the visitors.
Head, who made 42, and Stoinis, who scored 46, failed to
convert their starts into bigger scores as Australia totally lost steam in the
final five overs.
Left-arm spinner Patel returned impressive figures of 3-38
while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah claimed two wickets.
"Lost wickets in clumps again. Have a few things to
look at to try and improve and gain the consistent performances we're
after," said a disappointed Smith.
"We've been outplayed and deserve to lose 4-1...India
have got a very good balance. We have six or so days until the 3-match T20I
series. We'd like to go home with a trophy," he added.
The action now shifts to the three Twenty20 internationals
starting Saturday in Ranchi.