IND vs AUS: It's won all in Rajkot
After Wankhede thrashing, all-round India regroup to beat Oz and level series
Rajkot: It was windy and chilly here on Friday but an under-fire Team India turned up the heat on Australia to make a sterling comeback and level things in the second ODI of the three-match series.
Proving that the Wankhede drubbing was an aberration, Virat Kohli & Co beat Australia by 36 runs to emerge victorious at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium here.
As expected, Kohli went back to his usual batting position of No. 3 and it yielded the desired result. There were no centuries but big contributions from Shikhar Dhawan (96), KL Rahul (80 off 52) and Kohli (78) took India to 340-6. Australia were in the game till Steven Smith (98) was out there in the middle but his dismissal broke the backbone of the visitors' batting and they folded up for 304 in 49.1 overs. For a team that struggled to make any breakthroughs in the first encounter, it was a remarkable effort from the Indian bowlers to claim 10 Australian wickets here.
Though Mohammed Shami claimed the most wickets—3-77, it was Kuldeep Yadav's twin strikes in an over, dismissing Alex Carey and Smith, that tilted the match in India's favour.
Learning from the drubbing at Wankhede, the Indian pacers on Friday hardly pitched anything fuller and that helped them contain the Aussie openers.
A leaping one-handed blinder from Manish Pandey at cover removed David Warner, while some fine work from wicketkeeper Rahul had Aaron Finch (33) dismissed just as his partnership with Marnus Labuschagne (46) was blossoming.
The onus to steer Australia was on Smith and Labuschagne and they steadily put on a 96-run stand in 178 balls. India reviewed a leg-before appeal to Smith that was marred with some glitches in the snicko that detects the edge. Despite the bat and pad being nowhere close to each other, there was a spike in the snicko that prompted a surprise reaction from Kohli and Smith survived the review.
The threatening partnership however was broken just in time when Labuschagne holed out to Shami at long-off off Ravindra Jadeja.
Kuldeep then dismissed Carey (18) and Smith, two short of a century, in the 38th over. Carey gifted away his wicket with a soft dismissal at extra cover that made Kuldeep the third fastest Indian after Jasprit Bumrah and Shami to claim 100 wickets, in 58 ODIs.
A googly from Kuldeep then resulted in Smith playing on to the stumps.
No. of innings taken by Rohit Sharma to cross 7,000 ODI runs as opener, the fastest by any opening batsmen
India 340-6 in 50 overs (S Dhawan 96, KL Rahul 80, V Kohli 78; A Zampa 3-50, K Richardson 2-73) beat Aus 304 in 49.1 overs (S Smith 98, M Labuschagne 46; M Shami 3-77, R Jadeja 2-58, N Saini 2-62, K Yadav 2-65) by 36 runs
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