2nd ODI: Iyer, Gill, Suryakumar, Rahul, spinners shine as India clinch series win over Australia


Led by sparkling centuries from Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill, coupled with blazing half-centuries by KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav, and followed by...

Led by sparkling centuries from Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill, coupled with blazing half-centuries by KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav, and followed by Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja taking three wickets, India got a convincing 99-run victory (DLS method) over Australia to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead at Holkar Stadium on Sunday.

Australia were given the target of chasing 400 after Gill and Iyer smashed 104 and 105 respectively while sharing a 200-run partnership for the second wicket. Rahul and Suryakumar added more spark to the run-fest with 52 and 72 not out respectively in propelling India to a mammoth 399/5, their highest ODI score against Australia.

In reply, Australia didn’t have a rosy start as Prasidh Krishna, included in place of a resting Jasprit Bumrah, took wickets on consecutive deliveries before the second rain break of the game arrived. With target revised to 317 in 33 overs, the pitch began to offer turn for spinners.

Ashwin took 3-41 in seven overs and triggered an Australian collapse, while Jadeja took 3-42 in 5.2 overs. Sean Abbott made 54 and had a stand of 77 off 44 balls with Josh Hazlewood for the ninth wicket before the duo were dismissed in three balls as Australia were all out for 217 in 28.2 overs, also their fifth straight loss in the format.

In the afternoon, Ruturaj Gaikwad got India going with two boundaries against debutant pacer Spencer Johnson. Josh Hazlewood was impressive in his line and length and that got him the wicket of Gaikwad, getting the outside edge of the right-hander’s bat and was caught behind by Alex Carey.

Iyer, coming after being run out for three in Mohali, found his groove by taking three boundaries in his first seven balls off Johnson and Hazlewood. He went on to smash Abbott through the line and pulled past Carey off Hazlewood to take two more boundaries.

Gill joined the boundary-hitting party by lofting Abbott high over long-on for six and then danced down the pitch to drive through extra cover for four, bringing the fifty of his partnership with Iyer. He danced down the pitch to loft over Cameron Green’s head for four and pulled high over fine leg for six before rain forced the players to go off the field for 25 minutes.

After that, carnage ensued as Gill stuck to his attacking strategy, dancing down the pitch easily to get boundaries, reaching his fifty in 37 balls with a loft over Green’s head for six. Iyer would also follow his lead of attacking the bowlers and reached his fifty in 41 balls by smashing a stand-and-deliver six over long-off against Johnson.

He then got his third ODI century in 86 balls and survived immediately after his reaching the landmark when Abbott’s attempted diving catch on his own bowling was grassed briefly. But Iyer couldn’t make much of the reprieve given, holing out to the deep off Abbott.

Gill went on to reach his sixth ODI hundred in 92 balls, before miscuing a cross-bat shot against Green. Ishan Kishan went bang-bang from the word go, hitting two fours and as many sixes before miscuing one to keeper off Adam Zampa.

With Rahul in his assured boundary-hitting zone, especially towards the leg-side and eventually reached his fifty, Suryakumar raised the tempo by smacking Green for four sixes in a row, including thrice over leg-side, while taking 28 runs from the 44th over.

Though Green bounced back by sending Rahul’s leg-stump on a cartwheel ride, Suryakumar continued to impress with boundaries all over the park to end up unbeaten on a career-best 72 off 37 deliveries. He also reached his fifty in 24 balls, breaking the previous fastest ODI fifty for India against Australia record set by Virat Kohli off 27 balls in Jaipur in 2013.

Matthew Short began Australia’s chase by taking two boundaries off Mohammed Shami via drive and flick. But Krishna, playing in place of a rested Jasprit Bumrah, took Short out by extracting a big edge on his attempted slice and the ball flew to third man.

On the very next ball, Prasidh got some away movement and stand-in captain Steven Smith threw his hands at it, giving first slip a catch above his head. David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne led Australia’s recovery by hitting eight boundaries while adding 47 off 45 balls for the third wicket till rain arrived, forcing players to go off the field.

Post that, with revised target in hand, Warner and Labuschagne hit four more boundaries, till Ashwin turned the game on its head. Ashwin’s carrom ball on a pitch giving spinners turn – crashing into Labuschagne’s off-stump when the batter played for an off-break.

Warner brought out the ploy to bat right-handed against Ashwin, but the carrom ball did the trick again, as he fell over in an attempt to reverse-sweep and was trapped lbw in front of stumps, though replays showed a clear bottom edge. Josh Inglis was next to be trapped lbw by Ashwin while trying to sweep off him.

Australia continued to fall like nine pins as Alex and Zampa were cleaned up by Jadeja while Green was run-out. Abbott and Hazlewood tried delaying the inevitable by hitting 13 boundaries in their entertaining ninth wicket stand, till the duo fell in quick succession as India put an end to the fun in a game where they got a lot of clarity in run-up to the World Cup.

Brief Scores: India 399/5 in 50 overs (Shreyas Iyer 105, Shubman Gill 104; Cameron Green 2-103, Josh Hazlewood 1-62) beat Australia 217 in 28.2 overs (Sean Abbott 54, David Warner 53; Ravichandran Ashwin 3-41, Ravindra Jadeja 3-42) by 99 runs via DLS method

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