India lost seven wickets for 102 runs on a dry surface in Chennai to botch up a manageable chase in Chennai. Like Australia, India too got off to a rollicking start with both Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill finding the fence routinely to put on a quickfire 65-run stand in pursuit of 270, but the hosts lost wickets at regular intervals once the opening partnership was broken.
Earlier, Australia huffed and puffed to the seemingly below-par total after having blazed off the blocks in the decider at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. Thanks to some typically flamboyant batting by Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh, Australia had flourished in the powerplay but lost the plot with the introduction of Hardik Pandya.
The all-rounder saw Head being reprieved on 17 by Shubman Gill at deep square leg but had him caught at third man shortly thereafter to make sure that the damage was minimised. He netted the big fish promptly as Australia’s skipper Steve Smith nicked off in his next over to fall for a duck. With his assortment of cutters and back of length balls, Hardik put a kibosh on Australia’s freewheeling strokeplay. The wicket of Mitchell Marsh was the icing on the cake as the burly hitter fell three short of what could have been three fifties on the trot.
The quick wickets twinned with the discipline shown by Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav kept the squeeze on Australia, but in the end they managed to put up a total that challenged India.
OUT! Ashton Agar grabs his first wicket in his final over and it's the 'big fish' Virat Kohli, who is caught at long-off for 54
IND 185/5 after 35.1 overs in 270 chase
— TOI Sports (@toisports) March 22, 2023