Kolkata: Virat Kohli and his men continued with their dominance over Australia as this time, they outplayed Steve Smith’s men by 50 runs in the second ODI in Kolkata on Thursday to go 2-0 up in the series.
Riding on some brilliant bowling performances by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/9), Yuzvendra Chahal (2/34), Hardik Pandya (2/56) and a scintillating hattrick by chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav (3/54), India successfully defended 252 runs and added one more loss to the Australian team’s recent ODI record in overseas conditions.
Just a few days back, former Aussie chinaman Brad Hogg had touted the young Kuldeep to be something special for Indian cricket in the future and his hattrick, (the third by an Indian in ODI’s, after Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev) has done justice to that statement. The 22-year-old dismissed Matthew Wade (2), Ashton Agar (0) and Pat Cummins (0) and turned the match around completely as the entire Eden Gardens crowd rose up to applaud this special feat.
Chasing 253, Australia were off to the worst possible start as both the openers- David Warner (1) and Hilton Cartwright (1) were sent back to the hut by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Skipper Steve Smith, playing his 100th ODI stitched a 76-run stand with Travis Head (39) to help Australia comeback into the game. The partnership looked to be a threatening one for the Indians but young Yuzvendra Chahal brought back India into the game by dismissing the left-hander.
Glenn Maxwell was the next batsman to be dismissed as he tried to dance down the track and play a delivery by Chahal, but instead got stumped by MS Dhoni to leave Australia at 106/4. After Hardik Pandya scalped the prized wicket of Steve Smith for 59, the Indians gained a strong grip on the game and looked to dominate proceedings from then on.
The best was saved for the last as Kuldeep’s hattrick ruled out any chances of the hosts walking away with a win. But Marcus Stoinis (62) held fort at one end as he ran out of partners. Eventually, they were shot out for 202 runs, thereby handing the Indians their eighth-successive ODI victory.
Earlier, Virat Kohli had won the toss and had elected to bat first. Opener Rohit Sharma, who had got a start in the last game failed to do so in this one as Nathan Coulter-Nile once again proved to be the main strike bowler for the hosts. But Ajinkya Rahane, who had a poor outing with the bat in Chennai milked some delightful fours as he along with Virat Kohli added 102-runs to help India comeback in the match.
While Rahane was dismissed courtesy a run-out, skipper Kohli made a fluent and stylish 92 before falling to Coulter-Nile. However, the Indians couldn’t end on a high as they did in the last match and were only able to score 252 runs, which is a below par total in ODI cricket today.
India 252 all out in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 92, Ajinkya Rahane 55; Nathan Coulter-Nile 3/51) beat Australia 202 all out in 43.1 overs (Marcus Stoinis 62 n.o, Steve Smith 59; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/9) by 50 runs.