Australia defeat India to clinch ODI series

Sports Wednesday 22/March/2023 21:32 PM
By: Times News Service
Australia defeat India to clinch ODI series
Team Australia celebrates their ODI victory against India

CHENNAI: Australia defeated India by 21 runs in the third ODI at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai to clinch the series 2-1 on Wednesday. It was India’s first ODI series defeat in four years on home turf.

Chasing a competitive target of 270, the hosts were dismissed for 248 with five balls to spare. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa shone bright with the ball as he returned with figures of 4/45.

The Indian top-order got starts but failed to capitalise as wickets fell at regular intervals. Skipper Rohit Sharma (30), Shubman Gill (37), Virat Kohli (54), KL Rahul (32) and Hardik Pandya (40) all scored runs but gave away their wickets at crucial time.

The 1-2 series defeat was India’s first since March 2019 on home turf. With the ODI World Cup all set to take centre stage later this year, the Indian middle order fragility will be a matter of concern for the team’s think-tank.

Earlier, Australia made a competitive 269 against India after opting to bat. The Australian top-order batters got starts but failed to make it big. Opening the innings, Mitchell Marsh top-scored with a run-a-ball 47 while Travis Head made 33 off 31 balls.

Wicket-keeper Alex Carey (38), Marnus Labuschagne (28), Marcus Stoinis (25) and David Warner (23) all looked in good nick before throwing away their wickets. Sean Abbott (26) and Ashton Agar (17) also played good hands towards the end to take Australia past the 250-run mark before being bowled out in 49 overs.

For India, Hardik Pandya (3/44) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/56) scalped three wickets apiece, while Axar Patel (2/57) and Mohammed Siraj (2/37) picked up two each.

Speaking during the post-match presentation, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma said: "I don't think it was too many runs. The wicket was a little challenging towards the second half. I don't think we batted well. Partnerships are crucial, and we failed to do that today. The mode of dismissals - you are born and brought up on these wickets. Sometimes you need to apply yourself, and give yourself a chance.

“It was important for one batter to carry on and take the game deep. But all of us were trying our best; it just didn't happen. The nine ODIs we have played since January, we can take a lot of positives from that. It is a collective failure. In five months' time, we'll be playing in these conditions. You've got to give credit to the Australians as well."

Steven Smith, the series-winning Australian captain said: "It has been an enjoyable tour. The way we fought back after that (Delhi) Test match. It is just playing conditions for us. This wicket was different. I thought we left a few out there. It was just a really good performance. We continued taking wickets throughout. The way the tail stuck around and got us to 270; at one point, we weren't getting to 220."