In the third and decisive match played at Chepauk Stadium in Chennai, Australia defeated Team India by 21 runs. With this, Australia has won the three-match ODI series by 2-1. Australian captain Steve Smith won the toss and decided to bat first. Batting first, the Kangaroo team was reduced to 269 runs. In response, Team India collapsed in 49 overs. Barring Virat Kohli, no player of Team India could cross the figure of 50. At the same time, Adam Jamma took 4 wickets for Australia.
Earlier, Australia managed a fighting total of 269 even though they batted only 49 overs. They picked an extra spinner precisely because they expected the pitch to do what it did. However, they were left hoping the pitch wouldn’t quicken up under lights or the dew wouldn’t render their spinners ineffective.
Hardik Pandya took the first three wickets in his first three overs to drag Australia back from a flying start, and Kuldeep Yadav benefited from Ravindra Jadeja’s accuracy and Australia’s unwillingness or inability to accumulate through the middle overs when the ball started gripping.
In fact, the ball started gripping inside the powerplay with a puff of dust seen as early as the fourth over when Mohammed Siraj bowled a wobble-seam delivery. It seemed logical then that Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head took risks against the new ball and with the field up.
They were pretty successful at it too. India had to bring spin on in the sixth over to have their first over without a boundary. Marsh was brutal, Head kept finding areas square of the pitch. Once spin came on, though, it was apparent scoring would have to slow down outside the powerplay, which took Australia to 61 for 0.
Hardik’s introduction brought on immediate breaks. Three balls after Head was dropped as he fell into the short-ball trap, he upper-cut a short and wide delivery straight to square third. In Hardik’s next over, a scrambled-seam delivery held its line against the angle and took Steven Smith’s edge, who was looking for a big drive on the up. It ended Smith’s woeful tour with not even a single fifty in four Tests and three ODIs.
Marsh then fell short of a fifty for the first time in the series when he played Hardik on in his next over. Again, this was neither a seam-up delivery nor an offcutter, but seemed to just stop on him.
David Warner, playing only for the second time in the middle order in his ODI career, and Marnus Labuschagne finally seemed to get into accumulation mode. There was enough in the pitch for them to not attack Jadeja. However, after a few overs they started taking Kuldeep on. One top-edged slog sweep from Labuschagne went for six only because the fielder was in off the rope.—Agencies