Sydney: It was action replay, like in the 1st ODI Australia put a huge total on the board in 2nd game too and Team India again failed to chase it successfully. India lost the game by 51 and the ODI series with one more match to be played on 2 December.
Chasing a target of 390, India could manage only 338 runs in 50 overs losing nine wickets. Opener Mayank Agarwal (28) and Shekhar Dhawan (30) got off to a decent start but again failed to capitalize on it. Dhawan was caught off Hazelwood when the score was 58 in the 8th over and two runs later Mayank too departed. However, Shreyas Ayer and captain Virat Kohli tried to steady the inning and put on 93 runs but Ayer (38) fell to Henriques who was the most miser bowler conceding just 37 runs in his seven over spell.
When the target looked beyond India’s reach, Kohli and K.L. Rahul put on a partnership of 72 runs but Kohli (89), who was looking in control, became Hazelwood second victim. After his dismissal Rahul (76) too fell, trying to accelerate the inning. Later batsmen completed the formalities by hitting each and every, sacrificing their wickets.
For the host, spinner Zampa was again among the wickets while Cummins took maximum (3) wickets conceding 67 runs in his spell of ten overs.
Earlier, after winning the toss and choosing to bat first, the majestic Steve Smith produced another master-class in the form of a 64-ball 104 here today. This was the Australian run-machine’s fifth century against India in the 50-over format and second on the trot after his ton in the series-opener, which came off 66 deliveries. Smith hit 14 boundaries and two sixes while Warner found the fence seven times and cleared it thrice. In his trademark unconventional manner, Smith played shots all round the wicket to torment the Indian bowlers.
Besides Smith’s 104-run knock, swashbuckling opener David Warner smashed 83 off 77 while skipper Aaron Finch contributed 60 in a first-wicket stand of 142 in under 23 overs.
To dislodge Smith, India needed Pandya to bowl for the first time since returning from a back surgery more than a year ago, and he did the trick in his third over, luring the imperious Australian to slash one straight into Mohammed Shami.
The duo of Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell continued the onslaught to propel Australia to a humongous score in what was a must-win game for the visitors. Labuschagne made 70 and the big-hitting Maxwell blazed away to 63 off 29 balls with the help of four sixes and as many fours.
Coming off an expensive outing in the series-opener, lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah started with a maiden and generated good pace off a wicket with a decent grass cover. But he soon lost his rhythm as the Australians found theirs after a slow start.
Finch found his first boundary of the day when he comfortably flicked Bumrah over the backward square leg region, even as the bowler clocked 146-147 on the speed gun.
The Young Navdeep Saini was brought on early and Warner welcomed him with a six over the square leg boundary, whacking his short first delivery with aplomb.
Taking full advantage of Saini’s inexperience in these conditions, Warner collected two boundaries off him before giving the same treatment to Shami in the innings’ eighth over, as Australia reached 50 in another solid start for the home team.
Indian bowlers are proving to be Virat Kohli’s Achilles as none of his front line bowlers have been able to either contain the Aussies or get early break through.