For about an hour, Kohli tried to set it up and steal Steve Smith’s (104 off 64 balls), but the ever-optimistic Indian skipper knew it was too far a bridge. When Moises Henriques, fielding at short midwicket, pulled a stunner diving to left-field to send Kohli home (89 off 87 balls), India fell short of 165 in 15 overs.
They are ideal targets for IPL games on a small basis. The big SCG under the lights in 50 overs is a different ball game, even if the men in the middle are T20 major players like KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya. As the Aussies finished formalism, they tried to force the pace.
2nd ODI: Australia beat India by series win
The opening pair of Aaron and Finch and David Warner batted first when Australia batted, then Smith then died.
Finch and Warner tweeted India’s worst nightmare with a 142-run partnership in 22.5 overs, while Smith showed that he was the new 360-degree figure of world cricket after AB de Villiers. For the third consecutive ODI century against India, the Aussie master was not a corner of the persecuted field.
In the pictures: Smith struck another ton as Australia beat India to take on the ODI series
Steve Smith’s century and two flying fieldfield catches helped Australia to a 51-run win over India in Sydney on Sunday. (ANI photo) p>
A century in 61 balls is usually a risk, but Smith is a different breed. In his two-hour show, he was hardly beaten when he gave the Indian bowlers a hint of opportunity. He executed his wrists, handled the gap with extreme skill, and the likes of Jaspreet Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal are usually very good with a white ball, just no answer.
Smith’s 136-run third wicket partnership with Marcus Labuschagne (70 0 F 61 balls) in 15.5 overs kept India out of the match.
It is a rare case of all five Aussie top-order batsmen earning 50 plus, the final nail in India’s coffin hitting Glenn Maxwell (63 off 29 balls).
The only bright spot for Men in Blue on the field is Pandya, who is still recovering from a back injury but bowled four overs after more than a year.
In his 390-run chase, India’s batting did not come to an end, and openers Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal got a counter-attack by adding 58 runs. But Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins are very intelligent and experienced in these situations.
It soon fell to Kohli but the captain’s chasing abilities were not enough to keep India in the series.