virat kohli You just mentioned a typically risk-free half century. A massive roar echoes around Chennai’s recently renovated MA Chidambaram Stadium. There are no signs of spray and the ball catches and spins sharply for Australia’s slower bowlers, but a century from Kohli seems all but inevitable. At the other end, Hardik Pandya He has escaped 28 of 20 balls. India is 185 for 4 in 35 overs, chasing 270, with batting up to Ravindra Jadeja at No.8.
Kohli then collapses to his back knee and uncharacteristically slams the ball into the air, despite missing the release of a pitch from Ashton Agar that slips away from him. He looks to cover deep, but ends up shooting the ball much straighter from long range for 54 of 72 balls. Kohli usually takes these chases in depth and kills them, but this time he deflected his focus and entrenched himself. David Warner raises his fist after receiving the catch and Australia captain Steven Smith flips up his collar; Chepauk is silent.
The pitch plays more tricks. An Agar skidder stays low and breaks through the defenses of Suryakumar Yadav, who catches his third straight golden duck in the series. Hardik also holes out while trying to hit a six, leaving the door ajar for Australia. Visitors capitalize and consign India to their third bilateral defeat in the ODI series since 2015.
Hardik and Adam Zampa have some history: six years ago, Hardik had said that he could draw a six from Zampa any time he wanted. But Zampa is now at the peak of his powers. Since the 2019 ODI World Cup final, no spinner from a Full Member nation has more wickets than his 66, with only Alzarri Joseph (69) having more wickets during this time. In Chennai, both Zampa and Agar were getting some vicious ball spins from the stump line.
With the interest rate hovering around eight and with Jadeja at the other end, Hardik could have watched Zampa’s last two overs and aimed for the medium pace of Marcus Stoinis, who ended up bowling the 48th and 50th overs. With Mitchell Marsh playing batsman specialist in this series, Australia did not have a sixth bowling option. However, despite the presence of a long, wide, deep straight midwicket, Hardik throws his hands into a low-percentage slog against a leg break from Zampa and slices a catch for extra coverage. KL Rahul and Jadeja are also fired trying to hit Zampa for a six.
indian captain rohit sharma he was not overly critical of India’s uncharacteristic batting approach, but called for more application on difficult tracks like Chepauk’s.
“No, I don’t think it was too many races,” Rohit said. star sports in the post-game presentation. “The wicket was a bit challenging towards the second half but I don’t think we’ll bat well. The moment we thought we had a partnership we lost a wicket. So yes, when you want to win games like this, partnerships are crucial and It’s something we couldn’t do today.
“A bit of both (the nature of the wicket and the manner of the dismissals) actually let me down. You were born and raised playing in these types of wickets so it will be challenging at times but it’s important to apply yourself and try to give yourself a opportunity. We weren’t chasing 300, we were chasing 270. After the start we got, it was important for a hitter to continue as long as possible and deepen the game. But then again, having said that, we know these things can happen and we all did everything everything possible to go out and achieve it, but it just didn’t happen.
At the press conference, Rohit said the team’s management would not judge hitters based on Wednesday’s hitting malfunction. “If you look at the last few overs, it was probably a run-a-ball or probably more than that,” Rohit said. “So someone has to take a chance. We didn’t want to wait until the end for the last two overs. We’ve always talked about playing fearlessly a bit and if someone feels they can take on the bowlers, we do it.” I have given you complete freedom to go and do that. And while they’re doing that, there’s a very good chance that they won’t be able to achieve what they want to achieve, which is fair. Which is fine by us.
“You’ll learn from that and we definitely won’t judge (players) based on a couple of bad shots. All these guys have a lot of potential and they can play shots whenever they want and we want to encourage them to go out there and do that very often.”
India have a track record of winning ODIs with their tried and tested method of taking games deep, and perhaps the batting failure in Chennai was just an anomaly.