These days it is rare for a venue to host back-to-back ODIs, but when the Sydney Cricket Ground got the chance to do so, it was reported to be apart from the first ODI. Australia won the toss again and put India through the grind with a big opening; Steve Smith scored another quick century; Glenn Maxwell ends it the way he knows and pretty much the same way he did the other night; Virat Kohli fell for another botched pull shot towards mid-wicket; And India lost again in a manner that was disappointed and peaceful in similar measures.
But what worked to differentiate from today to Friday was how Steve Smith was able to do an encore. Adding another 62-ball hundred to every bit of his talent from the second day and Australia’s record for the third-fastest ODI hundred. To bring it to the level. He would be set only two days earlier. And buoyed by his innings, Australia stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a strong stand of 142. Setting India 390 to chase down and landed on the right side of another high scoring encounter.
To be reasonable for India, Sydney had an evening season for bowling, with the sort of warmth waves that individuals ordinarily stay inside. Mohammed Shami kicked things off with a bouncer to David Warner and even Bumrah took a while to complete his length. But all of that early discipline and aggro was undone through Navdeep Saini, whom David Warner and Aron Finch could easily complete.
In another wicketkeeping powerplay with the ball for India (his fifth on the trot) another huge opening stand (Australia’s third on the trot). This meant that Smith’s free-flowing run and Marnus Labuschnege’s overhand rotation caused him further injury. Both Finch (lead by Shami) and Warner (long run out by Shreyas Iyer’s direct hit) put India on a window. But Smith’s brilliant scoring methods kept the scoreboard busy and kept India Stopped at bay.
Smith fell while throwing a short ball from Hardik Pandya to the short third man, and in many ways came to know about India’s plight. A half-fit bowler who was not prepared to bowl. Outplayed Australia’s best batsman, and used strategy were not on the planning board. India used several bowlers with Kohli at one time, even asking Mayank Agarwal to join hands.
Maxwell drove in 63 * runs to take Australia to the end. Pushing the batting efforts towards the host team a few nights ago.
It was not all fate for India while batting, where the misfortune in this arrangement would cause significantly more harm to the observers. Virat and Iyer scored 93 runs partnership. Iyer had a fair share of troubles against the short ball before Moises Henriques’s long fall. But Kohli kept India in the hunt for a long time, as the rate kept climbing. He formed a 72-run partnership with KL Rahul but neither of the two lasted long. Finally, India scored 338 for 9 from 50 overs, not at all a bad total, but not enough to win the match.
On the other hand, Australia too shone with a fielding effort, with a fast bowling unit that looked to be boiling, which was too spectacular for India. Iyer got out by Smith catching within the 30yard circle, and Kohli was out by an amazing catch by Henriques. When he was dismissed for 89 off 87 balls, made a difference at the crucial turning point in the game. It was felt that Indian team was relaxed while fielding as Ravindra Jadeja dropped Labuschnage catch. Which turned to be a costlier drop for the team.
One afternoon in Hardik’s return to bowling, Australia’s openers have scored yet another century. And the Heat Waves are so strong that the flagpoles barely survived, with Steve Smith still making headlines. And his innings during the worldly stages in both matches made a difference to the hosts.
Australia (389/4 in 50 overs) Won on India (338/9 in 50 overs) by 51 runs.
Best Performance India: Virat Kohli 89, Hardik Pandya 1-24, Mohammed Shami 1-73
Best Performance Australia: Steve Smith 104, David Warner 83; Pat Cummins 3-67