Australia won the final ODI of the 3-match series by 66 runs, denying India a historic whitewash after losing two consecutive ODIs. Nevertheless, India will move on to the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 as the number-one team globally. The final ODI was held at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. The Aussies had all the big names making a comeback, as did the hosts, except for star performers like Shubham Gill and Ishan, the former being Player of the Series.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma marked their return with the concluding event. Sharma departed for a shocker by Maxwell after scoring 81 runs off 57 balls. Washington Sundar was seen struggling against the spell. This is evident from his strike rate of 60.00 while chasing a massive target of 353 runs. The Australian side can never be underestimated, even at their lowest point. Hence, there was a dire need to boost the game right from the beginning.
The left-handed batter has done some damage in T20, but the day format has a different momentum. With all the pressure on the skipper’s shoulder, Sundar took time to settle on the pitch, only to hand over the picket to Maxwell in the 11th over. India was close to a rate of 7.4 after the first powerplay.
Kohli took his time, but the threat of Maxwell continued. The former Indian captain could only bag 7 runs during his spell of 17 deliveries. Finally, the extra bounce surprised him with a missed pull shot that went into the hands of Steve Smith.
Sharma nearly went for a straight shot, but that got stuck in Maxwell’s hands. Expectations were on Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, and Suryakumar Yadav; however, two of them failed to accelerate the chase. Iyer missed his 15th half-century by two runs. Others simply could not capitalize on the basics.
Australia’s decision to bat first came in handy, for the ground favored them to the best level. The top four batters fired up the inning, with all of them scoring 50+ runs for the board. Mitchell March had the top-most individual contribution of 96 runs in 84 balls. Odds on best betting sites for cricket shifted to favor the visitors. India, under the tense situation, could only clinch the second wicket after nearly 19 overs, that is, in the 28th over. Most of the work had been done until then by the Aussies.
In all fairness, Australia did a good job of surpassing the average score of 312 runs in the first innings. The pitch of the stadium helps batters a lot.
India and Australia will next face each other on October 8, 2023, at MA Chidambaram Stadium for the 5th ICC ODI World Cup 2023 event. That will be a sight to behold since the hosting stadium is known to have a flat pitch. This means that there will again be favorable conditions for batters in the first inning.
Interestingly, this will be an opening event for both sides, excluding the warm-up matches of the tournament.