IND vs AUS 2nd ODI: Disciplined Australia restricts India to 252
Kolkata: An uncalled for run out of Ajinkya Rahane saw Indian middle order collapsing and only managing to post 252/10 despite being in a comfortable position at 120/1 in 23.3 overs against Australia at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
After Rohit Sharma (7 off 14) departed early, a rare disappointment for the batsman at the Eden ground, Rahane and skipper Virat Kohli consolidated the Indian inning and added 102 runs for the second wicket at a healthy run rate.
It was due to a second run call by Virat Kohli which forced Rahane to respond and throw his wicket despite being unwilling to take it from the very beginning.
Rahane got out after scoring a solid 55 runs off 64 balls with the help of seven fours. Kohli, however, continued scoring but could not complete his 31st One-Day International (ODI) hundred. He was cleaned up by Nathan Coulter-Nile at 92 runs off 107 balls with 8 boundaries. It was a rare occasion as the Indian run-machine doesn’t usually get out in 90s.
Manish Pandey also failed to capitalise the opportunity and was clean bowled by Ashton Agar at the individual total of 3 runs off 13 deliveries. Kedar Jadhav showed some fireworks during his short stay at the crease and added 24 runs off 24 balls hitting 2 fours and a six.
Former skipper MS Dhoni, who perfectly played the role of a mentor in the first match of the five-ODI series, failed to perform and got out after scoring 5 runs off 10 balls with one four.
Hardik Pandya, who played a sensational inning of 83 runs off only 66 balls in the first match to help India get 1-0 lead in the series, was unbeaten at 19 runs off 24 balls with 2 boundaries. He was accompanied by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (18 off 30, 1 four) at the crease when rail played the spoilsport in the 48th over of the inning.
As the game resumed, Kumar at 20 got out trying to play a big shot while Kuldeep Yadav failed to open his account. Pandya also could not accelerate the scoring rate during the slog overs and got out after scoring 20 runs off 26 balls.
Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson were the pick of the bowlers for Australia as they took three wickets each for 51 and 55 runs, respectively in their 10 overs each, while Ashton Agar got one wicket. Pat Cummins pocketed a wicket and remained extremely economical giving away only 34 runs in his 10 overs with a maiden.
Due to incessant rains in Kolkata during past two days, it might not be a cake walk for Australian batting to chase down a decent target of 253 runs. Let’s see what happens next.