Rohit plays wrecker-in-chief as India beats Australia, wins series 4-1
Nagpur: It was his ninth ton against Australia and the player called Rohit Sharma has yet again proved why he is Virat Kohli's major asset for the World Cup 2019.
Riding on the perfect 124-run opening stand and Rohit's brilliance, India saw itself taking a 4-1 series win, beating Australia by wickets in the fifth and the final ODI of the five-match series here on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma, who got standing ovation from the crowd of Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, played 109-ball 125-run belligerent knock, decorated with 11 fours and five biggies.
The victory also helped India regain the top spot in the ODI rankings, pushing South Africa to the second position. Australia remain third.
Chasing a modest target of 243 runs, India crossed the line with 43 balls still to go. Sharma and fellow opener Ajinkya Rahane put on a 124-run partnership in 22.3 overs which virtually sealed the match in India's favour.
Sharma became the fastest Indian to reach the 2,000-run milestone in ODI cricket at home. He surpassed former India captain Sourav Ganguly and present incumbent Virat Kohli to the top spot.
The right-hander from Mumbai achieved the feat in 42 innings while Ganguly took 45 and Kohli needed 46.
Rahane, who has also been in good form in this series, played a steady knock of 61 runs off 74 balls which included seven boundaries.
Fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile finally broke the partnership when he trapped Rahane leg-before.
Kohli then joined Sharma in the middle and the duo proceeded to take the hosts slowly but surely towards victory, adding 99 runs between them off 16.4 overs.
Sharma brought up his century in style, smashing Coulter-Nile for a six over mid-wicket.
He continued to torment the Australian bowlers before falling to leg-spinner Adam Zampa while trying to go over the top.
Kohli, who was cruising along with 39 runs off 55 deliveries, fell just three balls later when a mistimed drive into the hands of Marcus Stoinis at long off handed Zampa his second wicket of the match.
Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey then took India past the post, the latter hitting Australian pacer James Faulkner for two consecutive boundaries to bring up the win in style.
Earlier, Indian spin yet again tightened the noose of Aussie despite the flier Kangaroos got off to. Some lost wickets to unwanted shots while others in the pressure of slogging. India had restricted Australia to 242 runs for nine wickets in 50 overs.
After Australian skipper Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat, openers David Warner (53) and Aaron Finch (32) laid a solid foundation of 66 runs but the following top-order batsmen failed to sustain the momentum.
However, Travis Head (42) and Marcus Stoinis (46) put up an 87-run fifth-wicket stand to haul Australia to a respectable total.
For India, left-arm spinner Axar Patel was impressive, claiming three wickets for 38 runs in 10 overs.
Visit next slide for complete scorecard:
Following is the scorecard for the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) played between India and Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground here on Sunday.
David Warner c Manish Pandey b Axar Patel 53
Aaron Finch c Jasprit Bumrah b Hardik Pandya 32
Steven Smith lbw b Kedar Jadhav 16
Peter Handscomb c Ajinkya Rahane b Axar Patel 13
Travis Head b Axar Patel 42
Marcus Stoinis lbw b Jasprit Bumrah 46
Matthew Wade c Ajinkya Rahane b Jasprit Bumrah 20
James Faulkner run out (Hardik Pandya/Mahendra Singh Dhoni) 12
Pat Cummins not out 2
Nathan Coulter-Nile b Bhuvneshwar Kumar 0
Extras: (b 1, lb 2, w 3) 6
Total: in 50 overs 242-9
Fall of Wickets: 66-1 (Aaron Finch, 11.3 overs), 100-2 (Steven Smith, 19.3), 112-3 (David Warner, 22.2), 118-4 (Peter Handscomb, 24.2), 205-5 (Travis Head, 42.6), 210-6 (Marcus Stoinis, 44.2), 237-7 (Matthew Wade, 48.6), 242-8 (James Faulkner, 49.5), 242-9 (Nathan Coulter-Nile, 49.6)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 8-0-40-1
Jasprit Bumrah 10-2-51-2
Hardik Pandya 2-0-14-1
Kuldeep Yadav 10-1-48-0
Kedar Jadhav 10-0-48-1
Axar Patel 10-0-38-3
Ajinkya Rahane lbw b Nathan Coulter-Nile 61
Rohit Sharma c Nathan Coulter-Nile b Adam Zampa 125
Virat Kohli c Marcus Stoinis b Adam Zampa 39
Kedar Jadhav not out 5
Manish Pandey not out 11
Extras: (b 0, lb 1, w 1) 2
Total: 42.5 overs 243/3
Fall of Wickets: 124-1 (Ajinkya Rahane, 22.3 overs), 223-2 (Rohit Sharma, 39.1), 227-3 (Virat Kohli, 39.4)
Pat Cummins 7-1-29-0
Nathan Coulter-Nile 9-0-42-1
Marcus Stoinis 4-0-20-0
James Faulkner 5.5-0-37-0
Adam Zampa 8-0-59-2
Travis Head 6-0-38-0
Aaron Finch 3-0-17-0