The 50-over game requires a group of individuals to make a decisive contribution to a team's success. India could not have asked for a better occasion than the duel against Australia on Friday, which is about a coherent fight.
Shikhar Dhawan laid the foundation for a huge sum thanks to solid partnerships with the opening star Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli, who returned to his usual position No. 3. K. L. Rahul hit an unfamiliar 5th place and then caused India to land in the Saurashtra Cricket Association's stadium with a 340-6 high on a flat seat.
Pandey's brilliant catch
Manish Pandey managed to make his leap to perfection and plucked the ball out of nowhere to send back dangerous David Warner, who was putting pressure on Australia. The spin twins Ravindra Jadeja, the hero of the hometown, and Kuldeep Yadav struck important blows in the middle when Steve Smith threatened to flee. The pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini – instead of Shardul Thakur – came to the party when the Men in Blue celebrated a 36-run victory.
While almost all players contributed in India, Smith and Leggie Adam Zampa, who continued to end up on the right side of his "mini-fight" with Kohli, lacked the support of the others. The series will now be decided on Sunday in Bengaluru.
Rohit and Dhawan asked to hit, giving India a solid start of 81 before Zampa caught the former when he tried a sweep. Dhawan played some great punches and continued to thrive in Kohli's company. The left-hander looked good for a century before dipping for 96. Shreya's Iyer came and went, trying to swing Zampa and lose his stumps.
Kohli, who treated Zampa with respect and treated others, was brilliantly caught thanks to a season catch by Ashton Agar and Mitchell Starc at the border. Manish Pandey, who came in for the injured Rishabh Pant, fell quickly. India threatened to miss a challenging record for the second time in a row with 280 to five for the 45th consecutive year.
Rahul, however, took the game away from the Aussies, thereby justifying the belief he demonstrated as a middle-class batsman. Of the 60 runs India has scored in the last six overs, Rahul contributed 38 out of 18 balls, including an amazing attack on Starc.
The Karnataka player then impressed with his gloves after skipper Aaron Finch surprised Jadeja. Although Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, who were fighting in an ODI for the first time after not having had a chance to make a 96-game partnership for the third wicket when they made their debut in the first game in Mumbai, Jadeja struck at a crucial point.
The left winger lured Labuschagne into a mistake, the ball landed in the farfield player's hands.
Kuldeep whirled India around on his penultimate round, causing Alex Carey to play the turn with a nifty field change.
Smith, 98, then continued playing while trying to cut when the game's fate was sealed. Although expensive, Shami threw Ashton Turner and Pat Cummins consecutive deliveries out of the way.
Richardson used the long grip against Shami in the penultimate game before Bumrah, who knocked over two girls and looked sharp, forced Zampa to push back.
Rahul grabbed the offer and made it a night that he and India were valued.
INDIA: Rohit Sharma lbw b Zampa 42 (44b, 6×4), Shikhar Dhawan c Starc b Richardson 96 (90b, 13×4, 1×6), Virat Kohli c Starc b Zampa 78 (76b, 6 x 4), Shreyas Iyer b Zampa 7 (17b, 1×4)K. L. Rahul runs out of 80 (52b, 6×4, 3×6), Manish Pandey c Agar b Richardson 2 (4b)Ravindra Jadeja (not out) 20 (16b, 1×4), Mohammed Shami (not out) 1 (1b); Extras (b-5, lb-4, w-5): 14; Total (for six wk. In 50 overs): 340.
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-81 (Rohit, 13.3 overs), 2-184 (Dhawan, 28.4), 3-198 (Shreyas, 32.4), 4-276 (Kohli, 43.1), 5-280 (Pandey , 44.1), 6-338 (Rahul, 49.4).
AUSTRALIA BOWLING: Cummins 10-1-53-0, Starc 10-0-78-0, Richardson 10-0-73-2, Zampa 10-0-50-3, Agar 8-0-63-0, Labagne 2-0- 14-0.
AUSTRALIA: David Warner c Pandey b Shami 15 (12b, 2×4)Aaron Finch st. Rahul b Jadeja 33 (48b, 3×4)Steve Smith b Kuldeep 98 (102b, 9×4, 1×6), Marnus Labuschagne c Shami b Jadeja 46 (47b, 4×4), Alex Carey c Kohli b Kuldeep 18th (17b, 1×6), Ashton Turner b Shami 13 (15b), Ashton Agar lbw b Saini 25 (25b, 3×4), Pat Cummins b Shami 0 (1b), Mitchell Starc c Rahul b Saini 6 (11b), Kane Richardson (not out) 24 (11b, 4×4, 1×6), Adam Zampa c Rahul b Bumrah 6 (6b, 1×4); Extras (lb-10, w-10): 20; Total (in 49.1 overs): 304.
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-20 (Warner, 3.2), 2-82 (Finch, 15.1), 3-178 (Labuschagne, 30.5), 4-220 (Carey, 37.2), 5-221 (Smith, 37.5), 6-259 (Turner 43.1), 7-259 (Cummins, 43.2), 8-274 (Agar, 46.1), 9-275 (Starc, 46.3).
INDIA BOWLING: Bumrah 9.1-2-32-1, Shami 10-0-77-3, Saini 10-0-62-2, Jadeja 10-0-58-2, Kuldeep 10-0-65-2.
India won 36 runs and ended the series with three games 1-1.
Third and last ODI: January 19 (Sunday), Bengaluru, 1.30 p.m.