Kolkata, Sep 21 (PTI) India beat Australia by 50 runs in the second one-dayer here today.
Captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane struck sublime half-centuries before Australia made a strong fightback to bowl India out for 252 in the second One- Day International, here today.
Coming on to bat after the early dismissal of Rohit Sharma, Kohli (92) looked in great touch and along with Rahane (55) shared 102 runs off just 111 deliveries for the second wicket to set the base for the total.
Kohli laced his 107-ball knock with eight boundaries, while Rahane hit seven fours during his 64-ball innings.
The time Kohli and Rahane were at the crease India were on course for a big score but the latter’s dismissal in the 24th over opened the gates for Australia.
The visitors forged a brilliant fightback with medium pacers Nathan Coulter-Nile (3/51) and Kane Richardson (3/55) sharing the spoils on a slow Eden Gardens wicket.
Pacer Pat Cummins (1/34) and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar (1/54) also picked up a wicket each for Australia
Winning captain Virat Kohli said “We did not feel like we had enough at the break. But we knew if we had a good start we have a good chance of defending it. We knew if we don’t take wickets it would be difficult. To be honest, the wicket was not easy to bat on throughout the day,” he said.
Praised his bowlers, Kohli said, “Bhuvi’s (Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s) spell became even more important because we knew the wrist-spinners would do damage in the middle. The deliveries he got the batsmen out with were unplayable. You can count on Bhuvi for getting the breakthroughs.
“Two young spinners bowling with a lot of heart, speaks volumes about their characters. Really augurs well for us how the team is shaping up,” said the captain who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his 107-ball 92 in India’s 252 all out.
Talking about himself, Kohli said, “I always try to create that kind of motivation for myself. Sometimes things don’t come off for you but I try and stay in the same zone.
“It was not easy to bat, plus the bowling attack was quality as well. Came off today, so it looked nice. Did not come off in Chennai, so it did not look nice.”
Australia captain Steve Smith admitted that his batsmen made poor decisions.
“We were pretty happy with 250, we thought we pulled things back pretty well (n India innings). To reduce India to 250 on that was pretty good. Did a really good job there,” he said.
“Batters though made poor decisions, and you can’t do that against a quality team like India. One of the top four needs to go on and make a hundred, just making poor decisions under pressure. We need to get those partnerships. if we do that then we should chase these totals down comfortably.
“(Marcus) Stoinis was good at the end there, just needed someone to bat with.”
Smith also said India have “got all bases covered”.
With the hat-trick, Yadav joins a select club of Indians
Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav stole the limelight in the second ODI against Australia by becoming only the third Indian to pick up a hat-trick in One-day Internationals.
With today’s memorable feat, Yadav joined Kapil Dev (1991) and Chetan Sharma (1987) in a select club of Indians who have picked up a hat-trick.
The Australian batsmen failed to pick him up in Chennai and it was no different tonight.
It was an all-round bowling effort from India and Yadav joined the party by sending back Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins in as many balls to send the Eden Gardens crowd into a frenzy.
His best ball without a doubt was the hat-trick ball.
The young spinners showed remarkable calm to bowl the wrong one that took a thick edge of Cummins’ bat before landing into the hands of MS Dhoni.
Yadav got through Wade’s stumps before trapping Agar infront of the stumps to be on a hat-trick.
India: 252 all out in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 92, Ajinkya Rahane 55; Nathan Coulter-Nile 3/51, Kane Richardson 3/55).
Australia: 202 all out in 43.1 overs (Marcus Stoinis 62 not out, Steve Smith 59; Kuldeep Yadav 3/54, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/9).