Australia beat India: India skipper Virat Kohli blamed poor bowling for the 51-run loss to Australia in the second ODI of the three-match series in Sydney on Sunday which saw the hosts take unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
“They have outplayed us. We were ineffective with the ball, and didn’t hit the areas. They have a strong batting line-up, they know the conditions and the angles well. The chase felt steep, and one or two wickets would take the RRR up so we had to keep hitting. They took the chances that they created in the field, which was the difference,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Aus beat Ind in 2nd ODI: Kohli gives update on Hardik Pandya’s bowling status
Pandya returned to bowling in the top-flight cricket after 15 months as he bowled four overs in the second ODI in which he gave 24 runs and picked a wicket. Speaking on the same, Kohli said, Pandya ‘felt okay to bowl’.
“Hardik felt okay to bowl. Initially just thought of trying for a couple of overs but he felt good and bowled a couple more. And he gave away a bit of a bowling plan with his off-cutters (smiles), but credit to them, they used the dimensions well,” Kohli said.
Talking about the match, batting first, Australia rode on five fifty-plus scores including Smith’s blazing knock, to post an imposing 389 for four against a sluggish India.
This was the Australian run-machine’s fifth century against India in the 50-over format and second on the trot after his ton in the series-opener, which came off 66 deliveries.
Besides Smith’s 104-run knock, swashbuckling opener David Warner smashed 83 off 77 while skipper Aaron Finch contributed 60 in a first-wicket stand of 142 in under 23 overs.
The duo of Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell continued the onslaught to propel Australia to a humongous score in what was a must-win game for the visitors. Labuschagne made 70 and the big-hitting Maxwell blazed away to 63 off 29 balls with the help of four sixes and as many fours.
A target of 390 proved to be too much for India as they were stopped at 338 for nine, with captain Virat Kohli (89) and KL Rahul (76) finishing as their main contributors in what turned out to be another forgettable outing for the beleaguered visitors.
The two teams will now lock horns in dead-rubber on Wednesday.