Our bowlers forced Australia to be 35-40 runs short, says Kohli

Chasing Australian total of 293 runs, India scored the winning runs with 13 balls remaining and five wickets in hand.

In reply the Indians cruised to 0-139, with Rohit Sharma flying to 71 off 62 before holing out to Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ajinkya Rahana making a classy 70 off 76 before being trapped in front by Pat Cummins. Considering the situation of the game, coach Ravi Shastri chose to promote Pandya to number 4 in the batting order today and he did the job anchoring the innings and nearly giving it the finishing touches.

"Rohit and Rahane were very good and then Hardik Pandya, only he can do what he does when he bats like that". As Pandya was batting with aggression, Virat Kohli (28) looked subtle as the target came down under 100.

2 - Player-of-the-Match awards for Hardik Pandya in this series. We have been wanting a guy like that for the past five, six years.

Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri believe that shuffling the winning lineup will not be a great move, especially in this crucial third ODI.

Shikhar Dhawan has also been in fine form and got the highest score among Indian batsmen during this period with a 132-run knock in the first ODI against Sri Lanka. First, Kohli's inside out hit through air didn't have enough to beat Aaron Finch at long-off, and then Kedar Jadhav, at No. 5, failed in his attempt to cut a cross-seam delivery and edged it to Handscomb off Kane Richardson. Staying true to his approach, the all-rounder smacked Ashton Agar for a six on just the fourth ball he faced. Though there was no clear victor in the head-to-head battle, Pandya had the last laugh as he took the Indian team to a match and series win. Pandya eased some of that by continuing to flex his muscles against Agar and even survived a repreive when Smith couldn't get under a very tough catching chance while running backwards from extra cover. Opting to bat, Australia were off to a blistering start, courtesy Aaron Finch's 8th hundred and fifty from Steven Smith.

Finch, who missed the first two ODIs, registered his eighth ODI century and shared a 154-run second-wicket partnership with Smith (63 off 71 balls).

Aside from left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who gave up 75 from his ten overs, all of the Indian bowlers were disciplined. His confession, that "it's a hard one to put his finger on" and get things right, is something that we seldom got to hear from the Australians in the past. As a result, India sealed the five-match series 3-0, with two matches to go. Hardik was magnificent and Rohit and Jinks (Rahane) were fabulous too. "I think [Jasprit] Bumrah and Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar] are probably two of the best death-overs bowlers going around, particularly when the wicket sort of slows up a little bit as it did [today]". They added 150 and at that stage, their team looked good for much more than 300, a figure that has eluded both sides this series.

  • Julie Sanders