After suffering an embarrassing 10-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the series opener of 3-game ODI series, team India entered Rajkot with a lot of preparations. Well, all their preparations paid off as the hosts registered an exciting 36-run victory.
Australia won the toss and opted to bowl first as to taking advantage of the pitch’s bowling conditions. The hosts started strong as they lost their first wicket at a score of 81 in the form of Rohit Sharma in the 13th over. However, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli took the reign in their hands and led India to a stable position.
Combine Efforts from Players Helped India Put up a Big Target
Already hurt from the previous match defeat, the Men in Blue wanted to turntables in the 2nd ODI of the series and thus, intended to put up a big score on the board while restricting the Aussies to achieve the target set.
Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul played an important role from the batting line-up, leading the team to an unachievable total of 340 runs in their quota of 50 overs. Shikhar Dhawan amassed 96 runs off 90 balls while skipper Virat Kohli hit 78 off 76 balls. Meanwhile, Lokesh Rahul was the stand-out batsman with his contribution of 80 runs off 52 balls. The powerful innings of Rahul included 6 fours and 3 sixes.
From bowling segment, Kuldeep Yadav proved to be a game-changer. The player picked 2 wickets 65 runs in his share of 10 overs at an economy rate of 6.50, but both the wickets came in a single over. Alex Carey and Steven Smith were going strong after the dismissal of first ODI superstars, Warner and Finch before Kuldeep got the ball rolling and sent both the players back to the pavilion in the 37th over.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Shami scalped 3 wickets for 77 runs while others like Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja settle for 2 wickets each and Jasprit Bumrah managed to get 1 wicket to his name.
Australia and their Struggle to Chase
Australia opted to bowl first thinking to restrict the Blue Army at the minimal possible score; however, the decision seemed to backfire as the hosts managed to cross the 300-run mark & put up a difficult total on board.
The game still looked in Australia’s favor with their star players David Warner and Aaron Finch opening for the team. The players managed to lead their team to victory in the 1st ODI single-handedly. But as the luck had it, both the players had a short stay on the pitch.
It was only Steven Smith from the visitors’ side who managed to stabilise the team’s position in the game with his knock of 98 runs off 102. None of the other players could even manage to cross the 40-run mark except for Marnus Labuschagne who scored 46 off 47 balls.
KL Rahul announced Man of the Match
KL Rahul played a much-needed inning of 80 runs off 52 balls despite coming to bat at number 5 in the 32nd over. The player was announced as the Man of the Match for his contribution towards the team.
The series is now levelled at 1-1 and the upcoming match in Bengaluru on 19th January will be the series decider.