Sunday, June 16
shreyas iyer 240931261 16x9 1

AP Photo

India Secures Series Victory as World Cup-bound Batsmen Shine in 2nd ODI against Australia

The day was dominated by India’s World Cup-bound batsmen, who launched a collective assault, setting the stage for the return of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Hardik Pandya in the final match.

In a dazzling display of batting prowess, India stormed to a commanding 99-run victory (DLS method) against Australia in the second ODI at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Sunday. This emphatic win was powered by Shreyas Iyer’s magnificent century (105) and Shubman Gill’s impressive ton (104).

Adding to the fireworks, Suryakumar Yadav (72) and KL Rahul (52) added their own spark as India not only clinched the series but also solidified its position as the number one-ranked team in the lead-up to the World Cup.

Australia’s challenging task of chasing down a daunting 400-run target got off to a rocky start, with Prasidh Krishna taking two wickets in consecutive deliveries in the second over, dismissing Matthew Short and Steven Smith. Persistent rain interrupted the game, reducing it to 33 overs per side and leaving Australia with a formidable target of 317 runs.

R. Ashwin and David Warner injected some excitement into a fading contest, with Warner briefly adopting a right-handed stance to unsettle the off-spinner. Ashwin utilized his variations effectively, dismissing Marnus Labuschagne with a carrom ball and then trapping Warner (53) leg-before-wicket, thus becoming the highest wicket-taker in India vs. Australia matches across all formats, surpassing Anil Kumble.

Australia’s lower order briefly sparkled with Sean Abbott’s explosive 36-ball 54, but it wasn’t enough as they suffered their fifth consecutive defeat.

The day primarily belonged to India’s World Cup-bound batsmen, who launched a collective assault before the return of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Hardik Pandya for the final match.

Despite an early hiccup with Ruturaj Gaikwad’s (8) dismissal, India capitalized on a vulnerable Australian attack after being put in to bat. Stand-in captain Smith had limited options in his bowling arsenal, with regular skipper Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh, and Marcus Stoinis sitting out.

Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill forged a belligerent 200-run second-wicket partnership. Iyer took on debutant left-arm bowler Spencer Johnson and Josh Hazlewood, hitting five fours in just 15 deliveries. Gill joined the party by displaying his wristy strokeplay, targeting the on-side fence.

Even a 30-minute rain interruption couldn’t halt their momentum as they continued to dominate, forcing Smith to make fielding adjustments. India scored a brisk 80 runs in the first PowerPlay, matching their best against Australia.

Adam Zampa, the sole spin option, was unable to contain the right-handed duo as they capitalized on his short deliveries. Iyer reached his half-century with a flat-batted six off a free-hit from Johnson. Gill followed suit, taking just 37 balls to reach his fifty.

Although they momentarily slowed down while approaching their centuries, Iyer reached his third ODI ton with a six down the ground before falling to a hook shot. Gill, on the other hand, watched carefully as he recorded his fifth ODI hundred of the year and his second at the venue in as many matches, achieving the milestone in 95 balls before being caught behind.

The show continued as captain KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav kept the momentum going with 22 boundaries. Rahul’s three sixes over the leg-side were a sight to behold, while Suryakumar carried forward the confidence from his fifty in the previous match, displaying his signature range of shots.

Suryakumar Yadav was the standout performer, smashing Cameron Green for four consecutive sixes in the 44th over, showcasing his flexibility and ease in strokeplay. He reached his fifty in just 24 balls, the fastest by an Indian against Australia, and recorded his highest ODI score with characteristic flair. India achieved its biggest ODI total (399 for five) against Australia at a venue where they had previously been unbeaten across seven games.