The Indian Team clinched a famous victory in this must-win encounter against the Aussies. The series is beautifully levelled at 1-1 due to some tremendous batting performances by the Indian batsmen who found themselves under the pump in the first ODI.
Aaron Finch decided to bat first under the hot sun of Adelaide, after winning the toss. Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh steadied the ship yet again after a shaky start. The latter went on to score an impressive century and made sure Kangaroos reach the 300 runs mark (although they missed about by a couple of runs). Marsh’s innings came to an end when he tried to hit Bhuvaneshwar Kumar over extra cover but got caught at long off by Jadeja.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a great outing with the ball as he spearheaded the bowling with a lovely spell at both ends of the innings and scalped four wickets.
Indian openers started the chase on a positive note. Dhawan tried to look aggressive while Rohit took his time in the early stages. After Dhawan fell for 32, Virat Kohli came in to accompany the ‘Hit-man’. Not for the first time, he played an unbelievable knock under pressure while chasing and delivered with yet another century in Adelaide.
The Indian middle-order delivered this time around with valiant efforts from Rayudu (24) and Dinesh Karthik (25). MS Dhoni, however, stood out for his heroic and gritty knock of an unbeaten 55 runs. This performance from the veteran will silence his critics for a while.
India were reeling at 104 for 2 and Australia were ready to upset them until MS Dhoni walked in and took charge. Dhoni is a master in chasing we all are aware of that, but this was a different Dhoni who struggles to rotate the strike.
Dhoni steadied the ship along with the skipper to bring India back in the game. He gave himself ample of time initially, to play himself in. Both of them added 82 runs before Kohli played a half-hearted shot and got caught in deep by Maxwell. Dhoni now had to change his plans and tried to go for the kill himself. He stepped out to hit Nathan Lyon for a six over mid-wicket in the very next over. It was not his first boundary, it was a statement, that he is just not done yet.
Karthik then played his part and scored a couple of boundaries to take some pressure off Dhoni. Now both of them started to utilise the gaps and work the ball for 2’s and 3’s. Dhoni certainly wanted to stay at the crease for as long as possible. It’s because he knows if he stays till the end then the bowling which will be under pressure.
The first ball of the final over, MSD picks the slower ball by Behrendorff and deposits it into the stands over long-on. He did it once again as he has done for so many years for his nation.
People may think that he is a toothless tiger and not has the same enigma as earlier, but he has proved them wrong yet again. I think he is just getting wiser and we are witnessing a new Dhoni in the autumn of his career. This is not that young flamboyant lad with long hairs anymore. This is MSD 2.0