Adam Zampa spins Australia to series win by beating India in ODI decider
Chennai/UNI: Adam Zampa (4/45) spun Australia to 2-1 ODI series win after he picked up four wickets to thump India by 21 runs in the decider at MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Wednesday.
With this win, Australia became the top-ranked ODI side, and all credit goes to Captain Steve Smith who did not have a good show with the bat, but sparkled with his captaincy.
For India, this was the first series defeat at home since they were defeated 2-3 by Australia in March 2019.
Australia came back from behind after losing the first match at Wankhede Stadium and then pulverized India at YSR Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium, thanks to a spirited bowling display by Mitchell Starc.
He, however, did not bag any wickets in today's match, though others chipped in and defended the total magnificently.
Australia put up a fighting 269 all out in 49 overs after opting to bat first. The chief wreckers in Australian innings were medium pacer Hardik Pandya and spinner Kuldeep Yadav who bagged three wickets each.
Chasing 270 runs on a two-paced wicket, India's innings progressed very similarly to Australia's except for their lower-order wagging and putting on crucial runs.
Most of the top order batsmen from both sides had good starts, but the bowlers kept the batsmen under check by taking wickets at regular intervals.
India started the chase in brisk fashion. Both openers Rohit Sharma (30 off 17) and Shubman Gill (37 off 49) quickly put on 65 runs in 54 balls for the first the opening stand.
After losing Rohit and Gill in quick succession, Virat Kohli (54 off 72) found his groove and looked to bail out India in KL Rahul's (32 off 50) company.
Zampa broke the 69-run third wicket partnership as Rahul was caught by Sean Abbot at long-on off Zampa.
Axar Patel was sent in with a purpose but failed. Hardik Pandya (40 off 40) came in next and went bang-bang from word go.
With Virat in the middle India looked well within the sight of victory, but Ashton Agar turned the tables against India.
In his final over, he enticed Kohli into a false shot and removed Suryakumar Yadav (0) off the very next ball.
Before facing off against each other in June for the WTC final, rivals will play as team-mates in IPL extravaganza which kickstarts less than ten days from now.
Earlier, an inspiring three-fers by Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav restricted Australia to a fighting total.
The Australian openers- Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh - were off to a quick start, and were looking dangerous for India as they put on 68 runs in 10.5 overs.
But, Hardik came into the attack and picked up three wickets in his first three overs to outclass the visitors. He proved once again that he is an important member of the team, who has the ability to finish the game off and pick wickets at crucial junctures, a quality that makes him the backbone of this team.
Hardik kept the Australian batsmen in check by hitting right lengths and line, on a two-paced wicket. He first got rid of Head (33 off 31) after the Aussie opener was dropped by Shubman Gill on 17 at deep square leg.
The Gujarat Giants Captain then enticed Captain Steve Smith who nicked one to KL Rahul behind the stumps for a duck.
In the next over, Hardik nipped out dangerous-looking Marsh in the next over for 47 off 47, an innings decked with 8 boundaries and a six.
Australia slipped from 68/0 to 85/3.
David Warner (23 off 31), batting at an unusual No.4 position, repaired the Australian innings along with Marnus Labuschagne (28 off 45), but both the Aussie batsmen gave it away after getting vital starts. They perished to leftarm leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, trying to take the aerial route.
Alex Carey (38 off 46) and Marcus Stoinis (25 off 26) groomed a vital 58 runs stand and another 42 runs between Sean Abbot and Ashton Agar, but fell just when they looked threatening.
Kuldeep then wound up a spell to clean up Carey and Australia were struggling at 203/7.
Mohammad Siraj took 2/37 that helped India to quickly end Australia's innings.
Brief Scores: Australia 269 all out (Mitchell Marsh 47; Hardik Pandya 3-44, Kuldeep Yadav 3-56) beat India 248 all out (Virat Kohli 54, Hardik Pandya 40; Adam Zampa 4-45) by 21 runs.