India slumped to a second consecutive defeat against Australia in the ODI series at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The defeat meant Australia clinched an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match series. The Aussies set the tempo for a win right from the very beginning as the openers began briskly after winning the toss and choosing to bat first.
Aaron Finch and David Warner both struck half-centuries before getting out. It was then the Steve Smith show as the batting ace got yet another quick-fire century. Late hitting from Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell took the total to 389. The Indian openers Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan got starts but couldn’t capitalize.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul however, ensured that the team didn’t go down with a fight. Both struck excellent half-centuries but couldn’t convert their knocks into match-winning ones. India eventually fell short by a big margin of 51 runs as they ended on 338/9 after losing a flurry of wickets towards the end.
‘Bowlers didn’t hit the areas we wanted to’ – Kohli
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Indian skipper Virat Kohli who top scored for his side with 89 runs spoke about what went wrong in the second ODI. “Completely outplayed. I think with the ball we were not that effective. Didn’t hit the areas we wanted to consistently. They’ve got a strong batting lineup and know the angles. Their total was a bit too steep, if you see we got 340 and still lost by 51 runs. With the areas they bowled, they were in a position to create chances and with those chances taken, they were on top,” Kohli said.
Hardik Pandya who hasn’t bowled in quite a long time due to a back injury bowled 4 overs today and chipped in with a wicket. When asked about the same, Kohli said, “I think he gave away a bit of a bowling plan on this pitch, a lot of them bowled cutters. His bowling was out of nowhere I just asked him. KL Rahul and I thought even 100 in the last ten overs with Hardik to come was achievable. If KL and me had stuck around till the 40th over, we could have put them under pressure. The wicket was beautiful to bat on.”