Australia notched up another victory against India to race to an invincible 2-0 lead in the ODI series at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It was yet another perfect batting performance from the Aussie as they punished the Indian bowlers to put up a mammoth total before defending it by chipping away regularly with wickets.
Winning the toss, Australia chose to bat first yet again and got off to a brisk start thanks to half-centuries from David Warner and Aaron Finch. After their dismissals, it was the Steve Smith show as the No. 3 batsman raced away to another century off 62 balls to put his side in a very strong position. Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell rubbed salt into India’s wounds by striking half-centuries at the death to take the score to 389.
The target was always going to be stiff for India and the regular loss of wickets didn’t help them either as openers Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan and No. 4 batsman Shreyas Iyer all got starts before losing their wickets. Despite a fight from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul who both got half-centuries, India ultimately fell short by 51 runs as the Australians applied the choke by picking up wickets.
‘I didn’t give India any chances today’ – Smith
Steve Smith who won the Man of the Match award for his century in the first match was awarded the same award in the second ODI as well. Speaking at the post-match presentation, Smith said, “I think last innings I probably could have been caught at long on, a close lbw. I didn’t give any chances today and I just felt good from ball one. I was able to get myself in and go hard. Another great foundation set by Finchy and Davey. Let me go hard at the back end.”
Smith then spoke about the mentality of himself and the team. “The last two games, the boys have got us off to terrific starts. We know India have a good batting line-up so we needed big totals. I tried to whack the ball too hard in the IPL but I’ve started hitting it with more finesse I should say, which is working for me. Nice to score some runs again for the team and get us to a good total. I thought the boys were outstanding in the field as well,” he signed off.