Australia v India, 3rd ODI, Melbourne January 17, 2016

Maxwell fires to give Australia the series

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Australia 7 for 296 (Maxwell 96, S Marsh 62) beat India 6 for 295 (Kohli 117, S Dhawan 68, Rahane 50, Hastings 4-58) by 3 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Agarkar: A very un-Maxwell innings

In Perth 309 was insufficient, and in Brisbane 308 was inadequate. But for a short while it looked like India's 295 in Melbourne might have been enough to keep this series alive. That was until Glenn Maxwell took it upon himself to bat India out of the match, his 96 steering Australia to a third successive record chase to seal the five-match one-day series with two to play. Though Maxwell fell with one run still required, James Faulkner finished the deal with seven balls to spare.

In the past week, Australia have now set new records for successful ODI pursuits at the WACA, the Gabba, and the MCG. No wonder Steven Smith sent India in when he won the toss. A run a ball holds no fears for his team at the moment. This time it was Virat Kohli's century that set up India's innings, but their bowlers were again unable to restrain Australia. On a pitch that offered some turn, it was a mistake that they left out R Ashwin.

That said, India gave themselves their best chance of the series by having Australia four down inside 30 overs. The heroes from the first two games - Smith and George Bailey - were among those dismissed, along with the openers Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch, and it meant a mountain of work for the allrounders. It turns out Maxwell is quite the mountaineer.

A searing throw from Umesh Yadav in the deep ran out Mitchell Marsh with the help of MS Dhoni's quick hands, and Matthew Wade skied a catch off Ishant Sharma, but James Faulkner was able to help Maxwell put the chase beyond doubt. Australia needed 65 off the last 10 overs with Maxwell and Faulkner at the crease, then 35 off the last seven. Maxwell played some extraordinary shots, including a slap for six over extra cover off Barinder Sran, and was the key man.

Maxwell timed the chase well enough to give himself a chance at a hundred, reaching 96 with one run needed. But he skied a catch next ball and left Faulkner to finish the job. Their partnership of 80 was the biggest of Australia's innings, which was formed of several solid stands, unlike India's innings that was based around two century partnerships and little else.

Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh put on 48 for the opening wicket before Finch was caught behind off Yadav, and Marsh then combined with Smith for 64 to set Australia's chase on its path. Marsh's fifty came up from his 53rd ball, but on 62 he edged behind off Ishant Sharma to give India a sniff. Smith (41) had already been taken at slip when Ravindra Jadeja found some turn, and Bailey had been sharply stumped off Jadeja. But as it turned out, Maxwell was the wicket India really needed.

India came to this match knowing that a run a ball may not be enough to set Australia - it certainly wasn't in the first two matches of this series. And Smith was keen not to change a winning formula, sending India in when he won the toss. The early loss of Rohit Sharma, who scored hundreds at both the WACA and the Gabba, perked Australia up, but Kohli played the anchor role this time with 117 off 117 deliveries.

Kohli worked hard during his 119-run partnership with Shikhar Dhawan and his 109-run stand with Ajinkya Rahane, both of whom made half-centuries. Only 40 of Kohli's runs came in boundaries, seven fours and two sixes, and he was constantly taking off for singles to rotate the strike and ensure things did not stagnate. His fifty came from 51 deliveries and his century from 105, and when he brought it up he leapt in celebration: it was his first ODI hundred against Australia in Australia.

Kohli fell in the 47th over when he drove a John Hastings slower ball straight to cover; Hastings' variations again proved useful for Australia and he finished with a career-best 4 for 58. Dhoni slapped a quick 23 from nine balls in the dying stages but also fell to Hastings, pulling a 140kph bouncer to deep midwicket. Debutant Gurkeerat Singh was bowled for 8 by a Faulkner slower ball, before Jadeja and Rishi Dhawan steered the innings home.

Hastings had also got rid of Rahane for 50 from 55 deliveries, brilliantly caught on the deep midwicket boundary by a combination of Smith and Maxwell. Rahane pulled a short ball and Smith hared around the boundary to make the catch but felt his momentum carrying him over, and threw the ball back inside play for Maxwell to complete the catch. That was one of four wickets in the final six overs; India managed 88 runs in their last 10, fewer than in Perth, more than in Brisbane.

The innings had started with Rohit at the crease fresh from two consecutive ODI hundreds, but this time he failed to reach double figures let alone triple. In the fifth over, Rohit drove at a Kane Richardson delivery and edged behind to Wade, to leave India at 1 for 15. But any hopes Australia had of restricting India through top-order wickets were scuppered by Kohli and Shikhar.

In both of the previous ODIs, Shikhar had fallen in single figures but here he began to find his touch and was especially powerful through the leg side. A straight drive for four off Hastings in the second over of the match was the nearest Shikhar came to scoring an off-side boundary, but he struck nine fours in all and brought up his fifty from his 76th delivery, one ball after Kohli raised his half-century.

But, seemingly aware that India needed to lift their tempo to avoid the kind of stalling that occurred in Perth and Brisbane, Shikhar took it upon himself up the ante. He scooped a boundary over the head of wicketkeeper Wade off Hastings but next ball he again moved into position for a premeditated shot through the on side, and lost his leg stump, bowled for 68 off 91.

Shikhar's idea was right, though, for India had to lift their rate to push beyond 300 this time. Australia proved once again that they are happy to chase a run a ball.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on January 19, 2016, 22:07 GMT

    @Chris_P hello mate and thank you for the kind wishes you posted before. I'm paying back. For years we've all had to endure these people coming onto our forums and gloating. We've heard it all before with the boasting and big talk. Problem is - their team doesn't measure up. In ODIs beaten at home by SA - a team they called useless at ODI, useless maybe but still too good for india at indias home. They called Pakistan useless at ODI - useless maybe, but Pakistan still beat india in india in ODI. They said Mooen Ali was a useless mediocre spin bowler (and roundly booed him in Birmingham), but he still took a swag of india wickets and on non-turning pitches. Big talk - but the results dont match.

  • Ammo666 on January 19, 2016, 20:37 GMT

    @KANAD_BOSTON: Telling the truth always hurts isn't it...who told you BD wins in mirpur only, BD at least makes some versatile pitches which has something for all types of bowling but what about IND i see only roads & dusts all the way...BD hasn't reach IND'n players records yet who is playing for 100 years but comparing to that BD still doing enough better than what over hyped IND performed earliar..by the way have IND ever produced a all rounder like Shakib have IND ever produced a young fast bowler like Mustafizur making world record & that is against your greatest IND lol...BD hardly gets to play in overseas conditions & still enough to be played..whats your point??? IND got the chance to beat several times in a row just because BD was so weak that time simple(grow up)..but now what last time the same IND just somehow survived a whitewash playing against same BD in subcontinent mud, forgot so soon?? This proves IND is way way ahead of BD now lol....

  • kanad_Boston on January 19, 2016, 12:29 GMT

    @Ammo666: Can't stop laughing BD is still at #7 in ODI, # 9 in Test cricket and # 10 in T20 (below the Afghans) after winning in their own mud.

  • kanad_Boston on January 19, 2016, 12:10 GMT

    @Ammo666: Yes, India is winning in her own dust. Bangladesh wins in her own monsoon mud at Mirpur. So what? India won more matches against Bangladesh in Bangladesh's dust as well as mud. This proves India not only wins in her own dust but also in others' dust too. You talk about consistency? It is far better to have inconsistency in success than consistence failures which you BD has been showing in Test Cricket. How many times has BD ever scored 300 runs against Aus? Please stop India bashing. How many Bangladeshi batsmen have ever broken double world records like Virat Kohli?

  • Ammo666 on January 19, 2016, 11:45 GMT

    Can't stop laughing to see IND just became the no.1 test side & that is by winning at their own dust only...looks like one of the most questionable update....how????? Seriously did they really deserve that position!

  • Ammo666 on January 19, 2016, 11:07 GMT

    All in all IND is the only asian team has the least consistency winning out of there own DUST even after playing cricket for One Hundred years...& yet they are always busy talking negatives about other test teams & at the same time boasting like anything for nothing much...IND is still lucky that AUS is not playing with their full team & so they managed over 300 but yes one or two road pitch helps IND'n batsman to score... here associate AFG would do much better with the bowl in first two games AUS...its no way Dhoni who his responsible but whole IND & their fans for getting overboared & losing & then coming with bunch of silly excuses...but the fact is they were never capable enough out of their dust.

  • sasidharbiet on January 19, 2016, 9:54 GMT

    Aussies have chance to clean sweep india because they are world champions.India would have score more runs in second power play to give fight in next upcoming matches

  • Bigskyryza on January 19, 2016, 8:44 GMT

    good work australia, we have always had the wood on india anyway

  • dunger.bob on January 19, 2016, 6:27 GMT

    Another decent innings by Sean Marsh. What an enigma he is.

  • sachin_vvsfan on January 19, 2016, 5:17 GMT

    Whats with Eng fans coming here and reminding us about our away victories? We very muck know this . We all know the truth about rankings .Our current team is not even close to the 2011 team. And with no tests to play for the next 6 months it is obvious this is going to be short lived. I just wish this calculation has not happened at this time so that anti fans would spare us. But then I think the time window they calculated includes 4-0 win against Aus at home. But then not too many teams fare well in India.

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