India v Australia, 2nd ODI, Jaipur October 16, 2013

India blaze down target of 360


India 362 for 1 (Rohit 141*, Kohli 100*, Dhawan 95) beat Australia 359 for 5 (Bailey 92*, Hughes 83) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

"Now this is another fine mess you've got us into," goes the constant refrain from India's batsmen to their bowlers. At times, the mess is so huge the batsmen fail to clear it up, despite their best efforts. At times, the batsmen do such a thorough job, their refrain to the bowlers changes to, "So that's all you've got?" It was the latter occasion tonight. India's bowlers leaked 359, the same score they had in the 2003 World Cup final. Only once had a bigger target been chased in ODI history, the famous Wanderers 438 game. Leave alone 359, India had never chased even 300 successfully against Australia.

All that changed, as Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli made a mockery of the target, if a mockery can indeed be made of a target of 360. India got there with nine wickets and 39 deliveries to spare. Kohli registered the fastest ODI century by an Indian, in 52 balls. Rohit, accommodated by the team management and scrutinised by the media and fans for years, made his third hundred in 104 games, and his first since 2010. But it was Shikhar Dhawan, the golden boy of 2013, who set up the chase with a bludgeoned 95.

Dhawan and Rohit racked up 176 for the opening wicket in 26.1 overs, and Rohit and Kohli 186 for the second in only 17.2 overs. India began solidly against the fast bowlers and went through a short lull against the spinners before Dhawan hit a flurry of boundaries that more than made up for the brief let-up. During his brief career, Dhawan has made sure he makes let-offs and good fortune count. He was put down on 18 off Clint McKay and survived a very close stumping appeal on 42 against Xavier Doherty. After both reprieves, he let loose a volley of imperious strokes. He charged the fast bowlers, especially Shane Watson repeatedly, to power them through the covers. He pulled with confidence, and even the extra pace of Mitchell Johnson could not rein him in.

Rohit wasn't as free-flowing at the time but that did not take away from his contribution to the stand. He was strong through and over the covers against the quicks. He ended the fallow period of five overs for 18 runs against the spinners by stepping out and lifting Glenn Maxwell for six. Barring that insignificant sequence, Australia were never able to build any pressure, conceding boundaries regularly.

The only challenge in front of India now was whether the rest would be able to keep up with the frenetic pace the openers had set. Kohli came in and stepped up the tempo so emphatically, the conclusion was foregone long before India arrived home.

The openers had ensured India stayed in sight of an asking-rate of over seven; Kohli made it drop rapidly. As soon as he arrived, he started stepping out and muscling sixes, against seam and spin alike. Kohli hit seven sixes in all, and on the whole, the match descended into a Twenty20-style innings where one boundary merged into each successive one with the collective impact of deflating the bowlers and rendering them almost irrelevant.

Rohit played second fiddle in both partnerships, but was always in control of the situation. As he pulled a six to move to 75, he collapsed in pain from a cramp in his leg. He's been accused of being soft, of lacking temperament, but he took treatment and nearly doubled his score. He hared back for twos as the non-striker, and celebrated an emotional and long overdue century with screams and invectives.

It was improbable to even imagine Australia losing after making 359. Their first three batsmen delivered the platform with three half-centuries and George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell savaged an already clueless India attack. Roughed up by Aaron Finch, Phillip Hughes and Shane Watson, India's bowlers leaked 96 in 8.3 overs against the fourth-wicket duo of Bailey and Maxwell, and 122 in the last ten overs. It was the first time the first five batsmen had made fifties in an ODI. But it was also to be the night India executed their highest successful chase.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sarojini on October 18, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    @anshu.S, well said! When Indian themselves join in bashing there is no wonder from outsiders...when india scored 413, it was batsmen quality against SL, when bowlers allowed SL to reach 411, it was pathetic india bowling that they where not able to content SL to much less score, if Aus scores 300+, it's pathetic iindia bowling, if india chases then flat's not the inability of Aus bowlers..many where waiting to bash india that they are not able to score even in flat tracks(had inndia lost), but as india chased they had restructured the lines..few like Haloes & others intention is to always bash ashwin irrespective of his performance..when so much hatred(regional bias) within fellow country wonder in bashings from other countries..

  • Muneerudeen on October 18, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    kholi already has more match winings innings compared to Tendulkar!

  • Jayaesh on October 18, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    @mark2011,Smash-em-Bang-em , well for haters like you no amount of reasoning and logic works , so biased and bigoted are you guys , now you even resorted to conspiracy theories that SA,Eng,Aus will prepare flat tracks no to displease BCCI , this is the most absurd,outrageous thing i have heard in a long long time, well haters logic is if India loses then then they can't play on certain type of pitches but if they win it must have been a flat track...

    Seriously how long can BCCI and Indian fans can put up with this much amount of hate,BCCI should seriously think about going American pro sports way,India should withdraw from ICC and conduct tests and 50 over tournaments on lines of IPL,they should remove the restriction on having only 4 international players and pay them the top dollars, then i will see how international cricket survives when every one of them would prefer to play in India.

  • HNL on October 18, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    This is why the oldies like SRT had to make way for the young guns. If anybody still does not believe, they have to look at what transformation Rohit Sharma has undergone since being asked to open with Shikhar Dhawan. Great run chase indeed. Worthy of being the second greatest ODI run chase of all times, but it was nothing less electrifying than that 435 run chase at the Wanderers. Well done team India. Keep up the good work.

  • mark on October 18, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    if cricket is going to be a bashing game of batsmen, then why d u need bowlers? just replace bowlling mechines . whats the meaning of hitting 4s n 6s for every ball and even miss hit are ging for six in small ground. India is totally destroying cricket.. I dont think neither Kholi nor Rohit is so great here scoring 100s on such bullish flat wicket... 700+ runes in less than 100 ovrs speaks volums about the condition of pitch and the size of ground looking at the no.of 4s and 6s and strike rate of batsmen... Its sad people dont realise this and jump over their players individual performance... this carnival cricket is being shwon too much thry IPL,CL and al other PL series of different countries... so too much fun games , but no matches of real contest between bat n ball .... cricket is being buried on live by India

  • Logan on October 18, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    This is the second time that the Aussies been on the receiving end after chasing an almost impossible target,lest say 1 in a 1000 chance. Sa & Now India.I think the credit must go to Royith & Dhawan ,they set the platform for the very dangerous kholi.I have seen Kholi being india's savour in many a huge chase.

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    wickets and grounds like these kill the game of cricket totally. soon, we might be seeing cricket as a game of only batsmen with the bowling being replaced by bowling machines.

    What is the point in having smaller grounds. even mis-hits are going in for a six. with the two new balls rule, the balls would be harder throughout the match.

    cricket is lovely to watch only when there is an even contest between bat and the ball. If all the remaining matches are going to be like this, then GOD save cricket.

  • BALASUBRAMANIAN on October 18, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    It was a great win. Congrats to Team India batters for achieving this in great style having lost the previous one in pursuit of a total less than this one. This ground, now famously short named "SMS" has once again proved ideal for the home team just as it proved to Rajasthan Royans in IPL 6 and CLT20 matches. The team performance barring the bowling attack was such that never in future the one liner "we were missing Sachin" should come. He has been forgotten in such a short time. GREAT!!!!!!!! Kepp performing like this in the rest of the matches, get quality bowlers to bowl with their minds also rather with their skills only. Once again congrats to Team India

  • mark on October 18, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    I dont think this is ODI game.. now India destroying ODI format also making 350+ pitches ....this is another T20 style game extended for 50 overs... what's the meaning of this type of flat batting track... hitting 100 runs in 30-50 balls have become pretty normal due one sided flat track bully concept of India...with IPL T20 carnival they already destroyed test matches and put whole cricketing nations into a one gambling ground.. now they are doing the same thing for ODI is a game of bat and ball...there should be a even ground for batsmen/bowlers.. They should not make this type of IPL carnival pitches and destroy the real spirit of the game ....damn the India unfortunately start playing cricket and finally destroying everything for money.... Cricket RIP!!!!.....

  • Android on October 18, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    Haters will remain haters even If India win 2015 wc in Australia cz they so jealous Indian supremacy in cricket and also cz those haters don't have batters like we have in our team and bcz their batters can nvr even in dream chase this total on a flat track against so called weak bowling attack of India..You special set of skills and character to be a chasing team on any pitch.. Nomatter how much India achieve, Haters will criticize.. India will win wc 2015 in OZ too.. Be prepared to face utter humiliation haters! Cz This Indian team is here to stay for a long long time.. Please publish