Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo
Abu Dhabi T10 (5)
Legends League (2)
WI v IRE (EME) (1)
WI v ENG (1)
NZ v PAK (W) (1)
SA v WI (A tour) (1)
Hazare Trophy (18)
Australia 352 for 7 (Marsh 96, Smith 74, Labuschagne 72, Bumrah 3-81, Kuldeep 2-48 ) beat India 286 (Rohit 81, Kohli 56, Maxwell 4-40, Hazlewood 2-42) by 66 runs
Attacking fifties from the top four, backed up by Glenn Maxwell's frugal four-for on return helped Australia avoid a clean sweep as they got the better of India by 66 runs in the third and final ODI in Rajkot. India still took the series 2-1 having won the opening two games convincingly.
Australia, playing a near full-strength side, took charged up from the get-go. They raced to 90 for 1, with India conceding 11 fours and five sixes in the first ten overs. And it was Jasprit Bumrah they targeted, who had a game of two halves. He conceded 0 for 51 off his first five overs and 3 for 30 off his last five but seemed off the boil with his lengths overall.
Marsh creamed the first ball he received from the fast bowler through covers before pummeling him for two fours and six in his second over. Warner took 16 runs off Mohammed Siraj's second over before thumping Prasidh Krishna was for 19 off his first as Australia galloped to 50 in 6.1 overs.
Warner soon notched up a half-century of his own, his third of the series, off 32 balls but failed to carry on. Trying to be a bit too adventurous, Warner pre-meditated a scoop to a Prasidh length ball on the stumps but could only get a bit of a glove and a top edge through to the wicketkeeper.
Smith, coming on the back of a duck, was in his elements right away. He started off with a typical across-the-line wristy clip before dishing out a stunning cover drive against Prasidh.
Spin was introduced in the tenth over but did not make much of a difference with both Marsh and Smith collecting boundaries at regular intervals. Marsh brought up his fifty off 45 balls before the heat started to take its toll even as Australia breached the 150-mark in the 22nd over.
Bumrah's second spell also proved expensive with Marsh laying into him. He hoicked the quick over deep backward square leg before crashing him for three successive fours. Smith and Marsh added 137 off 119 balls for the second wicket and when Australia screamed past 200 in 26.2 overs, 400 was on the cards.
But India managed to pull things back well. Marsh, absolutely knackered by the heat, patted a Kuldeep wrong'un to cover to fall for 96. Soon after, Siraj pinned Smith right in front with a length ball that skidded through and missed his attempted flick. Bumrah returned to deceive Alex Carey with a slower offcutter and then rattled Maxwell's off pole with a pinpoint yorker. And, when Cameron Green holed out to long-on, Australia had lost four wickets for 57 in 11 overs between the 32nd and 43rd.
Labuschagne, however, kept his composure to keep Australia going. He smashed 72 off 58 balls with nine fours as Australia crossed 350 in the final over. Despite the tall score, India did manage to pull things back in the last part, conceding 122 runs in the last 20 overs and just 66 off the last ten.
Rohit had a new opening partner in Washington Sundar and India's chase got off to a flying start largely due to Rohit. The duo added 74 for the opening wicket in 65 balls, with Rohit's contribution being 55 off 35.
The pull worked the magic for the India captain on the day with the shot earning him 35 runs off just ten balls. Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood were all dispatched to various locations over the on-side boundaries while the extra cover fence was also peppered more than once.
Rohit raced to his fifty off 31 balls with the help of three fours and five sixes. Ironically, it was a mistimed pull that got him to the landmark. Green purchased some extra bounce outside off with Rohit managing a top edge on a pull that ballooned straight up. But Starc running back from short third, failed to latch on to a tough catch.
Washington was dismissed for a 30-ball 18 with Labuschagne taking a wonderful catch at wide long-off. Kohli then joined forces with Rohit and the duo added 70 off 61 balls to keep the chase on track.
A stunning piece of reflex catch, however, sent Rohit back and Australia applied the choke thereafter. Rohit absolutely slapped a quickish length ball by backing away towards the bowler, who tried to take evasive action but also held out his right hand with the ball sticking.
Post Rohit's dismissal in the 21st over, Australia conceded just two fours and a six in the next ten overs. Kohli reached his 65th half-century in the format, but became Maxwell's third victim when he top-edged a short-of-a-length ball to Smith at midwicket.
Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul failed to find the boundaries as the required rate continued to creep up. Rahul was sent back by Starc while Suryakumar Yadav failed to repeat his second ODI heroics. And when Iyer was castled by Maxwell, the end was nigh.
Ravindra Jadeja managed to get some batting practice enroute a 36-ball 35 before Green ended proceedings by taking out Siraj off the penultimate ball of the game. For Australia, each of the six bowlers picked up a wicket.
Maxwell a crucial piece to Australia's World Cup jigsaw puzzle
His career-best 4 for 40 was a reminder of the balance he can bring to the team, although runs will also be vital
Washington, Ashwin or Axar? This aside, India have most bases covered ahead of World Cup
Five things India learned (or didn't) over the course of their 2-1 series victory against Australia
Marsh and Maxwell star in Australia's consolation win
Australia's top four all made fifties to lift the team to 352, and despite half-centuries from Kohli and Rohit, India fell well short in the chase
Starc, Maxwell eye returns with third ODI against India
Spencer Johnson and Nathan Ellis have flown back home to recover from their injuries