137 kph, Dhoni guides this through mid off, with mid off making a hash of it as it deflects towards long on, with the pair running the extra run to get the victory. It sets off delirious scenes from the Nagpur crowd as they roar in approval to what has been a sublime batting performance from the young turks of Indian cricket.
Well it's all done and dusted then. After six matches (which included a rain out in Ranchi and an even more rained-out match in Cuttack (which got called off)) the series is levelled at 2-2, with the final match in Bangalore to decide the series. With four centuries in the match, it was certainly a more memorable counter between these two sides. So now its off to Bangalore for the November 2 decider. On behalf of Devashish Fuloria and the scorers, this is Rohan Sharma saying good night, and good luck.
Virat Kohli, Man of the Match: That was the plan I guess (when asked about going about the chase), with Rohit and Shikhar setting the platform. Shikhar was getting a bit of cramp and it was important that one of us went through to the end. I took some risks early on to attack the bowlers. I thought I should let Shikhar bat through, and then once he got out, I thought I should finish the game. When Mitch came back on to have a bowl, it helped to have MS at the other end. He told me that we had wickets and we need to go after him. I then went after him and it was all a calculated risk. I had confidence in my ability and backed myself. I like bating under lights, as I have said before, and if you have a target on board its always easy to analyse how many runs you need and how to go about it. Yeah I can't wait to play in Bangalore. Bangalore has always been a great wicket for both the batsmen and bowlers. With both teams levelled at 2-2, its exciting that the series is going down to the wire in the final match.
MS Dhoni, India captain: I think its something we need to think about (about the fact that so many high run chases have been achieved of late). Is 350 the new 280, 290 or 300? With the new bowlers they are mostly getting smashed. Even the fast bowlers are bowling with their third man up and fine leg up. Not sure where its going but if we are chasing like this it is not going to be good for the long-term health of the game. Only seeing boundaries and sixes for seven hours? We knew a bit of dew will come later, and now it is slightly easy as we can break down the game at intervals. We can evaluate after the 30-over mark as to what we need to do and what we can achieve. We were evenly placed. I think Shikhar and Rohit batted really well, and Shikhar got a century, but for Rohit it was one of those days when you can't find the gaps and he absorbed the pressure so well. Yes I think Virat was brilliant, the reason being that as the ball got old he was counterattacking and maintaining a good position when going for the big shots. He made it look easy and the way he took pressure off the batsmen was amazing. Its always about taking the pressure off the new batsman. Bangalore is known for its big runs so not sure how much we will need to chase or how much we have to set to chase over there.
George Bailey, Australia captain: It is disappointing (that we lost). Virat played an unbelievable knock. Still a beautiful batting wicket so you dont see many batters complaining about it. We needed to find early breakthroughs. You can always do things differently, that never changes, win or lose, but we fought our way back into the game really well. We made them hit really good shots and when a guy is batting well that is all you can do. (When asked about the fact he has scored the highest by an Australian against India) But we are losing mate. If you are a spectator you will be loving this (high-scoring matches) so we are really looking forward to Bangalore.
Now quotes from the match presentation
Shikhar Dhawan, India opening batsman: Yeah we batted really well. It was a big target. Wicket was a bit slow today but we stayed at the wicket and we kept rotating the strike and getting boundaries. I just wanted to keep the wickets in our hands and get a good run rate and play our shots and not play any different shots, so thats what we did. Not overexcited (after getting his hundred) but just played a bad shot. I should have stayed at the wicket and finish it off for the team. Hopefully next time I can do that and bring victory to my team and the dressing room.
Rohit Sharma, India opening batsman: It was a little slower than we expected (the pitch). The ball was not coming on initially, but we knew with the dew 350 was possible so we didn't want tt lose our wickets. Yeah we complement each other really well (Dhawan and him), both on and off the field. its coming off really well and giving a good start was really important. I am glad that both of us are managing to do it. This is just the start and we need to keep doing this. and we hope its the start of a good opening partnership for the both of us. Dhawan was hitting the ball really well so my job was to rotate the strike, give him as many balls, and allow him the strike.
This has simply been a batsmen's day. When you have 701 runs scored for just the loss of 10 wickets, it is all you need to infer. It began with Shane Watson slamming the Indian bowlers to get the early initiative, with George Bailey adding the cherry on top with his 156 that looked to have batted India out of the game. With 351 to chase, India needed to look back to Jaipur, and how. Beginning with an integral 178-run opening stand between Rohit and Dhawan, with Dhawan going on to register his fourth ODI century of this year. Then Kohli entered, and he was simply in magnificent form as he dictated terms from the outset, and careened the bowling on the way to his 17th ODI hundred. Simply superb stuff from the Indians, and the Australians will feel hard done as they have given up yet another 350-run score, and that too in similar style. Stayed tuned for more reactions from the players and the post-match presentation.
Uzair: "While Kohli is brilliant in all regards, I would just like say that he cannot be compare to anyone in the past. The pitches were different along with the bowlers. He has not faced the likes of (Wasim, Waqar, McGrath, Donald,Pollock, Ambrose and Walsh to name a few)"
136 kph, low full toss outside off as Dhoni flashes hard and is able to pierce the gap between cover and backward point, with cover diving fully to his right in vain to try and stop this bullet off the bat
the crowd jeers as this length ball just bypasses the off stump as Dhoni goes for the big swing
So 6 required off 6 balls. Haddin and Faulkner discuss tactics and get field placements right. Bailey will be wondering what else he needs to do to get the better of India today?
Suneel BS: "Virat Kohli, is he the Sebastian Vettel of cricket? !!"
136 kph, Kohli able to steer this square on the leg side and times it just right as the pair complete the first, and Kohli scampers back like an energized bunny to the other end, beating the incoming throw from the deep. This is scarcely believable stuff from the Indians! 350 chase made to look like a mockery!
Bailey changing around his field as India rampage for the end
123 kph, Kohli was waiting for it, and Watson delivered it. Another slower ball and Kohli just hammers this over the midwicket boundary for four
Ashutosh: "There is definitely bit of Sir Vivian Richards in Kohli , that swagger, that strut , that confidence , that talent , feeling that he is way ahead of the rest !!"
119 kph, slower ball again as Dhoni is able to squirt this out to the off side
121 kph, full and on middle as Dhoni is able to eke out two runs when the incoming throw hits the stumps and goes on to the leg side
Amar Jayam: "What a coincidence? Both Dhoni and kholi have highest score as 183 and average as 52.2"
120 kph, lovely slower ball which Kohli misses completely as the ball snakes onto his feet and bounces over to the off side, with the pair running the bye
133 kph, Kohli is simply taking this game away as he manufactures yet another sublime on drive between long on and midwicket which races so fast that it gets to the boundary without too much issue
Watson now on to try his luck
137 kph, Dhoni able to turn this length ball away to midwicket, with the pair steaming through the first run to turn back and get the second. 15 off the over and just what the doctor ordered as far as India are concerned. Australia look a bit bedraggled on the field now.
length ball which Kohli plays to cover to get a single and get off the strike
141 kph, take a bow Kohli. Is there a better man when it comes to chasing huge ODI totals? The crowd go bananas as Kohli glides this through third man for the third consecutive boundary of the over to bring up his 17th ODI hundred. Sterling stuff from this Indian batsman
136 kph, he is simply topping himself at each instance. Kohli uses his strong wrists to on drive this fuller length so sweelty, and generate so much power that it dissects the two boundary riders to the midwicket boundary
137 kph, length ball going to the leg side as Kohli covers the line carefully
136 kph, Kohli seems to be out doing himself with every new shot as he slaps this short delivery over the covers for four. On 95 now
So 35 required off 18. Game on
148 kph, back of a length delivery which Kohli negotiates with a glide through to third man
147 kph, fuller pitch and on middle and leg as Dhoni is able to chip this through the leg side
Shami: "Smelling a tie here !!!"
144 kph, back of a length delivery angling in as Kohli guides this behind point to get off the strike
136 kph, shortish length again from Johnson as Kohli goes for the uppercut over the covers
138 kph, fires it short again as Kohli rocks back to try and pull through midwicket, but doesn't get a good connection on it