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India vs Australia in 2019-20

A review of India vs Australia, 2019-20

Scott Bailey
KL Rahul on his way to a half-century  •  Getty Images

KL Rahul on his way to a half-century  •  Getty Images

One-day internationals (3): India 2, Australia 1
Despite a roasting in the first game, India displayed a resilience that explained why no visiting team had won successive one-day series in the country in a decade. After winning 3-2 the previous March, and by ten wickets in the first game this time, at Mumbai, Australia were on course to set that record straight. But the home batsmen reasserted their authority to give India victories in Rajkot and Bangalore - and the series.
Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma - the usual suspects - all averaged more than 50, maintaining their habit of performing well against Australia. Dhawan top-scored in the first two games, before a shoulder injury sustained in the field prevented him from opening in the decider. Not that his side missed him: Sharma hit a smart century, Kohli made 89, and India won by seven wickets. K. L. Rahul proved himself Mr Fix-It, hitting 146 runs at a strike-rate of 104 from Nos 3, 5 and 2. He also took the gloves in all three games, after designated wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant suffered concussion when batting at Mumbai.
With the ball, India's success was built around Mohammed Shami. He was superb at the death in the two must-win games, and finished with seven wickets, the most on either side. His opening partner, Jasprit Bumrah, claimed only one, but an economy-rate of 4.58 - easily the best of the series - underlined his worth. Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja took crucial wickets in the second and third games, when they dominated the batsmen during the middle overs.
Australia rarely leave home in the southern summer, but their form batsmen had few problems in adapting to the different surroundings. David Warner continued his magnificent run with a century at Mumbai - the fifth since his disastrous Ashes series - though he contributed little in the two defeats. Meanwhile, Marnus Labuschagne successfully made the transition from red ball to white, and hit 100 busy runs in his two innings. He shared partnerships of 96 and 127 with Steve Smith, arguably Australia's best batsman on this trip. At Bangalore, he hit a magnificent 131, three years to the day since his previous ODI hundred.
If Australia's strength was their top four - captain Aaron Finch weighed in with 162 at 81, and won all three tosses - their weakness was their bottom seven. Ashton Turner hit 13 and four, and was dropped for the trip to South Africa that started in February, while the other Ashton, Agar, claimed only two expensive wickets (Rahul, twice). Leg-spinner Adam Zampa grabbed most - five at 29 - while costing less than five an over. On largely batsmen-friendly surfaces, Australia's opening pair of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins struggled after a superb effort in the Wankhede. Combined figures of five for 100 there preceded a collective none for 261 in the defeats.